In this email
Message from Fr Alexander — What is my body?
Stay connected to the Church — Calendars
What it Means to Be a Man (or Woman) — Be the Bee
Live stream information
News of Future Services
Saints and Feasts — 9th–17th December
Offer of help
Many people will ask, “How will the Resurrection happen?” What process will we go through? What will happen to those who have not been buried, whose body is not in one place? We come, ultimately, to the question “What is my body?”
We know that all the atoms that make a person are replaced at least every seven years: on that level you are a completely different person today than in 2013—yet we do not say that you replaced the you of seven years ago, both then and now you are you.
An apple seed looks completely different from the tree it produces yet both are the same. Each of us—like an apple seed, or like a grain of wheat as the Lord uses in Scripture—will be buried in the ground yet at the sound of the trumpet on the Last Day will grow into the human we are meant to be; a seed is meant to become a tree, but it is not yet.
We see in Christ’s Resurrection what we will be. The Angel rolled away the stone not to let him out but to show he was not there. His body had not been resuscitated, it had been transformed and transfigured, regenerated and born from above: he looked the same yet he was not recognised by St Mary Magdalen or the two on the way to Emmaus, he could be touched yet could pass through locked doors. This is not his former body brought back to life, this was a body which human beings are meant to have in the Kingdom.
When we die we will become worm food, our flesh eaten away and, eventually, even bones turn to dust. The particles which made us will be spread all over the planet, all over the universe, yet we will be brought to new life in a new body, an immortal body, our true body.
My dear brothers and sisters, our Resurrection on the Last Day is to a material world full of the transformative action of Christ filling all things. Ours is a material faith, taking delight in the Creation around us, which allows us to bring our very selves, mind and body, to God. And God will take our offering, perfect it and will be eternally offering it back to us full of his love.
Stay connected to the Church
Our Archdiocese publishes an annual calendar for you to put up on your wall. It can be part of keeping you in contact with the Church every day of the week. I now have copies in stock for 2021 and they would make an excellent addition to your home and a beautiful gift for a friend.
This year’s features pictures from our monastery in Shropshire. There are the saints and the Bible readings for each day of the year as well as a guide to fasting.
Contact me for details, firstname.lastname@example.org: £6 per copy.
What it Means to Be a Man (or Woman)
An amazing video exploring how we understand men and women in the Church: a way which offers much to our present culture which presents confusing ideas.
Worries are increasing on the possible increase in the spread of the disease. Yet there is a division: one side is accused of scare-mongering while the other of irresponsibility. The situation is becoming fractious and each side’s position is becoming more entrenched.
Our duty as Christians is to stand for truth and to bring about unity. But to stand for truth does not mean to ridicule nor deride those who are wrong, it is to act patiently, humbly, lovingly: in other words to be Christ-like. We do not shy away from the truth nor do we separate ourselves from others.
The Church has a clear position as given by our bishops: we are to obey the civil authorities on these matters. We follow the law while maintaining our Faith and thus provide a witness—a martyrdom—of the Gospel. And then, by trusting in the power of God and not our own, we may become an icon of unity and concord.
Would you like help? Advice? Support? Then let me know.
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 9th December — The Conception of the Most Holy Theotokos by the Righteous Anna. Prophetess Anna, mother of the Prophet Samuel (1100 BC).
Thursday 10th — Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes and Eugraphos of Alexandria (c 313).
Friday 11th — St Daniel the Stylite of Constantinople (489–90).
Saturday 12th — St Spyridon the Wonderworker, Bishop of Trimythous (c 348). St Finnian, Bishop of Clonard (c 549). St Colman of Glendalough (659). St Edburga, Abbess of Minster (751).
Sunday 13th — 27th after Pentecost (Luke 11). Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. St Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America (1837).
Monday 14th — Martyrs Thyrsos, Leukios and Kallinikos of Apollonia (249–51). St Hybald, Abbot in Lincolnshire (7th).
Tuesday 15th — Hieromartyr Eleutherios, Bishop of Illyria, and his mother, Martyr Antheia (2nd). St Stephen the Confessor, Bishop of Sourozh in the Crimea (787).
Wednesday 16th — Prophet Haggai (Aggaeus) (520 BC).
Thursday 17th — Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Children: Ananias, Azarias and Misael (600 BC).
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