Saturday, 30 August 2014

Services in September 2014 at Audley and Dresden

Wed 3rd           11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 6th              6pm Great Vespers
Sun 7th            10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Mon 8th            11am Divine Liturgy of the Feast of the Nativity 
                              of the All-holy Theotokos
Wed 10th          11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 13th            6pm Great Vespers
Sun 14th          10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 17th          11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 20th             6pm Great Vespers
Sun 21st           10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy
Wed 24th           11am Divine Liturgy or Akathist

Sat 27th             6pm Great Vespers
Sun 28th           10am Matins; 11am Divine Liturgy

Name Days
5th       Emma Louise Elizabeth Bostan
8th       Francesca Joy
9th       Anna Oshkereli
17th     Sofia
24th     Thecla Read
26th     John Roger, John Chadwick

3rd       Leon (2010)
10th     Gearge Harry Fearns (2005)
24th     Fr Dennis (2010)

Parish Feasts

14th     Holy Cross, Lancaster

Two churches, one parish
As you can well imagine, with the great blessing of two churches, there is twice as much work to be done to preserve our Faith and Worship, not to mention our two buildings, decently and in good order.
Very few actually contribute to the “working” of the Church Worship and maintenance, thus making it a heavy, though very enjoyable, burden on those few.
There are the “visible”: servers; singers; readers; candle-tenders; and in the hall, tea makers; servers and washers-up (and Priest! - Ed.)
Then there are the “invisible”: cleaners; candle-makers; bread-bakers; seamstresses; kolyva makers; bookstall workers and flower arrangers.
The parish council is needed to help organize the fund-raising and social life of the parish. We are very short of members for the council.
All that is needed for any of these “jobs” is the willing heart. Training can be given for any of the specialist “jobs”.
The very least that is expected of everyone is attendance at every Divine Liturgy, but much more is needed to bring us great blessings and a real feeling of belonging to the parish family. If you are willing to help in any way please speak to Fr. Samuel.

Donations to Syria
The thousands of pounds we managed to contribute to the Syria appeal through Fr Gregory have been dispatched to Syria, but not quite in the way we anticipated. Fr Gregory came up against all sorts of problems in transferring funds from the UK to Syria, there being various roadblocks in place with banks and the Foreign Office to prevent foreign funding of terrorist activities. He was not able to overcome these and so the whole amount was contributed to the workings of an authorised charity working in the area. UNICEF are carrying out similar work to the offices of our Patriarchate in providing food, medical supplies and shelter to those of all faiths in the area. Although essentially a children’s charity, the work undertaken to improve the lives of children inevitably has benefits for their families and the community. Please make further donations direct to that charity or others of your choice, rather than contributing through St Michael’s from now on – it will all end up in the same place anyway.

Work in the South Aisle
Varnishing of the floor in the South Aisle was completed just in time for the arrival of the new icon of the Theotokos “Life Giving Spring”.
Many murmurings over the past couple of weeks have complimented Terence on his fine work.
The icon currently stands in isolation, flanked by a couple of pews we found in the vestry, but it is anticipated that over time, more icons will be added and the iconostasis effectively extended right across the church.

Terence is of course very happy to take commissions although I fear his waiting list is going to be growing by the week! His next work for the church is, I am reliably informed, a memorial cross to hang where the memorial candles are currently located.

On the subject of candles…
In front of the two principle icons, two silver candlesticks in the middle of the sand hold small nightlights which will last for the whole service. This means that unless you particularly want to add a new candle, one will always be lit at the icon and you don’t need to wander to the back of church to replenish them when the last orange one burns out. J
Note to our younger parishioners – the candles represent people’s offerings and prayers. Please don’t play with them or treat the whole as a sandpit for your entertainment!

Autumn Fayre
The preparations for the Autumn Fayre are already starting to get underway. Kim tells me that it happens in October.
New artefacts to sell would be gratefully received as stocks are running very low after the success of previous Fayres and you cannot keep trotting out the stuff that didn’t sell last time after all!
Please sort through your cupboards, sheds, attics and especially under the stairs, and bring whatever you find to add a little to church funds.
This is also an excellent opportunity to volunteer to help, as per Fr Samuel’s plea at the start of this newsletter. The Fayre will not set itself up, and we all benefit in some way from the proceeds!

Nativity of the Theotokos
The Holy Virgin and Theotokos Mary was born to elderly and previously barren parents by the names of Joachim and Anna, in answer to their prayers. Orthodox Christians do not hold to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, in which it is supposed that Mary was preserved from the ancestral sin that befalls us all as descendents of Adam and Eve, in anticipation of her giving birth to the sinless Christ. The Orthodox believe that Mary indeed received the ancestral sin, having been conceived in the normal way of humanity, and thus needed salvation like all mankind. Orthodox thought does vary on whether Mary actually ever sinned, though there is general agreement that she was cleansed from sin at the Annunciation.
On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains three Old Testament readings that have New Testament meaning. In Genesis 28:10-17, Jacob's Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realised most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" In Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary. And in Proverbs 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the "house" which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself.
Sometimes Matins is served on the morning of the feast. The Gospel reading is from Luke 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the Theotokos' saying: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
Divine Liturgy is served on the day on the feast. The epistle reading is from Philippians 2:5-11, and speaks of "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." The gospel reading is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also always read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"