Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

September 2020


Welcome Back!

We are moving forward to having worship in the sanctuary once more, beginning Sunday, September 13, at 10:30 a.m. Our first celebration of Holy Communion will be Sun. Oct. 4. - Children’s ministry will resume later.

Note: On-line worship folders will continue to be available.

The service will look and sound different than it did 6 months ago, but the goals will be the same: to give God thanks, to be refreshed in faith, to build up community, and to be renewed in service and witness:

-The service will last 30-45 mins.

-There will be a limit of 30% (40-60) of capacity inside the sanctuary.

-We will enter through the wooden doors in the front hall. Volunteers will welcome you, ask you screening questions, remind you of the Health Unit regulation to wear masks, and include your name on a contact list (kept for 30 days, to be used by Health Unit if contact tracing becomes necessary.)

-Signs will direct you in the direction you are to travel, ask you to use hand sanitizer. The worship folder will be on the pews, marking the designated, physically distant places you can sit. Those from the same social bubble are able to sit together. The balcony will not be used for seating.

-All are encouraged ‘to go’ before coming. Only the upstairs washroom will be available, and will have to be cleaned after each use. The platform lift normally will not be in use.

-There will be no congregational singing, or dialogue. No hymnbooks or envelopes will be in the pew holders.

-The presiding minister and assistants will be at least 4m from the assembly.

-There will be containers for offerings at the entrance to the sanctuary.

-The Sharing of the Peace can still be offered – through a gentle nod, a bow, a simple wave, sign of the cross, or crossing one’s arms over the chest.

-Pastor Matthew will not greet at the sanctuary doors and there will be no Fellowship hour. On the way out, please maintain physical distancing, exiting by the doors to the parking lot.

To implement this plan we need volunteers: greeters, ushers, readers and sanitizers. For information, call Helen Dagsvik 983-2099. We will have a Training session on September 12 at 10:30 a.m.

“Where we are headed is not to be back to where we were, but we give thanks that who we are as a church has not changed.”

Your Congregational Council and Pastor Matthew

For the Beauty of the Earth:

To all members and friends of Our Saviour’s,

As we look forward to heading back to church this month, we also are preparing the building. Please assist us in developing new bulletin boards in Immanuel Hall. The theme is the hymn ‘For the Beauty of the Earth” and pictures, paintings, photos, drawings and anything illustrating the hymn’s words are needed. Please review the words and drop off your artistic submissions at the church. Remember to put your name on the backs or somewhere so that they can be returned.

This is a chance for everyone – young, old, or in-between, to participate in the life of our church.

Thank you in anticipation,

Pat Kaukola and Kim Koivukoski

For the Beauty of the Earth

John Rutter (modified)

For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the skies

Lord of all to thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise

For the beauty of the hour

Of the day and of the night

Hill and vale

And tree and flower

Sun and moon and stars of light

Lord of all to these we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise

For the joy of ear and eye

For the heart and mind’s delight

Linking sense to sound and sight

Lord of all to thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise

For the joy of human love

Brother, sister, parent, child

Friends on earth

And friends above

Lord of all to thee we raise

This our joyful hymn of praise.

Season of Creation:

The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually from Sept. 1 through Oct. 4, using the readings from the Time after Pentecost. The theme for 2020 is ‘Jubilee for the Earth’.

Sept. 1 was proclaimed as a day of prayer for creation for the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1989. It was embraced by other major Christian European churches in 2001 – including Lutherans – and by the Roman Catholic Church in 2015. Oct. 4 is the commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi in some of the churches – including Lutherans – the saint related to promoting ecology.

Our Canadian and American Lutheran and Anglican Church leaders have written reflections for each Sunday in our bulletin.

Readings for Worship:

-September 6 – Time after Pentecost

Ezekiel 33:7-11

Psalm 119:33-40

Romans 13:8-14

Matthew 18:15-20

Sermon: ‘Where Two or Three are Gathered’

-September 13 – Time after Pentecost

Genesis 50:15-21

Psalm 103: [1-7] 8-13

Romans 14:1-12

Matthew 18:21-35

Sermon: ‘A Question of Forgiveness’

-September 20 – Time after Pentecost

Jonah 3:10-4:11

Psalm 145:1-8

Philippians 1:21-30

Matthew 20:1-16

Sermon - ‘All the Same?’

-September 27 – Time after Pentecost

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

Psalm 25:1-9

Philippians 2:1-13

Matthew 21:23-32

Sermon – ‘Not the Way it Appears’

Living our Faith - Bible book club

An Invitation from National Bishop Susan Johnson:

“Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus. Last year we began a four-year emphasis on Living our Faith, an invitation to Pray, Read, Worship and Love. I am writing to you today to ask for your help and support this September, as we begin the second year of this emphasis focusing specifically on Read — the practice of regular reading of scripture.

To begin growing our focus on reading the Bible, we invite you to join us in a Bible book of the month book-club type of approach. Each month from September 2020 to August 2021, we hope the whole church will focus on reading the same book of the Bible. We have received permission to use the introductory sections from the Lutheran Study Bible to help provide context for each book. And we have asked a broad array of people from across the ELCIC to write questions to help us engage more fully in a discussion of the monthly readings.

I’d like to encourage you to form book clubs to read and discuss together. Invite friends and family, full communion partners, and church neighbours in your community. And let it happen. Watch my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu1qKoPfht4

The Introduction and Reading for September, on the book of Genesis: https://elcic.ca/livingourfaith/documents/September-Genesis.pdf

The Questions for September:


Be sure to sign up for our ‘Living our Faith: Read — Bible Study’ email list, https://elcic.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=995f38ab3f3a9fb43ccc1bc2d&id=ad24529601.”

Pastor Matthew is arranging a Zoom meeting to start the Our Saviour’s Book Club on Weds. Sept. 16, at 7:00 p.m. Email him at osimm@tbaytel.net to receive the sign-in invitation, or to arrange another time to meet.

Children’s Ministry:

As noted earlier, currently there will be no in-person Sunday School classes. Handouts will be available at worship, and we are preparing online opportunities. In addition, these groups have made their material available free of charge:

-Illustrated Ministry


-‘Spark Kids’


Youth Ministry:

SAVE THE DATE! August 19-22, 2021

An Online #EnRoute Experience

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the global pandemic, the difficult decision has been made for CLAY 2021 to be hosted as an online event.

The CLAY National Planning Committee and our National Churches are working very hard in exploring what this new kind of CLAY will look like and how it will happen…

Registration Opens January 2021. More details on our local team will be shared once the leadership team resumes meeting.

Lutheran Women:

Our Zoom meeting on Mon. June 29 was the last “regular” meeting of the ‘Lutheran Women’ for the summer. Details on resuming our meetings will be available shortly!

Invitation to World Day of Prayer Canada NOW

COVID-19 has limited our freedom to gather together in person but it cannot limit the power of God or the impact of prayer! In anticipation of World Day of Prayer 2021, the Women’s Inter-Church Council (WICC) is inviting praying women with a heart for justice to join them on Facebook for World Day of Prayer Canada NOW. Twice a month, on the first and third Fridays at 1:00 pm they will be hosting a 15-minute Facebook Live event highlighting and praying for World Day of Prayer-related prayer concerns such as Vanuatu (the WDP writing country for 2021), Zimbabwe (the 2020 WDP writing country), social justice issues, and global concerns like COVID-19.

The first FB Live will be on Sept. 18 on the WICC Facebook page:


Come and be informed! Come and pray and see what great things God will do!


-Eiler Pedersen, June 23

-Christa Korotki, Aug. 16 (Graveside service, Aug. 18)

-Mildred Huard, Aug. 16 (Graveside service, Aug. 24 – by Pastor Arleen Leishman-Berg)

Graveside services for those who died earlier in the year:

-Aug. 6 – Melissa Furlotte

-Aug. 8 – Holly Paxon, Dick Ball

Holy Communion:

Private Communion: Please call the church office to request this. The sacrament can be received either at the church or at home – outside is best. Both the presider and the receiver will practice social distancing, and, if inside, wear masks. Only bread will be shared, using wafers.

Sunday Communion Worship: Our first service: October 4, at 10:30 a.m.

Pastoral Care:

Pastor Matthew is able once more to engage in in-person pastoral care for those most in need of care and compassion. This does not, however, apply to the hospitals or Long-term care facilities.

Outdoor visits can take place – physical distancing is to be maintained, and masks should be worn. No physical contact is allowed. Please call 344-1926 for details.

Food Banks:

Thank you for your donations over the summer. In September we help the Current River Church’s food cupboard.

From the Gathering Table Food Cupboard:

‘Fellow pilgrims with Christ, Thank you for your continuing support. You are a valued and integral part of the mission’s success. Covid-19 has strained our operation but with Health Unit guidance we have continued through the summer. Come September there will be changes as we seek to return to normalcy. It will be a slow and staged process.”

Blessings to you, a servant of Christ,


Lawn Mowing 2020 Schedule

The season has been divided up into 2 week periods. Thanks to all those who have helped so far.

Haakon Dagsvik Sept. 7- Sept. 20

Ken Boegh Sept. 21-Oct. 4

Blessing of the Animals:

Sunday, October 4, 3:00 p.m. (Outside) for all pets. There will also be prayers for pets we remember.


The 178th Thunder Bay Cubs meet at Our Saviour's. Using the Scouts Canada training and guidelines, it is able to resume its meetings, but in a new way. The main one is that they will only be outside: no indoor meetings or camping allowed. This will continue until Scouts Canada advises otherwise and only if Ontario moves forward in getting back to normal stages. The first two times together are on Monday, September 14 and 28, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. The only use of the building will be for bathroom emergencies, with sanitizing protocols being followed.

For information on Cubs and registration, contact Susan,


September: Climate Action Month

KAIROS is a joint venture ecumenical program. Ten participating member denominations and religious organizations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada, are involved in the development and delivery of our shared work. Informed by biblical teaching, KAIROS deliberates on issues of common concern, striving to be a prophetic voice in the public sphere. Inspired by a vision of God’s compassionate justice, KAIROS advocates for social change, amplifying and strengthening the public witness of its members.

Responding to Christ by engaging in social transformation, KAIROS empowers the people of God and is empowered by them to live out our faith in action for justice and peace, joining with those of goodwill in Canada and around the world.

KAIROS began Climate Action Month in 2019 to galvanize awareness and action after a series of alarming and urgent UN special reports on the climate crisis and impacts on vulnerable communities, including women and Indigenous peoples. On each day in September, KAIROS will post about a topic related to climate change centered on weekly themes, with supporting resources to learn more including reports, videos, theological reflection, events and more. The posts will highlight the work of KAIROS member churches, feature stories from its global partners and showcase communities that are taking concrete steps to halt the climate emergency.

This KAIROS initiative is intended to further reconciliation by encouraging discussion and reflection on how climate change and Indigenous issues are deeply interwoven.  KAIROS’ climate action is rooted in reconciliation and this initiative is intended to amplify and prioritize Indigenous voices.  

Climate Action Month also includes a #30DayChallenge intended to motivate and inspire a daily practice of taking action for the climate. Each year, KAIROS will curate 30 specific actions, focused on learning, reflection, community-building and advocacy. To download the 30 Day Challenge Action card: https://www.kairoscanada.org/what-we-do/ecological-justice/climateactionmonth-30-day-challenge-2020


Thank you for the continued sharing your gifts during this beautiful but strange summer. The weekly offerings received kept pace with those given in 2019 but fell short of our goal. To date, our offerings are down about 5% from our 2019 levels. Please contribute as you are able during the rest of the year to eliminate this shortfall, as we live out our vision of gathering to share the gifts of God and to serve this community and the world.

July and August Offerings:

$ 15,054.00

Budgeted Offerings:

$ 18,416.66

Monthly Offerings to date, 2020:

$ 62,377.80

Budgeted Offerings to date, 2020:

$ 73,666.64

Forward in Mission

Received through August: $1,974.

2020 goal: $2,500

One of our recipients of FIM is the Mission as Hope Appeal, of our Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod. ($ 150) Funds collected this year will help fund new and continuing ministries across the synod in 2021.

Cleaning Fund

Our custodian, Michael Smith, has been laid off, due to the building being closed. As he returns to work our gifts will be needed to support him to clean the church once weekly.

Received to end of August: $1,560. Needed to end of August: $2,160. (Unadjusted)

Starting Sept 13, you will once more be able to share your offering at worship. For those unable to do so, 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. That’s it!

What Your Council Is Doing Now

Your full Council met in person, in the narthex of Our Saviour’s on Tues. Sept. 8, ready to face the challenges of new beginnings in spite of the currently ongoing pandemic. We reviewed the plans in motion to resume in-person worship on Sunday, September 13th at 10:30 a.m. Of course, it will be different, but not insurmountable for hardy Lutherans. Here is the plan, briefly, how it will go. Of course, we will adapt as necessary.

Helen Dagsvik is leading our re-opening strategy:

On Saturday, Sept. 12 at 10:30 a.m. there will be a training session for those leading us through a safe gathering

. Set-up and seating will be evident.

. Kim Koivukoski will recruit ushers.

. Sharon Scott will appoint greeters (these people will check off names of people attending, and inquire (a) have you been sick and/or tested positive for the coronavirus, (b) been with anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, and (c) travelled abroad during the last 14 days).

. Maximum 60 people allowed

. Linda Sander is in charge of clean-up

. Bulletins will be placed on pews, not handed out.

. No singing, responsive reading, touching during greeting.

. Enter through main doors, and leave through parking lot doors.

Have heart….this is all temporary. Take all the precautions, and we will be safe. Remember that the Mandatory Mask policy of The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is in place at the church for the protection of those around us, especially anyone who may be compromised. However, the Health Unit does not ask us to act as enforcers….it is intended to be an education Policy.

Many issues usually dealt with are deferred at this time. They are kept on the table to be resumed when we can.

Financial statements were reviewed for the three months of June, July and August. Offerings have been steadily coming in…however we are down approximately 5%. Our Saviour’s is in a favourable state by comparison to some other congregations. Our congregation comprises a relatively older age group, thus having stable pension incomes.

Lutheran Community Care Centre’s Virtual Strawberry Festival raised almost $3,000 (the goal was $3,000 as is usually raised). It should be noted Pastor Matthew raised about $1,300 in addition to this through his birthday “party”. Well done!

Salem (Pass Lake) suffered a devastating loss through fire this year. However, at their congregational meeting, a unanimous vote has given the go ahead to begin rebuilding.

Watch for updates through email, on Facebook, and on our website. Many opportunities are arising to move forward.

Council will meet again October 13th.

The Millennial Pastors Podcast

The ACTS of the MNO Synod grants committee has approved a grant for Pastors Erik and Courtenay Reedman Parker to begin a podcast addressing the changing landscape of both Lutheranism in Canada and the church and world more broadly.

The first episode is available from

  1. our synod’s website:


  1. from The Millennial Pastor blog site:


  1. on Apple iTunes or from anywhere you download your favourite podcasts.

Watch for new episodes to be available later this month.

As millennials, Pastor Erik and Pastor Courtenay have found themselves navigating ministry that straddles the 20thand 21st century. While the church has been caught in the tension between 20th century methods and a 21stcentury context, the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled it into the challenging need to adapt and adjust. Pastor Erik and Pastor Courtenay have been immersed in the impact of the pandemic as pastors leading congregations forced to learn new forms of communication, leadership and engagement.

Through The Millennial Pastors podcast, the pastors will host discussion and dialogue about the challenges and opportunities facing Lutherans in Canada, consider the changes happening in all aspects of society as a result of the pandemic, and reflect on the theological tradition that informs our experience and interpretation of current events—all through the unique lens of being Lutheran Manitoban millennial pastors.

The podcast will include conversations with various Lutheran guests from throughout the MNO Synod, as well as guests from our ecumenical and community partners. The Millennial Pastors podcast will be a unique contribution to the growing variety of ways the church is being stretched into new ways of sharing, reflecting, engaging, and connecting with the community.

“Eternity for Today”

We didn’t receive the July - September issue of our national church’s devotional booklet. However, we can share it through email. Please message osimm@tbaytel.net . The Oct.-Dec. issue is here!

Daily Hymn and Prayer:

Three times a week, our National Bishop Susan Johnson highlights a hymn from ‘Evangelical Lutheran Worship’. Join her to pray and sing:



Over 100 ELCIA congregations are live-streaming worship:


“Daily Prayer in the Home” https://blogs.elca.org/worship/2044/

A special thank you to Vi Peternelj. Due to Covid-19, the Lutheran Community Care Centre’s annual Strawberry Festival became a virtual event with performances by members from the various Lutheran churches. Kudos to Vi for organizing Our Saviour’s musical variety contribution for this virtual presentation appearing July 15 on YouTube.

News from the LCCC:

VIRTUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL A SUCCESS! Our Virtual Strawberry Festival in support of our Pastoral Care Program has raised almost $3,000 to date! Wow! Thank you to all of the talented musicians and speakers for contributing to the video and to Pastor Ed Long and our Pastoral Care Worker Liisa Lahtinen for organizing it…and thank you to everyone that donated and spread the word! If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can still check it out on our “Lutheran Community Care Centre” YouTube channel or Facebook page, or click on “Strawberry Festival” on our website’s http://www.lccctbay.org home page.

HARVEST FESTIVAL CANCELLED COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions have meant a change to LCCC’s usual fundraising events. Unfortunately, the September Harvest Festival at Hilldale Lutheran Church has also been cancelled. We are sorry that we are unable to meet in person to celebrate as usual this year and hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times.


Our LCCC offices are slowly re-opening, with preventions in place to maintain the safety and well-being of staff, clients, and visitors. One requirement is that masks must be worn by anyone coming into the office. Masks are also required to be worn in stores and businesses throughout Thunder Bay. Since some of the vulnerable individuals that we support may find it difficult to purchase or acquire masks we are very grateful to our Board members Sharon Melville and Deborah Fildes for donating handmade masks to LCCC. They will be made available to our Street Reach Ministries clients, as well as to clients of our Adult Protective Service Worker (APSW), Specialized Service Coordination (SSC), and Mobile Integrated Team (MIT) developmental service programs. On behalf of these individuals, thank you for your time and effort of sewing these masks! It is greatly appreciated.


Dear Street Reach Supporters,

I pray that this letter finds all of you safe in these uncertain times. It’s hard to believe that it is almost two years that I have had the privilege of being the Street Reach chaplain. The last year has brought many changes to our mission outreach. First of all, there was the fire on Simpson Street in August of 2019. For a few weeks after that I was handing out coffee and snacks from the back of my vehicle. In September of 2019 Danny and Lorna from “The River” were gracious enough to let us use their space two doors down so we could continue with our mission outreach work.

The latest big news is that in September of 2020, we are changing locations. Our new home will be 516 Victoria Avenue, across from Victoriaville Mall (corner of Victoria and Brodie). It’s an exciting time for new opportunities and new beginnings. It’s been a time of unprecedented unknowns the last several months with the global pandemic we have all encountered. What has not changed is the love that God has for us and the redemption we have in Christ. With the aftermath of the pandemic and all the new requirements in place, we will now be doing things differently. The food donations we would like are prepackaged. As always, if you would like me to speak about Street Reach do not hesitate to call me at 474-9661.

Pastor Brad Julien Street Reach Chaplain

Update on Salem –Pass Lake Fire

It’s been a very busy two months and great progress has been made. On June 27 Bishop Jason met with Council. He heard our stories, shares in our grief and provided us with prayer and guidance. Since the fire, there have been ongoing meetings and correspondence regarding the church’s insurance within Council. Council went out for tender for the Debris Cleanup of the site. The Church Hall basement is all that remains. It can be reused, which will be a big cost savings if the congregation decides to move forward and rebuild. On July 16th, the Time Capsule was found. A glass bottle encased in cement was discovered in the foundation behind the cornerstone. It contained a message and the Constitution dated October 30, 1931.

A Special Congregational Meeting was held Saturday, August 22, with discussion followed by a yes or no vote to be held by ballot as to whether the members would like to see the church building rebuilt. Salem Council was in favour of moving ahead with the new build. The vote was 60-0 to proceed!

The Pass Lake Historical Society was housed in the basement portion of the Church Hall. Fortunately, the contents of the four fire proof filing cabinets that housed the archives were spared the full extent of the fire but did incur some unavoidable water damage as a result of extinguishing the fire. Over several days, pictures and papers were individually sandwiched between layers of paper towel to remove moisture or hung to dry. Any water damaged material was treated separately. The bins of papers and pictures are now stored in temporary headquarters. Along with losing the cabinets themselves, the Society lost everything that was not in them, such as a computer, printer, custom display boards, office supplies and stationery, books, some artifacts, furniture and more.

From the Salem ‘Herald’ July-August newsletter: “Pass Lake has gone through many phases from the days of log cabins and endless forests, but still retains a generous, cooperative spirit. This certainly has been indicated to us over the course of the past two months.”