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Category: Parish Life
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Our Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services - 18/02/2024

Our Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2024 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.  Our parishioners and friends are reminded that during Autumn 2024 we will have services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and on other days as scheduled; we will return to our usual pattern of services on the first and third Sundays of each month during Winter 2024.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2024 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies are available in church as of the weekend of 17-18 February.

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Services on 17-18 February, the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 18/02/2024

On Saturday 17 February and Sunday 18 February we had services for the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord, and in honour of Martyr Agatha of Palermo (+251 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  As the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost was this year Zaccheus Sunday, the final Sunday before the period of preparation for Great Lent, the parish rector spoke in his sermon about Zaccheus as a model of repentance.    Following Divine Liturgy our newly-elected Warden, Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, took the Oath of Office, after which the parish rector congratulated him on his election and ‘Many Years’ was sung. The Ladies’ Auxiliary then served freshly-cooked piroshki.

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Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2024

On Wednesday 14 February and Thursday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Thursday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.  In accordance with the custom of the Australian parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, there was a blessing of fruit at the end of Divine Liturgy in addition to the traditional Orthodox blessing of candles.  Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke briefly about the events commemorated and about four ever-memorable clergymen of our Diocese: Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) (+15 February 1995), Archpriest Nicholas Grant (+14 February 1995), Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin (+13 February 2021), and Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov (+ 30 January 2022, ordained deacon 15 February 2007).  A memorial litia was then served for them and for our newly-reposed parishioner, Tatiana Johansson (+13 February 2024).

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The February 2024 meeting of the Parish Council - 12/02/2024

In the early evening on Monday 12 February the Parish Council met by videoconference.  The minutes of the January 2024 meeting were ratified and the usual reports on parish life and finances were presented by the rector and the treasurer respectively. The parish rector gave an update on the implementation of our new Child Safety policies and procedures and on the status of a number of other administrative projects.  Our Head Sister Nina Golovin advised that the Ladies’ Auxiliary would be preparing piroshki for sale on Sunday 18 February and blini on Sunday 10 March.  The next meeting of the Parish Council will be face-to-face and is scheduled for Wednesday 13 March 2024.

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Services on 3-4 February, the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 04/02/2024

On Saturday 3 February and Sunday 4 February we had services for the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  As it was the weekend closest to the commemoration of Saint Xenia of Saint Petersburg, the patron saint of our Ladies' Auxiliary, a memorial litia was served following Divine Liturgy for all our departed founders, parishioners and benefactors.

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Services on 20-21 January, the Sunday after Theophany - 21/01/2024

On Saturday 20 January and Sunday 21 January we had services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday after Theophany.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the  Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy we were joined by friends from Sydney and Newcastle and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the Great Blessing of Water was served.  Some photographs taken on Sunday morning can be viewed on the parish Facebook page.

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2024 - The year ahead - 15/01/2024

In 2024 we will celebrate a major milestone for our community – the twentieth anniversary of parish life at West Gosford.  During our time here we have constructed and furnished a beautiful church and parish centre and repaid in full the loan that made its purchase possible.  We plan to celebrate these achievements with a hierarchical service, a festive lunch, and the bestowal of parish awards.  An important priority this year will be the strengthening of parish life following the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, community division over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the 2023 renovation of our church.  We will consider better ways of communicating with our parishioners and friends and take steps to improve the support we give to those visiting our parish with a desire to learn more about Orthodox Christianity.  This year new arrangements for the celebration of Pascha will commence – the midnight service will now alternate between the Gosford and Wallsend parishes from year to year, beginning with Wallsend, and that there will be no early Paschal service in the other parish.   This means that our main Paschal service in Gosford – and the first opportunity to bless eggs, cakes, and other festive foods - will be Vespers at 11.00am on Sunday 5 May, the morning of Pascha itself.

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The January 2024 meeting of the Parish Council - 15/01/2024

In the early evening on Monday 15 January the Parish Council met by videoconference.  This was the first meeting of the Parish Council elected in December 2023.  The minutes of the December 2023 meeting were ratified and the usual reports on parish life and finances were presented by the rector and the treasurer respectively.  It was resolved that $1000 would be given to assist the Convent of Our Lady of Kazan with fire prevention measures, and that an annual commemoration of departed founders and benefactors would be held on the weekend closest to the feast-day of Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg, the patron saint of our Ladies’ Auxiliary.  Office-bearers were reappointed to their roles and plans for the year ahead were reviewed and endorsed.  The parish rector gave an update on the current review of our Child Safety policies and procedures. The Parish Council will next meet on Monday 12 February 2024, again by videoconference.

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Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2024

On Saturday 6 January and Sunday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  All-night Vigil (Great Compline, Matins, and the First Hour) with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  On Saturday evening the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and on Sunday morning he was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal.  A great many people gathered for both services, with many confessing and receiving Holy Communion.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  In place of a sermon, the deacons read aloud in Russian and in English the Nativity Epistle of His Grace Bishop George of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand.  The faithful received sweets and Christmas crackers as they came forward to venerate the Cross, and many afterwards gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

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2023 - The year in review - 31/12/2023

This year was one dominated by the major projects of transporting our new iconostasis from Russia to Australia and of installing it and a new floor and enlarging our altar area.  As a result, parish life was significantly disrupted – we had long periods in July and September-October without services – just as we were emerging from the pandemic-era changes to church life.  Three of our parishioners were laid to rest this year: Eugene Pickel (+3 May 2023), Vladimir Marinkevich (+18 May 2023), and Alevtina Pinczuk (+10 June 2023).  We continued to pray for an end to the fratricidal war in Ukraine and from October we offered prayers for peace in the much-suffering Holy Land.  In May our clergy participated in celebrations marking the centenary of the founding of the first Russian Orthodox parish in Australia, that of what is now the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Brisbane.  Together with the Wallsend parish we provided an English-Russian 2023 wall calendar commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  For the blessing of our newly-installed iconostasis we welcomed Bishop George on his first visit to our parish since 2019.  In December our clergy and five of our parishioners received Diocesan medals in honour of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Diocese.  At our Annual General Meeting Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin was elected parish Warden, a role that had remained vacant since 2004.  All the news from 2023 can be read here.  Glory be to God for all things!

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Our 2023 Annual General Meeting - 17/12/2023

On Sunday 17 December our parish held its 2023 Annual General Meeting.  The 2023 Annual Report was presented and accepted.  In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to parish life and his continuous service on the Parish Council since 2003, Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin was elected Warden (“Starosta”) for a three-year period.  This is the first time that the position of Starosta has been filled in our parish since 2004.  In addition, Anna Kourbatov, Anne Nielsen, Nina Golovin, and Kate Marcotrigiano were elected to serve on the 2023-24 Parish Council.

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Services on 16-17 December, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 17/12/2023

On Saturday 16 December and Sunday 17 December we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Great-Martyr Barbara (+c.306 AD) and Venerable John of Damascus (+c.777 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  In place of a sermon the recent Epistle of the Synod of Bishops to the Clergy and Flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was read aloud.  Following Divine Liturgy, an announcement was made concerning the Annual General Meeting of the parish to be held that afternoon.  These were our final services for 2023.

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Our 2023 Annual Report - 13/12/2023

Our 2023 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2022-23 Financial Statements, is now available.  It includes information about the governance of our parish and gives a little parish history.  It also summarises the life and activity of the parish in 2022-23, reflects on challenges and accomplishments, and sets out plans for the year ahead.  A copy of the report, which will be formally presented to our parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 17 December 2023, is available here.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments concerning our Annual Report to contact us.

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The December 2023 meeting of the Parish Council - 13/12/2023

In the evening on Wednesday 13 December the Parish Council met by videoconference.  This was the final meeting of the Parish Council elected in September 2022.  The minutes of the November 2023 meeting were ratified and the usual reports on parish life and finances were presented by the rector and the treasurer respectively.  Bishop George’s successful visit on 3 December to bless our new iconostasis was discussed and plans were made for the coming weeks.   A number of other items of business, including a list of candidates for parish awards, were considered.  The final draft of the 2023 Annual Report was tabled and endorsed.  At the end of the meeting, retiring member Alexei Kozlovski was thanked for his contribution to the work of the Parish Council over the last 2 years.  The 2023-24 Parish Council will meet for the first time, again by videoconference, on Monday 15 January 2024. 

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Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple - 04/12/2023

On Sunday 3 December and Monday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Monday morning.  After a busy weekend in parish life, these festive services were quieter than usual.  Our small church was beautifully vested in blue.  A highlight of the services was the singing, for the first time this year, of “Христос Раждается” (“Christ is Born”), hymnody from the service for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) that is sung from this day onwards in anticipation of that feast. At Divine Liturgy, the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land.  A number of those present took the opportunity at the service to pray quietly and receive Holy Communion, and afterwards to share a light morning tea in the church hall.

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The presentation of medals commemorating 75 years of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese are presented in our parish - 03/12/2023

On Sunday 3 December Bishop George presented medals and certificates commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the establishment of our Diocese to our clergy, Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, and to parishioners Vladimir ("Rick") Golovin, Nina Golovin, Matushka Marie Carles, Kate Marcotrigiano, and Anna Kourbatov.  The face of the medal has a portrait of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion (+2022), the longest-serving Ruling Bishop of the Diocese, and the reverse has an inscription explaining the award.  For those interested, further information about awards in the Russian Orthodox Church – and in our Diocese and parish – is available here.

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Services on 2-3 December, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/12/2023

On Saturday 2 December and Sunday 3 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, for the Forefeast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of Venerable Gregory the Decapolite (+816 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening.  Early on Sunday morning the parish rector served the lesser blessing of water, following which we welcomed Bishop George on his first visit to our parish since 2019.  After the reading of the entry prayers and the vesting of the bishop, the Hours were read and the rite of blessing and consecration of our new iconostasis was served.  Bishop George then presided at Divine Liturgy, assisted by the parish rector and by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys.  Our parishioners were joined in church by friends from Sydney, Newcastle, and the Mid North Coast, and the clergy were helped by subdeacons and experienced altar-servers from the Fairfield, Wallsend, and Strathfield parishes.  The choir, augmented by singers from Strathfield, Croydon, Cabramatta, and Centennial Park, sang beautifully under the direction of Kolya Morozoff.  Following Divine Liturgy Bishop George presented our clergy and five parishioners with medals and certificates commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the establishment of our Diocese.  A festive lunch was then held at our parish centre.  A selection of photographs of the day can be seen here.

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Our Summer 2023-24 Schedule of Services - 19/11/2023

Our Summer 2023-24 Schedule of Services - covering December, January, and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2023-24 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2023-24 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies are available in church as of the weekend of 19-20 November.   Services of note will be Bishop George’s visit to bless our new iconostasis on Sunday 3 December; the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December; the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) on 6-7 January; and the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord on 14-15 February.

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Services on 18-19 November, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 19/11/2023

On Saturday 18 November and Sunday 19 November we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Paul the Confessor, archbishop of Constantinople (+350 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served at on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy, an announcement was made concerning the Annual General Meeting of the parish to be held on Sunday 17 December 2023.

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The November 2023 meeting of the Parish Council - 15/11/2023

In the evening on Wednesday 15 November the Parish Council met by videoconference.  The minutes of the August and October 2023 meetings were ratified, and the usual reports on parish life and finances were presented by the rector and the treasurer respectively.  Plans for Bishop George’s visit on 3 December to bless our new iconostasis were discussed together with the arrangements for the lunch afterwards.  The draft 2023 Annual Report was tabled, input was suggested, and changes were agreed it.  The Parish Council will next meet, again by videoconference, on Wednesday 15 December 2023.  The December meeting will be the final meeting of the 2022-23 Parish Council.

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Services on 4-5 November, the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 05/11/2023

On Saturday 4 November and Sunday 5 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Apostle James, Brother of the Lord (+c.63 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  The parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys on Saturday evening and by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy, an announcement was made concerning the Annual General Meeting of the parish to be held on Sunday 17 December 2023.

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Services on 14-15 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 15/10/2023

Updated: On Saturday 14 October and Sunday 15 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Cyprian and Martyr Justina of Nicomedia (+304 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  These were our first services in nearly two months, and the first following the installation of our new iconostasis.  During All-night Vigil the Six Psalms were read by Reader Timothy Nikitin of the Holy Dormition of the Mother of God Russian Orthodox Church in Dandenong, Victoria; Timothy was visiting New South Wales to participate in Australian Junior Ice Hockey League fixtures in Newcastle over the weekend.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in the Holy Land and peace in Ukraine.  At the end of Divine Liturgy there was a moleben of thanksgiving for the completion of the renovations and in observance of the twentieth anniversary of the purchase of our parish centre.  Afterwards, many of our parishioners and friends stayed behind for a festive meal.

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Prayer to be offered for peace in the Holy Land - 11/10/2023

His Grace Bishop George of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand has directed that prayers be offered in the churches of our Diocese for peace in the Holy Land.  The text of the prayer to be used in Slavonic and English is available here.  The text in Russian script, together with some Russian language notes concerning the history of this prayer, is available here.  In brief, the prayer is customarily read at Divine Liturgy throughout the Orthodox Christian world on Great and Holy Saturday, the day preceding Pascha.  In our parish the prayer will be read at each Divine Liturgy, together with the prayer for peace in Ukraine.

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The installation of our new iconostasis - 01/10/2023

Updated 16 October 2023:  Our church was closed from Monday 21 August until Saturday 14 October for the replacement of the floor and the installation of our new iconostasis.  Photographs of this work may for now be seen on our parish Facebook page; they will be added to this website as soon as the opportunity arises.

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Our Spring 2023 Schedule of Services - 20/08/2023

Our Spring 2023 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format.  In addition to our regular services on the first and third Sundays of each month, during Spring 2023 we will have services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on Wednesday-Thursday 20-21 September and for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on Tuesday-Wednesday 26-27 September.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2023 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2023 Schedule of Services is available here

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Services on 19-20 August, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - 20/08/2023

On Saturday 19 August and Sunday 20 August we had services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and in honour of Monk-Martyr Dometius of Persia (+363 AD).  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida was served for Jean-Philippe Blanloeuil, a dear friend of our parish who was killed in a tragic accident in France on Sunday 13 August.  Jean-Philippe and his wife Elena Fauris were married in our church in November 2010, and their son Maxime was baptised here.  They later moved to France and were living in Lyons.  We offer heartfelt condolences to Elena and their boys Roman and Maxime.

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Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 19/08/2023

On Friday 18 August and Saturday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the LordAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves were served on Friday evening, and the Hours and Divine Liturgy  were served on Saturday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  On Saturday we were joined by friends from Newcastle and Sydney, and the newly baptised infant Ciara Jeloudev received Holy Communion for the first time.  At the Prayer before the Amvon, there was a blessing of fruit, as is customary on this day, and also a blessing of honey.

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Services on 8-9 August, the day of commemoration of Great-Martyr Panteleimon - 09/08/2023

On Tuesday 8 August and Wednesday 9 August we had services in honour of Great Martyr Panteleimon (+305 AD), the heavenly patron of our parish.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening, and the lesser blessing of water, the HoursDivine Liturgy, and a moleben to Saint Panteleimon were served on Wednesday morning.  At Divine Liturgy and the moleben, the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys.  Following the services on Wednesday there was a festive meal in the church hall for our clergy, parishioners and friends.

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Services on 5-6 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/08/2023

On Saturday 5 August and Sunday 6 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Right-believing Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb (+1105 AD).  These were our first services in over a month.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michael Matys.  Prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.

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Our Winter 2023 Schedule of Services - Part 2 - 05/08/2023

The second part of our Winter 2023 Schedule of Services - covering August - is now available.  The most important services during this period will be for our patronal feast of Saint Panteleimon on Tuesday-Wednesday 8-9 August and the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Friday-Saturday 18-19 August.  A copy of part 2 of the English-language Winter 2023 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of part 2 of the current Russian-language Winter 2023 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages will be available in church as of the weekend of 5-6 August.

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The August 2023 meeting of the Parish Council - 01/08/2023

In the evening of Tuesday 1 August 2023, a meeting of the Parish Council was held.  This was our first meeting since April 2023.  The main item for discussion was our new iconostasis, recently arrived in Australia and presently awaiting customs clearance and quarantine.  Reports were heard concerning the process of shipping the iconostasis from Europe, arrangements for its installation and blessing, and the overall cost of the project.  The parish rector tabled a report on the life of the parish and aspects of Diocesan life for the period April-August 2023.  The treasurer presented a detailed financial report.  Consideration was then given to arrangements for services in honour of Saint Panteleimon on 8-9 August, fundraising, a service plan for 2024, and various other matters.  The Parish Council will next meet early in September 2023.

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Services on 1-2 July, the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 02/07/2023

On Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Jude, brother of the Lord (+c.80 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about readings from the Letters of the Apostles, their place in the life of the church, and certain themes of today’s readings: being servants of righteousness (Romans 6:19) unto everlasting life (Romans 6:22), “contend[ing] earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3), and the Apostle Jude’s exhortation to Christians to “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).  Following Divine Liturgy many of those present enjoyed piroshki that had been prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary.  The front of the church was then cleared in preparation for the extension of the soleas (the part of the sanctuary platform in front of the iconostasis) and the amvon (the extended area in front of the Royal Doors) - work that will, in turn, allow for a larger sanctuary when our new iconostasis is installed.

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Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2023, 2024 and 2025 - 26/06/2023

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2023, 2024, and 2025.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals page, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions on concerns about this information, they are encouraged to contact us.

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Services on 17-18 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost - 18/06/2023

On Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June we had services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of All Saints who have shone forth in the land of Russia.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about commitment to the faith of the Apostles, the pursuit of blessedness (Matthew 4:25-5:12), the importance of attending to the “law written in [our] hearts” (Romans 2:15), and the relationship of these things to the saints who have shone forth in the land of Russia. Following Divine Liturgy a number of our parishioners gathered in the church hall for refreshments, recommencing a practice that was discontinued at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Services on 3-4 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 04/06/2023

On Saturday 3 June and Sunday 4 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening, and the Hours and  Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At All-night Vigil the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and at Divine Liturgy he was assisted by Deacon Michal and Protodeacon Martin Naef.  Prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  Divine Liturgy was immediately followed by Vespers and the special "kneeling prayers" appointed to be read on this day.

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A Pastoral Conference and services in Brisbane on 27-28 May to mark the centenary of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral - 28/05/2023

On the weekend of Saturday-Sunday 27-28 May, our parish clergy,  Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, participated in a Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  The Pastoral Conference was convened to coincide with celebrations marking the centenary of the founding of the parish of Saint Nicholas in Brisbane, the first Russian Orthodox parish in Australia.  Solemn divine services were held on Saturday evening and Sunday morning at which three bishops served: Archbishop Gabriel (Chemodakov) of Montreal and Canada, Bishop George of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, and Bishop Luke (Murianka) of Syracuse, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.  Concelebrating with them at Divine Liturgy on Sunday were forty-nine priests and deacons of our diocese, including our own parish clergy, and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church.  The Russian Orthodox Men’s Choir of Australia, of which our parishioners Gregory Alexandrovsky and Alexey Douriaguine are members, sang at both services.  Updated 13 June 2023: An article with more detail and links to photographs is available here.

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Our Winter 2023 Schedule of Services - 21/05/2023

The first part of our Winter 2023 Schedule of Services - covering June and July - is now available.  The most important services during this period will be for the Great Feast of Pentecost on the weekend of 3-4 June.  Our church will be closed from Monday 3 July until early August so that work can be undertaken in preparation for the replacement of our floor and installation of our new iconostasis.  A Schedule of Divine Services for August 2023 will be released late in July.  A copy of the current English-language Winter 2023 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the current Russian-language Winter 2023 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.

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Services on 20-21 May, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 21/05/2023

On Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May we had services for the Sunday of the Blind Man, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the healing of the man blind from birth (John 9:1-38) and of the light that Jesus Christ brings to our lives.  Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida was served for our ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) (+16 May 2022); our newly-reposed parishioners Vladimir Marinkevich (+18 May 2023) and Eugene Pickel (+3 May 2023); for Natalie Lalic (+12 April 2023), the daughter of our parishioner Maria, on the fortieth day of her repose; and for Alexander Bolonin (+2022) on the anniversary of his repose.

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Services on 6-7 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 07/05/2023

On Saturday 6 May and Sunday 7 May we had services for the Sunday of the Paralytic, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the patience of the Paralytic, or paralysed man, whose healing by Christ ( John 5:1-15) was commemorated on this day; the way that God intervenes unexpectedly in our lives; and the profound influence of the Holy Scriptures on the liturgical life of the Orthodox Church.

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Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford, 2023 - 16/04/2023

This year, our parish again had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha. Matins was served in the evening on Sunday 9 April, Monday 10 April, Tuesday 11 April, and Wednesday 12 April.  Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great Thursday, 13 April.  On Great Friday, 14 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served at midday and Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ was served in the evening.  In the morning on Great Saturday, 15 April, Divine Liturgy was served.  Midnight Office  was served late that evening, with Paschal  Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 16 April, the Sunday of Pascha.  Paschal Vespers was served at 11.00am that morning. Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Matins and again after Vespers.  The parish rector was assisted at Vespers on Friday by Protodeacon Martin Naef and on Friday evening and Saturday morning by Deacon Michal Matys.  Both deacons served together at Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy.

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Services on 7-8 April, Lazarus Saturday - 08/04/2023

On Friday 7 April and Saturday 8 April we had services for the Sixth Saturday of Great Lent, Lazarus Saturday.  On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave (John 11:1-45).  Matins was served on Friday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Saturday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  As there were to be no services in our parish this year for Palm Sundayfollowing the Prayer before the Amvon on Saturday morning a small number of pussy-willows were blessed in anticipation of Palm Sunday.  As on the preceding day, many of those present received Holy Communion.

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Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2023

On Thursday 6 April and Friday 7 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and the HoursTypikaVespers and Divine Liturgy were served on Friday morning. The parish rector was assisted on Thursday evening by Deacon Michal Matys and on Friday morning by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and many of those present received Holy Communion. 

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Services on 1-2 April, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - 02/04/2023

On the morning of Saturday 1 April, we had a church clean-up in preparation for Holy Week and Pascha.  That evening and on Sunday 2 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt.  All-night Vigil was then served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine. On Sunday evening we had the General Service of Anointing with Oil at which twenty-one of our parishioners received anointing for the healing of soul and body.

00043
Vespers with the Fourth Passia on Sunday 26 March - 26/03/2023

In the evening on Sunday 26 March we had the service of Vespers with the Fourth Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 18 and 19 of Saint John’s Gospel were read in English.  Following the service, those present venerated the Holy Gospel and were anointed with oil.  This was the final Passia service for 2023.

00044
Services on 18-19 March, the Third Sunday of Great Lent - 19/03/2023

On Saturday 18 March and Sunday 19 March we had services for the Third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross. Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 18 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served before Matins on Saturday evening.  As an act of kindness in memory of their departed ones, those attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods (pasta, rice, pasta sauces, cooking oils, and pantry items) to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  On Sunday evening we had Vespers with the Third Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 22 and 23 of Saint Luke’s Gospel were read in English.  Following the service, those present venerated the Holy Gospel and were anointed with oil.

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Keeping children safe in our parish - 12/03/2023

At the 2022 Annual General Meeting of our parish, members endorsed a Statement of Commitment to Child Safety and to children’s participation in the life of our parish.  In collaboration with our neighbouring parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend, we have now developed new policies and procedures to give effect to these commitments.  Together with general information about child safety in our parish, we have published our policies and procedures online.  Over the next few months our parish will be fully implementing the new arrangements, facilitating training for key people, and revising the policies and procedures in light of experience.  Questions, comments and feedback are welcome!

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Vespers with the Second Passia on Sunday 12 March - 12/03/2023

In the evening on Sunday 12 March we had the service of Vespers with the Second Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 14 and 15 of Saint Mark’s Gospel were read in English.  Following the service, those present venerated the Holy Gospel and were anointed with oil.

00047
Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 05/03/2023

On three of the first four evenings of the First Week of Great Lent (February 27-March 2), Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete was served.  There was no service on Wednesday evening.  The canon, psalms and prayers were read in Church Slavonic and English, with those present participating in the reading.  In addition to regular services on Saturday-Sunday 4-5 March, on the evening of Sunday 5 March we had Vespers with the First Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 26 and 27 of Saint Matthew's Gospel were read in English.

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Services on 4-5 March, the First Sunday of Great Lent - 05/03/2023

On Saturday 4 March and Sunday 5 March we had services for the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine. In accordance with the practice of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, 'The Order for a Hymn of Supplication for the Conversion of those in Error' was served at the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  During this short moleben, prayers were offered for those who oppose the truth of the Gospel with heresy and for those who have fallen away from the Holy Orthodox Church through schism.

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Services on 18-19 February, the Sunday of the Last Judgement - 19/02/2023

On Saturday 18 February and Sunday 19 February we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgement.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 18 February was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served before Matins on Saturday evening.  As an act of kindness in memory of their departed ones, those attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods (pasta, rice, pasta sauces, cooking oils, and pantry items) to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy our Ladies' Auxiliary served pancakes.

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Our Autumn 2023 Schedule of Services - 18/02/2023

Our Autumn 2023 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2023 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2023 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2023 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church as of the weekend of 18-19 February.

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Services on 4-5 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 05/02/2023

On Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  In his sermon the parish rector explained the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee and spoke about following “the Pharisee in his virtues and… the Publican in his humility, [hating] what is wrong in each of them: foolish pride and the defilement of transgressions” (Ode 5, Canon of the Triodion).  He also spoke about the example of steadfastness in faith of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

00052
A change to our Summer 2022-23 Schedule of Services - 25/01/2023

Edited 5 February 2023: As a change of circumstances means that it will now not be possible to have services on 14-15 February for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, the services scheduled for those days have been cancelled.  We apologise for any inconvenience.  We ask our parishioners and friends to remember in their prayers on the day of the feast four ever-memorable clergymen of our Diocese: Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) (+15 February 1995), Archpriest Nicholas Grant (+14 February 1995), Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin (+13 February 2021), and Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov (+ 30 January 2022, ordained deacon 15 February 2007).

00053
Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) - 19/01/2023

On Wednesday 18 January and Thursday 19 January we had services in honour of the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany).  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Thursday morning. The parish rector was assisted at both services by Deacon Michal Matys, and our choir and congregation were augmented by friends from Newcastle visiting for the services and from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.

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Services on 14-15 January, the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 15/01/2023

On Saturday 14 January and Sunday 15 January we had services for the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday before Theophany, and in honour of Venerable Seraphim, Wonderworker of Sarov (+1833 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine. As is usual in our parish during December and January, we were joined by friends from the Sydney parishes holidaying on the Central Coast.  Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida was served in anticipation of the first anniversary of the repose of our parishioner and dear friend, Nestor Petroff (+16 January 2022).

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Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2023

On Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Saturday morning. The parish rector was assisted on Friday evening by Deacon Michal Matys and on Saturday morning by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  On Saturday morning our church was full to overflowing, with approximately 50 people receiving Holy Communion.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.  Afterwards, a number of our parishioners and friends gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

00056
Services on 31 December-1 January, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 01/01/2023

On Saturday 31 December and Sunday 1 January we had services for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - this year, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  To mark the beginning of the New Year, the Lesser Blessing of Water was served on Sunday morning prior to the Hours.  At both services our choir and congregation were augmented by friends from Sydney, Newcastle, and interstate.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  

00057
2022 - The year in review - 30/12/2022

This year we mourned the loss of three people dear to us: Nestor Petroff (+16 January 2022), a much-loved parishioner who contributed greatly to parish life over the years; Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov (+30 January 2022), a long-standing friend of our parish, the brother-in-law of our own Protodeacon Martin Naef, and a respected Diocesan cleric; and ROCOR First Hierarch Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) (+16 May 2022), who as Diocesan Bishop blessed the establishment of our parish, suggested that it be named in honour of Saint Panteleimon, and gifted us a portion of the saint’s relics.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continued, we continued to offer prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus.  From February we laboured under the shadow of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.  We offered prayers for peace and gave assistance to Ukrainian refugees living on the Central Coast.  We had ten baptisms this year – one was of a young woman, Kaylah (Ksenia) Gray, and the others were of infants: Nikolai Karonin, Mila Potalitsyna, Agata Chylinksi, Michael Gorbatovskiy, Arina Rudyk, Orla Krikunov, Michael Odarchenko, Vera Rebrova and Sophia Trigg.  A long-standing friend of our parish, Craig Koppman, was received into Orthodoxy by chrismation.  Stephen Williamson and Helena Markovtsev were married in our church in May.  We participated in the Great Lenten Pastoral Conference in March, in services in June marking the fortieth day of Metropolitan Hilarion’s repose, and in the Twentieth Australian-New Zealand Diocesan Assembly in October.  Together with the Wallsend parish we provided an English-Russian wall calendar commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the repose of the noted ascetic and writer, Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina.  The manufacture of a new iconostasis for our parish centre was completed in Moscow in August and work began to bring it to Australia for installation.  We were given a beautiful icon of the Martyr Ludmila.  Our parish rector made pastoral visits to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in January, May and July, and in November he was appointed rector of the Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission there.  All the news from 2022 can be read here.  Glory be to God for all things!

00058
Services on 24-25 December, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 25/12/2022

On Saturday 24 December and Sunday 25 December we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, and in honour of Venerable Herman of Alaska (+1836).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At All-night Vigil the magnification was also sung for Saint Spyridon of Tremithus, wonderworker (+348 AD), another great saint commemorated on this day.  The parish rector was assisted at both services by Deacon Michal Matys, and our choir and congregation were augmented by friends from Sydney and interstate holidaying on the Central Coast.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.

00059
Services on 18-19 December, the day of commemoration of Saint Nicholas - 19/12/2022

On Sunday 18 December and Monday 19 December we had services in honour of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, archbishop of Myra in Lycia (+342 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Sunday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Monday morning.  As our parish rector has generally served in the Wallsend parish on this day, this was the first time in many years that our parish had services in honour of Saint Nicholas.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine, and our choir and congregation were augmented by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised infant Sophia Trigg.

00060
The December 2022 meeting of the Parish Council - 04/12/2022

Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday 4 December, a meeting of the Parish Council was held.  As it was the first Parish Council meeting since our Annual General Meeting in October 2022, office-bearers for 2022-23 were appointed.  The parish rector tabled a detailed report on the life of the parish and the wider church for the period June-December 2022 and reports on parish finances were presented.  Consideration was given to arrangements for the transportation of our new iconostasis, now completed, from Moscow to Australia, a project complicated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  A plan to ensure an adequate parish response to mandatory Diocesan collections was endorsed, and it was agreed that there would be a general church clean-up on Saturday 31 December in preparation for Orthodox Christmas.  The Parish Council will next meet in early 2023.

00061
Services on 3-4 December, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 04/12/2022

On Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December we had services for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  The parish rector was assisted on Saturday evening by Deacon Michal Matys and on Sunday morning by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  At both services, our choir and congregation were augmented by friends from the Sydney parishes holidaying on the Central Coast.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for Tatiana Elgin-Borodin (+5 December 2014), and many of those present afterwards gathered in the church hall for a light meal.

00062
Services on 19-20 November, the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 20/11/2022

On Saturday 19 November October and Sunday 20 November we had services for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Thirty-Three Martyrs of Melitene (+290 AD) and Venerable Lazarus of Mount Galesion (+1053 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about Christ’s raising of the daughter of Jairus and his healing of the woman with an issue of blood (Luke 8:41-56), miracles that occurred in response to faith and which showed both Christ’s divinity and His compassionate mercy.

00063
Our Summer 2022-23 Schedule of Services - 19/11/2022

Our Summer 2022-23 Schedule of Services - covering December, January, and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2022-23 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2022-23 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies will be available in church as of the weekend of 19-20 November.   Services of note will be for the Great Feasts of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December; Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker on 18-19 December; the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) on 6-7 January; the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) on 18-19 January; and the Meeting of the Lord on 14-15 February.  NOTE: During December we will vary our usual schedule by having services on the first and fourth Sundays of the month instead of the first and third Sundays.

00064
Services on 5-6 November, the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 06/11/2022

On Saturday 5 November October and Sunday 6 November we had services for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Icon of the Mother of God, ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  The services were held in the presence of a copy of the ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ Icon belonging to friends of the parish and brought to Australia from Russia many years ago via China and Brazil.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  In his sermon the rector spoke about the history of the ’Joy of All Who Sorrow’ Icon, about Christian experience of help through the prayers of the Mother of God, and about the connection between veneration of the Mother of God and the Orthodox Christian doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ.  Following Divine Liturgy a general moleben to the Mother of God was served before the icon.  An announcement was then made concerning two appeals to assist Diocesan cleric Priest Mark Woloszyn.

00065
Services on 15-16 October, the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/10/2022

On Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October we had services for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite, bishop of Athens (+96 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine.  In his sermon the rector spoke about the principles for Christian life set out in the appointed readings: to be cheerful givers, sharing our abundance with those less fortunate than ourselves (2 Corinthians 9:6-11); and to love our enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return (Luke 6:31-36).

00066
Services on 1-2 October, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 02/10/2022

On Saturday 1 October and Sunday 2 October we had services for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and in honour of Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon (+276 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At these services, our parish for the first time commemorated Metropolitan Nicholas (Olhovsky) in his new capacity as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and Bishop George in his new capacity as Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

00067
Services on 26-27 September, the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross - 27/09/2022

On the evening of Monday 26 September All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and the bringing-out of the Cross was served for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the life-Giving Cross of the Lord.  Regrettably, we were this year unable to have Divine Liturgy on Tuesday 27 September, the day of the feast itself.

00068
Services on 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2022

On Tuesday 20 September and Wednesday 21 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Wednesday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

00069
Our 2022 Annual General Meeting - 18/09/2022

On Sunday 18 September our parish held its 2022 Annual General Meeting.  The 2022 Annual Report was presented and accepted.  A Statement of Commitment to Child Safety was adopted that will guide our parish as it works to ensure that our children are valued, safe, and involved in parish life.  Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Anne Nielsen, Nina Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano and Alexei Kozlovski were elected to serve on the 2022-23 Parish Council, and Anna Kourbatov and Alexei Kozlovski were chosen to represent the parish at the Twentieth Diocesan Assembly to be held in Strathfield in October 2022.  

00070
Services on 17-18 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 18/09/2022

On Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September we had services for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Right-believing Prince Peter and Princess Febronia (+1405 AD), Wonderworkers of Murom and heavenly patrons of love, faithfulness, and family life.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys.  Prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine, for deliverance from the coronavirus, and for the aid of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia currently meeting in New York.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon there was a moleben to Saints Peter and Fevronia at which all the married couples in our parish were commemorated by name. After the dismissal an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held that afternoon.

00071
Our 2022 Annual Report - 12/09/2022

Our 2022 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2021-22 Financial Statements, is now available.  It includes information about the governance of our parish and gives a little parish history.  It also summarises the life and activity of the parish in 2021-22, reflects on challenges and accomplishments, and provides details of some future projects.  A copy of the report, which will be formally presented to our parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 18 September 2022, is available here.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments concerning our Annual Report to contact us.

00072
Services on 3-4 September, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost - 04/09/2022

On Saturday 3 September and Sunday 4 September we had services for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Dormition, and in honour of Martyr Aganthonicus of Nicomedia and his companions (+305-311 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  We were joined on Sunday by friends visiting from Newcastle and Sydney.  Following Divine liturgy an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held on Sunday 18 September 2022.

00073
Our Spring 2022 Schedule of Services - 21/08/2022

Our Spring 2022 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2022 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2022 Schedule of Services is available here

00074
Services on 20-21 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - 21/08/2022

On Saturday 20 August and Sunday 21 August we had services for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and in honour of Saint Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (+c.815 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following Divine liturgy an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held on Sunday 18 September 2022.

00075
Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 19/08/2022

On Thursday 18 August and Friday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the LordAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening, and the Hours and Divine Liturgy  were served on Friday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  At the end of Divine Liturgy there was a blessing of fruit and of honey.  The honey, a gift to our parish and the Wallsend parish in memory of the departed servants of God Anna, Olga and Nestor, Michael and Alla, and Evgenia, was afterwards shared amongst those present.

00076
Services on 8-9 August, the day of commemoration of Great-Martyr Panteleimon - 09/08/2022

On Monday 8 August and Tuesday 9 August we had services in honour of Great Martyr Panteleimon (+305 AD), the heavenly patron of our parish. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served by the parish rector on Monday evening.  On Tuesday morning, the lesser blessing of water was followed by the HoursDivine Liturgy and a moleben to Saint Panteleimon.  We were joined for these services by friends from the Wallsend, Cabramatta, Croydon and Strathfield parishes.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.   Following the services on Tuesday, a festive lunch was held in the parish hall for our parishioners and friends.

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Services on 6-7 August, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 07/08/2022

On Saturday 6 August and Sunday 7 August we had services for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

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Services on 16-17 July, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 17/07/2022

On Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July we had services for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia (+1918).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following the service on Sunday a panikhida was served for our departed and ever-memorable parishioners, Nestor (+16 January 2022) and Olga (+18 July 2020) Petroff.

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Services on 11-12 July, the commemoration of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul - 12/07/2022

On Monday 11 July and Tuesday 12 July we had services in honour of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Monday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Tuesday morning.  At Divine Liturgy we were joined by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.  The usual prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

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A review of our parish child safe policies and procedures - 07/07/2022

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has commenced a review of its child safe policy and procedures to give effect to the Child Safe Standards.  The Child Safe Standards are based on the research and consultation conducted by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  Now enshrined in law by amendments to the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW), the Child Safe Standards provide a framework for creating organisations that are inclusive and safe for children.  One of our first steps has been to draft a Statement of Commitment to Child Safety, a copy of which can be viewed here.  We are also working on a new and comprehensive Child Safe Policy; new role descriptions and complaint-handling procedures; and a new Child Safe Code of Conduct.  We will seek comments on all these documents from our parishioners and friends, as well as from the Diocesan and civil authorities, before implementing and formally launching the new policy and procedures later this year.

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Services on 2-3 July, the Third Sunday after Pentecost - 03/07/2022

On Saturday 2 July and Sunday 3 July we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church of commemorating saints of various regional areas on this day, and of a firm intention to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:3) as the ground on which sanctity can flourish.

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The June 2022 meeting of the Parish Council - 21/06/2022

On Tuesday 21 June, a meeting of the Parish Council was held.  The parish rector tabled a detailed report on the life of the parish and the wider church during April, May, and June 2022.  It was agreed that this year’s celebration of our patronal feast-day of Saint Panteleimon would be a modest event with a parish lunch in the church hall following the services on Tuesday 9 August.  Donations to the Diocesan Mission Fund and to assist Ukrainian refugees now living on the Central Coast were approved.  Suggested changes to the scheduling of services, particularly during Great Lent and at Pascha, were noted and endorsed.  It was agreed that our parish Annual General Meeting would be held on Sunday 18 September 2022.  The Parish Council will meet again in July to discuss our iconostasis project, a number of policy documents, a draft Annual Report, and the 2021-22 financial reports.

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Services on 18-19 June, the First Sunday after Pentecost - 19/06/2022

On Saturday 18 June and Sunday 19 June we had services for the First Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of All Saints.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  The newly baptised Orla (Mary) Krikunov received Holy Communion for the first time.  In his sermon, the parish rector spoke about the history and significance of the commemoration of All Saints on the First Sunday after Pentecost.  He also spoke about the Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad, noting with regret that this commemoration had yet to be deeply established in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

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A baptism - Orla (Mary) Krikunov - 18/06/2022

On Saturday 18 June the parish rector baptised Orla Krikunov, the infant daughter and first child of Nicholas Krikunov and Sophie Hayden.  Orla, who had as her godparents Elyse Lufi and Nathan Murray, was in baptism given the name Mary in honour of Saint Mary of Egypt.  The Krikunov family has been associated with our parish from the very beginning, and Nicholas was in his youth an altar server here.  We warmly congratulate Nicholas, Sophie, Elyse and Nathan, and wish the newly-baptised Orla Mary many years!

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Services on 4-5 June, the Seventh Sunday of Pascha - 05/06/2022

On Saturday 4 June and Sunday 5 June we had services for the Seventh Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  In his sermon, the parish rector spoke about the history and significance of the First Ecumenical Council in 325 AD.  At Bishop George’s request, a collection was taken up to assist the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute.

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Services on 1-2 June, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 02/06/2022

On Wednesday 1 June and Thursday 2 June we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  On Thursday the small number of people present included visitors from Newcastle and Canberra.  As it was on this feast-day in 2007, fifteen years ago this year, that canonical communion was re-established within the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read at Divine Liturgy and a moleben of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon. At Divine Liturgy prayers were also offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

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Paschal Matins of the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha - 31/05/2022

On the evening of Tuesday 31 May, the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha, we served the final Paschal Matins of 2022. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.  The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services for the Ascension of the Lord.

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Our Winter 2022 Schedule of Services - 15/05/2022

Our Winter 2022 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available.  Services of note during this period include those for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 1-2 June; for Saints Peter and Paul on Monday-Tuesday 11-12 July; for our patronal feast of Saint Panteleimon on Monday-Tuesday 8-9 August; and for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Thursday-Friday 18-19 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2022 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2022 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.

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Services on 14-15 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 15/05/2022

On Saturday 14 May and Sunday 15 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Protodeacon Martin Naef, and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

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Services on 30 April-1 May, the Second Sunday of Pascha - 01/05/2022

On Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May we had services for the Second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Artos was cut and distributed.

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Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford, 2022 - 24/04/2022

This year, our parish again had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels was served in the evening on Thursday 21 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ at midday on Friday 22 April, Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ in the evening on Friday 22 April, and Divine Liturgy in the morning on Saturday 23 April.  On Saturday evening we had an early Midnight Office and procession followed by Paschal Matins and the blessing of Easter baskets with cakes, eggs, and other festive foods.  Paschal Vespers was served at 11.00am on the morning of Pascha, Sunday 24 April.  The parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys on Thursday evening, by Protodeacon Martin Naef at Vespers on Friday and at the services on Saturday evening, and by both deacons together on Saturday morning.

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Services on 17 April, Palm Sunday - 17/04/2022

On Sunday 17 April we had services for the Sixth Sunday in Great Lent, Palm Sunday.  A blessing of water was served by the parish rector early on Sunday morning, following which there was a blessing of pussy willows and palms.  The Hours and Divine Liturgy were then served as usual, with Protodeacon Martin Naef assisting the parish rector.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

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Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2022

On Tuesday 6 April and Wednesday 7 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of GodAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served at on Wednesday evening, and the Hours, Typika, Vespers and Divine Liturgy were served on Thursday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.

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Services during the Fourth Week of Great Lent - 03/04/2022

In addition to services for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Great Compline  was served on the evening of Wednesday 30 March and Vespers with the Fourth Passia was served in the evening on Sunday 3 April.  At the Passia, the last such service for 2022, chapters 18 and 19 of Saint John’s Gospel were read in English.

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Services on 2-3 April, the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent - 03/04/2022

On Saturday 2 April and Sunday 3 April we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 2 April was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening.  As an act of kindness in memory of the departed, those attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods and personal care items to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. Our parish rector was assisted at Divine Liturgy by Protodeacon Martin Naef.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, prayers of blessing were read over a new green set of priests’ vestments - donated in memory of the departed servants of God Michael and Alla - and other church items.

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Services during the Third Week of Great Lent - 27/03/2022

On Tuesday-Wednesday 22-23 March our parish clergy participated in the Great Lenten Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese. As part of the proceedings, Divine Liturgy was served at the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, on the morning of Wednesday 23 March, with Bishop George of Canberra presiding and 37 priests and deacons of our Diocese concelebrating.  During Divine Liturgy both Father James and Father Martin received ecclesiastical awards in recognition of their service to the Holy Orthodox Church.  On Wednesday evening Great Compline  was served in our own parish, and on the evening of Sunday 27 March we had Vespers with the Third Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 22 and 23 of Saint Luke’s Gospel were read in English.

00097
Services on 19-20 March, the Second Sunday of Great Lent - 20/03/2022

On Saturday 19 March and Sunday 20 March we had services for the Second Sunday of Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 19 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening.  As an act of kindness in memory of the departed, those attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods and personal care items to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  In the evening on Sunday, our parish rector served Vespers with the Second Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 14 and 15 of Saint Mark’s Gospel were read in English.

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Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 13/03/2022

On the first four evenings of the First Week of Great Lent (March 7-13), Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete was served.  The canon, psalms and prayers were read in Church Slavonic and English, with those present participating in the reading.  In addition, on the evening of Sunday 13 March we had Vespers with the First Passia.  At the Passia, chapters 26 and 27 of Saint Matthew's Gospel were read in English.

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Services on 5-6 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness - 06/03/2022

On Saturday 5 March and Sunday 6 March we had services for the Sunday of Forgiveness.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  The rector was assisted at Divine Liturgy by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys.  Prayers were offered for an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following Divine Liturgy, Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness was served.  During Vespers the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the festive melodies gave way to the penitential Lenten melodies.  At the end of Vespers, all present venerated the Holy Icons, the Gospel, and the Cross, and asked forgiveness of one another.

00100
Our parish is given a beautiful icon of the Holy Martyr Ludmila, Princess of the Czechs - 05/03/2022

On Saturday 5 March our parish was given a beautiful icon of the Holy Martyr Ludmila (+927AD), Princess of the Czechs and grandmother of  Saint Wenceslaus (or Vyacheslav, +935 AD), the "Good King Wenceslaus" of the much-loved English Christmas carol.  A gift from a dear friend of our parish, Ludmila Melnikoff, both the icon and the carved wooden case are the work of the Saint Elisabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus.  Upon the arrival of the icon in our church, a moleben to Saint Ludmila was served before it by our parish rector.  Prayers were also offered for an end to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. Present for the service were Ludmila, her husband Ellis King, her sister Veronica, and our Head Sister, Nina Golovin.  We hope to have a similar moleben each year on the day of commemoration of Saint Ludmila, 29 September.  May God richly bless his servant Ludmila, together with her family, for her kindness and generosity!

00101
Services on 19-20 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 20/02/2022

On Saturday 19 February and Sunday 20 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and the Afterfeast of the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  The rector was assisted at All-night Vigil by Deacon Michal Matys and at Divine Liturgy by Deacon Michal and Protodeacon Martin Naef.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. Following Divine Liturgy, a collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action and our Ladies' Auxiliary served pancakes.

00102
Our Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services - 19/02/2022

Our Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2022 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church as of the weekend of 19-20 February.

00103
Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2022

On Monday 14 February and Tuesday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Tuesday morning.  For Divine Liturgy we were joined by friends from Sydney, Newcastle and the Gold Coast.  In accordance with Orthodox tradition and the custom of many Australian parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, there was a blessing of candles and of fruit at the end of Divine Liturgy.  Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the events commemorated; about the traditions of blessing candles and fruit; and about four ever-memorable clergymen of our Diocese: Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) (+15 February 1995), Archpriest Nicholas Grant (+14 February 1995), Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin (+13 February 2021), and Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov (+ 30 January 2022, ordained deacon 15 February 2007).  A memorial litia was then served for them, and after those present had venerated the Cross, a panikhida was served for Glafira Lanzetti (+16 February 2021), the mother of long-time parishioner Katerina Korolkevich-Rubbo.

00104
A baptism - Nikolai Karonin - 06/02/2022

On Sunday 6 February the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles, baptised Nikolai, the second child of Christopher and Sandra Karonin and a baby brother to Natalia.  Nikolai, who was baptised in honour of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, had as his godparents Vanessa Garling and Father James.  We warmly congratulate Christopher, Sandra, and Vanessa, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant good health, every blessing from above, and many years!

00105
Services on 5-6 February, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 06/02/2022

On Saturday 5 February and Sunday 6 February we had services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Our parish rector was assisted at Divine Liturgy by Protodeacon Martin Naef and Deacon Michal Matys.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly baptised servant of God, Ksenia Gray.  This year, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost was Zaccheus Sunday, so named because of the reading from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 19:1-10) concerning the conversion of Zaccheus the tax-collector, one of the great Biblical models of repentance. This Gospel reading is always appointed to the final Sunday before the beginning of the preparatory period for Great Lent.

00106
A baptism - Kaylah (Ksenia) Gray - 05/02/2022

On Saturday 5 February the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles, baptised 23 year-old Kaylah Gray.  Kaylah, who had as her godparents Raisa Zyza and Father James, was in Holy Baptism given the name Ksenia in honour of Blessed Ksenia of Saint Petersburg.  In addition to her godparents, Kaylah’s mother, grandmother and sister were present for the service.  We warmly congratulate the newly-baptised Ksenia, and pray that God will grant her many years!

00107
Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) - 19/01/2022

On Tuesday 18 January and Wednesday 19 January we had services in honour of the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Theophany.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Wednesday morning.   The rector was assisted on Tuesday evening by Deacon Michal Matys.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  As is customary at this time of year, we were joined by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.

00108
Services on 15-16 January, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/01/2022

On Saturday 15 January and Sunday 16 January we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday before Theophany.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  The rector was assisted at Matins by Deacon Michal Matys and at Divine Liturgy by Deacon Michal and Protodeacon Martin Naef.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida was served for our newly-departed parishioner, Nestor Petroff, and a moleben was served for the health of Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov of the Archbishop's Chapel of All Saints Of Russia (Croydon, NSW), Sister Anastasia of the Presentation of the Mother of God Convent (Bungarby, NSW), and all those suffering illness as a result of the coronavirus.

00109
Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2022

Updated 19 January 2022: On Thursday 6 January and Friday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Our small church had been beautifully prepared beforehand with green vestments and a Christmas tree.  All-night Vigil – Great Compline, Matins and the First Hour – with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning.  As Protodeacon Martin Naef had again been asked to assist with the hierarchical services at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, our parish rector served alone.  At Divine Liturgy Craig Koppman received Holy Communion for the first time.  At the end of Divine Liturgy, we had a brief moleben of thanksgiving to observe the anniversary of the deliverance on Christmas Day in 1812 of the Russian Church and Empire from the invasion of the French and twelve other nations.  In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector read aloud Metropolitan Hilarion’s Nativity Epistle in both Russian and English.

00110
A longstanding friend of our parish is received into Orthodoxy - 03/01/2022

With the blessing of Bishop George, on Monday 3 January December the parish rector received Craig Koppman, a longstanding and well-known friend of our parish, into the Orthodox Church by chrismation. Upon his reception into Orthodoxy Craig took the name Alexander in honour of Saint Alexander Nevsky.  Craig has a rich history of involvement in our parish from the very earliest days, having assisted with fundraising, building, and social events.  He and his wife Tammey (née Golovin) were married in our church in 2006, and their daughters Emily and Chloe were baptised here.  We warmly congratulate the newly illumined Craig-Alexander, praying that our merciful God will grant him good health and many years!

00111
Services on 1-2 January, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers - 02/01/2022

On Saturday 1 January and Sunday 2 January we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, and in honour of Saint John of Kronstadt (+1909).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday.  As Protodeacon Martin Naef had been asked to assist with the hierarchical services at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone.

00112
2021 - The year in review - 31/12/2021

This year, like 2020, was dominated by the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it.  Our parish had no public services from Saturday 3 July until Saturday 30 October – a period of almost four months! – and various other restrictions were in place for the entire year.  We had five baptisms: Marta Apale, Yana Starikova, Amy Newcombe, Michael Trigg, Maria Rezk and Richard Elphick.  Stan Baric and David Baric were received into Orthodoxy by confession of faith and chrismation.  George Biankin and Amy Newcombe were married in our church in June.  Prayers were offered on the two-hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Paul I of Russia and the fiftieth anniversary of the repose of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy.  Together with the Wallsend parish we provided an English-Russian wall calendar commemorating the First All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  Our website provided updated information to help with the planning of weddings and instructive material about Sunday commemorations and readings and certain Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church.  We arranged for the manufacture of a new iconostasis for our parish centre and saw with great satisfaction that much progress was made during the year.  Our parish rector made pastoral visits to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in January and May.  All the news from 2021 can be read here.  Glory be to God for all things!

00113
Services on 25-26 December, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers - 26/12/2021

On Saturday 25 December and Sunday 26 December we had services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  For Divine Liturgy our church was full, with regular worshippers joined by friends from Sydney and elsewhere holidaying on the Central Coast, and many received Holy Communion.  Our parish rector was assisted at Divine Liturgy by Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff of Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield.  Our choir, led by visiting conductor Reader Nektary Kotlaroff - the conductor of the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia - and augmented by many visiting singers, sang beautifully.  The Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.

00114
A baptism - Maria Rezk - 05/12/2021

On Sunday 5 December the parish rector baptised Maria, the infant daughter of Rafael and Olesya Rezk and a baby sister to Sylvia, Ricky, Arseny, Seraphim, Stephan, and Varvara.  Maria, who was baptised in honour of Saint Mary of Egypt, had as her godparents Oxana Sharpe and Konstantin Belikov.  We warmly congratulate Rafael and Olesya and their family, together with Maria’s godparents, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden many years!

00115
Our 2021 Annual General Meeting - 05/12/2021

On Sunday 5 December our parish held its 2021 Annual General Meeting.  The 2021 Annual Report was presented and accepted.  The path of parish life and plans for the future were discussed, following which Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Anne Nielsen, Nina Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano and Alexei Kozlovski were elected to serve on the 2021-22 Parish Council.  

00116
Services on 4-5 December, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 05/12/2021

On Saturday 4 December and Sunday 5 December we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of the Holy Apostles of the Seventy Philemon and Archippus.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and the newly-illumined servants of God Stanley Baric, David Baric and Michael Trigg received Holy Communion for the first time.  Following Divine Liturgy an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held that afternoon.

00117
A baptism - Michael Trigg - 04/12/2021

On Saturday 4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, the parish rector baptised the infant Michael, the first child of Ben and Ekaterina Trigg.  Michael, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael, had as his godfather Alexander Smirnov.  We warmly congratulate Ben, Ekaterina and Alexander, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Michael good health, every blessing from above, and many years!

00118
Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple` - 04/12/2021

On Friday 3 December and Saturday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the TempleAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. 

00119
The reception of two converts to Orthodox Christianity - Stanley Baric and David Baric - 01/12/2021

With the blessing of Bishop George, on the evening of Wednesday 1 December the parish rector received Stanley Baric and David Baric, father and son, into the Orthodox Church by confession of the Orthodox Faith and chrismation. Upon his reception into Orthodoxy Stanley took the name John in honour of Saint John of Damascus; David retained his name in honour of Righteous David the King.  We warmly congratulate Stanley and David, and pray that God will grant His newly-illumined servants many years!

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Our 2021 Annual Report - 27/11/2021

Our 2021 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2020-21 Financial Statements, is now available.  It includes information about the governance of our parish and gives a little parish history.  It also summarises the life and activity of the parish in 2020-21 and provides details of some future projects.  A copy of the report, which will be formally presented to our parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 5 December 2021, is available here.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments concerning our Annual Report to contact us.

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Our Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services - 21/11/2021

Our Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2021-22 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are available in church as of the weekend of 20-21 November.   Services of note will be for the Great Feasts of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December; the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) on 6-7 January; the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) on 18-19 January; and the Meeting of the Lord on 14-15 February.

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Services on 20-21 November, the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 21/11/2021

On Saturday 20 November and Sunday 21 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Hosts: Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel and Jeremiel.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Protodeacon Martin Naef was assisting at the hierarchical service for the patronal feast of the Archangel Michael parish in Blacktown, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone. The Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read, and there was a blessing of honey following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After Divine Liturgy, a collection was taken up to benefit the Fund for Assistance of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held, God willing, on Sunday 5 December 2021.

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Services on 6-7 November, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost - 07/11/2021

On Saturday 6 November and Sunday 7 November we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyrs Marcian and Martyrius, notaries of Constantinople (+355 AD).  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 6 November was Saint Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening.  It being the centenary year of the First All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, we commemorated the ever-memorable archpastors and pastors of our Diocese and of the Russian Diaspora, particularly the renowned Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy (+5.11.1971), together with our own parishioners and relatives and the many clergy and monastics of the Russian Orthodox Church who have departed this life as a result of the coronavirus.  A number of people attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read. Following the Prayer before the Amvon, a prayer of blessing was read over new black vestments for our altar-servers.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and the importance of using the time we have in this world to properly prepare ourselves for the world to come.  Following Divine Liturgy, an announcement was made concerning the parish Annual General Meeting to be held, God willing, on Sunday 5 December 2021.

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Services on 30-31 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 31/10/2021

On Saturday 30 October and Sunday 31 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  Serving together with our parish clergy was Deacon Michal Matys, a cleric of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese who has recently moved to the Hunter region.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the life and significance of the Apostle and Evangelist Luke and about hearing the word of God, keeping it, and bearing fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).

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Parish life in the first half of October 2021 - 17/10/2021

As COVID-19-related restrictions continued into October 2021, no public services were held in our parish on the first three weekends of the month.  With just one singer assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 2-3 October, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross; Saturday-Sunday 9-10 October, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost; and Saturday-Sunday 16-17 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.  At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends.  Although our church could have been open on the weekend of 16-17 October to those with COVID-19 vaccination, the Parish Council had previously agreed to recommence services in our parish only after the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached in New South Wales and vaccination status has no impact on church attendance.

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The October 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 05/10/2021

On Tuesday 5 October, the Parish Council met by teleconference.  A detailed 2020-21 financial report was presented by the parish treasurer, and the independent auditor’s report for the financial year was tabled.  A decision was made to recommence services in our parish only after the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached in New South Wales and vaccination status has no impact on church attendance.  In making this decision, the Parish Council was guided by the desire to avoid conflict in the parish over vaccination status, a concern for individual privacy, and a commitment to compliance with the law. It was further agreed that the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be convened on Sunday 5 December.  The Parish Council is due to meet next in November 2021.

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Parish life in September 2021 - 30/09/2021

As COVID-19-related restrictions continued throughout September 2021, no public services were held in our parish.  With just one singer assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 3-4 September, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost and the Apodosis of the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God; Saturday-Sunday 11-12 September, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost; Saturday-Sunday 18-19 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost; Monday-Tuesday 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God; Saturday-Sunday 25-26 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost; and on 26-27 September, the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends. On Sunday 19 September, at Bishop George’s request, the full “Moleben sung in time of devastating epidemic and death bearing pestilence” was served.

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Parish life in August 2021 - 01/09/2021

As a result of ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions, no public services were held in our parish during August 2021.  With just one or two singers assisting, our parish rector served behind closed doors on the following days: Saturday-Sunday 7-8 August, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost; Sunday-Monday 8-9 August, the commemoration of Great-Martyr Panteleimon; Saturday-Sunday 14-15 August, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost; Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord; Saturday-Sunday 21-22 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost; Friday-Saturday 27-28 August, the Great Feast of the Dormtion of the Mother of God; and on Saturday-Sunday 28-29 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.  At each Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read and prayers were offered for our living and departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and friends.

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Services on 11-12 July, the commemoration of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul - 12/07/2021

On Sunday 11 July and Monday 12 July, in compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Orders in New South Wales, we had closed-door services in honour of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Monday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In addition to our parish clergy, just two others were present to help the services to proceed.

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Services on 3-4 July, the Second Sunday after Pentecost - 04/07/2021

On Saturday 3 July and Sunday 4 July, in compliance with COVID-19-related Public Health Orders in New South Wales, we had closed-door services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of All Saints who have shone forth in the Russian Land.  In addition to our parish clergy, just two singers were present to allow for Divine Liturgy to be served.

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The June 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 28/06/2021

On Monday 28 June, the Parish Council met by teleconference.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  Consideration was given to several requests from ROCOR institutions and projects for charitable assistance, with the Parish Council resolving to donate to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York.  Plans for our parish feast-day celebrations on 8-9 August were discussed, but final arrangements will depend on the extent of any COVID-19-related restrictions in effect at the time.  The Parish Council is due to meet again late in July 2021.

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Services on 19-20 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 20/06/2021

On Saturday 19 June and Sunday 20 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with Vespers and the "kneeling prayers" was served on Sunday morning.  Our small church, beautifully decorated beforehand with green branches in honour of the Life-Giving Holy Spirit, was full almost to capacity, with friends from Sydney joining our regular worshippers.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of the history of the feast of Pentecost, of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the fulfilment of prophecy, and of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit as the goal of Christian life.

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Services on 9-10 June, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 10/06/2021

On Wednesday 9 June and Thursday 10 June we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that canonical communion was re-established within the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read at Divine Liturgy and a moleben of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the exaltation of human nature in Christ, the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of unity in the Russian Orthodox Church.

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A service on the evening of Tuesday 8 June, the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha - 09/06/2021

On the evening of Tuesday 8 June, the Eve of the Apodosis of Pascha, a small group of our parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of 2021. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.  The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services for the Ascension of the Lord.

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Services on 5-6 June, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 06/06/2021

On Saturday 5 June and Sunday 6 June we had services for the Sixth Sunday of PaschaAll-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the miracle of the physical and spiritual healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-38), of this miracle as a response to those who doubted the divinity of Christ, and of Christ's power to heal our own spiritual blindness.

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Services on 25-26 May, Mid-Pentecost - 26/05/2021

On Tuesday 25 May and Wednesday 26 May we had services for Mid-Pentecost.  Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30) and customarily blesses water as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38).  Matins was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Lesser Blessing of Water was served on Wednesday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.

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The May 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 25/05/2021

On Monday 24 May the Parish Council met in person at our parish centre.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  In view of the ongoing challenges facing the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission (REM) in Jerusalem because of COVID-19 and conflict in the Middle East, the Parish Council resolved to increase the $260 collected for the REM on Lazarus Saturday to $2000.  Progress on our new iconostasis was reviewed, and the parish rector’s decision to progress to Stage 2 of the manufacture was ratified.  The Parish Council is due to meet again in mid-June 2021.

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Our Winter 2021 Schedule of Services - 16/05/2021

Our Winter 2020 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  Services of note during this period include those for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 9-10 June; for the Great Feast of Pentecost on Saturday-Sunday 19-20 June; for the Protomartyrs of China on Wednesday-Thursday 23-24 June; for the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on Tuesday-Wednesday 6-7 July; for Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday-Monday 11-12 July; Bishop George’s visit on Sunday 8 August; the commemoration of Saint Panteleimon on Sunday-Monday 8-9 August, and for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord on Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2021 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2021 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.

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Services on 15-16 May, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 16/05/2021

On Saturday 15 May and Sunday 16 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle in Russian and in English.

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Services on 10-11 May, Radonitsa - 11/05/2021

On Monday 10 May and Tuesday 11 May we had services for Radonitsa, the Day of Rejoicing.  In the Russian Orthodox tradition this is the first day after Pascha on which the departed are commemorated.  Matins was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Tuesday morning.  Following Divine Liturgy a general panikhida was served in church, and later individual graveside services were served at Point Clare Cemetery.  This was the first time that services for Radonitsa had been served in our parish.

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Holy Week, Pascha and Bright Week in Gosford, 2021 - 08/05/2021

This year, our parish again had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет" - on the first three evenings) and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served on Sunday 25 April, Monday 26 April, Tuesday 27 April, and Wednesday 28 April.  Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great Thursday, 29 April.  On Great Friday, 30 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon.  On Saturday 1 May Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 2 May, the Sunday of Pascha.   The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served later that morning.  Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Matins and again following Vespers.  In the evening on Friday 7 May Paschal Matins was served, and in the morning on Saturday 8 May, Divine Liturgy was served.  Following Divine Liturgy on Bright Saturday the artos was cut and distributed.

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Services on 23-24 April, Lazarus Saturday - 25/04/2021

On Friday 23 April and Saturday 24 April we had services for the Sixth Saturday of Great Lent, Lazarus Saturday.  On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave (John 11:1-45).  Matins was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  As we had no services for Palm Sunday this year, pussy-willows were blessed following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to assist the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.  Later in the afternoon, a newly-blessed cross was elevated and mounted on the front of our parish centre.

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Services on 17-18 April, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - 18/04/2021

On Saturday 17 April and Sunday 18 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the life and example of Saint Mary of Egypt and of Righteous Zosima.  Following the service on Sunday the prayers of blessing were read over a beautiful new stainless steel cross, the work of long-term parishioner Victor Bendevski, to be mounted on the front of our parish centre.

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Services during the Fifth Week of Great Lent - 18/04/2021

In addition to services on Saturday-Sunday 17-18 April, during the Fifth Week of Great Lent we had Great Compline in the evening of Wednesday 14 April and the General Service of Anointing with Oil in the evening on Sunday 18 April.  At the latter service, twenty-seven of our parishioners received anointing with oil for the healing of soul and body.

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The April 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 13/04/2021

On Tuesday 13 April the Parish Council met in person at our parish centre, the first face-to-face meeting since August 2020.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  The recent repose of two parishioners, Boris Levitsky and Olga Binetsky, was noted.  The arrangements for a church clean-up on Saturday 17 April and for managing attendance at the Easter services were considered, together with preliminary plans for our patronal feast of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon on 8-9 August.  It was noted that the Ladies' Auxiliary had decided to purchase new white vestments for the parish clergy, new black vestments for our servers, and new purple vestments for the church, clergy and servers.  The Parish Council is due to meet again in mid-May 2021.

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Services during the Fourth Week of Great Lent - 11/04/2021

In addition to services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, during the Fourth Week of Great Lent we had Great Compline in the evening of Wednesday 7 April and Vespers with the Fourth Passia in the evening on Sunday 12 April.

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A baptism - Yana Starikova - 10/04/2021

On Saturday 10 April the parish rector baptised Yana, the infant daughter of Ruslan Starikov and Elena Kazurova, and a baby sister to Nina.  Yana, whose godparents were Pavel Markov and Lydia Han, was baptised in honour of the Holy Myrrh-bearer Ioanna.  We warmly congratulate Ruslan, Elena, Pavel and Lydia, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Ioanna many years!

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Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2021

On Tuesday-Wednesday 6-7 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of GodAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening, and the Hours, Typika, Vespers and Divine Liturgy were served on Wednesday morning.  Our small church was beautifully adorned in blue vestments for the services, and many of the people present on Wednesday morning received Holy Communion.

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Services on 3-4 April, the Third Sunday of Great Lent - 04/04/2021

On Saturday 3 April and Sunday 4 April we had services for the Third Sunday of Great Lent.  Matins with the bringing-out of the Cross was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 3 April was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general panikhida during which prayers were offered for the ever-memorable Emperor Paul I of Russia (+March 1801), Metropolitan Laurus (Shkurla) (+ March 2008), Archimandrite Kyprian (Pyzhov) of Jordanville (+ March 2001), Russian Orthodox clergy victims of the coronavirus, and our departed founders, benefactors, parishioners and relatives.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the conditions of Christian discipleship: forgetting oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following after Christ.

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Services during the Third Week of Great Lent - 04/04/2021

During the Third Week of Great Lent we had Lenten Matins with the First Hour early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Great Compline on Wednesday evening.  On Tuesday-Wednesday 30-31 March our clergy participated in the Great Lenten Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  In addition to services on Saturday-Sunday 3-4 April for the Third Sunday in Great LentVespers with the Second Passia was served on the evening of Sunday 4 April.

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Services during the Second Week of Great Lent - 28/03/2021

During the Second Week of Great Lent we had Lenten Matins with the First Hour early on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Great Compline on Wednesday evening.  In addition, Vespers with the Second Passia was served on the evening of Sunday 28 March.

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Services on 20-21 March, the First Sunday of Great Lent - 21/03/2021

On Saturday 20 March and Sunday 21 March we had services for the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  Many of those present received Holy Communion. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the history of the veneration of icons, the place of icons in the defence of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ, and the importance of spiritual struggle and faithfulness to tradition in the preservation of Orthodoxy from heresy and schism.  In accordance with the practice of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, 'The Order for a Hymn of Supplication for the Conversion of those in Error' was served at the end of Divine Liturgy.  Also on this day, a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York.

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Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 19/03/2021

During the First Week of Great Lent we had services in the morning and evening on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  On each of these days, Lenten Matins with the First Hour was served at 7.00am and Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete was served at 7.00pm.  In addition to services on Saturday-Sunday 20-21 March for the First Sunday of Great Lent, Vespers with the First Passia was served on the evening of Sunday 21 March.

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A service on Sunday 14 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness - 14/03/2021

Early in the evening on Sunday 14 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness, we had Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness.  During this service the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the festive melodies gave way to the solemn Lenten melodies.  At the end of the service the parish rector spoke briefly about the Gospel injunction to grant forgivenss if we are to hope for forgiveness from God (Matthew 6:14-15).  Following this, all present venerated the holy icons and asked forgiveness of one another in accordance with Orthodox custom.

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Updated information concerning weddings in the Russian Orthodox Church - 13/03/2021

The information on this website concerning weddings in the Russian Orthodox Church has been updated to address modesty of attire and the visibility of tattoos and piercings during the wedding ceremony.  The updated information can be viewed here.  Any questions about this information should be directed to the parish rector.

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The March 2021 meeting of the Parish Council - 10/03/2021

On Wednesday 10 March the Parish Council met by teleconference.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed and an update was given on our new iconostasis.  A contract for the manufacture of the iconostasis was signed in January 2021, a video conference with the designer was held on 5 March 2021, and completion is expected by February 2022.   Attention was also given to charitable activity during Great Lent and plans for our patronal feast-day in August 2021.  It is expected that the Parish Council will next meet early in April 2021.

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Services on 6-7 March, the Sunday of the Last Judgement - 07/03/2021

On Saturday 6 March and Sunday 7 March we had services for the Sunday of the Last JudgementMatins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 6 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins was preceded by a general pannikhida.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about preparing for the Last Judgement by responding to others as if to Christ Himself.  It being just one week before the beginning of Great Lent, the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary prepared pancakes before the service that the faithful could take home with them.

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Our Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services - 24/02/2021

Our Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2021 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2021 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.

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Services on 20-21 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 21/02/2021

On Saturday 20 February and Sunday 21 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and for the Afterfeast of the Great Feast of Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the need to emulate the best of both the Publican and the Pharisee – humility and a zeal for righteousness – while avoiding the worst in them – a sinful life and vainglory.  On Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit a Diocesan charitable organisation, Orthodox Action, raising $140.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, a number of parishioners gathered at Point Clare Cemetery for a graveside pannikhida in anticipation of the second anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Reader Paul Douriaguine.

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Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2021

On Sunday 14 February and Monday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In accordance with Orthodox tradition and the custom of the Sydney parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, there was a blessing of candles and of fruit at the end of Divine Liturgy.  A memorial litia was then served for the ever-memorable Archpriest Nicholas Grant and Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) who reposed on 14 February and 15 February 1995 respectively, and for the newly-reposed Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin.  Present in our church for veneration at these services was a very old hand-painted copy of the wonderworking Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God belonging to the Erzikoff family.  This copy, painted in Russia and later taken to China before coming to Australia, was badly burned many years ago but has since, through the grace of God, wondrously restored.

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Services on 6-7 February, the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 07/02/2021

On Saturday 6 February and Sunday 7 February we had services for the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the history of the commemoration of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia; the faithfulness to Christ of those from the highest ranks of Russian society as well as the lowest; and the particular witness of the New Martyrs Lydia, Kyril and Alexey.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

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Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) - 19/01/2021

On Monday 18 January and Tuesday 19 January we had services for Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of ChristAll-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Tuesday morning.  As is customary at this time of year, we were joined for the services by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00163
Services on 16-17 January, the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 17/01/2021

On Saturday 16 January and Sunday 17 January we had services for the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, for the Forefeast of Theophany, and in honour of the Seventy Holy Apostles.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the advice given by Apostle Paul to Apostle Timothy, “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5), and the work of the Seventy Holy Apostles.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00164
Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2021

On Wednesday 6 January and Thursday 7 January we had services for Christmas, the Great Feast of the Nativity of ChristAll-night Vigil – Great Compline, Matins and the First Hour – with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  At the end of Divine Liturgy, a brief moleben of thanksgiving was served to observe the anniversary of the deliverance on Christmas Day in 1812 of the Russian Church and Empire from the invasion of the French and twelve other nations.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  Sadly, attendance at both services was limited by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00165
Services on 2-3 January, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/01/2021

On Saturday 2 January and Sunday 3 January we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ.   All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  After a brief period during December when up to 65 people were permitted, attendance at the services was again restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00166
2020 - The year in review - 31/12/2020

For us as for everyone, 2020 was dominated by the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and the public health measures implemented to manage it.  Our parish had no public services from Wednesday 18 March until Saturday 16 May and restrictions on attendance were in place from May until the end of the year.  We had five baptisms, amongst whom were Elliana Sutula, James Janson, Isla McDougall, and Thea Markarova.  We served the funeral of Tatiana Gerasimovna Silis.  Our much-loved former Head Sister, Olga Petroff, departed this life after a grievous illness.  Litanies and prayers were offered to mark the Centenary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and together with the Wallsend parish we provided an English-Russian wall calendar commemorating this milestone in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Our website provided information to help with the planning of weddings and instructive material about Sunday commemorations and readings, certain Great Feasts, and the system of tones used for singing in the Russian Orthodox Church.  We commissioned and approved the design of a new iconostasis for our parish centre and commenced arrangements for its manufacture.  Our parish rector made pastoral visits to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in August and November.  All the news from 2020 can be read here.  Glory be to God for all things!

00167
Services on 19-20 December, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 20/12/2020

On Saturday 19 December and Sunday 20 December we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Ambrose of Milan (+397 AD).   All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the life and example of Saint Ambrose, a wonderful shepherd of the Church of Christ and a steadfast defender of Orthodoxy.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radovic) of Montenegro and the Littoral, and more than one hundred hierarchs and clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church who have departed this life in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus.  A comprehensive list of the departed clergy is available in Russian here, and a shorter list in English that includes monastics is available here.  These were our final services for 2020.

00168
Our 2020 Annual Report - 06/12/2020

Our 2020 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2019-20 Financial Statements, is now available. A copy of the report can be accessed in PDF form here.  In view of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, and with Bishop George’s blessing, there will be no parish Annual General Meeting this year.  Instead, the 2020 Annual Report was endorsed by the Parish Council at a meeting on Tuesday 1 December 2020.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments in relation to our Annual Report to contact us.

00169
Services on 5-6 December, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/12/2020

On Saturday 5 December and Sunday 6 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of Holy and Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky (+1263 AD).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector read aloud the Jubilee Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

00170
Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple - 04/12/2020

On Thursday 3 December and Friday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served early on Friday morning.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00171
The December 2020 meeting of the Parish Council - 01/12/2020

On Tuesday 1 December the Parish Council met by teleconference.  The usual reports on parish life and finances were tabled and discussed.  The draft 2020 Annual Report and the audited financial statements were considered, accepted and approved for distribution.  A quote for the manufacture of a new iconostasis, a design for which was approved by the Parish Council in August 2020, was accepted.  It is expected that the new iconostasis will be completed and ready for installation by mid-2022.

00172
Our Summer 2020-21 Schedule of Services - 15/11/2020

Our Summer 2020-21 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2020-21 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2020-21 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are available in church as of Sunday 15 November.   Updated 6 December 2020:  From Monday 7 December 2020 attendance numbers at religious services in New South Wales are subject to the two square metre rule.  We are permitted 65 people because the total area of our church, adjoining hall and choir loft is approximately 130 square metres.  Although this means that restrictions have effectively been lifted for all evening and weekday services, the size of our parish is such that we will continue to manage attendance on Sundays and large services.  The only large weekday services in our parish during Summer 2020-21 will be the Christmas services on 6-7 January.  In our parish approximately 100 people attend Sunday services regularly.  These people have now been divided into two teams of approximately fifty people each and most have been advised which team they belong to.  Team A may attend on the first Sunday of the month and Team B may attend on the third Sunday of the month. The 15 free places will be used to accommodate those not allocated to a team, occasional worshippers, and visitors.  Those allocated to a team who wish to attend Sunday services more frequently may email attendance@gosfordrussianchurch.org.au.  If possible, a place will be allocated.  Those wishing to attend a Christmas service on 6-7 January should express interest by 20 December 2020.  When expressing interest please indicate if the evening or morning service is preferred.  Places at Christmas services will be allocated to regular worshippers first, and then to family members and visitors in order of registration.

00173
Services on 14-15 November, the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 15/11/2020

On Saturday 14 November and Sunday 15 November we had services for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Martyrs Acindynus and his companions of Persia (+341-345 AD).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, prayers of blessing were read over new deacon’s vestments, a gold sticharion and a beautiful orarion with embroidered icons, both items the work of the sisters of Saint Elizabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus.  At the end of the service, the parish rector presented the newly-blessed vestments to Protodeacon Martin Naef.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00174
Services on 31 October-1 November, the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 01/11/2020

On Saturday 17 October and Sunday 18 October we had services for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Righteous John, the Wonderworker of Kronstadt (+1908).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers for deliverance from the coronavirus were offered at Divine Liturgy.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the life and teachings of Saint John of Kronstadt.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00175
Services on 17-18 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 18/10/2020

On Saturday 17 October and Sunday 18 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Hierarchs and Wonderworkers of Moscow: Peter (+1326), Alexius (+1378), Jonah (+1461), Macarius (+1563), Philip (+1569), Job (+1607), Hermogenes (+1612), Philaret (+1867), Innocent (+1879), Macarius (+1926), Tikhon (+1925) and Peter (+1937).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the history of the commemoration of the Holy Hierarchs of Moscow; the life and service of Metropolitan Innocent, Patriarch Tikhon, and Metropolitan Peter; and the priceless inheritance that we have as children of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00176
Services on 13-14 October, the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God - 14/10/2020

On Tuesday 13 October and Wednesday 14 October we had services for the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God.  All-night Vigil was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Wednesday morning.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.  Many of those present took the opportunity to receive Holy Communion.  Following the dismissal the parish rector congratulated Matushka Marie on her recent name-day (12 October, Saint Mary of Palestine), thanking her for her work conducting the choir, baking prosphora, and organising attendance in both our parish and the Wallsend parish.  Many Years was sung for her, and Head Sister Nina Golovin presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

00177
Services on 3-4 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - 04/10/2020

On Saturday 3 October and Sunday 4 October we had services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Leave-taking of the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday those present venerated the Holy Cross before it was returned to the altar.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

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The repose and funeral of Tetyana Silis - 26/09/2020

On Monday 21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, we learned with sadness of the sudden repose that morning of our oldest parishioner, Tetyana Gerasimovna Silis. Tetyana, a first cousin to Metropolitan Hilarion, was less than one month from her ninety-fourth birthday.  Her funeral was served in our church on Saturday 26 September.  She was afterwards laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery.  We offer heartfelt condolences to Tetyana’s only child, her daughter Lilija, and to her grandson Leonid.  May God grant her rest with the saints, and make her memory to be eternal!

00179
Services on 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2020

On Sunday 20 September and Monday 21 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00180
Services on 19-20 September, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 20/09/2020

On Saturday 19 September and Sunday 20 September we had services for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, and in honour of Martyr Sozon of Cilicia (+ 304 AD).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in Time of Devastating Epidemic was offered and the newly-baptised Isla McDougall received Holy Communion for the first time.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00181
A baptism - James Janson - 13/09/2020

On 13 September the parish rector baptised James Janson, the infant son of Thomas and Valentina Janson.  James, whose sponsors were Alexander Aksyonov and Anastasia Aksyonova, was baptised in honour of Apostle James, brother of the Lord.  We warmly congratulate Thomas, Valentina, Alexander and Anastasia, and wish the newly-baptised servant of God James many years!

00182
A baptism - Isla McDougall - 12/09/2020

On Saturday 12 September the parish rector baptised Isla McDougall, the three year-old daughter of Igor Turkin and Chloe McDougall.  Isla, who was baptised in honour of Martyr Vasilissa of Egypt, had as her sponsors Maria Martynyuk, Kaye Weston, and Sebastian Reid.  We warmly congratulate Igor, Chloe and the godparents, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Isla many years!

00183
A design for a new iconostasis in our parish centre - 07/09/2020

In late 2017 our Parish Council resolved to undertake two major improvements to our parish centre in West Gosford: the construction of a mezzanine floor and choir loft, and the design and installation of a new iconstasis.  Work on the mezzanine floor was commenced in mid-2018 and completed in mid-2019.  On the recomendation of the parish rector, Moscow-based iconographer Maria Burganova-Yaltanskaya was then commissioned to design a new iconostasis.  Information about Maria and examples of her work can be viewed here and here.  Her final design can be viewed here.  This design was accepted by the Parish Council in August 2020 and a plan for the production and installation of the new iconostasis is now being developed.

00184
Services on 5-6 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/09/2020

On Saturday 5 September and Sunday 6 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Eutchyes, the disciple of Apostle John the Theologian (+ First C. AD).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer in Time of Devastating Epidemic was offered.  Attendance at the services remained restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00185
Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 19/08/2020

On Tuesday 18 August and Wednesday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy with the blessing of grapes, apples and other fruit was served on Wednesday morning.

00186
Our Spring 2020 Schedule of Services - 18/08/2020

Our Spring 2020 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format.  Services of note during this period include those for the Nativity of the Mother of God on 20-21 September and for the Protection of the Mother of God on 13-14 October.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2020 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2020 Schedule of Services is available here.  NOTE: As of 1 June 2020, the number of people able to be present at all services in our church is restricted by New South Wales Government public health orders to thirty (30).  In view of this, attendance at Sunday services will be by invitation only.  Those wishing to attend specific weekday Divine Liturgies should express interest in doing so by emailing attendance@gosfordrussianchurch.org.au.  As attendance at evening services is generally low these services are open to all who wish to attend.  The NSW Department of Health recommendation that face masks be worn in places of religious worship should be noted.

00187
Services on 15-16 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/08/2020

On Saturday 15 August and Sunday 16 August we had services for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Isaac (+383 AD), Dalmatus (+446 AD), and Faustus (+5th C.) of Constantinople.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the three saints commemorated and their steadfast defence of Orthodoxy against Arianism and Nestorianism; about the adoption by Tsar Peter the Great of Saint Isaac as a patron saint because he had been born on the saint’s day of commemoration; and of how there are no chance events, things rather unfolding according to Divine Providence.  Attendance at the services was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00188
Services on 13-14 August, the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord - 14/08/2020

On Thursday 13 August and Friday 14 August we had services for the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and in honour of the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC).  Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning.  At the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy the Lesser Blessing of Water was served and there was a blessing of honey, a number of jars of which had been donated in memory of the departed servants of God Anna, Olga and Olga.  As the faithful venerated the Precious Cross after Divine Liturgy, the parish rector spoke about the way in which so many threads of the experience of God's people were woven together in the day’s liturgical commemoration: the faithfulness of the Maccabean Martyrs in Old Testament times, the offering of prayers for deliverance from disease during processions with the Cross in the hot summer month of August in Constantinople, the baptism of Rus’ on this day in 988 AD, and the custom of the Russian people seeking God’s blessing on new honey.  Attendance at the services was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00189
Services on 8-9 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of the great-Martyr Panteleimon - 09/08/2020

On Saturday 8 August and Sunday 9 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Great Martyr Panteleimon (+305 AD), the heavenly patron of our parish.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As it was also the fiftieth anniversary of the glorification of Saint Herman of Alaska, the magnification to that saint was sung on Saturday evening and Metropolitan Hilarion’s epistle marking this occasion was read in place of a sermon on Sunday morning. The customary blessing of water was served early on Sunday, outside and before the church doors.  A moleben to Saint Panteleimon was served immediately after Divine Liturgy, following which the usual prayers were offered for the Patriarch and the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Australian and Russian lands, parish clergy and office-bearers, the people present, and for our departed parishioners.  Attendance at the services was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.  As a festive meal was not possible, the Ladies’ Auxiliary prepared and packaged piroshki and cake for those present to eat at home afterwards.

00190
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2020, 2021 and 2022 - 08/08/2020

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2021 and 2022.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our Needs page under Weddings has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.

00191
Services on 18-19 July, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 19/07/2020

On Saturday 18 July and Sunday 19 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Sisoes the Great (+429 AD).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.   Prior to the evening service on Saturday the Office at the Departure of the Soul from the Body was served for the newly-reposed handmaiden of God Olga Petroff.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, the rules for Christian living set out in the appointed reading from that letter (12:6-14), and the importance of "rejoicing in hope, [being] patient in tribulation, and continuing steadfastly in prayer".  Attendance at the services was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00192
Services on 4-5 July, the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 05/07/2020

On Saturday 4 July and Sunday 5 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint John, the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966 AD).  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At All-night vigil, the faithful were anointed with oil from the lampada that burns at the relics of Saint John, enshrined in the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, USA.  Attendance at the services was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00193
Services on 20-21 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost - 21/06/2020

On Saturday 20 June and Sunday 21 June we had services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of All Saints of Russia.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church was offered and the Archpastoral Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion to the Clergy and Flock of the Dioceses of Eastern American and Australia & New Zealand was read in place of a sermon.  Attendance was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00194
Services on 6-7 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 07/06/2020

On Saturday 6 June and Sunday 7 June we had services for Trinity Sunday, the Great Feast of Pentecost.  Prior to the services the church was beautifully decorated with green branches symbolising the new life that we have in the Holy Spirit.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening.  On Sunday morning Divine Liturgy was preceded by the Lesser Blessing of Water and followed – in accordance with the custom of the Russian Orthodox Church – by Vespers with the kneeling prayers.  Attendance was restricted by public health regulations to a total of thirty people.

00195
Services on 30-31 May, the Seventh Sunday of Pascha - 31/05/2020

On Saturday 30 May and Sunday 31 May we had services for the Seventh Sunday of Pascha, the Afterfeast of the Ascension and in hounor of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Attendance was restricted by public health regulations to ten people in addition to essential workers.

00196
Our Winter 2020 Schedule of Services - 30/05/2020

Our Winter 2020 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  Services of note during this period include those for Pentecost on 6-7 June, for the commemoration of Saint Panteleimon on 8-9 August, and for the Transfiguration of the Lord on 18-19 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2020 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2020 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.  NOTE: As of 1 June 2020, the number of people able to be present at all services in our church is restricted by New South Wales Government public health orders to thirty (30).  In view of this, attendance at Sunday services will be by invitation only.  Those wishing to attend specific weekday Divine Liturgies should express interest in doing so by emailing attendance@gosfordrussianchurch.org.au.  As attendance at evening services is generally low these services are open to all who wish to attend.

00197
Services on 27-28 May, the Great Feast of the Ascension - 28/05/2020

On Wednesday 27 May and Thursday 28 May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served early on Thursday morning.  Attendance was restricted by public health regulations to ten people in addition to essential workers.

00198
Services on 16-17 May, the Fifth Sunday of Pascha - 17/05/2020

On Saturday 16 May and Sunday 17 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  For the first time in over two months, we were able to have a number of parishioners in church in addition to clergy, servers, singers and helpers.  Many of those present took the opportunity to confess and receive Holy Communion.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy, prayers of thanksgiving were offered for the Reestablishment of Canonical Communion in the Russian Orthodox Church, accomplished in Moscow on 17 May 2007 in the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion by the wise and ever-memorable archpastors Patriarch Alexey II and Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla).  After the dismissal the parish rector congratulated 16 year-old Monica Karmadonoff on her name day, recalling her baptism on Palm Sunday 2004 and noting that she was the first baby baptised in our West Gosford parish centre.

00199
The May 2020 meeting of the Parish Council - 12/05/2020

On Tuesday 12 May the Parish Council met by teleconference.  Reports were heard on parish life and finances.  Particular attention was given to the COVID-19 crisis, its impact on parish life, and the possibility of recommencing open-door services, albeit with restricted numbers, from 15 May.  It was agreed that services with ten worshippers present, in addition to essential workers, would begin as of the weekend of 16-17 May.  The parish rector indicated that he would begin to serve in the Wallsend parish again from the weekend of 23-24 May.  The Parish Council is due to meet again on Tuesday 9 June.

00200
Services on 9-10 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 10/05/2020

On Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May we had closed-door services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic.  This Sunday takes its name from the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel, John 5:1-15, which gives an account of the healing by our Lord Jesus Christ of a man paralysed for thirty-eight years. All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of the parishioners of the Wallsend parish were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Nicholas was served at which the Wallsend parishioners and their families were again commemorated.

00201
Services on 2-3 May, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 03/05/2020

On Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May we had closed-door services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers. On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates those who brought funeral spices and ointments to the tomb for Christ's burial: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Theotokos, Joanna, Salome, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Susanna, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of all our parishioners were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Panteleimon was served at which our parishioners and their families were again commemorated.

00202
Services on 25-26 April, Thomas Sunday - 26/04/2020

On Saturday 25 April and Sunday 26 April we had closed-door services for the second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  Thomas Sunday is so named because the appointed reading from the Gospel (John 20:19-31) gives an account of the initial unbelief and subsequent confession of faith of the Apostle Thomas.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of the Wallsend parish were read.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the prayer at the breaking of the Artos was read and the artosi for both our parish and the Wallsend parish were cut for distribution.  The pieces of the artos have been wrapped and frozen and will be distributed when our churches reopen.  Following Divine Liturgy a general pannikhida was served in anticipation of Radonitsa (the "Day of Rejoicing"), a commemoration of the departed that in the Russian Orthodox tradition is customarily observed on the second Tuesday after Pascha.  In accordance with the instructions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia we commemorated their Beatitudes the ever-memorable Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy; Metropolitans Philaret, Vitaly and Laurus; our ever-memorable Diocesan hierarchs Archbishops Theodore, Savva, Theodosy, Afanasy, and Paul; the departed clergy of our Diocese; all those who for Christ and the Russian Church laboured in divers lands, and the other archpastors, pastors, founders and benefactors of the Russian Diaspora; for the elect sons and daughters of the Church of Russia, who faithfully struggled for her unity, good estate and honour in the realms of piety, blessedness, governance, the protection of the persecuted and the veneration of the New Martyrs and Confessors; for all our righteous ancestors, and for their peaceful repose and blessed memory.  At this pannikhida the names of the departed in all the commemoration books of our parish and the Wallsend parish were read.

00203
Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford, 2020 - 19/04/2020

Despite the restrictions on social activity and church life this year made necessary by the threat of the coronavirus COVID-19, our parish was able to have a number of traditional services for Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет") and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served in the evening on Sunday 12 April, Monday 13 April, and Tuesday 14 April.  Matins and Divine Liturgy for Great and Holy Thursday were served on the evening of Wednesday 15 April and the morning of Thursday 16 April.  Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon on Friday 17 April and Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ was served later that evening.  On the morning of Saturday 18 April, Great and Holy Saturday, Vespers with Divine Liturgy was served.  On Saturday evening Midnight Office and a small procession were followed by Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy.  The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served on the morning of Sunday 19 April.  At each of these services a small number of experienced readers, singers and servers were present to ensure the orderly conduct of the services.  At Divine Liturgy on Thursday the commemoration books of the Wallsend parish were read, and at Divine Liturgy on Saturday our parish commemoration books were read.

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Services on 11-12 April, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) - 12/04/2020

On Saturday 11 April and Sunday 12 April we had closed-door services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Pussy willows and palm branches were also blessed on Saturday evening.  At Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of all our parishioners were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the events commemorated on Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday; about the humanity and divinity of Christ; about the ancient monastic practice in Palestine of leaving the monasteries during Great Lent to fast and pray in the wilderness before coming together again on Palm Sunday; of the way in which a Great Lent in the wilderness had been imposed on many by present circumstances; and of the relevance in these circumstances of the appointed reading from the Apostol (Philippians 4:4-9) with its exhortation to not be anxious about anything, to present all requests to God, and to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Panteleimon was served at which our parishioners and their families were again commemorated.

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Services on 10-11 April, Lazarus Saturday - 11/04/2020

On Friday 10 April and Sunday 11 April we had closed-door services for Lazarus Saturday, the day on which the Orthodox Church commemorates the raising of Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave (John 11:1-45).  Matins was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  On Saturday at Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of all the parishioners of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Nicholas was served at which the Wallsend parishioners and their families were again commemorated.

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Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2020

On Monday 6 April and Tuesday 7 April we had closed-door services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation.  All-night Vigil (Great Compline, Matins and the First Hour) with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Tuesday morning.  On Tuesday at Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of all our parishioners were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to the Mother of God was served at which our parishioners and their families were again commemorated.

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Services on 4-5 April, the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent - 05/04/2020

On Saturday 4 April and Sunday 5 April we had closed-door services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt (+c.421 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  On Sunday at Divine Liturgy the commemoration books of all the parishioners of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Nicholas was served at which the Wallsend parishioners and their families were again commemorated.  On Sunday evening there was a small service of General Anointing, again behind closed doors.

00208
Services on 28-29 March, the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent - 29/03/2020

On Saturday 28 March and Sunday 29 March we had closed-door services for the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint John of the Ladder, Abbot of Mount Sinai (+649 AD).  No services has been scheduled for this weekend as our rector had been due to make a pastoral visit to the Mid North Coast, but in view of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis his visit was postponed.  Instead, All-night Vigil was served in our church on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  On Sunday the commemoration books of all our parishioners were read and the Prayer in time of Devastasting Epidemic was offered.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Panteleimon was served at which our parishioners and their families were again commemorated.  On Sunday evening Vespers with the Fourth Passia was served, again behind closed doors.

00209
The March 2020 meeting of the Parish Council - 24/03/2020

On Tuesday 24 March the Parish Council met by teleconference.  Reports were heard on parish life and finances.  Particular attention was given to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on parish life.  It was agreed that the parish rector would serve Divine Liturgy privately on Sundays and major feast days while the church remained closed for public worship.  Arrangements would be made for the commemoration books of all our parishioners to be read at Divine Liturgy, thus ensuring that prayers continued to be offered for all our living and departed relatives, benefactors and friends.  In addition, molebens to Saint Panteleimon and Saint Nicholas would be served following Divine Liturgy on alternating Sundays.  Other matters discussed included the possibility of the parish rector taking Holy Communion to the faithful in their own homes, preliminary designs for our new iconostasis, and options for cashless transactions when purchasing prosfora and candles or making donations.  The Parish Council agreed to meet more often during the present crisis.

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Services during the third week of Great Lent - 22/03/2020

Our services during the third week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Wednesday 18 March and Vespers with the Third Passia on the evening of Sunday 22 March.  At Vespers with the Third Passia on Sunday evening chapters 22 and 23 of Saint Luke’s Gospel were read in English.  This was our last service before Public Health Orders came into effect significantly limiting public services.

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Services during the second week of Great Lent - 15/03/2020

In addition to services on in the evening on Saturday 14 March and in the morning on Sunday 15 March, our services during the second week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Wednesday 11 March and Vespers with the Second Passia on the evening of Sunday 15 March.  At Vespers with the Second Passia on Sunday evening chapters 14 and 15 of Saint Mark’s Gospel were read in English.

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Services on 14-15 March, the Second Sunday of Great Lent - 15/03/2020

On Saturday 14 March and Sunday 15 March we had services for the Second Sunday in Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas (+1359 AD).  As Saturday 14 March was a day of commemoration of the departed a general pannikhida was served prior to the Saturday evening service.  In accordance with the instructions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia we commemorated their Beatitudes the ever-memorable Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy; the Metropolitans Philaret, Vitaly and Laurus; our ever-memorable Diocesan hierarchs Archbishops Theodore, Savva, Theodosy, Afanasy, and Paul; all those who for Christ and the Russian Church laboured in divers lands, and the other archpastors, pastors, founders and benefactors of the Russian Diaspora; for the elect sons and daughters of the Church of Russia, who faithfully struggled for her unity, good estate and honour in the realms of piety, blessedness, governance, the protection of the persecuted and the veneration of the New Martyrs and Confessors; and for all our righteous ancestors, and for their peaceful repose and blessed memory.  Matins was then served on Saturday evening.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In his sermon our parish rector spoke about Saint Gregory Palamas and the defence of Orthodoxy and reflected on the importance of steadfast faith in the current crisis.  Following the service a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, raising $190.00.  As social distancing was recommended by the civil authorities, no cup of tea was offered after the Sunday service.

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Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 08/03/2020

This year we commenced our season of repentance on the evening of Monday 2 March with Great Compline and the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.  Great Compline is a simple, solemn and characteristically Lenten service of psalms and prayers.  In accordance with Orthodox custom, Great Compline with further portions of the Great Canon was served on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  In addition, on the evening of Sunday 8 March we had Vespers with the First Passia.  At the Passia chapters 26 and 27 of Saint Matthew's Gospel were read in English.

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Services on 29 February-1 March, Forgiveness Sunday - 01/03/2020

On Saturday 29 February and Sunday 1 March we had services for Forgiveness Sunday.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  On Saturday evening many people took the opportunity to confess in preparation to receive Holy Communion on Sunday.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about Great Lent as a return to Paradise and the importance of fasting as a sign of submission to God’s will.  In accordance with the practice of many parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness was served immediately after Divine Liturgy.  During Vespers the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the festive melodies gave way to the penitential Lenten melodies.  All present then venerated the Holy Icons and the Gospel and Cross before asking forgiveness of one another.  Early in the afternoon a number of our parishioners gathered at Point Clare Cemetery for a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the death of Reader Paul Douriaguine

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Services on 15-16 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 16/02/2020

On Saturday 15 February and Saturday 16 February, we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for Orthodox unity; the newly-baptised Elliana Sutula received Holy Communion for the first time; prayers of blessing were read over new priestly vestments, a beautiful epitrachelion (stole) and cuffs, the work of the Convent of Saint Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus; and a collection taken up in support of Orthodox Action, a Diocesan charitable organisation, raised $479.00.  Following Divine Liturgy many gathered in the parish hall to enjoy pancakes freshly prepared by the parish Ladies' Auxiliary.

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Our Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services - 16/02/2020

Our Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2020 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha .  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.

00217
Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2020

On Friday 14 February and Saturday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  In accordance with the custom of the Sydney parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, there was a blessing of fruit at the end of Divine Liturgy.  Following the service on Saturday the parish rector noted that it was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archpriest Nicholas Grant - active in the life of the Diocese as a layman and clergyman for 45 years - and Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) - Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980 until 1992 - who reposed on 14 February and 15 February 1995 respectively.  He spoke briefly about their lives and distinguished service to the Diocese before intoning ‘Eternal Memory’.  He also welcomed Sister Maria from the Convent of Saint Elisabeth, noting the many items from the Convent adorning our church and the work done by the sisters to care for the needy in Minsk and to spread the Orthodox faith throughout the world.

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The February 2020 meeting of the Parish Council - 11/02/2020

On Tuesday 11 February our 2019-20 Parish Council met for the first time this calendar year.  Convening in the new meeting room in our parish centre, the Parish Council heard reports on parish life and finances; considered charitable projects; and endorsed a contract with Moscow-based master iconographer Maria Burganova-Yaltanskaya for the design of a new iconostasis for our church.  God willing, the Parish Council will meet next on Tuesday 10 March.

00219
Services on 1-2 February, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 02/02/2020

On Saturday 1 February and Sunday 2 February we had services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Euthymius the Great (+473). All-night vigil with the singing of the magnification to Saint Euthymius was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. This year, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost was the Sunday of Zaccheus, so named because of the reading from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 19:1-10) concerning the conversion of Zaccheus the tax-collector, one of the great Biblical models of repentance.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the prayers of blessing were read over a new icon of the Holy Fathers of the 1917‑18 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, a set of new chalice covers, and a new server’s sticharion.  The icon was given to our parish by the Nagikh-Day family and the other items were made for us by the Convent of Saint Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus, from a beautiful piece of church brocade given to us many years ago.

00220
A baptism – Elliana Sutula - 25/01/2020

On Saturday 25 January the parish rector baptised Elliana Sutula, the infant daughter of Evgenii and Anastasia Sutula.  Elliana, whose godmother was Natalia Yakimova, was baptised in honour of Saint Elena, Equal-to-the-Apostles.  We warmly congratulate Evgenii, Anastasia and Natalia, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Elliana many years!

00221
Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) - 19/01/2020

On Saturday 18 January and Sunday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Saturday evening and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Sunday morning. As in previous years, we were joined for the Theophany services by many friends from the Sydney parishes spending their summer holidays on the Central Coast.

00222
Russian Orthodox Christmas in Gosford - 07/01/2020

On Sunday 5 January, Monday 6 January and Tuesday 7 January we had services to prepare for and celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matins for the Eve of the Nativity and in honour of the Martyr Eugenia (+AD) was served on the evening of Sunday 5 January.  On the morning of Monday 6 January Vespers with the eight prophetic readings from the Old Testament and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great were served, after which we decorated our small church for the main festive services.  On Monday evening we had All-night Vigil (Great Compline, Matins and First Hour) with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves, and on Tuesday morning Divine Liturgy was served.  In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, our parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Hilarion Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Following the service on Tuesday many gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

00223
Services on 4-5 January, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 05/01/2020

On Saturday 4 January and Sunday 5 January we had services for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ, and the day of commemoration of the Holy Fathers, the ancestors of Christ from Adam to Joseph the Betrothed, together with all the Righteous Ones of the Old Testament who lived in expectation of His coming. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  During the evening service and before Divine Liturgy many of our parishioners confessed in preparation to receive Holy Communion.  At Divine Liturgy the appointed reading from the Apostol (Hebrews 11:9-10,17-23,32-40) was read in Church Slavonic, Russian, and English, and prayers were offered for relief from drought and from fire.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the historical certainty of the Incarnation of Christ and of the faithfulness of the Holy Fathers through the centuries prior.  With Bishop George’s blessing, on Sunday a collection was commenced for the relief of those adversely affected by the 2019-20 bushfire emergency.

00224
2019 - The year in review - 31/12/2019

In 2019 we celebrated 15 years of parish life in West Gosford. The renovation of our parish centre was effectively completed, with the office, meeting room and vestry all brought into use. We acquired new candle-stands and beautiful new church vestments in green, white and blue. We had nine baptisms: Rocco Ward, Alexander Tomachinsky, Sophia Grishina, Noemie Vitkovsky, Myron Markarov, Ellis King, Dominic Sytin, Natalia Karonin, and Martin Westcott.  Four of our parishioners departed this life: Reader Paul Douriaguine, Olga Itsikson, Ludmilla Roubanoff and Olga Erzikoff.  Great Feasts celebrated during the year include the Meeting of the Lord, the Annunciation of the Mother of God, the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), the Ascension of the Lord, Pentecost, the Transfiguration of the Lord, The Nativity of the Mother of God, the Exaltation of the Cross, and the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  In January we were honoured to receive the revered Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God.  In August Bishop George visited and the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia sang at Divine Liturgy.  All the news from 2019 can be read here.  Glory be to God for all things!

00225
Services on 14-15 December, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 15/12/2019

On Saturday 14 December and Sunday 15 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Prophet Habbakuk (7th Century BC).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon a new gold protodeacon’s orarion and cuffs were blessed, and after the dismissal these were presented to our parish Protodeacon, Father Martin Naef.  Upon presenting them to Father Martin our parish rector congratulated him on his recent name-day (Saint Martin of Tours, 24 November) and commended him on his faithful service to the parish over the past eleven years.

00226
Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple - 04/12/2019

On Tuesday 3 December and Wednesday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Wednesday morning.  At Divine Liturgy many of those present received Holy Communion.  In a departure from our usual practice, the morning service commenced at 8.00am rather than 9.00am, a practice that we are likely to adopt for weekday services in future.

00227
Services on 30 November-1 December, the Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 01/12/2019

On Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Martyrs Platon of Ancyra (c.+302 AD) and Romanus of Caesarea (+303 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  A great many people were present on Sunday morning for our first morning service in four weeks.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised Martin Westcott.  Following the service on Sunday our church was cleaned and adorned in new blue vestments in preparation for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December.

00228
A baptism - Martin Westcott - 30/11/2019

On Saturday 30 November the parish rector received into Orthodoxy a convert from the Anglican Confession, Martin Westcott.  With Bishop George’s blessing, a modified form of 'The Office for Receiving Converts from the Reformed Confession' was used in the place of the usual 'Prayers at the Making of a Catechumen', followed by the Holy Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation.  Martin's sponsor was the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles, and his heavenly protector is Saint Martin of Tours (+397), one of the great saints of the Orthodox West.  May God grant his servant Martin, newly united to the Holy Orthodox Church, many years!

00229
The November 2019 meeting of the Parish Council - 22/11/2019

On Tuesday 12 November our 2019-20 Parish Council met for the first time.  Convening by teleconference, the meeting included newly-elected members Kate Marcotrigiano and Alla Karmadonoff as well as our parish clergy and returning lay members Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Nina Golovin, and Anne Nielsen.  The meeting heard reports on parish life and finances; considered charitable projects; discussed support for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Centenary Icon project; appointed office-bearers for 2019-20; approved membership applications; and finalised plans for participation in the Diocesan Assembly to be held in Strathfield from 14-17 November.  God willing, the Parish Council will meet next on Tuesday 10 December.

00230
Our Summer 2019-2020 Schedule of Services - 22/11/2019

Our Summer 2019-2020 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2019-2020 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2019-2020 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages will available in church as of the weekend of 30 November-1 December.  We will have a number of important services this Summer - for for the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, Christmas, Theophany, and more.  Please join us!

00231
The Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese is held in Strathfield, NSW - 17/11/2019

From the evening of Thursday 14 November until the afternoon of Sunday 17 November, our parish clergy Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, together with parish delegates Vladimir Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, and Nina Golovin, participated in the work of the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the associated divine services.  The Assembly was held on the grounds of Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW.  On Friday and Saturday the Assembly heard reports and considered proposals concerning the life and administration of the Diocese and its various parishes, missions, monasteries and organisations.  Consideration was also given to the Diocesan observance of two significant anniversaries in 2020: the two hundredth anniversary of the first Russian Orthodox services in Australia, and the centenary of the foundation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  On Saturday a Diocesan Council was elected to assist His Grace Bishop George of Canberra administer the Diocese over the coming three years.  On Sunday morning the gathering of clergy and delegates from across Australia and New Zealand culminated in Divine Liturgy at which His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada presided together with Bishop George.  During the Divine Liturgy a number of clergymen received awards for their service to the Holy Orthodox Church.  Photographs of the service are available here. Update on 22 January 2020: A copy of the final resolution of the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly is available in Russian here and in English here.

00232
A baptism - Natalia Karonin - 09/11/2019

On Saturday 9 November the parish rector baptised the infant Natalia, the first child of Christopher and Sandra Karonin.  Natalia, who was baptised in honour of the Martyr Natalia of Nicomedia, had as her godparents Matthew and Evgenia Shvetsoff.  We warmly congratulate Christopher, Sandra, Matthew and Evgenia, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden good health, every blessing from above, and many years!

00233
Services on 2-3 November, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/11/2019

On Saturday 2 November and Sunday 3 November, we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Hilarion the Great of Gaza (+371 AD).  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday 2 November was Saint Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed, there was a general memorial service prior to Matins on Saturday evening.  At Matins and Divine Liturgy we were joined by Protodeacon German Polorotov of Saint Xenia Russian Orthodox Church, Tweed Heads.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, new blue vestments for the altar and table of oblation, the church and altar servers were blessed.  At the dismissal, the protodeacons intoned Many Years for Metropolitan Hilarion – whose name-day it was – and for the parish rector – in anticipation of his name-day on 5 November.  A collection was then taken up for the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, raising $233.00.

00234
Services on 19-20 October, the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 19/10/2019

On Saturday 19 October and Sunday 20 October we had services for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Syria (+290-303 AD).  All-Night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the life and witness of another saint commemorated on this day, Saint Jonah, bishop of Hankow, Manchuria (+1925).

00235
Our 2019 Annual General Meeting - 06/10/2019

On Sunday 6 October our parish held its 2019 Annual General Meeting.  The 2019 Annual Report was presented and accepted.  Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Anne Nielsen, Nina Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano and Alla Karmadonoff were elected to serve on the 2019-20 Parish Council.  Alla Karmadonoff and Ludmilla Alexandrovsky were elected Child Safety Contact Persons, and Rick Golovin and Anna Kourbatov were chosen as parish delegates to the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly

00236
Services on 5-6 October, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/10/2019

On Saturday 5 October and Sunday 6 October we had services for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Conception of Saint John, the Forerunner and Baptiser of the Lord.  All-Night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the wondrous events surrounding the conception of Saint John (Luke 1:5-25), of the moment of conception as the beginning of each life, and of the ways in which God’s will can be accomplished through love in marriage.  Following the service the 2019 Annual General Meeting of our parish was convened.

00237
Our 2019 Annual Report - 29/09/2019

Our 2019 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2018-19 Financial Statements, is now available.  The 2019 Annual Report will be presented to our parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday, 6 October 2019.  A copy of the report is available in PDF form here.  Copies have been emailed to parish members this week .  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments in relation to our Annual Report to contact us.

00238
Services on 26-27 September, the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross - 27/09/2019

On Thursday 26 September and Friday 27 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for Orthodox unity.

00239
Services on 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2019

On Friday 20 September and Saturday 21 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of what is known concerning the circumstances of the birth of the Holy Virgin and of the significance of the feast-day.

00240
Services on 14-15 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 15/09/2019

On Saturday 14 September and Sunday 15 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Translation of the Relics of Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom, exemplars of love, faithfulness and family life.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. Following the Prayer before the Amvon there was a moleben to Saints Peter and Fevronia at which all the married couples in our parish were commemorated by name.  Immediately after the moleben the parish rector read the prayers of blessing over a new seven-branched lamp stand for our altar, three new candle stands for our church, a beautiful copy of the “Khabarovsk” Icon of the Mother of God (a gift from Evgenia Druganova and her family) and an icon of the Apostle Paul (a gift from the Douriaguine family in memory of Reader Paul Douriaguine).  At the end of the service an announcement was made concerning the forthcoming parish Annual General Meeting.

00241
Services on 31 August-1 September, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - 01/09/2019

On Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September we had services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, and in honour of Martyr Andrew Stratelates and the 2,593 soldiers martyred with him in Cilicia (+c.284-305 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector announced that the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be held on Sunday 6 October 2019.

00242
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2019 and 2020 - 30/08/2019

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2020.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.

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Our Spring 2019 Schedule of Services - 24/08/2019

Our Spring 2019 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2018 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies are available in both languages in church as of Sunday 18 August.  Services of note during Spring are those for the Great Feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God on Friday-Saturday 20-21 September and the Exaltation of the Cross on Thursday-Friday 26-27 September.  It is to be noted that we will not have services on the weekends of 28-29 September and 16-17 November.  On the weekend of 28-29 September Father James will be serving on the Mid-North Coast, and on the weekend of 16-17 November all Diocesan clergy will be serving at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW, in connection with the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly.

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Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 19/08/2019

On Sunday 18 August and Monday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy with the blessing of grapes, apples and other fruit was served on Monday morning.  We were joined on Monday by friends from our neighbouring parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend (Newcastle).

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Services on 17-18 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 18/08/2019

On Saturday 17 August and Sunday 18 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and in honour of Martyr Eusignius of Antioch (+362 AD).  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel, the account of Christ pacifying the stormy sea (Matthew 14:22-34), and about the courageous example of Martyr Eusignius.

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Services on 13-14 August, the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord - 14/08/2019

On Tuesday 13 August and Wednesday 14 August we had services for the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and in honour of the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC).  Prior to Divine Liturgy on Wednseday the Lesser Blessing of Water was served and after the Prayer before the Amvon there was a blessing of honey.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the faithfulness of the Maccabean Martyrs to God's law, the history of the feast of the Cross on this day, and the way in which so many threads of the experience of God's people were woven together in this liturgical commemoration.

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Services on 8-9 August, the day of commemoration of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon - 09/08/2019

On Thursday 8 August and Friday 9 August we had services in honour of the heavenly protector of our parish, the Great-Martyr Panteleimon.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning.  Joining our parish clergy for Divine Liturgy on Friday was Priest Dionysios Halim, the rector of the Holy Dormition Church in Wollongong, NSW.  Following the service on Friday many of those present gathered in the parish hall for a festive meal.

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Services on 3-4 August, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 04/08/2019

On Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August we had services for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of the Holy Myrrh-bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles Mary Magdalene.  In anticipation of our parish feast-day of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon on 9 August, His Grace Bishop George of Canberra visited us on Sunday and presided at Divine Liturgy.  The Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia sang at Divine Liturgy in place of our parish choir.  Serving together with Bishop George and our parish clergy was Archpriest Quentin de Castelbajac, rector of the parish of Saint John the Russian in Lyon, France.  A great many of our parishioners were present, together with friends from Newcastle and the Sydney parishes.  Prior to the service on Sunday there was a blessing of water and afterwards there was a moleben – or service of intercession – to Saint Panteleimon with the customary singing of many years.  Bishop George then presented the Diocesan Cross to Vladimir ("Rick") and Nina Golovin in recognition of their exemplary service to our parish.  After the services a festive lunch was held at the East Gosford Progress Hall.

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Services on 20-21 July, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 21/07/2019

On Saturday 20 July and Sunday 21 July we had services for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the appearance of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in 1579 AD.  All-night Vigil with the singing of the Magnification of the icon was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with a moleben before the icon was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the history of the Kazan Icon and the long Christian experience of help through the prayers of the Mother of God.

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A baptism – Dominic Sytin - 20/07/2019

On Saturday 20 July the parish rector baptised Dominic Sytin, the infant child and second son of Dmytro Sytin and Hanna Sharandak.  Dominic, who was given the name Michael in baptism in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael, had as his godparents Igor Salyamon, Inna Saliamon, Yuriy Petrenko and Melania Scodellaro.  We warmly congratulate Dmytro, Hanna, and Dominic’s godparents, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant good health, every blessing from above, and many years!

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Our Diocesan Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul celebrates its patronal feast - 12/07/2019

On Thursday 11 July and Friday 12 July our parish clergy Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, together with a number of our parishioners, participated in services for the patronal feast of the Diocesan Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Strathfield, NSW.  On Thursday evening All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served with Bishop George presiding.  On Friday morning there was the Lesser Blessing of Water, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy, and a moleben to the Holy Preёminent Apostles Peter and Paul with a procession around the church.  At the services on Thursday evening and Friday morning the Cathedral clergy and clergy from other Sydney parishes concelebrated.  At the end of the service on Friday many parishioners were presented with beautiful parish Certificates of Appreciation for their work in support of the Cathedral.  A great many people then gathered in the parish hall for a festive lunch.  At lunch the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia gave a brief concert.  A series of photographs can be viewed at the Cathedral Facebook page here, and some video footage of parts of the service can be viewed here.

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Services on 6-7 July, the Third Sunday after Pentecost and the commemoration of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist - 07/07/2019

On Saturday 6 July and Sunday 7 July we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Glorious Forerunner, Prophet and Baptist John.  These were the first services in our church following repainting the the rehanging of our icons.  As Protodeacon Martin Naef had been invited to serve at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral on Sunday, our parish rector served Divine Liturgy alone.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the miraculous circumstances recorded in the Holy Gospel concerning the birth of Saint John the Baptist, of the place of Saint John in the life of the Orthodox Church, and of the enduring relevance of his call to repentance.

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The repose and funeral of Ludmilla Roubanoff - 27/06/2019

Late on Wednesday 19 June we learned with great sorrow of the repose that evening of one of our oldest parishioners and a long-serving chorister, Ludmilla Roubanoff.  Ludmilla spent her childhood in Shanghai and knew Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco in her youth.  Like many Russian people from Shanghai, she came to Australia via the Phillipine island of Tubabao.  Her funeral was served in our church on Thursday 27 June.  At her funeral our parish rector spoke of Ludmilla's steadfast faith, service to the parish, and enduring love for Saint John.  She was afterwards laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery.  May God grant her rest with Saint John and all the saints, and make her memory to be eternal!  Article updated on 13 July 2019.

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Services on 15-16 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 16/06/2019

On Saturday 15 June and Sunday 16 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost, the commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and disciples.  In accordance with Orthodox custom, prior to the services our small church was decorated beautifully with green branches.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening, and Divine Liturgy with Vespers and the “kneeling prayers” was served on Sunday.  After the long service on Sunday many stayed back to help empty the church of icons and furnishings in preparation for painting.

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Services on 5-6 June, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 06/06/2019

On Wednesday Wednesday 5 June and Thursday 6 June we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate was signed, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read after the Augmented Litany at Divine Liturgy. 

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A service on the evening of Tuesday 4 June, the Eve of the Leavetaking of Pascha - 04/06/2019

On the evening of Tuesday 4 June, the Eve of the Leavetaking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of the year. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.  The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services for the Ascension of the Lord.

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Services on 1-2 June, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 02/06/2019

On Saturday 1 June and Sunday 2 June we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Blind Man.  This Sunday is so named because the reading from the Holy Gospel (John 9:1-38) appointed for Divine Liturgy gives an account of the healing by our Lord Jesus Christ of a man blind from birth.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the continuing celebration of the Resurrection of Christ during the forty days of Pascha.  Following the service our Ladies’ Auxiliary served freshly-cooked piroshki with fillings of meat, mushroom, potato and apple.

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The repose and funeral of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson - 23/05/2019

On Tuesday 14 May 2019 we learned with sorrow of the repose of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson, our choir director from 2000-2015. Olga Ivanovna was born in Mukden, China, in 1935, and undertook secondary and further study in the city of Harbin. After coming to Australia in 1957 she graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1965, working as a music teacher in New South Wales secondary schools for over 20 years. Olga Ivanovna also taught music at the parish Russian schools in Cabramatta and Strathfield for over 35 years. In 1980 she became the conductor of the church choir in the parish of Saint Vladimir, Centennial Park, and in 2000 she became the choir conductor in our parish. Olga Ivanovna was a steadfast servant of the Russian Orthodox Church and the wider Russian community for many years. In 1998 she received the Diocesan Jubilee Medal and in August 2015 she received the prestigious Diocesan Cross. After serving our parish faithfully in its formative years she retired due to illness in 2015.  Her funeral was served at the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral on Thursday 23 May 2019 with our parish clergy, Archpriest James Carles and Protodeacon Martin Naef, serving together with Priest Simon Nekipelov (All Saints of Russia parish, Croydon) and cathedral cleric Protodeacon Alexandar Kotlaroff.  She was afterwards laid to rest at Rookwaood Cemetery.  May God give her rest with the saints! 

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Our Winter 2019 Schedule of Services - 19/05/2019

Our Winter 2019 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  Services of note during this period include those for Ascension on Wednesday-Thursday 5-6 June, for Pentecost on Saturday-Sunday 15-16 June, Bishop George’s visit on Sunday 4 August, the commemoration of Saint Panteleimon on Thursday-Friday 8-9 August, and for the Transfiguration of the Lord on Sunday-Monday 18-19 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2019 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.

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Services on 18-19 May, the Sunday of the Paralytic - 19/05/2019

On Saturday 18 May and Sunday 19 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic.  This Sunday is so named because the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel (John 5:1-15) gives an account of the healing of a paralysed man by our Lord Jesus Christ.  Following the dismissal, a litia was served for the repose of the newly-departed Olga (Itsikson), our parish choir director from 2000-2015.  After the veneration of the Cross by the faithful, the thirty-year marriage of our parishioners Matthew and Vanessa (Xenia) Todd, adult converts to the Orthodox faith, was blessed according to the rite approved for this purpose by the 1983 Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

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A baptism - Ellis King - 19/05/2019

On Sunday 19 May the parish rector baptised Ellis King, an adult convert to the Orthodox faith.  Ellis, who was baptised in honour of the Prophet Elijah, had as his sponsor his sister-in-law Marina Melnikoff.  We warmly congratulate Ellis, his wife Ludmila, and his sponsor Marina.  May God grant his newly-baptised servant many years!

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Services on 4-5 May, Thomas Sunday - 05/05/2019

On Saturday 4 May and Sunday 5 May we had services for the second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  Thomas Sunday is so named because the appointed reading from the Gospel (John 20:19-31) gives an account of the initial unbelief and subsequent belief of the Apostle Thomas.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon new icons of Saints Kuksha and Jonah of Odessa, given to our parish by a recent visitor to Ukraine, were blessed.  The prayer at the breaking of the Artos was then read.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion.  At the dismissal, pieces of the blessed Artos were given to the faithful.

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Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford, 2019 - 29/04/2019

This year our parish was again blessed to have a number of traditional services for Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет") and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served in the evening on Sunday 21 April, Monday 22 April, and Tuesday 23 April.  Matins and Divine Liturgy for Great and Holy Thursday were served on the evening of Wednesday 24 April and the morning of Thursday 25 April.  As Thursday 25 April was a public holiday in Australia a great many people were present for this Divine Liturgy, almost all of whom received Holy Communion.  Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served at midday on Friday 26 April and Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ was served that evening.  On the morning of Saturday 7 April, Great and Holy Saturday, Vespers with Divine Liturgy was served, with again almost all present receiving Holy Communion.  On Saturday evening we had an early Midnight Office and procession followed by Paschal Matins and the blessing of Easter eggs and cakes.  The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served on the morning of Sunday 28 April and festive foods were again blessed. Divine Liturgy was served on the morning of Monday 9 April, Bright Monday.  After the morning services on Sunday and Monday a small group of the faithful gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

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Services on 20-21 April, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) - 21/04/2019

On Saturday 20 April and Sunday 21 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Pussy willows and palm branches were also blessed on Saturday evening.  For both services our small church was beautifully adorned with new green vestments and with palm branches.  A great many of the faithful confessed on Saturday evening and Sunday morning so as to receive Holy Communion.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.

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Parish life during the sixth week of Great Lent - 19/04/2019

On Wednesday 17 April a smal group of parishioners gathered in church for the final Great Compline of 2019.  In the Russian Orthodox tradition this service - composed of various psalms, prayers and hymns - is an important part of the observance of Great Lent.

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Services and activities during the fifth week of Great Lent - 14/04/2019

Our services during the fifth week of Great Lent were Matins with the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete and the reading of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt on the evening of Wednesday 10 April and the General Service of Anointing on the evening of Sunday 14 April.  At Matins on Wednesday 10 April the odes of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete were read alternately in Slavonic and English, and the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt was read in full in English.  Known colloquially as “Saint Andrew’s Standing” (“Андреево стояние”), this solemn service commenced at 6.00pm and finished just after 9.30pm.  On the evening of Sunday 14 March forty-eight parishioners gathered for the General Service of Anointing.  Although this service is ideally served by seven priests together, our distance from other parishes meant that it was served by our rector alone.  Both Slavonic and English were used during the service.  In addition to these services, on the morning of Saturday 13 April we had a major clean-up of our church and hall in preparation for Holy Week and Pascha.  

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Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation and the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent - 07/04/2019

On Saturday 6 April and Sunday 7 April, the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent, we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  In his sermon on Sunday morning the parish rector spoke about the willingness of the Mother of God to accept God's will despite her misgivings and her example to all in this regard.  Noting that Saint John of the Ladder was customarily commemorated on the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent, he also drew the attention of the faithful to Saint John's advice in The Ladder of Divine Ascent to laymen: "Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not be absent from divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you.  If you can behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven" (Step 1:21).

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Services during the fourth week of Great Lent - 07/04/2019

In addition to All-night Vigil and Divine Liturgy for the Great Feast of the Annunciation on Saturday-Sunday 6-7 April, our services during the fourth week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Wednesday 3 April and Vespers with the Fourth Passia on the evening of Sunday 7 April.  At Vespers with the Fourth Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ was read in English and chapters 18 and 19 of Saint John's Gospel were read in Slavonic.

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A baptism – Myron Markarov - 06/04/2019

On Saturday 6 April 2019 the parish rector baptised Myron, the infant son of Anton Shcherbakov and Irina Markarova.  Myron, who was baptised in honour of Martyr Myron of Cyzicus (+250 AD), had as his godparents Vladimir Prokhorov and Alexandra Shcherbakova.  We warmly congratulate Anton, Irina, Vladimir and Alexandra and wish the newly-illumined servant of God Myron many years!

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The fortieth day of the repose of Reader Paul Douriaguine - 06/04/2019

On the morning of Saturday 6 April, the fortieth day of the repose of Reader Paul Douriaguine, family members and a large group of friends gathered at his grave in Point Clare Cemetery.  Our parish rector served a pannikhida and kutiya was blessed.  May God grant rest to the soul of his departed servant, the Reader Paul!

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Services on 30-31 March, the Third Sunday in Great Lent - 31/03/2019

On Saturday 30 March and Sunday 31 March we had services for the Third Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.  As Saturday 30 March was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening, at which we commemorated the departed hierarchs and clergy of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese, together with our departed parishioners, family members and friends.  Afterwards kutiya and sweet cakes were blessed.  In accordance with Orthodox custom an image of the Holy Cross, beautifully decorated with flowers, was set forth for veneration at the end of the Saturday evening service.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the importance of each individual Christian denying himself or herself, taking up his or her specific cross, and following after Christ (Mark 8:34-9:1).

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Services during the third week of Great Lent - 31/03/2019

In addition to All-night Vigil and Divine Liturgy on Saturday-Sunday 30-31 March, our services during the third week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Wednesday 27 March and Vespers with the Third Passia on the evening of Sunday 31 March.  On Tuesday-Wednesday 26-27 March our parish clergy participated in the Great Lenten Pastoral Retreat of the Australian New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  At Vespers with the Third Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ and chapters 22 and 23 of Saint Luke’s Gospel were read in English.

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Services during the second week of Great Lent - 24/03/2019

Our services during the second week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Wednesday 20 March and Vespers with the Second Passia on the evening of Sunday 24 March.  At Vespers with the Second Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ was read in English and chapters 14 and 15 of Saint Mark’s Gospel were read in Church Slavonic.

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Services during the first week of Great Lent - 17/03/2019

This year we commenced Great Lent with Matins, the Hours, Typika and Vespers on Monday 11 March.  That evening, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, we had Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.  In addition to services on the weekend of 16-17 March, we also had Vespers with the First Passia on the evening of Sunday 17 March.  Great Compline is a simple, solemn and characteristically Lenten service of psalms and prayers.  At Vespers with the First Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ and chapters 26 and 27 of Saint Matthew's Gospel were read in English.

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A baptism – Noemie Vitkovsky - 17/03/2019

On the afternoon of Sunday 17 March, the parish rector baptised Noemie, the daughter of Stanislav Vitkovskiy and Ekaterina Vitkovskaya.  Noemie, who was given the name Theodosia in baptism in honour of Martyr Theodosia of Tyre, had as her godmother Julia Gomina.  We warmly congratulate Stanislav, Ekaterina and Julia and wish the newly-illumined handmaiden of God Theodosia many years!

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Services on 16-17 March, the First Sunday in Great Lent - 17/03/2019

On Saturday 16 March and Sunday 17 March we had services for the First Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  In accordance with the parish practice of the Russian Orthodox Church a brief Service of Supplication for Those in Error was offered after Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  The customary Diocesan-wide collection was then taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY, raising $232.50.

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A service on Sunday 10 March, Forgiveness Sunday - 10/03/2019

Late in the afternoon on Sunday 10 March we served Vespers for Forgiveness Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent.  During this service the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the ordinary melodies gave way to the solemn melodies of Great Lent.  At the end of the service the parish rector gave a brief sermon on the importance of asking and bestowing forgiveness.  In accordance with Orthodox custom on this day all present then venerated the Holy Gospel, the Cross and the icons before asking forgiveness of one another.

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The funeral and burial of Reader Paul Douriaguine - 07/03/2019

On Wednesday 6 March and Thursday 7 March our parish had a series of services for the repose of the soul of our dear friend and Parish Council member Reader Paul Douriaguine (+ 26 February). At 7.00pm on Wednesday evening Paul’s body was brought to the church and a Great Panikhida (“parastas”) was served, after which family and friends – in accordance with Orthodox custom – took it in turns to read each section ("kathisma") of the Psalter and the appointed prayers for the departed. This continued throughout the night, ceasing at 7.00am on Thursday morning. The Order of Preparation for Holy Communion was then read before the commencement of the Hours and Divine Liturgy at 8.00am.  A great many people gathered for the funeral service at 10.30am, amongst whom were Paul’s family, our parishioners, his many friends, and his work colleagues.  A small choir under the direction of Reader Eustratius Papageorgiou sang beautifully at the funeral service.  Paul was afterwards laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery. A memorial meal was then held at our parish centre in West Gosford. May God grant forgiveness of sins and eternal rest to His newly-departed servant the Reader Paul!

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Services on 2-3 March, the Sunday of the Last Judgement and Meatfare Sunday - 03/03/2019

On Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgement.  As Saturday 2 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, All-night Vigil on Saturday evening was preceded by a general memorial service at which prayers were particularly offered for the newly-departed Reader Paul Douriaguine (+26 February).  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised infant Alexander.  At the end of the Sunday service prayers of blessing were read over a new set of green vestments for the altar and church and a new set of black vestments for the rector, both sets of vestments being the work of the Convent of Saint Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus.  A memorial litia was then served for Reader Paul, after which the parish rector offered condolences to the Douriaguine family on behalf of the parish.   At Bishop George’s request, a collection was taken up to benefit Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute, the theological and higher education institute of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  It being just one week before the beginning of Great Lent, the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary served pancakes following the service.

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Our Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services - 01/03/2019

Our Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2019 - is now available in PDF format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha .  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2019 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.

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The death of Reader Paul Douriaguine - 26/02/2019

On Tuesday 26 February we learned with profound grief of the sudden unexpected death of our dear friend, Parish Council member, and tonsured reader Paul Douriaguine (b. 1975).  We ask our parishioners and friends to pray fervently for the repose of his soul and for the consolation, in particular, of his grieving wife Elena and their children Alexey, Polina, Tatiana and Fyodor.

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Services on 16-17 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 17/02/2019

On Saturday 16 February and Sunday 17 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord.  This Sunday, the first Sunday of preparation for Great Lent, is so named for the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel (Luke 18:10-14).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for Orthodox Church unity and for peace in Ukraine.  Following the Sunday service a collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action, raising $188.00.

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Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2019

On Thursday 14 February and Friday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  On this day we commemorate the presentation of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after his birth and his acknowledgement by the Righteous Symeon and the Prophetess Anna (Luke 2:22-38).  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning.  The Prayer before the Amvon was followed by a blessing of fruit – customary in many parishes of our Diocese on this day – and the customary blessing of candles.  After the dismissal a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980-1992, and for his Diocesan Secretary and friend, Archpriest Nicholas Grant.  Vladyka Paul reposed on this feast-day in 1995, and Father Nicholas reposed on the eve of the feast-day that same year.  May their memory be eternal!

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Services on 2-3 February, the Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/02/2019

On Saturday 2 February and Sunday 3 February we had services for the Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Maximus the Confessor (+662 AD) and Martyr Neophytus of Nicaea (+303-305 AD).  Our parish rector Archpriest James Carles presided at the services for the first time since seriously injuring his ankle in November 2018.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Ladies’ Auxiliary served a festive meal in honour of Father James’ name day (5 November) and the twentieth anniversary of his ordination as deacon (29 November) - the celebration of which had been delayed by his accident - and of his fiftieth birthday in late January.  At lunch Parish Council member Anya Nielsen congratulated Father James on behalf on the parish and he was presented with a beautiful new set of gold vestments.

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A baptism – Rocco James Ward - 28/01/2019

On Monday 28 January the parish rector baptised Rocco Ward, the infant son of James Ward and Sara Fidock.  Rocco was baptised in honour of the Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord.  Rocco’s godparents were Lucia Kostava-Fidock, Demna Kostava-Fidock, Albert Haddad, and Priscilla Haddad.  We warmly congratulate James and Sara and Rocco’s godparents and we wish the newly-baptised servant of God many years!

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Services on 19-20 January, the Afterfeast of Theophany - 20/01/2019

On Saturday 19 January and Sunday 20 January we had services for the Thirty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after Theophany, and in honour of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John.  Father Dionysios Halim presided at these services.  Concelebrating with Father Dionysios Halim after a two-month absence was our parish rector, Archpriest James Carles.  As there were no services in our parish for the Great Feast of Theophany the Great Blessing of Water was served at Divine Liturgy on Sunday following the Prayer before the Amvon.  Praying in church on Sunday were trainers and team members of the Russian Women's Rugby Sevens team, in Australia for the 2018–19 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.

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Services on 5-6 January, the Eve of the Nativity of Christ - 06/01/2019

On Sunday 6 January we had services for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ and in honour of the Holy Fathers, the ancestors of Christ from Adam to Joseph the Betrothed, together with the Righteous Ones of the Old Testament who lived in expectation of His coming.  As our parish rector was recovering following surgery there was no service on Saturday evening and Priest Michael Storozhev – a cleric of the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield – presided at Divine Liturgy and Vespers of the Nativity of Christ on Sunday.

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The funeral and burial of Alexandra Sorokina - 31/12/2018

On Monday 31 December the Dean of New South Wales, Mitred Archpriest Nikita Chemodakov, presided at the funeral service in our church of Alexandra Sorokina.  Alexandra, who departed this life on 20 December, having received Holy Communion and anointing with oil on the previous day, was 90 years of age.  She was afterwards laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery.  We offer our heartfelt condolences to Alexandra’s daughter Elena, son-in-law Ilia, and grandson Alexey.  May God grant his newly-departed handmaiden rest with the saints and life everlasting!

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Services on 29-30 December, the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 30/12/2018

On Sunday 30 December we had Divine Liturgy for the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Forefathers, the Holy Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths Ananias, Azarias and Misael (c.600 BC).  As our parish rector was recovering following surgery we were unable to have a service on Saturday evening and Father Dionysios Halim presided at Divine Liturgy.  In his sermon Father Dionysios spoke about the approaching Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

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Services on 15-16 December, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/12/2018

On Saturday 15 December and Sunday 16 December we had services for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Prophet Zephaniah (+635-605 BC).  As our parish rector was recovering following surgery Father Dionysios Halim presided at these services.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy Father Dionysios spoke about the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel, Luke 18:18-27, the account of our Lord's conversation with the rich young ruler.  Following Divine Liturgy our Ladies' Auxiliary served piroshki with Lenten fillings: potato, carrot, mushroom, cabbage and apple.

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A baptism - Valentin Andreev - 15/12/2018

On Saturday 15 December Father Dionysios Halim baptised Valentin, the infant son of Yekaterina Andreeva.  Valentin was baptised in honour of the Hieromartyr Valentin, Bishop of Interamna in Italy (+273 AD).  Valentin’s godparents were the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles, and Andonea Dickson.  We warmly congratulate Yekaterina, her family, and the godparents, and we wish the newly-baptised servant of God Valentin many years!

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Services on 1-2 December, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 02/12/2018

On Sunday 2 December we had Divine Liturgy for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna (+1867 AD).  As our parish rector was recovering following surgery there was no service on Saturday evening and Priest Michael Storozhev – a cleric of the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield – presided at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  The customary prayers were offered for Orthodox Church unity and for peace in Ukraine.  Following Divine Liturgy Father Michael congratulated parish protodeacon Father Martin Naef on his recent name-day (24 November, Saint Martin of Tours) and the choir sang “Many Years”.  A light festive meal prepared by the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary was then served in Father Martin’s honour.

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Our Summer 2018-19 Schedule of Services - 28/11/2018

Our Summer 2018-19 Schedule of Services is now available.  Copies in PDF format are available in English here and in Russian here.  Printed copies will be available in church from the weekend of 1-2 December.  As our parish rector is receovering from surgery following a serious ankle injury there will be a reduced number of services over the Summer months.  We apologise for any inconvenience.

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Our 2018 Annual General Meeting - 18/11/2018

On Sunday 18 November our parish held its 2018 Annual General Meeting.  The 2018 Annual Report was presented and, following a wide-ranging discussion of parish life and contemporary issues, accepted.  Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Bill Reid, Anna Kourbatov, Reader Paul Douriaguine, Anne Nielsen, and Nina Golovin were again elected to the Parish Council, and Matushka Marie Carles and Alla Karmadonoff were reappointed to the role of Child Safety Contact Persons

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Services on 17-18 November, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 18/11/2018

On Saturday 17 November and Sunday 18 November, we had services for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of the Martyrs Galacteon and Epistime (+251 AD).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were again offered for Orthodox Church unity and for peace in Ukraine.  As it was also the anniversary of the election of Patriarch Tikhon and the day of commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the 1917-18 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was also read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the faith of the Holy Fathers of the 1917-18 Council, many of whom were martyred for Christ, and of the continuing significance of their decisions in parish life.  Following Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to benefit the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the final announcement concerning the 2018 parish Annual General Meeting was made.

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A baptism - Elizabeth Odarchenko - 17/11/2018

On the morning of Saturday 17 November, the parish rector baptised Elizabeth Odarchenko, the infant daughter of Vladimir and Ekaterina Odarchenko.  Elizabeth, who was baptised in honour of the Righteous New Martyr Elizabeth, had as her godparents Sergey Stafeev and Natalia Samarkina.  We warmly congratulate Vladimir and Ekaterina on the baptism of their daughter and wish the newly-illumined handmaiden of God Elizabeth many years.

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Our 2018 Annual Report - 11/11/2018

Our 2018 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2017-18 Financial Statements, is now available.  The 2018 Annual Report will be presented to our parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday, 18 November 2018.  A copy of the report is available in PDF form here.  Copies have been emailed to parish members this week and a small number of printed copies will be available at the AGM.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments in relation to our Annual Report to contact us.

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Services on 3-4 November, the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 04/11/2018

On Saturday 3 November and Sunday 4 November, we had services for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.  As Saturday 3 November was Saint Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed, there was a general memorial service prior to All-night vigil on Saturday evening.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were again offered for Orthodox Church unity, for relief from drought in Australia, and for peace in Ukraine.  At the end of the service a brief moleben was served before a copy of the Kazan Icon of the Mother God.  Following Divine Liturgy announcements were made concerning the coming parish Annual General Meeting.

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Services on 20-21 October, the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 21/10/2018

On Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October we had services for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 AD).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were again offered for Orthodox Church unity, for relief from drought in Australia, and for peace in Ukraine.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the work and significance of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the council at which the Orthodox veneration of icons was restored.  Following Divine Liturgy announcements were made concerning the coming parish Annual General Meeting and a collection to benefit refugees in south-eastern Ukraine displaced as a result of ongoing social and political turmoil in that country.  Concerning Ukraine, the parish rector also spoke briefly about the late disturbances in life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and of the response of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia to the situation.

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Services on 6-7 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 07/10/2018

On Saturday 6 October and Sunday 7 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Protomartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Thekla of Iconium (+1st Century).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were again offered for Orthodox Church unity, for relief from drought in Australia, and for peace in Ukraine.  After Divine Liturgy the parish rector congratulated our choir conductor Matushka Marie Carles on her approaching name-day (12 October, the day of commemoration of Saint Mary of Palestine) and wished her God’s help in all her work for the parish.  “Many years” was then sung for her, and at a specially-prepared  lunch afterwards the parish Sisterhood presented her with flowers and a gift.

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Services on 29-30 September, the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 30/09/2018

On Saturday 29 September and Sunday 30 September we had services for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross,  and in honour of Saint Sophia and her daughters, the martyrs Vera, Nadezhda and Lyubov (+137 AD).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were again offered for Orthodox Church unity, for relief from drought in Australia, and for peace in Ukraine.  After Divine Liturgy the clergy and faithful venerated the Holy Cross as the choir sang “Before Thy Cross, we bow down and worship Thee, O Master, and Thy holy resurrection, we glorify” and the troparion to the Cross, “Save, O Lord, Thy people”.

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Services on 26-27 September, the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross - 27/09/2018

On Wednesday 26 September and Thursday 27 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and the bringing-out of the Cross was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the history and significance of the feast.  Following Divine Liturgy, a small number of people gathered in the church hall for light refreshments.  That evening, a moleben and akathist to the Great-Martyr Panteleimon were served.

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Services on 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2018

On Thursday 20 September and Friday 21 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Friday morning.  Following Divine Liturgy, a small number of people gathered in the church hall for refreshments.

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Services on 15-16 September, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/09/2018

On Saturday 15 September and Sunday 16 September we had services for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Right-believing Prince Peter and Princess Febronia (+1228 AD), Wonderworkers of Murom and patrons of family, love and faithfulness.  Prior to All-night vigil on Saturday evening a general panikhida was served for all Orthodox Christians slain on the field of battle during the Great War.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were offered for Orthodox Church unity, for relief from drought in Australia, and for peace in Ukraine.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon we served a brief moleben to the saints at which all the married couples in our parish were commemorated by name.  After Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to assist the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

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Services on 1-2 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 02/09/2018

On Saturday 1 September and Sunday 2 September we had services for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, and the day of commemoration of the Holy Prophet Samuel (+11th Century BC).  Prior to the evening service on Saturday a panikhida was served for the ever-memorable Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) (+2 September 1982), a modern ascetic, translator and writer of great note.  During the services the faithful venerated the beautifully-adorned shroud of the Mother of God.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were again offered for peace in Ukraine and for rain

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Our Spring 2018 Schedule of Services - 26/08/2018

Our Spring 2018 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2018 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2018 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies are available in both languages in church.  Services of note during Spring are those for the Great Feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God on 20-21 September and the Exaltation of the Cross on 26-27 September.

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Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 19/08/2018

On Saturday 18 August and Sunday 19 August, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with the blessing of grapes, apples and other fruit was served on Sunday morning.  We were joined on Sunday by friends from Newcastle and from Sydney.  In accordance with Bishop George’s directive, prayers were offered at Divine Liturgy for relief from drought.  Our small church was beautifully decorated with white vestments and fresh flowers and the feast-day was celebrated in our newly-renovated parish centre with great joy.  Many remained behind after the Sunday service for refreshments and conversation in the church hall.

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Services on 13-14 August, the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord - 14/08/2018

On Monday 13 August and Tuesday 14 August we had services for the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and in honour of the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC).  Prior to Matins on Monday evening a panikhida was served to mark the anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop Theodosy (Putilin) (+13 August 1980) and the fortieth day of the repose of Bishop Ilia (Kazantsev) of Birsk and Beloretsk (+5 July 2018).  Following Divine Liturgy on Monday the Lesser Blessing of Water was served and there was a blessing of honey.

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Services on 8-9 August, the day of commemoration of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon - 09/08/2018

On Wednesday 8 August and Thursday 9 August we had services in honour of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon.  All-night vigil was served on Wednesday evening and the Lesser Blessing of Water, Divine Liturgy, and a moleben to Saint Panteleimon were served on Thursday morning.  Concelebrating at All-night vigil, Divine Liturgy and the moleben were Archpriest Alexander Korjenevski , Rector of the parish of Saint George in Carlton, NSW, and Priest Dionysios Halim, a cleric of Saint John the Baptist Skete in Kentlyn, NSW.  Following the services on Thursday those present enjoyed a festive meal in the newly-renovated church hall.

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Services on 4-5 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - 05/08/2018

On Saturday 4 August and Sunday 5 August we had services for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God.  These were the first services following the completion of a choir-loft in our parish centre that has greatly increased the size of our small church.  Prior to All-night vigil on Saturday evening our parish rector served a panikhida to mark the fortieth day of the repose of Archpriest Simeon Kichakov (+25 June 2018).  Joining us on Sunday morning in anticipation of our parish feast-day on 9 August were Bishop George, Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff, and a great many friends from Newcastle and from the Sydney parishes.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy Bishop George spoke about the history of the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God and of the importance of seeking help in prayer from the Mother of God, Saint Panteleimon and all the saints.  Following a moleben to Saint Panteleimon “Many Years” was intoned for the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church and for the parish, its clergy and office-bearers.  The parish rector then presented Protodeacon Alexander with an embroidered protodeacon’s orarion, a gift from the Gosford parish to mark the twentieth anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate.  All later enjoyed a festive banquet at the East Gosford Progress Hall.

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Services on 16-17 July, the commemoration of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia - 22/07/2018

On Monday 16 July and Tuesday 17 July we had night-time services to mark the centenary of the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, the Royal Passionbearers of Russia, together with their faithful companions.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves commenced at 9.30pm on Monday and Divine Liturgy commenced in the early hours of Tuesday morning.  Despite the lateness of the hour approximately a dozen people were able to attend the services, the majority of whom received Holy Communion at Divine Liturgy.  The services ended after 2.00am with a brief moleben and the customary prayer of repentance.  The Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on the 100th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Righteous Royal Passion-Bearers can be read in Russian here and and in English here.  Holy Royal Passionbearers of Russia, pray to God for us!

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Services on 14-15 July, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 15/07/2018

On Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July we had services for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the wonder-working "Akhtyrka" Icon of the Mother of God, the original of which is kept in the Diocesan Archbishop's Chapel of All Saints of Russia in Croydon, NSW.  As the water with which the original icon was washed healed a sick child, a moleben with the Blessing of Water was served prior to Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, prayers of blessing were read over a number of new items: gold vestments for the Holy Table and the Table of Oblation, silver zeon cups for altar use, silver candle-stands for the church, and gold covers for the icon-stands.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the history of the “Akhtyrka” Icon and of the help we receive through the prayers of the Mother of God.

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Services on 30 June-1 July, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 01/07/2018

On Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July we had services for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco (+1966 AD).  A brief moleben to the saint was served following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  At the veneration of the Cross at the end of Divine Liturgy the faithful were anointed with oil from Saint John’s shrine in San Francisco.

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Services on 16-17 June, the Third Sunday after Pentecost - 17/06/2018

On Saturday 16 June and Sunday 17 June we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Metrophanes (Mitrofan), first Patriarch of Constantinople (+c.326 AD).  Amongst the saints also commemorated on this day were All Saints of Belorussia, an icon of whom was set forth for veneration during both services.   Receving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised Christopher Newton.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon prayers of blessing were read over a copy of the revered Georgian Icon, “Glory of Iveria” ("Слава Грузинской Церкви") - a gift to our parish from Alexei Kozlovski and Svetlana Bolonina – and a set of liturgical books containing all the services for the first and last weeks of Great Lent – a gift from Evgenia Druganova.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the importance of not “having it both ways” in the spiritual life, and of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

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Work to expand and improve our parish centre - 10/06/2018

On the weekends of 2-3 June and 9-10 June a number of volunteers gathered at our parish centre to prepare for and begin work on the construction of the new second floor.  The teams working under Rick Golovin's leadership included Vlad Golovin, Chris Karmadonoff, Josh Koppman, George Karmadonoff, Craig Koppman, Joe Carles, Victor Bendevski, Philip Bendevski, Nickolay Kravchenko, Greg Alexandrovsky and Con Yakimov.  The hall flooring was removed on Saturday 2 June and in a huge effort over two days on 9-10 June the hall air-conditioning unit and all the ducting was moved; the steel posts, bearers and joists for the floor above the hall were put in place; and the wooden flooring for the upper level was laid.  Our Head Sister Nina Golovin fed the workers on Saturday 9 June and Kate Marcotrigiano prepared lunch on Sunday 10 June.  God willing, the team will be back on site on the weekend of 23-24 June to install the choir loft in church.  In addition to these major efforts work will continue on gyprocking and plastering, the electrics and the air conditioning, and the construction of an office and storage units upstairs.

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A baptism - Christopher Newton - 09/06/2018

On Saturday 9 June the parish rector baptised one year-old Christopher, the son of Joel and Svetlana Newton.  Christopher was baptised in honour of the Martyr Christopher and had as his sponsors Pressica Taber and the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles.  We warmly congratulate Joel, Svetlana and Pressica and wish the newly-illumined servant of God Christopher many years!

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Our Orthodox Faith and Life: What is prosphora? - 03/06/2018

On Sunday 3 June our parish published an educational leaflet, 'What is prosphora?'.  This leaflet, prepared in collaboration with our neighbouring parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend (Newcastle) explains the symbolism and use of prosphora, the small loaves of bread offered during Divine Liturgy.  The leaflet also explains the commemoration of the names of the living and the departed at Divine Liturgy.  Printed copies are available in church.

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Services on 2-3 June, the First Sunday after Pentecost - 03/06/2018

On Saturday 2 June and Sunday 3 June we had services for the First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of All Saints. At the end of Divine Liturgy a brief moleben was served for the children and young people of our parish, our Diocese and the whole Russian Orthodox Church Outisde Russia, the Sunday of All Saints being the Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad.  As 3 June (22 May on the Julian Calendar) was also the feast-day of All Saints of Ufa - a group of twentieth-century martyrs and righteous ones from the Bashkortostan region of Russia - their icon and a cross containing the relics of Righteous Moses of Ufa (+1983), Righteous Zosima Ennatskaya (+1935), and Blessed Barbara Skvorchikhinskaya (+1966) - three of the most revered saints of Ufa - were set forth for veneration.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the different paths to holiness of these three saints and of the need for each of us to pursue our own path to holiness.

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Our Winter 2018 Schedule of Services - 20/05/2018

Our Winter 2018 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2018 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2018 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.

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Services on 19-20 May, the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council - 20/05/2018

On Saturday 19 May and Sunday 20 May we had services for the seventh Sunday of Pascha and in honour of the three hundred and eighteen Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council convened in Nicaea in 325 AD.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the history of the First Ecumenical Council and the enduring importance for Christian life of the decisons that it made.

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Services on 16-17 May, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 17/05/2018

On Wednesday 16 May and Thursday 17May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate was signed, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read after the Augmented Litany and a brief service of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After the dismissal the parish rector spoke briefly about the traditional significance of the feast-day and about the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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A service on Tuesday 15 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha - 15/05/2018

On the evening of Tuesday 15 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of the year. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as it is during Bright Week – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.  The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services for the Ascension of the Lord.

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Services on 5-6 May, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman - 06/05/2018

On Saturday 5 May and Sunday 6 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha - the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman (John 4:5-42) – and in honour of the Great Martyr, Trophy-bearer and Wonderworker George (+303 AD).  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the extraordinary conversation of Christ with the Samaritan Woman Photini by Jacob’s Well, her conversion and martyrdom, and the help received over the centuries through the prayers of Saint George.  For the first time in our fourteen years at West Gosford refreshments were not offered after the service, our hall and kitchen having been closed in preparation for the construction of a second floor above the hall and a choir loft at the rear of the church.  We hope to have this work finished by late July 2018.

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Services on 1 May, the eve of Mid-Pentecost - 01/05/2018

Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day we commemorate Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30).  Although we were again unable to have services on Wednesday 2 May, the day of Mid-Pentecost itself, on the eve of the feast we had Matins followed by the customary blessing of water.  The blessing of water occurs on this day as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38).

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Services on Sunday 28-29 April, the Sunday of the Paralytic - 29/04/2018

On Saturday 28 April and Sunday 29 April we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised infant Amelia Bolonin.  As 29 April was the tenth anniversary of the enthronement of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), a moleben of thanksgiving was served following the Prayer before the Amvon.  At the end of the service the parish rector spoke briefly about Metropolitan Hilarion’s election as First Hierarch and his wise leadership over the past ten years.  In accordance with a directive of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops, 'Many Years' was then intoned for Metropolitan Hilarion and 'Eternal Memory' was sung for the ever-memorable Emperor Alexander II, the "Tsar-Liberator" assassinated in 1881, it being the two-hundredth anniversary of his birth. 

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Services on 14-15 April, Thomas Sunday - 15/04/2018

On Saturday 14 April and Sunday 15 April we had services for the second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the newly-baptised child Teagan (Katerina) Rochtchina received Holy Communion for the first time.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at the prayer at the breaking of the Artos was read.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion in Russian and in English.  At the dismissal, pieces of the blessed Artos were given to the faithful.

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A baptism - Amelia Bolonin - 15/04/2018

On Sunday 15 April, Thomas Sunday, the parish rector baptised Amelia Bolonin, the infant daughter and first child of Yuriy and Eugenia Bolonin.  Amelia was baptised in honour of Righteous Emmelia of Caesarea.  Her godparents were Alexei Kozlovski and Svetlana Bolonina.  We warmly congratulate Yuriy, Eugenia, Alexei and Svetlana and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Amelia many years!

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A baptism - Katerina Rochtchina - 14/04/2018

On Saturday 14 April, Bright Saturday, the parish rector baptised two year-old Teagan Rochtchina, the daughter of Marina Rochtchina.  Teagan was given the name Katerina in baptism in honour of Great-Martyr Katherine of Alexandria.  Her godmother was her maternal aunt, Anastasia Jeboult.  We warmly congratulate Marina and Anastasia and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Katerina many years!

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Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford, 2018 - 09/04/2018

As is customary, this year our parish had a number of traditional services for Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет") and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served in the evening on Sunday 1 April, Monday 2 April, and Tuesday 3 April.  Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served at midday on Friday 6 April and Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ was served that evening.  On the morning of Saturday 7 April, Great and Holy Saturday and the Great Feast of the Annunciation, Divine Liturgy was served.  On Saturday evening we had an early Midnight Office and procession followed by Paschal Matins and the blessing of Easter eggs and cakes.  The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served on the morning of Sunday 8 April and festive foods were again blessed. Divine Liturgy was served on the morning of Monday 9 April, Bright Monday.

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Services on 31 March-1 April, Palm Sunday - 01/04/2018

On Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, five loaves and pussy-willow branches was served on Saturday evening, during which a great many people took the opportunity to confess their sins in preparation to receive Holy Communion on the following day.  Prior to Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Lesser Blessing of Water was served.  Our church was full to overflowing on the day of the feast, with well over 100 people present.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time was the newly-baptised infant Alexei Morozoff.  Following the service a collection was taken up to assist the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.

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A baptism – Alexei Morozoff - 31/03/2018

On Saturday 31 March the parish rector baptised Boston Morozoff, the infant son and first child of Alexei and Carly Morozoff.  In baptism Boston was given the name Alexei in honour of Saint Alexei the Man of God.  His godparents were Alexander Mavritsky, Laura Barandiaran and Amaya Barandiaran.  We warmly congratulate Alexei, Carly, Alexander, Laura and Amaya and wish the newly-baptised servant of God Alexei many years!

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Services and activities during the sixth week of Great Lent - 30/03/2018

On Thursday 29 March we had our final Great Compline for Great Lent in 2018.  A small congregation gathered to read the psalms and prayers and to sing the familiar hymns.  On the following morning, Friday 30 March, we had a clean-up of our parish centre in preparation for Holy Week and Pascha.  The opportunity was also taken to decorate the church with palm branches in readiness for the Palm Sunday services on 31 March-1 April.

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Services during the fifth week of Great Lent - 25/03/2018

Our services during the fifth week of Great Lent were Matins with the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete and the reading of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt on the evening of Wednesday 21 March and the General Service of Anointing on the evening of Sunday 25 March.  At Matins on Wednesday 21 March the odes of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete were read alternately in Slavonic and English, and the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt was read in full in English.  Known colloquially as “Saint Andrew’s Standing” (“Андреево стояние”), this solemn and edifying service commenced at 6.00pm and finished just before 10.00pm.  On the evening of Sunday 25 March forty-six parishioners gathered for the General Service of Anointing.  Although this service is ideally served by seven priests together, our distance from other parishes meant that it was served by our rector alone.  Both Slavonic and English were used during the service.

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Services during the fourth week of Great Lent - 18/03/2018

In addition to services on the weekend of 17-18 March, our services during the fourth week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Thursday 15 March and Vespers with the Fourth Passia on the evening of Sunday 18 March.  At Vespers with the Fourth Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ and chapters 18 and 19 of Saint John’s Gospel were read in Church Slavonic.

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Services on 17-18 March, the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent - 18/03/2018

On Saturday 17 March and Sunday 18 March we had services for the departed and for the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint John of the Ladder (+649 AD), Abbot of Mount Sinai and author of the The Ladder of Divine Ascent, a spiritual book of great and enduring significance in Orthodox spirituality. As Saturday 17 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, the service on Saturday evening was preceded by a general panikhida at which the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla) (+16 March 2008), fifth First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, was commemorated, together with many departed hierarchs and clergymen of our Diocese, parishioners, relatives and friends.  After the panikhida, koliva and other foods were blessed and shared.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector made particular reference to Saint John's advice in The Ladder of Divine Ascent to laymen: "Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not be absent from divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you.  If you can behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven" (Step 1:21).

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Services during the third week of Great Lent - 11/03/2018

Our services during the third week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Thursday 8 March and Vespers with the Third Passia on the evening of Sunday 11 March.  At Vespers with the Third Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ and chapters 22 and 23 of Saint Luke’s Gospel were read in English.  

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Services during the second week of Great Lent - 04/03/2018

In addition to services on the weekend of 3-4 March, our services during the second week of Great Lent were Great Compline on the evening of Thursday 1 March and Vespers with the Second Passia on the evening of Sunday 4 March.  Great Compline is a simple, solemn and characteristically Lenten service of psalms and prayers, and in our parish it is the custom for all who wish to share in the reading to do so.  At Vespers with the Second Passia on Sunday evening the akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ and chapters 14 and 15 of Saint Mark’s Gospel were read in Church Slavonic.

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Services on 3-4 March, the Second Sunday in Great Lent - 04/03/2018

On Saturday 3 March and Sunday 4 March we had services for the Second Sunday of Great Lent and in honour of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica (+AD 1359).  As Saturday 3 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, the service on Saturday evening was preceded by a general panikhida at which a great many departed clergymen of our Diocese, parishioners, relatives and friends were commemorated by name.  After the panikhida koliva and other foods were blessed and shared.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY.

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Services during the first week of Great Lent - 25/02/2018

This year our services during the First Week of Great Lent included Matins, the Hours, Typika and Vespers on Monday 19 February; Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete each evening from Monday 19 February until Thursday 22 February; and Vespers with the First Passia on the evening of Sunday 25 February.  During each week of Great Lent we will have a weeknight service and a Sunday evening service.

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Services on 17-18 February, Forgiveness Sunday - 18/02/2018

On Saturday 17 February and Sunday 18 February we had services for Forgiveness Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent.  Divine Liturgy was immediately followed by Vespers, during which the church vestments were changed from festive blue – for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord – to black, and the ordinary melodies gave way to the solemn melodies of Great Lent.  In accordance with Orthodox practice, at the end of Vespers all present asked forgiveness of one another.  Following the service the Ladies Auxiliary served pancakes with herring, smoked salmon, and sour cream.

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Our Autumn 2018 Schedule of Services - 18/02/2018

Our Autumn 2018 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2018 - is now available in PDF format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2018 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2018 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.

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Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2018

On Wednesday 14 February and Thursday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  On this day we commemorate the presentation of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after his birth and his acknowledgement by the Righteous Symeon and the Prophetess Anna.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  Following the readings of the Hours and immediately prior to the commencement of Divine Liturgy, the Order for the Blessing of Candles on the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord was served.  The Prayer before the Amvon was followed by a blessing of fruit – customary in many parishes of our Diocese on this day – and the dismissal was followed by a memorial litia for the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980-1992, and for his Diocesan Secretary and friend, Archpriest Nicholas Grant.  Vladyka Paul reposed on this feast-day in 1995, and Father Nicholas reposed on the eve of the feast-day that same year.  Eternal memory!

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A moleben and akathist to Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg - 06/02/2018

On the evening of Tuesday 6 February, the day of commemoration of Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg, a moleben with an akathist – a liturgical hymn in thirteen parts –to the saint was served.  The moleben – or service of intercession – was served in Church Slavonic and the akathist was read in English.  All our parishioners were commemorated by name together with those who have asked for our prayers and the family and friends of those present.  Following the service the parish rector congratulated Nina Golovin, the Senior Sister, on the feast-day of the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary.  Many years was sung for Nina and the members of the Ladies Auxiliary and for Xenia (Janet) Strickler, celebrating her name-day.  Those present later gathered in the church hall for a light festive meal.  Holy blessed Xenia, pray to God for us!

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Services on 3-4 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 04/02/2018

On Saturday 3 February and Sunday 4 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son – so named for the appointed Gospel reading, Luke 15:11-32 – and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  A large number of people were present for Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  It being an important feast-day in the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the parable of the Prodigal Son as an encouragement to repentance and about the history and significance of the commemoration of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  Following Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up for Orthodox Action, raising $195.00.

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Services on 20-21 January, the Sunday after Theophany and Zaccheus Sunday - 21/01/2018

On Saturday 20 January and Sunday 21 January we had services for the Sunday after Theophany.  This year, the Sunday after Theophany coincided with Zaccheus Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of preparation for Great Lent.  On this day the appointed Gospel reading is Luke 19:1-10, the account of the repentant tax collector Zaccheus of Jericho.  In his sermon the parish rector noted the shift in focus in the life of the Church from the joy of the Great Feasts of the Nativity and the Baptism of Christ to the need for repentance.  This shift is also evident in the Gospel reading appointed for the Sunday after Theophany, Matthew 4:12-17.

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Services on 18-19 January - Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of Christ - 19/01/2018

On Thursday 18 January and Friday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord.  All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Thursday evening, and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Friday morning.  Following the service on Friday and during the days that followed, the parish rector visited parish homes to sprinkle the Holy Water and offer prayers for the health and salvation of the faithful.

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Russian Orthodox Christmas in Gosford - 07/01/2018

Over the weekend of 5 January – 7 January we had a number of services to prepare for and celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Matins for the Eve of the Nativity and in honour of the Martyr Eugenia (+AD) was served on the evening of Friday 5 January.  On the morning of Saturday 6 January Divine Liturgy and Vespers with the eight prophetic readings from the Old Testament were served, after which we decorated our small church for the main festive services.  On Saturday evening we had All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and on Sunday morning the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great.  In place of a sermon, our parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York in Russian and in English.  In accordance with parish custom, prayers of thanksgiving were offered at the end of the Christmas Day service to commemorate the deliverance of the Russian Church and Empire from the French and Twelve Other Nations on this day in 1812.  Following the service many gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.

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Services on 30-31 December, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of the Holy Fathers - 31/12/2017

On Saturday 30 December and Sunday 31 December we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of the Holy Fathers, all those who were well-pleasing to God from Adam until the Incarnation of Christ.  As it was also the day of commemoration of Saint Symeon of Verhkoturye (+1642), his icon was placed in the centre of the church together with that of the Holy Fathers.  Divine Liturgy on Sunday was preceded by a blessing of water - for the sake of the commemoration of Saint Symeon - and followed by a moleben for the beginning of the civil New Year.

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Services on 16-17 December, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 17/12/2017

On Saturday 16 December and Sunday 17 December we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Great-Martyr Barbara (+306 AD) and Saint John of Damascus (+776 AD).  On both Saturday night and Sunday morning there were many more worshippers than usual, and on Sunday over forty adults and children received Holy Communion.  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the importance of giving thanks to God (see Colossians 1:12-18 and Luke 17:12-19, the appointed readings for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday) and of the example of Great-Martyr Barbara and Righteous John of Damascus, two quite different saints who were nevertheless united in their faithfulness to Christ.

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Our December 2017 parish newsletter - 17/12/2017

On Sunday 17 December 2017 issue of our parish newsletter, issue number 142, was published.  It contains news from July-December 2017, information about parish activities planned for late December and early January, and more.  The newsletter can be viewed here or by visiting our newsletter page.

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Updated information about marriage in the Russian Orthodox Church, together with a list of available dates in 2018 and 2019 - 09/12/2017

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the legal and church requirements for marriage in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  This information has now been comprehensively revised and updated to reflect the adoption by the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of the document ‘On the Canonical Aspects of Church Marriage’ (‘О канонических аспектах церковного брака’) on 2 December 2017 and the commencement of amendments to the Australian Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) on 9 December 2017.  It includes an explanation of why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons, and provides a helpful list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2019.  The information can be accessed here.  Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.

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Services on 2-3 December, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/12/2017

On Saturday 2 December and Sunday 3 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of Saint Gregory the Decapolite (+816 AD).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the triumphant Holy Bishops' Council that had just taken place in Moscow, the restoration of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate in 1917, and the exhortation given in the appointed Epistle reading - to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" but rather to "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time" (Ephesians 5:91-19).

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Our Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services - 19/11/2017

Our Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are available in church.  We will have a number of important services this Summer - for Saint Basil the Great, for Christmas and Theophany, and more.  Please join us!

00354
Services on 18-19 November, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 19/11/2017

On Saturday 18 November and Sunday 19 November we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Paul the Confessor, Archbishop of Constantinople (+350 AD).  A greater number of worshippers than usual were present at the service on Saturday evening and many prepared to receive Holy Communion on Sunday morning.  Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector congratulated Protodeacon Martin Naef on the forthcoming commemoration of Saint Martin of Tours, his heavenly patron, and wished him continued help from God in his service to the parish and the wider Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  A collection was then taken up to aid the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, raising $315.00.  At lunch toasts were offered in Father Martin's honour and he was presented with a gift from the parish.

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Services on 4-5 November, the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 05/11/2017

On Saturday 4 November and Sunday 5 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord (+1st Century AD). At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday special prayers for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage were offered for the final time in the context of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. Following the dismissal Protodeacon Martin Naef congratulated the rector, Archpriest James Carles, on the occasion of his name-day, and intoned ‘Many Years’ for him. At a festive meal in the church hall following the service Father James thanked those present for their kindness and reflected on his sixteen years of service as rector of the parish.

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A baptism - Leonid Prikaznov - 04/11/2017

On Saturday 4 November the parish rector baptised three year-old Leonid, the son of Andrey Prikaznov and Maria Prikaznova and a younger brother to Daria and Roman.  Leonid was baptised in honour of the Martyr Leonid and had as his sponsor the parish rector, Archpriest James Carles.  We warmly congratulate Andrey and Maria on the baptism of their son and wish the newly-illumined servant of God Leonid many years!

00357
Services on 28-29 October, the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 29/10/2017

On Saturday 28 October and Sunday 29 October we had services for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Martyr Longinus, the Centurion who stood at the Cross of the Lord (+1st Century AD).  As Saturday 28 October was Saint Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed, there was a general memorial service prior to the usual service on Saturday evening. This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were offered at this memorial service, in accordance with a resolution of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, for "the repose of the departed servants of God who [during the Soviet years] innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death".  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday special prayers were again offered, in the context of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage.  Following the service our parishioner Elena Thornhill presented the parish with a beautiful icon of Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, blessed at the Donskoy Monastery where his relics are enshrined.  

00358
Services on 14-15 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 15/10/2017

On Saturday 14 October and Sunday 15 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Kyprian and Martyr Justina of Nicomedia (+304 AD).  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday special prayers were again offered for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage.  A prayer of blessing was also read over two new sets of the Menaion - the set of books that contains the services for each day of the month - in Russian rather than Church Slavonic script.  Following the dismissal the parish rector congratulated choir conductor Matushka Marie Carles and parish treasurer Anna Kourbatov on the occasion of their respective name days and thanked them for their contribution to parish life.  ‘Many Years’ was then intoned for them.

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Services on 30 September-1 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - 01/10/2017

On Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October we had services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross, and in honour of Venerable Eumenius, bishop of Gortyna on Crete (+7th Century AD).  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday special prayers were again offered, in the context of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Christian life: denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following after Christ (Mark 8:34-9:1, the reading appointed for the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross).

00360
A moleben and akathist to the Righteous Symeon of Verkhoturye - 24/09/2017

On Sunday 24 September, the eve of the commemoration of the translation of the relics of Righteous Symeon of Verkoturye (+1642 AD), we had a moleben to the saint with the reading of an akathist.  Set in the middle of the church for veneration was an icon of Saint Symeon blessed on his relics, a gift to our parish from the handmaiden of God Olga (Popova) from Ekaterinburg. Saint Symeon was born into a noble family but concealed his origins and lived simply.  He moved to the Ural region of Russia during the Time of Troubles, living first in Verkhoturye and later in Merkushino, a nearby village.  An accomplished tailor, he would sew fine garments but leave before he could be paid for his work.  He reposed aged 35 and was buried in the churchyard at Merkushino.  His incorrupt relics were revealed in 1692 and he was formally glorified in 1794.  A spring, now enclosed in a beautiful chapel, flows at the place of his burial.  His shrine in Verkhoturye was a popular place of pilgrimage prior to the Russian Revolution, with over 60,000 visitors a year.  Many have received healing and spiritual consolation through his prayers.  Confiscated by the Soviet authorities, his relics were preserved and returned to Verkhoturye in 1992.  Our parish endeavours to remember him a number of times during the year: on the feast of All Saints of Ekaterinburg (11 February NS); on the day of his glorification (31 December); and on the first and second translations of his relics (25 May and 25 September).  Holy Righteous Symeon, pray to God for us!

00361
Our 2017 Annual General Meeting - 17/09/2017

On Sunday 17 September our parish held its 2017 Annual General Meeting.  The 2017 Annual Report was presented and accepted and a draft 2017-18 budget was considered.  The plan of the Parish Council to undertake certain improvements to the parish centre at West Gosford – details of which are set out in the Annual Report – was endorsed.  Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Bill Reid, Anna Kourbatov, Reader Paul Douriaguine, Anne Nielsen, and Nina Golovin were again elected to the Parish Council, and Matushka Marie Carles and Alla Karmadonoff were reappointed to the role of Child Safety Contact Persons.

00362
Services on 16-17 September, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 17/09/2017

On Saturday 16 September and Sunday 17 September we had services for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Right-believing Prince Peter and Princess Febronia (+1228 AD), Wonderworkers of Murom and patrons of family, love and faithfulness.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon we served a brief moleben to the saints at which all the married and engaged couples in our parish were commemorated by name, also offering special prayers for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage.  After Divine Liturgy a collection was again taken up to assist the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and the rector made the final announcement concerning our 2017 Annual General Meeting.

00363
Special prayers to be offered for the duration of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey - 07/09/2017

With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop George of Canberra, we will offer special prayers after the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on every Sunday from 12 September until 5 November, the term of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.  These prayers will be for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage.  The prayers of Saints Peter and Febronia of Murom, heavenly protectors of love, faithfulness and honourable marriage, will be particularly invoked.  May God help us!

00364
Services on 2-3 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 03/09/2017

On Saturday 2 September and Sunday 3 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Dormition, and in honour of Apostle Thaddeus of the Seventy (+44 AD).  Prior to All-night Vigil on Saturday evening we served a memorial service for the ever-memorable Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina, California (+1982), it being the thirty-fifth anniversary of his repose.  Hieromonk Seraphim was a clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and a writer, translator and publisher whose influence in the life of the Orthodox Church - both during his life and since his repose - has been immense.  On Sunday a collection was taken up to assist the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and the rector again announced that the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be held on Sunday 17 September 2017.  Following our customary cup of tea on Sunday our rector blessed four beautiful new candlestands for our small church.

00365
Services on 27-28 August, the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God - 28/08/2017

On Sunday 26 August and Monday 28 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  In accordance with a resolution of the Holy Synod, on this day our parish observed the centenary of the 1917-18 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Council, a momentous event in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church that culminated in the restoration of the Patriarchate and the enthronement of Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin), opened in the Dormition Cathedral on the day of the feast in 1917.  A moleben to the canonised participants in the Council was served following the Prayer before the Amvon and an Epistle of Patriarch Kyrill on the occasion of the centenary of the Council was read aloud in Russian in place of a sermon.  A link to the English-language text is available here. Following the service a memorial litia was served for the other participants in the Council.

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Notice of 2017 Annual General Meeting - 26/08/2017

Our 2017 parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 12.00pm on Sunday 17 September 2017.  A formal Notice concerning the AGM - including the agenda and important information for parish members - is available here.

00367
Our Spring 2017 Schedule of Services - 20/08/2017

Our Spring 2017 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2017 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies are available in both languages in church.  Services of note during Spring are those for the Great Feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God on 20-21 September and the Exaltation of the Cross on 26-27 September.

00368
Services on 19-20 August, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - 20/08/2017

On Saturday 19 August and Sunday 20 August we had services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and in honour of Monk-Martyr Dometius of Persia (+363 AD).   Prior to the service on Saturday a reliquary containing portions of the relics of twenty-four New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia was brought to our church, remaining with us throughout the evening and on the following day.  Great Vespers was then served, following which there was a moleben to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia with the reading of an akathist.  On Sunday morning Divine Liturgy was served, following which there was a further brief moleben to the saints.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Orthodox Christian veneration of relics and of steadfastness of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in the face of bitter persecution, an important example at a time when religious freedom was under attack in Australia and other Western nations.   At the end of Divine Liturgy the parish rector announced that the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be held on Sunday 17 September.

00369
Services on 13-14 August, the first day of the Dormition Fast - 14/08/2017

On Sunday 13 August and Monday 14 August, the first day of the Dormition Fast, we had services for the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and in honour of the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC).  Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  In accordance with the custom of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Lesser Blessing of Water was served after Divine Liturgy.  The parish rector also blessed a small quantity of honey brought by the faithful, it being customary to do so on this day.

00370
Services on 8-9 August, the day of commemoration of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon - 09/08/2017

On Tuesday 8 August and Wednesday 9 August we had services in honour of the heavenly protector of our parish, the Great-Martyr and Unmercenary Healer Panteleimon (+305 AD).  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening.  On Wednesday morning Divine Liturgy was preceded by the Lesser Blessing of Water and followed by a moleben to Saint Panteleimon.  Friends from Sydney and Newcastle joined us for the services, and on Wednesday Priest Samouil Vishnevskii concelebrated with our parish clergy.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon Father Samouil, the rector of the Protection of the Mother of God Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Blacktown, NSW, gave an edifying sermon in Russian.  Those present afterwards gathered in the parish hall for a festive meal.

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Services on 5-6 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/08/2017

On Saturday 5 August and Sunday 6 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday of Pentecost and in honour of the Right-believing Passion-bearers Princes Boris and Gleb (+1015 AD).  All-night Vigil with the singing of the magnification of Saints Boris and Gleb was served on Saturday evening.  Our parish had prepared for Bishop George of Canberra to preside at Divine Liturgy on Sunday in anticipation of the parish feast-day, but unfortunately illness prevented Vladyka from coming.  Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov served at Divine Liturgy together with our parish clergy.  For the sake of the many visitors from Sydney who joined us on the day – including a group of Serbian Orthodox friends – the Lesser Blessing of Water was served before Divine Liturgy and a moleben to Saint Panteleimon was served afterwards.  Around 120 parishioners and friends then gathered for a festive lunch at the Narara Community Centre.

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Services on 29-30 July, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 30/07/2017

On Saturday 29 July and Sunday 30 July we had services for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils.  Many friends of our parish from Sydney were present at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  Announcements were made concerning Bishop George's planned visit on Sunday 6 August and the services in honour of the Great-Martyr Panteleimon scheduled for Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 August.  Early on Sunday afternoon a memorial service was served at the grave of Alexander Momot in Point Clare Cemetery, it being the fortieth day of his repose.

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Our July 2017 parish newsletter - 29/07/2017

On Saturday 29 July the July 2017 issue of our parish newsletter was published.  It contains news from June and July 2017, information about parish activities planned for August 2017, and more.  The newsletter can be viewed here or by visiting our newsletter page.

00374
Services on 15-16 July, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/07/2017

On Saturday 15 July and Sunday 16 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyr Hyacinth (+108 AD).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer for Ukarine was read.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the prayers of blessing were read over a copy of the "Port Arthur" Icon of the Mother of God, a gift to our parish from Arthur and Natasha Tane.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the history and significance of Saint Paul's Letter to the Romans, the specific guidance for Christian living given in the appointed reading from that Letter (Romans 12:6-14), and the example of Martyr Hyacinth in resisting the civic piety of his day and remaining faithful to Christ.

00375
An article about Orthodox Christianity is published in the June 2017 edition of 'Aurora', the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle - 05/07/2017

An article about Orthodox Christianity entitled 'Feasts and fasts: the Eastern Orthodox Church', appeared in the July 2017 edition of Aurora, the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.  Written by our parish rector at the invitation of Aurora 's editor, the article briefly summarises the history, beliefs and spiritual life of the Orthodox Church.  The article can be read here.

00376
Services on 1-2 July, the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 02/07/2017

On Saturday 1 July and Sunday 2 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Jude, Brother of the Lord (+c.80 AD).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the evidence in the recently-published 2016 Census data of increasing unbelief in Australian society, of our Lord's words to the Apostle Jude that He will be manifest to those love Him and keep His words (John 14:21-24), and of the need "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3).  Following the service many enjoyed a range Lenten piroshki - with mushroom, cabbage, rice and spinach, potato and apple fillings - freshly cooked by our hard-working Ladies' Auxiliary.

00377
Our June 2017 parish newsletter - 01/07/2017

On Saturday 1 July the June 2017 issue of our parish newsletter was published - the first since February 2017!  The newsletter can be viewed here or by visiting our newsletter page.  The insert - a Russian-language copy of the Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - can be viewed here.

00378
The funeral and burial of Alexander Momot - 30/06/2017

On Friday 30 June the funeral service for the newly-reposed Alexander Sergeevich Momot was served in our church.  Born in China in 1936, Alexander was blind from his infancy.  After qualifying as a physiotherapist in 1956 in Harbin, China, he worked in that profession until coming to Australia in 1961.  Continuing his studies in Australia, Alexander qualified as a chiropractor in 1965.  He had a successful private practice in Gosford from 1965 until 1995, afterwards practising in Laurieton until his retirement in 2001.  He served for a number of years in the 1970s as President of NSW Branch of the United Chiropractors Association and was also a respected teacher in his field.  A spiritual son of the ever-memorable Archpriest Rostislav Gan (+1975), Alexander knew many parts of the Divine Services from memory and would in this way assist with the reading in church.  A great many family members, friends and colleagues gathered to farewell him, after which he was laid to rest at Point Clare Cemetery.  May his memory be eternal!

00379
Services on 17-18 June, the Sunday of All Saints of Russia - 18/06/2017

On Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June we had services for the Sunday of All Saints of Russia, the Second Sunday after Pentecost. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for Diocesan Administrator Bishop George and parish cleric Protodeacon Martin Naef, both of whom are travelling abroad.  It being a feast-day of particular significance for the Russian Orthodox Church, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read.  After Divine Liturgy a collection was taken up to assist the construction of a memorial church in Sremski-Karlovci, Serbia, raising $390.00.

00380
Services on 3-4 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 04/06/2017

On Saturday 3 June and Sunday 4 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost, the commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  On Saturday our small church was beautifully decorated with fragant herbs and green branches in honour of the the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.  Divine Liturgy on Sunday was followed by Vespers and the customary "kneeling prayers".

00381
Our new postal address - 01/06/2017

As of 1 June 2017, our postal address will be PO Box 6039 West Gosford NSW 2250.  We ask our parishioners and friends to amend their records accordingly.

00382
Services on 24-25 May, the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord - 25/05/2017

On Wednesday 24 May and Thursday 25 May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  As it was on this feast-day in 2007 that the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate was signed, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read after the Augmented Litany and a brief service of thanksgiving was served after the dismissal.  That evening, a moleben and akathist to Great-Martyr Panteleimon was served in Church Slavonic.

00383
A service on Tuesday 23 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha - 23/05/2017

On the evening of Tuesday 23 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of the year. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as on the first day of Pascha itself – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.  The icon of the Resurrection of the Lord was then returned to the sanctuary, the Shroud of Christ was removed from the Holy Table, and the church was made ready for the festive services commemorating His Ascension.

00384
Services on 20-21 May, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 21/05/2017

On Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Blind Man, and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, two beautiful new protodeacon’s oraria – an orarion is a vestment worn over the left shoulder by a deacon – were blessed; these were later presented to the parish deacon, Father Martin Naef, in honour of his November 2016 elevation to the rank of protodeacon.  After the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) (+1965), second First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, in anticipation of the anniversary of his repose on 22 May.

00385
Our Winter 2017 Schedule of Services - 21/05/2017

Our Winter 2017 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2017 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.

00386
The May 2017 meeting of the Parish Council - 16/05/2017

Our Parish Council held its third meeting for 2017 on Tuesday 16 May.  The rector presented a report on parish life and the treasurer presented financial reports for March and April.  Applications to renew parish membership were approved and preparations for our parish feast-day and Bishop George’s visit in August were discussed.  A new child-safe, child-friendly statement was ratified.  God willing, the Parish Council will meet next on Tuesday 13 June.

00387
Services on 9 May, the Eve of Mid-Pentecost - 09/05/2017

Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day we commemorate Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30).  Although we were unable to have services on Wednesday 10 May, the day of Mid-Pentecost itself, on the eve of the feast we had Matins followed by the customary blessing of water.  The blessing of water occurs on this day as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38).

00388
Services on 6-7 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 07/05/2017

On Saturday 6 May and Sunday 7 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha and the Sunday of the Paralytic (John 5:1-15).  As Friday 5 May was the anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky)(+1955), the first Ruling Bishop of our Diocese, a memorial litia was served following Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  Before serving the memorial litia the parish rector, noting that Vladyka Theodore was now known to most of the faithful only by his photograph in parish halls and his place of burial at the Strathfield Cathedral, spoke briefly about his life and his work as the founding hierarch of the Diocese.

00389
Services on 29-30 April, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 30/04/2017

On Saturday 29 April and Sunday 30 April we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers.  On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates those who brought funeral spices and ointments to the tomb for Christ's burial: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Theotokos, Joanna, Salome, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Susanna, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke of the example of brave service given by the Holy Myrrhbearers.  Joing us on Sunday were a number of friends from Sydney.

00390
Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford - 22/04/2017

This year, our parish had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the singing of "Behold, the Bridegroom comes" ("Се, Жених грядет" - on the first three evenings) and the exapostilarion “Thy Bridal chamber” ("Чертог твой") was served in the evening on Sunday 9 April, Monday 10 April, Tuesday 11 April, and Wednesday 12 April.  Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great and Holy Thursday, 13 April.  On Great and Holy Friday, 14 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon.  On Saturday 15 April Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 16 April, the Sunday of Pascha.   The Paschal Hours and Vespers were served later that morning.  Easter eggs and cakes were blessed following Matins and again following Vespers.  In the evening on Friday 21 April Paschal Matins was served, and in the morning on Saturday 22 April, Divine Liturgy was served.  Following Divine Liturgy on Bright Saturday the artos was cut and distributed and Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle was read aloud in Russian and in English.

00391
Services on 7-8 April, Lazarus Saturday - 08/04/2017

On Friday 7 April and Saturday 8 April, the Sixth Saturday of Great Lent, we had services commemorating the Resurrection of Lazarus.   At Divine Liturgy the Prayer for Ukraine was read, and in anticipation of Palm Sunday bunches of pussy-willows were blessed following the Prayer before the Amvon.  After the dismissal a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed Archdeacon Eugene Burbelo, with the parish rector speaking briefly about Father Eugene’s long and distinguished service to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  As we had no services scheduled for Palm Sunday, the customary Palm Sunday collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem was then taken up, raising $300.00.

00392
Services on 6-7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2017

On Thursday 6 April and Friday 7 April, the final day of the Holy Forty Days of Great Lent, we had services for the Great Feast of the Annunciation.  All-night vigil - Great Compline with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil, together with Matins and the First Hour - was served on Thursday evening.  On Friday morning we had the Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours and Typica, followed by Vespers with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.  Only a small number of worshippers were present as it was the final weekday before the Autumn school holidays, but almost everyone received Holy Communion.  After a festive lunch many helped clean and decorate our small church for the services that evening and on the following morning.

00393
Services on 1-2 April, the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent - 02/04/2017

On Saturday 1 April and Sunday 2 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of Saint Mary of Egypt.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday a great many of the faithful received Holy Communion, amongst whom was the newly-baptised Grace Kobeleff.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed a new censer, a gift to our parish from Rimma Nagikh and her family.  The new censer will be used for the first time at the Paschal services.

00394
Services on 18-19 March, the Third Sunday in Great Lent - 19/03/2017

On Saturday 18 March and Sunday 19 March we had services for the Third Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross.  As Saturday 18 March was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were  especially offered at this memorial service for "the repose of the departed servants of God who innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death" during the harsh years of Soviet persecution.  Also commemorated was the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla)(+2008), it having been the anniversary of his repose on Thursday 16 March.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday many of the faithful, amongst whom were friends of the parish from Sydney, received Holy Communion.  Following the service a memorial litia was served for Metropolitan Laurus and for our parishioner Tatiana Krikunov, it being the fortieth day of her repose.

00395
A baptism - Grace Annie Kobeleff - 18/03/2017

On Saturday 18 March the parish rector baptised Grace Annie Kobeleff, the infant daughter of Daniel and Megan Kobeleff and a younger sister to Mila.  Grace, who was baptised in honour of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Mother of God, had as her sponsors at Holy Baptism Stephen and Alicia Owen and Alexander and Nadine Lucas.  We offer warm congratulations to Grace's parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!

00396
A baptism - Varvara Rezk - 05/03/2017

On Sunday 5 March the parish rector baptised Varvara Rezk, the infant daughter of Roufail and Olesya Rezk and a baby brother to Mina, Sylvia, Ricky, Arseny, Seraphim and Stephan.  Varvara, who was baptised in honour of the Great-Martyr Barbara, had as her sponsors at Holy Baptism Oxana Novosyolova and Nina Rezk.  We offer warm congratulations to Varvara's parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!

00397
Services on 4-5 March, the First Sunday in Great Lent - 05/03/2017

On Saturday 4 March and Sunday 5 March we had services for the First Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  Joining the parish clergy for Divine Liturgy on Sunday was Protodeacon German Polorotov of the Saint Xenia Church of the Saints Kyrill and Methodius Mission in Tweed Heads, NSW, a respected clergyman of our Diocese who has served faithfully as a deacon for over 25 years.  As is the custom  in parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia on the Sunday of the Triump of Orthodoxy,  a moleben “For the Conversion of those in Error” was served following the Prayer before the Amvon.  A collection for the Holy Trinity Seminary was then taken up.  In the evening, Vespers with the Passia was served.

00398
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2017 and 2018 - 04/03/2017

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2018.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.

00399
Services on Forgiveness Sunday and during the First Week of Great Lent - 03/03/2017

On the evening of Sunday 26 February, Forgiveness Sunday, we had Vespers with the customary rite of asking forgiveness.  There having been no morning service, a small number of people came to pray, venerate the holy icons with prostrations and to ask forgiveness of one another.  On the following morning, Clean Monday, the solemn Great Lenten services commenced at 8.00am.  Matins was followed by the First, Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours, Typika, and Vespers, the services finishing only after 1.00pm.  On the first four evenings of the week Great Compline was served with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.  The Odes of the Great Canon were read by the parish rector alternately in Slavonic and English.  At all of the weekday services the laity present assisted with the reading and singing.

00400
Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - 24/02/2017

Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2017 - is now available in PDF format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, on which day we will celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.

00401
Services on 18-19 February, the Sunday of the Last Judgment - 19/02/2017

On Saturday 18 February and Sunday 19 February we had services for Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgement.  As Saturday 18 February was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were  especially offered at this memorial service for "the repose of the departed servants of God who innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death" during the harsh years of Soviet persecution.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday a collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action.  Afterwards many stayed behind to enjoy pancakes prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary in anticipation of Maslenitsa, Cheesefare Week.

00402
The repose and funeral of Tatiana Krikunov - 16/02/2017

On Wednesday 8 February we learned with sadness of the repose of one of our oldest parishioners, Tatiana Krikunov.  Aged 92, Tatiana had been associated with our parish from its earliest days.  On Thursday 16 February our parish rector presided at her funeral at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, after which she was laid to rest beside her husband in Rookwood Cemetery.  Tatiana is survived by her son Vitaly, his wife Irene and their son Nicholas, to whom we offer heartfelt condolences.  May God grant her rest!

00403
Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2017

On Tuesday 14 February and Wednesday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Wednesday morning.  It being a working day, only small number of people gathered for Divine Liturgy.  As is customary in the Sydney parishes of our Diocese, following the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed seasonal fruit.  At the end of the service a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), the Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980 until 1992, and Archpriest Nicholas Grant, his loyal friend and secretary.  Vladyka Paul reposed on this day in 1995, Father Nicholas having reposed on the previous day.  Prior to the litia the parish rector spoke about these two men and their contribution to the Diocese.  May their memory be eternal!

00404
Services on 10-11 February, the day of commemoration of All Saints of Ekaterinburg - 11/02/2017

On Friday 10 February and Saturday 11 February we had services in honour of All Saints of Ekaterinburg, our parish rector having visited some of the holy places of that region - Ekaterinburg itself, Ganina Yama, Alapayevsk, Verkhoturye and Merkushino - in October 2015.  All-night vigil was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  Set forth for veneration was the parish icon of the saints, beautifully decorated by Ekaterina Waters.  At the prayer "Save, O God, Thy people" at All-night Vigil all sixty-four of the saints were commemorated by name.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at the end of Divine Liturgy a brief moleben was served and a prayer to the saints was read.  After the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for the newly departed Monk Joseph - formerly the Reader Isaac Lambertsen - who reposed following a brief illness on 27 January 2017.  Father Joseph had translated the service to these saints from Slavonic to English in January 2016.  May his memory be eternal!

00405
Services on 4-5 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia - 05/02/2017

On Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February we had services for the the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the first preparatory Sunday for Great Lent, and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the importance of combining the humility and penitence of the Publican with the righteousness of the Pharisee (Luke 18:10-14) and of the example of steadfast faith presented to us by the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

00406
Services on 28-29 January, Zaccheus Sunday - 29/01/2017

On Saturday 28 January and Sunday 29 January we had services for the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Zaccheus Sunday.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the humility of Zaccheus and of how this reviled tax-collector came to be an apostle, the bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, and a model of Christian repentance.

00407
The visit of the myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, "Softener of Evil Hearts" - 26/01/2017

On Thurday 26 January, the Australia Day public holiday, our parish had the great honour of receving a visit from the miraculous myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, "Softener of Evil Hearts".  The icon arrived in Gosford from Sydney at approximately 10.30am.  Our small church was full to overflowing, with our own parishioners joined by friends from Sydney, Abbess Philothei and the sisters of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Convent in Mangrove Mountain, and a number of the Greek Orthodox faithful.  A moleben with an akathist was served before the icon, with the sections of the akathist to the Mother of God read alternately in Slavonic and English and all those present commemorated by name.  The parish rector thanked the custodian of the icon, Sergei Fomin, for bringing it to Australia from Moscow, and spoke of the importance in these times of spiritual, social and military conflict of softness of heart.  Those present then venerated the icon and were anointed with the holy oil.  For those wishing to learn more about the icon, information is available in English here and in Russian here.  The icon's schedule for the remainder of its time in Australia is available here.  The final service will be an akathist at 7.00pm on Tuesday 7 February 2017 at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, at which Bishop George and the clergy of the Greater Sydney region will concelebrate.

00408
Services on 18-19 January - Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of Christ - 19/01/2017

On Wednesday 18 January and Thursday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord.  All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Wednesday evening, and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Thursday morning.  Following the service on Thursday and during the days that followed, the parish rector visited approximately thirty parish homes to sprinkle the Holy Water and offer prayers for the health and salvation of the faithful.

00409
Services on 14-15 January, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost - 15/01/2017

On Saturday 14 January and Sunday 15 January we had services for the the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Baptism of the Lord, and in honour of Venerable Seraphim, the Wonderworker of Sarov.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday a moleben was served to Saint Seraphim, one of the most beloved saints of the Russian Orthodox Church.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of Saint Seraphim's teaching on the spiritual life, of his enduring example, and of the certainty of help through his prayers.

00410
Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2017

On Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Great Compline with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  A great many people were present on Saturday morning, with friends from Sydney and Newcastle joining us.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon a brief moleben of thanksgiving was served to observe the anniversary of the deliverance on Christmas Day in 1812 of the Russian Church and Empire from the invasion of the French and twelve other nations.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud in Russian and in English the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  Many stayed afterwards to share in a festive meal.

00411
Services on 5-6 January, the Eve of the Nativity of Christ - 06/01/2017

On Thursday 5 January and Friday 6 January we had services for the Eve of the Nativity of Christ.  Matins was served on Thursday evening, with almost everyone present taking the opportunity to confess during the course of the service.  On Friday morning Vespers with the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great was served.  At Vespers the eight appointed readings from the Old Testament were read, some in Slavonic and some in English.  Following the service the troparion and kontakion of the Nativity of Christ, “Thy Nativity, O Christ our God” and “Today the Virgin giveth birth”, were sung.  The church was then prepared and decorated for the approaching festive services.

00412
Services on 31 December-1 January, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 01/01/2017

On Saturday 31 December and Sunday 1 January we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Fathers - all the righteous men and women who pleased God from the beginning of time until the coming of Christ - and the Martyr Boniface (+290 AD).  Prior to All-night vigil on Saturday evening and after Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning prayers were offered for the repose of the souls of the victims of the crash on 25 December of Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 into the Black Sea.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon on Sunday, a brief moleben was served for the beginning of the New Year on the civil calendar.

00413
Services on 24-25 December, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 25/12/2016

On Saturday 24 December and Sunday 25 December we had services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Forefathers - the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh - and Venerable Herman of Alaska (+1836 AD).  As Sunday was also the day of commemoration of Saint Spyridon, Wonderworker of Tremithus (+348 AD), a greatly revered hierarch of the Orthodox Church, his icon was placed in the centre of the church for veneration and his magnification was sung at All-night vigil on Saturday evening.  Prior to All-night vigil on Saturday evening and after Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning prayers were offered for the repose of the soul of Andrei Gennadyevich Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey brutally murdered in Ankara on 19 December by an Islamist extremist.

00414
Services on 17-18 December, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 18/12/2016

On Saturday 17 December and Sunday 18 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified.  All-night vigil with the magnification of the saint was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for our parishioner Helen Leidl in anticipation of the fortieth day of her repose on Tuesday 20 December 2016.

00415
The December 2016 meeting of the Parish Council - 13/12/2016

On Tuesday 13 December our 2016-17 Parish Council, elected at our parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 2 October, met for the first time.  Father James gave a detailed report on the Eighteenth Diocesan Assembly held in Cabramatta from 17-19 November and on the participation of parish delegates in the work of the Assembly and in the celebration of Metropolitan Hilarion's twentieth anniversary as Ruling Bishop.  Financial reports for September, October and November were considered, and plans for 2017 were discussed.  The Parish Council is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday 24 January 2017.

00416
Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple - 04/12/2016

On Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served on Saturday evening.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the newly-baptised servant of God John received Holy Communion for the first time.  Following the Dismissal, a litia was served for Tatiana Elgin-Borodin, it being the eve of the second anniversary of her repose.  As the faithful venerated the Cross a collection was taken up for the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

00417
A baptism - John Johnstone - 03/12/2016

On Saturday 3 December the parish rector received Rodney Johnstone into the Orthodox Church by baptism and chrismation.  In baptism Rodney took the name John in honour of Saint John of the Ladder.  His sponsors were Bill Reid and Boris Levitski.  We warmly congratulate the newly-illumined servant of God John and his sponsors, and wish him many years.

00418
Our Summer 2016-17 Schedule of Services - 27/11/2016

Our Summer 2016-17 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2016-17 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2016-17 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are available in church.  We will have a number of important services this Summer - for Saint Herman of Alaska and Saint Seraphim of Sarov, for Christmas and Theophany, and more.  Please join us!

00419
The repose and funeral of Helen Leidl - 23/11/2016

On 12 November 2016 we learned with sadness of the sudden repose on the previous day of one of our oldest parishioners, Helen Leidl.  Born Princess Helena Tmiro-Chestohin, the daughter of Prince Valerian  P. Khan Tmiro-Chestohin and Princess Maria Feodorovna, in Tientsin, China, on 28 August 1935, Helen grew up in Shanghai, later emigrating to Australia.  Here she married Kurt Leidl (d. 2006) and bore three children: Peter, Anthony (d. 1984), and Suzanne.  A quiet and unassuming woman, and one of the original members of the Russian Orthodox community here on the Central Coast, Helen had been with us in church on Sunday 6 November, just a few days before her repose.  Her funeral was served in our church on Wednesday 23 November 2016, after which she was laid to rest beside her husband and their son at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Leppington, NSW.  May God give her rest!

00420
Services on 19-20 November, the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost - 20/11/2016

On Saturday 19 November and Sunday 20 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Lazarus the wonderworker of Mount Galesion near Ephesus (+1053 AD) and the Thirty-Three Maryrs of Melitene (+3rd C. AD).  Father Martin - newly elevated to the rank of protodeacon - was unable to be with us, having agreed to assist at Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Archangel Michael parish in Blacktown, NSW.  Immediately after Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed Helen Leidl.  Afterwards, all enjoyed piroshki freshly cooked by our hard-working Ladies' Auxiliary and helpers.

00421
The Eighteenth Diocesan Assembly and the celebration of 20 years of Metropolitan Hilarion's service in Australia - 19/11/2016

From Wednesday 16 November until Saturday 19 November 2016, representatives of our parish participated in the work of the Eighteenth Diocesan Assembly of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and in commemorative events marking the twentieth anniversary of Metropolitan Hilarion's appointment as Ruling Bishop.  At Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Thursday 17 November our clergy Priest James Carles and Deacon Martin Naef were raised to the rank of archpriest and protodeacon respectively for their service to the Holy Orthodox Church.  Attending the festive banquet held in Metropolitan Hilarion's honour that evening were Father James, Father Martin and his wife Tatiana, parish delegates Anna Kourbatov and Anne Nielsen, and parishioners Bill Reid, Lilija Sile and Angelika Puzhak.

00422
Services on 5-6 November, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/11/2016

On Saturday 5 November and Sunday 6 November we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Martyr Arethas of Omir and the 4,299 martyrs with him (+523 AD).  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Natalia Lucas.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of the example in Saint Arethas of taking up one's cross and of confessing Christ before men (Matthew 10:32-33,37-38, 19:27-30 - the Gospel reading appointed for the saints).

00423
Services on 29-30 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 30/10/2016

On Saturday 29 October and Sunday 30 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Prophet Hosea and Monk-Martyr Andrew of Crete.  As Saturday 29 October was – according to the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia – Demetrius Saturday, a day of commemoration of the departed – there was a general panikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  On Sunday morning there was a great many people in church, including a number of families visiting our church for the first time.  Following the service a collection was again taken up for the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission.

00424
A baptism - Natalia Lucas - 16/10/2016

On Sunday 16 October the parish rector baptised Natalia Lucas, the infant daughter of Alexander and Nadine Lucas and baby sister to Thomas.  Natalia, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Martyr Natalia, had as her sponsors at Holy Baptism Daniel Kobeleff, Emma Lucas and Megan Kobeleff.  We offer warm congratulations to all and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!

00425
Services on 15-16 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - 16/10/2016

On Saturday 15 October and Sunday 16 October we had services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite, bishop of Athens (+96 AD).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the rector spoke of Saint Paul's preaching in Athens, the conversion of Saint Dionysius, and the need to bear witness to Christ in these times.  Following the service a collection was taken up to assist the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission and an announcement was made concerning the forthcoming banquet celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Metropolitan Hilarion's service in the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.

00426
Our 2016 Annual General Meeting - 02/10/2016

On Sunday 2 October our parish held its 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM).  The 2016 Annual Report was presented and accepted, a Parish Council for 2016-17 was elected, delegates to the Eighteenth Diocesan Assembly were chosen, and our two Child Safety Contact Persons were reappointed.  Those elected to the Parish Council were Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Bill Reid, Anna Kourbatov, Reader Paul Douriaguine, Anne Nielsen, and Nina Golovin.  Anne Nielsen, Anna Kourbatov and Rick Golovin will represent the parish at the Diocesan Assembly, and Matushka Marie Carles and Alla Karmadonoff were reappointed to the role of Child Safety Contact Persons.  During the course of the meeting there was a long a fruitful discussion about parish life now and in the future.  Attention was given to strategies to better involve parishioners and friends of all ages in parish life, to make visitors of diverse backgrounds feel more welcome, and to help everyone better understand the Orthodox Christian faith.  At the end of the meeting Father James spoke briefly but warmly about his trip to Russia in October 2015 and of his impressions of church life there.

00427
Services on 1-2 October, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross - 02/10/2016

On Saturday 1 October and Sunday 2 October we had services for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  Joining the parish rector for Divine Liturgy after a month serving at the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW, was Deacon Martin Naef.  Following the service a collection was again taken up to assist the Holy Dormition Lavra in Svyatogorsk, Eastern Ukraine, to provide for refugees.  Over two Sundays our parish contributed $460.00 to this Diocesan-wide collection.  The final announcement concerning the parish Annual General Meeting was made, and those present were invited to join the Wallsend parish in welcoming Bishop George to preside at Divine Liturgy there on Sunday 9 October.

00428
Our 2016 Annual Report - 27/09/2016

Our 2016 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2015-16 Financial Statements, is now available.  The 2016 Annual Report will be presented to our parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday, 2 October 2016.  A copy of the report is available in PDF form here.  Printed copies have been posted to parish members this week.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments in relation to our Annual Report to contact us.

00429
Services on 17-18 September, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of Saints Peter and Fevronia - 18/09/2016

On Saturday 17 September and Sunday 18 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Right-believing Prince Peter and Princes Fevronia (+1228 AD), wonderworkers of Murom and exemplars of love and faithfulness in married life.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, a moleben was served to the saints at which all the married and engaged couples in the parish were commemorated by name.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the lives of the saints and of their enduring example.  Following the service the second announcement was made about our forthcoming parish Annual General Meeting, and a collection was taken up to help the Holy Dormition Lavra in Svyatogorsk, Ukraine, to assist the many refugees who have taken shelter there.

00430
Services on 3-4 September, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - 04/09/2016

On Saturday 3 September and Sunday 4 September we had services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Dormition, and in honour of the Martyr Agathonicus of Nicomedia and his companions.    In a return to the customary practice of the Russian Orthodox Church all-night vigil rather than Matins was served on Saturday evening, the first time that this had happened on an ordinary Saturday evening since 2004.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector, referring to the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel (Matthew 18:23-35), spoke about the importance of showing mercy to others if we are to hope for it for ourselves.  Following Divine Liturgy, the first announcement of our 2016 Annual General Meeting was made.

00431
Our Spring 2016 Schedule of Services - 21/08/2016

Our Spring 2016 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2016 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2016 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are available in church.  In the Spring 2016 Scehdule of Services there are two significant changes to our usual pattern of worship: All-night vigil rather than Matins will now be served on Saturday evenings, and regular akathists to Saint Panteleimon will be served once a month rather than twice.

00432
Services on 20-21 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 21/08/2016

On Saturday 20 August and Sunday 21 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration, and the commemoration of the Translation of the Relics of Saints Zosima and Sabbatius, wonderworkers of Solovki.  Prior to the evening service on Saturday there was a confession service for children.  During the services the faithful were able to venerate a hand-painted icon of the saints that had been blessed on their wonderworking relics.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) (1863-1936), first First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, it having been the eightieth anniversary of his repose on Wednesday 10 August, and for the newly-reposed Protodeacon Christopher Henderson, a clergyman of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese who reposed on 16 August.  Father Christopher was a frequent visitor to our community during the early years at Narara and for the first few years after our move to West Gosford in 2004.

00433
Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 19/08/2016

On Thursday 19 August and Friday 20 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Thursday evening.  On Friday morning Divine Liturgy was served.  The appointed Prayer for Ukraine was read after the Litany of Fervent Intercession.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon we had the customary blessing of grapes, apples and other fruits.  As in previous years, a quantity of organic Wollombi Valley Honey, a gift to our parish, was blessed and given to those present.

00434
Services on 6-7 August, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 07/08/2016

On Saturday 6 August and Sunday 7 August we had services for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Anna, the mother of the Mother of God.  The Prayer for Ukraine was read at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  After the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed a new icon of All Saints of Ufa, a gift to our parish from the Holy Trinity Convent in Birsk, Bashkortostan, in gratitude for a donation from our parish.

00435
Services on 5-6 August: The visit of Bishop George and the celebration of our patronal feast of Saint Panteleimon - 06/08/2016

On Friday 5 August and Saturday 6 August we had festive services in anticipation of the feast of our patron saint, the Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, on 9 August.  Prior to the services, our small church was beautifully decorated with flowers by Ekaterina Waters.  On Friday evening All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served by the rector of the Archbishop’s Chapel of All Saints of Russia (Croydon, NSW), Priest Simon Nekipelov, and by our parish deacon, Father Martin Naef.  Joining them for the litia and the polyeleos were our parish rector, Priest James Carles, and Priest Dionysios Halim of Saint John the Baptist Skete (Kentlyn, NSW).  On Saturday morning Father James served the lesser blessing of water together with Deacon Simeon Polorotoff of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church (Fairfield, NSW).  His Grace Bishop George of Canberra presided at Divine Liturgy, with Father James, Father Dionysios, Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral (Strathfield, NSW), Father Martin and Father Simeon concelebrating.  In his sermon, Bishop George spoke about the life of Saint Panteleimon and of the need to be whole-hearted and serious in our Christian lives.  Following Divine Liturgy a moleben to Saint Panteleimon was served in the middle of the church.  Our choir, strengthened by singers from other parishes who had joined us for the day, sang under the direction of Matushka Marie Carles. Afterwards approximately 120 parishioners and friends from Sydney and Newcastle enjoyed a festive lunch, hosted for the first time at our parish centre in West Gosford.  

00436
Services on 30-31 July, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of the Holy Fathers - 31/07/2016

On Saturday 30 July and Sunday 31 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Fathers of the Six Ecumenical Councils.  At Divine Liturgy the appointed Prayer for Ukraine was read.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke of the work of the Holy Fathers of the Ecumenical Councils in expressing and defending the Truth once revealed to Apostles.  He also spoke about Saint John the Much-Suffering, a renowned ascetic of the Kiev Caves who struggled greatly with lust, and of the importance of his example and prayers in these troubled times.  Saint John is commemorated by the Russian Orthodox Church on 31 July (18 July on the Julian Calendar).

00437
Services on 16-17 July, the commemoration of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia - 17/07/2016

On Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Royal Martyrs and Passionbearers of Russia, the ninety-eighth anniversary of whose martyrdom it was on this day.  At Divine Liturgy the appointed Prayer of Repentance was read.  Receving Holy Communion for the first time was the newly-baptised infant Florence (Monika) Yakimov.  In his sermon the rector spoke of the example of steadfastness and faithfulness in the face of tribulation given by the Royal Martyrs and of the importance of their veneration. 

00438
A baptism - Florence Yakimov - 09/07/2016

On Saturday 9 July the parish rector baptised Florence Yakimov, the infant daughter and first child of Alex and Tammy Yakimov.  In baptism Florence was given the name Monica in honour of Venerable Monica, the mother of Blessed Augustine, on whose feast-day she was born.  Her godparents were Gerald Korelin and Amber Hannan.  We warmly congratulate Alex, Tammy, Gerald and Amber, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!

00439
Services on 2-3 July, the Second Sunday after Pentecost and the commemoration of All Saints of Russia - 03/07/2016

On Saturday 2 July and Sunday 3 July we had services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of All Saints of Russia, the memory of whom is customarily celebrated on this day.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Church was read.  In his sermon, the parish rector spoke of the multitude of saints of every walk of life who had graced the Russian Land, and of the need to be - like them - faithful in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.  He also spoke of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the great twentieth-century hierarch and wonderworker who had lived and served the Lord outside Russia, and of his example to us in modern times.

00440
Services on 18-19 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 19/06/2016

On Saturday 18 June and Sunday 19 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost, the commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  On Saturday morning a small group of parishioners gathered to decorate the church with grant-branches in honour of the the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.  As the Saturday before Pentecost is a day of commemoration of the departed, a pannikhida was served immediately prior to All-night Vigil on Saturday evening.  Amongst those commemorated were Sophia Kfoury and Tatiana Elgin-Borodin, two much-loved parishioners in whose memory our new icon of the Holy Trinity was painted.  Divine Liturgy on Sunday was followed by Vespers and the customary "kneeling prayers".  During the Sunday services parishioners held beautiful bouquets prepared by our Head Sister, Kate Marcotrigiano.

00441
Services on 4-5 June, the Sunday of the Blind Man - 05/06/2016

On Saturday 4 June and Sunday 5 June we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Blind Man.  On Sunday the weather on the Central Coast was inclement and the power to our church was cut, leaving us to serve the Hours and the first part of Divine Liturgy in the dark.  At the end of Divine Liturgy a brief moleben was served before an icon of All Saints of Ufa that our rector had brought back with him from a visit to the Diocese of Ufa and Sterlitamak (Bashkortostan, Russia) in October 2015, it having been the feast-day of these saints on Friday 3 June.  Following the service all enjoyed freshly-cooked piroshki prepared by our Ladies Auxiliary.

00442
Services on 28-29 May, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman - 29/05/2016

On Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman and the Afterfeast of Mid-Pentecost.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke of the way in which we, like the Samaritan Woman, make the mistake of seeking satisfaction in the passing things of this world, and of the need to find – as did she – that the true satisfaction of our longings is ultimately to be found in God alone.

00443
Our Winter 2016 Schedule of Services - 25/05/2016

Our Winter 2016 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2016 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2016 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages will be available in church from Saturday 28 May.

00444
Services on 14-15 May, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers - 15/05/2016

On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the day of commemoration of the Myrrh-Bearing Women and of Righteous Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.  At the Great Entrance the parish rector commemorated two newly-reposed clergymen of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese, Mitred Archpriest Michael Li and Mitred Archpriest Michael Klebansky, both of whom had departed this life on Thursday 12 May.  Following the dismissal he spoke about the lives and exemplary service of both priests before a memorial litia was served.

00445
Services on 6-7 May, Bright Saturday - 07/05/2016

On Friday 6 May and Saturday 7 May we have services for the First Saturday of Pascha, Bright Saturday.  Paschal Matins was served on Friday evening and Paschal Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.   Following the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector read the Prayer at the Cutting of the Artos.  In place of a sermon, the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion was read aloud.

00446
Services during Holy Week - 29/04/2016

During Holy Week we had a number of beautiful services.  Matins was served on the evenings of Sunday 24, Monday 25, Tuesday 26, and Wednesday 27 April, and Divine Liturgy was served on the morning of Thursday 28 April, Great and Holy Thursday.  At 3.00pm on Friday 29 April, Great and Holy Friday, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served.  The Tomb and Shroud were beautifully decorated with flowers prepared by Kate Marcotrigiano and Claudia Kraiuhin.

00447
Services on 22-23 April, Lazarus Saturday - 23/04/2016

On Friday 22 April and Saturday 23 April we had services for Lazarus Saturday, the sixth Saturday of Great Lent.  Matins was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  As we had no services for Palm Sunday, following the Prayer before the Amvon bunches of pussy-willows and flowers were blessed in anticipation of the feast.

00448
Services on Sunday evenings and weekdays during Great Lent - 20/04/2016

During the course of Great Lent we had a number of beautiful services on weeknights and on Sunday evenings.    On the first four Sundays of Great Lent – Sunday 20 and 27 March and Sunday 3 and 10 April – Vespers with the reading of the Passia was served.  On Wednesday of the second and sixth weeks of Great Lent and Thursday of the third week Great Compline was served, and on Wednesday of the fifth week we had Matins with the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete and the reading of the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt.

00449
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2016 and 2017 - 19/04/2016

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated in 2016, together with an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons.  A list of Sundays and Fridays in 2017 on which weddings can be celebrated has now been added.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.

00450
Services on 16-17 April, the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent - 17/04/2016

On Saturday 16 April and Sunday 17 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt.  Matins was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  It being the fortieth anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop Sava (Raevsky) (1892-1976), the Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1955-1969, he was commemorated at the Great Entrance.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time were the newly-baptised handmaidens of God Maria Tuntsova and Lydia Shevchenko.  Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the life and work of Vladyka Sava before serving a litia for his repose.  The rector also asked parishioners and friends to pray for the grievously ill Mitred Archpriest Michael Klebansky, speaking briefly about Father Michael's fifty years of faithful service as a priest in numerous parishes of the Diocese and in the Holy Land.

00451
A baptism - Lilia Shevchenko - 16/04/2016

On Saturday 16 April, the Fifth Saturday in Great Lent and the Saturday of the Akathist, the parish rector baptised seventy-nine year-old Lilia Shevchenko.  Lilia, who was baptised in honour of Martyr Lydia, had as her sponsor at baptism her daughter-in-law Ekaterina Shevchenko.  We warmly congratulate the newly-baptised Lydia and wish her every blessing from God in her new life!

00452
A baptism - Maria Tuntsova - 10/04/2016

On Sunday 10 April, the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent and the day of commemoration of Saint John of the Ladder, the parish rector baptised Maria Tuntsova, the infant daughter and third child of Artem Tuntsov and Tatiana Tuntsova.  Maria, who was baptised in honour of Saint Mary of Egypt, had as her sponsors at baptism Tatiana Tsoutsman and Viacheslav Didenko.  We warmly congratulate Artem, Tatiana, Tatiana, and Viacheslav, and wish the newly-baptised Maria many years!

00453
Services on 2-3 April, the Third Sunday in Great Lent - 03/04/2016

On Saturday 2 April and Sunday 3 April we had services for the Third Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.  Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday was a day of commemoration of the departed, Matins that evening was preceded by a general memorial service.  A great many people were present on Sunday morning, with friends from Newcastle and Sydney joining us for the service.  In his sermon the rector spoke of the way in which the veneration of the Cross on this day, the mid-point of the Forty Days of Great Lent, serves to encourage the faithful in spiritual struggle.

00454
Services on 19-20 March, the First Sunday in Great Lent - 20/03/2016

On Saturday 19 March and Sunday 20 March we had services for the First Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  It being the season of repentance, a great many people confessed and received the Holy Mysteries.  Joining for us for Divine Liturgy was a group of Orthodox Christians and catechumens from China.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the customary moleben “For the Conversion of those in Error” was served.  At the  Dismissal, the rector spoke briefly about the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla) who reposed on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in 2008 before serving a memorial litia for him.  A collection for the Holy Trinity Seminary was then taken up, raising $580.00.  In the evening, Vespers with the Passia was served.

00455
A confession service for children - 19/03/2016

At 5.00pm on Saturday 19 March our parish had a special confession service for children.  Prior to the service the parish rector spoke to the children about the history and meaning of the Holy Mystery of Repentance and of the importance of making a good confession.  The children, about a dozen of whom were present, then confessed in turn as some of the Prayers before Holy Communion were read.

00456
Services on Forgiveness Sunday and during the First Week of Great Lent - 17/03/2016

On the evening of Forgiveness Sunday we had Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness.  Despite the fact that there was no morning service a great many people came to pray, venerate the holy icons with prostrations and to ask forgiveness of one another.  On the following morning Matins commenced early and was followed by the Hours and Vespers, with the services finishing only after 1.00pm.  On the first four evenings of the week Great Compline was served with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.  At all of the weekday services many of those present assisted with the reading and singing in both Church Slavonic and English.

00457
Services on 5-6 March, the Sunday of the Last Judgement - 06/03/2016

On Saturday 5 March and Sunday 6 March we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgment.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector noted the care with which people prepare for earthly judgments – obtaining references and enrolling in educational programmes, for example  – and emphasised the need to prepare all the more diligently for the Last Judgement.   Announcements were made concerning services during the First Week of Great Lent, a special confession service for children, and a collection to benefit the Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, New York.  Following the service our parishioners and friends enjoyed pancakes prepared by the Ladies’ Auxiliary.

00458
Our February 2016 parish newsletter - 25/02/2016

Our February 2016 parish newsletter was published on 25 February 2016.  To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.  Copies will be available in church from 27 February and distributed by post during the week beginning 29 February.

00459
Our Autumn 2016 Schedule of Services - 21/02/2016

Our Autumn 2016 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2016 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2016 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.

00460
Services on 20-21 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 21/02/2016

On Saturday 20 February and Sunday 21 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and for the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke of the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:10-14) and of the importance of attention to the virtues of both men - humility and piety - whilst avoiding spiritual pride and self-satisfaction.

00461
Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2016

On Sunday 14 February and Monday 15 February we had services for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  It being a working day, a small number of people gathered for Divine Liturgy.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed candles and fruit, as is customary, together with a beautiful new set of embroidered green velvet covers for the sacred vessels, a gift to our parish from the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent in Yekaterinburg, Russia.  At the end of the service a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov)(+1995), the fourth Ruling Bishop of our Diocese, and Archpriest Nicholas Grant, his loyal friend and secretary.  Vladyka Paul reposed on this feast-day twenty-one years ago and Father Nicholas reposed less than twenty-four hours later.  Prior to the litia the parish rector spoke about the character of these two men and their great contribution to the Diocese.  May their memory be eternal!

00462
Services on 10-11 February, the day of commemoration of All Saints of Yekaterinburg - 11/02/2016

On Wednesday 10 February and Thursday 11 February we had unscheduled services in honour of All Saints of Yekaterinburg, our parish rector having visited some of the holy places of that region - Yekaterinburg itself, Ganina Yama, Alapayevsk, Verkhoturye and Merkushino - in October 2015.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Wednesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  For perhaps the first time ever, the greater part of the evening service for these saints was sung and read in English, the Slavonic service having been recently translated by Reader Isaac Lambertsen for the occasion.  At the litia all sixty-three of the saints were commemorated by name, together with a sixty-fourth, the newly glorified Passion-bearer Evgeny (Botkin) the physician.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at the end of Divine Liturgy a brief moleben was served and a prayer to the saints was read.  All Saints of the land of Yekaterinburg, pray to God for us!

00463
The February 2016 meeting of the Parish Council - 09/02/2016

On Tuesday 9 February the Parish Council met for the first time in 2016.  Making use of equipment installed since the last meeting, two members of the Parish Council participated via Skype.  The usual pastoral, administrative and financial reports were presented. Attention was then given to a number of important matters: Orthodox Christian education, the future and the direction of the parish, and priorities in charitable work.  It was agreed that the parish would in 2016 once again sponsor Haiti Orthodox  Family Relief and provide one full-year and two half-year scholarships to Saint Serpahim Community Russian School, Hornsby.  Decisions were also made to proceed with the installation of new air-conditioning in the parish centre, serve blini on Sunday 7 March, and celebrate the parish’s patronal feast-day of Saint Panteleimon on Friday 5 August and Saturday 6 August 2016.  The Parish Council is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday 8 March 2016.

00464
Services on 6-7 February, the Sunday of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia - 07/02/2016

On Saturday 6 February and Sunday 7 February we had services for the Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.   Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Mila Sidorkina.  After the dismissal a collection was taken up for Orthodox Action, a charitable organization operating under the auspices of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  Following the service on Sunday our Child Safety Contact Person, Matushka Marie Carles, spoke to the children present under the age of 12 about her role and about their safety in parish life.

00465
Our January 2016 parish newsletter - 31/01/2016

Our January 2016 parish newsletter was published on 31 January 2016.  To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.

00466
Services on 30-31 January, the Thirty-Fifth Week after Pentecost - 31/01/2016

On Saturday 30 January and Sunday 31 January we had services for the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saints Athanasius (+373) and Kyrill (+444) of Alexandria.  Following the service announcements were made concerning the February 2016 Diocesan Collection for Orthodox Action Sydney and Melbourne and a child-safe, child-friendly information session to be held for children up to 12 years of age on Sunday 7 February.  Copies of the parish's January 2016 newsletter and 2016 magnetic calendar were then distributed to those present.

00467
A baptism - Mila Sidorkina - 24/01/2016

On Sunday 24 January the parish rector baptised Mila Sidorkina, the infant daughter and third child of Anton and Aksana Sidorkin and a baby sister to Michael and Sophia.  In baptism Mila was given the name Ludmilla in honour of the Martyr Ludmilla, princess of the Czechs. Her sponsor was Victoria Kulikova. We warmly congratulate Anton, Aksana and Victoria, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Ludmilla many years!

00468
Services on 18-19 January - Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of Christ - 19/01/2016

On Monday 18 January and Tuesday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of the Lord.  All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Monday evening, and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Tuesday morning.  Following the service on Tuesday the parish rector visited many homes around Gosford and Woy Woy to sprinkle the Holy Water and offer prayers for the health and salvation of the faithful.

00469
Services on 16-17 January, the Sunday before Theophany - 17/01/2016

On Saturday 16 January and Sunday 17 January we had services for the Sunday before Theophany and in honour of the Seventy Apostles.  This was a quiet weekend, with many people away after Christmas.

00470
Matushka Marie Carles is presented with a gift from the Gosford and Wallsend parishes - 07/01/2016

On Thursday 7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Matushka Marie Carles was presented with a gift in recognition of her faithful service to this parish and to the parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend.  The gift - a beautiful hand-painted icon of Matushka's heavenly protector, Saint Mary of Palestine - was presented in the presence of a great many people from both parishes at the end of the festive Divine Liturgy in Wallsend on that day.  In presenting the icon, Father James spoke of Matushka's steadfast and quiet service to both parishes over many years in baking prosphora, singing in and leading the choirs, teaching children, and faithfully supporting her husband in his own ministry.  On behalf of both parishes he congratulated her and wished her God's help in her continued service before intoning "Many Years!"

00471
Services on 2-3 January, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers - 03/01/2016

On Saturday 2 January and Sunday 3 January we had services for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, the day of commemoration of the Holy Fathers, all those men and women who from the dawn of time have pleased God.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time was the newly-baptised Sergei Teliatnikov.  In his sermon, the parish rector spoke of the faithfulness of the Holy Fathers despite the peoples around them having a profoundly different way of life, and of their continuing example to us.

00472
A baptism - Stephan Rezk - 03/01/2016

On Sunday 3 January the parish rector baptised Stephan Rezk, the infant son of Roufail and Olesya Rezk and a baby brother to Sylvia, Ricky, Arseny and Seraphim.  Stephan, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephan, had as his sponsors at Holy Baptism Natalia Korotaeva and the rector, Father James.  We offer warm congratulations to Stephan’s parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised servant of God many years!

00473
A baptism - Sergei Teliatnikov - 31/12/2015

On Thursday 31 December the parish rector baptised Sergei Teliatnikov, the infant son of Ivan Teliatnikov and Maria Schreider and a baby brother to Ksenia, Nikolai and Alexander.  Sergei, who was baptised in honour of Saint Sergius the Wonderworker of Radonezh, had as his sponsors at Holy Baptism Mykola Kravchenko and Anna Kourbatov.  We offer warm congratulations to Sergei’s parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised servant of God many years!  This baptism was our twenty-first for 2016 and the one hundred and thirty-third in our church since it opened in April 2004.

00474
Our December 2015 parish newsletter - 31/12/2015

Our December 2015 parish newsletter was published on 31 December 2015.  To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.

00475
Services on 19-20 December, the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 20/12/2015

On Saturday 19 December and Sunday 20 December we had services for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Ambrose of Milan (+397 AD).  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time was the newly baptised Ariadna Sakhnova.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the remarkable circumstances surrounding the consecration of Saint Ambrose as bishop of Milan - Saint Ambrose was called to accept the episcopacy when he was still unbaptised - of of Saint Ambrose's composition of the "Te Deum" ("Тебе Бога хвалим"), a renowned hymn of thanksgiving.  Noting that the appointed Gospel reading (Luke 17:12-19) concerned the importance of giving thanks to God, he emphasised living a life that showed such thanks for the many blessings granted to us.

00476
Services on 5-6 December, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 06/12/2015

On Saturday 5 December and Sunday 6 December we have services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Right-believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky.  As it was the Afterfeast of the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple our small church was beautifully vested in blue.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector blessed our new icon of the Holy Trinity.  This icon, the work of iconographer Dimitri Lihachov, was commissioned in memory of Sophia Kfoury and Tatiana Elgin-Borodin, two much-loved parishioners who reposed late in 2014.  After the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for Sophia and Tatiana together with Patriarch Alexis II (+5 December 2009), Archpriest Rostislav Gan (+8 December 1975), Tatiana Venttsel (+3 December 2012) and Igor Sukhov (+4 December 2013).  A collection was then taken up for the Indonesian Mission, and it was announced that the proceeds of the parish collection during the Nativity Fast would benefit the Sunday School for Girls at the Holy Trinity Convent in Birsk, Bashkortostan.

00477
A baptism - Ariana Sakhnova - 05/12/2015

On Saturday 5 December the parish rector baptised Ariana Sakhnova, the daughter of Grigory Sakhnov and Lyubov (Liya) Khmeleva.  Ariana, who was given the name Ariadna in baptism, had as her sponsors Maria Kiseleva and Maxim Khmelev.  We warmly congratulate Grigory, Liya, Maria and Maxim, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Ariadna many years!

00478
Services on 28-29 November, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of the Holy Apostle Matthew - 29/11/2015

On Saturday 28 November and Sunday 29 November we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, announcements were made concerning the forthcoming collection for the Indonesian Mission and the Diocesan commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the repose of ever-memorable Archprirst Rostislav Gan.

00479
Our Summer 2015-16 Schedule of Services - 29/11/2015

Our Summer 2015-16 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2015-16 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2015-16 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are now available in church.

00480
The November 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 17/11/2015

On Tuesday 17 November the 2015-16 Parish Council met for the first time.  Joining returning members Rick Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano, Bill Reid, Anna Kourbatov and Reader Paul Douriaguine was newly-elected member Anne Nielsen.  The usual administrative, pastoral and financial reports were presented and applications for new and renewed parish membership were considered.  Office-bearers were then appointed, with Kate Marcotrigiano accepting the role of Head Sister, Anna Kourbatov accepting the role of Treasurer, and Bill Reid accepting the role of Privacy Officer.  As the parish does not have a Warden or Secretary Anne Nielsen agreed to coordinate the sale of candles and prosphora and the rector agreed to continue the work of Parish Secretary.  Consideration was also given to the parish property purchase appeal, the need for Orthodox Christian educational work in the parish, and a charitable project during the Nativity Fast.

00481
Services on 14-15 November, the commemoration of the Holy Martyrs Acindynus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Aphthonius, and Elpidephorus - 15/11/2015

On Saturday 14 November and Sunday 15 November we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Martyrs Acindynus, Pegasius, Anempodistus, Aphthonius, and Elpidephorus (+ c.341-345 AD).  In his sermon the rector spoke of the steadfastness of the martyrs Acindynus, Pegasius, and Anempodistus, all servants in the court of the Persian King Sapor, and of how their example led to the conversion of Aphthonius, a pagan, and the encouragement of Elpidephorus, a Christian.  He encouraged the faithful to be similarly steadfast in difficult times and so serve as an example to Christians and non-Christians alike.  As the faithful came to the Cross a collection for the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was taken up.  This collection, customarily taken up in all parishes of our Diocese each year during November, raised $382.00.

00482
A baptism of twin boys - Stefan and Lucas Karabaev - 14/11/2015

On Saturday 14 November the parish rector baptised Stefan and Lucas Karabaev, the twin sons of Alisher Karabaev and Daria Lebedyanskaya.  The boys had as their sponsors at Holy Baptism Leonid Kovalchuk and Olga Kusnetsova.  We offer warm congratulations to Alisher, Daria, Leonid and Olga, and wish the newly-baptised servants of God Stefan and Lucas many years!

00483
A wedding - Arthur Tane and Natasha Markuardt - 01/11/2015

On Sunday 1 November the parish rector presided at the wedding of Arthur Tane and Natasha Markuardt in the presence of a small group of family and friends at our church in West Gosford.  A visiting choir sang beautifully under the direction of Andrei Lapteff.  We warmly congratulate Arthur and Natasha on their marriage and wish them many years of happiness together!

00484
Services on 30 October-1 November, the commemoration of Saint John of Kronstadt - 01/11/2015

On Saturday 30 October and Sunday 1 November we had services for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint John of Kronstadt.  After an absence of one month whilst travelling abroad, the parish rector presided at these services.  Following the dismissal at Divine Liturgy an announcement was made concerning the forthcoming Diocesan-wide collection for the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

00485
Services on 18 October - 18/10/2015

On Sunday 18 October we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and for the commemoration of the Holy Hierarchs and Wonderworkers of Moscow: Peter, Alexis, Jonah, Phillip, Macarius, Job, Hermogen, Philaret, Innocent, Macarius, Tikhon and Peter. In the absence of the rector who was visiting the Ufa Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church as part of a delegation accompanying the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, Archpriest Ljubomir Dvojakovski again presided at Divine Liturgy. As our long-serving choir director Olga Itsikson remains unwell, Matushka Marie Carles directed the choir. Father Ljubomir gave an edifying sermon on the theme of the Gospel of the day (Luke 6:31-36) in Russian and in English, encouraging the faithful to keep Christ’s commandment to love their enemies, assuring them that the Lord himself would give them strength for this.  Following the service, Father Martin made an announcement concerning the Annual General Meeting and planned activities of Diocesan charitable organisation Orthodox Action.

00486
Our annual October Long Weekend BBQ and picnic - 05/10/2015

On Monday 5 October, a warm and cloudless spring day and the Labour Day public holiday in New South Wales, approximately sixty parishioners and friends gathered at Heazlett Park, Avoca Beach, for our annual BBQ and picnic day.  The adults relaxed and socialised in the shade of the beautiful Moreton Bay figs while the children played in and on the water.  Many thanks to Rick Golovin, Craig Koppman and all who helped on the day!

00487
Services on 4 October - 04/10/2015

On Sunday 4 October we had services for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost and for the Leave-taking of the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. In the absence of the rector who was visiting the Yekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church as part of a delegation accompanying the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, Archpriest Ljubomir Dvojakovski presided at Divine Liturgy. The choir sang under the direction of Matushka Marie Carles, long-serving choir director Olga Itsikson being absent because of illness. At the end of the service Father Ljubomir gave a sermon in Russian and in English.

00488
The 2015 Annual General Meeting of our parish - 20/09/2015

On Sunday 20 September our parish held its 2015 Annual General Meeting.  The 2015 Annual Report was presented and accepted, a Parish Council for 2015-16 was elected, and two new Child Safety Contact Persons were appointed.  Those elected to the Parish Council were Rick Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano, Bill Reid, Anna Kourbatov, Reader Paul Douriaguine and Anne Nielsen, and Matushka Marie Carles and Sophia Captain were appointed to be Child Safety Contact Persons.  We now await Bishop George’s ratification of the decisions of the Parish Council.

00489
Services on 19-20 September, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 20/09/2015

On Saturday 19 September and Sunday 20 September we had services for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, for the Forefeast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, and in honour of the Martyr Sozont (+304).  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector read the prayers of blessing over a new oil lamp to be hung before the icon of Saint Panteleimon, a representation of the Crucifixion of Christ (a “Golgotha”) for our new memorial table, and two new bookmarks for the Holy Gospel.  These items were a gift to the parish from Ekaterina Waters, a parishioner who had recently returned from  a brief trip to Russia.  At the end of the service the third and final announcement concerning the parish Annual General Meeting was made, and many people gathered in the parish hall to enjoy meat, potato, cabbage and apple piroshki freshly cooked by our Ladies’ Auxiliary.

00490
A baptism - Jason Mylnikov - 19/09/2015

On Saturday 19 September the parish rector baptised Jason Gregory Mylnikov, the son of Daniil Mylnikov and Alesia Mylnikova.  Jason Gregory, who was baptised in honour of Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, had as his sponsor at Holy Baptism Oleg Khaborov.  We offer warm congratulations to Daniil, Alesia and Oleg, and wish the newly-baptised servant of God Gregory many years!

00491
Our 2015 Annual Report - 14/09/2015

Our 2015 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2014-15 Financial Statements, is now available.  The 2015 Annual Report will be presented to our parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday, 20 September 2015.  A copy of the report is available in PDF form here.  Printed copies will be posted to parish members prior to the meeting so as to allow adequate time for careful perusal.  We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments to contact us.

00492
The September 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 08/09/2015

On Tuesday 8 September the 2014-15 Parish Council met for the final time.  In addition to the usual business, the Parish Council evaluated the celebrations of the feast-day of Saint Panteleimon on 8-9 August; reviewed and endorsed the draft 2015 Annual Report; discussed arrangements for the rector’s absence during October 2015; and finalised plans for the parish Annual General Meeting on Sunday 20 September.  God willing, the 2015-16 Parish Council will meet for the first time in November 2015.

00493
Services on 5-6 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 06/09/2015

On Saturday 5 September and Sunday 6 September we had services for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Hieromartyr Eutyches (+ 1st C.).  Saint Eutyches was a disciple of the Apostle and Evangelist John and a companion of the Apostle Paul.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised infant Mila Kobeleff.  The appointed reading from the Gospel was the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14).  In his sermon, the rector spoke of the need to weave by one’s manner of life a garment fitting for the eternal wedding feast to which all are invited.  Following the service, the second announcement concerning the forthcoming parish Annual General Meeting was made.

00494
A baptism - Mila Kobeleff - 03/09/2015

On Thursday 3 September the parish rector baptised Mila Kobeleff, the infant daughter and first child of Daniel and Megan Kobeleff.  Mila, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Martyr Ludmilla, princess of the Czechs, had as her sponsors at Holy Baptism Stephen and Alicia Owen and Alexander and Nadine Lucas.  We offer warm congratulations to Mila's parents and godparents, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God many years!

00495
Father James Carles to travel abroad in September-October 2015 - 30/08/2015

From Monday 28 September until Thursday 29 October 2015, our parish rector will be travelling abroad as part of a delegation of clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia accompanying a visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the Yekaterinburg and Ufa Dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Other participants in the delegation include His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese; Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko (a cleric of the Western American Diocese and rector of the parish of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, California); Archpriest Vladimir Boikov (a cleric of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese and Dean of New Zealand); and Protodeacon Alexander Kichakov (a cleric of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America and senior deacon of the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois).  The delegation will meet in San Francisco and venerate the incorrupt relics of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco before travelling to Russia.  The official visit will begin in Yekaterinburg on Thursday 1 October and end in Ufa on Thursday 22 October.  Following this, Father James will return to the United States and visit places of significance in the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

00496
Our Spring 2015 Schedule of Services - 30/08/2015

Our Spring 2015 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2015 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2015 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages have been available in church from Saturday 16 August.

00497
Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - 18/08/2015

On Tuesday 18 August and Wednesday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves and wheat, wine and oil was served on Tuesday evening with our full choir singing under Olga Itsikson’s direction.  Following Divine Liturgy on the day of the feast we had the customary blessing of fruit.  There was also a blessing of honey, a number of jars of organic honey again having been given to our parish.  The blessed honey was afterwards distributed amongst the faithful.

00498
Services on 15-16 August, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - 16/08/2015

On the weekend of 15-16 August we had services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost and for the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday were two young brothers, Timothy and Paul, baptised in our church on the previous day.  Following the service, the first announcement concerning the parish Annual General Meeting was made.

00499
Services on 8-9 August, the Feast of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon - 09/08/2015

On the weekend of 8-9 August our parish celebrated its patronal feast-day of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served on Saturday evening, with many of our parishioners and friends present and the full parish choir singing under the direction of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson.  Our rector, Priest James Carles, was joined for this service by parish cleric Deacon Martin Naef and by Deacon Simon Polorotov, a cleric of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Fairfield, a suburb in Sydney’s west.  On the following morning the lesser blessing of waters was served, during which our parishioners and many friends from Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra arrived.  His Grace Bishop George of Canberra presided at Divine Liturgy, being joined by Father James, Deacons Martin and Simon, and by Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov, a cleric of the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield and the All Saints of Russia parish in Croydon.  At the end of Divine Liturgy Bishop George gave an edifying sermon on the life and prayerful intercession of Saint Panteleimon, after which a moleben was served to the Great-Martyr.  Awards were then presented to four parishioners: Olga Ivanovna Itsikson and William Reid received the prestigious Diocesan Cross, and Ekaterina Waters and Wassim Ayoub received parish Certificates of Appreciation.  The great majority of those present then gathered for a festive lunch at the East Gosford Progress Hall.

00500
A new memorial table - 08/08/2015

On Thursday 6 August our parish received its new commemoration table, ordered in 2014 to mark the ten-year anniversary of services in West Gosford.  This table, purchased by the Ladies’ Auxiliary with assistance from the Russian Welfare Association and a number of private donors, is the work of renowned woodcarver Protodeacon Basil Hadarin.  The parish rector read the prayers of blessing over the commemoration table immediately prior to the commencement of the All-night Vigil on Saturday 8 August, the eve of our patronal feast.  The new table is a beautiful addition to our small church and a visible manifestation of our prayers for those who have departed this life.  Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants who have fallen asleep!

00501
Appeal for assistance in purchasing property for a permanent church in Gosford - 19/07/2015

Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church was formed by a small group of people living on the NSW Central Coast.  The first services were held in November 2000, and by the end of 2003 our community had grown sufficiently to purchase premises in West Gosford for a parish centre.  There, as many know, our parish has established a small temporary church and hall and a vibrant parish life that includes a regular pattern of divine services and social activities.  A loan of $125,000 obtained in 2003 to purchase these premises was paid off in full in 2008, some 9 years early, and our parish has since saved a further $60,000 in its “Future Fund”.

 

During the course of 2014 our parish celebrated ten years of parish life in West Gosford.  Looking back over all that has been achieved since November 2000 and giving thanks to God, we nevertheless continue to plan for the future, hoping in time to construct a permanent church in traditional Russian Orthodox style.  The first step towards this is the acquisition of a suitable block of land, something likely to cost around $400,000.  It is with this first step in mind and with the blessing of the Diocesan authorities that our parish now turns to the faithful of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia and to all our friends, seeking assistance. 

 

Our Parish Council has resolved to set aside $40,000 from the “Future Fund” for the purpose of property acquisition, ten per cent of the required amount.  Families within the parish have already pledged contributions of $1000.  If 400 families or individuals across the Diocese could be found to contribute such an amount our goal would soon be reached, and the next important step in the life of our parish could be taken. 

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ!  Please give prayerful consideration to our appeal, and help us bring this project to fruition.  Any help that you can give, whether great or small, will be most welcome.  We assure all those who assist our parish of our prayers for their health and salvation.  May the Lord bless you!

 

For more information, please contact us.  A Russian-language version of this appeal is available here.  Donations can be made in person at church, by direct deposit to our building fund account, Westpac 032-523 28-9049, or by using the Paypal "donate" icon on the left-land side of this page.

00502
Services on 18-19 July, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 19/07/2015

On Saturday 18 July and Sunday 19 July we had services for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Sisoёs the Great (+429 AD).   Following the evening service on Saturday the prayers of blessing were read over a recently-received shipment of candles for church use.  On Sunday morning we were joined by friends from Newcastle and Sydney.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the purpose and content of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans, readings from which are appointed on the first nine Sundays after Pentecost, focusing particularly on the pattern for Christian living briefly set out in the reading for the day (Romans 15: 1-7): bearing with the weak rather than pleasing ourselves, deriving encouragement and hope from the Holy Scriptures, and living in harmony and oneness of mind.

00503
Services on 4-5 July, the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 05/07/2015

On Saturday 4 July and Sunday 5 July we had services for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Hieromartyr Eusebius of Samosata (+380).  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector blessed a number of items recently acquired of episcopal services: a set of dikiri and trikiri and five “eagle-rugs” («орлецы»).  After the service a pannikhida was served for Victor Majetny, one of our original parishioners, it being the fifth anniversary of his repose.  May God grant him rest!

00504
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2015 and 2016 - 28/06/2015

In conjunction with Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend, our parish has developed and published a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated in 2015 and 2016, together with an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.

00505
Services on 20-21 June, the Third Sunday after Pentecost - 21/06/2015

On Saturday 20 June and Sunday 21 June we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Great-Martyr Theodore the General (“Stratelates”) (+319AD).  It being the Apostles’ Fast, a number of people took the opportunity to confess and receive the Holy Mysteries.  Following Divine Liturgy, the rector announced that a fragment of the relics of Great-Martyr Panteleimon, a gift to our parish from Metropolitan Hilarion, had been enshrined in a small reliquary and placed in the case enclosing the main parish icon of our heavenly protector.  He asked that when venerating the relics, the faithful particularly pray for Vladyka Hilarion, his health having been poor in recent weeks.

00506
The June 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 16/06/2015

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 16 June 2015.  The customary pastoral, financial and administrative reports were presented.  Plans for the celebration Sunday 9 August of the parish’s patronal feast of Saint Panteleimon were discussed, as were preparations for the end of the financial year and the convening of a parish Annual General Meeting.  Applications for the renewal of parish membership were considered and approved, and a report on the life of the Saint Seraphim Community Russian School in Hornsby was given by Reader Paul Douriaguine, the School’s Principal and a member of the Parish Council.  The Parish Council plans to meet next on Tuesday 14 July 2015.

00507
Services on 6-7 June, the Sunday of All Saints and Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad - 07/06/2015

On Saturday 6 June and Sunday 7 June we had services for the First Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of All Saints.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday, special prayers were offered for the youth of our parish and Diocese, it being the Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad, and for Deacon Martin Naef and his family, travelling overseas.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time on this day was the newly-baptised Anna Izmestyeva.  At the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector read the prayer of blessing over newly-framed icons of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker and of All Saints of Ugreshk, gifts to our parish from Rimma Nagikh and her family.

00508
A baptism - Anna Izmestyeva - 31/05/2015

On Sunday 31 May, the Great Feast of Pentecost, the parish rector baptised Jessica Izmestyeva, the infant daughter of Sergey Izmestyev and Anastasia Stolbova and a baby sister to Alexandriya.  Jessica was given the name Anna in baptism in honour of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Theotokos.  Anna’s sponsors at baptism were Yuliya Dudzich and Viktor Kamolov.  We warmly congratulate Sergey, Anastasia, Yuliya and Viktor, and wish the newly-baptised Anna many years!

00509
Services on 30-31 May, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 31/05/2015

On Saturday 30 May and Sunday 31 May we have services for the Great Feast of Pentecost, the commemoration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  In accordance with Russian Orthodox custom, our small church was beautifully decorated beforehand with green branches and bright flowers, both of which signify the life given to us by the Holy Spirit.  All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil.  It being a Great Feast, our full choir sang at All-night Vigil and again at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  On the day of the feast our church was full, our parishioners being joined by friends from Sydney and Newcastle.  As is the practice in the Russian Orthodox Church, the faithful held small bouquets of flowers during the Sunday service.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time were the newly-baptised children Vasilissa and Taisia.  Following Divine Liturgy, Vespers with the three “kneeling prayers” was served, the faithful praying with bended knee for the first time since Pascha.

00510
Our Winter 2015 Schedule of Services - 28/05/2015

Our Winter 2015 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2015 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages will be available in church from Saturday 30 May.

00511
Service on 19 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha - 19/05/2015

On the evening of Tuesday 19 May, the Eve of the Leave-taking of Pascha, a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Paschal Matins of 2015. In accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, Matins was served as on the first day of Pascha – sung in its entirety, and with the doors to the sanctuary open.

00512
A baptism - Vasilissa and Taisia Byrne - 17/05/2015

On the afternoon of Sunday 17 May the parish rector baptised Viola and Olivia Byrne, the daughters of Nicholas Byrne and Zlata Byrne. In baptism, ten year-old Viola took the name Vasilissa, and four year-old Olivia took the name Taisia. The sisters were sponsored in baptism by Ekaterina Waters. We warmly congratulate the newly-baptised Vasilissa and Taisia, wishing them many years!

00513
A baptism - Apollo Rodrigo - 17/05/2015

Immediately after Divine Liturgy on Sunday 17 May the parish rector baptised Apollo Rodrigo, the infant son of Shane and Valeria Rodrigo and a younger brother to Anakin. Apollo was baptised in honour of the Holy Apostle Apollo of the Seventy, a companion of the Apostle Paul who laboured for Christ in Corinth. His sponsors at baptism were Colin Chenery and Linda Aniol. We warmly congratulate Shane, Valeria, Colin and Linda, and wish the newly-baptised Apollo many years!

00514
Services on 16-17 May: The Sunday of the Blind Man and the anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion - 17/05/2015

On Saturday 16 May and Sunday 17 May we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Blind Man. As on Sunday it was eight years to the day since the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church was read at Divine Liturgy. In addition, the ever-memorable Patriarch Alexis II (Ridiger) and Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla), chief signatories of the Act, were commemorated at the Great Entrance and with the singing of “Eternal Memory” after the dismissal. The parish rector spoke briefly about the significance of these two men in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, thanking God that He had raised up wise shepherds at such an important time for the Church both in the homeland and in the diaspora.

00515
The May 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 12/05/2015

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 12 May 2015.  The usual pastoral, financial and administrative reports were heard.  The meeting was advised that the rector was expected to be abroad during October 2015, participating in the delegation accompanying the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the Yekaterinburg and Ufa Dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Plans for the celebration of the Great Feast of Pentecost (Sunday 31 May) and the feast of Saint Panteleimon (Sunday 9 August) were discussed, and a decision was made to purchase certain items required for hierarchical services.  A number of applications for the renewal of parish membership were considered and approved.  The Parish Council plans to meet next on Tuesday 16 June 2015.

00516
Services on 2-3 May: Bishop George's visit and a memorial service for Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky) (+1955) - 03/05/2015

On Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May we had services for the Fourth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Paralytic.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday our parish had the honour of receiving His Grace, Bishop George of Canberra, Vicar of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese and Diocesan Administrator.  The was Bishop George’s first service away from the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral since arriving in Australia on Thursday 16 April.  Following the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky) (+1955), first Russian Orthodox Bishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, the sixtieth anniversary of whose repose it will be on Tuesday 5 May.  Before these prayers were offered, the parish rector gave a brief overview of Vladyka Theodore's life and his work in laying the foundations of the Australia-New Zealand Diocese.  After the service our parishioners and friends gathered for a festive meal with Vladyka George in the parish hall.

00517
Stormy weather on the Central Coast - 22/04/2015

On Wednesday 22 April we were scheduled to resume our twice-monthly moleben and akathist to Saint Panteleimon, this observance having been set aside during Great Lent to make way for the Lenten services.  On the evening of Monday 20 April, however, wind and rain struck the New South Wales coast with great intensity, the effects being felt with particular severity on the Central Coast and in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.  Our church and parish centre lost access to power in the early hours of Tuesday morning and remained without it until the morning of Saturday 25 April.  As a result, access to our church and the surrounding units was restricted to daylight hours.  Although a few of the faithful braved the inclement weather and drove to church on Wednesday evening, the service was unable to proceed.  Our next moleben and akathist to Saint Panteleimon - in Slavonic - will be on Wednesday 13 May.

00518
Services on 18-19 April, Thomas Sunday - 19/04/2015

On Saturday 18 April and Sunday 19 April we had services for the Second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  On Sunday our regular parishioners were joined by friends from Sydney and by Mrs Lubov Cowall, Diocesan Council member and the Senior Sister of the Holy Protection Cathedral in Brunswick (Melbourne), Victoria.  At the end of Divine Liturgy the Prayer at the cutting of the Artos was read and the blessed bread was distributed to the faithful.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the 2015 Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion.

00519
Holy Week and Pascha in Gosford - 12/04/2015

From the evening of Great and Holy Thursday until the Sunday of Pascha there were seven services in our parish: Matins of Great and Holy Friday with the reading of the Twelve Gospels, Vespers of Great and Holy Friday with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ, Matins of Great and Holy Saturday with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ, Vespers of Great and Holy Saturday with the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, an early Midnight Office and Paschal Matins on Saturday evening, and Paschal Vespers late on Sunday morning.  This year there was no midnight Paschal Divine Liturgy as the parish rector was serving in Wallsend. The Paschal services were nevertheless particularly well-attended, with approximately 150 people gathering for Midnight Office and Paschal Matins, and many gathering for Vespers and the blessing of kulichi and eggs on Sunday morning.

00520
Matins of Great and Holy Monday and Wednesday - 07/04/2015

Since 2005 it has been the custom in our parish to serve Matins of Great and Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the first three evenings of Holy Week - Sunday, Monday and Tuesday respectively.  At these solemn and beautiful services the troparion "Се Жених грядет в полунощи" ("Behold, the Bridegroom comes in the middle of the night") is sung, and later - after the reading of the canon - a trio sings the exapostilarion "Чертог Твой" ("I see Thy bridal chamber adorned").  The icon placed in the middle of the church is one depicting Christ "the Bridegroom".  This year, services were held only on the evenings of Sunday 5 April and Tuesday 7 April, the parish rector serving All-night Vigil for the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God in Wallsend on the evening of Monday 6 April.

00521
Services on 4-5 April, Palm Sunday - 05/04/2015

On Saturday 4 April and Sunday 5 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday. On the preceding Friday the church had been cleaned and beautifully decorated with palms. On Saturday evening All-night Vigil was served with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, five loaves and – as is customary on this feast-day – the blessing of palms and pussy-willows. Many people were present for this service, at which our full choir sang under the direction of Olga Itsikson. At Divine Liturgy on Sunday 50 people received the Holy Mysteries, amongst whom were the newly-baptised handmaidens of God Catherine Elphick and Raisa Anisimova, both receiving Holy Communion for the first time. At the dismissal a collection was taken up to benefit the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Following Divine Liturgy, a panikhida was served for Elena Lucia Radu, it being the fortieth day of her repose. Many stayed behind afterwards for a lunch of BBQ fish prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary, Palm Sunday being one of only two days on which fish is customarily permitted during Great Lent.  UPDATE: Our collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem raised $638.25.

00522
A Baptism – Raisa Anisimova - 04/04/2015

On Saturday 4 April the parish rector baptised Raisa Anisimova, the mother of our parishioner and chorister Katia Waters. Her sponsor at baptism was Nina Belachova. Also present were Raisa's grandchildren Elizabeth and Thomas, with whom - together with her husband Nikolai and Katia's sister Elena - she is now united in the Orthodox faith. In preparation for Raisa's baptism, The Office for receiving those coming to our Holy Church from Islam was served on the afternoon of Friday 3 April.  May God grant his newly-enlightened handmaiden Raisa many years!

00523
Services during the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Weeks of Great Lent - 01/04/2015

For many years now it has been our custom to serve Great Compline at 7.00pm on Wednesday evening of the Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth Weeks of Great Lent, and on the evening of Wednesday of the Fifth Week to serve Matins with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete and the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt.  Because of its great length, this service commences at 6.00pm.  Together with Vespers and the "Passia" at 6.00pm on the first four Sunday evenings of Great Lent these services set the tone for the season of repentance and help us support our fasting with increased prayer.  This year we were again able to have all of these services, with many of those who attended helping with the reading of the psalms and prayers.

00524
A General Service of Anointing with Oil - 29/03/2015

On the evening of Sunday 29 March, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the parish rector presided at a General Service of Anointing with Oil.  Approximately 35 of our parishioners, both young and old, gathered to pray and receive anointing with oil for the healing of soul and body.  The readings and prayers were alternately in Slavonic and English.  Some information about the Sacrament of Anointing with Oil provided to our parishioners and friends before the service is available here.

00525
A baptism – Catherine Elphick - 29/03/2015

On Sunday 29 March the parish rector baptised Catherine Elphick, the infant daughter of Richard and Elena Elphick and a baby sister to Peter and Anna.  Catherine’s sponsor at baptism was Svetlana German.  We offer heartfelt congratulations to Richard, Elena and Svetlana, and pray that God will grant his newly-baptised handmaiden Catherine many years!

00526
Services on 28-29 March, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt - 29/03/2015

On Saturday 28 March and Sunday 29 March we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent and in honour of the great ascetic and model of repentance, Saint Mary of Egypt.  Many people took the opportunity to confess during the Saturday evening service and prior to Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time on the Sunday was the newly-baptised infant Thomas Lucas.  In his sermon the parish rector briefly recounted the life of Saint Mary of Egypt before emphasising her model of repentance: heartfelt prayer, departure from the circumstances of sin, and relentless spiritual struggle.  He also spoke of the Righteous Zosima – the hieromonk who met Saint Mary of Egypt in the wilderness and first recounted her life – as a model of humility and of repentance from spiritual pride.

00527
A baptism - Thomas Lucas - 18/03/2015

On Wednesday 18 March the parish rector baptised Thomas Lucas, the infant son and first child of Alexander and Nadine Lucas.  Thomas, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Apostle Thomas, had as his sponsors at Holy Baptism Daniel Kobeleff and Emma Lucas.  We offer warm congratulations to Alex, Nadine, Daniel and Emma, and wish the newly-baptised servant of God many years!

00528
The March 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 17/03/2015

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 17 March 2015.  The usual administrative, financial and pastoral reports were heard.  The rector reported that iconographer Dmitri Lihachov had commenced work on a large icon of the Holy Trinity to be ready by Pentecost 2015, the cost of which will be met by donations made in memory of Sophia Kfoury and Tatiana Elgin-Borodin.  A decision was made to continue sponsorship of Haiti Orthodox Family Relief, and a number of applications for the renewal of parish membership were considered and accepted.  Arrangements were made for the cleaning and decoration of the church in preparation for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Pascha.  It was agreed that teleconferencing facilities would be installed to allow for flexibility in Parish Council meetings – a number of the members of the Parish Council live more than 50 kilometres from the parish centre – and that steps would be taken to fully provide for card-based payments at the candle-desk.  Arrangements to publish the property purchase appeal approved at the 2014 parish Annual General Meeting were discussed.  The Parish Council will next meet on Bright Tuesday, 14 April 2015.

00529
Services on 14-15 March, the Third Sunday in Great Lent - 15/03/2015

On Saturday 14 March and Sunday 15 March we had services for the Third Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross.  In a departure from our usual practice, all-night vigil was served on Saturday for the sake of the bringing out of the Cross, and our full choir sang under the direction of O.I. Itsikson.  The Cross was magnificently decorated by Katia Waters.  Our church was full on the following day, with many having confessed in preparation for Holy Communion.

00530
The Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God visits our parish - 06/03/2015

On the evening of Friday 6 March the revered Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the "Directress" of the Russian Diaspora, visited our parish.  Brought from Sydney by the parish rector, the icon arrived just before 7.00pm.  A great many people gathered for the occasion, and a moleben with an akathist was served before the icon, after which the faithful venerated it and received a copy of the icon printed on card.   Many of those present afterwards took advantage of the rare opportunity to pray quietly before this holy icon.  A collection to benefit the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia was taken up at the service.

00531
Our March 2015 parish newsletter - 03/03/2015

Our March 2015 parish newsletter was published on 3 March 2015.  To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.

00532
Vespers with reading of the first “Passia” - 01/03/2015

On the evening of Sunday 1 March, the first Sunday in Great Lent, Vespers with the reading of the First “Passia” (or account of the suffering of Christ) was served.  The service of the Passia was introduced to the Russian Orthodox Church in the seventeenth century by the righteous hierarch Peter (Moghila), Metropolitan of Kiev.  In the parishes of our Diocese it is customarily served on the evening of the first, second, third and fourth Sundays of Great Lent.  The account of the suffering of Christ is read from each of the four evangelists in turn: Matthew (Chapters 26 and 27) on the first Sunday, Mark (Chapters 14 and 15) on the second Sunday, Luke (Chapters 22 and 23) on the third Sunday, and John (Chapters 18 and 19) on the fourth Sunday.  Before and after the reading of the Gospel, which occurs at the very end of the service, certain stichera from Great and Holy Friday and Great and Holy Saturday are sung, slowly and solemnly.  In our parish the singing of the stichera and the reading of the Gospel are generally in English.

00533
Services on 28 February – 1 March, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy - 01/03/2015

On the weekend of 28 February and 1 March we had services for the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  Reading the Apostol for us on Sunday was Reader Christopher Dowling, visiting the Central Coast from Canberra.  At the end of Divine Liturgy the service of intercession “For the conversion of those in error” was served, it being the custom of the Russian Orthodox Church to do so on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  A collection was then taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, the main seminary of our Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.

00534
The funeral of Elena (Lucia) Radu - 28/02/2015

On Saturday 28 February the parish rector served the funeral of Elena (Lucia) Radu. Lucia reposed aged 67 on Wednesday 25 February.  She is survived by her husband Aurel and their daughter Raluka and her husband Michael, to whom we offer sincere condolences.  May God grant his newly-departed handmaiden rest!  The fortieth day of Lucia’s repose will be on Palm Sunday, 5 April, and our parishioners and friends are asked to particularly remember her in their prayers.

00535
The first week of Great Lent - 27/02/2015

On the first four evenings of Great Lent - Monday 23 - Thuursday 26 February - we had the service of Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.  These solemn services very much set the tone for the fast, the melodies and certain of the prayers being heard only during this time.  A small but steady number of people attended, with most of those present taking it in turns to assist with the reading of the psalms and prayers of Great Compline.  In our parish Great Compline is also served on Wednesday evening in the second, third, fourth and sixth weeks of Great Lent.

00536
Our Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services - 27/02/2015

Our Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2015 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages will be available in church from Sunday 1 March.

00537
Sunday 22 February, Forgiveness Sunday - 22/02/2015

On the evening of Sunday 22 February, the Sunday of Forgiveness, we had vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness.  Our full choir sang under the direction of O. I. Itsikson.  Approximately 35 of our parishioners, both adults and children, gathered for this moving service in which, at the mid-point, the Lenten melodies begin and the church vestments are changed to black.  Afterwards, in accordance with the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, all asked forgiveness of one another.

00538
Services on 14-15 February, the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord - 15/02/2015

On Saturday 14 February and Sunday 15 February we had services for the Great feast of the Meeting of the Lord and for the Sunday of the Last Judgement.  All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening with our full choir singing under the direction of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday there was a blessing of candles and - in accordance with the practice of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia – baskets of seasonal fruit.  The candles, a gift to our parish, were distributed to the faithful for use at home.  As it was twenty years to the day since the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980-1993, a memorial litia was served after the dismissal.  Also commemorated was Archpriest Nicholas Grant, a priest of our Diocese from 1975-95, our Diocesan secretary, and a dear friend of Vladyka Paul, it having been the twentieth anniversary of his repose on 14 February 2015.  Both were commemorated at the Great Entrance, and prior to the litia our parish rector spoke about the lives of these two remarkable men and their contribution to the life of the Diocese and, in the case of Vladyka Paul, the wider Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  As the faithful venerated the Cross a collection was taken up to assist the work of Orthodox Action, a charitable organisation operating under the auspices of the Diocese.  This collection is taken up in all parishes of the Diocese each February.

00539
The February 2015 meeting of the Parish Council - 10/02/2015

Although a meeting was due early in January 2015, the Parish Council decided to take a summer break, meeting for the first time this year on Tuesday 10 February.  The usual pastoral, administrative and financial reports were presented.  Applications for renewed parish membership were considered and accepted.  Arrangements for the translation of items for our Russian-language website were discussed, and it was agreed that Rick Golovin would represent the parish at Bishop George’s induction at Strathfield on 17 April 2015.  The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 17 March 2015.

00540
Services on 31 January-1 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 01/02/2015

On Saturday 31 January and Sunday 1 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the first day on which the Lenten Triodion is used.  A greater than usual number of people gathered on both Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Although our parish deacon Father Martin Naef was absent, travelling abroad for work, we were joined for Divine Liturgy by a dear friend of the parish, Protodeacon German Polorotov, now assigned to the Gold Coast-Tweed Heads parish of our Diocese.  In his sermon the rector spoke of the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke  18: 10-14), emphasising the importance of emulating the best characteristics of both - the humility of the Publican and the righteousness of the Pharisee - whilst avoiding both sin and foolish pride.  Many stayed afterwards for a cup of tea and company.

00541
The blessing of parish homes at the feast of Theophany - 26/01/2015

It has been the custom in our parish since January 2002 for the parish rector to visit parish homes during the festive days following the Great Feast of Theophany and to bless them with the Holy Water.  The troparion and kontakion of the feast are sung as the Holy Water is sprinkled throughout the home, and afterwards prayers are offered before the family icons for the health and salvation of those dwelling there.  This year, the blessing of homes began on the afternoon of the Eve of Theophany, continuing on the day of the feast and the days that followed.  Over 30 homes on the Central Coast and in Hornsby and Sydney's north were blessed during the week that followed the feast, with further visits still to be made.

00542
The repose and funeral of Michael Grigorieff - 22/01/2015

On Thursday 15 January we learned with sadness of the repose that morning of our parishioner, Michael Grigorieff.  Born in Shanghai on 29 December 1933, Michael came to Australia with his family in the mid-1930s, serving in the Australian Army during the 1950s.  Michael had a long association with the Central Coast and was a member of our parish from 2006.  His funeral was served in our church on Thursday 22 January, after which he was laid to rest at the Noraville Cemetery.  Michael is survived by two sons, Adrian and John, to whom we offer sincere condolences.  May God grant rest to His newly-departed servant!

00543
Services on 17-18 January, the Eve of Theophany - 19/01/2015

On Saturday 17 January and Sunday 18 January we had services for the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost and the Eve of the Great Feast of Theophany.  On Saturday evening Matins was served and on Sunday morning, Divine Liturgy followed by Vespers and the Great Blessing of Water.  Despite the heat and the great length of the service, many people gathered in church and remained to the end to partake of the Holy Water.  That afternoon the parish rector visited a number of parish homes for the customary Theophany blessing.  On the following day a number of our parishioners travelled to the parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend, to participate in the festive services there.

00544
The funeral of Nadejda Feldman - 15/01/2015

On Thursday 15 January our parish rector served the funeral of Nadejda Feldman in the chapel at Palmdale Lawn Cemetery and Memorial Park. Nadejda reposed aged 78 on Thursday 8 January, the second day of the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  She is survived by her husband Victor, their children Vera, Lioubov and Alexandre, and their grandchildren.  May God grant rest to his newly-departed handmaiden!

00545
A baptism - Andrew Aristarchov - 10/01/2015

On Saturday 10 January the parish rector baptised six year-old Andrew Aristarchov, the son of Dmitry and Irina Aristarchov.  Andrew, who was baptised in honour of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, had as his sponsors at Holy Baptism Konstantin Ouskov and Ekaterina Lysenko.  We offer warm congratulations to Dmitry, Irina, Konstantin and Ekaterina, and wish the newly-baptised Andrew many years!

00546
Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ - 07/01/2015

On Tuesday 6 January and Wednesday 7 January we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  Prior to the services our small church had been beautifully decorated by Katia Waters and Wassim Ayoub.  On Tuesday evening All-night Vigil (Great Compline and Matins) with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served with a great many people in attendance.  At Matins Alexander Momot, a Russian Orthodox man born in Harbin and blind from his birth, read the Six Psalms, having committed them to memory in his childhood.  On the following day our church was again full – visitors from Newcastle and Sydney joining us for the feast – and many of the faithful received Holy Communion.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon we had a brief Moleben of Thanksgiving to mark the anniversary of the deliverance in 1812 of the Russian Church and Empire from the invasion of the French and twelve other nations.  Metropolitan Hilarion’s 2015 Nativity Epistle was then read aloud by the rector.  After the service many remained behind to share in a festive meal in church hall.

00547
Services on 3-4 January - 04/01/2015

On Saturday 3 January and Sunday 4 January we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ. The Sunday before the Nativity is a day of commemoration of the Holy Fathers, the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh, and also of the Old Testaments prophets who bore witness to His coming. Our small church was full on Sunday, with many people receiving Holy Communion. At the Prayer before the Amvon the parish rector blessed eight beautiful new green vestments for the parish altar-servers, the work of the Convent of Saint Elisabeth in Minsk, Belarus.

00548
Church clean-up on Saturday 3 January - 03/01/2015

On Saturday 3 January our parish had its customary clean-up in preparation for Christmas. Over 20 parishioners gathered to assist with this work. All the furniture was removed from the church to be washed and polished, the oil lamps were cleaned and refilled, the icons were wiped and dusted, and everything in church was made to shine. The Christmas vestments were ironed in readiness for the festive services. Afterwards, all shared a Lenten meal before returning home. May the Lord bless all those who helped!

00549
An English-language akathist to Great-Martyr Panteleimon - 24/12/2014

On Wednesday 24 December we served an English-language moleben and akathist to the heavenly protector of our parish, the Great-Martyr Panteleimon. We now have two such services each month, one wholly in Church Slavonic and the other wholly in English. The next moleben and akathist – in Church Slavonic – will be at 7.00pm on Wednesday 14 January. Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, pray to God for us!

00550
Services on 20-21 December - 21/12/2014

On Saturday 20 December and Sunday 21 December we had services for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Patapius of Thebes (Seventh Century AD). More people than usual were present for the Saturday evening service, and on Sunday morning our small church was full to overflowing with our regular parishioners and visitors from Sydney. Many people received Holy Communion. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the appointed Scripture readings (Colossians 1:12-18, Luke 17:12-19), emphasising the importance of giving thanks to God for material and spiritual blessings. Following the dismissal a memorial litia was served for Sophia Kfoury, the fortieth day of whose repose it was on Saturday 20 December. Nina Golovin and the Kfoury family had prepared a meal in Sophia’s memory, and many stayed to share in it and to enjoy one another’s company. A wonderful day in the life of our parish!

00551
Our December 2014 parish newsletter - 21/12/2014

Our December 2014 parish newsletter was published on 21 December 2014.  To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.

00552
Metropolitan Hilarion ratifies the decisions of our 2014 Annual General Meeting - 16/12/2014

On 16 December 2014 we received a letter from Metropolitan Hilarion ratifying the decisions of our 2014 Annual General Meeting and invoking God's blessing on our parish.  A copy of Vladyka's letter can be viewed here.

00553
The repose and burial of Tatiana Elgin-Borodin - 11/12/2014

On Friday 5 December we learned with sorrow of the repose of one of our founding parishioners, Tatiana Elgin-Borodin. A small family group gathered that evening for the Office after the Departure of the Soul, and a memorial litia was served on Sunday 7 December, the third day of her repose. On Thursday 11 December Tatiana’s funeral was served at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Strathfield, in which she had been active for many years before moving to the Central Coast. Our parish rector served at the funeral together with Archpriest George Lapardin, the senior priest of the Cathedral, and a great many relatives and friends were present to pray for her soul and to pay their respects. Tatiana had been active in the life of our parish from the beginning, singing in the choir, working with the Ladies’ Auxiliary, and baking prosphora. May God grant her rest with the saints!

00554
An akathist to Great-Martyr Panteleimon - 10/12/2014

On Wednesday 10 December we served a moleben and akathist to the heavenly protector of our parish, the Great-Martyr Panteleimon. As of December 2014, there will be two such services each month, one in Church Slavonic and the other in English. This first service was in Church Slavonic, with the parish choir singing under the direction of our conductor Olga Ivanovna Itsikson. Many people prayed in church and put up their names for commemoration at the moleben. The next moleben and akathist – in English – will be at 7.00pm on Wednesday 24 December. Holy Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, pray to God for us!

00555
The December 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 09/12/2014

Our Parish Council met on Tuesday 9 December. This was the first meeting of the newly-elected Parish Council and the final meeting for 2014. In addition to the usual pastoral, administrative and financial reports, the Parish Council made plans for the celebration of the feast of the Nativity of the Lord on 7 January 2015 and considered the work of the parish bookstore. A detailed report was heard on the Saint Seraphim Community Russian School in Hornsby that operates in association with our parish and a decision was made to fund one full-year and two half-year scholarships in 2015, the total value being $1,600. The Parish Council will next meet on 13 January 2015.

00556
Services on 6-7 December - 07/12/2014

On Saturday 6 December and Sunday 7 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Great-Martyr Katherine of Alexandria. On Sunday the icons of Christ, the Mother of God and Saint Katherine were beautifully decorated with floral arrangements by Katia Waters. Immediately following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed servant of God Tatiana Elgin-Borodin, one of the founding members of our parish. The rector then congratulated six parishioners celebrating their name-day – Katya Lugovoy, Katya Korolkevich-Rubbo, Kate Marcotrigiano, Katia Waters, Katya Yakimov, and Katie Carles – after which the choir sang “Many Years!"

00557
A baptism - Michael Lamanov - 06/12/2014

On Saturday 6 December the parish rector baptised Michael Lamanov, the infant son of Sergiy Lamanov and Svitlana Froklina and a baby brother to Sofia. Michael was named in honour of the Holy Archangel Michael and his sponsors at baptism were Dmitry Reznik and Nataliya Kravchenko. We warmly congratulate Sergiy, Svitlana, Dmitry and Nataliya, and pray that God will grant his newly-baptised servant Michael many years!

00558
Our Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services - 30/11/2014

Our Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2014-15 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are now available in church.

00559
Our 2014 Annual General Meeting - 30/11/2014

On Sunday 30 November our parish held its 2014 Annual General Meeting (AGM). At the AGM our 2014 Annual Report and 2013-14 financial report were presented and a property purchase appeal was endorsed. Long-serving Parish Council members Vladimir Golovin, Bill Reid, and Kate Marcotrigiano were returned to the Parish Council for another year, together with Anna Kourbatov and Reader Paul Douriaguine. Elena Douriaguine was also elected to the Parish Council, and Susanna Bendevski and Alla Karmadonoff were appointed Child Safety Contact Persons.

00560
Services on 29-30 November - 30/11/2014

On Saturday 29 November and Sunday 30 November we had services for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and Saint Gregory the Wonderworker, Bishop of Neo-Caesarea. A great many people were in church on Sunday morning, and at Divine Liturgy Priest Seraphim Slade of the Australian Orthodox Indigenous Mission concelebrated with the rector and parish deacon Father Martin Naef. The customary Diocesan-wide November collection for the Fund for Assistance was taken up at the dismissal, after which the parish held its 2014 Annual General Meeting.

00561
2014 Annual Report and 2013-14 Financial Report - 25/11/2014

Our 2014 Annual Report and audited 2013-14 Financial Report are now available.  These reports will be presented to our parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday, 30 November 2014.  The reports can be accessed by clicking on the embedded links.  Parish members are encouraged to carefully peruse these documents before the AGM.

00562
The funeral of Sophia Kfoury - 18/11/2014

On Monday 17 November and Tuesday 18 November our parish had a series of services for the repose of the soul of our dear friend and long-serving Parish Council member Sophia Kfoury. At 8.00pm on Monday evening her body was brought to the church and a Great Panikhida (“parastas”) was served, after which family and friends – in accordance with Orthodox custom – took it in turns to read each section ("kathisma") of the Psalter and the appointed prayers for the departed. This continued throughout the night, ceasing at around 8.00am on Tuesday. The Order of Preparation for Holy Communion was then read before the commencement of the Hours and Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with the parish rector at Divine Liturgy were Archimandrite Alexis (Rosentool) of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala and Hieromonk John (MacPherson) of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Monkerai. A great many people gathered for the funeral service, preceding which Archimandrite Alexis – a long-term friend of the Kroury family spoke movingly about Sophia’s remarkable history and personal qualities. Following the funeral she was buried at Point Clare Cemetery alongside her beloved mother, the ever-memorable Nun Maria (Gafu) (+2004). A memorial meal was afterwards held at the Narara Community Centre. May God grant rest to His newly-reposed handmaiden Sophia!

00563
Servces on 15-16 November - 16/11/2014

On Saturday 15 November and Sunday 16 November we had services for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Martyrs Acepsimas the bishop, Joseph the priest, Aithalas the deacon (Persian martyrs of the Fourth C.) and the dedication of the original church of the Great-Martyr George in Lydda (modern-day Lod, Israel) (Fourth C.). Announcements were made about the 2014 Annual General Meeting of our parish and the November 2014 Fund for Assistance collection, both of which are scheduled for Sunday 30 November. Following the dismissal, a panikhida was served for the newly reposed Sophia Kfoury. It being our last Sunday service before the commencement of the Nativity Fast, many remained afterwards to share in a barbeque prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary.

00564
The November 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 11/11/2014

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 11 November. Immediately before the meeting, Parish Council members and others gathered for a panikhida for the newly-departed handmaiden of God Sophia Kfoury, a member of the Parish Council since 2004. At the meeting the usual reports were presented. Particular attention was given to the recent acquisition by the parish of mobile technology allowing the bookstore – and, if need be, the church candle-desk – to receive payments by card through Paypal rather than cash. A proposed appeal for assistance with the purchase of a property was further considered and preparations for the Annual General Meeting were reviewed. The use of Skype for some Parish Council meetings was also discussed, two members of the Parish Council living over 50 kilometres from the church. The Parish Council will next meet on 9 December 2014.

00565
The repose of Sophia Kfoury - 11/11/2014

On Tuesday 11 November we learned with sadness of the repose that morning – following a brief but grievous illness – of our greatly loved parishioner, Parish Council member and friend, Sophia Kfoury. Sophia had been involved in the life of our parish since 2002, and had served on the Auditing Committee and Parish Council since 2003. Born in Jerusalem in 1952 to an English father and a Romanian mother, Sophia spent her childhood and youth in the Russian Orthodox convent on the Mount of Olives and in the school of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission at Bethany, later moving to Australia with her mother. Here she married Nicolas Kfoury, an Orthodox Christian from Lebanon, and with him raised a family of five children. We offer heartfelt condolences to Nicolas and to their children and grandchildren. May her memory be eternal! (ARTICLE EDITED)

00566
Services on 1-2 November - 02/11/2014

On Saturday 1 November and Sunday 2 November we had services for the Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Great-Martyr Artemius at Antioch (+362).  As the Saturday was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before the evening service.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, the parish rector read the prayers of blessing over new burial shrouds and English-language copies of the Prayer of Absolution and the coronets ("venchiki") used at Orthodox Christian burials.  Also blessed were two sets of new service books for use during Great Lent - in Church Slavonic but printed in Russian font - and a number of icons of the Mother of God "Helper in Childbirth".  These icons are to be part of a gift bag that our parish is preparing - in conjunction with the parish of Saint Nicholas, Wallsend - for distribution to expectant mothers.  At the end of the service, the parish rector announced that the Annual General Meeting of parish members will be held on 30 November 2014.

00567
Our November 2014 parish newsletter - 02/11/2014

Our November 2014 parish newsletter was published on 2 November 2014.  To read it visit our newsletter page or click here.

00568
Notice of Annual General Meeting 2014 - 01/11/2014

A formal notice concerning the parish Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sunday 30 November 2014 is available here.  The Parish Council nomination form referred to in the notice is available here.

00569
The blessing of a marriage - Alex Yakimov and Tammy Smith - 26/10/2014

On Sunday 26 October the blessing of the marriage of Alex Yakimov and Tammy Smith was served in our church.  Alex, the grandson of parish founder and our first Warden, Alexander N. Yakimov, was an altar server at Narara and later in the early days at West Gosford.  Our parish choir sang under the direction of O. I. Itsikson, and a great many family members and friends were in attendance.  We warmly congratulate Alex and Tammy on their marriage, and wish them many years of happiness together!

00570
Services on 18-19 October: The commemoration of the Holy Apostle Thomas - 19/10/2014

On Saturday 18 October and Sunday 19 October we had services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Thomas. Our small church was full on Sunday morning, regular worshippers having been joined by friends from Sydney and Canberra. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Apostle Thomas, noting both his well-known doubt concerning the Resurrection of Christ and his lesser-known apostolic work in India. Recounting the story from the Life of Saint Thomas concerning King Gundafor’s Magnificent Palace, the rector emphasised the importance of giving money to the poor – to be found amongst us even in a prosperous country like Australia - and thereby building a mansion in the Kingdom of Heaven. Following the service, our Ladies’ Auxiliary cooked pizza for our parishioners and friends, the pizza dough having been kindly donated by Pizza Inn, Gosford.

00571
The October 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 14/10/2014

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 14 October 2014.  An update was given on the health of long-standing parishioner and Parish Council member, Sophia Kfoury, the Parish Council learning with sorrow of her increasingly grievous illness. The customary pastoral, administrative and financial reports were then presented, and consideration was given to a range of new security measures made necessary by a break-in at our church on Tuesday 7 October. The report of the external auditor having been received, it was agreed that the parish Annual General Meeting would be held on Sunday 30 November 2014. The Russian and English texts of an appeal for assistance in purchasing property were reviewed. The Parish Council also considered membership applications, the possibility of card-based transactions at church, and the purchase of green vestments for our altar servers. The 2013-14 Parish Council will meet for the final time on 11 November 2014.

00572
A baptism - Anna Maslova - 11/10/2014

On Saturday 11 October the parish rector baptised a young woman, Anna Maslova. Anna, an accountant, chose as her patron saint the Russian New-Martyr Anna (Ostroglazova), a young woman who was also an accountant and who stood firm in the face of Bolshevik persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church before her martyrdom in 1937. Anna’s sponsor at baptism was Elena Ushakova. We offer warm congratulations to Anna and to Elena. May God, through the prayers of the Holy New-Martyr Anna, grant His newly-baptised handmaiden many years!

00573
Our annual October Long Weekend BBQ and picnic - 06/10/2014

On Monday 6 October, a beautiful spring day and the Labour Day public holiday in New South Wales, approximately forty parishioners and friends gathered at Heazlett Park, Avoca Beach, for our annual BBQ and picnic day. As usual, many of the children took the opportunity to hire pedal-boats on the lagoon and to swim while the adults relaxed in the shade by the water’s edge. Many thanks to Rick Golovin and his team of volunteers for setting everything up and for preparing lunch!

00574
Services on 4-5 October - 05/10/2014

On Saturday 4 October and Sunday 5 October – in New South Wales, the Labour Day long weekend – we had services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle Quadratus of the Seventy (+130 AD) and the Hieromartyr Phocas, bishop of Sinope (+117 AD). On Sunday our regular parishioners were joined by holiday-makers from Sydney and by others new to our parish. Receiving Holy Communion at Divine Liturgy for the first time were the newly-baptised Maria Malysheva and Constantine Day. At the end of the service a collection was taken up for refugees in Ukraine, the funds collected to be passed to the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia for distribution.

00575
A baptism - Anthony Harrison - 05/10/2014

On Sunday 5 October 2014 the parish rector baptised Anthony Mihai Harrison, the infant son of Matthew and Adriana Harrison and a baby brother to Thomas.  His godparents are Razvan and Oana Popescu.  We offer warm congratulations to Matthew, Adriana, Razvan and Oana, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Anthony many years!

00576
A baptism - Constantine Day - 04/10/2014

On Saturday 4 October 2014 the parish rector baptised Ethan Day, the infant son of Mark and Elina Day and a baby brother to Daniel.  Ethan was given the name Constantine in baptism in honour of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine the Great, on whose feast-day he was born.  His sponsor at baptism was his maternal godmother, Rimma Nagikh.  Following the service, Rimma presented our parish with two beautiful icons, one of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker and the other of All Saints of Ugreshk, both from the Nikolo-Ugreshky Stavropegial Men's Monastery in Moscow.  This was Rimma's second such gift to our parish - in 2013 she presented us with a beautiful icon of Saint Pimen of Ugreshk (+1880), the long-serving abbot of the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery.  We offer heartfelt thanks and warm congratulations to Mark, Elina and Rimma, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised servant Constantine many years!

00577
Services on 26-27 September: The Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross - 27/09/2014

On Friday 26 September and Saturday 27 September we had services for the Great Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. On Friday evening All-night Vigil was served with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and the bringing out of the Holy Cross. It being a Great Feast, our full choir again sang at the evening service under the direction of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson. A number of parishioners gathered for Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, followed by the singing of “Before Thy Cross” («Кресту Твоему») and the veneration of the Holy Cross, the symbol of Christ’s victory over sin and death and of our deliverance.

00578
A baptism - Maria Malysheva - 21/09/2014

On Sunday 21 September 2014, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the parish rector baptised Maria Malysheva, the four year-old daughter of Alexey Malyshev and Natalia Petrenko and a younger sister to Ksenia.  Maria’s patron saint is Saint Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles.  Her sponsors at baptism were Natalia Petrova and Andrii Vyaznikov.  We offer warm congratulations to Alexey, Natalia, Natalia and Andrii, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden Maria many years!

00579
Services on 20-21 September, the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2014

On Saturday 20 September and Sunday 21 September we had services for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Cross, and the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening. It being a Great Feast, our full choir sang at the evening service under the direction of Olga Ivanovna Itsikson. A greater than usual number of parishioners were present for the All-night Vigil, with many confessing in preparation to receive Holy Communion on the day of the feast. The following morning our small church was full, with regular parishioners being joined by visitors from Sydney and one or two new faces. Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector blessed two new icons. The first, an icon of Saints Kyril and Mefody, Equals-to-the-Apostles and Enlighteners of the Slavs, was a gift from our parishioner Katerina Rubbo. The second, a copy of the "Feodorovskaya" icon of the Mother of God, was a gift from our parishioner Ekaterina Waters, and will be a blessing for young mothers in our parish, this icon being associated with the blessing of marriage and deliverance from difficulty in childbirth.

00580
The September 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 09/09/2014

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 9 September 2014.  The rector gave his usual report on he life of the parish and the Diocese, giving particular attention to the celebration of the parish feast-day on 9 August 2014.  The generous help of many friends of the parish in making the celebration a success was acknowledged.  It was decided that the parish Annual General Meeting, previously scheduled for Sunday 21 August 2014, would be postponed to allow additional time for the external audit.  The success of the parish website - with over 14,000 visits since work on the new site was commenced in mid-2014 - was discussed and consideration was given to better use of the website for Orthodox Christian education, fundraising, and other worthy activity.  The generous donation of $3000.00 towards our new commemoration table from the Russian Relief Association of Saint Sergius of Radonezh was noted with gratitude.  The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 14 October.

00581
Services on 6-7 September - 08/09/2014

On 6-7 September we had services for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Apostle Bartholomew and the Apostle Titus of the Seventy. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Letter of the Apostle Paul to Titus, a portion of which (1:1-4, 2:15-3:3,12-13,15) formed the second appointed Apostol reading, and the instructions for Christian living set out therein. 

00582
Our Spring 2014 Schedule of Services - 05/09/2014

Our Spring 2014 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Spring 2014 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2014 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are available in church as of the weekend of 6-7 September.

00583
Services on 18-19 August, the Great Feast of the Transfiguration - 19/08/2014

On Monday 18 August and Tuesday 19 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. On Monday evening All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served. On Tuesday morning Divine Liturgy was served, after which grapes and other fruits were blessed in accordance with the custom of the Russian Orthodox Church. On this day the opportunity was also taken to bless honey, 60 jars of organic honey from the Wollombi Valley having been given to our parish. The blessed honey was afterwards distributed amongst our parishioners and friends.

00584
Services on 16-17 August - 17/08/2014

On Saturday 16 August and Sunday 17 August we had services for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Seven Youths (or “Seven Sleepers”) of Ephesus. It being the Dormition Fast, the church was vested in red, and icons of the Seven Sleepers and of the New-Martyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Cosmas of Aetolia, also commemorated on this day, were set in the centre of the church for veneration. After the dismissal “Many Years” was sung for our parishioner and long-serving Parish Councilor, Vasily (“Bill”) Reid, Bill having celebrated his name-day on Friday 15 August. As the faithful came to the Cross, the rector announced that the 2014 parish Annual General Meeting would be held on Sunday 21 September 2014.

00585
Parish awards given on the occasion of 10 years at West Gosford - 10/08/2014

On Saturday 9 August 2014 at the end of Divine Liturgy awards were presented to thirteen of our parishioners and friends.  These awards, given on the occasion of our celebration of 10 years of parish life at West Gosford, were the first under the awards policy that our Parish Council adopted in 2012.  A parish Certificate of Appreciation ("Приходская Благодарность") was presented to Olga Petroff, Nestor Petroff, Nina Golovin, Vladimir ("Rick") Golovin, Kate Marcotrigiano, Sophia Kfoury, Vasily (Bill) Reid, Olga Ivanovna Itsikson, Matushka Marie Carles, Paul Pereboeff, Claudia Kraiuhin, Craig Koppman and Anna Kourbatov.  Details of the individual citations are available here.  Congratulations to all who received awards!

00586
Services on 8-9 August for the feast of Great-Martyr Panteleimon - 09/08/2014

On Friday 8 August and Saturday 9 August 2014 our parish celebrated the feast of our heavenly protector, the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, and formally observed ten years of parish life at West Gosford. On the Friday evening His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, presided at All-night Vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil. Concelebrating were our parish rector, Priest James Carles, together with Protodeacon German Polorotoff (Saint Nicholas, Fairfield), our own Deacon Martin Naef, and Deacon Vasilli Konstantinidis (Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, Rocklea, QLD). The choir sang under the direction of long-serving choir conductor, Olga Ivanovna Itsikson, and many parishioners and friends were present for the service. On the following morning the parish rector served the lesser blessing of water, assisted by Deacon Constantine Moshegov (Sts Peter and Paul, Strathfield & All Saints of Russia, Croydon). Bishop George presided at Divine Liturgy. In addition to the parish clergy, five priests and four deacons concelebrated: Archpriest Ljubomir Dvojakovski (Saint George, Carlton), Hieromonk John (Macpherson) (Holy Trinity Monastery, Dungog), Priest Alexander Korjenevski (Saint George, Carlton), Priest Dionysios Halim (Saint John the Baptist Skete, Kentlyn), Priest Simon Nekipelov (Saints Peter and Paul, Strathfield), Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff (Saints Peter and Paul Strathfield), and the other deacons already mentioned. A great many people from a number of Sydney parishes arrived prior to Divine Liturgy, a bus having been generously arranged by John Wheatley Funeral Services. Bishop George gave an edifying sermon on the life of Saint Panteleimon, noting that the renowned Great-martyr and Healer was also the heavenly protector of his own monastery of the Holy Cross in West Virginia, USA. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy and faithful assembled before the church doors for a moleben to Saint Panteleimon. After the customary singing of Many Years and Memory Eternal, awards were presented to thirteen parishioners. A festive banquet was then held at the Narara Community Centre, the place in which our parish held services prior to the opening of our church in 2004. An article about our feast-day in the Russian-language weekly newspaper “Unification” can be viewed here, together with a selection of photographs.

00587
The August 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 05/08/2014

The Parish Council met on Tuesday 5 August 2014.  After briefly considering certain matters troubling the faithful - disturbances in the life of the Diocese and the impact on the Russian and Ukrainian communities in Australia of the grievous conflict in Ukraine - the Parish Council turned its attention to preparations for the parish feast-day and the visit of Bishop George of Mayfield. The 2013-14 financial records of the parish Ladies' Auxiliary were prepared for external audit, and Sunday 21 September 2014 was confirmed as the date of the 2014 Annual General Meeting of parish members.  The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 26 August 2014.

00588
Services on 2-3 August - 03/08/2014

On Saturday 2 August and Sunday 3 August we had services for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Prophet Ezekiel.  Deacon Martin Naef was not with us, having been asked to serve at the parish of All Saints of Russia, Croydon, together with the Dean of New South Wales, Mitred Archpiest Nikita Chemodakov.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were once again offered for an end to strife in Ukraine.

00589
Services on 19-20 July - 20/07/2014

On Saturday 19 July and Sunday 20 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Thomas of Mount Maleon and Venerable Acacius who is mentioned in The Ladder of Divine Ascent.  To the great joy of our parish, Deacon Martin Naef and his family were back with us after two years in Europe.  Following the dismissal at Divine Liturgy, the tragic loss of flight MH17 being very much on the minds of the faithful, a memorial litia was served for the souls of all the departed servants of God killed in the fratricidal strife in Ukraine.

00590
The July 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 17/07/2014

The Parish Council met on Thusrday 17 July 2014.  The rector presented his usual report on the life of the parish and the Diocese and the May and June 2014 financial reports were considered.  Bookstore co-ordinator Anna Kourbatov gave a detailed presentation on the operations of the parish bookstore of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk. The design of the new parish Certificate of Appreciation ("Приходская Благодарность") was discussed, and it was noted that the number of visits to the parish website had in July exceeded 10,000 since the publication of the new site late in 2013.  It was agreed that the Parish Council would next meet during the first week of August so as to finalise arrangements for the feast-day of Saint Panteleimon on 9 August 2014.

00591
Services on 5-6 July - 06/07/2014

On Saturday 5 July and Sunday 6 July we had services in honour of the "Vladimir" Icon of the Mother of God.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for our parishioner Alla Neal, the fortieth day of whose repose fell on Thursday 3 June, and Svetlana Iliuk, a friend of the parish who reposed on 25 June.  May God grant them rest!

00592
Services on 28-29 June - 29/06/2014

On Saturday 28 June and Sunday 29 June we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Tikhon, bishop of Amathus on Cyprus (+425 AD). A great many gathered in church on Sunday morning, both regular parishioners and visitors from Sydney. Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy were the newly-illumined servants of God Gabriel and Anne. Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector blessed a beautiful hand-painted copy of the “Reigning” ("Державная")Icon of the Mother of God, brought from Russia as a gift to our parish from the Teliatnikov family.

00593
A chrismation and the blessing of a marriage - 28/06/2014

With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, on the afternoon of Saturday 28 June the parish rector received Belinda Terry into the Orthodox Church from Roman Catholicism by confession of the Orthodox Faith and by chrismation. Upon her reception into Orthodoxy Belinda took the name Anne in honour of Saint Anne, the mother of the Mother of God. Her sponsor was Elizabeth Terry. Immediately after her reception the marriage of Belinda and her husband Michael was blessed according the rites of the Orthodox Church. We warmly congratulate Belinda and Michael, and pray that God will grant His newly-illumined handmaiden many years!

00594
A baptism - Gabriel Sheptitsky - 28/06/2014

On the morning of Saturday 28 June the parish rector baptised Samuel Sheptitsky, the infant son of Dmitri and Larisa Sheptitsky and a baby brother to Daniel and Evelina.  Born on the feast of the Annunciation this year, Samuel was given the name Gabriel in baptism in honour of the Archangel Gabriel.  His godmother is Eketerina Waters.  We congratulate Dmitri, Larisa and Eketerina and wish the newly-baptised servant of God Gabriel many years!

00595
Services on 14-15 June, the Sunday of All Saints and the Day of youth of the Russian Church Abroad - 15/06/2014

On Saturday 14 June and Sunday 15 June, the First Sunday after Pentecost, we had services in honour of All Saints. It also being the day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad, petitions for our youth were added to the Augmented Litany at Divine Liturgy and a prayer for their health and salvation was read. A great many people were present, and the church was beautifully decorated with flowers from the wedding of Andrew Martinov and Holly Nairn, married in the Wallsend parish on Friday 13 June. Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Angelina Benson. Afterward the service, many stayed and enjoyed borsch and a chicken vegetable soup prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary.

00596
Our June 2014 parish newsletter - 15/06/2014

Our June 2014 parish newsletter was published on the weekend of 14-15 June.  To read it, visit our newsletter page or click here.

00597
The June 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 11/06/2014

The Parish Council met on Wednesday 11 June. As a number of members were absent, the focus of the meeting was on preparations for our patronal feast on 8-9 August and our Annual General Meeting on 21 September. The rector gave his usual report on the life of the parish and the Diocese and reports on parish finances and communications were heard. It was agreed that a collection would be taken up during the Apostles’ Fast to assist those suffering as a result of the current turmoil in Ukraine, with the proceeds to be passed to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church for distribution. The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 8 July.

00598
A baptism - Angelina Benson - 07/06/2014

On Saturday 7 June the parish rector baptised Harper, the infant daughter of Michael and Melissa Benson.  Harper was given the name Angelina in baptism, taking as her patron saint the Righteous Angelina of Serbia. Her godparents are Mark and Jodie Benson.  Congratulations to Michael, Melissa, Mark and Jodie.  May God grant his newly-baptised handmaiden Angelina many years!

00599
Services on 31 May-1 June, the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council - 01/06/2014

On Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1 June we had services for the Afterfeast of the Ascension of the Lord and in honour of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.  After a very quiet service on Saturday evening our small church was full on Sunday, with friends from Sydney and some new faces joining our usual congregation.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday was the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Emily Bendevski.  After the dismissal, a collection was taken up for the Serbian people suffering as a result of recent devastating floodsUPDATE: The collection raised $400.05.

00600
A baptism - Emily Bendevski - 31/05/2014

On Saturday 31 May the parish rector baptised Emily, the infant daughter of Victor and Susanna Bendevski and a baby sister for Philip, Melanie and Daniel.  Emily’s patron saint is Saint Emilia of Caesarea, and her godparents are Christine Morozoff and Matthew Kirpichnikov.  Congratulations to Victor, Susanna, Christine and Matthew.  May God grant his newly-baptised handmaiden Emily many years!

00601
The funeral of Alla Neal - 29/05/2014

On Sunday 25 May we learned with great sadness of the repose of our parishioner and chorister, Mrs Ella (Alla) Neal.  Her funeral was served in our church on the afternoon of Thursday 29 May, the Great Feast of the Ascension, followed by burial in the old Russian Section at Rookwood Cemetery.  We offer our sincere condolences to Alla's son and daughter Leo and Angela and their families, and ask our parishioners and friends to remember the newly-reposed handmaiden of God Alla in their prayers.  May God give her rest!

00602
Services on 28-29 May - The Great Feast of the Ascension - 29/05/2014

On Wednesday 28 May and Thursday 29 May we had services for the Great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves and wheat, wine, oil was served on Wednesday evening, and Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning.  As it was on the Great Feast of the Ascension in 2007 that the fullness of brotherly communion within the Russian Orthodox Church was re-established, the Prayer for the Prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church was read.

00603
Service on 27 May - The Leavetaking of Pascha - 27/05/2014

On the evening of Tuesday 27 May, the Eve of the Leavetaking of Pascha, Paschal Matins was served.  It is customary on this day to serve Matins in the same way as on the Sunday of Pascha and during Bright Week, with the service fully sung and the sanctuary doors open.  As we were unable to have Divine Liturgy on the following day, 'Christ is Risen' was sung for the last time and the church was then prepared for the services for the Great Feast of the Ascension.

00604
Our Winter 2014 Schedule of Services - 18/05/2014

Our Winter 2014 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2014 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2014 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are available in church.

00605
Our May 2014 parish newsletter - 18/05/2014

Our May 2014 parish newsletter was published on the weekend of 17-18 May.  To read it, visit our newsletter page or click here.

00606
Services on 17-18 May, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman - 18/05/2014

On Saturday 17 May and Sunday 18 May we had services for the Afterfeast of Mid-Pentecost and for the fifth Sunday of Pascha, on which the Orthodox Church commemorates Christ's conversation with the Samaritan Woman by Jacob's Well (John 4:5-42).  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, a Moleben of Thanksgiving was served, 16 May having been the tenth anniversary of the blessing by Archbishop (now Metropolitan) Hilarion of our church at West Gosford.  At the dismissal, the parish rector congratulated long-time parishioner Irene Krikunov on her name-day, and said a word of farewell to parishioner Elena Fauris and her son Roman Blanloueil, with us for the last time before leaving Australia with their family to resettle in France.  Many remained behind afterwards for a festive BBQ lunch and to share in a birthday cake baked by Olga Petroff.

00607
The May 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 14/05/2014

The Parish Council met on Wednesday 14 May, the evening of Mid-Pentecost.  The customary pastoral and financial reports were presented, and attention was given to the possibility of a property purchase.  The celebration of our parish feast-day in August was discussed, with the rector advising that Bishop George of Mayfield was expected to preside at Divine Liturgy on Saturday 9 August.  It was also noted that the end of the financial year was approaching, and with it the the need to prepare for an audit of parish finances and and Annual General Meeting of parish members.  The Parish Council is due to meet next on Wednesday 11 June.

00608
Service on Tuesday 13 April, the Eve of Mid-Pentecost - 13/05/2014

On the evening of Tuesday 13 May we had Matins for Mid-Pentecost, the feast-day marking the half-way point between the Great Feasts of Pascha and Pentecost.  As it is customary in the Russian tradition to bless water on this feast-day, this was done after Matins that evening.

00609
Services on 3-4 May, the Sunday of the Holy Myrrhbearers - 04/05/2014

On Saturday 3 May and Sunday 4 May we had services in honour of the Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women and of the Righteous Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. On Saturday evening the Paschal Canon was sung in English. On this weekend, two of our choristers, Anna Kourbatov and Ekaterina Waters, participated in the Seventh Diocesan Liturgical Music Conference in Canberra.

00610
Services on 25-26 April, Bright Saturday - 26/04/2014

On Friday 25 April and Saturday 26 April, Bright Saturday, Paschal services were held in our church. At Matins on Friday evening the Paschal Canon was sung in English. At the end of Divine Liturgy, prayer having been offered for the bodily and spiritual health and blessing of those who would partake of it, the artos was cut and distributed to the faithful.

00611
Lazarus Saturday, Holy Week and Pascha - 20/04/2014

From the evening of Friday 11 April until Pascha, Sunday 20 April, there were ten services in our parish: Matins and Divine Liturgy for Lazarus Saturday (11-12 April); Matins for Great and Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (13-15 April); Matins and Divine Liturgy for Great and Holy Thursday (16-17 April); Vespers of Great and Holy Friday with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ (18 April); Midnight Office, Paschal Matins, and Divine Liturgy (19-20 April); and Paschal Vespers (20 April).  All the main services were well-attended, with many parishioners receiving Holy Communion at the three Divine Liturgies, and over one hundred people gathering for Paschal Matins at 12.00am on Sunday 20 April.  Easter cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed after Paschal Matins at 1.00am and again at midday, immediately after Paschal Vespers.

00612
Our final Great Compline for 2014 - 09/04/2014

On Wednesday 9 April a small group of parishioners gathered for the final Great Compline for 2014.  In our parish it is the practice to have this service on the first four evenings of Great Lent and on every Wednesday evening thereafter, apart from Wednesday of the Fifth Week when Matins with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete is served.  This year, fewer such services were possible because of the renovation of our church.  After the service all present helped change the church vestments from black to green in preparation for Lazarus Saturday.

00613
The April 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 08/04/2014

A meeting of the Parish Council was held on Tuesday 8 April.  In additional to the usual reports on parish life, finances, membership and communications, the Parish Council heard a detailed report on the recent renovation and refurbishment of our church.  Plans were made for the observance of Holy Week and Pascha, and the parish rector's arrangements to work part-time in secular employment as of the beginning of April 2014, with three days per fortnight for pastoral duties in this parish and in Wallsend, were discussed.  The Parish Council plans to meet next on Wednesday 14 May, the evening of the feast of Mid-Pentecost.

00614
The Holy Mystery of Anointing with Oil - 07/04/2014

On the evening of Monday 7 April, the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, our parish celebrated the Holy Mystery of Anointing with Oil. At the end of the service, the parish rector gave a brief sermon on the history and significance of the sacrament before anointing forty-four of our parishioners with the Holy Oil for the healing of soul and body.

00615
Services on 5-6 April, the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent - 06/04/2014

On Saturday 5 April and Sunday 6 April, the Fifth Sunday in Great Lent, we had services for the Forefeast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God. These services, almost ten years to the day after our first services in West Gosford in April 2004, were the first services in our newly-renovated church. A great many people confessed on Saturday evening and before Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning so as to receive Holy Communion. Early on Sunday morning the Lesser Blessing of Water was served, following which the church was sprinkled with Holy Water.  At the end of Divine Liturgy the parish rector congratulated Vladimir Golovin, Craig Koppman and all who assisted with the renovations. That afternoon, our parish rector joined Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Miodrag Peric, Serbian Orthodox Dean of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, local rector Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Nenad Djurasinovic, and the Serbian Orthodox faithful of the Central Coast and Newcastle and their guests at a festive lunch in Mangrove Mountain, not far from the parish of the Synaxis of Serbian Saints in Peats Ridge. The occasion was the patronal feast of the parish Ladies Auxiliary, named in honour of Saint Mary of Egypt.

00616
The renovation of our church, 16 March-5 April - 05/04/2014

 

Late in 2013, it was agreed that work would be undertaken during 2014 to reonovate and refurbish our small church in preparation for the celebration of ten years of parish life at West Gosford.  Early in 2014 the decision was made to do this work before Pascha, a decision that regrettably made it necessary to miss services on one Saturday evening and Sunday morning during Great Lent, in addition to seven lesser services (Sunday evening Vespers and Passia on three evenings, Great Compline on two evenings, Matins with the Great Canon of Saint Andrew on Thursday of the Fifth Week, and a general pannikhida).  The work began on the afternoon of Sunday 16 March with the church being emptied of its furnishings, icons and other contents.  On the following day, repairs to the ceiling began.  In the three weeks that followed, the lower parts of the church walls was panelled and stained, the walls and ceiling were repainted, old lights were repaired or replaced, new lights were installed, a storage shed was erected, a new electric oven and gas cooktop were installed, the icons cases were cleaned inside and out, and a number of other maintenance and cleaning tasks were undertaken.  When the renovations were completed, the icons were re-hung, some changes in position being necessary because of the new panelling.  Taking the lead in all this work was Vladimir ("Rick") Golovin, our long-serving Parish Council member and the original builder of our church.  Rick was ably assisted by Craig Koppman, Rick's son-in-law and a steadfast friend of our parish for many years.  Many parishioners came to help at different times in whatever way that they could, ensuring that our church was ready for services on the weekend of 5-6 April.  The first services in West Gosford were on the weekend of 3-4 April 2004, which that year was Palm Sunday.

00617
Diocesan Pastoral Retreat and Conference - 26/03/2014

On Tuesday 25 March and Wednesday 26 March our parish rector participated in the customary Great Lenten Pastoral Retreat and Conference for clergy of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  A report and photographs can be viewed on the Diocesan website here.

00618
Our March 2014 parish newsletter - 16/03/2014

Our March 2014 parish newsletter was published on the weekend of 15-16 March.  To read it, visit our newsletter page or click here.

00619
Services on 15-16 March, the Second Sunday in Great Lent - 16/03/2014

On Saturday 15 March and Sunday 16 March we had services in honour of Saint Gregory Palamas. As the Saturday was a day of commemoration of the departed we had a general memorial service before Matins that evening, with approximately 20 parishioners gathering to pray for their departed family and friends. During Divine Liturgy on Sunday, prayers were again offered for the Ukrainian land and people. A great many people, both adults and children, received Holy Communion, amongst them the newly-baptised infant Maria Yakimov, receiving the Holy Mysteries for the first time. A collection to assist the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, was taken up after the service, raising $247.00. Later in the day, all the icons and furnishings were removed from the church in preparation for renovations beginning on Monday 17 March.

00620
The March 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 11/03/2014

A meeting of the Parish Council was held on Tuesday 11 March. The usual reports were considered, with particular attention given to financial control systems and plans for renovations during March and April. Rick Golovin reported that the renovations would include repainting the church interior, panelling the lower part of the church walls, repairing water damage to the church ceiling, repairing and cleaning the chandeliers, remodelling the kitchen and installing a gas oven and cooktop, erecting a small storage shed for the BBQ and cleaning items, and cleaning up the church exterior. It was agreed that the parish collection for Great Lent this year would again be for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, the same collection last year having been a great success. The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 8 April 2014.

00621
Vespers with Passia on the First Sunday of Great Lent - 09/03/2014

At 6.00pm on Sunday 9 March, the First Sunday in Great Lent, a small number of the faithful gathered for Vespers with the first Passia and the reading of Chapters 26 and 27 from Saint Matthew's Gospel.  The beautiful stichera from Great and Holy Friday were sung, and the faithful venerated the Holy Gospel with prostrations.  Sadly, as our church will be closed on the evenings of the Second, Third and Fourth Sundays of Great Lent, this was the only time that Sunday evening Vespers and the Passia will be served in 2014.

00622
A baptism - Thomas Matei Strezea - 09/03/2014

On the afternoon of Sunday 9 March, the parish rector baptised Thomas Matei Strezea, the infant son of Marius and Teodora Strezea of Bucharest, Romania.  Thomas' godparents were Matthew and Adriana Harrison, whose own son Thomas was baptised in our church in November 2008.  Marius and Teodora were married here on the New South Wales Central Coast in January 2013. We warmly congratulate Marius, Teodora, Matthew and Adriana, and pray that God will grant his newly-baptised servant Thomas Matei many years!

00623
Services during the First Week of Great Lent - 06/03/2014

At 7.00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the First Week of Great Lent we had the service of Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete. The Odes of the Great Canon were read by the parish rector alternately in Slavonic and English, and of those who attended the services, many took the opportunity to assist with the reading of the psalms and prayers at Great Compline. 

00624
Services on 1-2 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness - 02/03/2014

On Saturday 1 March and Sunday 2 March we had services for the Sunday of Forgiveness and in honour of the Holy Hieromartyr Hermogenes (Ermogen), Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. During the Augented Litany at Divine Liturgy, prayers were offered for the Ukrainian land and people and for the grievously ill Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis, a well-known and greatly-respected former cleric of our Diocese now serving in the Cathedral of the Mother of God, “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco. Vespers was served immediately after Divine Liturgy, followed by the rite of asking forgiveness. Many parishioners and friends then stayed behind to enjoy blini prepared by our Ladies’ Auxiliary and to prepare the church for the services during the first week of Great Lent.

00625
A baptism - Alexander Sukhov - 23/02/2014

On Sunday 23 February the parish rector baptised Alexander Sukhov, the infant son of the late Igor Sukhov and his widow Natalia, and a baby brother to Victoria.  Alexander's patron saint is the Holy Right-Believing Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky, and his godparents are Vitaly Brusentsev and Lilia Ishutina.  We warmly congratulate Natalia, Vitaly and Lilia, and pray that God will grant his newly-baptised servant Alexander many years!

00626
A baptism - Maria Yakimov - 22/02/2014

On Saturday 22 February the parish rector baptised the infant Maria, the second daughter of Eric and Katya Yakimov and a baby sister for Tatiana.  Maria's patron saint is Saint Mary of Egypt, and her godparents are Veronica Paznikov and Alexis Yakimov.  It was fitting that Maria's baptism was the one-hundredth in our church at West Gosford since it opened in April 2004: her great-grandfather Alexander Yakimov was the founding Starosta of our parish, he and his son Constantine Yakimov - Maria's grandfather - were builders of our church, and Eric was an altar-server both at the Narara Community Centre and at West Gosford.  Congratulations to Eric, Katya, Veronica and Alexis.  May God grant his newly-baptised handmaiden Maria many years!

00627
Services on 15-16 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 16/02/2014

On Saturday 15 February and Sunday 16 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and for the Afterfeast of the Meeting of the Lord.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, the parish rector blessed two new icons, both gifts to our church.  The first was an icon of Saint Pimen of Ugreshk (+1880), the long-serving abbot of the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery in Moscow glorified in 2004.  This icon was a gift from Rimma Nagikh, whose grandson Daniel was baptised in our church in March 2013.  The second was an icon of Saint Mary of Egypt and the Righteous Zosima.  This icon was brought to us from the Holy Land by our parishioner Sergei Schreider.  Through the prayers of Saints Pimen, Mary and Zosima, may God bless his servants Rimma and Sergei and their families!

00628
The February 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 11/02/2014

Our Parish Council held its February meeting on Tuesday 11 February 2014.  As it was the eve of the fortieth day of John Gordeyeff's repose, "Eternal Memory" was sung after the opening prayer.  The parish rector gave his customary report on the life of the parish and the Diocese, and the usual reports concerning parish finances and communications were considered. Arrangements were made to pay Haiti Orthodox Family Relief our parish's usual annual donation of US$1570.00, being US$1200.00 family sponsorship, US$120.00 towards debt reduction for our priests there, and US$250.00 towards a teacher's salary.  The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 11 March 2014.

00629
A moleben and akathist to Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg - 06/02/2014

On the evening of Thursday 6 February 2014, the day of commemoration of Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg, the heavenly patron of our Ladies’ Auxiliary and a beloved helper of many of our parishioners, a moleben and akathist to Blessed Xenia were served in our church. Following the moleben, many years was intoned for Ksenia Teliatnikova and Ksenia Shevchenko, two of our parishioners celebrating their name-day that day. Afterwards, most present remained behind to share tea and cake. Holy Blessed Mother Xenia, pray to God for us!

00630
Services on 1-2 February, the Sunday of Zaccheus - 02/02/2014

On Saturday 1 February and Sunday 2 February we had services in honour of Saint Euthymius the Great (+473).  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the first of the readings from the Holy Gospel was that relating to Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10), a model of repentance, customarily read on the last Sunday before the use of the Lenten Triodion begins.  In his sermon, the parish rector spoke of how the Church was now turning us from the contemplation of the Incarnation of our Lord to our response to His coming amongst us.  In accordance with Metropolitan Hilarion's request, following the service a collection was taken up to benefit the family of the infant Maxim Lvov.  UPDATE: This collection raised $470.00.

00631
Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of Theophany - 22/01/2014

On Saturday 18 January and Sunday 19 January we had services in honour of the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. All-night vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Sunday morning. A great many of the faithful gathered in church on Sunday morning, with regular worshippers being joined by friends from Sydney holidaying on the Central Coast and further north. As is customary, the parish rector visited the homes of the faithful around the Central Coast and in the Hornsby region that afternoon and on the days following, sprinkling them with the Theophany Water.

00632
The January 2014 meeting of the Parish Council - 14/01/2014

Our Parish Council held its January 2014 meeting on Tuesday 14 January.   As it was the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, the meeting began with the singing of the troparion “O Jesus, Who in the highest” («На престоле огнезрачнем»). The usual reports on parish life and finances were presented and considered, and Father James and Rick Golovin reported on their participation in the Seventeenth Diocesan Conference in December 2013. A number of other issues were then discussed, including the operation of the parish bookstore of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, parish communications, and ongoing parish initiatives relating to risk management and child safety. Applications for renewal of parish membership were tabled and accepted and a plan for celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the opening of our parish centre at West Gosford was agreed upon.  The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 11 February 2014.

00633
The funeral of John Gordeyeff - 11/01/2014

On Friday 10 January 2014 the funeral service for 61 year-old John Gordeyeff was held in our church.  John reposed in the Lord on 4 January 2014, having suffered grievously in recent months from a serious illness. After his burial at Point Clare Cemetery, family and friends returned to our church hall for a commemorative meal.  On the following day, Saturday 11 January, 'Eternal Memory' was sung for the newly-departed servant of God John at the summer camp of the National Organisation of Russian Scouts (Национальная Организация Русских Скаутов), John having been a member of that organisation in his youth and remembered by many of the current leaders.  Our parishioners and friends are asked to keep John in their prayers. The fortieth day of his repose will fall on Wednesday 12 February 2014.

00634
Services on 4-5 January - 05/01/2014

On Saturday 4 January and Sunday 5 January we had services for the Forefeast of the Nativity of the Lord. Our church was again full, with many taking the opportunity to confess and receive Holy Communion at our last parish service before the Nativity of Christ. As it was also the last service for 2013 according to the Julian calendar, a year during which the four-hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Romanoff Dynasty was celebrated, a brief moleben to the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia was served after the Prayer before the Amvon. Later, a memorial litia was served and ‘Eternal Memory’ was sung for all the pious Tsars and Tsarinas and all the departed members of the All-Russian Imperial House. Our 2014 commemorative calendars were distributed to parishioners and friends, and at our customary "cup of tea" the Ladies’ Auxiliary drew their Christmas raffle.

00635
Services on 28-29 December - 29/12/2013

On Saturday 28 December and Sunday 29 December we had services in honour of the Holy Forefathers, the second Sunday before the Nativity of Christ being a day of commemoration of the choir of Old Testament righteous ones. Both services were well-attended, with the church full to overflowing on Sunday morning. To the great joy of our parishioners we were joined on Sunday morning by Deacon Martin and Matushka Tatiana Naef and their children, back in Australia for a short time after 18 months in France. Also visiting were Reader Christopher Dowling and a number of old friends of our parish holidaying on the Central Coast. Many stayed on afterwards, taking the opportunity to socialise and browse through our parish kiosk of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk.

00636
The funeral of Igor Sukhov - 17/12/2013

On Tuesday 17 December 2013 the funeral service for 36 year-old Igor Sukhov, killed in a tragic accident on 4 December 2013, was held in our church.  In addition to Igor’s young widow Nataliya, their children Victoria and Alexander, and his mother Galina Mihailovna Sukhova, many friends and work colleagues gathered to pray for the repose of his soul and to bid him farewell. Following the burial at Point Clare Cemetery, many returned to the church hall for a commemorative meal.  Our parishioners and friends are asked to continue to remember the newly-departed servant of God Igor and his grieving family in their prayers. The fortieth day of Igor’s repose will fall on Saturday 11 January 2014.

00637
Services on 14-15 December - 15/12/2013

On Saturday 14 December and Sunday 15 December we had services in honour of the Holy Prophet Habbakuk (Avvakum) (7th Cent. B.C.). Although the service on Saturday evening was a quiet one, our church was full on Sunday morning, with many young children receiving Holy Communion. During the Communion of the clergy, the choir sang the beautiful irmosi – the opening hymns of the canon – of the Nativity of Christ. The appointed reading from the Gospel was that of the Rich Young Man (Luke 18:18-27) who, despite having kept the commandments from his youth up, stumbled at the prospect of giving up his wealth. In his sermon the parish rector spoke of the importance of not trying to serve God on our own terms, and of the Lord’s promise of eternal life to those who turn away from things in this passing life for the sake of their salvation.

00638
The 17th Diocesan Conference - 14/12/2013

On Thursday 12, Friday 13 and Saturday 14 December the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia held its seventeenth triennial Diocesan Conference. Representing our parish at the Conference were the rector, Priest James Carles, and the lay delegate elected by parish members, Mr Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin. Delegates to the Conference heard reports from the Ruling Bishop, Metropolitan Hilarion, and from the Diocesan Treasurer, Mr Nicholas Nedachin, before discussing a range of legal, administrative and pastoral matters. On the third day of the Conference our rector, Father James, was chosen by delegates to be one of the five members in priestly rank of the new Diocesan Council. The other members of the Diocesan Council are Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov, Archpriest Nicholas Karipoff, Archpriest Gabriel Makarov, Archpriest George Lapardin, Protodeacon Alexander Abramoff, Nicholas Nedachin, Dimitri Roudenko, Nicholas Wirubow, and Lubov Cowall.  A photo-report of the proceedings of the Diocsan Conference and the text of the Conference Resolution can be viewed on the Diocesan website here.

00639
The December 2013 meeting of the Parish Council - 10/12/2013

Our Parish Council held its December 2013 meeting on Tuesday 10 December.   The usual reports on parish life and finances were presented and considered.  Decisions were made to develop a Parish Council Code of Conduct, contribute $500.00 towards the costs of the 2013 Diocesan Youth Conference and the Teen Retreat, and – in honour of the forthcoming tenth anniversary of the opening of our parish centre at West Gosford - to acquire a new carved wooden memorial table for the placement of candles for the departed. Progress on the Russian-language version of the parish website and on planning for our tenth-anniversary celebrations were also discussed. The Parish Council will next meet on Tuesday 14 January 2014.

00640
The fifth anniversary of the repose of Patriarch Alexey II - 07/12/2013

Thursday 5 December was the fifth anniversary of the repose of the Most Holy Patriarch, Alexey II of Moscow and All Russia.  On Saturday 7 December, following Divine Liturgy on the day of commemoration of the Great-Martyr Katherine, a memorial litia was served.  The parish rector spoke beforehand of the wise leadership of Patriarch Alexey during an extraordinary period in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church, a period at the end of which decades-old division in the life of the Church was finally overcome.  May his memory be eternal!

00641
Services on 6-7 December: Commemorating Saint Katherine of Alexandria - 07/12/2013

On Friday 6 December and Saturday 7 December we had services in honour of the holy Great-Martyr Katherine of Alexandria.  Matins was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Saturday morning.  Present for Divine Liturgy were six of our parishioners named in her honour: Ekaterina Lugovoy, Katerina Rubbo, Ekaterina Waters, Cathrine Yakimov, Jessica-Katherine Datsyuk and Katie Carles.  Also present were two Wallsend parishioners, Katy Goura and Katya Martin.  After Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke briefly about the Great-Martyr Katherine and congratulated all those celebrating their name-day.  Many years was sung for them, and afterwards all shared a light festive meal including a Lenten cake provided by Bill Reid and decorated with the words “Happy Name-Day, Katyas!”.  A little later...

00642
Services on 30 November-1 December - 01/12/2013

On Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December we had services in honour of the Holy Martyr Platon of Ancyra (c. 302 AD) and the Hireomartyr Romanus, deacon of Caesarea, with the youth Barulas (303 AD).  As the Nativity Fast had commenced on Thursday 28 November, the church was vested in red.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time were the newly-baptised servants of God, twin brothers Artemy and Maxim Tomshin.  A collection for the ROCOR Fund for Assistance was taken up after the dismissal, and moneyboxes were distributed for the parish Nativity Fast collection to benefit Autism Awareness Australia.  Following the service, there was a meeting of the committee elected at our 2013 Annual General Meeting to plan celebrations, in 2014, of ten years of parish life at West Gosford. 

00643
Services on 16-17 November - 17/11/2013

On Saturday 16 November and Sunday 17 November we had services in honour of the Venerable Joannicius the Great (846 AD) and the Hiermoartyrs Nicander, Bishop of Myra, and Hermas the priest (1st C.).  Following Divine Liturgy on the Sunday there was an Extraordinary Parish Meeting (Чрезвычаное Приходское Собрание) to elect a lay parish delegate to the 14th Diocesan Conference, to be held at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Strathfield, from December 12-14, 2013.  The delegate chosen by the parish was Vladimir ("Rick") Golovin, a long-serving member of the Parish Council.  We congratulate Rick on his election and wish him all the best as he participates in the important work of the Diocesan conference.

00644
A baptism - 16/11/2013

On Saturday 16 November the parish rector baptised two girls, two year-old Chanel and seven month-old Paris, the daughters of Edward Permikin and Oksana Novosyolova.  The girls were named Alexandra and Sophia in baptism.  Alexandra’s godparents were Marina Wills and Zhenya Albert, and Sophia’s godparents were Olga Albert and Phillip Wills. Congratulations to Edward, Oksana, Marina, Zhenya, Olga and Phillip.  May God grant his newly-baptised handmaidens Alexandra and Sophia many years!

00645
The November 2013 meeting of the Parish Council - 13/11/2013

Our Parish Council held its November 2013 meeting on Wednesday 13 November.   The usual reports on parish life and finances were presented and applications for renewal of parish membership were considered.  The forthcoming Extraordinary Parish Meeting (Чрезвычаное Приходское Собрание) on 17 November and the Diocesan Conference on 12-14 December were discussed.  The parish rector advised the Parish Council that the new parish website had been launched, and arrangements for the publication of the Russian version of the site were discussed.  Reader Paul Douriaguine, a Parish Council member and the Principal of the Saint Seraphim Community Russian School in Hornsby gave a report on the operation of the school.  It was agreed that the customary parish charitable collection during the forthcoming Nativity Fast would benefit an organisation providing support to autism spectrum disorders, and that money-boxes for this purpose would be available in church as of Sunday 1 December.  The Parish Council will next meet on Wednesday 11 December 2013.

00646
Services on 2-3 November - 04/11/2013

On the evening of Saturday 2 November, Saint Demetrius Saturday, the parish rector served a general panikhida.  Later that evening and on the morning of the next day there were services in honour of Saint Hilarion the Great.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday 3 November, two beautiful new icons were blessed.  These icons, a gift to the parish from parishioner Ekaterina Waters, were of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and of the Righteous Women Martha, Alexandra and Elena of Diveyevo.  After the dismissal, Nestor Petroff congratulated the parish rector on behalf of the parish with the approach of his name-day, the feast of Saint James, Brother of the Lord (October 23/November 4).  As Sunday 3 November was also the day of commemoration of Saint Hilarion, Schema-Metropolitan of the Kiev Caves, the name-day of Metropolitan Hilarion, many years was then sung first for Vladyka, and afterwards for Father James.  That afternoon the parish rector and a small group of our parishioners journeyed to the Convent of Our Lady of Kazan in Kentlyn, New South Wales, for the celebration of the Convent's patronal feast.  The November feast of the Kazan Icon commemorates the miraculous deliverance of Russia from the Poles in 1612.

00647
A baptism - 03/11/2013

On Sunday 3 November the parish rector baptised Matthew Shmelev, infant son of Kirill and Olga Shmelev and the baby brother of Anastasia.  Matthew’s sponsors at baptism were Olga Kusnetsova and Vladislav Efremov.  Congratulations to Kirill, Olga, Olga and Vladislav.  May God grant his newly-baptised servant Matthew many years!

00648
A baptism of twin boys - 02/11/2013

On Saturday 2 November the parish rector baptised Robert and Maxim Tomshin, two year-old twin sons of Sergey and Irina Tomshin.  Robert was given the name Artemy in baptism in honour of the Great-Martyr Artemius, and Maxim was baptised in honour of Righteous Maximus the Confessor.  The boys’ sponsor at baptism was Olga Antropova.  Congratulations to Sergey, Irina, and Olga. May God grant his newly-baptised servants Artemy and Maxim many years!  To see photographs of the service, click on more information.

00649
A baptism, and services on 19-20 October - 20/10/2013

On Saturday 19 October the parish rector baptised Emelia, the infant daughter of Ivan Zagvozkine and Natasha Belova and baby sister to Ivan, Anton and Alexander.  Emelia’s sponsors at baptism were Irina Shchelokova and Elena Fauris.  Congratulations to Ivan, Natasha, Irina and Elena.  May God grant his newly-baptised servant Emelia many years!  That evening and on the morning of Sunday 20 October we had services in honour of Saint Jonah of Hankow, a righteous bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church who reposed in China in 1925 and was glorified in 1996.  A gifted preacher of Orthodoxy and a model of pastoral service, Saint Jonah was also a great protector of children, having endured the sorrow of losing his own parents when still a child.  The newly-baptised infant Emelia received Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, a brief moleben to Saint Jonah was served for the children of our parish and for all present.

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Services on 5-6 October - 06/10/2013

On the weekend of 5-6 October the parish rector presided at services in honour of the Conception of Saint John, the Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord.  It being the last Sunday of the school holidays and the first day of daylight savings, the morning service was somewhat quieter than usual.  During Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for our parishioners and friends participating in the Diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Following the service, a moleben was served for our parishioner and senior altar server Sebastian Reid, soon to travel to New Delhi, India, to represent Australia in the 2013 Lawyers’ Cricket World Cup.

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Services on 28-29 September - 29/09/2013

On Saturday 28 September and Sunday 29 September we had services for the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross and in honour of the Great-Martyr Euphemia  the All-Praised of Chalcedon and Martyr Ludmilla, Princess of the Czechs.  As is customary, the Holy Cross remained in the centre of the church for veneration during these services.  Receiving Holy Communion for the first time was the infant Sophia Sidorkina, baptised in our church in August.  After Divine Liturgy, many years was sung for our Ludmilla Roubanoff, a chorister and member of our parish from the earliest days.

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The Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God - 21/09/2013

On Friday 20 September and Saturday 21 September 2013 the parish rector presided at services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God.  All-night vigil with the blessing of loaves and wheat, wine and oil was served on Friday evening, with a number of the faithful taking the opportunity to confess in preparation to receive Holy Communion the following day.  Following Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning, a moleben was served for Reader Christopher Dowling and Olga Petroff, both of whom were due to depart on a Diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land on Monday 23 September.  May God protect them as they travel!

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Our 2013 Annual General Meeting is held - 15/09/2013

Following Divine Liturgy on 15 September, the 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of our parish was held.  At the AGM the 2013 Annual Report was received, the 2012 Parish Council was returned to office for a further year unopposed, and a committee was appointed to plan the celebrations, in 2014, of the tenth anniversary of the opening of our parish centre at West Gosford.  Congratulations to the members of the re-elected Parish Council!

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Services on 14-15 September - 15/09/2013

On Saturday-Sunday 14-15 September 2013 the parish rector presided at services in honour of the Holy Martyr Mamas and Saint John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople.  As the Sunday before 19 September (6 September according to the old style) is also a day of commemoration of the Holy Right-Believing Peter and Fevronia, Wonderworkers of Murom, the heavenly patrons of love, faithfulness and family life, a moleben was served at the end of Divine Liturgy for the married couples of our parish and all who were present on the day. 

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2013 Annual Report - 09/09/2013

Our 2013 Annual Report is now available here.  Parish members are encouraged to download a copy in preparation for our Annual General Meeting on 15 September 2013.

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A baptism - 07/09/2013

On 7 September 2013 the parish rector baptised Myles Daniel Walton, the infant son of Jason and Melanie Walton and baby brother to Will.  In baptism Myles took the name Daniel in honour of the Holy Prophet Daniel.  His godparents were Naomi Agius and Scott Mayer.  May God grant his newly-baptised servant many years!

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Services on 31 August-1 September - 01/09/2013

On Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September the parish rector presided at services for the Afterfeast of the Dormition and in honour of the Holy Martyr Andrew Stratelates and the 2,593 soldiers martyred with him in Cilicia, c. 284-305.  Praying in church on Saturday evening were Priest Seraphim Slade and his wife Helen of the Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco Chapel in Gunning, NSW, and the Australian Orthodox Indigenous Mission.  Father Seraphim concelebrated at Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  Following the service on Sunday the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary had a Father’s Day BBQ.  Later in the day, the parish rector baptised Alina Lisnyy, the infant daughter of Serg Lisnyy and Shantle Merrick.  Alina was given the name Elena in baptism in honour of Saint Elena the Empress.  Her godparents were Andrei Lazebnyk, Bianca Merrick and Torey-Ann Parkes.  May God grant his newly baptised handmaiden many years!

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The Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God - 28/08/2013

On Tuesday 27 August and Wednesday 28 August 2013 we celebrated the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine and oil was served at 6.00pm on Tuesday evening.  On Wednesday morning, the parish rector served Divine Liturgy.  Our choir for the festive services was conducted by Matushka Marie Carles as our regular conductor, Olga Itsikson, was prevented by illness from being with us.  Both services were well-attended.  This was the first time since 2007 that there had been services in our parish on feast of the Dormition.

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Services on 17-18 August - 18/08/2013

On Saturday and Sunday 17-18 August the parish rector presided at services in honour of the Holy Martyr Eusignius of Antioch and the Forefeast of the Transfiguration.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning a quantity of organic honey from the Wollombi Valley - a gift from friends of our parish - was blessed, the jars of which were then distributed to the faithful.  Also blessed on this day were a number of new white vestments for our altar servers, the work of the Saint Elizabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus.  The purchase of these new vestments was made possible by the hard work of our Ladies' Auxiliary.

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