Holy Week at St. Saviour’s
We once again find ourselves in the most bittersweet week of the church calendar — when Jesus humbly and triumphantly rides into Jerusalem, is betrayed by one of his best friends, dies a painful, public death, yet comes back just three days later to fulfil the promise of ultimate love and forgiveness for all of us. It is truly a seven-day emotional and spiritual roller coaster, and it is time to ride it together as a community.
Tomorrow, we will be celebrating Palm Sunday as usual at 11 AM, where “many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields” (Luke 11:8). Although palms are a common leafy branch in the Holy Land, here in Latvia they are a bit of a rarity; that’s why it’s known as “pūpolu svētdiena” here in Latvia, as branches of the far more commonly found pussy willow tree are used instead. We hope to have both available tomorrow at the service so you can celebrate in the way you’re most comfortable with! For those of you who aren’t able to come in person, you can join us virtually in the live stream via our Facebook page.
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
On Thursday, you are invited to our special Maundy Thursday communion service at 6 PM, where we will be commemorating Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet as well as his last supper with them. This service will take place in English, although the following day we will observing the far more somber Good Friday at 6 PM together with our Latvian Baptist friends. That service will take place in a mix of Latvian and English.
Although the Latvians might call it “Klusā sestdiena” (Quiet Saturday), we will be quite busy with with our weekly Soup Kitchen where we will be following in Christ’s example and feeding those who are most vulnerable. If you are able to donate either your time or resources to this very important ministry, you can write to our coordinator Pāvels. Every little bit is a huge help!
Finally, we will rejoice together for Easter Sunday at 11 PM and celebrate the Good News of Christ’s resurrection. Following this joyous service, you are all invited to lunch either downstairs in the basement or outside in the garden depending on the weather. If you are able to bring some potluck-style dish to share, please let Joe know or write it in the Facebook event! An Easter egg will also take place for our younger members so that this will be a fun and memorable occasion for all ages!
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2022 Annual General Meeting
As a reminder, tomorrow after Sunday Worship service, our Annual General Meeting will take place in the sanctuary. This is an excellent chance to take part in the life of the church in a deeper way, and you will have the chance to take part in the election of Church wardens and Church Council members! Reports will be given by the wardens, treasurer, soup kitchen coordinator, and seniors’ club. If you would like to take part and have not done so already, you can either sign up at for the electoral rolls at the end of the service or can print out this form here and bring it tomorrow! You can also take a look at the agenda here.
Ceiling work continuing
Work on the ceiling is continuing slowly but surely thanks to the amazing efforts of our warden Jānis and his team! If all goes as planned, it should be completed in the next few weeks. However, as the plaster needs to be added layer by layer, it can be a bit unpredictable. We all look forward to enjoying the fully opened church with all of you!
Holy Week events
Holy Week is just around the corner! As we have previously mentioned, there will be special services for Maundy Thursday (6 PM in English) and Good Friday (6 PM in Latvian with English text and translations), while Sunday Worship on Palm Sunday and Easter will take place as usual at 11 AM.
Annual General Meeting: Next Week
Clocks are moving forward, the sun is shining, and here at St. Saviour’s, it’s once again time for our annual general meeting. This will take place next Sunday directly following Sunday Worship, and is an excellent chance to participate in the life of the church in a deeper way. Reports on all of the major activities of the church will be available to read and discuss, and wardens and church council members for 2022 will be elected.. If you would like to participate and are not already on the electoral roll, you can either sign up at the back of the church this week or next week, or you can print out this form here, fill out it, and scan and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the agenda for the meeting here.
Help for Ukraine
Following last Sunday’s service, a few people stayed behind and had a brainstorm over what to include in the project the church would like to do for refugees if we will receive funding from the United Society Partners in the Gospel (the Anglican mission agency). Ideas included time for spiritual care and fellowship, which would be 2-3 hours per week at the premises of the church (to be extended in case of need). Volunteers and staff would be present. We would also offer activities such as personal or group chats with people, games for children (in line with safeguarding rules), music lessons, pastoral care, fellowship time. If you are interested in helping to make this happen, please contact our assistant chaplain Valdis who has been putting this project together!
Tomorrow is “Mothering Sunday”, where we celebrate care and love in the middle of darkness of Lent. As we approach Jesus on the cross he turns us to each other, tells us to look, to see the other as we are in a new way; to behold another and to look with compassion. At the foot of the cross, a new community is formed and new possibilities are created. If you are unable to come in person, you are welcome to watch our services online from anywhere in the world from our Facebook page!
Heating Season Finished
On a practical note, the church will be a bit chillier over the next few weeks as the heating has been switched off to save costs. Although spring is technically here, people are encouraged to wear warm cloths and have their hearts ablaze with love towards God and each other. Tea and coffee will hopefully also help us to stay warm after the service.
Sunday Worship: The Fourth Sunday before Lent
I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.Her Majesty The Queen, 21 April 1947
Join us as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II ascending to the throne and to the Supreme governorship of the Church of England! Those of you who are unable to come to the church will be able to follow along online!
Sunday Worship: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
This Sunday, our weekly worship service with communion will be lead by our former chaplain, Bishop Emerita Jana Jeruma-Grinberga, as we participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Please join us in person or online via Facebook Live for this very special chance to be in solidarity with churches throughout the world!
Are you looking for a new way to engage with faith in a deeper way? Chaplain Elīza is currently in the process of organizing a confirmation class that would begin sometime in the end of winter or early spring. If you are interested, please let her know!
Medical face masks mandatory as of the 25th of January
Please keep in mind that the Latvian government has decided to make medical face masks or respirators mandatory for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people indoors, and that cloth masks will no longer be allowed to use. If you do not have access to one but would like to attend service in person, please let us know and so we can assist you!
Events honoring Desmond Tutu
Last Tuesday, the Latvian language event “DzĪvot ar Prieku: Desmonds Tutu” took place at St. Saviour’s. After saying prayers that were written by Tutu himself, Chaplain Elīza lead a discussion that included our assistant chaplain Valdis Teraudkalns, our former chaplain Juris Cālītis, and Margarita Putniņa, the translator of a book based on a dialog between Tutu and the Dalai Lama. An English language version of the discussion will also take place during Sunday Worship on the 30th of January. For those of you who understand Latvian, you can watch the video of the event above.
Sunday Worship: The Second Sunday After The Epiphany
The joyful story about the wedding in Cana shows the overflowing of God’s grace embodied in Jesus; it also prefigures a liberation and a new life to come. It is a sign pointing to something else: to the fulfilment of Jesus’ ministry and the pouring out of his life on the cross. This adds a new dimension to joy, for as Desmond Tutu (whom we will celebrate on Tuesday) said: “Our greatest joy is when we seek to do good for others.”
To hear Chalpain Elīza’s full sermon, make sure to join us tomorrow either in person or online on Facebook live!
18th of January Latvian Language Event to Honour Desmond Tutu
On the 18th of January at 18.00 we will be holding a Latvian language memorial event honouring Desmond Tutu called Dzīvot ar prieku: Desmonds Tutu. We will say prayers together that were written by Tutu himself, followed by a discussion which will be led by Chaplain Elīza and include our assistant chaplain Valdis Teraudkalns, our former chaplain Juris Cālītis, and Margarita Putniņa, the translator of a book based on a dialog between Tutu and the Dalai Lama. An English language version of the discussion will also take place during Sunday Worship on the 30th of January.
Sunday Worship: The First Sunday After The Epiphany
The Holy Spirit comes upon us so that we may become ourselves. We receive affirmation from God, who calls us by name and inspires and empowers us to affirm those around us, so that they may sense some of the joy that God takes in them.
Make sure to either tune into the live stream at 11 AM on Sunday or come to church in person to hear more of Chaplain Elīza’s thoughts on the Epiphany!
A return to worship in person
We are blessed to be able to return to having Sunday Worship in the church this weekend, and looking forward to seeing each other in person and celebrating God’s presence. As with before the three-week lockdown, services will have to be held in the “green” (epidemiologically safe) regime, as that is the only option given for services in person and in line with regulations in other spheres of life during pandemic. Therefore, like going to other places operating in “green regime”, everyone will have to show a valid COVID-19 certificate and a proof of identity when entering the church building. There will also be marked seats enabling observation of necessary distance, we will still need to wear masks and disinfect hands.
Please be patient with the staff and volunteers as we are still adjusting to the new arrangements. Those without valid certificates are welcome to follow us online or to arrange an individual visit to church by contacting the chaplain. We are sorry that due to ongoing restoration works in the church we can’t offer designated hours for individual visits on weekdays.
Even when we feel the pain of restrictions and separations, we believe that nothing can separate from the love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. We trust that our Lord will bring us all together in a joyful celebration at the end of these challenging times during which we are learning so much about ourselves and about his grace.
Chaplain Elīza marks the 11th of November
In-person services from 21 November
After three difficult weeks of isolation, we are blessed to once again have the opportunity starting next Sunday, 21 November to begin meeting in person for Sunday Worship. As was the case before the lockdown began, due to the reduced size of the sanctuary during the renovation as well as government regulations, we will unfortunately only be able to admit entry to those with valid COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificates. Those of you who will not be able to join us in person will be kindly invited to join our services online using Facebook Live.
We hope you are all able to join us this Sunday, 14 November for our special Remembrance Sunday service using Zoom. You can use the following link to access our service starting a few minutes before 11 AM: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89984781477?pwd=VWh2Qk82cExaVTZjdTJHQmhhOVhlZz09 Meeting ID: 899 8478 1477 Passcode: 932349
All Saints Sunday
This Sunday, we will once again be meeting online for Sunday Worship here on Zoom. Everyone is welcome to join at 11 AM using the following link:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89984781477?pwd=VWh2Qk82cExaVTZjdTJHQmhhOVhlZz09 Meeting ID: 899 8478 1477 Passcode: 932349
As it is “All Saints and Souls Sunday”, we will remember those we love but see no more, especially those who have left us in the past year. If you would like to mention a loved one in our prayers, please contact Chaplain Elīza.