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Services on 15-16 June, the Seventh Sunday of Pascha - 16/06/2024

On Saturday 15 June and Sunday 16 June we had services for the Seventh Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council and the Afterfeast of the Ascension.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At both services, the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, our Ladies’ Auxiliary served soup and piroshki.

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Services on 12-13 June, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 13/06/2024

On Wednesday 12 June and Thursday 13 June we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Thursday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and – as it was on this feast-day in 2007 that canonical communion was re-established within the Russian Orthodox Church – the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read.

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The visit of Metropolitan Nicholas and the 'Kursk-Root' Icon of the Mother of God to the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 05/06/2024

From Friday 5 July until Friday 26 July, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas (Olkhovsky) of Eastern America and New York will make his first visit to our Australian-New Zealand Diocese since his election as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  Accompanying Metropolitan Nicholas will be the Wonderworking “Kursk-Root” Icon of the Mother of God, the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora.  As he will be in our Diocese for a relatively short period of time, Metropolitan Nicholas will only be able to visit parishes in New Zealand, the city of Sydney, and the state of Victoria.  In Sydney he will visit the Kentlyn Convent and the StrathfieldCroydonFairfieldCarltonCentennial Park, and Cabramatta parishes.  A full schedule of planned visits, current as of 5 June 2024, is available here.  The icon will remain in Australia until Thursday 24 October 2024, during which time it is expected that it will visit all the parishes and monastic establishments of the Diocese.

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Services on 1-2 June, the Fifth Sunday of Pascha - 02/06/2024

On Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef, and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.

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Our Winter 2024 Schedule of Services - 26/05/2024

Our Winter 2022 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available.  Services of note during this period include those for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 12-13 June; for our patronal feast of Saint Panteleimon on Thursday-Friday 8-9 August; and for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Sunday-Monday 18-19 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2024 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2024 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.

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Services on 25-26 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 26/05/2024

On Saturday 25 May and Sunday 26 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef, and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.

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Services on 11-12 May, the Second Sunday of Pascha - 12/05/2024

On Saturday 11 May and Sunday 12 May we had services for the Second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy we were joined by vistors from Sydney and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.   In place of a sermon, Bishop George’s Paschal Epistle was read aloud in English and Russian.  At the end of Divine Liturgy the Artos was cut and distributed.

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The visit of the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God to the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 08/05/2024

With the blessing of Bishop George, the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God will visit our Australian-New Zealand Diocese from Friday 17 May 2024 until Monday 27 May 2024.  The icon will be in New South Wales from 17 May until 21 May and will visit the Kentlyn Convent and the StrathfieldCabramattaFairfield, and Carlton parishes.  It will not visit our parish.   A full schedule is available here.  Information about the icon is available on the website of the Orthodox Hawaiian Iveron Icon Association. The text of the Akathist that will be sung in the presence of the icon is available in various languages on the same website here.

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The 2024 Paschal Epistle of Bishop George of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand - 05/05/2024

The 2024 Paschal Epistle of Bishop George of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, may be read in English here and in Russian here.  An extract: “We hear in the Paschal canon, sung for the Feast day and throughout the forty days of the feast: “O come all ye faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection. For behold, through the Cross joy has come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us praise His Resurrection. By enduring the Cross for us, He has destroyed death by death.” In this hymn the Church reminds us of the importance of the Cross in our salvation: without the Cross there would be no Resurrection! Christ our Saviour was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” so that our human nature might be freed from the bonds of hell; and then He raised it up to sit at the right hand of God the Father. For us to be partakers of this great blessing we also must be obedient, humbly bearing whatever cross God has given us – “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24);  and loving God and our neighbour— “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Matt. 22: 37, 39).”

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The 2024 Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - 05/05/2024

The 2024 Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, may be read in English here and in Russian here.  An extract: “Truly, in a world frequently faced with crises and uncertainty, Pascha shines like a beacon of hope. Thus, in these difficult times, when mankind is seized by various misfortunes, let us hold fast to the Risen Christ and find in Him consolation amidst sorrows, strength in our ongoing struggle with sin, and surety of eternal life!”

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Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford, 2024 - 05/05/2024

This year, our parish again had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and PaschaMatins was served in the evening on Sunday 28 April, Monday 29 April, Tuesday 30 April, and Wednesday 1 May.  Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great Thursday, 2 May.  On Great Friday, 3 May, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served at midday and Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ was served in the evening.  In the morning on Great Saturday, 4 May, Divine Liturgy was served.  Paschal Vespers was served late in the morning on 5 May, the Sunday of Pascha, with our small church full to overflowing. Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Vespers.  The parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef at Vespers on Friday and by Deacon Michal Matys on Thursday morning, Friday evening and Saturday morning.

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Services on 27-28 April, Palm Sunday - 28/04/2024

On Saturday 27 April and Sunday 28 April we had services for the Sixth Sunday in Great Lent, Palm Sunday.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and the blessing of pussy willows and palms was served on Saturday evening.  The Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  The parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys on Saturday and by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal on Sunday.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Our small church was full to overflowing on Sunday morning, with visitors from Sydney and Newcastle joining us and a great many people receiving Holy Communion.  Following Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to benefit the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.

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Services on 26-27 April, Lazarus Saturday - 27/04/2024

On Friday 26 April and Saturday 27 April we had services for the Sixth Saturday of Great Lent, Lazarus Saturday.  On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave (John 11:1-45).  Matins was served on Friday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Saturday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Saturday the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy, the church was decorated with palm branches in preparation for our Palm Sunday services.

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Now available - the April 2024 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 26/04/2024

The April 2024 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. This is the first issue for 2024.  Content includes the Great Lenten Epistle of Metropolitan Nicholas in both Russian and English; edifying articles by Mitred Archpriest Nicholas Karipoff and Priest Gennady Baksheev of the Holy Protection Cathedral in Melbourne; information about the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute; a profile of Priest John Sullivan, rector of the Nativity of the Mother of God Mission in Dardanup, WA; a profile of Priest John Symons, rector of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross parish in Hobart, Tasmania; a beautiful colour supplement, with text in Russian and English, showcasing the magnificent New Jerusalem Monastery near Moscow; a directory of Diocesan parishes, monasteries and missions; details of various recent clergy movements and awards; and more.  Copies are $5.00.

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Services on 13-14 April, the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent - 13/04/2024

On Saturday 13 April and Sunday 14 April we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of Saint John of the Ladder.   Matins was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. As Saturday 9 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general panikhida.  As an act of kindness in memory of their departed ones, those attending the panikhida brought tinned foods (baked beans, spaghetti, soup) and instant noodles to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine. In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector made particular reference to Saint John's advice in The Ladder of Divine Ascent to laymen: "Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not be absent from divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you.  If you can behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven" (Step 1:21).

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A ROCOR Fund for Assistance appeal to the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 07/04/2024

The Fund for Assistance (FFA) to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has issued a Great Lent 2024 Appeal to the Faithful of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  The appeal has been made with support for needy clergy particularly in mind, and an undertaking that any donations made will be matched up until a target of US$10,000 is reached.  Donations can be made via the FFA website here.  Questions about the appeal can be asked here.

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Services on 23-24 March, the First Sunday of Great Lent - 24/03/2024

On Saturday 23 March and Sunday 24 March we had services for the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  In accordance with the practice of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,  'The Order for a Hymn of Supplication for the Conversion of those in Error' was served at the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday.

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Diocesan-wide collection for the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY - 23/03/2024

Each year on the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia take up a collection to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York. The Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary has for over seventy-five years been the main institution of higher education in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. This collection provides financial assistance to students, covering tuition, room, and board.  As we don’t always have a service on the day of the collection and as in the post-COVID world people carry less cash, our parish now simply makes a donation from parish funds towards this collection.  Those who wish to make a direct donation to the Seminary may do so here.

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Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 22/03/2024

On the first four evenings of the First Week of Great Lent (March 18-21), Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete was served.  The odes of the Great Canon were read by the parish rector alternatively in Church Slavonic and English.  During Great Compline many of those present participated in the reading and singing in both languages.

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Monday 6 May, Bright Monday and the day of commemoration of Saint George - 19/03/2024

Updated 29 April 2024: This year Bright Monday, the second day of Pascha, will fall on 6 May, the day of commemoration of the Holy Great-Martyr and Trophy-Bearer George.  The clergy of the Greater Sydney region have been asked to not schedule services in their own parishes on this day, but rather to celebrate Divine Liturgy together with Bishop George on the occasion of his name-day.  Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield on Monday morning, beginning at 8.00am.  The faithful who wish to do so may also attend this service.

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A service on Sunday 17 March, Forgiveness Sunday - 17/03/2024

Early in the evening on Sunday 17 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness, we had Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness.  During this service the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the festive melodies gave way to the solemn Lenten melodies.  Following this, all present venerated the holy icons and asked forgiveness of one another in accordance with Orthodox custom.

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The Great Lenten Epistle of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad - 17/03/2024

Metropolitan Nicholas writes: “Great Lent is approaching – a time set aside for delving into ourselves, for examining our lives, for repentance and correction. Great Lent is not only a time to refrain from certain types of food; it is a time for asceticism of the mind and senses, when we abstain from impure thoughts, separate ourselves from our habitual sins, entertainments, and harmful routines, when we fast, as St. John Chrysostom says, "with the mouth, the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies."  His letter can be read in full in English here and in Russian here.

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Orthodox religious instruction for inquirers, catechumens, and the faithful - 17/03/2024

With Bishop George's blessing, from late May 2024 the English-language Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church, a parish of our Diocese in Brisbane, will be offering an online course of religious instruction in Orthodox theology and practice.  This course consists of 17 sessions, each comprising an online video (which can be watched at each participant's convenience), a revision task, and an interactive Q&A session via Zoom on Sunday evenings.  The course is suitable for inquirers, catechumens (i.e. those preparing for baptism), and those who are already Orthodox Christians.  The first Zoom session will be held on Sunday 26 May, with the course scheduled to finish in October 2024.  For more information please visit: HolyAnnunciation.net/Catechism.  To enrol, please visit: https://forms.gle/ce5DDCFxRitzuoAz6.

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The appointment of new Child Safety Contact Persons - 17/03/2024

On Saturday 16 March 2024 the parish rector appointed Elena Douriaguina, Matushka Marie Carles, and Alexey Douriaguine to be the new Child Safety Contact Persons for our parish.  By virtue of their appointment, the Child Safety Contact Persons also become members of the parish Pastoral Council.  The Pastoral Council, which is comprised of the rector and other parish clergy, the Child Safety Contact Persons, and other persons with knowledge or experience relevant to child participation and safety, supports child-related work in our parish.  More information concerning child safety in our parish is available here.

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Services on 9-10 March, the Sunday of the Last Judgement - 10/03/2024

On Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgement, the third preparatory Sunday for Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. As Saturday 9 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general panikhida.  As an act of kindness in memory of their departed ones, those attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods (pasta, rice, pasta sauces, cooking oils, and pantry items) to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy our Ladies' Auxiliary served pancakes.

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The repose and funeral of Tanya Johansson - 23/02/2024

On Tuesday 13 February we learned with sadness of the repose of our parishioner, Tanya Johansson.  Tanya was a parishioner from the earliest days of the formation of our church community on the Central Coast.  Her funeral was served in our church on Friday 23 February.  She was afterwards laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery.  We offer heartfelt condolences to Tanya’s only child, her daughter Tamara, and to her granddaughter Ashley.  May God grant her rest with the saints and make her memory to be eternal!

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A Pastoral Conference of the Australian New-Zealand Diocese - 21/02/2024

On Tuesday 2 April and Wednesday 3 April, the clergy of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather in Sydney for their customary Great Lenten Pastoral Conference.  On Tuesday the clergy will meet at the church of All Saints of Russia, Croydon, for the Rule of Preparation for Holy Communion at 5.00pm and Lenten Matins and confession at 6.00pm.  On Wednesday from 8.00am the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating.  Those of the faithful who have the opportunity to do so are encouraged to attend the service on Wednesday morning – smaller parishes like ours do not customarily have the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.  Those who wish to do so may – if properly prepared – receive Holy Communion.  Following Divine Liturgy the clergy will meet in the parish hall at Strathfield for lunch; to hear a number of short talks; and to discuss pastoral, liturgical and administrative matters.

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Our Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services - 18/02/2024

Our Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2024 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.  Our parishioners and friends are reminded that during Autumn 2024 we will have services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and on other days as scheduled; we will return to our usual pattern of services on the first and third Sundays of each month during Winter 2024.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies are available in church as of the weekend of 17-18 February.

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Services on 17-18 February, the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 18/02/2024

On Saturday 17 February and Sunday 18 February we had services for the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord, and in honour of Martyr Agatha of Palermo (+251 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  As the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost was this year Zaccheus Sunday, the final Sunday before the period of preparation for Great Lent, the parish rector spoke in his sermon about Zaccheus as a model of repentance.    Following Divine Liturgy our newly-elected Warden, Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, took the Oath of Office, after which the parish rector congratulated him on his election and ‘Many Years’ was sung. The Ladies’ Auxiliary then served freshly-cooked piroshki.

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Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2024

On Wednesday 14 February and Thursday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Thursday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.  In accordance with the custom of the Australian parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, there was a blessing of fruit at the end of Divine Liturgy in addition to the traditional Orthodox blessing of candles.  Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke briefly about the events commemorated and about four ever-memorable clergymen of our Diocese: Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) (+15 February 1995), Archpriest Nicholas Grant (+14 February 1995), Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin (+13 February 2021), and Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov (+ 30 January 2022, ordained deacon 15 February 2007).  A memorial litia was then served for them and for our newly-reposed parishioner, Tatiana Johansson (+13 February 2024).

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The February 2024 meeting of the Parish Council - 12/02/2024

In the early evening on Monday 12 February the Parish Council met by videoconference.  The minutes of the January 2024 meeting were ratified and the usual reports on parish life and finances were presented by the rector and the treasurer respectively. The parish rector gave an update on the implementation of our new Child Safety policies and procedures and on the status of a number of other administrative projects.  Our Head Sister Nina Golovin advised that the Ladies’ Auxiliary would be preparing piroshki for sale on Sunday 18 February and blini on Sunday 10 March.  The next meeting of the Parish Council will be face-to-face and is scheduled for Wednesday 13 March 2024.

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Services on 3-4 February, the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 04/02/2024

On Saturday 3 February and Sunday 4 February we had services for the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  As it was the weekend closest to the commemoration of Saint Xenia of Saint Petersburg, the patron saint of our Ladies' Auxiliary, a memorial litia was served following Divine Liturgy for all our departed founders, parishioners and benefactors.

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Services on 20-21 January, the Sunday after Theophany - 21/01/2024

On Saturday 20 January and Sunday 21 January we had services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday after Theophany.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy we were joined by friends from Sydney and Newcastle and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the Great Blessing of Water was served.  Some photographs taken on Sunday morning can be viewed on the parish Facebook page.

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2024 - The year ahead - 15/01/2024

In 2024 we will celebrate a major milestone for our community – the twentieth anniversary of parish life at West Gosford.  During our time here we have constructed and furnished a beautiful church and parish centre and repaid in full the loan that made its purchase possible.  We plan to celebrate these achievements with a hierarchical service, a festive lunch, and the bestowal of parish awards.  An important priority this year will be the strengthening of parish life following the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, community division over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the 2023 renovation of our church.  We will consider better ways of communicating with our parishioners and friends and take steps to improve the support we give to those visiting our parish with a desire to learn more about Orthodox Christianity.  This year new arrangements for the celebration of Pascha will commence – the midnight service will now alternate between the Gosford and Wallsend parishes from year to year, beginning with Wallsend, and that there will be no early Paschal service in the other parish.   This means that our main Paschal service in Gosford – and the first opportunity to bless eggs, cakes, and other festive foods - will be Vespers at 11.00am on Sunday 5 May, the morning of Pascha itself.

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The January 2024 meeting of the Parish Council - 15/01/2024

In the early evening on Monday 15 January the Parish Council met by videoconference.  This was the first meeting of the Parish Council elected in December 2023.  The minutes of the December 2023 meeting were ratified and the usual reports on parish life and finances were presented by the rector and the treasurer respectively.  It was resolved that $1000 would be given to assist the Convent of Our Lady of Kazan with fire prevention measures, and that an annual commemoration of departed founders and benefactors would be held on the weekend closest to the feast-day of Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg, the patron saint of our Ladies’ Auxiliary.  Office-bearers were reappointed to their roles and plans for the year ahead were reviewed and endorsed.  The parish rector gave an update on the current review of our Child Safety policies and procedures. The Parish Council will next meet on Monday 12 February 2024, again by videoconference.

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Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2024

On Saturday 6 January and Sunday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  All-night Vigil (Great Compline, Matins, and the First Hour) with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  On Saturday evening the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and on Sunday morning he was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal.  A great many people gathered for both services, with many confessing and receiving Holy Communion.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  In place of a sermon, the deacons read aloud in Russian and in English the Nativity Epistle of His Grace Bishop George of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand.  The faithful received sweets and Christmas crackers as they came forward to venerate the Cross, and many afterwards gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

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