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.
First, this Sunday we will be celebrating Reformation Sunday online during our normal weekly worship service. We will be hosting a special guest from the Fusion mission group that works with young people throughout Latvia. Everyone is welcome to join at 11 AM using the following Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89984781477?pwd=VWh2Qk82cExaVTZjdTJHQmhhOVhlZz09 Meeting ID: 899 8478 1477 Passcode: 932349
Next week: “All Saints and Souls” Sunday
On the 7th of November, we will be celebrating “All Saints and Souls” Sunday, in which we will remember and celebrate the lives of those we have lost over the precious year. If anyone would like to send names of people that you would like us to pray for and honor, please contact Chaplain Elīza: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Worship back online
Due to the government’s newly announced COVID-19 measures, all in-person events at St. Saviour’s have to be suspended until further notice. This includes Sunday Worship, which will have to take place online via Zoom for the next few weeks. Worship will take place at 11:00 AM this Sunday as usual via Zoom using this link here:
Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89984781477?pwd=VWh2Qk82cExaVTZjdTJHQmhhOVhlZz09 Meeting ID: 899 8478 1477 Passcode: 932349
We know that this is a very challenging time for everyone as Latvia enters its most serious phase of the pandemic so far, so please keep each other in our prayers as well as the country’s health care heroes and those who have to make critical and painful decisions in the next few weeks. In the meantime, we promise to make worship as spiritually fulfilling as possible. Please contact us if you have any ideas or suggestions, or if we can help you in any way during these difficult times.
This Sunday, we will be joined by special guest special guest Vineta Laudurga from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Latvia to celebrate Bible Sunday! We look forward to sharing this special service with our friends from all over the world.
In memory of Ojars Ēriks Kalniņš
This Thursday, the St. Saviour’s community was shocked to learn that Ojars Kalniņš, the husband of our previous church warden Irma and a beloved Latvian statesman, passed away suddenly at the age of 71. Please make sure to keep Irma and the rest of their family in your prayers during this very sad time.
Green Zone: COVID Certificates and masks required at worship services
As a reminder, due to the new government regulations implemented in light of the COVID-19 situation here in Latvia as well as the reduced space in the sanctuary during the ceiling construction, all attendees to the worship service will need to present a valid COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate before entering the church. All attendees are also required to wear masks during the service. Those who are unable to attend in person are welcome to participate online via the live stream on our Facebook page.
New COVID regulations: COVID Certificates required at worship services
As Chaplain Elīza mentioned last week at the end of the service, attendees of Sunday Worship at St. Saviour’s will need to provide a valid COVID-19 certificate of recovery from the disease or vaccination. Those who are unable to attend in person will be able to participate online via the live stream on our Facebook page.
Sunday Worship: The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity
This week, Lauma will be leading us in a service of the Word celebrating creation: both giving thanks for the harvest and the people who work hard to provide food for us. We’ll also pray for and think of our little furry and feathered (and maybe scaled) friends too – our pets who keep us company every day.
In memoriam: Rūta Whitaker
As many of you have already heard, we are heartbroken to announce that our former church warden and longtime member of St. Saviour’s Ruta Whitaker passed away last Sunday at the age of 81. Ruta worked actively as our church warden for eight years, as well as the leader of the Senior’s Club, an active volunteer at our Soup Kitchen, and an overall very dedicated member of the church community. Please make sure to keep her husband Harry and the rest of her family in your prayers during this very sad time. To learn more about Ruta’s amazing life and find out how to take part in her online funeral, you can read her full obituary here.
Sunday Worship: The 18th Sunday of Trinity
This week we celebrated the sacrament of baptism along with the theme of “harvest and thanksgiving”. Our music director Jana was joined by violinist Emīls Helde, and at the end of the service Rosa led us all in a dance. You can watch a recording of the service on our Facebook page!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!