Our next weekend services will be Matins at 6.00pm on Saturday 20 December and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am - not 7.00pm as previously advised! - on Sunday 21 December, the Twenty-Eight Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of Saint Patapius of Thebes (7th C. AD). These will be our final services for 2014.
Metropolitan Hilarion ratifies the decisions of our 2014 Annual General Meeting - 16/12/2014
On 16 December 2014 we received a letter from Metropolitan Hilarion ratifying the decisions of our 2014 Annual General Meeting and invoking God's blessing on our parish. A copy of Vladyka's letter can be viewed here.
The repose and burial of Tatiana Elgin-Borodin - 11/12/2014
On Friday 5 December we learned with sorrow of the repose of one of our founding parishioners, Tatiana Elgin-Borodin. A small family group gathered that evening for the Office after the Departure of the Soul, and a memorial litia was served on Sunday 7 December, the third day of her repose. On Thursday 11 December Tatiana’s funeral was served at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Strathfield, in which she had been active for many years before moving to the Central Coast. Our parish rector served at the funeral together with Archpriest George Lapardin, the senior priest of the Cathedral, and a great many relatives and friends were present to pray for her soul and to pay their respects. Tatiana had been active in the life of our parish from the beginning, singing in the choir, working with the Ladies’ Auxiliary, and baking prosphora. May God grant her rest with the saints!
An akathist to Great-Martyr Panteleimon - 10/12/2014
On Wednesday 10 December we served a moleben and akathist to the heavenly protector of our parish, the Great-Martyr Panteleimon. As of December 2014, there will be two such services each month, one in Church Slavonic and the other in English. This first service was in Church Slavonic, with the parish choir singing under the direction of our conductor Olga Ivanovna Itsikson. Many people prayed in church and put up their names for commemoration at the moleben. The next moleben and akathist – in English – will be at 7.00pm on Wednesday 24 December. Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, pray to God for us!
The December 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 09/12/2014
Our Parish Council met on Tuesday 9 December. This was the first meeting of the newly-elected Parish Council and the final meeting for 2014. In addition to the usual pastoral, administrative and financial reports, the Parish Council made plans for the celebration of the feast of the Nativity of the Lord on 7 January 2015 and considered the work of the parish bookstore. A detailed report was heard on the Saint Seraphim Community Russian School in Hornsby that operates in association with our parish and a decision was made to fund one full-year and two half-year scholarships in 2015, the total value being $1,600. The Parish Council will next meet on 13 January 2015.
Services on 6-7 December - 07/12/2014
On Saturday 6 December and Sunday 7 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Great-Martyr Katherine of Alexandria. On Sunday the icons of Christ, the Mother of God and Saint Katherine were beautifully decorated with floral arrangements by Katia Waters. Immediately following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed servant of God Tatiana Elgin-Borodin, one of the founding members of our parish. The rector then congratulated six parishioners celebrating their name-day – Katya Lugovoy, Katya Korolkevich-Rubbo, Kate Marcotrigiano, Katia Waters, Katya Yakimov, and Katie Carles – after which the choir sang “Many Years!"
A baptism - Michael Lamanov - 06/12/2014
On Saturday 6 December the parish rector baptised Michael Lamanov, the infant son of Sergiy Lamanov and Svitlana Froklina and a baby brother to Sofia. Michael was named in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael and his sponsors at baptism were Dmitry Reznik and Nataliya Kravchenko. We warmly congratulate Sergiy, Svitlana, Dmitry and Nataliya, and pray that God will grant his newly-baptised servant Michael many years!
Our Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services - 30/11/2014
Our Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format. A copy of the English-language Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services is available here. Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are now available in church.
Our 2014 Annual General Meeting - 30/11/2014
On Sunday 30 November our parish held its 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM). At the AGM our 2014 Annual Report and 2013-14 financial report were presented and a property purchase appeal was endorsed. Long-serving Parish Council members Vladimir Golovin, Bill Reid, and Kate Marcotrigiano were returned to the Parish Council for another year, together with Anna Kourbatov and Reader Paul Douriaguine. Elena Douriaguine was also elected to the Parish Council, and Susanna Bendevski and Alla Karmadonoff were appointed Child Safety Contact Persons.
Services on 29-30 November - 30/11/2014
On Saturday 29 November and Sunday 30 November we had services for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neo-Caesarea. A great many people were in church on Sunday morning, and at Divine Liturgy Priest Seraphim Slade of the Australian Orthodox Indigenous Mission concelebrated with the rector and parish deacon Father Martin Naef. The customary Diocesan-wide November collection for the Fund for Assistance was taken up at the dismissal, after which the parish held its 2014 Annual General Meeting.
2014 Annual Report and 2013-14 Financial Report - 25/11/2014
On Monday 17 November and Tuesday 18 November our parish had a series of services for the repose of the soul of our dear friend and long-serving Parish Council member Sophia Kfoury. At 8.00pm on Monday evening her body was brought to the church and a Great Panikhida (“parastas”) was served, after which family and friends – in accordance with Orthodox custom – took it in turns to read each section ("kathisma") of the Psalter and the appointed prayers for the departed. This continued throughout the night, ceasing at around 8.00am on Tuesday. The Order of Preparation for Holy Communion was then read before the commencement of the Hours and Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with the parish rector at Divine Liturgy were Archimandrite Alexis (Rosentool) of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala and Hieromonk John (MacPherson) of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Monkerai. A great many people gathered for the funeral service, preceding which Archimandrite Alexis – a long-term friend of the Kroury family – spoke movingly about Sophia’s remarkable history and personal qualities. Following the funeral she was buried at Point Clare Cemetery alongside her beloved mother, the ever-memorable Nun Maria (Gafu) (+2004). A memorial meal was afterwards held at the Narara Community Centre. May God grant rest to His newly-reposed handmaiden Sophia!
Servces on 15-16 November - 16/11/2014
On Saturday 15 November and Sunday 16 November we had services for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyrs Acepsimas the bishop, Joseph the priest, Aithalas the deacon (Persian martyrs of the Fourth C.) and the dedication of the original church of the Great-Martyr George in Lydda (modern-day Lod, Israel) (Fourth C.). Announcements were made about the 2014 Annual General Meeting of our parish and the November 2014 Fund for Assistance collection, both of which are scheduled for Sunday 30 November. Following the dismissal, a panikhida was served for the newly reposed Sophia Kfoury. It being our last Sunday service before the commencement of the Nativity Fast, many remained afterwards to share in a barbeque prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary.
The November 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 11/11/2014
The Parish Council met on Tuesday 11 November. Immediately before the meeting, Parish Council members and others gathered for a panikhida for the newly-departed handmaiden of God Sophia Kfoury, a member of the Parish Council since 2004. At the meeting the usual reports were presented. Particular attention was given to the recent acquisition by the parish of mobile technology allowing the bookstore – and, if need be, the church candle-desk – to receive payments by card through Paypal rather than cash. A proposed appeal for assistance with the purchase of a property was further considered and preparations for the Annual General Meeting were reviewed. The use of Skype for some Parish Council meetings was also discussed, two members of the Parish Council living over 50 kilometres from the church. The Parish Council will next meet on 9 December 2014.
The repose of Sophia Kfoury - 11/11/2014
On Tuesday 11 November we learned with sadness of the repose that morning – following a brief but grievous illness – of our greatly loved parishioner, Parish Council member and friend, Sophia Kfoury. Sophia had been involved in the life of our parish since 2002, and had served on the Auditing Committee and Parish Council since 2003. Born in Jerusalem in 1952 to an English father and a Romanian mother, Sophia spent her childhood and youth in the Russian Orthodox convent on the Mount of Olives and in the school of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission at Bethany, later moving to Australia with her mother. Here she married Nicolas Kfoury, an Orthodox Christian from Lebanon, and with him raised a family of five children. We offer heartfelt condolences to Nicolas and to their children and grandchildren. May her memory be eternal! (ARTICLE EDITED)
Services on 1-2 November - 02/11/2014
On Saturday 1 November and Sunday 2 November we had services for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Great-Martyr Artemius at Antioch (+362). As the Saturday was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before the evening service. Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, the parish rector read the prayers of blessing over new burial shrouds and English-language copies of the Prayer of Absolution and the coronets ("venchiki") used at Orthodox Christian burials. Also blessed were two sets of new service books for use during Great Lent - in Church Slavonic but printed in Russian font - and a number of icons of the Mother of God "Helper in Childbirth". These icons are to be part of a gift bag that our parish is preparing - in conjunction with the parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend - for distribution to expectant mothers. At the end of the service, the parish rector announced that the Annual General Meeting of parish members will be held on 30 November 2014.
Our November 2014 parish newsletter - 02/11/2014
Our November 2014 parish newsletter was published on 2 November 2014. To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.
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.