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Weekly Update: 31st of July, 2021

Sunday Worship: The Ninth Sunday After Trinity

Bread or cake? People often associate the church with “cakes”, namely, with special events. They come to church when something interesting is happening — when, figuratively speaking, they are promised something unusual and exquisite to stroke their taste buds. For them the church is meant to be entertainment and excitement, adding an extra flavour to their life. But Jesus says that he is the bread of life. He is the ultimate ongoing gift of God, which gives sustenance to our life. He is, and should be, our “staple diet” — an essential and integral part of our everyday lives. Grace and Love is not a bread to eat once in passing. We need to receive, savour and share it daily.

You can hear the rest of Elīza’s sermon this Sunday at 11 AM either in person or online!

Music at St. Saviour’s

Tonight at 8 PM our music director and organist Jana Zarina will be joined by soprano vocalist Karolina Mocke and violinist Marianna Puriņa in a performance called “Old and Modern”. If you are in the city, make sure to come out and listen to the wonderful music!

Pilgrim Bible Course

Each Thursday at 7 PM, Erica has been leading our summer bible study series. We are reading the Anglican’s “Pilgrim Course: Church & Kingdom” book and exploring together what it means to live as a part of the kingdom of God and to follow in the way of Christ in our daily lives. Join us as we discuss various topics including daily prayer, work & sabbath, relationships, generosity, injustice, and caring for the earth! Last week at Bible study, we celebrated the birthday of our Margareta!

Filming at St. Saviour’s

Currently, a historical drama called “Sisi” about the final Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth is being filmed in Riga’s old town. Filming took place outside of St. Saviour’s as well last week!

Weekly Update: 10th July, 2021

Sunday Worship: The Sixth Sunday After Trinity

An exquisite birthday party that went horribly wrong and turned into a most gruesome event reminds us of the world we live in. It is in stark contrast to the banquet hosted by Jesus in the middle of nowhere for thousands of nobodies with nothing to offer, save five loaves and two fish. At that feast greed and fear have no place. There all are fed to the full, with leftovers beyond comprehension.

You can hear Chaplain Elīza’s full sermon on Sunday at 11 AM!

Garden Update

This week we had an arborist come to evaluate our tree. Unfortunately, the lime trees are currently not in a good condition, as the roots of trees can’t get enough water. Everything is so dry — therefore, we are thankful to Pavel’s and Vladislav, who are helping to save our 5 big lime trees, and many other of the plants. They regular water our garden. The trees leaves are dry and have partially fallen down, but if we continue to water them, the trees stay alive and be ready for next winter.
The arborist will come again in two weeks and remove dry branches from the trees.

Weekly Update: 12th of June, 2021

Sunday Worship: The Fourth Sunday After Trinity

The story of two daughters in the Gospel is full of drama and suspense. To be in the crowd can be annoying, or assuring — it can also be scary. One may become invisible or find oneself in the spotlight. Jesus notices each one of us and does not separate himself from us when we are weak, vulnerable, despairing, or ill. He comes to and for us wherever we are, and his healing and life giving touch casts out fear and separation.

You can hear Chaplain Elīza’s full sermon on Sunday at 11 AM as well as our wonderful music director Jana’s performances together with singer Anna Amanda Stolere!

Garden Celebration

Last week, we said goodbye to our dear member Charlie, who has been very active in both the church and the soup kitchen and is returning to the United States after working in Latvia. To say goodbye and as well as to celebrate our organist Jana’s birthday, our member Rasma’s name day, and the beginning of summer in general, we had a small potluck picnic lunch in our beautiful garden! Thank you to everyone who joined in, and very special thanks to volunteers such as Inese, Lauma, and many others who have made the garden a beautiful place to enjoy a summer day.

Soup Kitchen

Charlie was not the only active soup kitchen member who we had to say goodbye to this week. Our wonderful volunteer Sandra is returning to Germany, and the rest of the team had a heartfelt sendoff for her this Saturday. If you would like to learn more about how you could help out with this very important ministry, please contact Pāvels!

Weekly Update: 13th of June, 2021

Sunday Worship: The Second Sunday After Trinity

This week’s Gospel story is the parable of the mustard seed. Chaplain Elīza’s sermon will look at trust and hope in the midst of trauma: 1941 and 2021. God’s power can be seen in the shocking reversals and upheavals that upend our expectations and assumptions. The surprising and shocking generative work of the natural world exceeds the resources of human agency and comprehension and points towards the Kingdom of God that is like a seed which grounds our hope that eventually things can change. Even now we glimpse germinating seeds yielding mysterious grace and justice in acts of human kindness and we are made aware of its purpose to provide sanctuary where life can flourish.

Garden Party: 20th of June

To celebrate the summer and the going away of a few different church members either just for the summer or more permanently, we will be having an informal potluck lunch in our beautiful garden after church next week! If you would like to bring something, please let Joe, Pavels, or Elīza know. Everyone is welcome!

Garden Update

Speaking of the garden, things are still coming along nicely! Our warden Inese would like to say thanks to a few people: first of all to Anna, who gave our flowerbox some nice basil plants. The next thanks is to Tabita, who gave an eryngium plant; it is now in its place and growing. As always, Lauma has been caring for our garden with different flower seeds, and putting hard work into making it beautiful. Thank you also to Jacob for so many bulbs of tips and daffodils.

Did you know that now in our church garden under the linden are many, perhaps 80 or more, mushrooms? Every summer they appear in this place. It is interesting to watch how they come out of the ground.

We hope you get the chance to see the garden in person!

Bible Study and Youth Group

Right now, we are planning to restart our bible study group for the summer, which might take place in person, online, or using a mixture of both. If you are interested, please contact Elīza for more information so that we can have an idea of how many people would be interested! We are also in the early stages of planning a young person’s discussion group which could begin meeting sometime over the summer. If you are interested in joining this, please let us know!

Update: Back Entrance Construction

Repair work on our back entrance has been going nicely, and if all goes as planned should be ready for official re-opening in the next week or two. Thanks so much to the people who made this possible through their generous donations, and to the construction team who has been working hard at making St. Saviour’s a safer and more accessible place!

Saturday Soup Kitchen

As with every week, this Saturday Pāvels lead our team of amazing volunteers and fed dozens of Riga’s most vulnerable inhabitants. If you are interested in helping out with this very important endeavor, please let Pāvels know!

Weekly Update: 5th of June, 2021

Sunday Worship: The First Sunday After Trinity

Depicting the meeting of Christ and his mother before his death on the cross. From the Hieronymite convent of Saint Paul in Toledo. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This Sunday, our deacon Valdis Teraudkalns will be preaching. The topic of the sermon is based on the words of Jesus from Matthew 12:46-50— “who are my mother and my brothers?” In terms of music, our organist Jana Zariņa will be playing together with a special guest guitarist.

29th of May: Night of Churches

St. Saviour’s Night of Churches greeting video (in Latvian)

Thank you to everyone who participated in the special Night of Churches event on the 29th of May! Our music director Jana performed improvisations on piano together with an accompanist, and for the first time we had readings of Plato done in dialogue form by students of philosophy. We were reminded of the influence of Platonism on Christianity. The program ended with Lord’s Prayer which was done at the same time in all churches who participated throughout the country. If you were unable to make it out this year, then we hope to see you for next May’s event!

Soup Kitchen

As with every Saturday, our team of volunteers worked hard to serve and feed some of Riga’s most needy inhabitants. If you have the time and or treasure to help us with this important ministry, please contact our coordinator Pāvels for more information!

Garden Update

Today, Inese planted some more small plants in the boxes throughout our lawn, and she also weeded the flowerbeds. There are now plants in all three boxes. There will soon be some more, and she now hopes to get bigger plants with flowers. All is growing — the rowan tree has new leaves, and our big juniper has small, but nice green branches. The anemones have white flowers. It seems that Lauma’s clovers are sprouting and growing. All is nice, green and sunny now. We hope you have a chance to enjoy our garden soon!

Weekly Update: May 29th, 2021

Sunday Worship: Trinity Sunday

This Sunday, our chaplain Elīza Zikmane will be preaching. She has provided this preview of her sermon:

To have faith in Trinity means that you are not standing on your own in search of your identity; neither are we just left one-to-one when trying to work out our relationships. Instead, we are grounded in, surrounded by and drawn into the divine community of love.

Chaplain Elīza Zikmane

Our organist Jana Zariņa will be playing together with singer Anna Amanda Stolere, whose music you can hear more of at her YouTube channel here.

29th of May: Night of Churches

St. Saviour’s Night of Churches greeting video (in Latvian)

Today, St. Saviour’s is joining 84 others congregations taking part in the yearly Latvian language “Night of Churches” event. The church is open for individual viewing from 12.00 to 22.00, and at 18.00 there will be a lecture entitled “Anglicans: Who we are are” which tells the story of our church. At 19.00, students of the University of Latvia Faculty of Philosophy will discuss Plato and his influence on the Christian language, reading some of his works. Music will be performed at 20.30, and at 21.00 we will join in with Christians all across the country and say the Lord’s prayer all at once. A short sacrament will be performed afterwards.

Soup Kitchen

As with every Saturday, our team of volunteers worked hard to serve and feed some of Riga’s most needy inhabitants. If you have the time and or treasure to help us with this important ministry, please contact our coordinator Pāvels for more information!

Garden Update

We are getting close to the end of spring, and although the weather might not quite feel like it, our garden is coming along great! Huge thanks to Armands for the nice rowan plant he has gifted to us — it will be a nice and colourful accent in our garden.

Thanks also to Inta Putniņa, who worked many years in deaconry, was leader of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church center of deaconry, and has now joined our church. She works now in gardening. Together, we planted our rowan tree, trimmed the lower branches of our lime trees, and did some other works in our garden.

Due to the upcoming reconstruction of our church ceiling, we can’t do much more right now. More major work in our garden will take place next year. We are thinking about how we would like to see our garden in the future, and already have some ideas. For now, we will need to wait until next spring.

Reflections on Wednesday Meeting with Vicar Jochem Stuiver

By Jacob Vlaanderen

On the 10th of March, we had another inspiring Wednesday evening meeting. Vicar Jochem Stuiver from the Netherlands was our guest speaker. As usual, the meeting was intimate, and people felt comfortable to speak if they wanted to. He met us on what happened to be the Dutch calendar prayer day for crops and labor, and reminded us of the seven works of mercy.

From 1800 km away, he asked participants a deep question: “What does it mean to be human?” Jochem reminded us that we are all created in God’s likeness no matter how different from one another we may be. What does this say about us? God wants no static images, but he wants us to be alive as creative creations of him. This gives us the responsibility to make choices.

Jesus became human, and this brings us the Bible text John 19:5; “When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate (Ecce homo) said to them, ‘Here is the man!'” Jochem showed us a picture of Mark Wallinger’s Ecce Homo at St Paul’s Cathedral, a sculpture which is a contradiction of freedom — Jesus abused and bound with hands on the back.

Later on, we came back to our personal answers to what it meant to be human:

  • To be part of (ongoing) creation;
  • Communicating with other humans. What they pick up is mostly unknown;
  • Relationship, being part of society;
  • To suffer and feel happiness. To learn about myself;
  • Connecting to God by praying makes changes in how I feel. Praise the lord by being human;
  • Complicated, there is no right answer but only 3 characteristics (love, forgiveness and hate), and at any moment we feel one of them;
  • It has to do with humanity in our society. Seven works of mercy like the Soup kitchen

God became human, and it is time for us to become humans. We are mortal – there is no way around it, but there is a way through it. Expressing humanity in times of pandemic is very hard. No hugging is possible when we need it so much. Even facial expressions are taken away because of the mask. Jochem told us that he uses his eyes, but we also learned some peace and love signs using our hands. We are very blessed as a small community of St. Saviours with so many different people. Perhaps this makes our awareness of God’s presence even greater than in a big community going all the same direction.

Reflections on Wednesday Meeting with Chaplain John Wilkinson

By Jacob Vlaanderen

For this week’s Wednesday online meeting, our guest was Chaplain John Wilkinson from Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Brussels. Like always, the diverse group of participants makes these meetings interesting. The Anglican church in Brussels is a large and diverse community in the capital of the European Union. They normally provide four Sunday services in different languages, starting with a small early morning prayer group, and continuing with a larger, traditional Anglican morning service. Later in the day is a special African afternoon service, and Sunday evening ends with a service aimed at young people using contemporary music.

As with everywhere, Covid has profoundly changed life in Brussels. The church has invested a lot in good technical equipment, and tried to think of the zoom meetings as a “new friend”, although certain aspects such as Holy Communion simply cannot be replaced. Chaplain John did mention some things that can help people to upgrade the Zoom experience, like putting your computer or phone in a more intimate spot of the house, physically taking out your copy of the bible, and lighting a candle. They also believe that Zoom has now taken a definitive place in church life. It has made the church more accessible for a wider community, but they are very happy to slowly reopen now in the Lent season.

They are currently holding hybrid services through Lent up to Holy Week, which is normally an important time for the church. One particularly big event is a live performance of one of the Bach passions of Good Friday, which has been postponed for a second year now. They also normally do an event in the church called Stations of the Passion, which is visualized by art. This year they plan to move it outdoors around the church, which visitors and passersby can safely enjoy. A lot of activities are still going on, such as the Online Seniors Spring Tea Party. For a list of all activities, you can visit their website:

One thing that they have learned is that using PowerPoint presentations for the liturgy instead of using a songbook gives more flexibility. Also, everybody can now find them online. So in the post-COVID time, a lot of their positive changes will stay. Some people even like the “Zoom church” more than the physical church. Thanks again to everyone who participated in this fruitful discussion!

Lent and Easter

Services in the church (unless the COVID restrictions will change), are also streamed online in our FB page. Wednesday meetings take place in Zoom, from our FB page. Everyone welcome.

  • 21 Feb 11.00 First Sunday of Lent Worship Service
  • 24 Feb 19.00 Wednesday meeting: John Crossman and Graham Pay from our sister congregation Sherborne Abbey
  • 28 Feb 11.00 First Sunday of Lent Worship Service
  • 3 Mar 19.00 Wednesday Meeting: ‘Covid liturgies”John Wilkinson
  • 7 March 11.00 Third Sunday of Lent Worship Service
  • 8 March Diocese of Europe “Living in Love and Faith” event
  • 10 March 19.00 Wednesday Meeting: Nick Howe, theme TBC
  • 14 March 11.00 Fourth Sunday of Lent Worship Service
  • 17 March 19.00 Wednesday Meeting: LLF parish discussions, Jack Mcdonald
  • 21 March 11.00 Lent Passiontide Worship Service
  • 24 March 19.00 Wednesday Meeting: Annunciation
  • 28 March 11.00 Palm & Passion Sunday Worship Service
  • 1 April 18.00 Maundy Thursday Worship Service
  • 2 April 18.00 Bilingual Good Friday Ecumenical Service?
  • 3 April 18.00 Easter Vigil with baptism (in Latvian)
  • 4 April 11.00 Easter Sunday Worship Service