Christianity living in a complex neighbourhood
WORSHIP SERVICES 10:30 am
January 31 – Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Service of the Word
Sermon: Stephanie von Bargen
February 7 – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Sermon: Pastor Ralph Carl Wushke
LINKS TO RECORDED WORSHIP SERVICES
Our beloved cantor and worship coordinator until the end of December 2020, Scott Weidler, was called home on Saturday, January 23, after fighting pancreatic cancer for 14 months. He died at home in Puerto Vallarta with his loving partner & husband Zia at his side.
Join us as we remember and celebrate the life of Scott Weidler on Saturday, January 30, 2021, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time (1 pm Central Time, 12:00 pm Mountain Time, 11:00 am Pacific Time). There will be Conversation and Cocktails following the funeral, with breakout rooms for family, friends, and colleagues.
Please use the contact form to request the registration link for the funeral.
For the foreseeable future, First Lutheran will continue to offer ZOOM Sunday morning worship. While an online service is different than being there in-person, many people have found spiritual sustenance and community life in our online services. You are invited and welcome to join us.
Please call or email Pastor Ralph Carl if interested, and he will provide the ZOOM log-in information.
ONLINE HOLY COMMUNION
If you would like to participate in our online Holy Communion — first and third Sundays — you my wish to read Pastor Wushke’s discussion paper – click here to read it .
During this time when it is impossible to meet in person and contribute in the offering plate, fixed expenses for our ministries continue, and we invite people to consider other ways of supporting First Lutheran Church financially at this time. Thank you.
First Lutheran Church is following COVID 19 public health guidelines. As COVID 19 cases are on the rise in Ontario, and a survey of our congregation indicated that a majority prefers online worship during this time, we are postponing the resumption of in-person worship. When it happens in-person worship will comply with the guidelines of the Eastern Synod of the ELCIC.
The pandemic is both a material and spiritual challenge, as is any health crisis. We pray for those who have died, for the bereaved, for the caregivers, for researchers, for front-line workers and all who are affected by COVID 19 around the world. If you are feeling isolated or lonely and would like to have a conversation with Pastor Ralph Carl Wushke, please use the contact information on the web site.
By Christmas Eve we will have lived with COVID 19 restrictions for nine months. People of faith are well-versed in the spiritual disciplines associated with “active waiting.” Our Christmas celebrations are all the more meaningful because of Advent anticipation. The difference between Advent waiting and COVID waiting is that we know Christmas will come on December 25 and have experienced Christ born anew in our hearts again and again.
The long wait for a vaccine and an end to the pandemic restrictions is by no means as neat, or predicable as the liturgical cycles of waiting followed by celebration. If only! Nevertheless, the spiritual gifts of Advent: engaged preparation, hopeful expectation, divine and human desire fused into one, longing for healing, and ethical living as a way prepare the way for the in-breaking of God’s kingdom serve us very well. These are the spiritual treasures of faith that can sustain us as we run the race, with scientists, medical staff and frontline workers, toward the day when COVID 19 will be a manageable illness.
In the meantime, Christ is born into our world and into our lives every day. The good news of God’s expression of solidarity with humanity – the heart of the Christmas story – needs to be proclaimed in homes, shelters, and hearts in a world that is stressed, saddened, wounded or grieving because of COVID. I pray that this truth may touch every heart, as we sing, hear or hum Silent Night – Stille Nacht – on a Christmas Eve that will truly be quieter than any we have known.
Although we can’t worship in the church building let’s continue to hold one another in prayer and practice our faith in our other ways.
The World Council of Churches Spirituality Team provides a short outline for morning prayer in a time of COVID19 which is updated daily. Scroll down on this page
The ELCIC Council of Bishops has shared this prayer from the Lutheran World Federation which we commend to you: Lutheran World Federation Prayers during COVID-19