Address at Martiņš’ Birthday

Address by Pastor Jürgen Philipps at the commemoration of Martins Urdze on 27 August 2021.

Dear congregation!

And now says the Lord who created you:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have saved thee, because I have saved thee; for I have called thee by thy name;
I call thee by my name.
(Isaiah 43,1).

Fear not, God said, God says to Martin, God says to us. You are protected in my love, in life, in death and in dying, now and forever.

For I have redeemed you, says God, my love for you knows no bounds.

I call you by your name, Martin. I know your strength and also your weakness, and also all the weight that you carry with the people whom God has entrusted to you.

God says: I am coming to you. I am with you, you belong to me, you are dear to me. You are dear to me.


Jürgen Philipps – Memorial Sermon

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Dear friends of Martin!
Dear companions!

Welcome to the memorial service with prayer for Martin Urdze.

While we are thinking of Martin today, the funeral service is taking place on the same day in Latvia.

God, who introduced himself to us humans as “I am here for you”, his Son Jesus Christ, our brother, and the Holy Spirit, of love and mercy, will accompany us in our remembrance.

We pause in the silence of prayer.


Mārtiņš’ Final Weeks


Already last November, Mārtiņš began to not feel well. He was tired and had lost his appetite, and his long-awaited hernia repair surgery was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In January his stomach began to bulge and it became difficult for him to eat. Only in early March did the doctors discover the cause of his illness and diagnosed metastases in the stomach, but they were unable to precisely locate the primary tumour. In the oncology department at the Liepāja Hospital they began him on chemotherapy, and he continued oral chemotherapy in tablet form.

We were well aware of the fact that Mārtiņš’ illness was not curable. At the same time, the chemotherapy gave us hope that it might be able to prolong his life, even if only for a short time.


Liepāja Church of the Cross congregation (Krusta draudze) and the people at the Diaconal Centre

Saying farewell to Mārtiņš Urdze

Don’t be afraid, I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to me. (Isaiah 43:1)

The problem with society today is that there are no longer any role models whom one might wish to emulate. Eventually one always experiences or discovers something unpleasant: selfishness, greed, deceit, envy, impudence, malevolence, hypocrisy, lust for power…

But with you, Mārtiņš, it was different. The longer and better one got to know you, the more your simplicity, sincerity, serenity, humbleness and modesty were revealed. You had time to stop and show respect to those whom others hurriedly and even gladly pass by. You knew how to see those who are in pain, those who are struggling. You had the courage to tell the truth and fight against injustice and falseness, and you encouraged others to do so as well. You were not interested in hierarchies and outwardly ostentation. You tried to lessen the boundaries between those who have power and the simple people, thus making room for listening, hearing, kindness and humanity. The main thing was to notice the “small person” and see something good in everyone.


Nicole Rönnspieß, Diakonie Schleswig-Holstein

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

I often think of Martin when I run my rounds in the forest….

In the midst of all the magnificent, bright green trees, there are isolated trees that have been felled or fallen by storms or lightning, whose lives came to an end too soon.

And although they lie on the ground, they give life and shelter to so many plants and animals. So they give life even after their death.

When I walk through the forest like this and look at these trees, I have to think of Martin –

how he gave security during his life, sheltering people under his “leaves”,

but how even after his death, many people continue to grow and the shelter he created continues to give them protection…

like every fallen tree.

Nicole Rönnspieß

Varis Bitenieks

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

I met Martins in Liepaja in 1997 or 1998 at one of the Grobiņa pastors’ district conventions in Liepaja. He didn’t speak Latvian very well then, but he was energetic and someone who understood church life more than just leading worship. This was a big difference from other pastors. I liked it because it was in line with the views I had acquired at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Latvia. Martins and I had several things in common.


Niks Kadeģis

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

One of my first adventures with Martins was attending a football match in his hometown VfB Oldenburg with Tom about 40 years ago. Both brothers were very supportive of the team and lived with the successes and failures of the club. During the game, I was struck by Martin’s gently smiling attitude towards the team’s repeated failure. I saw this gentle smiling attitude towards everyday pleasures together with seriousness in spiritual search every time I met Martins in the following decades.

Later in life, he buried my father in Liepāja with great affection. For this I would like to thank him again! I will always remember Martins for these two qualities – a sweet smile towards people and a great seriousness towards God.


Michael Jonas, Subkommende Oldenburg des Johanniterordens

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

In 2003, the Oldenburg sub-command of the Order of St John took over the sponsorship of a congregation in Latvia from the then Diakonisches Werk in Oldenburg. At that time, I did not even know exactly where Latvia, or even Liepaja, was located – and I knew nothing of the many historical connections between Oldenburg and Latvia.

A few weeks later, in a most stormy sea voyage, I sailed together with the Rocksien couple and a lorry full of 5.5 tons of relief supplies by ferry to Liepaja, where we arrived in the evening at 10 pm, quite exhausted and seasick. At customs there was a slim, tall, somewhat awkward-looking friendly man who greeted me warmly and with a few words guided me past the awkward customs and entry control – Latvia was not yet in the EU and the friendly man showed his competence right at the first meeting, many people in Liepaja knew him and associated him with the church.


Rolf Giani

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

It makes you very sad because it is always the people who help others and the disadvantaged who leave far too soon. There is so much heart and soul in the diaconia, so much care for the community – with many ideas for community integration, when I think of the housing project.

I hope and wish that Pastor Urdze’s straightforward life’s work can continue and that the forward-looking church community will be able to prevail against all obstacles.

I also hope that the Diakonie will continue and that the disadvantaged people will have a sheltered home.

In solidarity,

R. Giani

Klaus Wieland, Darmstädter Initiative für Liepaja e.V.

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Our initiative mourns the death of our friend and advisor Martins Urdze. We learned to appreciate him very much in Liepaja. Through him we were able to help the Karosta kids, for example, plus the House of Hope project. We supported him in his work in the deaconry. Martin’s urdze and his advice will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace. On our entry page we have brought an obituary on Personally, I have lost a good friend as Klaus Wieland. We both come from Oldenburg.

Klaus Wieland

Steinar Eraker

I am very sorry for the loss of Martins and I want to express my condolences to you and the family!

I also want to share that I got to know Martins in Järvenpää in 2011 and met him more or less once a year since in the LVF Conviviality ‘solidarity group’ up to Doorn/Amsterdam in 2019.

I will remember him as a sincere but openminded person with a warm smile engaged in the inclusion of the dignity of every human being.

I enjoyed his devotions and sermons where the including love of God through Christ was central.

I will cherish his memory and hope the family and close friends will find strength to bear the loss and courage to go on living in the time to come.

Greetings from Oslo, Norway

Steinar Eraker, Pastor in the Church City Mission of Oslo

Waltraut und Wolter v. Tiesenhausen

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Rev. Martins Urdze was a “rock of strength”, a fighter and champion for God with soft tones. His humour and laughter was always contagious and comforting even in the most difficult situations. An irreplaceable advisor for us – and advocate for the poor, the elderly and people with disabilities for many years. We say goodbye with love and gratitude !”

Waltraut und Wolter v. Tiesenhausen

Anna Stepčenko

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Mārtiņš Urdze

In memoria

I met Martins in 2015, when we were in working group meetings with potential partners preparing the application for the European Union Baltic Sea Region Joint Project “Social Empowerment in the Regions” (SEMPRE). The project application was considered a good one and implementation started in early 2016. Latvia was represented by the University of Latvia, Liepaja Diakonija centrs and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.


Taisija Hristoļubova

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I met Mr Mārtiņš Urdzes in the 1990s, when Waltraute von Thiesenhausen, a benefactress of Liepāja and the initiator of the friendship with Darmstadt, visited the Ilgi Nursing Home while she was here, as she was becoming active in the social sphere. There were also large bilateral meetings, for which I was also invited as an interpreter. Even then I had a very good impression of the pastor. I also realised that he was not a stranger to the social institution and could then tell me a lot about the life of the residents and give good advice. In the following years we also met by chance at various events, including seminars. He was always kind and friendly. In the Church of the Cross, apart from the services, there was sometimes, for example, a mono-performance in German, dedicated to Easter, organised by the Goethe-Institut. There our German-Latvian members of the Liepāja German-Latvian meeting were able to participate in very large numbers and afterwards to talk to the organisers.

In my memory, there was also the Apple Festival, which was held every autumn in the church yard. I express my condolences to all the relatives of this nice and bright man on the passing away of Pastor Martins Urdzi…

Ruhe in Gott!

Taisija Hristoļubova un Liepājas vācu-latviešu tikšanās centra biedri

Doris Scheer

In our project work (and we did quite a number of projects…) I always enjoyed talking to Martin in coffee breaks and over lunch. Not only because we were friends and shared private matters, but also because Martin was the person to bring us back down to earth – away from the project language and technical work issues. He made us see the people who we were working for and was very often the critical voice reminding us of our responsibility. It was not all serious talk, though, we also enjoyed light dinner talks, talking about trips we had been on, people we had met, books we came across and funny episodes we had encountered.

So all in all, I am really going to miss a good friend, and will keep all the lovely memories in my heart.

Thank you for the lovely family picture which shows Martin with his loved-ones being cared for and being surrounded by love and warmth.

Doris Scheer

Kristīne Dzelme

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Human life is not short,
Human life is human.

(I. Gāliņš)

My condolences to each and every one of you who were with Martins in the Diakonija Centre.

Martins – A man, a personality, who cared for those people who deserved the greatest support from the state and the municipality.

Martins was the little but at the same time big, in the best sense of the word, elf who poked, prodded and made people’s stories of pain heard. He was a comforter to many people.

Martins will be missed, but his presence will never go away.

Keep up the good work he started, you will surely have supporters.

Kristīne Dzelme

Selga Eglite

It is so sad news that Pastor Martin Urdze has passed away. My sincerest condolences on the passing of Martin Urdze to his mother, to his congregation of the Church of the Cross, Diacony members and to everybody who knew him. He was a very special pastor and he will be missed by many – helping others was related to his faith.

I met Martin Urdze in St. Anna Church when he arrived in Liepaja, Latvia in the 1990s (I cannot recall the precise date). I was very surprised that he told me that he is going to take care of disabled people. At that time I had seen only women doing that kind of work. He inspired me and my girl quides and I visited old and disabled people in Social Care Centre Iļģi.

At that time I was a leader of girl quides. Unfortunately, it was too hard for me to visit old and disabled people – all I saw there scared me a lot. After that I didn’t meet Pastor Martin Urdze, my life path went in a different direction.

I am sure that his life will illuminate the path he began and left behind.

Selga Eglite

Māris Gudriķis

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Martins will always remain in my memory as someone through whom I experienced God’s love. I hardly remember anything he said about faith, although he was the one who was by my side when I began to believe in Jesus, I only remember that I often went to talk to him when the Diakonia was still in Jurmalas Street and received listening, acceptance, love. When I was in the hospital, he visited me and once I remember he gave me an orange. I remember that he was a real green tea lover, because every time I was at his house he would treat me to green tea. The last conversation I had with Martin was on 19 April. On the evening of 21 April, I was on my heart and we prayed for Martin in the men’s group, that the Lord’s will be done. Martin was still alive, but I remember that a few days before he left, I woke up in the night and cried for Martin.

Māris Gudriķis

Kārlis Žols

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

To my friend, Pastor Martins!

I got to know Martins Urdzi in 2016, when the Liepāja Cross Church left the LELB and started to build its relationship with LELBAL (now LELB in the World).

Since then, we have had deep and serious conversations and shared opinions, as well as standing together against the powers that have wanted to take away the Cross church and question its status. We have shared theological questions and reflected on the history of the church. Our views have not always been in agreement. However, we have had a genuine harmony and agreement on what the Church is and what a parish is. I dare say that we have been on the same path. In spite of our disagreements at times, I have experienced a true and deep friendship with Martins. It was in the services, events and moments of communion at the Cross that I saw how, in a process that was perhaps unusual even for the traditional activities of the Church, Martin revealed himself in his simplicity as a true Pastor, indeed as a servant of Christ.


Lāsma Gaitniece

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Farewell words to Pastor Martins Urdze (1960-2021)

Last weekend brought sad news. On the afternoon of April 23, 2021, the pastor of Liepaja Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church and LELB Saraiki parish and the head of Liepaja Diakonia Centre Mārtiņš Urdze was called to God’s peace after an illness. A brave, decent and honest man of God. A clergyman who wholeheartedly cared for people not only spiritually, but also practically.


Maija Dobleniece

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

We are all fading into our own rays.
I know that we will not have a holy evening.
For our house is made of lime leaves.
They are all in the shape of hearts, none of them of gold.

Gita, Tabita and Toms, God will soothe the pain and may Martin have a bright, bright day up there.

Maija Dobelniece


This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

When I met Martins, he was mainly Tabitha’s big brother. On the occasions when we met in Oldenburg and drank hot tea together in the living room with the whole family, the conversations were often serious, theological and very impressive to me.

When I got to know Martin a little better, I discovered his quiet humour with his little laugh, his interest in football and his cool taste in music. His special, slender walk, both hands in the pockets of his corduroy trousers, was unique.

I rarely experienced Martins as a priest, but I was very grateful that he was present at my grandmother’s farewell in 1996 at the cemetery in the forest of Gigi near Rucava. He found comforting, loving words and I remember the beautiful atmosphere after the service when we all sat together outside in the garden of my grandmother’s house.

My thoughts are with you, my dear,


Maija Hansen

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

When I met Martins, he was mainly Tabitha’s big brother. On the occasions that we met in Oldenburg, drinking hot tea together with the whole family in the living room, the conversations were often serious, theological and very impressive to me.

Getting to know Martin a little better revealed his quiet humour with his little laugh, his interest in football and his cool taste in music. His special, schlendid gait, both hands tucked into the pockets of his corduroys, was unique.

As a pastor, I rarely experienced Martins, but I was very grateful that he was there in 1996 to see my grandmother off at the cemetery in the forest of Gigi near Rucava. He found comforting, loving words and I remember the lovely atmosphere after the service when we all sat together outside in the garden of my grandmother’s home.

My thoughts are with you, dearly beloved,

Translated with (free version)


The residents and employees of “Iļģi” Social Care Centre

“I still have your words,
I still have your heart,
And it seems that your eyes
Still shine from every star.”

For us at the “Iļģi” branch of the Kurzeme State Social Care Centre, pastor Mārtiņš Urdze was a special person. He greeted and found time for everyone, gladly engaging in a chat or a longer conversation.

Everyone looked forward to the one day a month that Mārtiņš visited our centre so that they could attend the church service he held.

We will remember Mārtiņš as a simple, smiling, genuine, warm-hearted person……

All of the residents and employees at the “Iļģi” centre bow their heads in sorrow and express their deepest sympathy to Mārtiņš’ family.

Sigita Urdze

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Sometimes I tell friends and acquaintances about my family. When I want to describe a very special person, I usually name Martins. I will continue to do so.

I only met Martins when I was an adult. He was always very impressive to me because he acted the way he talked. At the same time, he didn’t seem horrible at all. He was so warm, so open and so understanding.

There were always football magazines being thrown around in his house. It made him so human, so approachable, so “normal”. All this together made him, in a way, a moral role model for me. A role model who did not put any pressure on me – that would not have been appropriate for him; in that sense, he was a very easy role model.

Today I am sitting here, far away, in Darmstadt. And I am grateful that I have been able to get to know Martin.


Dace Dišlere – Musta

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I knew Martins when I worked at the Diakonija Centre in Riga. Of all, all, all the pastors and theologians I have met in my life, he has touched me the most deeply. He followed his inner voice, loved people and believed. I will never forget his speech at one of the Latvian synods around the year 2000. Martins was not afraid to speak his mind and speak the truth when all the wise heads and successful pastors were silent. I will never forget how Archbishop Vanags ridiculed his speech and made him look foolish. I will never forget that it did nothing to him – he went on his way. He was not afraid when everyone else was afraid for their place, for their comfort, for their position in the Latvian Church.

I just watched and wondered. It was the first time I saw that many things in this world are not what they seem. I wanted to be big and to do something big and I was looking for what it was for me. And Martin made me think. I am now working in Austria as a pastor in a small diaspora church and I am grateful that I can do it here. And I am grateful to Martin for this brief but infinitely valuable encounter. It accompanies me and gives me confidence in what is truly worthwhile in this life. Thank you Martins! I am so sorry that I will never meet you here again.

Dace Dišlere – Musta

Lauma Zušēvica

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

To the dear mourning family of Pastor Martins Urdza, to the Liepaja Cross Church, to friends!

On behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Latvia, Worldwide Council and myself, I extend our deepest condolences to you. We grieve with you and pray for Christ’s peace for everyone, because we know how much Pastor Martins is missed. He has left a deep mark on your hearts and lives. He has served as a true servant, called and appointed by Christ, blessed by God, much loved! His eyes were able to see your needs and he worked faithfully and resourcefully from the heart to find a way to help.


Andrejs Urdze

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

When I think of Martins, I see his smile – open, sincere, sweet, kind, a little cautious and yet at the same time brave.

He also combined two sides of himself in another sense – the spiritual and the practical. Just like your Paul in his time.

He did a great job, despite all the bumps in the road!

May the work he started not be exhausted and may Martin himself live on – even in our memories!


Signe’s tribute to Pastor Martin!

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

This time…
This time is too short
To hate, to mourn, to hate,
We come to make the world pure!
To change the minds and thoughts of mankind,
To bring some back to protect –

This time is too short…
So much work – 
Father! Why? 
So soon, I’m called Home!


Jāna Jēruma-Grīnberga

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

I’ve probably known about Martins – or rather, the Urdza family – all my life. Gita and I know each other well because her ministry in northern England was very important to our family, especially to John’s parents, who were not only Aldonis and Gita’s parishioners, but also friends. Gita’s deep, eirenic faith and ministry was also an inspiration to all of us and gave us comfort in the last days of John’s parents and also in their departure. And I recognised much of that in Martina when we finally met here in Latvia, where we had come each in our own way. His peaceful smile, genuine humility and practical faith were the epitome of sincerity.


Anda Grambardt

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

The news of Martin’s death is very sad and I would like to offer you my heartfelt condolences.

I associate Martin in my memories first with playing tennis (because during an early visit to you in Ohmstede the TV was on with the tennis broadcast and everyone was intensively watching), of course with playing darts and drinking beer, the cultural centre here in Oldenburg and also with our attempts in Liepaja and as a kind-hearted, funny, good and never shying away from challenges person who alleviated so much hardship!

Dear ones, I am thinking of you and wish you lots of strength and all the best from my heart,


Raivo Bitenieks

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

You know the burning stars,
The hand that caresses with a caress.

Now your face is covered by a half chair
And the liquor like the whitest snows.

None of the little ones were strangers to you
Neither in the houses nor in the street corners.

A forest of souls to cherish forever,
Imprisoned within the walls of dumbness.

You gave of yourself all that was stored
For body, soul, spirit.

And so you go as you were told
Through the darkness and weight of nothingness.

You go when the poplars bloom,
Himself weathered by Time and Eternity.

But the soul weeps not, the soul sings,
For the Giver is blessed even in death.

Raivo Bitenieks

Elmārs Ernsts Rozītis

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Dear Gita,

Vera and I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to you on the passing of Martin.

So many things come to mind at such a time – from the time of Elande, then his studies and ministry in Germany, to now so many years in Latvia, where Martin combined such extensive and sensitive diaconal work with the care of the Liepaja Cross parish. Our worship together there comes to mind, and how Vera and I both became acquainted with his aid projects and visited him at home. Many fond memories and much for which I want to say a fond thank you again – if not to him, then to you.

Thinking of Martin, this week’s Word of God (Wochenspruch Jn 10:11a,27-28a) “came to me”:

Christ says: “I AM the Good Shepherd. My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life.”

This word of God at once describes Martin and points to the hope that unites us.

So we are especially with you in our thoughts and prayers today and we wish you God’s presence and strength.


Elmārs un Vera

Klaus Looft

Martin Urdze has been a light on the path of following Jesus in this decade. We have lost a brother. In Liepaja, the diaconia has suffered a great loss.


This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Pastor Martins and I first started emailing several years ago at a difficult time in my life. Before that I was desperately looking for someone to talk to about topics that were important to me – life’s difficulties, religion, faith – and after searching and reading various information, I came to Martin. He was very supportive, as much as time allowed him, he always answered my letters, strengthened me and gave me such a ray of hope in everything. He was not one of those “typical” pastors who postulate what and how should be the REAL thing, he always advised me to listen to myself and to trust in Christ. That is how he will remain in my memory – superior to all, precisely because that was not his goal at all, he achieved it with his lightness and sincerity!


Valters Korālis

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

I met Pastor Mārtiņš Urdzi when we were both pastors and spiritual officials of the LELB (Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Latvia). Then I was on the Real Estate and Finance Commission, also on the Presidium. Later, in 2008, my path and that of the LELB diverged – I became Latvia’s first and now only pastor in private practice outside of religious or public organisations. Mārtiņš Urdze, on the other hand, stayed longer in that religious organisation with a naive and at times Don Quixotic idealism and hope, until he began to realise the reality of the personality cult traits of some of the leaders and other less than admirable features of the former religious organisation, so he chose LEBāL (now called LELBP – Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in the World).



This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

“May the Lord watch over your going out and coming in from this time for ever.” (Psalm 121)

Mārtiņš’ simple smile, his openness will remain in my memory.

He found time to help those who had the hardest time in this world.

We were together at Midsummer, where he was happy and played football with the young people.

I also remember the morning prayer times in the Diakonia, which Martin led. It was a blessing.

You could go up to Martin and talk to him, very simply, forgetting that he was a pastor. A man with a big heart.

May the peace of God be upon Martin. His good works accompany him. Martin will be missed by many here on earth, but Martin is now in the glory of his Saviour, where all of us who have given our lives to Christ will meet him!

It will be a wonderful day!


Klāvs Bērziņš

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Martin’s passing…

As the pain subsides, the smile of memories, heals!

When our fathers were serving the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany, they had to meet every now and then during their childhood. I have a vivid memory of an event in the papal house in Sandby/Sweden in the 1960s. After the annual so-called Children’s Colony on the island of Öland (Swedish: Öland), the summer pleasures were sometimes enjoyed by the families of the pastors and also by the pastors, the bachelors. On that occasion, the family of Pastor Paulis Urdza, who had recently given birth to his brother Peter, the family of Pastor Ringolds Bērziņš, if I am not mistaken, Pastor Augusts Ķele and his wife, and the bachelor Pastor Kārlis Zuika (then still from England) visited the dean’s house. It was a nice summer and the dangerous famous Swedish mosquitoes, not loving the gentle sea breeze of Öland, made us sick. We lived in a friendly, fraternal, but above all joyful way!


Mindaugas Kairys

Matthew 9, 36 And when he saw the people, he was grieved; for they were troubled and scattered as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then said he unto his disciples, The harvest is great, but the labourers are few.
Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends!

It is with great sadness that I heard today that our brother Pastor Martin Urdze was called home today by our Lord Jesus Christ. Our first thought is for the family, we are with them in thoughts and prayers as mourners.

A congregation has lost its shepherd and yet may feel comforted in the assurance that the good Shepherd Jesus Christ will not leave them alone in their need. In the bringing in of the great harvest, we will greatly miss the selfless and diligent worker.

A valued colleague and friend has gone, whose advice and sharing in our common diaconal work I will sorely miss. We still had many plans for the future, but our Lord and God in His immeasurable wisdom decided otherwise.

As a theologian, pastor and tireless worker in the broad field of diaconia, Martin Urdze will remain unforgotten.

His path on earth has come to an end. We are left with the living memory and the task of continuing his work in the time that remains to us.

Rev. Mindaugas Kairys, Director of the National Association of Lutheran Diaconia in Lithuania

Ludmila Rjazanova

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

The light that a candle emits,
The light that flickers in the flame,
It fades and fades and fades,
But the light that lives in man,
And the warmth that the heart radiates,
It does not fade, it remains and shines.

(V. Egle)

Pastor Mārtiņš Urdze – I first heard about him in 2005 or 2007 from my colleague Dzintra, I knew that he was a good person who tries to help everyone…

I met Martins in 2017, when Martins was organising meetings with people in different neighbourhoods of the city, in the parish. We discussed different problems and possible solutions…

A very kind and bright person…

Vaira Tempel

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Dear Gita,

Martin has passed away. I did not know him personally, but I knew of him from stories. I knew of his studies, of his work in the church in Liepaja, Latvia, of the deaconess centre he founded. I also knew about his illness and his strength to live and work. It is beautiful how you describe the closeness and support between your children.

I greet you and your loved ones with the words of this song

When the bells of the cemetery mourn
For those who have gone singing,
Who then can exhaust the measure of grief,
We feel a solemn joy in our hearts.

But Thou who art the judge of our way,
Let the way begin and the path end.
Thou, God, who givest and takest all things,
Give us strength to hasten towards Thee.

And when the bells of the grave ring softly
Sing of those who have gone,
When tears fill the eyes,
Come, O God, and give us peace in our hearts:
Without Thee the cross weighs heavy on us,
Come, God of peace, send us peace.




Olaf Kreitsmann

This text is an automatic translation from DeepL Translate.

Our friend Jürgen touched me deeply on Friday evening with the news that our Martin has left this world.

I suffer with you and am deeply saddened by the death of the friend who is my first conscious memory in my life. In the last days and weeks I have been in constant contact with Martin via WhatsApp and knew that this moment would come. Nevertheless, the day life ends is then a certainty that makes you realise the vulnerability of our being and the power of love among friends. I try to find comfort in realising that one evening in 1980 we had already received terrible news and afterwards the gift of almost 41 years of beautiful moments was there for Martin and all his loved ones. Unbelievable creativity in a community that would not exist without Martin will remain forever in Liepaja and here in the memory of many supporters.


Agnus Dei | Mass in B minor

Nicholas Tamagna, New York. Recorded in Oldenburg, April 2021.

Dedicated to Martin’š while in the later stages of his illness.