Archbishop Viilma: Sauna gives me inspiration for sermons ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Head of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Archbishop Urmas Viilma at a recent book launch.
Head of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Archbishop Urmas Viilma at a recent book launch. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Head of the Lutheran church in Estonia Archbishop Urmas Viilma has revealed that when he gets writers' block in preparing for an upcoming sermon, the sauna is as good a place as any to repair to.

"When I am not making progress with a sermon, the sauna tends to be the best help," Viilma said, speaking on Vikerraadio broadcast "Kirikuelu".

"As interesting as it may seem, the Holy Spirit also enjoys a sauna," he added, noting that the experience seemed to offer a different perspective on things.

The approach has found its way into the written medium too, as Archbishop Viilma has just published his first book, entitled  "Valguse tähed" ("White stars"-ed.), which brings together quotes, sermons, speeches, articles and more.

In fact, it was the somewhat cooler and drier atmosphere of the plane which allowed the book to come to fruition, Archbishop Viilma said. Whereas many people use the long hours to read, he made use of his frequent flying time as an archbishop, and head of the Lutheran World Federation's Eastern Europe branch, to write.

"To begin with, I began to take my sermons one-by-one, and wondered how the message could go a little further and last longer than a one-off message from the pulpit on a Sunday or other church day," Viilma said, of the book's genesis.

The "Kirikuelu" Vikerraadio interview itself runs at 7.05 p.m. on Sunday.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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