Our Newsletter

'The Ambassador'

January 2021


We are unsure when the pandemic alert level for our region will enable us to resume in-person worship. When it is permissible, we will continue our with our protocols: please stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms related to Covid-19, have recently tested positive, or have travelled outside the area in the past 14 days.

Regardless, we will continue to post our worship and sermon files on our website, www.oursaviourstbay.org, and send them out by email (sign up by sending a note to osimm@tbaytel.net). We will also be taping a worship service for the Sunday and uploading it to our YouTube channel, ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’ as well as our website and Facebook page, ‘Our Saviour’s Thunder Bay’.

God bless you as we move past the Christmas season into the time after Epiphany. The good news remains the same: Our Saviour lives -- come share the gifts of God - serve the world!

Virtual Fellowship Hours

In place of our time after worship in Immanuel Hall, to help us connect we are holding these on our non-Communion Sundays. This month: Jan. 3, 10, 24, 31, and possibly the 17th, from Noon – 1:00 p.m. Zoom details will be in the weekly mailings. Bring your lunch!

Our Saviour’s Annual Congregational Meeting will be held following worship on Sunday, February 7, likely using a hybrid in-person/Zoom format. Details will follow as they unfold. You are invited to attend in the manner most comfortable. All confirmed members have voice and vote. Reports are needed at the office by Mon. Jan. 25. If emailing them (in Word): osimm@tbaytel.net.

The reports package will be available Sun. Jan. 31-hardcopy, and by email.

Nominating Committee

Marion Poutanen, Joan Rissanen, and Jeff Thingstad (council) – are seeking your help to fill the election slate to be presented at the Annual Meeting. Please contact them to volunteer to stand, or to offer the name of another person you feel has the gifts to serve. -Congregational Council: 3-3 year positions

-Lutheran Community Care Centre Annual Meeting – up to 5 delegates

-Synod Convention (online, April 23-24, 2021) – 1 lay delegate

-Financial Review Committee – 2 1-year positions, to review financial records for 2022 Annual Meeting

-Nominating Committee – 2 positions

Children’s Ministry

Due to Health Unit guidelines, there continues to be no in-person Sunday School. Handouts are available at worship – they can be picked up at the Luther statue in the front hall; or we can email them to you: osimm@tbaytel.net .


We gather on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 3:30 – 4:15 p.m. We are meeting Jan. 5 and 19. All youth in Grades 7 and up are encouraged to take part. Together we study what it means to live and grow as a child of God. For info, see Pastor Matthew.

'Lutheran Women'

We are still meeting monthly, for now by Zoom. Our next gathering is Mon. Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m. The new Bible Study series from the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America explores ‘Angels’. For more information, contact Jenny Phillips.

'Eternity for Today'

The Jan.-Mar. issue of our national church’s daily devotional booklet is in the front hall, or call for delivery.

Living our Faith - Read

To be part of our national Bishop’s initiative, we have organized a Bible Book of the Month club. Each month until August 2021 Bishop Susan will invite us to join in reading the same book of the Bible.

In January we are studying Ecclesiastes. In February we will look at Jeremiah.

Once a month, we gather by Zoom and share our experiences of reading. You can join any time – contact Pastor Matthew.

Our next meeting is Weds. Jan. 27, at 7:00 p.m. E-mail Pastor Matthew at osimm@tbaytel.net to receive the sign-in invitation.

Readings for Worship:

-January 10 – Baptism of Our Lord

Genesis 1:1-5

Psalm 29

Acts 19:1-7

Mark 1:4-11

-January 17 – Epiphany 2

I Samuel 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

I Corinthians 6:12-20

John 1:43-51

-January 24 – Epiphany 3

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Psalm 62:5-12

I Corinthians 7:29-31

Mark 1:14-20

-January 31-Epiphany 4

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Psalm 111

I Corinthians 8:1-13

Mark 1:21-28

-February 7 – Epiphany 5

Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

I Corinthians 9:16-23

Mark 1:29-39

Food Collection:

Our donations received in the wicker hamper in the front hall during January are being given to the Current River churches’ food bank. Food collected in December has been given to the Gathering Table’s food bank.

Life Journeys:


-Alice Lief, Dec. 10

-Bill Wilke, Dec. 30

Gifts received in memory of:

-Asko Vuotari

-Alice Lief

Thank You!

Thank you to Pastor Matthew and members of council for the beautiful Christmas card. It could be framed and hung on a wall.

May the Lord bless all of you and keep you safe, June Burns

Thank you for your wonderful gifts and kind thoughts over the Christmas season. Pastor Matthew and Kaija.

Mitten Tree

Our annual Mitten Tree once again provided clients of both the Missions to Seafarers and the Lutheran Community Care Centre with donations of handmade or purchased socks, mitts, gloves, hats and scarves. Thank you!


Thank you for your gifts throughout 2020. Despite the challenges of the year, offerings for regular expenses reached roughly 96% of both our 2020 budgeted goal and our 2019 offerings. Your donations are an affirmation of the ministry being done here in Thunder Bay and with our regional and national church.

December Offerings:


Budgeted Offerings:

$ 9,208.33

Monthly Offerings Year-end, 2020:

$ 106,598.80

Budgeted Offerings, 2020:

$ 110,500.00

Forward in Mission

Received through 2020: $2,909.

2020 goal: $2,500

Thank you for helping us go over the top! Council will decide on the related use of the surplus.

Cleaning Fund

Received to end of 2020: $2,545.

Budgeted to end of 2020: $3,240.


2021 Offering Envelopes

Sets of envelopes for your Sunday and special offerings are now available. For almost everyone, your # from 2020 is your # this year. To pick up your set, to sign-up for one, or if your contact information has changed, please call the office.

Note: Update forms for those presently on PAR will be mailed after the Annual Meeting.


When we have in-person worship, you are able to share your offerings at the entrance to the sanctuary. At other times, and for those unable to attend worship, here are some other options:

1. Mail envelopes to the church

Mailing address: 10 Farrand St. Thunder Bay P7A 3H5

2. Drop envelopes off at church

You can drop off envelopes in the mailbox beside the parking lot doors. Calling to let us know, 344-1926, is appreciated, so that the offering can be brought inside as soon as possible.

3. E-Transfer using online banking

a. If you use online banking, log into your account

b. Add Our Saviour’s as a recipient using our office email address:


c. Enter the desired amount and click ‘send’.

4. Sign up for Pre-Authorized Withdrawal (PAR)

You are able to have your monthly offerings directly deposited from your financial institution to that of the church. You can designate it 1-3 ways: Weekly, Building, Forward in Mission. You also can receive undated envelopes for other offerings. To sign up, call the office. If you desire to make any changes at any time of the year, or if you have updates on your address or financial institution, please call the church office, 344-1926.

5. Visit our MNO Synod’s website and click the ‘Donate Now’ button

a. www.mnosynod.org

b. Follow the prompts to add congregation, amount and personal details.

“What Your Council Is Doing Now”

On a cold December evening, your Council met via Conference Call in the warmth of their own homes.

Chair Linda Sander led Opening Devotions from Mark 9:9-13 and prayer about sharing Good News.

Recently, several members of Council joined 30 others from Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario in a ZOOM meeting with Bishop Jason for an information session about a Small Group Ministry Pilot Project starting in January. Those who participated in this meeting discussed some points brought out. Bishop Jason will be offering opportunities for interested leaders to participate in training sessions. Council will include this prospective project in its ongoing “Visioning” and we will continue our interest by bringing it back to Council’s January agenda.

Plans for the format of the Annual Congregational Meeting scheduled for February 7th will be firmed up at our January council meeting, considering the restrictions of Covid19 protocols. You can be assured it will follow the safest way possible.

Beautiful Christmas cards featuring a print of a watercolour of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church by Sonja VanRooyen (94 in all) were signed by Council members and sent to shut ins and members of Our Saviour’s who have been unable to attend regular worship during the pandemic.

The Fall Supper with proceeds going to the rebuilding fund of Salem Pass Lake Church has been declared a huge success. $2,335 was raised. The uniqueness of this event (thank you to the inspiration of Helen Dagsvik), and our community’s generous support of helping Salem went even further by uniting us in celebrating this ‘soup supper’ from our own homes, in spite of the adversity of a pandemic.

Council will meet again on January 19, 2021, going into another year with renewed vigour.

And now, we the members of your Council….

Linda Sander (Chair), Kim Koivukoski, Sharon Scott, Jeff Thingstad, Pat Kaukola, Marie Hynna, Ken Boegh, Helen Dagsvik, Vi Peternelj (Secretary), and Pastor Matthew Diegel, wish you all a Safe New Year. 2021 will be a better year!

Note: We have received word from A.A. that they have suspended their in-person meetings in Immanuel Hall, as of Dec. 17. Until they resume, they will be meeting by Zoom on Mondays and Thursdays. Please keep the Friendly group in your prayers.

Cubs, the Oras Choir, and VON Exercise, and Thunder Bay Carvers also are not meeting at the church during this time.

Snow shovelling

Help keep the church doors, entrances, sidewalks, lower rear entrances, and emergency exits clear and safe. Call the office, 344-1926.

February Ambassador

Articles needed at office by Mon. Feb. 8. It will be available by Sun. Feb. 14.