In this email
Message from Fr Alexander — Plus ça change
Stay connected to the Church — A few calendars still available
Matter matters — Be the Bee
Live stream information
News of Future Services
Saints and Feasts — 7th–14th January
Offer of help
We are now well into the new year: Christmas has been long forgotten, with only the few leafless trees still left outside a few houses, New Year came and went with a whimper. And now we must endure another lockdown. We may even say, alongside our neighbours across the Channel, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose—the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Yet … yet, dear brothers and sisters, things are different. They are different because we are different. I am not the same man I was yesterday: I have—I hope and only by God’s grace—grown and become more mature, more wise, more Christian. I should not want to be the human I was in the past, I should look to become more in the likeness of God.
Our country is looking for leaders: for political leaders, for scientific leaders, for organisational leaders, for sporting leaders, and—yes—for spiritual leaders. We are called to be the spiritual leaders our country and our region requires, but we learn to be the spiritual leaders by being disciples of Christ who is the perfect leader. He guides us in how to be leaders: they do not lord it over others but serve, they do not push from the back but lead from the front, they take on the suffering and pain of others out of love for those they lead.
Let us, my dear brothers and sisters, provide leadership in this continued period of fear and anxiety by learning to lead as Christ led, offering our prayers and praise to the God who came down from the Heavens to live alongside us and give his life on behalf of those he led.
Stay connected to the Church — Still some copies left
I still have some copies of the Calendar produced by our Archdiocese: could you make room for it on your walls?
It 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.
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
Thursday 7th January — Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord. Synaxis of the Holy, Glorious, Forerunner and Baptist John. St Cedd, Bishop of Lastingham (664).
Friday 8th — Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord. St George the Chozebite (6h).
Saturday 9th — Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord Martyr Polyeuctus (3rd).
Sunday 10th — Sunday after Theophany. Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord. St Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa (4th). St Theophan the Recluse, Bishop of Tambov and Vladimir (19th).
Monday 11th — Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord. St Theodosius the Cenobiarch (5th).
Tuesday 12th — Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord. Martyr Tatiana of Rome (3rd). St Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth (7th).
Wednesday 13th — Afterfeast of the Theophany of our Lord. Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus (4th). St Maximus the Kavsokalybite (14th). St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers (4th). St Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow (7th). St Just of Cornwall (6th). St Kentigern (Mungo), first Bishop of Glasgow and Strathclyde (7th).
Thursday 14th — Leavetaking of the Theophany of our Lord. The Memory of the Venerable Fathers massacred at Mount Sinai. The Memory of the Forty-Three Holy Fathers massacred at Raithu. St Nino (Nina), Equal-to-the-Apostles and Illuminator of Georgia. St Sava, first Archbishop of Serbia and founder of the Monastery of Chilandar on the Holy Mountain (12th/13th).
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