Martin Luther Lutheran Church - What's New

2014-MLC-LogoMartin Luther Evangelical Lutheran Church
2379 Lake Shore Blvd West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M8V 1B7
Office Tel.: (416) 251-8293 Fax: (416) 259-2889
Pastor Christian Ceconi, August 2013- Cell: (416) 567-2487
Whats New (English) ] Das Neueste (German) ]
A bilingual Christian congregation (German and English) in the west end of Toronto.
Eine zweisprachige Evangelische Gemeinde (Deutsch und Englisch) im Westen Torontos.

Congregational Newsletter June - July - August 2014 [PDF]

Time to really unwind


Soon the summer holidays begin - a chance to rest and to feel like yourself again. It takes some time to really slow down and relax.

In principal this shouldn’t take much, only peace and a little relaxation. No cell phones, no TV, no work plans. Sounds simple, Common sense everyone knows. But do you go on holidays without your cell phone? Do you turn your devices off completely? Sometimes you must first re-learn how to. I'm the same.

In the past I took part in summer camps where we used to plan for days without any other commitments. Everyone put away their watches and tried to follow their inner clock. We ate when we felt it was time to. We made time to do the things in front of us that needed to get done. No "Do this fast!" or "we don’t have much time." Back then we experienced this time as being in the here and now. These were days of intense living. We found awareness and serenity.
Maybe this is a good idea for the summer holidays, at least for one day. That would be a start.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation." - it says in Psalm 62. At the core of my existence I don’t just experience myself. I meet God. This also helps me relax. I feel that my life is supported and carried by God. With this feeling I continue with my day.
In this spirit, I wish you rest, so that you can draw strength from this quiet.

Wishing you blessed summer holidays,

Your Christian Ceconi


News and Information

President News

Church Council: In September 2013 we added a new discussion point to our church council agenda. It is called: in Focus. Spiritual topics are discussed and/or practical training given.

The topic in May was: Holy Communion. The main question was: How can we best serve the congregation and the individual, making the service experience meaningful and accessible to all? Practical training concluded the discussion. From now on you will find a well-informed and highly trained council member helping our Pastor during communion.

5 Superior: Your 5 Superior team, including Day Care Management is meeting frequently to finalize next steps. Currently of concern is a requirement for reapplication to the provincial/city authorities governing Day Care Operation. The insurance now has the required two quotations on hand to repair the damage and correct a structural issue. We are hopeful that a decision to move forward will happen in the next few days. Your church council will keep you informed by email and announcements at church as necessary.

Wesley Mimico United Church: The time to help house our neighbor during their time of renovation is approaching rapidly. A draft contract is in the works for feedback and approval at the June council meeting to ensure that everything will be ready for September.

Eastern Synod Assembly 2014: June 26-29, International Plaza Hotel, Toronto: Pastor Ceconi and Ernie Wienecke will be the MLC delegates at the assembly. We are looking for volunteers who would like to join Anita, Gisela and Iris by donating three hours of their time to help out at the conference.

Keith Rabey und Iris Schweiger

Confirmation on Pentecost (June 8, 2014)

On Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the Confirmation Service with Holy Communion at 11 am. Being Confirmed are: Lionel W., Lilly F., Sofia M., Thomas C., Jason W., Leonie W. and  Samuel C..

Picnic with Outdoor Service at Camp Edgewood (June 15, 2014)

This year’s church picnic on Sunday June 15, 2014 starts at 11 am with an outdoor service at Camp Edgewood .

There will then be many opportunities for the whole family to play and have fun: The pool may be open for swimming (lifeguards from our congregation will supervise), the woods and fields are perfect for a walk and those who are interested can also take out a canoe. Lunch will be prepared by summer camp participants. There will be BBQ sausages and a salad buffet. Drinks will also be provided. All proceeds will be donated to this year's summer camp.

If you are looking for a ride to Camp Edgewood, we are happy to assist you.

Please call Anita and Marlena at the church office (416) 251 – 8293.

For your GPS (or road map) the address is: Edgewood Camp and Conference Center, 49 Memorial Street, Eden Mills, Ontario, N0B 1P0.

Directions from Toronto
Take 401 West,Exit at Guelph Line #312,Take Guelph Line ramp north towards Rockwood,Travel through Brookville,After Brookville travel to a 4 way stop and turn left onto Eramosa Milton Townline,Travel along Eramosa Milton Townline which becomes Wilson St.,At the 3 way stop continue straight through,Follow a sharp left hand bend in the road (at this point the road becomes Memorial Street),End at 49 Memorial Street Eden Mills, ON N0B


Even the Pastor goes on vacation…

... and will nevertheless  attend the Conference of EKD pastors abroad in Berlin.

Funerals and pastoral care will kindly be taken over:  July 1-19 by Pastorin Katharina Möller from St. Georg’s Church and July 20-August 1 by Pastorin Rasma Caune from Epiphany Church. These Pastors can be reached through our church office. Their contact numbers will also be left on your voicemail message.

In addition, Pastor Ceconi will be at a training in Kitchener June 2-6, called the Transitions program. He can be reached on his phone during this time.


Start the summer holidays with God’s blessing (June 22, 2014)

We celebrate our last service before the holidays on June 22. We want to ask God's blessing for the (hopefully relaxing) summer time. A very special worship service you don’t want to miss.


Baptismal Service on August 10, 2014

During the joint service on August 10, 2014 at 11 am, Dexter Kenneth Cooper Wilmer will be baptized. The service is open to other baptisms. For baptism requests please contact Pastor Ceconi.


Service with blessing at the start of the new school year on September 7, 2014

It’s "back to school" after the summer holidays and for many, back to church. This year we will combine the two and invite all children and youth to the service. Children who are going to school for the first time (and all other children who’d like) will be blessed in the course of the service and get a surprise as well.

Therefore definitely mark your calendars: September 7, 2014 at 9:45 am in English and 11:00 am in German.


New Confirmation Classes

After the summer holidays our new confirmation classes begin. The course takes one year and ends with Confirmation on Pentecost 2015. It is aimed at young people who will be in grade 7 after the summer holidays or who are 12 to 14 years old (exceptions are possible in consultation). The Confirmands meet once a month from Saturday afternoon to Sunday at noon. At the beginning and end of the Confirmation instruction, there will be a three-day weekend retreat.
This year's course begins with a Confirmation retreat September 26-28 at Camp Edgewood.

For questions and registration, please contact Pastor Christian Ceconi,, Cell (416) 567 – 2487.


New Website

Soon it will be ready! Our new website will go live in June. In the future, you will be able to hear the radio devotion from Sunday morning any time there. Like before, you will also find all the important information about our congregation.
Please take a look at the website and give us feedback if certain functions still need to be improved.

Welcoming new church members September 21, 2014

We want to revive the tradition of officially welcoming new members during our worship. We will do so for the first time on September 21 and will invite everyone who has declared their membership in our church in recent months.

New to Canada–Info Night September 12, 2014 at 7pm

September 12 at 7 pm we invite all those who are interested to a New to Canada Info Night.

In five minute presentations, there will be information about everything from weekend getaways to tax returns, church and shopping. We’ve invited a diverse group of experts who are available to answer questions for all new residents. We also offer plenty of opportunity for discussion.

Contact: Martin Häfele,

Visit from Bishop Michael Pryse on September 14, 2014

Martin Luther Church gets a visit from the Bishop. Bishop Pryse will preach at the joint service on September 14. Following the service there will be an opportunity to talk over coffee and tea.

Bishop Pryse has lead the Eastern Synod of ELCIC since 1998. He is one of the most important agents in dialogue with the Anglican Church of Canada. The ELCIC is in full communion with the Anglicans. Bishop Pryse lives and works in Kitchener.


Ride Program

If you want to be picked up for services, then please call our church office by Thursday of each week. We will then coordinate to organize a ride for you.

Contact: Church Office, Anita Ratz, Tel. (416) 251-8293

News from ELCIC, EKD and DELKINA

Our Congregation is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Eastern Synod, we are affiliated with the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and member of the Deutsche Evangelisch-lutherische Konferenz in Nordamerika (DELKINA)


Toronto Conference Spring Meeting Highlights

The final Spring Meeting of the Toronto Conference was held on May 10 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Richmond Hill. Twenty-one congregations were represented which included 19 clergy, 16 lay and three visitors.

The main order of business was to elect 16 clergy delegates to the 2015 ELCIC National Convention. Those elected are: Pastors Rasma Caune, Linda Douglas, Peter Lisinski, Carey Meadows-Helmer, Sebastian Meadows-Helmer, Christian Schweter, Tuula Van Gaasbeek, Mark Van House, Christian Ceconi, David Tin, Nadine Nicholds, Katharina Moeller, Jun Gao, Dennis Becker, Scott Schellenberger, and Ilze Kuplens- Ewart. Alternates are Pastors Mavis Fung, Olavi Hepomaki, Peter Mikelic, Lowell Nussey, Jonathan Schmidt, and Elisabeth Wagshall. There were no Conference Council elections at the meeting.

Assistant to the Bishop, Rev. Riitta Hepomaki, presented the Synod Report. She reported that in the new structure the Synod will be divided into 17 Areas and encouraged the congregations to work together. The new Deans to be appointed

will serve two-year terms. She encouraged congregations to include the new electronic format of The Eastern Synod Lutheran with their congregational newsletters and encouraged everyone to subscribe to Canada Lutheran. She reviewed the Synod’s work during the past year and reminded congregations to review the financial information in the report with their congregational records.

During his presentation Alven Choi of the Rhenish Church reviewed the Rhenish Church programs, particularly the Alpha course. Other programs they provide are marriage and marriage preparation courses, and a parenting course for children and teenagers. He said new persons come each time the programs are presented. These courses have been successful in their congregation.

 The Lutheran Connection, the monthly newsletter of the Toronto conference, will be discontinued in the new structure. From discussion, the preference is to produce a newsletter to include all the congregations in the four Areas. The members feel there is a need to keep sharing congregational information. There will be further discussion on how communication will be continued.

  [for full version of this article see: Lutheran Connection May 2014,]

Something’s going on……Camp Edgewood Presentation

Rick Ritz from the Edgewood Board gave an update on the Camp and reviewed their 70 x 7 fundraising program to raise $2 million over the next three years. The funds will be used to update their facilities. They will include a new kitchen, flexible meeting space, flexible sleeping accommodations and to make the facility more energy efficient. Websites for Reformation and Church

The Reformation anniversary in 2017 is getting closer. Preparations for the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg have been underway for several years in Germany and worldwide. You can quickly get an overview on

The Evangelical Church in Germany is undergoing a profound process of change just like our Canadian church. People’s living conditions and lifestyles are changing and the church must find new ways of reaching them. Thus, a future congress was held recently, the results of which the EKD provides on . fifth EKD membership study has tried to find out about people and their relationship to church and faith. Since 1970, people in Germany are interviewed about church and faith on a 10 -year cycle . The latest results were published online. It’s worth taking a look :

Theological Insight: What happens during Holy Communion?

It is a tradition in our congregation that church council members help the Pastor give Holy Communion. To ensure that the new pastor and all members of church council have the same knowledge-base, they spent an hour discussing questions about Holy Communion during their May council meeting. Some hand-on activities were necessary because just putting out the large chalice requires practice.

Here is a selection of the most interesting questions – did you know?


When it’s said: “The body of Christ, given for you“, is an answer actually expected?

The bread and chalice may be received in silence or with the answer, "Amen." Amen comes from Hebrew and is an affirmation. With Amen, we express in worship, for example, after prayers, our agreement; so too for Holy Communion.


Am I allowed to hold the chalice?

In many cases the tradition in congregations is that the pastor keeps the chalice in his hands.  This creates the practical problem of the pastor not always being able to see whether a person actually got something to drink. This is why we encourage our congregation to hold the chalice in their own hands. This facilitates receiving.


Should I take wine or grape juice?

Not everyone can tolerate alcohol, some due to health reasons. Both wine and grape juice are offered during Holy Communion at our church. It doesn’t matter which you take because both represent Jesus' spirit. It is our belief in Holy Communion that affects us.
In Jesus' day, wine production was the only way to keep grape juice from going bad.
That is why there is no biblical evidence of grape juice being used with meals.


Why isn’t real bread offered?

The reason again is for practical grounds.  Bread spoils relatively quickly and is difficult to divide. This is why wafers have been used since about the 8th century in Europe. It involves unleavened bread. To date, this has remained the dominant practice.

Early Christians offered bread that they brought with them to church. Some congregations and also many Orthodox churches bake loaves of bread especially for Holy Communion.


Should I kneel or stand during Holy Communion?


Our congregation has a long tradition of receiving Holy Communion while kneeling, while in many other congregations and in Germany, it is almost always received standing. Both ways have their place and allow one to receive Communion appropriately.

Practical considerations often play a role. Ensuring everyone can access the feast of the Lord is more important than following a certain practice. Therefore we encourage people also to stand when receiving Communion.


Are children allowed to take part in Holy Communion?

Whether children are allowed to take part in Holy Communion before their Confirmation is based on the evangelical interpretation of the church body and council.


The practice at Martin Luther Church is that children should only receive Holy Communion after Confirmation to ensure that they have a proper understanding of it. Children can come up to the altar at any time and will then be blessed by the pastor.


Christian Ceconi, with help from the Church Council


Remarks and Reports


Confirmation and Youth Retreat


The Youth Group and Confirmands went on a retreat together at Camp Edgewood April 4-6. Together we worked on the topics of Lent and Jesus’ cross. The starting point was the movie "Jesus of Montreal" and the Passion story from the Gospel of Mark.

Although there was still snow on the ground and the ponds were frozen over, it didn’t stop us from spending a lot of time outdoors. Devotions below the clear starry sky and the wild chase through the woods for "Capture the flag" won’t be forgotten.
The question: "Can’t we do this four times a year?" camp up in the final round of the game. The response: "We're working on it!"



An intense Lent and a radiant Easter morning


When the long series of our Lent services came to an end, there was almost a bit of sadness in the
r. In particular, the English-language services with neighboring congregations were always a place for stimulating discussions. The fact that the same images were studied in the German and English services especially helped those who alternated between the two languages to follow the common thread.
 On Easter morning, we were blessed with a wonderful sunrise on Lake Ontario. Then we were able to enjoy a fantastic Easter breakfast. Thank you, Keith and Dan, and all those who helped prepare (see photo on cover). The fact that Easter bunnies were still spotted in the subsequent Easter service made ​​the joy of Easter even livelier.


Family Service with Remembrance of Baptism


For the first time this year we celebrated a family service again. On the Sunday after Easter, many people came to church to remember their baptism. At the center of worship was the sign of the fish because the Greek word "fish" is also an abbreviation of the creed, "Jesus Christ, Son of God our Savior." Young and old created baptism candles during the service and many took the opportunity to be blessed. The sign of the cross with water reminded them of their own baptism.

We congratulate …


Meagan Cameron and Eike Schamburek were married on April 17 2014. We offer heartfelt congratulations and wish them God’s blessing on their path together!



Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.
(Song of Solomon 8:6)



From our congregation we lost …

On April 2, 2014 Gerhard M. Seefeld passed away at 84 years of age. A funeral took place with close family.

On April 4, 2014 Theresa Muller passed away at 61 years of age. We said goodbye to her at a memorial service on April 12.

On April 26, 2014 Ingeborg Seifert passed away at 91 years of age. We said goodbye to her at a memorial service on May 3.

On May 8, 2014 Elli Jonuschies  passed away at 89 years of age. We said goodbye to her at a memorial service on May 31.


And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love.
Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them. (John 1, 4:16)

Regular Groups and Contacts

Church Coffee Duty

Looks after the hospitality after the services. If you would like to help, please let us know! Contact: Waltraud Laser, Tel. (416) 766- 9373


Every Tuesday at 6 pm continuing at our church. Pentecost performance for Confirmation at 11 am June 8, 2014. Choir Director: Linda Marcinkus, Tel. (416) 255-2612

Women’s Group

Once a month on Wednesday at 11 am at church. The next meeting is on: June 9 at Daina Wienecke’s farm (For a ride, contact the church office).  Contact: Daina Wienecke, Tel. (905) 939-2601

Confirmation Class

Once a month on Saturday/Sunday. New classes begin with Retreat Sept. 26-28, 2014. Contact: Pastor Christian Ceconi, Tel. (416) 567-2487

Youth Group

Next Meetings: Retreat at Camp Edgewood September 26-28, 2014. Contact: Sonja and Amy Schweiger, Tel. (905) 625-9174

Bible Study

Next meetings: June 12, 2014 - 7 pm (1:30-3 pm in German). All meet at Martin Luther Church. If possible bring your own bible. Contact: Pastor Christian Ceconi, Tel. (416) 567-2487

Summer Camp Planning Group

Meeting to be determined. Contact: Anna Lisa Wienecke, Tel. (905) 939-7441

Sunday School Team

Sunday School every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Meeting of the team by request. Contact: Tanya Zielke, Tel. (416) 622-7032

Working Group “Welcome“

Contact: Iris Schweiger, Tel. (905) 625-9174

Working Group „Worship Services“

Contact: Pastor Christian Ceconi, Tel. (416) 567-2487


We’re here for you:

Church Office

Anita Ratz and Marlena Muller
Tel. (416) 251-8293

Office Hours:
Tuesday, 9:30-12
Wednesday, 9:30-12
Friday, 9:30-12


Pastor Christian Ceconi
Cell. (416) 567-2487


Office Hours and visits by appointment. Please give us a call or send a short e-mail.


Worship Services


June 8, 2014


11 am Joint Service
with Holy Communion

Pastor Ceconi

June 15, 2014

The Holy Trinity
Father’s Day

11:00 am Joint Service
at Camp Edgewood
with BBQ for Camp Lutherlyn

Pastor Ceconi

June 22, 2014

 12th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service
With Blessing for Summer Holidays

Pastor Ceconi

June 29, 2014

13th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am English Service
11:00 am German Service

Pastor Ceconi

July 6, 2014

14th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am English Service
11:00 am German Service

Rev. Ossouren

July 13, 2014

15th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service
Both with Holy Communion

Rev. Ossouren

July 20, 2014

16th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service

Pastor Knaack

July 27, 2014

17th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

11:00 am Joint Service

Church Council

Aug 3, 2014

18th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service
Both with Holy Communion

Pastor Ceconi

Aug 10, 2014

19th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

11:00 am Joint Service
with Baptism

Pastor Ceconi

Aug 17, 2014

20th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service

Pastor Knaack

Aug 24, 2014

21st Sunday
in Ordinary Time

11:00 am Joint Service

Church Council

Aug 31, 2014

22nd Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service

Pastor Ceconi

Sept. 7, 2014

23rd Sunday
in Ordinary Time

9:45 am  English Service
11:00 am German Service
With Blessing for Students

Pastor Ceconi

Sept. 14, 2014

24th Sunday
in Ordinary Time

11 am Joint Service
with Holy Communion and
with visit from Bishop Pryse


Martin Luther Church is a member congregation of the Toronto Conference of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the DELKINA (Deutsche Evangelische Lutherische Konferenz in NordAmerika / German Evangelical Lutheran Conference in North America), and the EKD (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland / Protestant Church of Germany).
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