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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 Paul’s 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 curious.

Your Pastor Judith Kierschke

07Apr 20

Annual General Meeting postponed

Due to the corona virus crisis the Annual General Meeting of the church will not be held in April and has been postponed. It is tentatively scheduled for September 27. Confirmation of this date is of course dependent on the outcome of the crisis.

05Apr 20

Thoughts on Palm Sunday

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ!

You will remember how we celebrated this worship service together last year and how we entered with palm branches in the beginning. A tradition that, at least in Protestant churches in Germany, we are not familiar with. I like it. I like this custom. It makes this Sunday special among the Sundays of the year. With this special tradition, this Sunday is clearly distinguished from all others. These days, when so much is no longer happening, I realize how important it is that we have a rhythm in our lives.

We stand with the palm branches in hand, symbolically joining the Jerusalemites who greet Jesus. We are bridging a gap of almost 2000 years.

During my time as a pastor in Russia, I got to know a different custom. Instead of the palm branches, which do not grow there on the roadside (similarly to here), people take willow branches. Consequently, this Sunday is not called Palm Sunday, but Willow-Sunday. There is also a procession in Russia, but with willow branches in hand. At this time of year, the branches don’t have green leaves yet, but the gray, fluffy buds that we call willow catkins do.

A very fitting idea, I think. The willow branches are a sign of a special understanding of the gospel. If you like, they are a successful translation. What is read in the gospel, and we find this narrative of entering Jerusalem in all four gospels of the Bible, is transferred to the respective local conditions. Jesus moves to Jerusalem. He is greeted like a king. This is also evident from the fact that he is riding a donkey that was then considered the beast of kings.

People are happy that Jesus comes to them. They only understand later that he is a very, very different king than they expected. It doesn’t take long. But his power, even if it is completely different from behaviour of those in power at Jesus’ time (and our time), still frightens. At least it frightens those who are afraid they could lose privileges. We know how it will end. As Christians we greet him who comes. We shout, at least in thought “Hosanna!” – “Help!” We expect help from him. Help in what troubles us. Help in a world that is horribly reminded that our human abilities (in this case, medical) is limited. We keep forgetting that too easily. But we also learn that the power of the weak is stronger than we might think. At least I have the impression that gestures of humanity, care, the power of the so-called small gestures, which is becoming stronger these days. We notice how much we rely on community, on contacts with our fellow human beings. We know that everyone feels the same way.

So we want to welcome our king, the king of the powerless. In our city, with our means, in our time. He directs our gaze to those who are so easily overlooked.

We shout, like back then “Hosanna!” – “Help me!” and we also shout, like the people back then, “Praise be there!”

So, if you don’t have any palm branches in the house, you can also take willow branches and decorate your room in memory of the fact that he, Jesus Christ comes to us. You are also more than welcome to get creative in embracing the power or the weak.

I wish you a blessed Holy Week!

Ihr Pastor Friedrich Demke


Likely most of you know how to make a cross from a palm leaf. For those who don‘t here is help.

21Mar 20

Worship services in times of COVID-19

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

I hope you are doing well despite the circumstances.

Tomorrow is Sunday and for the first time there will be no church service in our church. For this reason I send you links to worship services online. You might even want to sing along!

I myself will do that too.



The official announcements do suggest that we will probably stay closed for some time. Now ideas are needed.

What I find important : Nobody should feel left alone.

This time is a good time to rediscover prayer. Pick a book from the Bible and read it as a whole (No need to start with Genesis).

I know that many have always been good in keeping in touch by phone, this is certainly something that can be expanded.

Other forms of digital communication, such as video conferencing, will be alien to many of you. But if you are stuck at home this can be the time to learn something new.

At this point I would like to expressly point out that you are welcome to call me at any time. There must be no reason. Just call if you want to know how high the snow still is in the garden.

I am happy to answer the question. And any other question too. And no question is just as fine.

God bless you all.

Friedrich Demke

17Mar 20

Covid-19 Precautions

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Following the ELCIC guidance the Martin Luther Church of Ottawa is suspending all its services until the Covid-19 virus crisis is over.

All activities in the church building by the church or some of the users of the church will cease until further notice. We don’t want to feel you left alone, so do not hesitate to call your Pastor Friedrich Demke at 613 748 9745 or use the email pastorDOTdemkeATgmailDOTcom

For your information we will attach the letter from the Bishops of our Church.

Your Presidents

Sonny Lapointe/ Konrad v. Finckenstein

Letter of the Bishops

14Mar 20

Coronavirus Information

Dear parishioners,

tomorrow, March 15th, we will celebrate worship of the word. We have been asked several times whether our church will stay open in the face of the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

Until further notice, we will be keeping our church open. But there will be services of the word only (no communion), regardless of what was published in the RUF or COURIER. We believe that it is important to maintain our services as believers in prayer and listening to God’s Word.

We ask you to assess for yourself whether you should attend the worship service, especially if you have other medical reasons that might weaken your immune system.

With this letter we send two links that offer good and reliable information.

Ontario Ministry of Health 

Of course, the situation can change anytime,so please check our website ( if you decide to go to church. You are also welcome to call the church office (613 733 5804) and you will find up to date information on the answering machine, even when the office is closed.

As always, please call me if you have any special concerns or questions that you would like to discuss with your pastor.


Pastor Friedrich Demke

22Feb 20

Six options where to place the stained glass windows

These are the 6 options where to place the stained glass windows. On our Annual General Meeting on April 19 we will vote about these options (please see for further information the current Courier).

Option 1

(Option 1: 4 windows behind the altar)

Option 2

(Option 2: 4 windows in Mt. Calvary Hall)

Option 3

(Option 3: 2 windows behind the altar, 2 windows in Mt. Calvary Hall)

(Option 3: 2 windows behind the altar, 2 windows in Mt. Calvary Hall)

Option 4

(Option 4: 2 windows + dossal curtains behind the altar, 2 windows in Mt. Calvary Hall)

(Option 4: 2 windows + dossal curtains behind the altar, 2 windows in Mt. Calvary Hall)

Option 5

(Option 5: 4 windows + dossal curtains in the sanctuary, 2 windows behind the altar, 2 windows on the side walls)

Option 6

(Option 6: 4 windows in the sanctuary, 2 windows behind the altar, 2 windows on the side walls)

21Feb 20

“Absurda Comica or Mr. Peter Squentz”

The Augenblick!-Theater (Ottawa) presents:

"Absurda Comica or Mr. Peter Squentz"
by Andreas Gryphius

Performance Dates:
Friday, February 28th, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 29th, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 1st, 7:30 p.m.

Free admission, donations welcome.
Since there is only a limited number of seats available, we recommend that you pre-order tickets.
Ticket Reservations:

Location: Martin Luther Church, 933 Smyth Road
Duration: about 2 hours with intermission

Important notice: Due to renovations, there will be no disabled-accessible toilet available at the church.

20Dec 19


3:30 pm Christmas Vespers with German Children‘s pageant (bilingual)
5:00 pm German Christmas Vespers (with music ensemble)
7:00 pm English Christmas Eve Worship service with Communion

9:30 am Joint worship service (Demke) with Communion

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