Tag Archives: Svalbard Church

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.

Fill of Filipinos: Rapidly growing community of residents from Philippines host first evening to celebrate food, culture

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Louie Sangalang, 40, arrived in Longyearbyen from the Philippines on Aug. 4 intending to travel much further north a few days later to run the North Pole Marathon, only to get a huge and expensive setback when the race was delayed at least a week, leaving him stuck in town. But during his first day here he visited the local supermarket where he was certain one of the women working there was from his homeland.

‘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.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 30, 2015

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LNSS taking over transport of coal from Mine 7 in Sept. 
LNS Spitsbergen will take over the transport of coal from Mine 7 to Longyearbyen’s power plant and the coal pier at Hotellneset as of Sept. 1 under contract signed Tuesday with Store Norske.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 23, 2015

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Time again for Svalbard’s most intoxicating contest
The official arrival of summer means it’s time to deal with the season’s really big question: when will the “stem” of the enormous champaign glass on Operafjellet break?

Sacrifice for thee, but not for me? Prayers for global action and local coal mining launch ‘climate pilgrimage’

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As the first step in a “climate pilgrimage,” it was a precarious one. Prayers for leaders to help the global community by taking action to combat climate change – accompanied by prayers for leaders to help the local community by keeping coal mining alive in Svalbard.

Random weirdness for the week of April 7, 2015

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We never thought one day we’d be yearning yet more insistence from scientists that Svalbard’s polar bears are kin to the Abominable Snowmen roaming the Himalayas, but it seems like teaming the furry kinsfolk up may be a good idea to ward off an invasive species threat a certain boffin says we may face.