Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

Summer 2020


Summer Worship and Ministry:

From Pastor Matthew:

Our Congregational Council met on Tues. June 16 for its monthly meeting. Together we considered in detail the return to in-person worship. This included reviewing the guidelines for holding such gatherings during Stage 2 of the province's recovery plan, sharing insights from other congregations and our Bishop, and listening to comments received.

Reflecting our mission statement, there was a strong desire of being able to continue to come share the gifts of God, and reaching out to serve the world, with the added desire of 'keeping people healthy'.

On the basis of this, Council decided, and I concurred, to move toward the resumption of in-person worship in our sanctuary on Sunday, September 13: the Sunday following Labour Day.

During the summer, we will continue and expand our online ministry.

-Sunday Worship folders and sermon files will be sent out by email on Saturday; they also will be posted as 'Notes' to our Facebook page, 'Our Saviour's Thunder Bay', and will be added to our web page:


-Other resources for devotion, prayer, and study will be posted on our Facebook and web pages, as well as news from the congregation and the wider church.

-We hope to make it possible for me and others to 'go live' -- posting audio/video clips of sermons, reflections, and more.

During this time we will also engage in-person ministry that we can embrace safely.

Some of the possibilities already being looked at:

-- continuing to make worship materials, newsletters, and devotional booklets available outside the front doors

-- continuing weekday and Sunday playing of the chimes, including informal, socially safe, outdoor fellowship on Sundays

--resuming our food basket appeal

--participating in Thunder Bay's first annual Neighbour Day on June 20, by delivering 'thank you' flyers to our neighbours

--arranging a delivery drop-off of 'Eternity for Today' booklets, especially for our shut-ins and those without internet access

--developing a plan for several evening devotional gatherings on our church's 'backyard' [next page…]

--looking at possibilities for offering 'private' Communion

--expanding phone check-in list

--exploring holding small social circle times

As we continue and adapt our life together, I invite you to be part of it. This includes participating, taking leadership, and assisting. If you have ideas for in-person ministry, including how you can help, your input is most welcome! Please feel free to share your thoughts with any member of Council or me. You will also be able to respond to a survey to help define our needs and desires.

When I was confirmed, I took as my Confirmation verse, 'I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord".' (Ps. 122.1) I will be very glad indeed when once more we can gather in our sanctuary for worship. Yet, during this time together we can continue to learn how God's house isn't just at 10 Farrand Street but rather wherever God's people share the gifts of God and serve the world.

May the good news of Our Saviour bring peace to you and all the world.

Food Banks:

The last city-wide pick-up at the CLE occurred on June 26. The individual food banks are now making plans for re-opening. Thank you for your donations for Gathering Table’s food cupboard which remained open. You may continue to drop off food at the church. In July it will be given to the Current River Church’s food cupboard and in August to Gathering Table.

Bridges Vacation Bible School

Started in 2017, Bridges VBS is a collaborative, area-wide Vacation Bible School with ELCIC Lutheran churches participating from around the Waterloo ON region. This year the program will run as Bridges VBS @ Home, July 6-10.

With an online program for ages 5 through 11, kids will get to grow their faith through Bible stories, crafts, games, music, science experiments and visitors doing great work in the community of Waterloo.

Registration is free! Email bridgesvbs@gmail.com to sign up for the daily video emails during VBS or follow us at


The leaders will send out an email in advance with information on the basic supplies needed for crafts and other activities. Find out all the details at


More Children’s Resources:

Here are great links:

-Illustrated Ministry


-‘Spark Kids’


LCCC’s Virtual Strawberry Festival:

Celebrating and Thanking our Elders

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Lutheran Community Care Centre’s annual Strawberry Festival fundraiser has been cancelled for 2020. This event has been ongoing since 1985 – for 35 years! – and is traditionally held in mid-July when strawberries are ripe for picking. At the Festival, congregation members from LCCC’s member Lutheran churches come together to volunteer, socialize, and enjoy strawberries with cake and ice cream. The funds raised go towards LCCC’s Pastoral Care program, which supports seniors living in long-term care homes in Thunder Bay.

Although the physical event has been cancelled, our goal is to continue the gathering of support and the working together of the Lutheran churches in a new way – with a virtual Strawberry Festival! Instead of the kitchen and halls of Christ Lutheran, we will join from our homes to enjoy a YouTube video of entertainment provided by our members. As we watch these we will ask for donations towards our goal of the $3,000 typically raised at the Festival. Info on how to donate will be provided.

The Festival will be posted to our YouTube channel on July 15 and we invite you on that day to have a bowl of strawberries and watch our video. When we can we will share the video with the seniors in long-term care who are missing the services and visits of the Pastoral Care program.

Luther Village

Dear friends of Luther Village,

The Northwestern Health Unit, where Luther Village is located, moved into stage 2 of reopening on Fri. June 12.

- As of June 12, our campground and cabin rentals have been open.

- We remain committed to providing alternative programming for the summer. Programming is at the heart of Luther Village’s ministry, so we are seeking to be flexible and adaptable to ensure that it can be delivered.

- Due to restrictions of distancing and programming regulations we will not be able to run our regular family camp programming. We will, however, have limited outdoor recreation available.

- Due again to distancing restrictions and other food service-related requirements, we are currently unsure of what our meal services for campers will look like.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your camp as we enter into an unusual season; a season that is filled with unusual opportunities to adjust, to refresh, and to rethink the ways that we all share in the ongoing ministry of Luther Village. For updates: www.luthervillage.ca .

Grace and Peace be with you, The Luther Village Board

What Your Council is Doing Now

Your Council Members are:

Linda Sander (Chair/Treasurer), Helen Dagsvik (Vice Chair), Vi Peternelj (Secretary), Pat Kaukola, Ken Boegh, Jeff Thingstad, Kim Koivukoski, Sharon Scott, and Marie Hynna.

Please feel free to contact any of your Council with concerns and comments….we are your representatives in managing our congregation’s activities.


-Chimes are being played daily at 1:00, and Kaija is giving a 15 minute offering of music (bells) on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

-Painting has refreshed the outside of the building.

-Pastor continues to vigilantly attend to as much business as is possible in this difficult time of pandemic, preparing and distributing worship folders and sermons for each service;

facilitating 4 Thursday Devotions and Study gatherings (Zoom);

Pastoral calls via telephone; Weekly Zoom meetings with Bishop Jason and synod pastors, and with local Anglican and ELCIC pastors; hosting Zoom Fellowship Hour Sundays, 1:00; in addition to day-to-day responsibilities.

--The new rechargable electric lawnmower works very well, and adds to our being a Stewardship of Creation congregation.

--Thank you to our custodian, Michael Smith, for volunteering to strip and refinish the floor in Immanuel Hall during his laid-off time during the pandemic. A beautiful job!

--The annual Strawberry Festival (Lutheran Community Care Centre) which supports Street Reach Ministry and Pastoral Care Services is going to have a new face this July 15…a Virtual Strawberry Festival featuring video presentations from all the Lutheran churches in Thunder Bay that support LCCC, including up to 4 from Our Saviour’s!

--Please keep Salem (Pass Lake) in your prayers at the devastating loss of their church to fire.

--As we move through the phases of planning to re-establish our in-person worship, council reviewed the guidelines for Stage 2 of the province’s recovery plan. On the basis of this, Council decided to move toward the resumption of in-person worship in our sanctuary on Sunday, September 13: the Sunday following Labour Day.

During the summer, we will continue and expand our online ministry. During this time, we will also engage in-person ministry that we can embrace safely. Please see Pastor Matthew’s message: Summer Worship and Ministry

…as we continue to move forward to a newer and stronger Ministry. --Your Council will formally meet again in September.

Vi Peternelj,


'Lutheran Women'

Our Zoom meeting on Mon. June 29 was the last “regular” meeting of the ‘Lutheran Women’ for the summer. However, there may be a social get-together planned in July or August where we could meet face to face, but with physical distancing, if people are interested in doing so. Please let Jenny Phillips know.

Lawn Mowing 2020 Schedule

The season is divided up into 2 week periods and those responsible for each period are listed. Pastor Matthew has the combination for the shed where the new battery operated, self-propelled lawn mower is located. Please put the battery on charge after mowing – Pastor Matthew can arrange this. If there are problems with the schedule, please switch with someone else or talk to Ken Boegh.

Bruce Sauder June29-July 12

Brian Phillips July 13-July 26

Bob Borgeson July 27-Aug 9

Jeff Thingstad Aug. 10-Aug.23

Eldon Oja Aug. 24- Sept. 6

Haakon Dagsvik Sept. 7- Sept. 20

Ken Boegh Sept. 21-Oct. 4

Devotional Resources

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada:

Daily Devotion:

Copies of the July -September issue of our national church’s booklet, ‘Eternity for Today’, should be available at the church any day now. The distributors apologize for the delay. Please call 344-1926, if you would like a copy.

Daily Hymn and Prayer:

Each day, our National Bishop Susan Johnson highlights a hymn from ‘Evangelical Lutheran Worship’. Join her to sing, and then to pray:



Currently over 100 congregations are live-streaming worship, Bible Study, and other gatherings. An updated list is available at:


Visit this page for many other resources:


“Daily Prayer in the Home”

Our southern neighbours in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are offering a 'Daily Prayer in the Home' resource. This is good for setting up regular prayer time, or when you want to have meditation but don't know where to start. And, if you want to you can even sing! https://blogs.elca.org/worship/2044/

Readings for Worship:

-July 5 – Time after Pentecost

Zechariah 9:9-12

Psalm 145:8-14

Romans 7:15-25a

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Sermon: ‘Come to me all who are weary’

-July 12 – Time after Pentecost

Isaiah 55:10-13

Psalm 65: [1-8] 9-13

Romans 8:1-11

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Sermon: ‘Parable of the Sower of the Seed and the “explanation”’

-July 19 – Time after Pentecost

Isaiah 44:6-8

Psalm 86:11-17

Romans 8:12-25

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Sermon: ‘Parable of the Weed and the Wheat and the “explanation”’

-July 26 – Time after Pentecost

I Kings 3:5-12

Psalm 119:129-136

Romans 8:26-39

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Sermon: ‘Parable of the Mustard Seed, plus treasure, pearls, net’

-August 2 – Time after Pentecost

Isaiah 55:1-5

Psalm 145:8-9,14-21

Romans 9:1-5

Matthew 14:13-21

Sermon: ‘Feeding of the 5000’

-August 9 –Time after Pentecost

I Kings 19:9-18

Psalm 85:8-13

Romans 10:5-15

Matthew 14:22-33

Sermon: ‘Walking on Water’

-August 16 – Time after Pentecost

Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

Psalm 67

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Matthew 15: [10-20] 21-28

Sermon: ‘Canaanite Woman’s faith’

-August 23 –Time after Pentecost

Isaiah 51:1-6

Psalm 138

Romans 12:1-8

Matthew 16:13-20

Sermon: ‘Peter’s declaration’

-August 30 – Time after Pentecost

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 26:1-8

Romans 12:9-21

Matthew 16:21-28

Sermon: ‘Take up your cross’

-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: ‘Parable of Unforgiving’


-Eiler Pedersen, June 23 (funeral pending)

-Services pending: Ron Bruce, Melissa Furlotte, Marie Haber

Financial Report

Thank you for your generosity and faithfulness in sharing your gifts during this unusual time. June was the first month in which the effects of the pandemic on our offerings were noticeable. We also needed to pay our annual Insurance premium of $5,100, taking a chunk out of our operating reserves. While you hopefully enjoy the coming summer months, your continuing offerings are much appreciated and needed, as we strive to live our vision of gathering to share the gifts of God and to serve this community and the world.

June Offerings:

$ 8,077.00

Budgeted Offerings:

$ 9,208.33

Monthly Offerings to date, 2020:

$ 47,323.80

Budgeted Offerings to date, 2020:

$ 55,249.98

Forward in Mission

Received through June: $1,544.

2020 goal: $2,500

One of our recipients of FIM is the Annual Appeal of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon ($200). This will help as it moves its programme to the Anglican building on campus.

Cleaning Fund

Our custodian, Michael Smith, is laid off, due to the building being closed. When he is able to return to work our gifts will support him to clean the church once weekly.

Received to end of June: $1,300. Needed to end of June: $1,620. (unadjusted).

While we are unable to meet physically, here are options for continuing your giving as you are able:

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. 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!

5. 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.


September ‘Ambassador’ newsletter articles needed by Tues. Sept. 8. Thanks!

Parishioners Mourn Loss of Historic Church

On June 9, fire destroyed the building of Salem-Pass Lake. Our prayers are with the members and friends of the congregation, including many in Our Saviour’s, as they grieve their loss. Debby Jensen, editor of Salem’s newsletter writes, ‘By the Grace of God Only, We shall rise from the ashes’. We share this hope and prayer with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The following article has been shared by Debby from Country 105, written by Sheri Leviski-Kotyk on the day of the fire. “A long time Pass Lake Salem Lutheran Church parishioner says she was devastated and numb when she got the call about the historical church going up in flames.

Debby Jensen says it is a huge historical loss. “Pioneers built this with their hands with all volunteer labour; they cut the trees themselves and hauled them by horses to build the church. My great-grandfather donated the property; he was one of the pioneers, one of the first families to establish Pass Lake. The community of settlers decided they should build a church because no community is a community without a church.” Jensen says the congregation will now have to meet to see if they will rebuild again. Pass Lake Volunteer Fire has told them the church documents have been recovered from the fireproof safe. Jensen says unfortunately many historical artifacts weren’t so lucky including their many crosses and a painting in the front of the church. “The painting at the front of our church was painted by an artist in Denmark who heard of our church being built. She painted this beautiful picture of Jesus with children gathering around his feet. We have pictures of the painting but that’s all.”

An Update

“On Sunday afternoon, June 14th, a Salem Memorial Service was held in the parking lot of Salem Lutheran. It was a time of mourning, remembering and taking strength from God and each other. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, we were limited to the amount of people in attendance, so we did not widely advertise this service.

Salem Lutheran is a community church and we care deeply for you all, but we had to adhere to the physical distancing and keep risk to ourselves and our church family by means of a smaller group.

Pastors Ed and Arleen were present and led a brief time of worship, but the time was mainly for the few of us gathered, to remember and grieve together. Pastors Jari and Matthew from Hilldale and Our Saviour's were present as well representing our sister churches in Thunder Bay.

Here's the link to the Salem Memorial Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llkoZ4bo4cs

Thank you to Curtis Jensen for making this video.

We are an extended family with many various ties to Salem. As a community church, we will need everyone's mutual support and understanding as we move forward through this difficult time. Like the ship that hung above the doors of Salem, we need everyone on deck.”

KAIROS: ‘Canadian Ecumenical Justivce Initiatives’

Our Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada is a member of this 10-church partnership. Its Executive Director, Jennifer Henry, writes:

“Dear Friends,

In these uncetain and challenging times, it is important not to lose sign of what we have accomplished together. In our 2019 Annual Report, just published, you can read about the justice initiatives that you made possible. Here are some of those stories:

Church leaders’ delegation to Palestine and Israel: KAIROS staff led a delegation of ten Canadian church leaders to Palestine and Israel in Nov. 2019. Hosted by Wi’am: Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center, one of KAIROS’ Women of Courage: Women, Peace and Security partner organizations, the participants learned directly from women about their efforts to bring peace and basic services to their communities. The delegation returned committted to supporting our partners ever more intensely through sustained advocacy.

KAIROS Blanket Exercise: 2019 was another record-breaking year with move than 1,000 events drawing in around 30,000 participants from elementary school students to university department chairs across Canada. A common reaction to the Exercise, which teaches about the effects of colonization on the First Nations was that it changed those who experienced it and inspired them to learn more and to act.

Mother Earth and Resource Extraction: Women Defending Land and Water (MERE Hub): KAIORS moved into another stage of its work with women land and water defenders around the world with the launch of MERE Hub – an innovative digital resource hub that grew out o a need expressed by land and water defenders with whom KAIROS has collaborated for many years.

‘Streams of Justice: KAIROS Atlantic Gathering: This drew over 100 people to Sackville, New Brunswick, on Mi’kmaq territory, in May for three days of learning, networking, and public advocacy. It was a diverse crowd – Indigenous and non-Indigenous, from every Maritime province, ranging in age from 10 years to over 80 – and for about two-thirds of the participants, its was their first ever KAIROS event.

From all of us at KAIROS, I wish you continued health and strength as we continue to weather this pandemic together. I hope that these stories will affirm for you the vital nature of our work in common for a more just and peaceful world.”

For more information on these activities and other stories, visit: www.kairoscanada.org.

Living our Faith - September 2020 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 for next year’s emphasis — Read.

Over the last year, as a whole church we tried a variety of engaging ways to Pray, grow in our experience of prayer and deepen our regular prayer practice. It has warmed my heart to hear about all the ways you have been living out this invitation to be more intentional in your prayer life. I’ve also learned new ways of praying myself as we shared weekly reflections from members across the church, elcic.ca/livingourfaith/resources.cfm.

This September, we begin the second year of this emphasis focusing specifically on Read — the practice of regular reading of scripture.

By the way, just because we are moving into a year of focus on reading the Bible, this doesn’t mean we are not praying anymore! Our hope is that with each of these four years, we will deepen our spiritual practices, build on what we learn and how we are Living our Faith.

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.

We will share more information as plans are finalized leading up to September when we will be reading Genesis.

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 .

Visit the website, elcic.ca/LivingourFaith,

and watch for more information via ELCIC News and social media.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson

National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada