Twelve Apostles' Church Eastleigh

What is Christianity?

In this email

Message from Fr Alexander — What is Christianity?

News …
Wednesdays at 7 pm on Zoom
WhatsApp Group
Twitter Feed
Names for prayer
Monastery of St John the Baptist talks
Archimandrite Philip: Ten at Ten

Lockdown Response
Live stream information

Resources

Saints and Feasts — 11th–18th February

Offer of help

Dear Friends

Were someone to ask you, “What is Christianity?” How would you respond? Is it something to do on a Sunday morning? Or something that gives moral guidance for our lives? Or reasons to stop fun and enjoyment? What’s your answer?

For us as Orthodox Christians, we believe that Christianity is centred on Christ and the Resurrection. St Paul spoke so often of the two together that some pagans believed he was proclaiming a couple who were gods, perhaps because “Resurrection” is a feminine noun in Greek. Yet, you and I have come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and he is risen from the dead.

In the coming few weeks God has found us worthy to live, once again, more fully this mystery. On the Sunday of next week, 21st February, we will open once again Triodion—the book with the texts of the services for the Great Fast, Lent—and live in a more full way our Lord’s Death and Resurrection. We will prepare to meet the Lord’s Resurrection, through prayer and fasting, that we may approach with awe the Pascha of the Lord.

Join in this preparation. This Sunday the Church even offers us an extra preparation, the Gospel reading is the account of the Canaanite Woman.

At that time, Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
— Matthew 15:21-28

By allowing the faith of the woman to be demonstrated to the crowd, the Lord taught his Disciples that all are of value. And the woman’s faith was strong enough to withstand ridicule and condescension: may we, too, be able to maintain our faith in such circumstances.

My dear brothers and sisters, friends, the Lord is calling us towards the Resurrection, but for us to rise with him we must also be crucified with him: crucifying our ego, our willingness to put others down, our satisfaction with sin. Come to meet the risen Christ by setting aside all worldly care that we may receive the King of All.


News

Wednesdays at 7 pm on Zoom

We are trying to say together the Paraklesis—the Canon written in honour of the Mother of God—asking her prayers before the Lord that the Coronavirus Pandemic may be lifted from our world. Would you like to join us?

Get in touch and I will send you the details: webenquiry@orthodoxeastleigh.uk.

WhatsApp Group

A new WhatsApp group has been created for the Twelve Apostles community: would you like to be a part of this? Let me know!

Twitter Feed

I have also created a new Twitter account for the community: do follow us @12ApostlesHants.

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.

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.


Lockdown Response

We are in lockdown and our Metropolitan has given a clear directive that all churches in the Archdiocese are to be closed until the end of February at least. 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.

Our community has a Twitter handle, @12ApostlesHants.

Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.


Saints and Feasts

Thursday 11th February — St Blaise the Holy Martyr of Sebastia. St Cædmon of Whitby, monk and hymnographer (c 680). St Gobnait, Abbess of Ballyrourney, Cork (5th).

Friday 12th — St Meletius, Archbishop of Antioch (381). St Ethelwold of Lindisfarne (740).

Saturday 13th — St Martinian of Palestine. Apostles Aquila and Pricilla.

Sunday 14th — Sunday of the Canaanite Woman. St Auxentios of the Bithynia (c 470). St Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs (869).

Monday 15th — Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy. St Maïor the Martyr. St Oswy, King of Northumbria (670).

Tuesday 16th — Martyr Pamphilus and his companions (309).

Wednesday 17th — Great-Martyr Theodore the Tyro (306). St Mariamne, the sister of the Apostle Philip. St Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne (661).

Thursday 18th — St Leo the Great, Pope of Rome (461). St Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne (676).


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