Tag Archives: Leif Magne Helgesen

Revue Review: New book highlights 24 years of satirical and sentimental Svalbard stage shows – and its primary creator

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She entered the theater last and stood at the far right of the choir line, well out of range of the stage lights (and, as usual, was the last to leave that night long after the lights went out as she indulged in her lifelong addiction of tidying up).

But much as she sought to have others shine, there was no way Anne Lise Klungseth Sandvik was not going to be the focus of attention when it came to reliving some of the most laughable and illuminating moments she has brought to the stage of that historic building for the past quarter of a century.

MASS ADVENTURE: Leif Mage Helgesen leaves Earth-awakening experience as Svalbard Church’s priest, begins another with a pilgrimage throughout Asia

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Whether it’s about surviving in combat zones, a polar bear attack, or an avalanche that killed a close friend and inflicted trauma on the community, during the past 12 years Leif Magne Helgesen mastered the spiritual skill of keeping cool.

And his singing rowdy songs with the local miners’ choir, cavorting through satirical stage skits, presiding over Masses in spectacular outdoor settings, and writing books about heated topics like climate change and the West Bank (not to mention some nude photos of him showing up in publications) are just some of the blessed ways he can warm up a crowd.

Saintly 60: Svalbard Church celebrating six decades of bringing the highest spirits to the world’s northernmost town

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Tone Nødtvedt says Svalbard Church still looks pretty much the same as when it opened 60 years ago and became her childhood home because her father, Erling, was its first priest. It’s spirit is also largely the same, thanks to a main interior where the social gathering space was vastly expanded from the original plans – making it larger than the space for services – at her father’s insistence.

NEW CALLING: Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen departing after 12 years; leaving a storied legacy as community counselor, ambassador and controversial crusader

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Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen, who during the past 12 years has been one of Svalbard’s most prominent persons for his many roles ranging from lighthearted entertainer to controversial global political activist, is departing in October to become an ambulant seaman’s minister in Asia.

‘Fight against evil’: Svalbard Church priest’s Easter serman denounces anti-immigrant minister, Israeli attacks in Gaza

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Never one to shy from controversy, Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen used his Easter Mass to denounce deadly Israeli attacks against Palestinian protesters and a Norwegian minister stirring up fears of foreigners and the mass murders by Anders Behring Breivik in a narrative about fear and the need to not submit to hopelessness against fighting it.

No so eternal: Longyearbyen Cemetery must be moved due to landslide threat, church leader says

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The cliché is Longyearbyen is the town you can’t die in because your body won’t stay buried in the ground. But now there are plans to move the cemetery where those who have died here are buried because the graves face the threat of being obliterated by landslides.

“The cemetery is located in an area at risk of slides both during summer and winter, and something has to be done,” Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen told Svalbardposten.

Is priest full of BDS? Israeli newspaper accuses Leif Magne Helgesen of ‘venting his antisemitic fury and rage’ from afar

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Leif Magne Helgesen has been attacked by Israelis plenty of times – physically and in writing – so he isn’t letting the latest one bother him.

The priest at Svalbard Church is scathingly criticized in a column published Sept. 1 in Israel Hayom, accusing him of “venting his antisemitic fury and rage at a country that could not possibly be further removed from him.” It was written by Judith Bergman, described as a writer and political analyst living in Israel, after reading about his call last year for a boycott of all Israeli products.

Random weirdness for the week of July 5, 2016

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Since this week seems to be our “reality check” issue, we’re leading with something whose only local connection is it involves our unofficial “sister city” in the U.S., but is high on our rant list for WTF Are Climate Change Deniers Thinking??!! It was a chilling weekend in Juneau, Alaska, where within a day of each other: 1) record flooding occurred when a glacial ice dam collapsed and released an entire lake on the town, and 2) a 1,225-meter-high mountainside spontaneously collapsed on a glacier field a bit further north.

Random weirdness for the week of April 19, 2016

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Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen, who famous in this space for some of the naughtiest photos we’ve ever published  (and that’s saying something), found a whole new way to be bad this week with a snowmobile streering selfie posted on his Facebook page that suggests a bit of, um, faithful navigation. “I do not think this is accepted as a dignified execution of the Traffic Safety Act,” wrote former Svalbard Lt. Gov. Jens Olaf Saether, using a devilish emoticon as punctuation. Of course, being a still photo there’s no actual proof of a moving violation and since he lived to post it apparently his boss didn’t blow a gasket over it…

Leaping year: One-day delay gives hundreds reason to jump for joy under clear skies as sun ‘returns’ after four months

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The year 2016 will be remembered as the perfect time to be bissextile.

Several hundred people experienced one of Longyearbyen’s most spectacular “return of the sun” celebrations ever, thanks to leap year delaying the ceremony from a cloudy Monday to a cloudless Tuesday. Wearing sun costumes, facepaint and other solar insignia, they began their annual chant toward the southern horizon at 12:50 p.m. while circled around an ancient set of wooden steps that have not seen sunlight in four months.