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Showing posts from April, 2020

Lutheran Cathedral in Liepaja

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Most American Lutherans think that the terms cathedral and Lutheran don't go together, however, in European countries it isn't unusual to find them describing a church in a city. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in the city of Liepaja is an example of this.


Liepaja is a large town in the western coast of Latvia, close to the Baltic Sea. It's a couple hours drive from Riga. Last fall, Bishop Hanss Martins Jensons drove us to this city and gave us a tour of this cathedral. His office is based in Liepaja, so Holy Trinity has now become a cathedral because this is his church.



The outside of the church, constructed in 1758 in the late Baroque era, is currently under reconstruction, so I don't have any pictures of it, but the inside was very beautiful. The golden, intricate decorations in the chancel, however, attest to the fact that it's decorated in the Rococo style.





The organ of Holy Trinity is the world's largest mechanical organ with 7000 pipes. It was rebuilt to it…

Riga's Version of Bremen Town Musicians

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Many of you probably have heard the story "The Town Musicians of Bremen" or maybe remember something about a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster standing on top of one another. Riga has a statue depicting this story right next to St. Peter Lutheran Church.


When I first saw it, I remembered the fairy tale from my childhood about these four animals heading out from their farm because they felt old and useless. After conferring with each other, they decide to go to the town of Bremen to become musicians and live in freedom.



While they were walking on the road to the town, they spotted a cottage nearby. When they looked through the window, they saw robbers, counting stolen money. The four friends decided to chase the robbers away, so the dog climbed on the donkey's back, the cat climbed on the dog's back, and the rooster stood on the cat's back. The four animals then proceeded to make so much noise that the robbers ran away, scared to death. The four then decided to move …

This is a Dry Topic

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A dryer is a dryer. Or is it? That is the question. I thought there was an obvious answer to that question until we moved into our flat here in Riga. The first time I attempted to dry clothes the machine ran for hours and the clothes were warm, but far from dry.


I was fortunate enough to discover that the direction book on top of the dryer had an English section which I poured over trying to figure out the problem. After reading the problem solving page, I figured out the answer to the question above. All dryers are not created equal.


I haven't had too much experience with dryers in Europe (drying racks are the norm) -- in fact this is only the second time I've used one, but this dryer was definitely not my typical experience with these machines. This is a ventless dryer. Instead of blowing the moist air out of the vent to the outside, this dryer somehow collects all the moisture from the clothes into a tank. I picture it to be something like an de-humidifier that takes the m…

After the Shutdown

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When we can once again join other fellow Christians in worship, St. John's in Riga will be our home church because this is the one congregation that will have English worship services. We were invited into the church last week to speak to the pastors about the possibility of doing online services even before we can gather there.


St. John's dates back to 1297 when it was built as a chapel for the Dominican cloister nearby. The chapel was destroyed in a fire in the 1400s and then rebuilt as a much larger church.


When the Lutheran Reformation came to Riga in the early 1500s, the church building changed from Catholic worship to Lutheran worship. The chancel area was added soon after, almost doubling the size of the worship space.


The vaulted ceiling of the church is decorated with a magnificent webbed pattern. This is a unique feature of this building, making this a must-see spot for tourists.



The church is filled with typical Lutheran fixtures from the crucifix-adorned altar to …