St. Andrew’s Evangelical Lutheran Latvian Church has been ministering to the needs of the Toronto Latvian community for 66 years and changed over time.
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Founded by World War II refugees from their Soviet occupied homeland, Latvia, to serve Latvian Lutherans who had made their new home in Toronto, the congregation has now become a more diverse community that includes ethnically mixed marriages and families where the Latvian language is not spoken at home. The services and activities of our congregation of about 600 members now embraces both the Latvian language as well as English.
From 1951 the St. Andrew’s church at 383 Jarvis St., Toronto, was the jointly-owned home for both the Latvian and Estonian Lutheran congregations until October 1, 2015 when the church property was sold.
St. Andrew’s Latvian congregation has begun a new partnership with St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Latvian Church and, as of January 2015, moved their worship and Sunday services as well as other activities to St. John’s church location at 200 Balmoral Ave. The administrative office has also moved to this location.
In 1953 the congregation bought their country property – Sidrabene at 5100 Appleby Line, Burlington, which serves as a recreation and retreat centre and operates a children’s summer camp. It has an outdoor chapel where services are held every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening in the summer during camp, and on the first Sunday of every month from October to June.
Since 1997 the pastor at St. Andrew’s is Ilze Kuplēns-Ewart.
Congregational leadership is provided by the Church Council chaired by Voldemārs Innus.
St. Andrew’s Evangelical Lutheran Latvian Church belongs to the Eastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church outside Latvia (LELBāL) and the Latvian Evangelical Church of America (LELBA).