Issue 3 Sunday 2 February, 2020
The third issue of our Parish Bulletin is dedicated to our children, this great blessing from God to our Community.
How encouraging and moving it is to see so many children coming to our Church, venerating the Holy Icons, singing and praising God with us, receiving Holy Communion, serving in the Altar, coming to Sunday School and the Religious Education classes. Glory to God for this!
In many ways children are an example to us. The Lord said that we ought to become like them in order to enter His Kingdom. Children, say the Holy Fathers, can have pure prayer, forgive more easily, are not corrupted by passions.
Yet children need our help to be rooted in the faith and grow. Spiritually, they are like Adam and Eve: innocent and pure but also vulnerable and naïve. They can grow in holiness but also can be led astray and hurt by the deceit of the Devil and the Christ-less world.
We adults have the sacred responsibility to protect them but also to teach them and inspire them to love and live the Christian way of life. We should bring them to Church, teach them to pray and pray with them, impart on them the Christian beliefs and values, encourage them to act lovingly and respectfully towards others, help them to choose what is good and abstain from sin. All these are sacred, indispensable duties of the Christian educator.
Yet, we pastors, parents, teachers, will not be successful in our mission unless we make a serious and continuous effort to become holy ourselves. St Porphyrios of Kaysokalyvia encourages us to teach our children first by our own example and then by words. He advises us to pray and become holy day by day so that children may see the Light of Christ in our own lives and be inspired to be good Christians. ‘’Do not so much speak to the children about God as speak to God about them…pray to God about them and God will speak in their hearts’’ says the Saint. Teaching our children without entrusting ourselves and them to God may become a dry and tiresome process with negative effects on them.
Sr Magdalene in her book Thoughts about our Children in the Orthodox Church Today tells us about a father who knelt every night next to his sleeping son’s bed and prayed to God to grant His grace to his child (p. 27 of the Greek edition). Let this father’s example be a guide to us.
Fr Raphael Pavouris
By Mina Radovic
The Red Balloon is a film about a young boy who befriends a red balloon, and sets off with him on a series of adventures through Paris.
By Evdokia Tsolakis
For me, the Church means everything. Having lived in it, I could not live without it – I think the sudden burden of a life without God, without love, would emotionally crush me.
Children learn by example. Are we careful to be a good Christian example to them? Or are we focusing on lesser matters and leaving our children's path to proceed without due care?
By Zoe Assimakos
Boys face particular challenges in school and there is not always enough support available to them by the system. We explore some ways a parent can help their children thrive academically.
By Stephen Griffith
St. Emelia is known as the mother of saints. Among her ten children were some of Orthodoxy most significant theologians -- Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa. She was part of a family of saints who were themselves disciples or friends of still other recognized saints.
Wisdom of the holy fathers
Since the publication of the last issue of our Bulletin two very important events for our local Church took place:
On 12 June Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanelles was elected Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain.
His Eminence was born in the USA (Tampa, Florida) to second generation Greek American parents. He studied Theology in Boston and Thessaloniki and Russian language in St Petersburg and has taught in numerous Universities. He served as a priest in several parishes in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America before being elected Metropolitan of Hong Kong and later of the Dardanelles.
His Eminence Nikitas was enthroned in the Cathedral Church of the Divine Wisdom in London on 28th June. 2019. The godly zeal, love for the Church, pastoral care, and vision which he has already exhibited has inspired a great sense of joyous expectation among the clergy and the faithful who have already embraced him with love as their spiritual leader. Let us all keep him in our prayers. Axios!
On 20th November Archbishop Gregorios, the beloved Archpastor of this Archdiocese for the last thirty-one years, passed away. In his long tenure Archbishop Gregorios worked tirelessly for our Church: he served the Liturgy for as long as he could stand, founded many communities, ordained a great number of clergy and established schools. But perhaps he will be mainly remembered for his total trust in God’s providence, his warm and unpretentious character and his indiscriminate love for all. He held a very demanding position, being the shepherd of a large Diocese, and yet he made time for every person who needed him, giving him his undivided attention. From royalty to students, all were treated with love, respect and Cypriot hospitality in his modest premises. It was not uncommon for Archbishop Gregorios to answer the phone of the Archdiocesan office late at night to console, to guide, to offer practical help.
May the Memory of our departed Chief Hierarch and Archpastor Gregorios be Eternal!
Some older issues you may be interested in: