Monday, August 27, 2018

Children’s camp in England

During August 2018, an informal children’s camp was held in England, where Bishop John contributed with teaching Law of God classes. The children experienced communal camp life, daily church services, living in tents and taking their turn in a roster of duties.

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Everyone sang and read at the services together.

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We had our meals together, during which we listened to reading from an edifying children’s book.

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Daily blessing of porridge at breakfast!

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The children had lessons every day. This years’ theme was the Divine Liturgy.

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Vespers in candlelight.

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The children prayed every morning and evening in the improvised barn-chapel, which they themselves helped decorate.

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View of the altar in the barn-chapel.

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Finding the spot in the service book…

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The altar server with the censer ready.

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We celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Sunday and at the end of the camp.

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The children baked their own prosphoras, which were offered at the Liturgy.

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In addition to other excursions, we made a pilgrimage to the monastery of St Fursey, a 7th century Irish missionary monk who established a monastery on the site of an earlier Roman fortress.

Troparion of St. Fursey of Burgh Castle, Tone 5
Establishing thy monastery in a Roman fortress / thou didst teach men that the Orthodox Faith is a true bastion / against the onslaughts of every evil force, O Father Fursey. / Wherefore pray to God for us / that we may all be bastions of the Faith / standing firm against the rising tide of falsehood, / that our souls may be saved

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The walls of the huge Roman fortress where St Fursey built his monastery.

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Group photo of the pilgrims.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Transfiguration at the Convent of the Annunciation in London

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On the great feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, Bishop John visited the historical Convent of the Annunciation in London, UK. The Convent was established in the 1950s by St. John of Shanghai and San Fransisco and nuns from the Holy Land, guided by the ever-memorable Abbess Elizabeth (Ampenoff).

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The Midnight Office, Hours and Liturgy were read and chanted in Slavonic, Arabic and English, and attended by faithful of diverse national backgrounds. Bishop John blessed the grapes and fruits brought by the people. After the service, the sisters invited the parishioners for tea.

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Newly-ordained priest Nicolae Capitanu (Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania) services the large population of Old Calendar Romanian faithful in London.

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Bishop John visits St Edward Orthodox Monastery

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On Sunday 30.7./12.8. Bishop John visited the St Edward Orthodox Monastery near London, England. By God’s providence, the relics of the 10th century Orthodox Martyr, saint Edward the King of England, are venerated in this monastery since 1988. The monastery is located in peaceful surroundings within the Brookwood cemetery.

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At the Divine Liturgy Archimandrite Alexis, Priest Borislav and Hierodeacon Sabbas (GOC) concelebrated. Parishioners of many nationalities attended the service, which was chanted in English, Greek, Romanian and Slavonic.

The brotherhood kindly offered a meal and opportunity to speak with the people after the service.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

St John of Shanghai and San Fransisco service in Sydney

Pictures from the service in honour of St John of Shanghai and San Fransisco in Sydney.
Sts Cosmas and Damian Church (GOC), priest Nebojsa Mirkovic (ROCA)

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Pentecost in Sydney

On the feast of Pentecost in Sydney, at the parish of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, father Nebojsa Mirkovic (ROCA) conducted the services in three languages: English, Greek and Slavonic. The church was well attended on this great feast, and many received Holy Communion. By the time the Slava cake was cut at the end of the long service, many had unfortunately left!

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Pastoral Epistle

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Pastoral Epistle

of the Synod of Bishops to all the faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Christ is Risen!

Having gathered together on these Paschal days in the blessed city of Odessa, the Synod of Bishops congratulates its flock with the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ! May this greatest event of all times help to strengthen us on the sorrowful path of the carrying of the truth of Christ, in the midst of the numerous modern departures and apostasy!

Thanks be to God,- by God’s mercy, the true Orthodox faith is open to us, as is the Church that contains this truth. We have everything that is necessary for our salvation, and our task consists in bringing this truth into our souls and hearts before the Last Judgment of God.

Christ strengthens all of us through His mercy and grace, as do the prayers of His Most Pure Mother and the Saints. We must vigilantly and diligently pray for each other during these evil and sorrowful times. The Church of Christ is one and universal, and the genuine Church must testify before the world regarding the truth, including the reality of its unity. The fortification of its unity directly depends on each member of the Church. Therefore, we will serve Christ, strengthening the unity of the Church founded by Him, whilst praying ceaselessly for one another, and for our entire Church!

In fulfillment of this hope, we invite all of our parishes to include in the augmented litany, before the petition: “Again we pray for them that bring offerings …”, a petition for the fortification of the unity of the Church of Christ: “For the strengthening of the unity of Thy Holy Church, to destroy our pride and strengthen us in humility and love, that we may be one with Christ, as He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, we pray, hearken and have mercy.”

May this good deed serve to the glory of God and for the benefit of the Church.

Truly, Christ is risen!

April 12/25 2018, St. Basil the Confessor

Chairman of the Synod of Bishops

+ Metropolitan Agafangel

Members of the Synod

+ Archbishop George (Secretary of the Synod)

+ Bishop Athanasius

+ Bishop Kirill

+ Bishop Gregory

+ Bishop Nikon

+ Bishop Anfim

Appeal The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad 2018 on the danger of self-isolation

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The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad 2018 on the danger of self-isolation

Unfortunately, in our times of apostasy, the dangerous tendency of self-isolation of those considering themselves to be abiding in “true Orthodoxy”- has widely spread. Previously, starting with the Byzantine era, in the event of serious disagreements among Christians, the civil Orthodox authority could convoke Church Councils. Thanks to these Church Councils, at these councils - after carefully considering all the arguments and disagreements - they could come to a general concilliar decision which was mandatory for all. However, presently no such authority exists, and so it is impossible to counter the dispersion of Christians with the help of the state.

On the contrary, the God-fighting authorities undertook the the exact opposite measures - making great efforts to divide the Church, with its goal being the complete annihilation of it. It was precisely in the creation of divisions that these authorities saw one of the main ways of destroying the Church. Currently, however - these divisions often occur not with the help of any authorities, but rather unfortunately proceed from within the Church itself.

In the past, many efforts were made by the catacomb Christians to find a legitimate bishop since they were deeply Orthodox people. They understood that without a bishop there is no church. But now the world is filled with impostors, surrounded both by those who are deceived by them, and by those who became accustomed to ignorance and indifference. Depicting itself as a “little flock”, and using the following words of Christ: “I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18 KJV), and applying that exclusively to themselves and to their present state, they do not think at all about what might happen to them tomorrow.

Tragically, the way of such groups is one - first spiritual marginalization, which eventually turns them into a sect, and then the diminishing of the group, and then ultimately its extinction. Already, we can name a few almost extinct groups from among those who considered themselves to be the “continuation” of the ROCOR. A similar situation occured with the catacomb Christians. However, they were hindered by external circumstances, and so they were not guilty of that which had happened. It is impossible to justify the contemporary “zealots” who are forever orchestrating new schisms in the Church. Modern Russian “true jurisdictions,” or those who are “standing for the truth,” are in the stage of physical extinction, and most of them do not even have the chance of producing the next generation of their followers. We appeal not to those who adhere to the most extreme views, because unfortunately, it is impossible to get through to them. We appeal to those of whom the Savior spoke: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15). We hope that there are still many such persons among the scattered Christians around the world.

Like the Synod of the Greek GOC, our Synod of Bishops constantly made and makes efforts to overcome schisms. And today we call upon all those who tread their paths on the off-roads, or else those who are barely hanging on to a broken part of - as they say- “the damaged ship (the church)”, so as to enter into negotiations, with the goal of looking into the possibility of overcoming the church division. This is the only way that will allow us to jointly strengthen our Church and thus transmit the good news of salvation to many more people. Being in spiritual union with the Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian Old Calendarist Churches, this possibility is feasible. The Church does not need us, but it is we who need to stay within the bosom of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Nowadays, the only unifying force appears to be the fear of God, and the Christian conscience. Therefore, our Synod of Bishops once again calls upon all Orthodox Christians to unite around the true confession of the Orthodox faith, its lawfully ordained bishops, its living Orthodox tradition which the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has kept, and the sacred sacraments they contain, the most important of which - is the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. We call upon all to unite around Christ - the only Savior of the Universal Church.

April 12/25, 2018 St. Basil the Confessor, Bishop of Para

Chairman of the Synod of Bishops

+ Metropolitan Agafangel

Members of the Synod:

+ Archbishop George (Secretary of the Synod)

+ Bishop Athanasius

+ Bishop Kirill

+ Bishop Gregory

+ Bishop Nikon

+ Bishop Anfim

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Paschal Epistle

Let us awake in the deep dawn and instead of myrrh, offer a hymn to the Master; and we shall see Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, Who causeth life to dawn for all. (Ode 5, Irmos)

The myrrh-bearing maidens anticipated the dawn, seeking as it were day, the Sun Who was before the sun and Who had set in the tomb, and they cried out to one another: O friends come let us anoint with sweet-smelling spices the life-bringing and buried Body, even that Flesh which raiseth fallen Adam who lieth in the grave. Let us go hence, let us make haste like the Wise Men, and let us adore and offer before Him myrrh as it were a gift to Him, Who is no longer wrapped in swaddling bands, but in a winding sheet. And let us make lamentation and cry aloud in exclamation: Arise O Master, Thou who dost grant resurrection to the fallen. (Ikos)

Dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is Risen!

Our Lord Jesus Christ has opened the door to Eternal Life for us mortal men. The True Sun of Righteousness has enlightened the world with True Light, in the midst of this sinful and fallen existence. This Light is the knowledge of the True God, and the Path of Righteousness - by which we can enter the Eternal Life.

Let us, my dear friends, be vigilant! Let us set out hastily like the myrrh-bearing women, and offer myrrh to God! Let us not allow ourselves to be weak-hearted and afraid, making all sorts of excuses in avoiding Church attendance and prayer. Let us use our God-given time, freedom and energy for attaining eternal life for our eternal souls!

Let us remember the five foolish virgins who were unable to enter the Wedding Feast because they had not sufficient oil in their vessels. They were called, but they did not respond to the call, thinking their calling was sufficient for salvation. They had not used well the time allotted to them.

Do we have sufficient Grace to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and live eternally with God? Are we not excessively distracted by mundane things of this earthly existence, by which one day we are completely engrossed with, and which by the next day we have forgotten about? If we spend most of our time, thoughts and effort for physical things of this world, then we become like spiritual corpses lying in our graves! If we do not adore (pray to) God, and offer myrrh (good deeds, as defined in Gods Law; and living a church-centred life) as it were a gift to God, we will remain as fallen Adams imprisoned in our self-imposed graves. We decompose further in our sins, and become more and more unbearable by the smell of sins, both for ourselves and to all that come near us.

To rise up, pray at home and in the Church, and to do good deeds beyond what is ‘natural’ and a ‘duty’, are actions which are possible and open to us all. There is nothing great or difficult in this – but our fallen nature and the evil one make virtue appear “too hard”, grim and unbearable, so as to dissuade us from seeking God, Who is our actual source of joy, life, strength, and peace…! The earthly pleasures with which we attempt to replace His gifts leave us feeling empty, sad and exhausted.

Dear brothers and sisters, before the door is shut unexpectedly and our physical death confronts us, let us make that effort against our lazy and self-loving will to arise from our sleep of self-righteousness and inaction, and seek God! We must get out of our “comfort zone” and make an effort…. and God WILL reward.

When God sees us rising up to seek Him with effort, He will reward us with His Grace - joy, life, strength, and peace of heart.

Christ is Risen !

Bishop John of Melbourne

Friday, April 13, 2018

Paschal Greeting from Australia

Paschal Greeting from Metropolitan Agafangel

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Metropolitan Agafangel
First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad

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Bishop John of Melbourne
Vicar bishop of Australia

Church calendar for today

Divine Services - Archangel Michael Sobor in Odessa

Divine services channel is updated every Church feast day

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Parishes

Melbourne, VIC
Contact: Bishop John
Telephone: 0422556968

Sydney, NSW
Parish of St John of Kronstadt.

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  • Serving priest: Father Nebojsa Mirkovic
  • Address:
  • Service times:
    Sundays and feast days: Matins 730 am
    Divine Liturgy: 9 am.
    Please contact us to confirm what time Liturgy is served.
  • Saturdays and eves of feasts: Vespers 530 pm
    or All-night Vigil 6 pm

Dandenong, VIC
Community of the Tabinsk Mother of God Icon

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  • Services once a month
  • Visits by Bishop John

Western Victoria
Annunciation of the Mother of God Women’s Monastic Community

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  • Spiritual Father: Bishop John.
  • Address: 266 Nowhere Creek Rd, Nowhere Creek, 3469
  • Service times:
  • Sundays and feast days: Divine Liturgy: 9 am
  • All-night Vigils (including Divine Liturgy) on select occasions.
    Please contact us to confirm what time Liturgy is served.

[b]Brisbane, QLD

Canberra, ACT

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