Latvian Recreation Centre
Built in 1960, Sidrabene’s unique outdoor chapel has served as the location of dozens of weddings, Confirmations, Baptisms/Christenings and countless hundreds of weekly worship services. During the summer months, St. Andrew’s Toronto congregation makes its way west twice weekly to enjoy the pristine beauty of their outdoor chapel and to praise God for all he has provided. The gardens and maze adjoining the church to the west provide further locations to get lost in one’s thoughts and contemplate life’s endless wonders.
The open-air church in Sidrabene is a sanctuary for many. We gather there to worship, but also to sit and simply be in the presence of God and God’s grace. During summer months we worship in the outdoor church, weather permitting. From October, we gather in the main building in Sidrabene on the first Sunday in the month to refresh ourselves and be restored as a "Gathering" in a simple pattern of worship. After worship we eat together and take part in activities designed for all age groups. All activities are in both languages, except for the Latvian language class.
We celebrate Holy Communion at all our services in Sidrabene, with the exception of services during summer camp. In this way, we emphasize that Word and the bread and the wine unite us and strengthen us with Christ’s presence. At the same time, Holy Communion affirms our connection to one another, those present, and those who have gone before and will follow after us. Children are particularly welcome during worship: during communion they receive just the bread. Worship during summer camp focuses on primarily on that community. Campers usually take a leading role: singing, reading, acting the Bible story. On Wednesday evenings camp meets for candlelight worship. It is a pause for peace in the craziness of the camp week, much enjoyed by campers, as they give thanks and praise to God for the good thing they have experienced and entrust their loved ones, two-legged and four-legged, to God’s keeping.