Last updated on February 2nd, 2021
January 2021 Update:
During the weekly Zoom Coffee Hour there was a great conversation about how we and our Church can continue to be a beacon of light in these times. The members of our congregation, council, and community that were present feel, and we are sure you do as well, that we can and should lead by example. As the Martin Luther Church we have the rare opportunity to offer essential services and spiritual nourishment in ways that are intentionally Christ-like, that are caring, inclusive, and healthy. You might be asking yourself, what does that actually mean? Great question! The Ministry/Worship Teams have seized this opportunity to dream up how to continue offering spiritual resources on this new path. Again, you might be asking yourself, what does church look like when the most Christian thing we can do is tell our ministers don’t “go” to church? The answer is… come and see. Starting January 17, 2021 we will strike out boldly on this intentional detour. We know you are going to love it.
- Pastor Dr. Gerhard Hille is serving at Martin Luther Church until summer 2021 as Interim Pastor sent by the EKD. He is available for pastoral care at the same number as always, 416-567-2487, and email@example.com.
- Mask for Good Project
- Online Midwinter or Spring Bazaar– Let us know as soon as possible if you’re interested in participating by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Give Peas a Chance
- Dinner Church Online (resume March 24, 2021)
- Sunday School lessons on our website (April-June 2020)
- Refugee Support
- 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.
- Online Sunday Worship at 11:00 am on our Online Worship page, YouTube Channel and Zoom. Please subscribe to our videos. Register on Eventbrite to watch on Zoom with other others at www.tiny.cc/MartinLutherRegister.
- German Radio Devotions on our website and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. live on CHLO Radio AM 530
- Sunday Zoom Coffee Hour following the online service, approx. 11:30 am.
- Bowls and Blessings– Hot, homemade soup-to-go Mondays and Thursdays, 12 pm until 1 pm or when we run out. Contact our president Iris at email@example.com to help.
- Email updates- Please contact the office to sign up for our regular email updates.
You can register for online meetings on Eventbrite at www.tiny.cc/MartinLutherRegister. Once you register, you will be emailed a Zoom link. You may also continue to access Zoom meetings by following the links below or calling one of these numbers:1-438- 809-7799, 1-587-328-1099, 1-647-374-4685, 1-647-558-0588, 1-778-907-2071 or 1-204-272-7920, then entering the appropriate Meeting ID and Passcode
Every Few Weeks:
- Written versions of our devotions and news are mailed out to people who do not have Internet.
- Prayer Group every other Wednesday, 6:30 pm on Zoom led by Solveig Christina Voss
- 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.
We need you. We have many programs running. To further our reach, we need motivated volunteers for the following areas.
- Web Team & Social Media
- Tech team members for online worship
- Sunday School
- Dinner Church
September 24, 2020 Update:
On Tuesday September 22 the church council met. On Wednesday September 23 a meeting with group leaders and Corona Care Callers followed. Here are the results to be shared with all.
- In-person worship will continue in October.
- Thanksgiving is around the corner. Annette R. will be decorating the altar. We are asking for non-perishable food items or monetary donations to provide food for the hungry.
The staff will then find the best way to use the funds during COVID times.
- WMUC Food bank
- Loaves and Fishes
- Open Pantry
- Deepen your faith through the following activities. All you need is a telephone or computer and time to learn.
- On-line prayer group
- Bible study
- We have received a lot of positive feedback for our weekly e-mail update and bi-monthly snail mail to keep you informed. For the time being, we will continue to do so. Additional newsletters will not be created as COVID does not allow us to plan far into the future.
- Volunteer resignations:
As of September 1, I have stepped down from my role as Vice-President of Council to focus on pursuing a Master of Psychology at Trent University. Throughout these past 3 years, I have enjoyed participating in a variety of initiatives from Sunday School to Dinner Church, as well as going on some inspiring retreats and collaborating with some truly wonderful people. I’m very thankful for these experiences, and I look forward to new academic adventures. In the meantime, I hope to see you during the virtual coffee hour, and perhaps even a service or two!
All the best,
It has been a great pleasure serving as Co-Vice-President with Jocelyn.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you, Jocelyn, for all your wonderful work on Council, for being a key member of the planning teams of many groups, for leading our Roundtable meetings and for sharing your gifts and talents with us!
I look forward to seeing you again, soon and wish you God’s blessings for your studies and new endeavours. – Andrea, Vice-President
We also thank Patricia Mills who has stepped down from the Altar Guild. We thank her for her time leading the Altar Guild with Annette Rowles. We hope to formally release Jocelyn and Patricia form their volunteer roles later this year.
- The planned council retreat with the five Toronto Area councils was deferred until Fall 2021. The Martin Luther Council will meet on-line for revision and setting of goals as in previous years.
- We are sad to inform you that OKR Claudia Ostarek, North America Representative of the EKD, is leaving as of End of 2020. We have planned a meeting with her in Mid-October to ensure our pastoral search is on track.
August-September 2020 Update:
- We are reopening and offering in-person church services September 13 to October 4, in addition to online. Please inform yourself thoroughly.
- We need additional volunteers in the foyer and the technical side of worship. Please sign up with the church office to become a volunteer on one, two or every Sunday. Then when you register to attend worship, simply mention/click that you are able to volunteer on that Sunday as well.
- Confirmation classes will commence in the fall with an official welcome during the service on the 27th of September. Please spread the word. Sign up with the church office.
- Donations – we gratefully receive your donations. Everything we offer is NEW, takes time to develop and has higher costs attached due to Covid. Please give generously. If you have questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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 email@example.com.
Please phone or email us if we can help you in any way. Know that we care.
Martin Luther Church Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, (416) 251-8293