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SID WEEKEND DAY CAMP starting July 24-26

SID WEEKEND DAY CAMP starting July 24-26

BREAKING NEWS! Camp Sidrabene is happy to announce that after much planning we will be able to offer SID Weekend Day Camp for Summer 2020!  Thank you to parents, Pārvalde, Padome and volunteers for all your help and support!
Camp dates will be:
July 24-26 / July 31- August 2 / August 7-9

More information and registration forms will be sent to SID parents by email very shortly, or please visit the church website ( as information will be added as soon as possible. Any questions please contact:

SIDRABENE: COVID-19 Phase 2 opening rules

SIDRABENE: COVID-19 Phase 2 opening rules

Sveiciens Sv. Andreja draudzes locekļiem un Sidrabeniešiem!

Sidrabenes Pārvalde is pleased to announce that on June 17th, Padome (Church Council), in accordance with the Ontario Government announcement of June 14th to move into Phase 2 COVID regulations with Halton region included in those changes, passed a motion to open Sidrabene this weekend, starting Friday June 19th, for Latvian folks including Leaseholders and Church Congregation members. PLEASE NOTE:

>no Jāņi celebrations or programmes are planned

>there will be no food or beverages available

>only one public bathroom is available; there will be no “Porta-potties” on site

>physical distancing & keeping group limits is crucial

>Gate (parking) dues will be payable if you don’t have a season pass

>Pool is not open

While in Sidrabene, please ensure you observe all the same COVID rules as in day-to-day life.

Here are some details of what to expect:

1) Gate Duty will be in effect:

  • Friday, June 19, 5pm – 8pm
  • Saturday, June 20, 9am – 8pm
  • Sunday, June 21, 10am – 2pm
  • Swing gate at the entrance will be padlocked at 11pm each night
  • COVID appropriate measures in place to protect the Gate Duty personnel as well as those arriving in vehicles

2) Vehicle drivers will be expected to either show their Season’s pass or pay $10 for day parking / $60 for season pass.  Money exchange will be contactless with physical distancing in effect.

3) Overnight camping is now permitted by Gov’t regulations with the following guidelines:
“While the maximum size of social gatherings is increasing to 10 people, up from the previous limit of 5, physical distancing is still required.

Campers must adhere to social gathering size restrictions and maintain 2-metre physical distancing with people outside their household and when outside of their campsites.

4) The washroom facility near the dance floor will be open and marked with COVID regulation signs; please observe these. An increased cleaning frequency will be in effect, but please use provided cleaning materials on your own as well.

5) All buildings will be closed and off limits

6) Basketball court, playground equipment will remain closed as per Gov’t guidelines.

7) Pavilion and Kafē courtyard will be set up with appropriately distanced tables.

8) Pool unfortunately will not be open as the post-repairs Halton inspection was not completed before the weekend despite our request.


On behalf of Pārvalde / Pārvaldes vārdā – Mārtiņš Mežulis

SIDRABENE & Covid-19: information

SIDRABENE & Covid-19: information

Sveiki, Sv. Andreja draudzes locekļi!

Hoping you are all keeping well in these unusual times, and I’m sure we are all awaiting some nicer weather to arrive as well!

In previous years May has signalled the unofficial opening of Sidrabene for cottagers and the Church congregation. Unfortunately, this year Sidrabene is currently operating under the Covid-19 (coronavirus) guidelines, which have disrupted most of the familiar conditions.
The situation is still the same as was outlined in an e-mail sent out by Pārvalde on April 9th (see below). Here is a quick recap of what to expect:

  • The gate continues to be padlocked 24/7; you will need to manage entry & exit of any visitors to your cottage by personally relocking the gate each time.
  • No persons will be at the Gatehouse monitoring entry (no Gate Duty for now) or checking season passes; all Leaseholders were sent a season pass.
  • All facilities are still locked down, including: Pool, Tuck Shop, Pavilion, SudrabKalns (main building), CāļuKalns (Children’s camp building), Ķemeri, Ambulance, playgrounds and equipment; access may be restored when government changes are announced.
  • Public washroom just past the left of the Gatehouse will be closedin accordance with extensive cleaning regulations that we cannot provide.
  • External camps and Sidrabene children’s camp are currently on hold and in all likely-hood will not run this year.
  • Use of grounds for walks, jogging, bike riding etc. is permitted while respecting physical distancing for persons not members of your “household”.
  • Church members with a key are welcome to use the grounds as they choose (respecting Covid-19 guidelines that prohibit gatherings of more than 5 persons.
  • Purchase of additional gate padlock keys is not available at this time.
  • Regretfully there areno planned annual events such as the Opening Social, or any type of Jāņi “open gate” celebrations, Irish nights, horseshoe and bocce tourneys, concerts or other public gatherings for the time being.
  • “Talka” days are still required for ALL Leaseholders on an individual basis, and work to be done can be arranged with Andy Grīnbergs directly.

Thank you for your patience and consideration in the above. Any changes announced by the Ontario and regional governments that impact how we currently operate Sidrabene will be closely monitored and adhered to with updates sent to the Sidrabene and church community.

Mart Mežulis
Sidarabenes Pārvalde 2020

E-mail sent on April 9th:

If you are planning to come to your cottage and/or are planning to have non-family members visit you while you are at your cottage, you need to be aware that the Guidelines posted by the City of Burlington and the Ontario government both apply within the Sidrabene property.

More detailed information from the Ontario government can be found at this link:

City of Burlington guidelines:

Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most important steps everyone needs to take. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t move on its own; it needs people to move it. To discourage people from gathering and to help reduce the transmission of the virus, the City of Burlington is closing all vehicular access to our parks. Only walking, jogging, riding a bike or scooter/wheelchair through a park or trail is permitted. Remember to keep 2 metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick. The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home.

All amenities in our parks have already been closed, please continue to respect the caution tape and keep off of playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, te

News Regarding COVID-19 and Pastor Ilze Kuplēns-Ewart

News Regarding COVID-19 and Pastor Ilze Kuplēns-Ewart

News Regarding COVID-19 and Pastor Ilze Kuplēns-Ewart

St. Andrew’s Ev. Lutheran Latvian Congregation, Pastor Ilze Kuplēns-Ewart and our Council are following Ontario guidelines with respect to COVID-19. We are using new ways to provide the spiritual care so desperately needed at this time. Some examples are: online weekly worship “reflections”, bible studies in both Latvian and English, and phoning our more vulnerable members.

In light of the pandemic and its global impact, Council has asked Pastor Ilze Kuplēns-Ewart to stay on as our spiritual leader until the end of 2020. We are pleased that Pastor Ilze has agreed to do so, on a part-time basis. Starting July 1st, Pastor Ilze will be available for 3 weeks out of 4 monthly.

Once COVID-19 restrictions allow, we will return to the following schedule: on the first Sunday of each month worship will be at Sidrabene, and on the second and fourth Sundays at 200 Balmoral Ave.

Pastor Ilze’s monthly week off will begin after each 2nd Sunday, up to and including the 3rd Sunday. Our Church administrator, Sarma Gaide, and your Council will continue to assist you throughout.

Meanwhile, our Call Committee continues to work toward finding our new pastor. We will provide updates as they become available.

Please read our weekly e-mail “blasts”, sent every Sunday. Also enjoy our weekly YouTube worship “reflections”. Contact the Church office to have mailings sent out, should online technology be an issue.

Ar Dieva palīgu – Indra Mertens, Council Chair

In sickness and in health – arch. Lauma

In sickness and in health – arch. Lauma

In sickness and in health

In a recent comic strip, Arlo ponders: “If either of us gets it, the other probably will, too, you know.” Janis answers, “I know”, and then places her arm on his as both look over their shopping list. Their conversation made me think of wedding vows. Though there are many variations, many vows still contain the promise to love and respect one another for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until God separates the couple through death. During this unprecedented time of Covid-19 vows once shared between married friends have been pondered in new ways.

Each marriage is unique. Only one unifies millions, symbolically, but powerfully. In the fifth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul exhorts married Christians to abide in mutual love that is as strong and selfless as that of Christ toward the Church. He writes that it is, indeed, a mystery that Christ joins in union to the Church, as a husband to his wife. Our Lord is and will be faithful to us, His Church, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.

And we, the body of believers that are the Church have been faithful to Him.   Communicating His message of grace, mercy, and love in new ways, the work of the Church continues. We serve the person who increasingly feels alone and in fear of getting ill, or not being able to pay outstanding bills, in the hope that they might find Christ’s peace through our sharing of the gospel. Or so the growing number of grieving hearts might be comforted, even as their sorrow is compounded by feelings of despair and guilt at not having been able to be with their loved one as they died. As the body of Christ we continue to affirm the healing power of forgiveness that can strengthen all marriages, especially as spouses realize they have not always been the ‘better half’ for the other. United with parents who struggle in unexpected teaching roles, we have been listening and sharing that if they love their children through it all, their little ones will have learned lessons will truly make them wiser. Thank you to all who together are doing the work of the Church.

A marriage therapist has helped save many a marriage by suggesting that each spouse daily share a compliment as a sign of gratitude. When couples were perplexed about what to thank the other for, the therapist bid them to start noticing the little things usually taken for granted. Thinking of Paul’s words, I thought, what if we are symbolically gifting Christ to whom we belong by sharing our thanks with our congregations through our kind words, our prayers and our donations?

Some have noted how worshiping together in the virtual world makes it is easier to forget to contribute as we would each Sunday. If this time of uncertainty has made it hard for some to do, know others step will carry you as sisters and brothers in Christ. We are grateful for all the gifts shared, whether they be monetary or spiritual – they all bless the work of Church! We long to remain faithful to Christ and one another – in sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer – thus fulfilling the promises we have made to our lifelong Friend, Jesus Christ.

In His love,

+ Lauma


Foto: Baiba Rēdmane

Sometime in the night… by arch. Lauma

Sometime in the night… by arch. Lauma

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. God will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber.” (Ps 121:2-3)

This year we started to scatter birdseed on the ground, though the squirrels usually had their fill before the birds. So, we decided to get a birdfeeder. My husband, Ivars, thought a lot about how to hang it so all the squirrels might not reach the seeds. Both of us had hope, that the squirrels could just eat the seeds that fell as the birds feasted.

It was raining last night, though we could still see the birdfeeder, filled to the brim. Today, the sun was barely dawning when I saw the empty birdfeeder! What a gift! To be able to smile about the ingenuity of whatever animal ‘outfoxed’ all of our efforts! Were they squirrels? I doubt it. Perhaps the deer that sometimes greet us early, early in the morning? The answer will remain a mystery. I did not see any footprints in the wet soil, but I did sense that God had been here, perhaps reminding me to trust in the One, who does not slumber, nor sleep. Even in the night He continues to care for His creation and all of us, His children – in so many ways unknown to us.

We continue to hope that the amazing technology and science created and discovered by people will conquer Covid-19, yet many questions will remain unanswered. Are we being redirected to not lose hope, but trust ever more completely in Him, who created heaven and earth? He knows how the birdfeeder emptied in the night. It is natural that we want to have answers for many, very serious questions, during this horrific time. We want to know, how long, what will life be like, will we make it through, how can we help? Especially those, who work also neither slumber nor sleep as they continue to care for others in our place, and hope that each new morning will bring renewed strength and health, comfort for those who are grieving and struggling. As in nature. When winter yields to spring and night storms bring an explosion of color to the world. Seems God rarely answers our specific questions, but continues to affirm: “The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, (or shelter at home) both now and forever.” (Ps 121:7-8)

Lord Jesus, you so wisely taught: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (Mt. 6:26a) Thank you, Heavenly Father, for this assurance, and that we can trust you in your help today, and always. Our efforts will not always be sufficient, our hopes will not always be fulfilled, but you continue to provide for and bless your children, and all of your creation. We pray, Father, bless us each, as in the night. May your merciful will be done – on earth as it is in heaven. Āmen.


Bible study: a little different from the usual…

Bible study: a little different from the usual…
Did you know the Bible is also full of stories of love, and the other? This is your opportunity to get to know some of them.
So, take that Bible down from the shelf, dust it off, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and join our virtual Bible study to find out more.
We’ll meet on Thursdays at 11am. First meeting: April 23
Please register with Sarma Gaide ( to register and get the code for the GoToMeeting.