Nestled along the Baltic Sea, the small country of Latvia harbors a wealth of culture, compassion and hope. A former Soviet state, Latvia regained its independence in 1991. Since then, the country has gradually grown its connections around the world. Specifically, the churches in Latvia have partnered with many churches across the world to grow together in faith and outreach to the community. Several churches in Texas and across the United States partner with churches in Latvia. For example, in the town of Cesis (approximately 88 km from the capital city of Riga), the Baptist Church shares an on-going connection with the First Baptist Church in Athens, Texas. The Methodist Church in Cesis shares a relationship with Smithfield United Methodist Church in North Richland Hills, Texas.
These on-going relationships have created opportunities for the churches to share together in various ministries. Latvia is known for its arts and music festivals, and so it is no surprise that the churches would share music with one another. The Cesis Baptist Church has partnered with the Athens First Baptist Church to develop a bell choir, which has been visiting Texas since April 1. They have played in various venues so far, and will be headed to the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Saturday, April 9. On Sunday morning, April 10, the Cesis Bell Choir will play in worship services at First United Methodist Church in Grapevine. That evening, the choir will be in concert at Smithfield United Methodist Church in North Richland Hills.
Here are the details of Sunday's events:
- The Cesis Bell Choir will play at 8:30 AM in Founders Chapel, and at 9:45 and 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church Grapevine, located at 422 Church Street (one block west of Historic Downtown Grapevine).
- The Cesis Bell Choir Concert will be at 5:00 PM at Smithfield Untied Methodist Church, located at 6701 Smithfield Road in North Richland Hills. A pot luck fellowship dinner will follow; please bring a side dish or dessert to share. The concert is free and open to the public.
All are invited to come enjoy the joining of faith and culture with our friends from Latvia!
First Baptist Church, Athens - www.lovingtheworld.com
Smithfield United Methodist Church - www.smithfieldumc.org
First Untied Methodist Church, Grapevine - www.firstmethodistgrapevine.org