Twelve Apostles' Church Eastleigh

Be Doers of the Word

In this email

Message from Fr Alexander — Be Doers of the Word

News …
Names for Prayer
One Calendar left
Monastery of St John the Baptist talks
Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten
Canon of Supplication to the Mother of God

Lockdown Response
Live stream information

Resources

Saints and Feasts — 21st–28th January

Offer of help

Dear Friends

What effect does being a Christian have on your day-to-day life? Would people recognise you as a Christian? Or would it come as a surprise?

How we act towards those around us has a much greater effect than what we say to them. The Apostle James, the first bishop of Jerusalem, whom I quoted last week also said this:

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
—James 1:22–25

And the Apostle goes on to say,

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. … You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
—James 2:14–17, 24

This is not a new innovation in the Church, it is what Christ himself preached,

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
—Matthew 7:21

It is then our actions, our “doing,” which mark us as Christians. We see this in the Parable of the Last Judgement (Matthew 25:31–46) where the sheep and the goats are separated according not to what they believe but to what they have done, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”

My dear brothers and sisters, our faith is not solely defined by our worship—as important and central as that is—but also by our care of others, particularly the poor and downtrodden. We do this not out of a desire to convert them to Christ but because we cannot bear to see another suffer injustice.

If our new community focuses only on ourselves and our desire to pull in people like us it will ultimately fail. Our community has been established here to preach the Kingdom of God not only through our worship, as important as that is, but through serving and ministering to our neighbours because they are worthy of dignity and worthy of love.

Yes, we are frustrated we still have no place to meet—let us turn that frustration into fervant prayer that we may seek the intervention of God, by the intercessions of the Twelve Apostles, to help us that we may serve him and serve our neighbour and thus fulfill the Gospel of Christ.


News

Names for prayer

If you have not yet done so, please do send me a list of those whom you would like me to pray for at the Liturgy. Please separate them out into four groups:

Living who are Orthodox
Living who are not Orthodox
Departed who are Orthodox
Departed who are not Orthodox

Just their Christian (first) names are needed. Please include your own names at the top of the list.

One Calendar left

I only have 1 copy left of the calendar produced for 2021 by our Archdiocese: could it fit on your wall?

Contact me for details, webenquiry@orthodoxeastleigh.uk: £6. First come, first served: don’t miss out!

Monastery of St John the Baptist talks

Each Sunday evening, 5.30–7pm, the Monastery in Essex, founded by St Sophrony, produces a talk on Zoom. Up until now these have been given either by Archimandrite* Peter, the abbot, or by Archimandrite Zacharias. You need to register for these in advance.

If you would be interested in joining the talks, please get in contact and I can send you the registration details. They are of great benefit.

[* Archimandrite is a title for a senior priest who is celibate.]

Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten

Also online, Archimandrite Philip of the monastery of our Archdiocese in Shropshire produces a Bible-study every weekday at 10 am from his YouTube channel—if you cannot watch live they are archived. Although called Ten at Ten, its length is somewhat a changeable feast.

You can reach his YouTube channel by clicking here or by searching “Archimandrite Philip” on YouTube.

Canon of Supplication to the Mother of God

This service is often called by its Greek name, the Paraklesis. In it, we ask the prayers of the Mother of God that she ask her Son and her God to protect us. It is full of beautiful poetry mixing the themes of her protection for us alongside her asking God for our protection.

Our bishop, Metropolitan Silouan, has asked all who can in our Archdiocese to pray this service together at 7 pm on Wednesdays in our homes so that we all may raise our prayers as one to the Lord that he may bring an end to this pandemic.

Could you take this on? It usually takes 30–40 minutes. If you do not have a copy of the service I can email it to you: let me know.


Lockdown Response

We are in lockdown and our Metropolitan has given a clear directive that all churches in the Archdiocese are to be closed for the moment. Our Archdiocese, without judging what others are doing, has taken the position that we do not want any transmission to take place in our churches and we want to keep everyone safe.

This is not what any Church wants to do: all want to welcome people for worship, yet our worship is not the totality of what we do as Christians and now is an opportunity to make even more use of other aspects of our Faith. Pray. Really pray. Make prayer a regular part of your life. Study. Read the Scriptures, read what the Fathers say about the Scriptures. Give. Give to the poor and needy. Give you time to a friends: call them and say hello.

I am here for you: get in contact if you would like help and support. Together, by the grace of God, we can emerge with a stronger Faith.

Live stream

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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfWMaefJYqFEZkYiK2WmeEw

Usually Vespers on Saturday evenings at 5 pm and Matins and Liturgy on Sunday mornings from 7.30 am.


Resources

Have a look at our website — orthodoxeastleigh.uk
If you click on the “Blog” link, or directly here, you will see all past emails as well as sermons etc.

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

Thursday 21st January — St Maximus the Confessor (7th).

Friday 22nd — Apostle Timothy of the Seventy (96). St Brithwold of Wilton (1045).

Saturday 23rd — Hieromartyr Clement, Bishop of Ancyra.

Sunday 24th — 14th Sunday of Luke. St Xenia, Deaconess of Rome. St Xenia of St Petersburg, the Fool-for-Christ.

Monday 25th — St Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople (389). St Dwynwen of Anglesey (c 460).

Tuesday 26th — St Symeon the Elder of Mount Sinai. St Conan of Sodor and the Isle of Man (648).

Wednesday 27th — Removal of the relics of St Ignatius the God-bearer (307). St Gildas the Wise, abbot of Llanilltud and Brittany (c 570). St Voloc, Bishop in Scotland (c 724).

Thursday 28th — St Ephraim the Syrian (373). St Palladios the Hermit of Antioch. St James the Righteous. St Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah (7th).


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.

Your prayers!

With love in Christ

Fr Alexander
webenquiry@orthodoxeastleigh.uk