July 2020 Update:
- We are excited to announce that Martin Luther Daycare is reopening on Monday, July 27, 2020. We can see hope for the future in daycare staff who are back on site getting everything ready to safely serve families in our community again. The daycare’s detailed policies will inform the church’s reopening task force planning for in-person worship. The daycare was closed on March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Martin Luther Church will be closed to non-essential church staff and all visitors July 27 to August 3, 2020. Starting August 4, 2020 church staff and members should contact Marlena in the office to set up an appointment. Scheduled staff and visitors should wait outside the front entrance of the church to be screened. No one is permitted to enter the backyard and church basement.
- It is the strong counsel of the ELCIC Bishop that all Eastern Synod congregations remain in the RED STAGE until September 2020.
- The Eastern Synod has said it is the responsibility of each congregation to consult, and adhere to the directives of their provincial governments and local public health authorities. Our Church Council has been meeting regularly to make informed decisions based on the Eastern Synod, provincial and municipal government guidelines. We now have our own reopening task force made up of volunteers to help review requirements and make recommendations for practices and protocols in our own context.
- The Eastern Synod’s Task Force on the Resumption of In-Person Worship is providing two documents to help congregational leaders begin the process of preparing their buildings for a potential re-opening in Fall 2020. More information is available here: https://easternsynod.org/preliminary-considerations-for-the-resumption-of-in-person-worship/.
The first resource, “Staged Approach & Preliminary Considerations”, is available now. We are aiming for the Eastern Synod’s AMBER STAGE.
- We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work together to keep you informed, inspired and safe. Contact the church office if you’d like to help our Re-opening Task Force. We are also in need of volunteers at re-opening.
June 2020 Update:
- Despite the fact that places of worship in Ontario were permitted to open effective June 12, 2020, Martin Luther Church will not be offering in-person services yet. Please read the letter from our Eastern Synod Bishop, Rev. Michael Pryse [PDF].
- We are in the process of putting together a task force to safely re-open the church. Who would like to participate? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- We received wonderful news from Germany. The EKD (German Lutheran Church) decided in our favour. The search for a new pastor for MLC is on its way. By February 2021 we can expect the candidates hoping to become our new Pastor to visit us on a preview trip, with the final voting taking place during the AGM on the 28th of February.
- We are pleased to let you know that our council member Kai has volunteered to look after the necessary maintenance at the parsonage. In addition, we are happy to report that we are able to provide affordable housing there for Vicar Adam and therefore much needed security as well as ongoing maintenance until the arrivals from Germany.
- Our Martin Luther Church Day Care is in the process of finding out how to meet all necessary guidelines to re-open which might include a temporary wall in the big basement hall and additional space in the back room to ensure safe operation within our church facility.
- We have started a mask making project and have found some volunteers for cutting, ironing, distribution and sewing. We still need helpers for ironing, for more sewing and we especially need elastics. Please contact Vicar Adam McComb email@example.com or Ariane Oelkrug (our summer intern).
- “Give Peas a Chance” project update: Seeds have been distributed and planted. Please show us what is happening in your garden/balcony/windowsill.
- We have found a video team to help editing the Sunday Services. Thank you to our four volunteers and to Vicar Jordan Smith firstname.lastname@example.org for teaching the art of video.
- Unfortunately we had to cancel both the picnic and Camp Lutherlyn. There will be a week of virtual camp games, activities, challenges happening to keep the camp spirit alive. (Aug 15-21, 2020)
- We received a beautiful story from a former MLC member who speaks fondly of Family Weigelin. You can read it as part of our Corona Care Call stories. If you have any stories to share about Olaf and Else Weiglein, please send them to us.
- The Ceconi family is now together in Berlin. Pastor Ceconi received the farewell book with the messages we wrote for him.
Church Council Video Announcements for June: President Iris Schweiger
- Our Interim Pastor is Pastor Steve Hoffard from Redeemer Lutheran Church with Vicar Silke Fahl leading the Martin Luther Church under his supervision.
- Pastor Dr. Gerhard Hille will be serving at Martin Luther Church from middle of December 2020 until Summer 2021 as Interim Pastor sent by the EKD.
- Mask Project
- Give Peas a Chance
- Eternity for Today Bible reading guide for all members
- A drop-in Prayer Request Wall in the Church Foyer
- If you would like to donate to help us fund the wide variety of programs, we gratefully accept direct deposits (PAR), checks sent to the office or any of the other payment options on our website.
- Sunday Video Devotions on our YouTube Channel. Please subscribe and comment on our videos.
- German Radio Devotions on our website and on Sundays at 9.30 a.m. live on CHLO Radio AM 530
- Sunday Coffee Hour at 11:00 am on Zoom
- Sunday School lessons on our website (until end of June, slowing down in the summer for a well-deserved break)
- Coffee Shop Talk on Mondays, 7:00-9:00 pm on Zoom led by Vicar Silke Fahl
- Virtual Bible Discussion on Wednesdays at 8:30 am and 12:15 pm
- Prayer Circle on Wednesdays, 5:30-6:00 pm through Zoom led by Solveig Christina Voss
Every Other Week:
- Written versions of our devotions and news are mailed out to people who do not have Internet.
- Cards are sent to residents at Moll Berczy Haus
- Corona-Care Calls– Volunteers are continuing to call you with more information and to understand your needs. Please provide us with your emergency contact person. Also, please share our information with this person to ensure we are able to help you.
May 2020 Update:
- Everything continues to be on-line. We are in talks with MPP Christine Hogarth when and how we will be able to meet safely again.
- Sign up for Coffee or Lunch with Job– New Bible Talk on Zoom led by Vicar Jordan Smith (email@example.com), Wednesdays till June 24, 8:30 am and 12:15 pm
- Family Ceconi will leave for Berlin on the 29th of May 2020. What we need? Volunteers for renovations at the parsonage. Short term renters.
- Call process: all documents have been sent to the EKD and deemed very good. In June the application for a new pastor goes through the next higher level of approval. Our Oberkirchenrat Claudia Ostarek is very hopeful that we will receive agreement to start official search for a pastor in Germany.
- Our Canada Summer Jobs student has been approved by the federal government to work for MLC
- We received donated seeds and are asked to be good stewards. If you have a garden, a small box on your balcony or in your apartment, please let us know to join the program “Give Peas a Chance”
In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me. Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. – Psalm 71:1 -3
In this unprecedented time of pandemic — of fear, of anxiety, and of loneliness — we want you to know that you are not alone. The doors of our church might be locked, but our hearts and minds are open.
Renowned German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote the following:
“The awareness of a spiritual tradition that reaches through the centuries gives one a certain feeling of security in the face of all transitory difficulties.”
Help us help each other by remembering that we are all participants in a caring “spiritual tradition” by which we rely on our faith community to demonstrate compassion in the face of difficulties. If you would like to volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please phone or email us if we can help you in any way. Know that we care.
Martin Luther Church Office, email@example.com, (416) 251-8293