Our next services: General panikhida on Demetrius Saturday and regular services on 1-2 November
Our next services will be Matins at 6.00pm on Saturday 1 November and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Sunday 2 November, the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of Great-Martyr Artemius (+362 AD). As Saturday 1 November is Saint Demetrius Saturday - the Saturday before the day of commemoration of Great-Martyr Demetrius and a day of commemoration of the departed - there will be a general panikhida and a blessing of koliva at 5.00pm, immediately before Matins. The Ladies' Auxiliary will be having a BBQ after the service on Sunday. All are welcome!
Services on 18-19 October: The commemoration of the Holy Apostle Thomas - 19/10/2014
On Saturday 18 October and Sunday 19 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Thomas. Our small church was full on Sunday morning, regular worshippers having been joined by friends from Sydney and Canberra. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Apostle Thomas, noting both his well-known doubt concerning the Resurrection of Christ and his lesser-known apostolic work in India. Recounting the story from the Life of Saint Thomas concerning King Gundafor’s Magnificent Palace, the rector emphasised the importance of giving money to the poor – to be found amongst us even in a prosperous country like Australia - and thereby building a mansion in the Kingdom of Heaven. Following the service, our Ladies’ Auxiliary cooked pizza for our parishioners and friends, the pizza dough having been kindly donated by Pizza Inn, Gosford.
The October 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 14/10/2014
The Parish Council met on Tuesday 14 October 2014. An update was given on the health of long-standing parishioner and Parish Council member, Sophia Kfoury, the Parish Council learning with sorrow of her increasingly grievous illness. The customary pastoral, administrative and financial reports were then presented, and consideration was given to a range of new security measures made necessary by a break-in at our church on Tuesday 7 October. The report of the external auditor having been received, it was agreed that the parish Annual General Meeting would be held on Sunday 30 November 2014. The Russian and English texts of an appeal for assistance in purchasing property were reviewed. The Parish Council also considered membership applications, the possibility of card-based transactions at church, and the purchase of green vestments for our altar servers. The 2013-14 Parish Council will meet for the final time on 11 November 2014.
A baptism - Anna Maslova - 11/10/2014
On Saturday 11 October the parish rector baptised a young woman, Anna Maslova. Anna, an accountant, chose as her patron saint the Russian New-Martyr Anna (Ostroglazova), a young woman who was also an accountant and who stood firm in the face of Bolshevik persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church before her martyrdom in 1937. Anna’s sponsor at baptism was Elena Ushakova. We offer warm congratulations to Anna and to Elena. May God, through the prayers of the Holy New-Martyr Anna, grant His newly-baptised handmaiden many years!
Our annual October Long Weekend BBQ and picnic - 06/10/2014
On Monday 6 October, a beautiful spring day and the Labour Day public holiday in New South Wales, approximately forty parishioners and friends gathered at Heazlett Park, Avoca Beach, for our annual BBQ and picnic day. As usual, many of the children took the opportunity to hire pedal-boats on the lagoon and to swim while the adults relaxed in the shade by the water’s edge. Many thanks to Rick Golovin and his team of volunteers for setting everything up and for preparing lunch!
Services on 4-5 October - 05/10/2014
On Saturday 4 October and Sunday 5 October – in New South Wales, the Labour Day long weekend – we had services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Quadratus of the Seventy (+130 AD) and the Hieromartyr Phocas, bishop of Sinope (+117 AD). On Sunday our regular parishioners were joined by holiday-makers from Sydney and by others new to our parish. Receiving Holy Communion at Divine Liturgy for the first time were the newly-baptised Maria Malysheva and Constantine Day. At the end of the service a collection was taken up for refugees in Ukraine, the funds collected to be passed to the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia for distribution.
A baptism - Anthony Harrison - 05/10/2014
On Sunday 5 October 2014 the parish rector baptised Anthony Mihai Harrison, the infant son of Matthew and Adriana Harrison and a baby brother to Thomas. His godparents are Razvan and Oana Popescu. We offer warm congratulations to Matthew, Adriana, Razvan and Oana, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Anthony many years!
A baptism - Constantine Day - 04/10/2014
On Saturday 4 October 2014 the parish rector baptised Ethan Day, the infant son of Mark and Elina Day and a baby brother to Daniel. Ethan was given the name Constantine in baptism in honour of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine the Great, on whose feast-day he was born. His sponsor at baptism was his maternal godmother, Rimma Nagikh. Following the service, Rimma presented our parish with two beautiful icons, one of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker and the other of All Saints of Ugreshk, both from the Nikolo-Ugreshky Stavropegial Men's Monastery in Moscow. This was Rimma's second such gift to our parish - in 2013 she presented us with a beautiful icon of Saint Pimen of Ugreshk (+1880), the long-serving abbot of the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery. We offer heartfelt thanks and warm congratulations to Mark, Elina and Rimma, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Constantine many years!
Services on 26-27 September: The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross - 27/09/2014
On Friday 26 September and Saturday 27 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. On Friday evening All-night Vigil was served with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and the bringing out of the Holy Cross. It being a Great Feast, our full choir again sang at the evening service under the direction of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson. A number of parishioners gathered for Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, followed by the singing of “Before Thy Cross” («Кресту Твоему») and the veneration of the Holy Cross, the symbol of Christ’s victory over sin and death and of our deliverance.
A baptism - Maria Malysheva - 21/09/2014
On Sunday 21 September 2014, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the parish rector baptised Maria Malysheva, the four year-old daughter of Alexey Malyshev and Natalia Petrenko and a younger sister to Ksenia. Maria’s patron saint is Saint Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles. Her sponsors at baptism were Natalia Petrova and Andrii Vyaznikov. We offer warm congratulations to Alexey, Natalia, Natalia and Andrii, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden Maria many years!
Services on 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2014
On Saturday 20 September and Sunday 21 September we had services for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross, and the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening. It being a Great Feast, our full choir sang at the evening service under the direction of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson. A greater than usual number of parishioners were present for the All-night Vigil, with many confessing in preparation to receive Holy Communion on the day of the feast. The following morning our small church was full, with regular parishioners being joined by visitors from Sydney and one or two new faces. Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector blessed two new icons. The first, an icon of Saints Kyril and Mefody, Equals-to-the-Apostles and Enlighteners of the Slavs, was a gift from our parishioner Katerina Rubbo. The second, a copy of the "Feodorovskaya" icon of the Mother of God, was a gift from our parishioner Ekaterina Waters, and will be a blessing for young mothers in our parish, this icon being associated with the blessing of marriage and deliverance from difficulty in childbirth.
A baptism - Sofia Tarassov - 20/09/2014
On Saturday 20 September 2014 the parish rector baptised Alina Tarassov, the infant daughter of Andrei Tarassov and Inna Mazurkevits and a baby sister to Aleksandr. Alina was given the name Sofia in baptism in honour of the Holy Martyr Sofia, the mother of the Martyrs Vera, Nadezhda and Lyubov. Her sponsors at baptism were Svetlana Mazurkevits and Roman Anchik. We offer warm congratulations to Andrei, Inna, Svetlana and Roman, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden Sofia many years!
The September 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 09/09/2014
The Parish Council met on Tuesday 9 September 2014. The rector gave his usual report on he life of the parish and the Diocese, giving particular attention to the celebration of the parish feast-day on 9 August 2014. The generous help of many friends of the parish in making the celebration a success was acknowledged. It was decided that the parish Annual General Meeting, previously scheduled for Sunday 21 August 2014, would be postponed to allow additional time for the external audit. The success of the parish website - with over 14,000 visits since work on the new site was commenced in mid-2014 - was discussed and consideration was given to better use of the website for Orthodox Christian education, fundraising, and other worthy activity. The generous donation of $3000.00 towards our new commemoration table from the Russian Relief Association of Saint Sergius of Radonezh was noted with gratitude. The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 14 October.
Services on 6-7 September - 08/09/2014
On 6-7 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Apostle Bartholomew and the Apostle Titus of the Seventy. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Letter of the Apostle Paul to Titus, a portion of which (1:1-4, 2:15-3:3,12-13,15) formed the second appointed Apostol reading, and the instructions for Christian living set out therein.
Our Spring 2014 Schedule of Services - 05/09/2014
Our Spring 2014 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format. A copy of the English-language Spring 2014 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2014 Schedule of Services is available here. Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are available in church as of the weekend of 6-7 September.
Diocesan Collection for the reinterment of the ever-memorable Bishop Constantine (Jesensky, +1996) - 24/10/2014
Emmanuel Jesensky, the future Bishop Constantine, was born in 1907 in Saint Petersburg, where his father, a nobleman, worked in the Imperial Chancery. Taken prisoner in 1918, his father was executed by the Bolsheviks. His mother, on receiving this news, died of a heart attack, leaving eleven-year-old Emmanuel an orphan. Moving to be with his surviving family to Riga, Latvia, he finished school and worked in a pharmacy. At the same time he studied iconography under the masterful Old Rite iconographer, Pimen Sofronov. In 1928 New Martyr Archbishop John of Riga blessed him to enter seminary. He graduated in 1930 and went to Paris, where he undertook postgraduate theological studies. In 1932 he was ordained to the priesthood and sent to Berlin, serving in parishes in Germany until 1949, when he emigrated to the United States and served in parishes of the Eastern American Diocese. In October 1967 he was tonsured a monk and given the name Constantine, and in December 1967 he was consecrated Bishop of Brisbane, Vicar of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese. A deeply spiritual man who loved the beauty of God's house and the Divine Services, he served in Australia from 1967 until 1978 and then in the Eastern American Diocese and the Great Britain until his retirement in 1985. From 1991 he lived at a monastery in Texas where he reposed and was buried. Sadly, the monastery was later closed, and the property passed from the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. For many years the Synod of Bishops has endeavoured to have Bishop Constantine’s remains transferred from Texas to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. This has now become possible, and the parishes of our Diocese have been asked to assist in this good work. Those amongst the faithful who wish to help may obtain more information from the parish rector.
2014 Annual Diocesan Teen Retreat - 24/10/2014
This year our Diocese will hold its fourth annual Orthodox Teen Retreat. Established in 2011, our Teen Retreats cater for young people aged 14-17. After three years in Sydney, this year’s Teen Retreat will be held in Melbourne, Victoria. For more information visit www.teenretreat.info.
Fiftieth Annual Diocesan Youth Conference, 26-31 December 2014 - 24/10/2014
This year our Diocese will also hold its fiftieth consecutive annual Diocesan youth conference or "Syezd". Established in 1965 at the instigation of the ever-memorable Archbishop Sava (Raevsky, +1976), these conferences have been an important spiritual and social event for the youth of our Diocese ever since. The Jubilee Syezd will be held from 26-31 December 2014 at the "New-Shamordino" Convent of our Lady of Kazan in Kentlyn, NSW, the site of the conference in 1965 and again from 1979-1985. The conference is open to young people aged 18 and over. For more information visit www.syezd.info.