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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

now my family and me are in Canada, in Ottawa, in the parsonage, but still in quarantine.

Every Sunday I will post an online devotion here and every Wednesday a small video about Pauls

letter to the Philippians. Maybe you would like to read the letter to the Phillipians together with me

in August (starting 5. August), and maybe this little video makes you curios.

Your Pastor Judith Kierschke

16May 20

For a cup of coffee…

Everyone who misses the coffee hour after church is invited to a virtual coffee hour.

Prepare and bring your favourite cup of coffee/tea.

Sunday, May 17th from 11 a.m.-12 noon.

If you would like to participate, please send an email to pastor.demkeATgmail.com. You will then receive an invitation to a Zoom meeting for our Church Coffeetable.

10May 20

Sunday devotion May 10th (Video)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Today’s Sunday is the 5th Sunday after Easter. I miss all of you very much and also the music. So this time there is much more music (this is the link to the video-devotion).

Many thanks to Signi, Martin, and MaryAnn for going to the church to record music for us.

Here you will find a file that contains the lyrics for the songs as they appear in the course of the devotion.

I also wish you a happy Mother’s Day, and hope you are able to celebrate it in a safe way.

Services online: http://elcic.ca/publichealth/livestreaming.cfm

Many greetings, God bless you
your
Pastor Friedrich Demke

02May 20

Sunday devotion (Audio) on May 3rd

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The devotion for the third Sunday after Easter comes today as an offer to hear (please click HERE ON THE LINK TO THE AUDIO-FILE).

During the devotion the letter “Beth” is mentioned. It is the second letter of the Hebrew alpha-bet. This is how it looks like:

It is the first letter in the first chapter of our Bible and for that reason alone deserves special attention.

In the German news I have just heard that the first churches in Germany have been opened for Services – of course with a lot of safety regulations. But that gives hope.

Services online:
http://www.elcic.ca/publichealth/livestreaming.cfm

Best regards, wishing God’s blessings,your
Rev. Friedrich Demke

P.S. Please keep in mind that many costs for our church occur even when we are closed.

25Apr 20

Sunday Devotion (video)

Dear Sisters and brothers in Christ,

With this mail, I would like to invite you to walk with me through the Bible. Please, click on this link for the Sunday Devotion – it will lead you to a video on youTube.

Please make use of our website and check out the “News” and “Corona Info”sections. There you may also find the Letter to the congregation I am talking about in the devotion.

Attached, like all the other times, are links as to where you can find a Sunday Worship service online.

http://www.elcic.ca/publichealth/livestreaming.cfm

Best regards, God’s blessings,

your

Rev. Friedrich Demke

25Apr 20

Donations while the church is closed

Dear members of Martin Luther Church,

I write to you in a time of challenge, fear, and uncertainty. Our lives have been turned upside down by the events of the last number of days and weeks. A closure of this magnitude has never occurred in the history of this church or any other church in this area.

It is unknown how long this period of closure will last. It could be several weeks or several months. COVID-19 will have a long-lasting and far-reaching effect on the economy. All churches will feel this impact and we are no exception. Unlike some sectors of the business community, as a registered charity we cannot expect to be rescued by a government bailout. While the church is closed, the fixed cost keep running. We severely feel loss of weekly income coming from donations given during the service.

As ministry will continue the best way possible, I cannot stress enough how important it will be to continue to make our offerings. We will someday open again, and when we do, we must ensure that church is prepared and ready to resume normal operations. Currently, there are numerous ways to give

1.    Visit our website and click the donate button
a.     Search for our website: www.glco.org
b.    Click on menu, then
c.     Click on “Donations”, then
d.    scroll down to and click on “donate now’
e.     then follow the prompts to add amount and personal details. That’s it.

2.    Mail envelopes to the church
a.     If Canada Post is running, you can mail envelopes directly to the church office.
Mailing address:
Martin Luther Church
933 Smyth Rd
Ottawa, Ontario
K1G1P5

3.    Drop envelopes off at church
a.     If the church building is locked, you can drop off envelopes into church mailbox. Someone will be checking the mailbox regularly.

4.    Secure Online Credit Card option through the ELCIC National Office.
a.     To use this option at https://secure.elcic.ca/.
b.     Select the ELCIC General Fund
c.      In the “Personal Message”, type; “for the Martin Luther Church, 933 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G1P5 “
d.    Fill in the remaining fields
e.     The National Office will assume all processing costs and pass on 100% of money received at this time to our congregation.

If you need assistance with these options or have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out and call the Pastor at 613 7489745. The days, weeks, and months ahead will be a challenging time for us, but I know when we pray, work, and give in GOD’s name, we can make it through the darkness.

Yours
Konrad von Finckenstein
Co-President
Martin Luther Church

20Apr 20

30 Years of German Unification (or 29 1/2)

You are invited to an online presentation and discussion about
“My life in the German Democratic Republic – Rev. Friedrich Demke”

I’d like to invite you to this special meeting. Since it is unclear when we will be able to have a larger gathering in the church, this will be an online meeting. Please find the invitation below.

I decided to conduct the meeting in English to include everyone who showed interest in the theme.
My focus will be to share personal experiences in the GDR. I grew up in a Christian family, and was never a member of any organization or party. I will talk a bit more about the role of the church
during the time of socialism from my personal perspective. I am everything but an expert in the field. Do not expect an all inclusive historical presentation, but rather a personal reflection on my biography for the first 28 years of my life.

There will be enough time for you to ask questions. If there are already some, you are welcome to mail them in advance to pastor.demkeATgmail.com.

If you are not familiar with zoom and wish to run a test please let me know. I would sent out an extra invitation to you for Friday 5:00 p.m. with the opportunity to call me with your phone in hand so we should hopefully be able to solve tech issues in advance.

The host is called “Rolland Lapointe”, this is because I am using the pro account of our church, so we have no time limits, I am planning to be there for you till 9:30 p.m., but if you know the system you can just sneak out if you had enough. Looking forward to meeting and seeing you.

Best wishes,
Friedrich Demke

Invitation German Unity
Topic: 30 years of German unity
Time: Apr 24, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89404156871?pwd=Vk1nczg5UytZWXFRTHNHUm0ybmVSUT09
(Please copy the link into your browser if it‘s not responding.)

Meeting ID: 894 0415 6871
Password: 000038

If you do not have a computer, you may listen in by using one of the following numbers.
Beware, long distance charges may apply.

+1 438 809 7799 Canada
+1 587 328 1099 Canada
+1 647 374 4685 Canada
+1 647 558 0588 Canada

Meeting ID: 894 0415 6871
Password: 000038

19Apr 20

Sunday Devotion to listen to

Dear congregation,

With this mail, I am sending you a link to this Sundays devotion. I hope your computer knows what to do when you click here at the Sunday devotion to listen to.

I hope you hear from each other otherwise, i.e. call each other and stay in touch. There is a small group in our church that takes the extra time to call you. I also would like to encourage you to call me again this time – there does not need to be any special reason for this.

If you think or know of a person that would enjoy a call from our church, please let me know.

As always, you will find here the link to Sunday worship services that can be found on the Internet:
Online Worship services in the ELCIC

Best regards, God’s blessings,

Your Pastor

10Apr 20
Good Friday

Good Friday

For God had such love for the world
that he gave his only Son,
so that whoever has faith in him
may not come to destruction
but have eternal life.
John 3:16

We remember today as the day on which Jesus died. Cruelly nailed to the cross, as it was customary with particularly bad criminals. We are stuck at home today, and I miss the service. I miss the songs that belong to Good Friday. I miss the empty altar. I miss you.

Perhaps the terrible happenings on Good Friday are only bearable because we already have Easter in the back of our minds. I very much hope for you that trust in God, especially in those moments when we experience despair, remains. Because we know through Good Friday that the darkest moment is not the end of all. God remains God who holds the world and all of us in his hands, even if what we see makes us doubt it.

I am sending you a picture of a painting along with a text today – instead of a sermon. An image that wants to be viewed with some time. An image that takes up a classic painting theme. “Ecce Homo!” – “Look, what a person” is one possible translation. Words of Pilate as they are handed down in the Gospel of John. What a man indeed. What patience, what love for us!

I invite you to contemplate the picture. We are placed as observers by the painter, we stand in front of him. We stand with the crowd and we have to decide about life and death.

Please click here for the picture and here for the text, open both files and look at the picture while reading.

I am adding a prayer today.

As always, you will find links to services (prerecorded and by Zoom) that can be found on the Internet:

Lunenburg Lutheran, Nova Scotia (prerecorded)

Redeemer Toronto
At 11:00 AM join us by Zoom use the following link:
https://zoom.us/j/936690560
Meeting ID: 936 690 560

Also, there is a musical link to the St. Matthew Passion (Bach).

For Good Friday this year, I have decided to give the music a special place remembering the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May God’s Blessing be with you today!

Your

Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, we think especially of you today. You suffered. You have not avoided suffering. People not only treated you unfairly, they also mocked you. Your life on earth was all human. You suffered how many people suffer. People who are persecuted, people who are mocked, people who are laughed at, people who do not notice suffering. You stand with them too. You are there for them, for all of us. You are consistent in your love for us humans. Even if the consequence last meant your death. You have not used your power, because your path is a path of impotence, your path is a path of solidarity with the weak.
Look at the lives of people in your world today. Look at all sufferers, suffering because they are on the run, suffering because they are in war zones and cannot even flee. Suffering because they don’t have enough to eat. Suffering because nobody visits them. Suffering because nobody is allowed to visit them. Suffering because they cannot bear loneliness. Suffering because they don’t understand why they can’t even go out the door.
We ask you to be especially with those who care for the lonely, sick and suffering. Strengthen all those who risk their lives for others in the medical service. Help them, their soul, in this crisis.
Be with those who are particularly dear to us, whose names we bring to you.

We trust you, we call onto you as your children

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever.
Amen.

09Apr 20

Maundy Thursday

Certain for ever is the memory of his wonders: 
the Lord is full of pity and mercy.
Psalms 111:4

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Today is Maundy Thursday. The day on which we remember how Jesus celebrated the last supper with his disciples. A day on which we usually meet to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together. You must miss it as much as I do.

Today, I am sending you a link for a Maundy Thursday devotion, so we can have fellowship, knowing that we are not alone today:

https://grace97330.org/worship-maundy-thursday-april9/

We can be strengthened by the connection of remembering what we are missing today. One aspect of the celebration of Holy Communion is memory. So today we want to particularly emphasize the memory. The memory of how Jesus got together with his disciples. But also our personal memory of celebrating Holy Communion together.

We miss it today, but at least we may accept this as a reminder to further appreciate the great gift that Jesus gave us. And together we look forward to the day when we will be able to celebrate the communion with HIM and with each other anew.

Your

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