Pastor Ralph Carl Wushke

Our church has a “come as you are” atmosphere. You will see some dressed up; some dressed casual. We have no expectations for attire.

Message from the Church Council

We believe

…that everyone has a place here, regardless of who you are.  Come as you are.
…that God has called us to serve our neighbourhood.
…that the Spirit is leading us to transform our lives and the world around us.

First Evangelical Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and we live in relationship with Christians all over the world.

We believe in Jesus Christ who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, calls us to serve our neighbour and to love all of our neighbours as ourselves.

If you are looking for a place to worship while visiting Toronto, or a spiritual home where you can join others who are finding the Way, or simply some peace in the midst of a hectic life, First is a great place to start.


Stephanie von Bargen,
Council Chair, First Ev. Lutheran Church

Message from Pastor Ralph Carl in a time of pandemic

Worshipping God in a Post-Covid World

God’s people are a gathering people. We gather around water, word, and table to re-enact the mysteries of faith: affirming the covenant of baptism, experiencing the address and proclamation of the Living Word, and getting a foretaste of the feast to come. Singing and praying together are time-honored sources of hope, consolation, and joy in the Spirit.

Covid 19 has changed the assembly of God’s people in ways that would have been unimaginable three years ago. The silver lining in this pandemic cloud has been a renewal of faith, and worship life through the online experience. People who for many reasons were not able to attend in-person came back to church or found it for the first time via online worship. At First ELC old and new members joined us from afar, seniors who weren’t previously online joined by iPad or by telephone. There has been a “mini-boom” in lay ministries: dedicated technical volunteers, cantors, lectors, intercessors, and preachers. 

We can never predict or control how the Spirit will move among us. We try to be faithful, enter the doors that God opens for us, and not say “no” when God presents a new idea. Fall 2022 will be a time of new beginnings as we welcome intern Victoria Featherston, church musician Ábner Elpino Campos,  SCM-TMU coordinator Gwen Shaw and a social media promoter for the Little Free Pantry. May God accompany us in all this.

Let me invite you to ground your life, work, and faith in worship whenever you can, in-person or online. Our hybrid service is normally at 10:30 am, Sunday. The Zoom link is emailed every week along with a worship guide. (Visit our homepage, www.firstelc.ca to sign up for the weekly e-newsletter.) Please reach out to me if you need help connecting, pastor@firstelc.ca 416 532 8591.

Let’s gather as God’s people: named, claimed, nourished, forgiven, and empowered.

Pastor Ralph Carl