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Porvoo Church Primates’ Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, 20-22 OCTOBER 2015

COMMUNIQUÉ

In the context of the crisis in the Middle East, Europe is facing one of its greatest challenges since World War II.

 The Primates and Presiding Bishops of the Porvoo Communion of Churches met in Edinburgh for their regular biennial meeting, and reflected with urgency and compassion on current geo-political and social challenges as well as ways to further strengthen their relationships and work together towards building a confident and missional Church in an increasingly secular and pluralistic Europe.

 On a daily basis people risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean sea; people walk long distances to cross into Europe because they do not have any other choice; also in parts of Europe, for example, houses have been set alight, so that refugees do not find a home; and there is a rising anxiety in some parts of Europe that democracy is being eroded by intimidation towards strangers seeking refuge and security

The Primates and Presiding Bishops were unanimous in reiterating that we should not stand back and remain silent, but must both speak and act, remembering the words of Jesus; ” For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt. 25:35). They were also unanimous in their concern and prayers for Christians and other minority groups threatened by extinction in the Middle East. 

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Published 29|10|2015

Porvoo Communion of Churches

Thoughts on commemorating and scattering seeds

A sermon preached at the 2015 
Greater Cleveland Baltic Committee June 14th Prayer Service Commemoration

[Jesus] also said, 'The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.  The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.  But when the graiin is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.' (Mark 4:26-34)
* * *
Gracious and loving God, remind us this day of your constant presence in our midst.  Remind us that you were present to those suffered at the hands of evil; remind us that you are with us today.  Embolden us to proclaim the gospel in the face of all that objects and give us the courage to seek justice, to cherish freedom and to live in your love – towards you and towards one another.  Amen.
* * *
Imagine for a moment the scatterer of the seeds.  Let a picture form in your mind.  Perhaps a image of a solitary figure tossing seeds as they walk the land takes shape.  Maybe a woman hunched over a row in her garden dropping seeds into the cultivated soil.  Or a big machine shooting seeds into the air letting gravity and chance take charge.
To scatter means to “throw in various, random directions without a particular plan or structure.”  Random and directionless but with hope.  There is a hopefulness to the seed throwers action – a hope that most of the seed will fall into cultivated so that it may lead to something more. 
With this idea of scattering in mind, then those who left messages on scraps of paper by the railroad tracks on the night of the deportations could also be considered “seed scatterers”.  The word “scattered” was used to describe what someone saw on the evening of June 14th 1941.  “Scattered along the railroad tracks were farewell notes writtern by the deported to their families.”  Scattered attempts to notify others of what has happened, scattered papers filled with emotion toward loved ones, scattered notes of hope.  Pieces of paper thrown in various random directions without a particular plan or structure – but with a purpose.  Thrown in the hope that the note will come to reach a family member.
Both the sower and the sufferer scattered the seeds they had in a hope that something fruitful would result.
* * *   
[...]
Published 15|07|2015

Rev. Pauls Barbins

LELCA sends letter to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (LELCA) and it’s congregations across the U.S. are joining in prayer with their African Methodist Episcopal brothers and sisters after June 17’s deadly church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. 

As a people of faith we are committed to social justice and opposed to gun violence and racism, we grieve the lives lost and destroyed by this horrendous act of violence. The true reality is that we are all impacted by the horror that occurred in your place of worship. LELCA offers our deepest sympathies to your faith community in this difficult time.

Let us remember the words of the prophet Isaiah that offer support: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

In God’s love we join with all of our Latvian congregations around the world to pray for you during this time of healing. 

Rev. Gunars Lazdins
President

Lauma Zusevics                        
+ Archbishop
Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad 

Rev. Dag Demandt
Director of Information
Published 27|06|2015

Archbishop Lauma Zusevics heading to Europe

On May 8, 2015 Archbishop Lauma Zusevics, together with Dean Andris Abakuks and his wife, Ruta, will commemorate Latvia's role in leading the European Union.

On May 9 she will head to Rofant, England, to take part in that country's Synodal meeting.  They expect members from Ireland will also to take part. On Sunday, she will say the sermon in the Mother's day service, which will also include a mini-sermon for the children.
[...]
Published 07|05|2015

Baiba Liepins

LATVIAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH ABROAD HAS A NEW ARCHBISHOP

In a moving and powerful service on April 19, 2015, LELBAL consecrated it's first female Archbishop - Lauma Zusevics. Mt. Zion Church in Wauwatosa was filled to capacity, with close to 500 worshippers witnessing the historic event.

The service started with an organ prelude with the rev. Dr. Anita Gaide at the church's magnificent organ, followed by a rousing trumpet solo expertly blown by Dr. Benjamin Alle, and accompanied by Ernests Brusubardis III.

[...]
Published 24|04|2015

Baiba Liepins

New Archbishop Lauma Zusevica

Archbishop Elmārs Ernst Rozītis in the November 3rd LELBĀL Executive meeting announced that the Board had unanimously voted to confer on Bishop Elect Lauma Zušēvica the title of „archbishop”. Archbishop Zušēvica is the first woman in the history of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad to hold that honor.

The installation ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI.

Published 21|11|2014

Baiba Liepins

Dean Gunārs Lazdiņš - new president of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

On October 25, 2014 members attending the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Synod in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, voted Dean Gunārs Lazdiņš as their new president. For the past 9 years, the position was held by Dean Lauma Zušēvics, who was recently elected as the Bishop of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.
Published 14|11|2014

Edija Banka-Demandta

Dean Lauma Zušēvics voted in as the new Bishop of Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad.

The Bishop Voting Committee announced on October 15, 2014 that Dean Lauma Zušēvica received the majority of the votes. 205 ballots were sent out and the response rate was 95%.

Dean Zušēvica received 140 votes. Dean Andris Abakums received 35 votes and Dean. Fritz kristbergs received 19 votes. One returned vote was invalid. Votes came in from 10 countries – U.S.A., Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Kanada, Russia, Latvia, Great Britain, Germany and Sweden.

Published 14|11|2014

Edija Banka-Demandta
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