Our Newsletter

The Ambassador

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

April 2021

10 Farrand Street, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 3H5

Offices: 344-1926; Immanuel Hall/FAX: 343-4857

E-mail: osimm@tbaytel.net

Web: www.oursaviourstbay.org

Facebook: ‘Our Saviour’s Thunder Bay’

YouTube: ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’

Instagram: ‘OSLCTBay’

Pastor: Matthew H. Diegel (Parsonage: 344-6822)


Holy Week/ Easter Day Worship

-March 28 Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion – Recorded service (Worship with the Band)

-April 1 MaundyThursday– Recorded service (special music by Kai Leinonen and Kaija Ranta)

-April 2 Good FridayRecorded service (special music by Kai Leinonen and Kaija Ranta)

-Sat. April 3 Synod Easter Vigil – 7:00 p.m. Livestreamed worship

April 4 Easter DayRecorded service

-Each of our ‘closed set’ worship services are recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel, ‘Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Thunder Bay’ – thank you to our AV tech, John Stadtlander, and to our organist, Darlene Taylor

-We post our worship and sermon text files on our website, and send them by email (sign up:osimm@tbaytel.net)

-When we reach the Orange level, or lower, we will return to in-person worship, while maintaining these online opportunities.

-Readers are welcome for Sunday serivces: contact Pastor Matthew

Synod-wide Easter Vigil

The Easter Vigil will be available on the Synod’s YouTube channel and Facebook page at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, April 3.

More than 40 people from at least 13 congregations throughout the MNO Synod have contributed to this virtual Easter Vigil service on Holy Saturday. This includes Jenny and Brian Phillips from Our Saviour’s.

The Easter Vigil is a service of readings, responses, music and prayers that invite participants to dwell in the broad narrative of God’s presence with God’s people through creation, seasons of disruption and chaos, and into our lives through the gifts of grace and faith in Christ. The Vigil is traditionally held on the Saturday before Easter, and can include up to 12 readings from the Old and New Testament. The Vigil is sometimes used as the backdrop for celebrating baptism and affirmation of baptism with new members.

This year, the MNO Synod’s Easter Vigil was developed as an extension of a hope for an intergenerational, multi-sensory, experiential service that honours the tradition of the Vigil.

A Joint Easter Message from the National Bishop and Primate

"When Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples could not quite believe it. They locked themselves into rooms; they isolated themselves from others." In this message for our second Easter of this pandemic, National Bishop Susan Johnson (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) and Archbishop and Primate Linda Nicholls (Anglican Church of Canada) speak to our collective experience of isolation and remind us of the continued signs of hope and resurrection around us.

To view this message: https://anglicanlutheran.ca/

Virtual Fellowship Hours

In place of our time after worship in Immanuel Hall, to connect we are holding these from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Zoom invitations are in the weekly mailings.

'Lutheran Women'

We are meeting monthly for Bible Study and Fellowship, for now by Zoom. Our next gathering is on Mon. Apr. 19, at 1:30 p.m. For more information, contact Jenny Phillips.

'Eternity for Today'

The Apr-June edition of our national church’s daily devotional booklet is available. Rev. Fran Schmidt, formerly of Thunder Bay and now a pastor serving in Prince Albert SK, has written the mediations for May 20-26.

On good weather days, copies free for the taking are put on a chair in front of our wooden doors.

The 18th Convention of the MNO Synod will take place online via Zoom, with Livestream for visitors.

The convention will begin on Friday, April 23 2021 at 7:00 p.m., and end at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.

Eldon Oja volunteered to serve the lay delegate from Our Saviour’s, and has been appointed by the Council to do so, as per the Annual Meeting. Pastor Matthew will also participate, as a Rostered Minister delegate.

Vocational Sunday - April 25, 2021

We celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter as a Day of Prayer for Vocations to Rostered Ministry. The word "vocation" is rooted in the Latin word, voccacio, call or summons. A vocation is a calling: to serve God, to an occupation or profession, and/or an inclination to a particular activity. Individuals and congregations play a vital role in leadership formation. In faithful, prayerful community, we help each other to hear God's call and encourage each other to exercise gifts for ministry.

Readings for Worship:

-April 1 – Maundy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-14

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

I Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

-April 2 –Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Psalm 22

Hebrews 10:16-25

John 18:1-19:42

-April 4 – Easter Day

Acts 10:34-43

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

I Corinthians 15:1-11

Mark 16:1-8

-April 11 – Easter 2

Acts 2:32-35

Psalm 133

I John 1:1-2:2

John 20:19-31

-April 18 – Easter 3

Acts 3:12-19

Psalm 4

I John 3:1-7

Luke 24:36b-48

-April 25 – Easter 4

Acts 4:5-12

Psalm 23

I John 3:16-24

John 10:11-18

Children’s Ministry

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


Sets of envelopes for your 2021 Sunday and special offerings are available. To pick up your set, to sign up for one, or if your contact information has changed, please call the office.

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 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 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.

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

We are meeting April 6 and 20.

For info, see Pastor Matthew.

Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering

CLAY 2021 will happen as a one-of-a-kind online experience, August 20-22. It will be a gathering of hundreds of Anglican and Lutheran youth happening at the same time across the country.

There will be 3 hours group gathering time each day featuring: worship, workshops, and a large group gathering with the CLAY band, drama team, and our keynote speaker, Melanie Delva.

There will be Late Night Spots every day (a CLAY participant favourite) + activities engaging with our National Youth Project happening outside the group gathering times.

Home teams will gather in-person if it is safe to do so; in accordance with local health guidelines or participate online as a group.

Registration opens in April.

The cost of participating will be pay-what-you-can. The suggested amount per person is $45.

Sign up for our newsletter at claygathering.ca.

Luther Village

Luther Village is excited to announce our first ever Online Silent Auction! Dozens of amazing prizes are available to be bid on in this closed auction system! Head to our website at www.luthervillage.ca to learn more! Watch our social media accounts to see spot-lights of our auction items and then bid to your hearts content starting April 6. Bidding closes at 11:00 p.m. on April 18.

Join us for our Auction Showcase Virtual Campfire on April 16 at 8:00 p.m. via zoom. This campfire will feature guest campfire song leaders from staff, past and present – and will be an excellent opportunity to see some of our auction items as well!


Registrations are coming in strongly this year and we are very excited to safely welcome people to Luther Village in 2021! ALL registrations are online. Head to our website: www.luthervillage.ca .

Peace be with you,

Amber, Hospitality Manager

Food Collection:

While we are in lockdown, we are not receiving donations. When we are able to reopen our building, in April we will receive gifts for the Gathering Table’s Food Bank.

Thank You:

Thank you to Theresia Wolsiffer, for her donations of handcrafted blankets and winter wear. These have been given to Shelter House’s S.O.S. programme. The S.O.S Team (Street Outreach Service) is a highly trained, skilled team of compassionate people. They are out on the road every day in teams of two from 2 PM – 2 AM daily, offering their services to homeless, intoxicated and high-risk people.

S.O.S. answers calls from individuals, businesses, emergency service providers and other agencies (including our church, through Pastor Matthew). Indeed, these calls can be made by anyone who wants to help people move to a safer, warmer location better suited to their needs.

It carries on hand supplies such as warm clothing, blankets, food, and harm reductions supplies.

S.O.S works closely with many agencies including the Police, Emergency Services, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Balmoral Withdrawal Management Centre to ensure prompt access to services that people may need.

Life Journeys:


-Stella Gilberg, March 20 (Funeral, March 25)

Donations received in memory of:

-Diane Spakowski (for Canadian Lutheran World Relief)

Leaving a Legacy of Hope:

Daniel’s Story

“70 years ago, Daniel Schickedanz arrived in Canada aboard the Beaverbrae on a loan from Canadian Lutheran World Relief. He was one of over 33,000 people who made the same journey aboard the Beaverbrae in the years following the Second World War, many of them refugees escaping the devastating aftermath of the war to begin a new life here in Canada.

In 1950, Daniel worked hard to pay back his $265 loan within nine months of arriving in Canada – and in 2020, to celebrate 70 years of living in Canada, he paid it forward by making a generous, $1 million donation to the same organization that helped him discover his new home all those years ago.

Thank you, Daniel, for your generosity and compassion. We deeply appreciate the confidence and trust our supporters have in Canadian Lutheran World Relief – this gift will help change the lives of people in need for years to come!”

Find out today how you can leave a legacy of hope, a planned gift for CLWR, including in your will, which could mean a new life for people who are rebuilding after war, disaster, or drought. Get in touch with Rev. Carla Blakley at: 1-800-661-2597, or carla@clwr.org.

May Ambassador

Articles needed at office by Mon. April 26. It will be available by Sun. May 3.

“What Your Council Is Doing Now”

-Your New Council for 2021….

Karen Bishop, Sharon Scott, Jeff Thingstad (2021-2023)

Ken Boegh, Pat Kaukola, Vi Peternelj (2020-2021)

Helen Dagsvik, Kim Koivukoski, Linda Sander (2020-2022)

and Pastor Matthew Diegel met together Mar. 9 via conference call.

We welcome Karen Bishop back to Council, and thank Marie Hynna (retiring) for her service.

Pastor Matthew opened the meeting by sharing a letter from Bishop Jason Zinko, reflecting on the past year of pandemic, and rejoicing in the message of Psalm 107, a song of thanksgiving to God, who has been merciful to His people and gathered all who were lost.

And so with renewed energy and hope, we move forward.

-New Officers (most back for another term) are

Linda Sander, Chairperson

Karen Bishop, Vice Chairperson

Vi Peternelj, Secretary

Linda Sander, Treasurer.

-Visioning: for the 2021 Annual Meeting Report, Kim suggested we prepare a new cover, with pictures depicting Our Saviour’s, its people and activities. Such pictures and illustrations will be included throughout the reports of the year’s accomplishments.

-Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper raised $480, designated for The Dew Drop Inn. There were at least 12 signing on to ZOOM and although only meant to last a half hour, enthusiasm kept the party going for an hour and 15 minutes. Vi Peternelj, Secretary


Gifts received in March continued to reflect our historic trend for the first months of the year, being lower than our budgeted needs. Please help us in April to reverse this trend, and to help fund our shared ministry in the name of Our Saviour’s for 2021.

March Offerings:

$ 7,522.00

Budgeted Offerings:

$ 9,116.00

Monthly Offerings Year to date:

$ 23,976.00

Budgeted Offerings, Year to date:

$ 27,348.00

Forward in Mission

Received in 2021: $510.00

Proposed goal: $2,500.00

Lutheran Community Care Centre

Through FIM, we support the Street Reach Ministries of the LCCC ($500):

Thank you for being so generous with your support of the LCCC in 2020. Our Friendship Circle provides special recognition to major donors. Your support is important to each of our programs that depend on donations and fundraising events to stay operational.

Thanks to your contribution, our Pastoral Care, Street Reach Ministries and Social Service programs can continue their work helping vulnerable people in our communities. Thank you for being such a significant part of our support to individuals and families.” Yours truly, Michael Maunula, Executive Director

Cleaning Fund

Received in 2021: $520.00

Budgeted in 2021: $TBD.

Thunder Bay Basketeers:

Last fall, we collected funds for the Basketeers campaign for Faye Peterson House, Beendigen, and Hope House, co-ordinated through Royal LePage.

“Thank you for your donation, which will make a significant difference in the lives of women and children who have experienced abuse. By supporting your local women’s shelter and programs that work to break the cycle of domestic violence, you are helping to create a safe place or those who need it most.”

“Sacred Space”

Sacred Space is a new blog post on growinfaith.ca. Growinfaith.ca is part of the ACTS of MNO Synod grant awarded to Candace Kostna to learn about, reflect on, and equip others to engage in faith formation in the midst of the pandemic.

“What is “a sacred space”? Hmmm...let’s ponder this together….

Why this place is sacred to you? What do you see in this space? What do you hear? How do you feel?

Often, one of the first images that comes to mind is a church sanctuary, doesn’t it? This is the place we gather to worship (virtually these days) to connect with God and others in Word, prayer and praise.

Where else do you feel God’s presence? Is it around the family dinner table? Or a particular spot in the park? In your favourite spot to curl up with a good book? Perhaps it’s when you’re checking in with loved ones via phone calls or texts? The list goes on…

At the beginning of the pandemic – even in its uncertainty – I found myself savouring the break from the hustle and bustle of life. Everything had come to a halt as we all stayed home. In this slower pace, we had more family time together and I found myself reaching out to friends and family members more often. I became much more mindful of my blessings and experienced moments of gratitude throughout the day. I felt God’s presence in this unprecedented time.

Now, after nearly a year of living in a pandemic, I am not just tired, I am Covid-tired. There have been days where I have felt lost and overwhelmed. I sometimes felt very far away from God.

I am finding myself being drawn to this space to reconnect with God in prayer – sometimes aloud, sometimes just to breathe and feel God’s presence. As always God is there with me.

Where is your “sacred space”? How do you connect with God?”

Living our Faith - Read

Each month until August 2021 Bishop Susan is inviting us to join in reading the same book of the Bible. In April we are studying Amos. We will highlight the texts used in Sunday worship: Our next meeting is on Mon. Apr. 26, 7:00 p.m. E-mail Pastor Matthew to receive the info.

Inter-Church Refugee Committee Update

“The Inter-Church Refugee Committee, of which Our Saviour’s is a member, is still waiting for the arrival of Faisa Saleh, the mother of the Mahmoud children.

As you may recall, we sponsored the young adults to come to Canada a couple of years ago now.

We remain hopeful that Ms. Saleh will arrive in the next few months. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will be making arrangements for her travel to Canada. We have made arrangements for Ms. Saleh’s quarantine when she does finally arrive. Post quarantine, she will move into the apartment currently shared by her three kids.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Church Refugee Committee is conducting a review of the document that created our organization. Bob Thompson of Westminster has led that process. The intent is to have all current members of the I-CRC to renew their commitment to continue with the Committee’s refugee work.

The next step after that will be to send invitations to the Catholic and other churches in the city to join the I-CRC. The goal is to create a city-wide community of faith commitment to sponsoring refugees to start a new life in Thunder Bay.

It’s another reason to look forward to the eventual end of this pandemic.”

Shane Judge, Chair, Inter-Church Refugee Committee

Mission Update

Dear Friends:

“I hope that all is well and that you are safe during this pandemic.

We have been working away over the winter, finishing up the admin from 2020 and completing a couple of maintenance projects. The Board has passed the 2021 budget and is in preparation for the AGM that is scheduled for April 21.

My expectation is that the spring will be much like this past fall. The Seafarers’ Centre will need to be staffed when a ship is alongside at Keefer and we will offer to shop for seafarers. I am looking for people who are interested in helping with shopping.

Meat Sale

The Mission to Seafarers Annual Meat Sale is here again. The meat is from European Meats, is of excellent quality and gluten free. Prices: www.missiontoseafarers.ca/thunderbay. Orders must be placed by Monday, May 3 and will be delivered on Wednesday, May 12. Contact the Mission at (807) 344-8241 or flyingangel@tbaytel.net for further information. Please help support our ministry to the seafarers.

Opening of the Shipping Season

The St. Lawrence Seaway is opening on March 22. As it takes 5 days for a ship to make the transit to Thunder Bay, we need to be ready for ships on March 27 at the earliest.

In Christ’s service,

Canon Ed Swayze, Chaplain, Mission to Seafarers: Port of Thunder Bay

Bishops' Letter re Domestic Violence

Dear members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada,

We write to you out of ongoing concern for domestic violence in our country and within our church. Especially troubling is the recent rise in domestic violence. The realities of the COVID-19 pandemic – including social isolation and current lockdown measures -- have made those living in difficult and dangerous situations only worse while at the same time limiting access to family and other support systems.

We know that this is an uncomfortable subject for some people to discuss and too often this has stopped us from speaking out. But we must speak out and advocate for those who are living in these dangerous situations.

As a member of the World Council of Churches, the ELCIC joins with other churches in lifting up Thursdays in Black—a weekly reminder of our commitment to end gender-based violence including domestic violence (www.oikoumene.org/what-we-do/thursdays-in-black). You are invited to join in this campaign by wearing black on Thursdays and posting on social media your commitment to ending gender-based violence.

National Bishop Susan Johnson and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church

in America (ELCA) released a joint video in November 2020, speaking out against domestic violence. “This isn’t just a role for church leaders. All of us are all called, through our baptismal vocation, to this work … Jesus Christ calls each Christian, and the whole church, to denounce and stop the beating, sexual abuse, raping, and killing that take the lives and safety of people everywhere.”

As a church we are called to journey in solidarity with those who are experiencing hurt, brokenness or exploitation. Our 2011 Social Statement on Human Sexuality calls on us to, “deepen our awareness of the root causes of sexual injustice and exploitation… [and] advocate for policies, practices and resources that

uphold dignity and address particular issues surrounding sexuality.”

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence you can find resources for help here:


We encourage you to reflect on your own sense of discomfort around this issue and adopt practices that nurture your courage and wisdom for action. We also encourage all leaders and faith communities to maintain a list of relevant resources in your area.

It’s time for all of us to break the silence and speak up against domestic violence. Our hope and prayer is that you will join us in speaking up, advocating for better services for victims, and speaking out against male privilege that allows domestic violence to flourish and to remain hidden.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Susan Johnson, National Bishop

The Rev. Dr. Greg Mohr, BC

The Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer, ABT

The Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen, SK

The Rev. Jason Zinko, MNO