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February2015

No.099

TheOrthodoxParish
oftheHolyandLifeGivingCross,
Lancaster,U.K.

TheStavronian

amonthlymagazine&newsletterpublishedbythe'HolyCrossSynodia'

TheParishoftheHolyandLifeGivingCross,
belongstotheAntiochianOrthodoxArchdioceseoftheBritishIslesandIreland.
ThePatriarchateofAntiochisthirdsenioroftheOrthodoxChurches.
ThePatriarchisHisBeatitudeJohnX.

ThediscipleswerefirstcalledChristiansinAntioch
(Acts11:26)

ACTIVESTILLNESS
Ifindmyself yetagaintravellingonthe
trainfromLancastertoLondonandback;
twice in the space of four days at the
response of invitations. However, the
dailycommuteformanytotheCityisa
matterofnecessityinordertoworkand
earn their living. Often crowded like
sardines in a tin the train journey
becomes a matter of accepting the dual
burden of loss of time and lack of
comfort.Someusetheirtimeprofitablyto
preptheirworkonthelaptop,balance
cupsofcoffeeandperusethenewspapers.
Forthosewhotraveloffpeakandavoid
the rush hour, such journeys can be
moreleisurely,affordingopportunitiesto
catch up on sleep, to read or to meet
peoplewhojointhetrainontheway.
So I am moving on this train at a
speedof150+kphandyetIamsitting
perfectly still viewing the passing
countryside. This passive movement is
bothaparadoxandametaphor. TrueI
had to make the effort of acquiring the
ticket,gettingtothestationattheright
timeandfindingthecorrectplatformand
trainbutthenIammovedinexorablyto
myplaceofdestination.Inasimilarway
theHolyLiturgyandindeedourChristian
lifeisajourneyinwhich,attheinvitation
ofourheavenlyFatherwejoinChristand
throughtheabidingpresenceoftheHoly
Spirit are moved ever nearer to the
KingdomofHeaven.John14:6;Jesussaid
tohim,Iamtheway,thetruth,andthe
life. No one comes to the Father except
throughMe.
We need to respond with commit
menttothisinvitationandwhendowe
find that the synergy of our will in
response to Gods grace is a beautiful
movement.Faithlikeoursalvationisnot
static,ithasadynamicwhichmovesusat
certain times with great speed of dire
ction and at others gradually and with

such subtlety as not to beperceived by


ourselves. Such active stillness is the
oppositeofanxiousbusinesswhichseeks
for distractions, like the man who runs
fromthelastcarriageofthetraintothe
firstinthevainbeliefthathewillbeat
hisdestinationthesooner.Theremaybe
interruptionsanddelaystoourprogress
but this is where we grow in patience.
Eventheanonymousstrangeandstrained
silence of the metro commute can be
transformedintoanopportunityforpray
erandanadventure ofnewencounters
withfellowtravellers.
FrJonathan
PrayeroftheOptinaFathers
OLord,grantthatImaygreetthecoming
dayinpeace.Helpmetorelyuponyour
holywillateverymoment.Ineveryhour
oftheday,revealyourwilltome.Bless
myassociationwithallwhosurroundme.
Teachmetotreatwhatevermayhappen
with peace of soul and with firm
convictionthatyourwillgoverns all.In
all my deeds and words, guide my
thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen
events,letmenotforgetthatallaresent
byYou.Teachmetoactfirmlyandwisely
without embittering and embarrassing
others. Give me strength to bear the
fatigueofthecomingdaywithallthatit
shallbring.Directmywill.Teachmeto
pray.PrayYourselfinme.Amen.

MeteoraMonasteries,Greece

TALESFROMGREECE2014
Meteora: I was walking from Varlaam
Monastery to Roussanou early one
morning. I had dashed out to catch the
only bus of the day to the mountain
monasteries. As I was walking along,
abouthalfwaytoRoussanou,therebythe
roadsidewasa loaf of bread.Ihad not
eaten breakfast and so I was hungry
enoughtostopandexamineit.Wasthis
somedry,rejectedprosphoraleftoutfor
thebirds?No!Thereinmyhandswasa
perfectly baked fresh loaf of bread. I
brokeit,pulledoutsomebighandfulsof
pure white crumbs and ate them until
onlythecrustremained.
Iknowofnoonewhowouldstopto
leave afreshly baked loaf halfway up a
mountain,onlythatitmusthavebeenleft
there that very morning and was not
morethanafewhoursoldatthemost!I
went on my way to Roussanou praising
and thankingGodthatHehasprovided
precisely what I needed exactly where
andwhenIneededit!
postscript
AsIwassittinginthemorningsunshine
eating my bread, I meditated upon the
lifeofSt.CuthbertofLindisfarne(whose
iconwevenerateatHolyCross).Oneday
hewaswalkinginaremoteplace.Where
shall we find food asked his student.
TrustintheLordwasCuthbert'sanswer
to the young monk. Just then an eagle
circlingoverheaddroppedasalmonatthe
holy bishop's feet. The young monk
eagerly wanted to keep and eat all this
fish, but St. Cuthbert insisted they give
half back to the noble fisherman who
caughtit.Irememberedthesethingsand
alsohowclosethesaintwastomypatron
Saint Aidan; and scattered the crusts of
my newfound loaftothelittlebirdsin
thehollyoaks.

cf:Matthew6:1934
Bibliography:Adam,D(1993)Fireofthe
North,theillustratedlifeofStCuthbert
AidanWearing
Lancaster

THEDIVINEODYSSEY
Someofthefaithfulwerereflectingafter
a Holy Liturgy on holy places that we
have visited. We thought how good it
wouldbeifwecouldgo,asaParish,to
Cephalonia and Ithaca, Greece, this
summer.Wehaveconnectionstherenot
onlyOldStavronianswhocouldofferus
accommodation but Pater Theodosios
DendrinosonIthacawhohasinvitedus
togobackandwhoyearsagoentrusted
us with the divine commission to
translate the book about St Joachim of
Vatopaedi and Ithaca through another
providential connection with an Old
StavronianinCyprus.
It was some years between our
synodia undertaking this holy task in
translatingthebookonSaintJoachimin
2007andmyvisitin2014.Icameacross
somelinesbytheGreekpoetC.P.Cavafy
entitled Ithake (Ithaca). They have a
certain resonance to my own journey
there. The purpose of our odyssey as
Christians is not to accumulate earthly
wealth, experiences and treasures but
heavenlyonesinourpilgrimageoffaith.
Onewaywedothisisbyvisitingthe
placeswherethesaintshavetrod,have
lived,havewritten,haveproclaimedthe
truth of the Gospel, have prayed, have
been martyred for their faith in Christ
andbyveneratingtheirHolySpiritfilled
relics.Weshouldalsovisitthemonaste
ries which are power houses of prayer
andlighthousesforthosesailingthrough
stormywaters.Thisofcourseshouldstart

at home by recovering and uncovering


ourownsaintsandvisitingthoseplaces
ofourownBritishOrthodox:Whenthe
Church in the British Isles begins to
venerateherownSaintsthentheChurch
willgrow.StArseniosofParos(1877)
butitshouldnotendtherebecause,aswe
proclaim on the Sunday of Orthodoxy:
ThisistheFaithoftheApostles,thisisthe
FaithoftheFathers,thisistheFaithofthe
Orthodox, this is the Faith which has
establishedtheUniverse.
Itshould beourjoytomakeitour
lifetasktovisittheplacesthroughoutthe
worldassociatedwiththeSaintsofGod.I
remember many years ago at an early
meeting of our clergy the advice of
Archimandrite Athanasios Ledwich (now
ofblessedmemory)tosoakyourselvesin
the spirit of Orthodoxy. This is no less
than a movement to Paradise it is no
museum crawl or historical visit it is a
Lifeenhancing walk with Christ who is
the Way with his chosen containers of
salvationconnectingtheChurchonearth
withtheChurchinHeaven.

KeepIthacaalwaysinyourmind.
Arrivingthereiswhatyouaredestinedfor.
Butdonothurrythejourneyatall.
Betterifitlastsforyears,
soyouareoldbythetimeyoureachtheisland,
wealthywithallyouhavegainedontheway,
notexpectingIthacatomakeyourich.

Ithacagaveyouthemarvellousjourney.
Withoutheryouwouldnothavesetout.
Shehasnothinglefttogiveyounow...

Wellperhapsshehas!

Fr.Jonathan

NAMESOFDEPARTED
LOVEDONESTOBE
REMEMBEREDTHISMONTH
Feb.21:Pisistratos
Pleasesendusthenamesofyourdepar
ted loved onesand dateoftheirdepar
tureinorderforthemtoberemembered.

PARISHNEWS
We wish to wholeheartedly thank the
anonymousdonorwhohasgiven200to
theParish;mayGodgrantHisblessingin
return for this generous gift! We also
thank Aidan Wearing for cleaning and
restoring our candle stand for the Holy
Table!:)

OLDSTAVRONIANCORNER
We extend our thanks to Maria Verra
fromAthens,Greece,whosentusincense
andfloatingwicks. EftychiaSchini from
Cyprus,sendshergreetingstotheCom
munityalongwith ChristosVasilopoulos
fromKozani,Greece,whoalsosendshis
greetings.
Konstantinos Voutzoulides from
Patmos, Greece, has been to the Holy
Mountainandalongwithhisgreetingshe
sendsafewphotosofhispilgrimage;his
letterisincludedbelow:
DearFather,
Howareyouthesedays?How'stheParish?
We'restillenjoyingthewinterhere.Ijust

came back from my yearly pilgrimage to


Mt Athos where I stayed for 7 days. I'm
sendingyousomepicturesfromthere.
I initially visited the Holy Mountain
fortheFeastofStSimon,thefounderof
SimonosPetraMonastery.Ithenvisitedthe
Monastery of Agios Pavlos and Koutlou
mousi,whereIhadtheBlessingtovisitSt
Paisios'HutjustadaybeforehisSainthood
was officially declared! Megisti Lavra
followed,wherewestayedfor2daysand
Agia Anna's Skete, where we had the
chancetowalktotheKatounakiaareaand
visit several Huts such as the Thomades,
Danielei, the Cave of Sts Dionysios and
Mitrophanesandothers.LastlyIvisitedthe
DionysiouMonastery.
Thankyouverymuchagainforyour
timeandprayersforus!Kissingyourright
handandaskingforyourBlessing,
Konstantinos

MAJORCELEBRATIONSTHIS
MONTH
st
1Feb:SundayofthePublicanand
Pharisee:TriodionBeginsToday;St
BridgetofKildare(525)
nd
2Feb:TheMeetingofOurLordand
SaviourJesusChristintheTemple
rd
3Feb:StNicholas,Archbishop&
EnlightenerofJapan
th
10Feb:HieromartyrCharalampus
th
18Feb:StColman(
675)
nd
22Feb:ForgivenessSunday
rd
23Feb:CleanMonday;StPolycarpthe
HolyMartyr&BishopofSmyrna
th
24Feb:First&SecondFindingofthe
VenerableHeadofJohntheBaptist
th
26Feb:StPhotine,theSamaritan
woman

For the lives of Saints please visit the


CalendaroftheGreek OrthodoxArchdi
oceseofAmerica:www.calendar.goarch.org

ServicesduringFebruary*
Sat.14th
10:00am HolyLiturgyinR.C.
Sat.21st
10:00am HolyLiturgyinR.C.
Fri.27th
6:30pm AkathisttotheTheotokosinR.C.
Sat.28th
10:00am HolyLiturgyinQ.R.followedbyParishlunch
*Helpsettingupthechurchisgreatlyappreciatedandstartsfrom9.15a.m.

Godcaresforeveryone.Despairisineffectalackoffaith
St.GeorgeKarslides

Forfurtherinformationpleasecontact:
FatherJonathanHemmings
67SibseyStr.,Fairfield,Lancaster,LA15DQ
Tel:+441524840759,+441524580600
Email:frjah@yahoo.co.uk
www.orthodoxlancaster.org.uk
www.antiochianorthodox.co.uk

TopandbottomsketchesarecreatedattheHolyMonasteryofTheAnnunciationoftheTheotokosChios,Greece,courtesyofFrTheodosiosDendrinos,Ithaca,Greece.
ThesketchofChristbyPhotisKontoglouwasscannedfromtheOrthodoxcalendaroftheApostolikiDiakoniaoftheChurchofGreece.