In this email
Message from Fr Alexander — A new beginning
Who would notice?
Live stream information
News of Future Services
Saints and Feasts — 2nd–9th September
Offer of help
September is a time for returning to routines. The crops have been largely gathered in—albeit the difficulties of this year’s wheat harvest—and the children return to school. Days of annual leave have been taken by many, taking day trips away or lucky enough for a longer holiday, and we return to the world of work, of the everyday, of the mundane. September is, indeed, a time for returning to routines.
We, even in the time of the Coronavirus, are returning to routines. We are—tentatively, with caution—taking the first steps out of our cocoons we have built for ourselves over the last five months. Yet as we do so, do we rejoice in the blessing the Lord has given us? Because this Coronavirus, this lockdown, has been a blessing as it has allowed us to reflect on our own Faith. And we can, each one of us, ask ourselves the questions,
Am I growing in Fath?
Am I repenting of my sins?
Am I drawing closer to the Lord?
Notice these questions are in the present tense: they are not “Have I …” they are “Am I …” Because in the spiritual life it is not what we have done which is important, nor is it what will we do: what is important is what we are doing now, at this moment, in this place, with these people.
September is a time for returning to routines. The Church recognises this and even marks the 1st September as the beginning of her new year: Happy New Year! But the new year is also an opportunity to change for the better, to make resolutions, to improve ourselves. September is an opportunity that we do not return to our old selves but let Christ into our hearts and become the humans we were created to be.
I hope and desire we can all move towards the Lord in repentance together, as a community, as a family, as the Church. We are still to find a place where we may meet. Yet in this frustration, in this seeming powerlessness, we are experiencing, we can see here too an opportunity for us to grow in Faith, to repent, to draw closer to the Lord.
I invite you, I implore you, to pray that the Lord establish his Church here in Eastleigh, because it is only by God’s will that such an endeavour may be accomplished. Yet the Lord acts through people: are you the person we are praying for? Does the Lord desire you to step forward? Will you be, now, the one we need?
Who would notice?
In this latest episode of Be the Bee, #148, Steve asks what effect the Orthodox Churches have on the society around them.
What do we want for our community here? Do we want to be here to serve the liturgical desires of a small few or are we to serve the town, and the wider region, in the example of our Lord? How will we in our weakness live up to our calling as Christians? What can we do already?
We should follow government advice whenever we can. We are not being asked to give up or deny our Faith, but many are being told to stay socially isolated and this will last, perhaps, for many months.
How can you respond? Pray. We pray because we love and because we know the power of prayer. We pray not as a last resort but as a first response.
Is there anything you need or anything you can offer? Let me know — my telephone number and email address are on each of the emails: please get in contact if you are feeling isolated: I am here for you.
Are you willing to contact isolated people via email or phone? Let me know! It would be good to match up those who need help with those who can offer it.
The Monastery of Saints Antony and Cuthbert, Shropshire, is live-streaming its services for all who are unable to go to their own churches. These are over YouTube and can be accessed here:
Usually Vespers on Saturday evenings at 5 pm and Matins and Liturgy on Sunday mornings from 7.30 am.
News of Future Services
We want to start to hold services together: things are difficult now but they remind us that we can do nothing by our own power. Only when we place our hope in the Lord—and not in our own skills, talents, ideas, imaginations—will we be able to build a house for the Lord.
Our Facebook Page, facebook.com/orthodoxeastleigh, too, has daily additions during the week as well as on feast days. Please do like and share our page and content so we may reach a wider group of people.
Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.
Saints and Feasts
Wednesday 2nd September — Martyr Mamas of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and his parents Martyrs Theodotos and Rufina (3rd).
Thursday 3rd — St Phoebe, Deaconess at Kenchreai near Corinth (1st). St MacNis, Abbot of Kells (c 514).
Friday 4th — Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses. Martyr Hermione, daughter of St Philip the Deacon (c 117). Hieromartyr Babylas, Bishop of Antioch (251). Hieromartyr Gorazd, Bishop of Czechia, Moravia and Silesia (1942).
Saturday 5th — Prophet Zachariah and Righteous Elizabeth, parents of St John the Forerunner (1st).
Sunday 6th — 13th after Pentecost. Commemoration of the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Collossai (Chonai). St Bega (Bee), first Abbess of Copeland in Cumbria (7th).
Monday 7th — Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. St Kassiani the Melodist (9th).
Tuesday 8th — The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. St Betti, missionary priest (Wirksworth, c 670). King Ina of Wessex and Queen Ethelburga (8th).
Wednesday 9th — Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. Synaxis of the Holy and Righteous Forbears of God, Joachim and Anna. St Kieran (Ciaran) of Clonmacnois (c 545).
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the mission?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
I ask your prayers for me.
With love in Christ