Please click the link below to see a message from Pastor Debra.
Please click the link below to see a message from Pastor Debra.
The following is a list of Manitoba/NW Ontario congregations and worshipping communities that are livestreaming or providing other resources that may be helpful during this time. (source: ELCiC)
Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod
On March 17, the following email was sent to members and adherents. Please use the link at the bottom of this post to see more information on the ELCiC website.
Dear Members and Friends of Trinity Lutheran Church,
On Monday, March 16, the ELCIC National and Synod Bishops issued a letter where they “encouraged congregations to, suspend public worship services and other gatherings effective immediately”. The letter in its entirety is below. A link can also be found on our TLC website (www.tlcstarbuck.com).
As I stated on Sunday, Council would follow the recommendations of Government bodies, federal and provincial, and the ELCIC. Monday evening Council voted to follow the ELCIC’s recommendations. As a result, it is with a heavy heart that I must announce the immediate suspension of all church activities until further notice.
We encourage all members at Trinity to stay connected as best they can i.e. phone calls, emails, checking our website etc. With all the news painting a daunting picture, it is more important than ever for us to support each other.
We will update the congregation with all pertinent information and hopefully soon, a plan to restart church activities.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at email@example.com or 204-390-1129, or Pastor Debra at 204-735-2503.
Vice-Chair TLC Council
March 16, 2020
Dear friends in Christ,
As coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to escalate domestically, so does the requirement that we continue to review and adjust our current practices. With new information being received daily, we have received requests for further communication, specifically with respect to the most recent pastoral letter issued March 13, 2020.
With the information we have today, we feel it is both prudent and responsible that our congregations suspend all public worship services and other gatherings effective immediately. Some of you have already made this decision. It is our hope that we will all be strongly encouraged to do likewise.
We understand how difficult some of these unprecedented decisions may feel. These important considerations reflect a deep concern for those most vulnerable – particularly elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
At the Synod and National offices, we are looking at how we can make alternative arrangements for upcoming meetings and gatherings. Questions we are asking ourselves include: can these meetings be held differently (via web conference), or do they need to be postponed or cancelled?
Your congregation members may be asking a lot of questions right now. We all have a lot of questions. This is uncharted territory for us all. Please know that your synod office is available to contact and support you in your work.
While social distancing may be required at this time, we must do all we can to avoid social isolation. Each of our synods are looking at what this means within their own context and will communicate with you as there is more information to share.
Please continue to be vigilant in your prayerful support of those who are ill and those who are most fully engaged in the public health efforts that are underway across the country and around the world. May God grant us generous gifts of courage, faith, and compassion.
Blessings in your ministry during this time.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan Johnson, ELCIC National Bishop
The Rev. Dr. Greg Mohr, ELCIC British Columbia Synod
The Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer, Synod of Alberta and the Territories
The Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen, Saskatchewan Synod
The Rev. Jason Zinko, Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod
The Rev. Michael Pryse, Eastern Synod
March 13, 2020
Dear Trinity Lutheran family members and friends:
Grace be unto you and peace from God our Creator and Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
Each of you have been on my mind this week as I have listened to the news regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Each day we have received more information regarding this pandemic. Each day we have heard of countries closing their borders and activities being cancelled from ‘hockey’ to the ‘Juno Awards’. So, the situation is foremost on most people’s minds.
As I have listened to the news and engaged in conversations with colleagues and members of our Trinity congregation, I have thought of all of you. This is a time of varying emotions and concerns. Some of you may be feeling frightened and alone. If you have these feelings, or any feelings of concern, I want you to know that you are not alone. God is with us in all things and through all things. God has given us one another and so we are all in this together.
If you need anything from supplies because you are unable to get out or someone to talk with, I am here for you and your brothers and sisters in Christ are here. Please do not hesitate to reach out. The church phone number is (204) 735-2503 and my cell phone is 1-204-807-1709.
With this pastoral letter you will also receive a letter from your church council outlining the steps that we will be taking as a congregation to ensure everyone’s safety as they come to worship. The following is a listing of those steps.
At the present time we will:
In addition to these letters, you will also receive a letter from the Bishops of our church outlining the direction taken from our Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. (see link below)
It is my hope that these letters will help to ease any concerns you might have and answer questions you might be wondering about.
Finally I wish to echo the words of our National Bishop Susan Johnson in asking you to keep praying for all who are affected – those who have been infected, those who are quarantined, those who are grieving the death of loved ones, those who are experiencing racism and prejudice, and for all those who continue to care for the sick and vulnerable.
If there is anything, I personally can do for you during this time please do not hesitate to contact me.
Blessings and peace,
Pastor Debra Johnston
Dear Members of Trinity Congregation:
In recent days, Coronavirus has had an impact on many of our daily activities and public health officials expect the effects to be with us for some time.
While we hope that our area will not be affected by this virus, there are a few steps that our congregation will be implementing to reduce our risks. As the saying goes, plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Beginning this Sunday, you are asked to do the following:
1- We will refrain from shaking hands before, during or after the service. Pastor Debra will continue to greet you at the end of the service, without handshakes.
2- Trinity is blessed with an abundance of space, so you are encouraged to spread out within the sanctuary during worship services. The public health authorities indicate that a one-metre buffer zone between individuals can reduce the risk of transmission.
3- please make use of the hand sanitizer that is available at each pew.
4- if you are not feeling well, please consider not attending church activities. It is very difficult for me to make this suggestion but for the sake of your health and that of your friends and neighbors, I ask that you consider this request.
Pastor Debra and the worship assistants will continue to follow the Synod’s recommended protocols for communion distribution.
As this health emergency evolves, we will let you know if any additional measures will be needed, using the recommendations given by Manitoba Health and the ELCiC.
If you have any questions or concerns, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204 390-1129.