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St.Vladimir Orthodox Church

3163 Purcell's Cove Road, Halifax, NS

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News and Events — 2021

December 30, 2021

28th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3

Saturday, January 1 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 2 at 9:30am and 11:00am - Liturgy

Merry Christmas

Sunday January 2nd. Liturgy at 9.30am for adults, with "Typica" service for Families with children at 11am. The readings for the Sunday are Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40, and Saint Mark 1:1-25, Tone 3. Also the commemoration of the Repose of Righteous John of Kronstadt with the readings, Epistle 1 John 4:7-11 and Gospel Saint Luke 6:31-36.

This is the magical week that contains the great feast of Christmas. Magical because everyone loves it, Great because it is the feast celebrating the incarnation of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, taking flesh of the Holy Theotokos.

Liturgy for adults, Thursday January 6th at 9pm (December 24th on our Julian Calendar) Matins followed immediately by the Liturgy of Christmas Day. The readings for Christmas Day are Galatians 4:4-7 and Saint Matthew 2:1-12. This year we will be in our own church so be careful to mask and distance.

Liturgy for families with children, Saturday January 8th at 10am, this is also the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos. As usual, Vespers at 6pm.

This last Sunday seemed to work out very well. We were not overcrowded at either the Liturgy or the Typica services, and people came which was a blessing for all of us. Slowly we will get used to this double take on a Liturgy. It is ONE Liturgy with two parts so we can fit everyone comfortably into the building with no great crush or compromising of the rules imposed on us by Dr. Strang and the Nova Scotia government.

There are certain points I am quite firm about, I will not check Covid Passports, we are all equal in the sight of God, vaccinated or not, (the ancient rite to "Sanctuary" belongs to The Church) - I will not stop my people from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. In the same way that we must eat for our body's sake, we must also eat for the sake of our souls, and that is the Body and Blood of Christ in the Orthodox Liturgy. I shall encourage my people to wear masks and to distance, I shall encourage them not to sing, even though the Spirit may move them to ignore that, I shall even encourage those not vaccinated to get vaccinated, but please do not tell me that I can't feed or care for my people. Let us be sensitive to each other; Christians are known for, and by their love!

I was given a Nespresso Inissia Coffee machine that uses recyclable pods in the making of lovely coffee. I shall arrange for my old one to be placed in the Narthex so that we can make a cup of coffee as we pass out through there. It requires that the reservoir be filled with cold water and the insertion of a Nespresso pod. The right button is for turning on and regular sized coffee, the left button is for Espresso coffee. The sleeve of pods tells which size of cup the pod is designed for. The pods are completely recyclable and are placed in the red prepaid bag ready for mailing to Nespresso.

There is a lovely and illustrated explanation of the Nativity Icon from the Antiochian Archdiocese: This link should take you there. There are lots of things that need explaining in the Nativity Icon; very worth looking up and learning about.

May God Bless all of us, and the Most Holy Theotokos, the Birthgiver of God, Protect us.

Love in Christ, who deigned to be born in a stable for our sakes,
Merry Christmas!
-- Father David and Father Alexander

"Once in Royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed Where a mother laid her baby, in a manger for His bed Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little Child."

Post Script: Christmas We have a problem as regards space within the church. We are actually limited to about 15 besides the priest who is serving. We have never had our building assessed as to how many people the church actually holds, we have estimated between 60 and 75 comfortably, which means that with the recent limits set by Dr. Strang and the Nova Scotia Government, we are permitted about 15 to 20, well-spaced and masked attendees, included in that number are all bodies, other than the serving priest. I could initiate a register of people on a first come first served sort of plan but I would sooner not do that. I am asking therefore that you be sensitive and considerate of each other. The families with children will come on Saturday at 10am, Not Thursday Night, please. The regular Sunday January 9th Liturgy will be at 9.30am for adults and 11am for Families with children.

Calendars: Alina has informed me that the calendars for 2022 have arrived. There are some English only and some with Slavonic. There is a cost that Alina estimates at $10 each. Alina herself prints the backing sheets that the calendar is attached to, thank you for doing that.

Liturgy I want to explain because it is really important for us to understand why the Sunday Liturgy is in two parts. As Orthodox Christians, we are permitted only One Liturgy per day (Except in Great Lent when we serve only Sundays and certain other days). This is because the parish is One as the Church is One and may not be divided; One Church, One Faith, One Liturgy. When our numbers are limited by the government, as we are experiencing at this time, we are placed in difficulty. How we have dealt with this is by having one Liturgy, but reserving the Gifts (that's the Body and Blood of Christ that feeds us, body and soul) so we can give the families, parents and children, from the One Cup. It is still One Liturgy and One parish. And may God help us preserve that Unity.

December 25, 2021

27th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2

Sunday, December 26 at 10am - Liturgy

This is a very brief Bulletin, just to remind you that I shall be in Newfoundland serving Christmas Liturgies for the St. John's parish. Please pray for me and for them. Pray that they may find a pastor.

It didn't work out. The government of Newfoundland decided to impose a self-isolation term on all who visit that beautiful and grand province. I would have been released just in time to return to Nova Scotia and by then the chances are that our province would have switched from a self- isolation suggestion to a legislated isolation is not beyond the realms of possibility, meaning I would have missed our Christmas celebration on the evening of January 6th. I am sorry not only because I was willing and ready to serve the Newfoundland parish, but I also have friends there. I was looking forward to taking photographs, so we could see how the Newfoundland parish is doing and of their festivities. Please pray even harder for them, they will be without Christmas liturgy. Merry Christmas to all the Newfoundland parish, our hearts are with you.

We will cancel Vespers this Saturday evening, December 25th, which is Gregorian Christmas Day, people will perhaps be celebrating with family. The readings for Sunday, December 26th are Colossians 3:4-11 and Saint Luke 14:16-24 and it is Tone 2. Sunday is also the commemoration of the Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes, at Sabaste with the readings Ephesians 6:10-17 and Saint Luke 21:12-19. You can always look up the lives of saints on the OCA website oca.org and click on Feasts and Saints; there is a lot of other news there as well. (The site is orientated towards the Gregorian Calendar.)

Augustine has returned from his induction into the RCAF. He is now posted to Shearwater just across the water from us. I'm sure we shall see him at Vespers and perhaps even at our Christmas Celebrations.

Of course there is always the possibility that we shall be closed down again. This Omicron variation of Covid 19 is being a bit of a spoil sport. I had an email from a parishioner informing me that Quebec is about to demand that attendees at indoor "faith" gatherings be required to show inoculation passports at the door. Doctor Strang is the Chief Medical Officer for Nova Scotia and he is very aware of the resistance faith leaders in Nova Scotia have to the showing of inoculation passports. Masks and standing apart are tolerable, but asking us to separate one parishioner from another is different and would be intolerable, we do not turn anyone away; that would be against God's will. Churches are a place of "Sanctuary" and have been so since the beginning. The information about Quebec is not completely accurate; if the priest asks for confirmation of inoculation, then there can be many more admitted, but if he does not ask, far fewer can attend. Masking and distancing rules are just the same for them as it is for us in Nova Scotia, masks must be worn, distancing of 2 meters, and no walking around. This information about Quebec is from Archbishop Irйnйe who lives in that province.

There are new regulations for Faith Groups from Dr. Strang: Limit 25% of room capacity with maximum of 50. No one can sing except one choir singer, plus Masks and Distancing of 2 meters.

The capacity of our building as about 60 people comfortably, so 25% of that is 15 (excluding clergy and altar personnel) well distanced and masked. As always, families should group together but still individually count towards the total population of the building. Here is what we shall do:

An adult only Liturgy will now start at 9:30 with the Hours, instead of 10. The gifts will remain on the altar, so families with children and babies can come at 11 to hear a short "Typica" service and receive Communion. It is one Liturgy in two parts. To this end I ask that adults please clear the church as soon as possible so that the families with children can come in. This is an experiment. I do not want to have to start a rotation or booking system, the freedom to come to church is a necessity.


Christmas Liturgy January 6th at 9pm in our own church will be the adult service followed by a Liturgy at 10am the morning of January 8th and that will be the children's service, a full Liturgy. It is also the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos (gathering of the faithful in order to praise and glorify the All-Holy Virgin, who gave birth to our Saviour).

May God bless all of us
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

PS Pray for Kristin as she gets nearer her confinement.

December 17, 2021

26th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Saturday, December 18 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, December 19 at 10am - Liturgy

I received this message (below) from the monks at the Hermitage of the Annunciation last week, just after I had sent the bulletin to Leslee for distribution. Getting the information for the Archdiocesan conference meant the bulletin had to get out as it contained information about the presenters. Please read and check out the two websites. "We are launching a website today! Could you include this in this week's bulletin if it is not already gone to press: www.goosechasemonastery.ca. Also, there is a full documentary premiering this Saturday about us, also found on our website. The trailer is available for viewing now. Thank you our dear friends at Goosechase.

This week the readings for Sunday are as follows: Ephesians 5:8-19 and Saint Luke 17:12-19 and it is Tone 1. Now, that is not all, Sunday is also the feast of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker archbishop of Myra in Lycia, and there are readings for this feast, Hebrews 13:17-21 and Saint Luke 6:17-23. Because of this great feast, Vespers on Saturday evening will include the Litya. There are also readings at Great Vespers. Wednesday December 22nd is the feast of The Conception of St. Anna mother of the Most Holy Theotokos and Saturday the 25th is Saint Herman, Wonderworker of Alaska.

That day, December 25th, is also Christmas Day on the New Calendar, so do pray for all Orthodox parishes, and others, that celebrate the Birth of Christ on that day, including St. George Church, Father Panagiotis and his people and St. Antonios Church, Father Maximos and his people.

I shall be away serving Christmas Liturgies in St. John's Newfoundland from December 22nd to December 28th, Circumstances left the Newfoundland parish without a priest and Archbishop Irйnйe asked the Nova Scotia clergy to help out. Since the Newfoundland parish is now New Calendar, it means that I can celebrate two Christmases, one with them, and then one back here. I shall do just that and enjoy it. Please pray for me and for them.

I don't know if you have noticed the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, I certainly have. Coming home from Vespers is now in complete darkness and my poor old VW Jetta, of blessed memory, and the lack of that special car, attests to that fact. Well, it all stops on December 21st; that day will be the shortest day of all the year and that night will be the longest. Then, the days will start getting longer and the nights start getting shorter thus bringing the new light and life back to the earth. Could it be by accident, that the return of the new light coincides with the feast of Christmas; the coming of the Light of the World into the world as a baby, born of the most Holy Theotokos? Who was it who said that there are no such things as coincidences? Ancient civilizations celebrated the coming of the new light, the winter solstice and in those days the Christian church took old beliefs and rituals and filled them with true meaning. Christmas then and the new light coincide, on purpose.

You know, of course, the position of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in the celebration of Christmas, and his saving of a family from poverty. It's to do with money he left in stockings hung up to dry. In some parts of the world to this day St. Nicholas, or someone representing him, leaves gifts, or money, or coal, in stockings or in shoes or even under a Christmas Tree. Santa Clause really is the name St. Nicholas in a Dutch or German dialect where it is "Sante Klaas". Don't knock or dismiss Santa Clause; he points directly to Christ, the child born in a manger, who received gifts from the Sages from the East, Gold for a King, Frankincense for a God, and Myrrh a symbol of Death. Again, these are not accidents, but point directly to the Kingship of Christ, as God Himself, and the death on the Cross.

The problems only occur when society with its grasping and idolatrous ways forgets or purposely eliminates "the reason for the season" Jesus Christ Himself; wickedness can then rule, and does. Ask Scrooge, he'll tell you about the pitfalls of loving the wrong things. Scrooge's lesson is, if we love each other in the right way, the love of God comes naturally.

The picture below was sent by Crystal and you will recognize Elijah and Evie with Father Michael at St. George parish in Transcona, Winnipeg. I heard from Crystal and Eric and they are doing well.

You remember that snow storm we had? Braidyn and some friends went camping in the resulting wet. They were in a swamp so it seems, thus the picture on the right; beautiful place, but soggy underneath.

David, Heather and the three girls have made it back safely. I am looking forward to hearing about their trip to Winnipeg. In days past we would have expected a slide show with presentation but I don't think that happens anymore, we take photos on our mobile phones instead of transparencies that had to be processed. I doubt you can drive more than half way across the country without there being some stories to tell.

May God bless each and every one of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

December 11, 2021

25th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

Saturday, December 11 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, December 12 at 10am - Liturgy

If you should notice a strange, red Ford Focus SE around, it might be the car that is new to me. It isn't really new at all though, it's a 2014 car with a heap of kilometers under its belt, but the price was right until Nova Scotia got hold of the Market Value and piled almost as much tax as the car cost. Mark took a lot of trouble with outfitting me with a car ably helped by Rhoda. Thank you both.

December 12th is the 25th Sunday after Pentecost and the reading are, Ephesians 4:1-6 and Saint Luke 13:10-17 and it is Tone 8. Monday is the feast of Holy and All-Praised Apostle Andrew the First-Called. Unfortunately we cannot have a Liturgy as we would have no choir. If Father Alexander decides to have Vespers on Sunday evening, he will announce it. I'm afraid I would find a Sunday evening service after serving Liturgy, just too much. The readings for the feast are, 1 Corinthians 4:9-16 and Saint Luke 19:37-44.

As regards the Archdiocesan Virtual Assembly, you can click on this to register or click on this for an easier and direct registration.

The Speakers are:

Rev Fr. Vasileios Thermos

Rev. Vasileios Thermos, M.D., Ph.D., was born in 1957 at Lefkada, Greece. He studied at the Medical School of Athens University & after he graduated he studied at the Theological School of the same University. He was specialized in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry which he still practices in Athens. In 1986 he was ordained & keeps serving at the diocese of Viotia. He has been engaged into training programs for clergy in Greece, Cyprus, USA. In 1996-97 he was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Divinity School; he took classes also in Harvard School of Arts & Humanities, Boston College, Boston University, Andover Newton Theological School. In 1997 he received his PhD in Pastoral Psychology from the Theological School of Athens University. In 2014 he worked for 3 months as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute of Medical Humanities of the Medical School of Texas University on a project about homosexuality & contemporary gender theories. He has also conducted a research on clergy health.

Dr. Lila Amirali

Dr. Amirali is Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at CHU Sainte-Justine, Associate Professor at the Universitй de Montrйal and Adjunct Professor at McGill University. She obtained her Masters of Management (International Masters on Health Leadership) from McGill University in 2014. She is working in the inpatient service of the CHU Sainte-Justine and in research at the Research Centre of the CHU Sainte-Justine and at the Research Institute of the MUHC. Dr. Amirali is the Chair of the Child and Adolescent Specialty Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CACAP). She is also the President of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Quebec (AQPEA).

Prof. Dr. John Hadjinicolaou

Dr. John Hadjinicolaou was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he completed his primary and secondary education. From 1998 until now he is the director of the Orthodox Theology programmes at the University of Laval both undergraduate and graduate. From 1996 is an UN International expert and professor in environmental issues. In 2010 he created the Montreal Institute of Orthodox Theology (MIOT) and from that time the annual Colloquium is organized under the auspices of the MIOT. Since 1983 he is the founder and director of the Montreal Centre of Greek Studies which is one of the most important adult educational programmes of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal. He established in 1983 the publishing company Alexander Press which become the leading press in North America of Orthodox Christian faith, theology, literature and tradition. He is married to the psychiatrist Dr. Evangelia Amirali and they have four sons.

His Eminence Archbishop Irйnйe, Archbishop of Ottawa and the Archdiocese of Canada

Remember to pray for David, Heather, and the girls as they wend their way back to us. Since they are driving all the way from Winnipeg, pray that the weather will be kind and that they are able to get the needed rest at night.

See you at the Assembly,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

December 4, 2021

24th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7

Saturday, December 4 at 10am - Liturgy
at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, December 5 at 10am - Liturgy

Please note: Saturday December 4th is the commemoration of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple and there will be Liturgy at 10am plus Vespers on Friday, the evening before, at 6pm.

Just a reminder that we are now into the pre-Christmas fasting period. This next Sunday, December 5th is the 25th Sunday after Pentecost and the readings for Liturgy at 10am are Ephesians 4:1-6 and Saint Luke 13:10-17, and Tone 8, as usual Vespers at 6pm on Saturday evening.

Now is the time to join in the life of the Archdiocese directly and make a difference. You know that the Archdiocese of Canada stretches from the North Pole in the north to the American border in the south and from the Pacific Ocean in the west all the way to the Atlantic Ocean in the east. That's a big Diocese and has to be the largest diocese in the whole of the Orthodox Church, and Archbishop Irenee and his priests look after it all. I wonder what goes on in the western provinces or even in Ontario. Some of us don't even know what goes on right under our noses. There's the point. I shall therefore pass this information on to you: November 11th, the Archdiocese of Canada will hold its online assembly from 1pm to 3pm EST, that is 2pm our time, Atlantic Time. Here is the note I received from Anna Miller:

The online assembly is taking place on Saturday December 11th from 1pm to 3pm (EST), which is 10am to 12noon (PST)

Please remind your parishioners to register at the link below.

Please register and attend. I hope we can have more of our parish register than any other parish in the archdiocese. That would mean that we would stand out and we would be notices.

We had a lovely time at my new apartment this last Sunday after Liturgy. Too bad we don't have any pictures, never mind we enjoyed ourselves and my apartment has recovered; it took a day or two but it has recovered. I just have to hope that Colin finds time to put up curtains. He made such a good job at the other place that I shall certainly ask him to do the same at the new place, and then I won't have all the people in the apartments across the street looking in my living room windows.

"It's Beginning to look like . . . !" But not until January 7th. The snow looks nice now and the red Holly Berries are certainly festive.

"The holly bears a berry,
As red as any blood,
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good."

(Traditional Christmas carol)

Please keep David, Heather and the three girls in your payers. They will soon be starting the long trek back.

May God bless all of us and give us a meaningful Lenten Fast,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

November 27, 2021

23th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6

Saturday, November 27 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, November 28 at 10am - Liturgy

And so pre-Christmas Lent Begins, right after Liturgy. Well, after our pre-Lenten get together and the blessing of my new apartment. As I said, by the time you get home the Lenten fast will have begun. Now, what does that entail? It is not quite as strict as Great Lent, if you want to think in those terms. The Fast usually implies that we abstain from red meat, poultry, meat-products, eggs, dairy, fish, oil and wine. I will repeat that we are not under The Law but under Grace and so no one can tell you that you must fast. It is the Orthodox custom to fast before the Nativity of Christ in order to be prepared for the Feasting in celebration of the coming of Christ as a baby; that is the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. People who are elderly, sick, taking medication, or infants and children, must not fast, but should take great care when reducing their intake of, or sort of food. For the majority of us, fasting will increase the joy of the Nativity Feast. I know you can almost taste it now, the turkey and dressing, the lovely creamy mashed potatoes, the gravy, the vegetables beautifully cooked. And that's just the main course.

The readings for this next Sunday, Pentecost 23, are Ephesians 2:4-10 and Saint Luke 10:25-37 and it is Tone 6. Since Sunday is also the Repose of Saint Herman, Wonderworker of Alaska, there is another set of readings, Galatians 5:22-6:2 and Saint Luke 6:17-23. At Vespers, on Saturday evening at 6pm, there are the 3 readings, Wisdom 3:1-9, Wisdom 5:15-6:3, and Wisdom 4:7-15.

Father Maximos and Father Panagiotis are holding morning Liturgies each day at 09.00 during Nativity Lent. They alternate churches, Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at St. Antonios Church and Thursday and Friday at St. George Church. I mention this because you might like to attend some of these services especially since our Lent is about to begin; you might like to slip in on your way to work.

The first three nights in my apartment were not the best. The thermostat was stuck at boil Father David; the temperature really was much too high. The pipes continued to hiss, loudly all night. I went to the window for some relief, but do you think I could work out how to unlock the mechanism? No I couldn't. The thermostat responded to my sliding the little lever quickly and with a little rancor from end to end very quickly. Then I could sleep.

I would remind you that I am, as of this moment, carless (not careless I hope). I have been helped by people with cars, for which I am very thankful, and using the taxi company that one texts, and the taxi arrives within minutes. I think we should call them Texti-cabs instead of Taxi-cabs.

Father Maximos, again to the rescue, has put me in touch with another of his parishioners, Fred who owns Master Auto (Complete Automotive Service, Sales & Body Repair). Fred has been trying to pair me up with a car that I might be able to afford. He has allowed me to try two cars, a black 2014 Nissan Sentra and a white 2011 Hyundai Elantra. I really appreciate both Father Maximos and Fred doing this for me. We shall see which of those two, or other, I end up with. It is decided! The Nissan has and is known for gearbox problems. The Hyundai has been serviced and will be the car for me; recommended by Fred himself.

A priest of the Greek Archdiocese, sent me this website. It is of a miraculous photograph taken in the cell of Saint Iakovos Tsalikis - 11 Months after his death. There is an explanation of the taking of the photo and why it was taken. It is certainly worth looking at and reading about this happening: http://apantaortodoxias.blogspot.com/2021/11/saint-iakovos-tsalikis-11-months-after.html.

I'm writing this on Thursday, which is the great US Thanksgiving Feast. We have numbers of parishioners who owe their existence to the United States, so I will greet them with Happy Thanksgiving and let them know that I give thanks to God for knowing each of them, as I do for all my people.

Please remember that after Liturgy on Sunday, we will gather at my apartment, B101 at 16 Anchor Drive for blessing and potluck and unpacking and arranging things. Then the fast! At the front door you will have to call my phone 780 288 2455 for entry, as there is no phone connected to the front door button yet.

May God Bless all of us
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

November 19, 2021

22th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5

Saturday, November 20 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, November 21 at 10am - Liturgy

Somehow between Mark and Rhoda, Panda Moving, Father Alexander, Braidyn and me, we got from my 12th floor apartment to my new ground floor apartment. Panda left one box in the kitchen which they will have to move over. Unfortunately it was the contents of the fridge so one wonders how the contents will have fared after time at room temperature. We shall see. I have been blessed with the help of Mark and Rhoda, and Father Alexander during the awful move day. Cast your mind back to the 15th, that's not far back so you will remember the major disadvantage - it rained buckets all day until the move was over when it cleared up. My new place plus the stuff being moved was soaked by the time we got it all over. If only we had known that there is a back door, much closer to my apartment. Never mind it's mostly finished now. But the unpacking begins.

Here are the readings for this coming Sunday, the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, Galatians 6:11-18 and Saint Luke 8:41-56 and is Tone 5. Sunday is also the Synaxis of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, Jeremiel, and the other bodiless powers. The readings to celebrate these powers are, Hebrews 2:2-10 and Saint Luke 10:16-21. At Vespers, the three readings are Joshua 5:13-15, Judges 6:2, 7, 11-24 and Isaiah 14:7-20.

During the week we have the following commemorations, Friday November 26th St. John Chrysostom, the readings are Hebrews 7:26-8:2, and Saint John 10:9-16, Saturday 27th Holy and All-Praised Apostle Philip, the readings are 1 Corinthians 4:9-16, and Saint John 1:43-51.

I am becoming more and more concerned about the number of web-sites, broadcasts and other media hubs organized by priests, monks and others, proclaiming to have received messages and revelations directly from God about Covid and the inoculations that have been and are being administered and encouraged. I want to point out that the Orthodox Church is hierarchical in nature. The message of Salvation came from Christ Himself and via His followers down to us. For those of us in Parishes, the Bishop has the authority to advise us in all matters of faith. By making claims that they have direct access to God, others are setting themselves up as an authority in opposition to the Bishop, who has our well-being in hand, and this must not be. Do not be blown off course by every whim and rumor that you come across, and please remember that Scripture belongs to the Tradition of the Church; we do not interpret it ourselves but in the light, understanding, and interpretation of the Fathers of the Church. We respectfully leave individual interpretation of Scripture to Protestants.

Please remember that from time to time we take photographs for inclusion in our Newsletter Bulletin and for inclusion on our Website and sometimes online. If anyone would prefer not to have their image included, or if inclusion will or may cause a problem, please contact Alina at webmaster (at) halifaxorthodox.org who will then exclude the persons involved. Please be sensitive over this issue and if there is a problem, or the possibility of a problem, please contact Alina. Your silence indicates your willingness to have your image and that of your family displayed in the Bulletin, on our Website, and all that ensues from that.

I would prefer not to have to stop including photographs altogether. Since there has been a problem, the recent parish photo has been removed. We shall take another parish photograph to replace the recent one, when David and Heather and Colin and Kristen are back. Perhaps we can include all willing participants this time.

Speaking of Colin and Kristen, they are back, but having to self-isolate. They are in quarantine and I've told them that if there is anything they need, to please contact either me or at least one of us.

The cleaning of the old apartment after Liturgy is not now necessary. The woman, who had my new apartment before me, had a cleaner who regularly came and did for her. This cleaner has agreed to clean my old apartment during next week, to make sure it is ready for the new occupants. The Sunday after is still on though, we shall bless the new apartment, and unpack and arrange things. We are having it as a Pot-Luck, pre-Lenten party; that's the 28th of November. After this gathering, and by the time we get home, Christmas Lent begins. If I remind us now about the fasting time to come, we will have time to eat the non-Lenten goodies in our fridges and freezers, things such as meat and cheeses. Don't worry, we can eat them all again on and after January 7th, Christmas Day.

May God bless us during this week,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

Scene not far from the church.

November 13, 2021

21th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4

Saturday, November 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, November 14 at 10am - Liturgy

We seem to have transitioned quite smoothly from being outside for Liturgy to being inside again. It is such a nice feeling having that beautiful wood flooring. We shall have to be careful when it is wet or snowy outside. That is why we have asked people to bring shoes to change into. I notice that in the foyer, there is a rack provided for outdoor shoes. We have very forward thinking people in our parish.

Did you notice that the canopies in the garden have been removed? Thank you gentlemen for doing that; how many caught sight of our Sergey climbing up two of the trees to loosen the ropes? The canopies would have caught all the snow and been stretched to the ground by the weight. Why didn't I have my phone to take pictures of Sergey up the trees?

Speaking of Forward thinking, here are the readings for this coming Sunday the 21st Sunday after Pentecost Galatians 2:16-20 and Saint Luke 8:26-39. For those who follow the tones, it will be Tone 4. The tones do actually mean something, ask Cameron (Luke), who is in the process of learning them. There are different readings for each of the 8 tones.

While I was at a Physiotherapy session this past week, a gentleman there said that it was a year ago that we had that incredible snow storm and there I was briefly on the balcony of my 12th floor apartment, with a short sleeved shirt on, and that was this week.

Now I have no car. The rentals supplied by the insurance company have all run out and so I either walk, or depend on people, or Uber, or take the bus. I'm not sure about another car; I'm not even sure I can afford another, nor how to go about it. I shall have to wait for Father Maximos to return from Mount Athos, he seems to have the answer to most things.

I've been spending time cleaning and packing. My apartment is full of boxes. My icon corner has been dismantled. I was invited to inspect the new apartment yesterday, that was on the 10th of November. I asked Rhoda to accompany me as she is much more likely to notice and point out things that need doing, of which there were only a few. I used my telephone compass to find east and set a very simple icon of Christ and one of the Theotokos with a small cross between them, on the floor against the wall. They gave me the keys but without a car there's not much I can do. The movers come on Monday the 15th and will, God willing, take everything over to the new place. Then comes the task of cleaning my 12th floor apartment for the new occupants. I've already cleaned the oven and the stove. The windows, floors, bathroom, cupboards and drawers will need a good going over and I am hoping I can count on some of the parish to spend an hour or so after Liturgy next Sunday (November 21st) and give it a good going over with me. It won't take much, and I shall make sure there is coffee, tea and something to snack on. I would really appreciate that. The Sunday after (November 28th), I would ask that perhaps we could meet in my new place, again after church, this time to position everything; I'm hopeless at arranging kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms etc. I think on that occasion we could bless the new place. We could even make that one a pot-luck; I like them.

May God bless each of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

PS - Father Maximus is back safely, thank God, and I can't wait to hear about his time on the Holy Mountain

Just look at the mess (below picture of my 12th floor apartment), and this is only one of the rooms. But look at the sky, beautiful blue.

November 6, 2021

20th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3

Saturday, November 6 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, November 7 at 10am - Liturgy

Can you believe standing on my balcony during the early days of November in just shirt sleeves and not being particularly cold? I can because I did it. Let's look at the readings for this Sunday, Pentecost 20 Galatians 1:11-19 and Saint Luke 16:19-31 and for those for whom the weekly Tone is important, it is Tone 3. On Monday, we celebrate the Holy and Glorious Great-martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica. The readings for this feast are 2 Timothy 2:1-10 and Saint John 15:17-16:2.

The new Parish Council was inducted; a couple were inducted in absentia. I want to particularly thank Leslee for the many years she was secretary of the parish. She has agreed to continue sending the parish bulletin out each week; thank you.

I received some photographs from Colin and Kristen. I would say that the wet hair and somewhat solemn face plus the white robe indicate that this photograph (left) was taken just after Lydia was baptised; may God bless her. I'm sure Kristen will share all the details when they return. My guess is that the picture on the right is with the God Parents and the centre picture is of Colin's mum and dad. Beautiful pictures, thank you. May God bless them and bring them safely home to us.

I am writing this on Thursday and tomorrow is October 23rd. If we had a weekday choir, we would be serving a Liturgy tomorrow for the feast of the Holy Apostle James, the Brother of the Lord. The question then would be posed, which Liturgy would we serve? Upon this feast, some churches serve one of the most ancient of the Liturgies, that of St. James. You can look up the details on orthodoxwiki.org, and discover the origins and how it is served. In its pure form, it is so long that St. Basil and Saint John Chrysostom shortened it, because the people became restless. I have served it a couple of times with other priests, but in a shortened form; I believe one occasion was in Narol, just outside Winnipeg, and the other in St. Herman Church in Edmonton.

Just a reminder, I move to my new apartment on November 15th, and I move out of my old apartment on November 30th. Ridiculous isn't it. All leases should have the same date. Never mind, I have 15 days to clean my present place before the new folk move in. They will want to paint and make sure it is clean and I guarantee that it will be cleaner than when I moved in two years ago. Two years ago, can you believe it? Just think of all that has happened in the parish during those two years. I think it is quite amazing, and thanks be to God for all things.

Don't forget to pray particularly for those who are absent from us: Colin, Kristen and family; David, Heather and family; Carol Ann (Mary); Ryan (Vladimir), Jessica and Ivan; Jeff and Seamus; Mary and family; and I'm sure there are others.

No, the photo below is not of Abraham's biblical family, but of Mark and Rhoda's grandchildren. If these families move to Halifax or near Halifax, we shall have a beautiful number of children added to our parish family. I can't wait. You'll have to ask Mark or Rhoda to talk about their family and the names of their grandchildren. They are in the process of moving from Montreal back to Halifax. Somehow I think that grandparents seldom get tired of talking about their family. (Who said 13 wasn't a good number for a photo?)

May God bless us all
-- Father David

October 30, 2021

19th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2

Saturday, October 30 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, October 31 at 10am - Liturgy

Looking at the Calendar, I see that the next Sunday we meet, we will be back on Atlantic Standard Time and 10am will be an hour later than this Sunday. We will actually get an extra hour of sleep, or praying time. Today, the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, we commemorate the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. At the moment, the daily readings are from Saint Luke Gospel. You will remember that Saint Luke wrote two books that are contained in the New Testament, His Gospel, and Acts. He perhaps wrote more, after all he was a doctor and an artist. The readings for this Sunday are 2 Corinthians 11:31-12:9 and Saint Luke 8:5-15. The readings for the Commemoration of Saint Luke are, Colossians 4:5-9, 14, 18, and Saint Luke 10:16-21. For those who follow the weekly tones, it is Tone 2.

It may have slipped your memory, or you may have failed to notice, that this Sunday in the Western Church is the Eve of "All Hallows." You might recognize it if I call it by its popular name "Hallowe'en," which is exactly what I called it but in a shortened form. It all comes from the Western Church's feast of All Saints which happens on November 1st, followed by All Soul's Day on November 2nd. The folk lore tells that when the cock crows on the morning of November 1st, all the demons and corpses had to return to their graves, or the nether regions beneath our feet. When your little ones dress up as witches and other goblins; that is what it is all about. Mind you they might have fun acting this out and enjoying the goodies they get as a result. I don't go round collecting Hallowe'en goodies nowadays, as I'll just eat them and get fat. We don't believe any of that so you choose if you want to "play act" or not.

I shall be moving from my apartment to another on November 15th. I may have to ask help in packing stuff up. As of last Monday, I don't have a car. The rental had to be returned to "Enterprise," but what a car, it was a VW Jetta like my old car but this was a magic car. When I stopped at a light, the engine stopped and when it rained the wipers wiped fast or slowly as necessary. It even turned the headlights on when necessary, I felt quite unneeded.

This Sunday I shall be installing the new Parish Council. Joyfully, Katerina Lukiian has agreed to be Secretary of the Parish Council; thank you! Speaking of the parish, I must point out that the Christmas Fast this year, starts after the Liturgy on November 28th. I've spoken to Braidyn who is in charge of youth, and asked him to organize a party before the Fast. We have lots to celebrate and so we should, to give us strength for the fasting time. (We are all "youth" in the sight of God!)

I was reading in the psalms this morning, the words of Psalm 139/138:

Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit or whither shall I go from thy presence? If I climb up into heaven, thou art there, if I go down to hell, thou art there also. If I take the wings of the morning and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there also shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say Peradventure the darkness shall cover me then shall the night be turned to day. Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day, The darkness and the light to thee are both alike. For my reigns are thine, thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. (BCP)

That certainly rings bells. One can never escape the loving presence of God. When we judge others, He is there; when we sin, He is there still loving. It's you and I that make judgement about each other and OURSELVES, God accepts us and only asks us to TRY to be like Him.

Here is the text of the report I gave at the Annual Meeting of the Parish:

"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen

It is with considerable joy that I address you this year. As of November 1st, I shall have been Priest-in-Charge now Rector of this parish for two years. It was on November 1st 2019 that His Eminence Archbishop Irenee, accompanied by Anna Miller, the Secretary to the Archdiocese, presented Archimandrite David (Edwards), that's me, to the Parish, that's you. I most certainly have not looked back, I have never once thought, "Why on earth did God send me here?" Indeed I have been happy and continue to be very happy, both with the effort that has been made and continues to be made in this parish, in the furtherance of the God's Kingdom on earth, and with day to day life in Halifax.

We have accomplished a lot this year with God's willingness. Just think of the Baptisms, there was Kevin and Dorothea Frellick. (Jeff and Seamus were baptised at the Monastery.) Then there was Carol Ann Karmanov and Cameron Taylor and finally, little Jacob Miller. There was the Marriage between Ksenia Romashova and Dwight Crowell, and finally, the sad burial of Will (Seraphim) Pemberton in Margaree. And then, we have a new floor thanks to Colin and other fit people plus we have a new ceiling in the basement and you should see all the new icons in the altar area. This all happened this year, and because of your willingness to support with your dollars and your physical effort.

We are expecting more baptisms soon. We have visitors who want to find out about the Orthodox Church and our people welcome them. This is how we as, a community show the Love of Christ. We are strict about the Faith. The Orthodox Church is not an easy church to belong to, but we, as the local congregation of the Canadian Orthodox Church, Archdiocese of Canada (OCA), welcome those who want to explore the True Faith, and who want to become part of the original Church, the Church of the Apostles, teachings what Christ Himself taught. Every age has its temptations, its distractions and evils. Sometimes we find ourselves caught up in these and are tempted beyond our ability to cope. The Church (the Body of Christ) in its loving concern then provides us with the sacrament of Confession where we can off-load the sins we have committed, and receive God's forgiveness and absolution. The Church, this Body of Christ on Earth, then feeds us with the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ, week by week. Who would dare come between the people of The Church and the Body and Blood of Christ? This is why after one Sunday of down time, we served Liturgy and gave Communion at the back door, so to speak. We did not starve our people.

It is the job of not only the Priests, but of every Orthodox Christian to live, protect the Faith, and to disseminate (spread) it. Are we good at doing this? People watch us, and judge the Church by our actions and our speech. Remember, where you are, there Christ is.

Recently, I have expanded the amount of Slavonic we hear during the Liturgy. Now as a matter of course we read the Epistle in Russian and the Gospel in Slavonic. This is not at all intended to undermine the original stance of the parish as an English Mission, but I want Slavic people to feel comfortable and hear things in their own language. There are many people of Slavic origins living in Halifax and Nova Scotia and we must make our parish a home for them too. The Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the Orthodox body to which the Archdiocese of Canada belongs, came out of the Moscow Patriarchate. We also carry the patronage and protection of Saint Vladimir the Prince of Kiev, who eventually converted Kievan Rus to the Orthodox Faith. This parish then, is the Home of the English Mission and Slavic people, and others who find, and are drawn to us. Thank God for all things.

I ask you to pray for: this parish, for the Orthodox Church in America, for Metropolitan Tikhon, the Canadian Orthodox Church known as the Archdiocese of Canada, for Archbishop Irenee, for the two priests of this parish, that's Father Alexander and me, for the Parish Council, the choir, the people who lay floors, renew ceilings, clean, arrange food, bake Prosphora, serve in the altar, construct the tents, teach the children, also for the other Orthodox parishes in Halifax and surrounds, that's the parish of Saint George with Father Panagiotis and the parish of Saint Antonios with Father Maximos, for Father Theodore and the other priests of the city; for the Monastery of the Annunciation with Father Luc, Father Jean-Baptiste and Father Nathaniel, all together we comprise, The Family of God, and that in itself is vital for the life of the world and particularly the life of this City and Province.

What else can I say but May God bless each and every one of us and keep us moving towards the True Light, Jesus Christ Himself, His Father, and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

And so may God bless each of us and guard us, and keep us safe; may He particularly Bless all who are away from us and bring them safely home.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

October 24, 2021

18th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Saturday, October 23 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, October 24 at 10am - Liturgy

I can't believe how incredibly well the Parish Meeting went. After the Liturgy we did the Post Communion Prayers as usual and then Alina took the Parish Photo using the timer so she was able to hurry into the picture before it snapped; then the pizza under the awnings in the garden. That pizza was good; I had two pieces and enjoyed every mouthful. I shall ask David and Heather where they got the pizza, and let everyone know. During the Liturgy, the choir was incredible. So many people stepped up to sing while Father Alexander was hearing confessions. God willing Cameron will be back this next weekend. He was in Toronto for the funeral of his grandmother, Audry Taylor - may God bless her soul and all those who mourn her.

This past Sunday Colin and Kristen's daughter Lydia was baptised, we have been told, in Colin's family parish in New York State. May God bless all of them and bring them safely back to us.

Secretary: I am still hoping someone will come bouncing up to me and offer their services for this very important task.

-- Father David

October 16, 2021

17th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

Saturday, October 16 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, October 17 at 10am - Liturgy

We are here at the Sunday of the Annual Meeting, the 17th Sunday after Pentecost and I hope we are really geared up for this meeting. I had a note from Leslee, whose birthday we joyfully celebrated this past Sunday, stating that after lots and lots of years, she wishes not to be secretary after this Annual Meeting. So, I am looking for someone to take on this role. Leslee suggested Rhoda but Rhoda has declined. Leslee says that there are enough men on the Parish Council already, so we are looking for a woman to fill this most awesome position. Just think, to have control of the agendas and the minutes of the meetings, plus send out the Bulletin each week, tell the priest what to do and be the fount of all knowledge as regards the parish, the building, and its place in the world. Fortunately, Leslee will be around to advise us when we don't know the answer to something. Volunteers Please.

The readings for this Sunday are 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 and Saint Luke 6:31-36. Tuesday October 19th is the feast of the Holy Apostle Thomas when the readings are 1 Corinthians 4:9-16 and Saint John 20:19-31, and Friday October 22nd is the feast of Holy Apostle James, son of Alphaeus with the readings 1 Corinthians 4:9-16 and Saint Luke 10:16-21.

Did you hear the Subdeacon say that this is Pizza Sunday? Apparently that is so. Alexey has voted for Pepperoni. If there are other favourites, please let David know. If you make your own pizza, why not bring some to share.

I had a note from Allison telling us that she is well and that her courses are interesting. She further said that she has "joined a wonderful parish community at Holy Myrrhbearers mission," and that she is singing in their choir. Best wishes and God bless you Allison. (She reads our Bulletin.)

I have just spoken with His Eminence Archbishop Irenee, who sends his blessing to us, and particularly for the Annual Meeting. He also said that we need a Filing Cabinet, and I think a two drawer one will do.

O, you remember the photograph of the parish that was taken on November 1st. the year that Archbishop Irenee introduced me to the parish? I want to take an updated photo this Sunday.

Please everyone make sure you are at the church for the photo, the Annual Meeting and the pizza. (I have to make sure I know how to take a time delay photograph with my camera! I bet Alina will take one, and I bet she knows how to time delay.) Can you believe, that was two years ago on November 1st. How time flies. I certainly look back at a time well spent. My apartment has overlooked the comings and goings of ships. My new apartment won't have such a grand view but I shall be on the ground floor, and have a dishwasher, washer and dryer. When a fire alarm goes off, as it did from time to time in my old building, I shall not have to descend the 12 floors to get to safety, and then wait for the two elevators to go back up. The going down was never a problem as I do that every day, it's the waiting for the elevator. Can you believe, I've actually, on several occasions, walked up the 12 floors, that's 24 times 7, plus one.

If you think that we in our 21st century world are taking a lot of trouble over Covid, read Leviticus 13 in the Old Testament, and the laws and regulations involved in skin diseases. They had to take the problems to the priest who declared "clean" or "unclean" - thank goodness I don't have to do that.

I'm writing this on Wednesday and it is the last day of September. Tomorrow is October 1st, on our church calendar, of course, so the feast of the Our Most Holy the Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. We shall have Vespers at 6 this evening but no Liturgy tomorrow, Thursday as we have no midweek choir. Please pray for us all.

That took place but the ending was not as nice as I would have wished. The Vespers was beautiful but the way home was not. I'll not go into details but if you wish to know you can ask after the meeting while we are eating pizza (personally, I can't wait for the pizza!). That's all. Please read the Agenda in the attached file. Please fill out the Membership Form in an attached file and read the Minutes of the previous Annual Meeting, also in an attached file.

May God bless all of us and bless this very special parish,
Most Holy Theotokos protect us,
St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev pray to God for us
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

PS It looks like rain on Sunday! If so - Indoors!

October 8, 2021

16th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7

Saturday, October 8 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, October 9 at 10am - Liturgy

I know you have noticed the improvements to the basement ceiling. When I arrived at the church on Saturday evening in plenty of time for the Moleben before Vespers, Sergey was there and had been there for a while, pulling tiles and nails from the ceiling joists and replacing it all with Drywall and it looks good. Thank you Sergey, and those who worked with you. It looks really good. Next we'll be thinking about what to do with the basement floor. I've heard talk of interlocking linoleum, vinyl, foam backed tiles. What do you think?

This is the 16th Sunday of Pentecost, and Tone 7. The readings for this Sunday are 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 and Saint Luke 5:1-11. Thursday October 14th is the Protection of Our Most Holy the Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. There are readings for this feast Hebrews 9:1-7 and Saint Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28. There are 3 reading during Vespers, immediately after the Great Entrance and those are Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, and Proverbs 9:1-11. It would be good if you could read these and pray for the Parish, even if you can't attend.

You know that the Annual Parish meeting is the Sunday following this one, October 17th. I remind you that to be a member of the parish, certain things must be in place. The membership form must be in the hands of Leslee before the meeting, you must be a baptized Orthodox, you must be 18 years or over, and you must have been attending Liturgy as often as possible for the past 6 months. You know you want to be a part of this incredible group of people, so don't delay. When you are not at church, we are not complete, and you are missed.

I propose changes to the way officers of the parish are appointed. I suggest that we change the bylaws so that the Parish President and the Treasurer are appointed for 2 years, and that they are appointed on odd numbered years, the Vice President and the Secretary are then appointed for two years and are appointed on even numbered years. This way there is continuity. I further propose that except under dire circumstances, an officer must be out of office for 2 years before being appointed again.

Here then are the Parish Council members as they stand now:

  • Parish President - David Decaire
  • Parish Vice President - Yan Tsehtik
  • Parish Secretary - Leslee Mansour
  • Parish Treasurer - Oksana Lunyov
  • Member at Large - Youth Affairs - Spyridon Pollitt
  • Member at Large - Building Fabric - Colin McInnis

Other Officers are:

  • Choir Director - Luke (Cameron) Taylor (aided by others)
  • Sunday School - Yan Tsehtik (aided by others)
  • Prosphora Organizer - Colin McInnis (aided by others)
  • After Liturgy Lunch Organizer - Heather Decaire (aided by others)
  • Website coordinator - Alina Kirsanova

You have read the minutes of the last Annual Meeting. If you have any comments such as omissions or inaccuracies, please let Leslee know well ahead of the meeting. I think the Parish Council should stay as it is for now, and change as my proposal suggests.

We have been really blessed in having our Liturgies outside. The weather has been Heaven Sent; we had to be inside just one Sunday recently. It's the nature of things that the weather will change and we shall have to move indoors. I'm hoping that the Annual Meeting can be outside so we can eat as well as talk. As you know, it is not usual to take food into the temple itself.

I'm always aware that there are those who do not eat at all before Liturgy. The Church proscribes that we do not eat before coming to the Body and Blood of Christ. (Those who take medication, or travel a long distance are exempt from this, but should take food with care and consideration.) Please understand, I want every baptized Orthodox person to receive Communion every week. If you think you have something to Confess, as we all do, (including eating something for breakfast), please do that in time to receive Communion each Sunday. Normally, we confess once a month unless, of course, we have done something beyond the usual.

You may have notice that Luke (Cameron) has been away and will be away for several weeks. First we have to remember that he is a doctor and sometimes "on call." He had to leave Liturgy a couple of Sundays ago when he had a call from the hospital that he had to respond to. The weekend of our Annual Meeting he will be away, he will be in Toronto for the funeral of his grandmother. Please pray for him and for the soul of his mother.

There are people looking at my 12th floor apartment already. So far there have been three families. I can't imagine there being a problem except that there is no electrical outlet in the bathroom, no dishwasher, washer and dryer in the apartment and one of the ladies asked me if there are mice to which I said, "No, But there a mouse that visits from time to time." It was in the middle of the floor one evening so I greeted it and said, "Hello," it jumped out of its skin and ran away, completely avoiding the live trap I have down.

I told Father Alexander that I would eventually put this picture in the Bulletin, it was taken at the wedding party after the marriage of Dwight and Ksenia. It was a good party and I'm really glad that Father Alexander and his family had a good time. They really deserve it. I'm glad that all the guests had a good time. It really was fun, I witnessed it.

That's all for this week
May God bless all of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

October 3, 2021

15th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6

Saturday, October 2 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, October 3 at 10am - Liturgy

I am looking at the weather forecast for this coming Sunday and it has a lovely picture of a grey cloud with the sun peeking over the top. I can only hope that this means that we can have the Liturgy outside; we shall see and make the judgement on Sunday morning. Please remember to dress warmly just in case we can be outside in the lovely fresh air. I do want to thank everybody for leaving wet shoes in the Narthex last Sunday. This will be the normal way from now on. (Your socks will polish the floor!)

Now the readings for this Sunday: It is Tone 6, the Epistle is 2 Corinthians 4:6-15 and the Gospel is Saint Matthew 22:35-46. Those are the reading for Sunday but there is another set of reading because this Sunday is also The Sunday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (which was last Monday). These are: Galatians 2:16-20 and Saint Mark 8:34-9:1. Wednesday of this week, October 4th, we celebrate The Conception of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John. The readings for that feast are: Galatians 4:22-31 and Saint Luke 1:5-25.

The Parish Meeting that you will not want to miss is on Sunday October 17th after the Liturgy. Please make sure that your membership form has been given to Leslee before that meeting. The rules are that you must be Orthodox, a Communicant, 18 years of age or over, and your membership form must be completed and handed in. This is the third time notice has been given.

I want to thank the monks of the Hermitage of the Annunciation for the wonderful produce they have made available to us. Their season is now over but we have certainly enjoyed a lot of very nice produce. We shall look forward to next year when, God willing, there will be more.

I hope you don't notice, but this is the beginning of Cold and Flu season, and if we were not wearing masks, some of us would be coming down with sniffles and coughs. I hope that the wearing of masks will prevent us from having to endure those unpleasant things; after all, we have sort of avoided the Covid catastrophe within the parish. Please bring masks to wear, and wear them during the Liturgy, and keep distance.

Do you remember that Sunday when the Pemberton family visited? It was good and Spyridon took photos for us. He sent them to me and here are a couple of the 33 pictures he took. He tried to tell me that he is no good at taking photos.

Now that's a really good picture of us gathered for the Liturgy. The altar servers are missing. We were blessed to have Augustine visiting us; he has completed his basic training in the RCAF. Well done Augustine. Thank you Spyridon for the great phtographs.

May God bless all of us
Love in Christ,
Father David

We have been asked to serve a Moleben on Saturday before Vespers, for a couple getting married in Russia, His Imperial Highness Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna also for Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna. After the Liturgy on Sunday we will serve a Panikhida for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and Grand Duches Maria Pavlovna; Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna; and Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna. For information about these celebrations please speak to Vladimir Michaluk, who tells us that this royal wedding is the first such in Russia since the Revolution.

September 25, 2021

14th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5

Saturday, September 25 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, September 26 at 10am - Liturgy
at 6pm - Vespers

Second Notice: Parish Annual Meeting October 17 on the Civil Calendar. Please find in a separate file included with this Bulletin, the Membership forms which must be resubmitted by everyone over 18 years of age. That entitles you to vote should there be a vote, it makes you a member of the Parish and so a member of God's family, our family. Wow! If you have items that need to be discussed and should go on the agenda, please tell Leslee, the Secretary, and be prepared to present it. You will also find in a separate file, the minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting. Please look over these to make sure they are complete.

This is the 14th Sunday after Pentecost and we commemorate the Founding of the Church of the Resurrection (The Holy Sepulchre) at Jerusalem. The readings for this Sunday are 2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4 and the Gospel Saint Matthew 22:2-14. It is important since we are a family, and these readings unite us with those who can't get to us. The readings for the Commemoration are Hebrews 3:1-4 and Saint Matthew 16: 13-18.

Monday is the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and we will serve Vespers on Sunday evening at 6pm. We are not able to serve Liturgy on Monday as our choir members are working people, but we will Exalt the Cross just the same, at home. The readings are 1 Corinthians 1:18-24 and Saint John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35.

What a superb Liturgy we served this last Sunday. We had the Pemberton Family with us. What a miracle. Thank goodness we were outside. Did you notice the rain sprinkling. Fortunately it was just enough for the guys to erect the second tent, for the choir. Eventually we will have to serve inside again and that means we have to set a couple of rules to protect our new flooring. Outside shoes will not be welcome in the church. You are welcome, it's our snowy or muddy shoes that need to remain in the Narthex (entrance). Please bring indoor shoes, or socks or stockings (careful don't slip on the shiny floor!).

After the Liturgy this Sunday there will be a Memorial (short Panikhida) service for Nadia.

We are collecting for the Food Bank and there is a box that is hungry for more donations. Let us see what we can do this Sunday and the following Sunday, then we'll deliver to the Halifax Food Bank.

Please remember to order from the Monks, this may be your last opportunity for this year!

May God bless us all,
-- Father David

(The fingerling potatoes are good so is the Kale.)

These are some friends I find frequently on the road leading to my apartment.

The Sunflower is in our garden. Spyridon took lots of pictures last Sunday but I don't have them yet, he's really busy Navying.

September 19, 2021

13th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4

Saturday, September 18 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, September 19 at 10am - Liturgy

Happy New Year!

This Sunday is the 13th Sunday after Trinity and the Church's New Year began on Tuesday September 14th which is September 1st on our Julian Calendar. We really should have served a Liturgy, but since Father Alexander would have to be the choir, and he is really busy teaching and preparing lectures, I won't disturb him this early in the term. There won't be a meal after the Liturgy this week, or any week unless someone brings it, just coffee, tea and perhaps cookies if someone brings them. Whatever is served will be downstairs so that it does not have to be carried upstairs and then carried back down the stairs.

Now to the Sunday Epistle and Gospel, which I hope you will look at, especially if you are unable to attend. 1 Corinthians 16:13-24 and Saint Matthew 21:33-42 and for the Commemoration of St. Michael at Colossae. Hebrews 2:2-10 and Saint Luke 10:16-21. If you would like to read the story of the healing, please refer to the OCA website. It is worth reading.

I received some lovely photos from Colin and Kristin as they were seated in the airplane and heading for their holiday. Unfortunately, their aircraft left Halifax late and so they missed a connecting flight. I hope it all turned out for them. They promised to let us know when Lydia Elizabeth Evangelia McInnis is to be baptised so we can pray for her and them, as it is happening.

You five, have a wonderful, restful and holy vacation and please tell us when the baptism is so we can pray. They look rested already. Thank you for the pictures and please give our love to the family.

Please know that each and every one of you is loved, not only by me, but that God loves you in proportions greater than you or I could possibly imagine.

A message from Heather Decaire: Thank-you to all who have been contributing to our coffee hour! Due to our limited kitchen space, we would like you to bring only finger foods and sweets to accompany our coffee and tea. We ask everyone who is able to to bring a small contribution for our fellowship time each week. Ideas for food can include cheese/crackers, muffins, cookies, cut veggies, cut fruit, and other "finger foods." Please do not bring anything more than that in order to make things easier and clean-up quicker. Volunteers are welcome, and thank-you so much, everyone!

I would ask you to consider helping with the construction and dismantling of the tent, helping to clean up after Liturgy, and anything else that you notice needs doing. It seems to be the same people doing these things all the time, and I certainly want to thank them, after all they do this work to the Glory of God, as do the altar servers. You will want to share in this Glorifying of God, I am sure; there is vacuuming, sweeping, tidying, preparing food, tea and coffee, moving stuff, putting up and taking down of the tent in summer, books to sort, carrying stuff, looking after the children, making sure they are not playing and being noisy during the Epiclesis, (the descent of the Holy Spirit), etc. There is so much to be done all the time - please help.

And a message from the monks of the Hermitage of The Annunciation:

I think I'm going to order some Fingerling Potatoes just to find out what they are, but also to eat of course.

-- Father David

PS I'm writing this on Thursday and this is the day that my younger Niece is getting married in Jasper, Alberta. Please pray for Ann and Alfred.

September 12, 2021

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3

Saturday, September 11 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, September 12 at 10am - Liturgy

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Gospel: St Matthew 19:16-26

Request from Colin: The floor work party will start at 0800hrs, that's 8am this Saturday 11 September. Please come and help. Half of the floor is done and it looks really good, come and help complete the job. The guys have also sorted out the storage area of the basement, help there too. Wow! When we start, miracles happen. Don't be left out.

This past week, on Saturday, was also the Marriage of Dwight Robert Crowell and Ksenia Sergeevna Romashova. The ceremony was conducted by Father Alexander with the help of Archimandrite David and took place on Saturday at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. It was a lovely service and the reception afterwards was extraordinary, with Greek food and Russian dessert.

Ksenia's mother had travelled with great difficulty due to Covid quarantines via Montreal to be with her daughter for the marriage ceremony. She made a special Russian Salad, one for each table, and it was delicious.

I met others of our parish round about the hall and the dance floor. I noticed that the children were having a whale of a time.

Most of them would never have been to a formal dance and I'm sure they will keep it in mind for the future, and perhaps for their own weddings way in the future, God willing.

This is Mary Pemberton's letter that accompanied the pictures of the funeral:

We buried Will on a dramatic pre-storm windy day, his favourite weather, surrounded by his family, dear friends, and his closest people in the community. The church was full of sunflowers (his favourite flower). We were blessed to have our clergy from Halifax drive all the way up to sing a Panikhida on Thursday night and the funeral Friday morning. It was very beautiful, Will would have loved it! None of us had ever been to an Orthodox funeral, most of our guests had never been to an Orthodox service, and many never willingly set foot in church! It was quite a dramatic service for all.

We didn't plan to have the children stay while the pall-bearers filled in the grave, but they insisted. They all wanted to take turns helping, especially Hermione. While part of me felt it was too sad and Victorian to have kids filling in the grave, in another way it was just real, and felt perfectly right. After all, Will taught them to work hard. Maybe it was cathartic for them to participate. While they were doing that, my brother, Fr. John O'Brien, and Will's dearest friend John Jalsevac, sang In Paridiso, a beautiful Latin chant for funerals. Will would have loved that too.

Will's old friend Chris McKelvie, now Fr. Christopher of the Franciscans, was also a pall bearer and gave Will a final blessing. He was also the last person (besides nursing staff) to be with Will before he died, sitting by his bedside while Will slept and praying for him. How amazing is God's providence!

Will's entire family was able to make it, and his three siblings carried the casket to the grave. While I can't imagine how difficult that was, Christian, Miki, and Jonathon have the intrepid Pemberton spirit and I think Will must have been pretty pleased.

It was an amazing coming together of Will's past and present, his beloved people, and beloved land.

We wish all of you could have been there. Here's a folder of pictures taken by our friend Paul McNeill. I'm told there's more to come.

Please also remember the site for contributing to Mary and the children.

Thank you to all who contributed to the collection of school supplies for less fortunate kids. What a success that collection was. There will be many happy faces when they receive their supplies. This was our first charity drive and it was a great success. Now we are collecting for the local Food Bank. You know the sorts of things that can be collected; things that won't spoil or attract mice. This will start this Sunday. Go through your cupboards and find the nourishing foods you don't use, others may find it useful.

May God bless all of us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

September 4, 2021

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2

Saturday, September 4 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, September 5 at 10am - Liturgy

1 Corinthians 9:2-12
Gospel: St Matthew 18:23-35

Saturday August 29th The Beheading of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John
(There will be no Liturgy as there will be no choir, and Father Alexander, who usually fills in as choir, will be occupied by the start of the academic term.)

The Baptism of Mary and Luke on Saturday was a really nice service. It being the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos, there was a Liturgy at which the two newly Baptised were able to make their first Communion, congratulations and Welcome to you both. Cameron was inducted as Choir Director. Congratulations again.

The trip to Margaree for the funeral of Seraphim (Will) Pemberton on Thursday was an extraordinary adventure. Mark drove there and back and Rhoda accompanied us. We arrived just in time to serve a Panikhida at the wake which was in progress in the local Catholic Church. We were housed in two very beautiful, nearly new, cabins that had been donated for our use by a local business man. The funeral was the next morning and very well attended. Mary has send me lots of photographs but at the moment I can't seem to transfer them from Mary's email onto my computer. I am overcoming it, as you see.

Mary and her family of six children, from in arms to 16, find themselves in a financial situation with the loss of Will. A friend of theirs has set up a donation site. If you would like to donate, please use: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-mary-pemberton-and-children. These are our parishioners who just happen to live a long way away. When the coffin was laid in the grave and lowered, and I've never seen this, the children started to fill in the grave, an incredible site. This, plus several other things about this funeral, I found intriguing and very moving.

This will be the last Sunday to collect school supplies. I'll ask Luke (Cameron) to bundle up the materials and take them to the designated distribution site. Thank you to those who have contributed to this very worthy cause. There will be lots of kids who will be very thankful to those who have donated. Think of all who will be starting back to school within the next few days. Think also of the colleges and universities that will be restarting. We should not forget the pressure on the university lecturers who are preparing lectures and assignments, just ask Father Alexander. Please pray for all of them.

New Year for the Church is coming up on September 1st which means for us it is September 14th, a Tuesday. The Sunday following is September 19th and I reckon we should have a party. Let us plan for that then, a special after Liturgy Party, hopefully still outside.

God willing, there will be many more photos of the trip to Margaree and the funeral of our dear son Seraphim (Will Pemberton). There are lots of photos that Mary sent me, and there will be more, and since I have found the way to transfer them to my computer, the next bulletin should have lots of them, well, several anyway.

May God bless us all and keep us,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

August 29, 2021

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Saturday, August 28 at 10am - Liturgy
at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, August 29 at 10am - Liturgy

1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Gospel: St Matthew 17:14-23

Translation of the Image Not-Made-by-Hands
(From Edessa to Constantinople in 944)
Colossians 1:1-18 and/or 2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Gospel: Saint Luke 9:51-56; 10:22-24

This past week has been a very busy week. We have travelled to Margaree, (in fact have this minute returned), on a task filled with emotion, but at the same time strength, as we buried our beloved in Christ Seraphim (Will Pemberton). May God make his memory to be eternal.

Thanks to Father Alexander who was with me and supported me and thanks to Mark who drove there and back, acted as alter server and general help. Thanks also to Rhoda who supported us and provided lovely muffins. More later.

Please remember that the Baptism of Carol Ann and Cameron will be on Saturday, (just after you receive this bulletin, I expect). The service, including the Liturgy for the Dormition, will start at 10am on Saturday 28th of August. The Dormition is the last celebration before the New Year, which is, of course, September 1st (that's Tuesday September 14th on the civil calendar). Don't forget that with the Dormition, the fast ends.

School Supplies: I have purchased eight pencil boxes in your name, pencils, an eraser, some coloured pencils, and an Elmer glue bottle will be put in each one. The coloured pencil pack contains a pencil sharpener. This is in addition to the loose supplies I arranged previously. I hope others have managed to contribute; it's for the children of families that have difficulty affording the money for these supplies. I need someone to take care of this and deliver them. Ideally it should be Cameron whose idea this was, thank you Cameron. This is our first charitable outreach for the year. There will be others, God willing.

May God bless all of us,
And especially Mary and her family,
Please pray for them,
-- Father David

August 22, 2021

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

Saturday, August 21 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, August 22 at 10am - Liturgy

1 Corinthians 3:9-17
Gospel: St Matthew 14:22-34

The Holy Apostle Matthias
Acts of the Apostles 1:12-17
Saint Luke 9:1-

Saturday August 28th The Dormition of The Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. The Baptism and Chrismation of both Cameron, who will become Luke, and Carol Ann, who will become Mary, will start at 10am the Liturgy of the Dormition will continue on from the Baptism. If God is willing, this will all be outside. Please note that I made a mistake in the last Bulletin, forgetting that we will certainly have a Liturgy on the Dormition, so First Communions will be on Saturday.

This will also be Allison's last Sunday with us, she is going to study Library Science in Toronto. We wish her God speed and certainly we shall miss her very much. I know we will keep in tough through the Bulletin, but I insist that she keep in touch with us. She is ours and we are only lending her to Toronto. You agree Leslee?

Both Matushka Ksenia and Cameron have given us good ideas for outreach. Cameron suggested that we collect school supplies for kids who are not able to afford supplies. I have put a box in the church for this collection, and placed a few things that I got during the Staples recent sale of school stuff. I was speaking to the Anglican clergyman who looks after St. Augustin Church which is not far from us, along Purcell's Cove Road.

He told me that in the past, his parish has bought backpacks and filled them with necessary school supplies. Not a bad idea. While in Staples, a very polite young man, probably about grade seven, gave me advice as to what things are most useful. We could get back packs or just pencil cases and fill them with necessities; a brilliant idea Cameron.

Matushka Ksenia reminded us of things the parish used to do. There are two sites representing charities we used to give to, these are: L'Arche Halifax and Canadian Red Cross. Thank you Matushka for reminding us of our donations history.

I shall be consulting the Parish Council for advice on this. I'm expecting that there will be a unanimous decision to made donations a regular programme for this parish.


This is one of the most difficult tasks for a parish priest - to talk about the finances of the parish and that's because to a large extent WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE to the church, resulting in the finances of parishes, like our parish, being in a shocking state. There are people in our parish who faithfully give week by week and month by month. We should thank them because without their tithing or giving, the parish would not be here today. Has it occurred to you that I won't be your rector for ever? When I leave, you will have to find a younger priest who will expect at least minimum compensation, and accommodation. He will be employed by the parish much as you are employed at your work. You expect a living wage, he will too. At the moment, the parish could not afford him, and so you would be without a priest, and without a priest, a parish can't operate. All the efforts of Father Vladimir and the others who have nurtured this parish, would be gone. What a shame to see what began as an English Mission, die. All the efforts of those who have nurtured the parish, lost, gone. I think neither you nor I would want that to happen, and so if you are not giving regularly to the church you need to start giving in a regular, uninterrupted fashion, whether you are at church or not (just because you may be having a rest from church does not mean that the church stops). It continues praying for you Sunday by Sunday by Sunday and even during the week. You know how to make donations; I've included the instructions for Direct Debit, many times. Make this a habit. Here are the instructions again.

I shall be looking for an easier way for us to make regular donations automatically. The Parish Council will be meeting to discuss this and other things, as soon as Heather and David are settled into their new three girl routine.

Speaking of that, I expect you know that Heather had a baby girl, to be named Madeleine Ruth. Congratulations to both Heather and David who now have three daughters. May God bless them.

Prayers please pray for:

  • Mary Pemberton and her eight children
  • Maria
  • David and Heather Decaire and their three girls
  • Spyridon
  • Augustine
  • Carol Ann
  • Cameron
  • John
  • Iacovos
  • Allison
  • Nick
  • Father Panagiotis
  • Father Maximos

I have just received a message from Mary Pemberton this Friday morning: "Our beloved Will died peacefully this morning at 6am." May his Memory be Eternal! May God bless Mary and the family!

Please pray for them.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

August 14, 2021

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7

Saturday, August 14 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, August 15 at 10am - Liturgy
Thursday, August 19 at 10am - Liturgy

1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Gospel: Matthew 14:14-22

Thursday 19th Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ - Liturgy 10am with the blessing of grapes and other fruit. Please bring fruit to be blessed.

It was really nice to see Carol Ann from Sydney with us last Saturday and Sunday. She and Cameron were received into the Catechumenate at the same time and It turns out that they will be baptised at the same time, on the feast of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos, that's Saturday 28th August (civil calendar). They will receive first Communion the day after, on Sunday; Cameron will then be installed as Choir Director.

I have been in touch with Mary Pemberton and plan to continue contacting her during this very difficult time. Please remember to pray for the family and especially Will. Our prayers really do make a difference.

Be merciful unto me, O God, for man goeth about to devour me; he is daily fighting, and troubling me. Mine enemies are daily in hand to swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most Highest. Nevertheless, though I am sometimes afraid, yet put I my trust in thee. I will praise God, because of his word, I have put my trust in God, and I will not fear what flesh can do to me. (From Psalm 55/56)

Our seafarer Spyridon has offered to host the gentleman from BC who is looking to move his family to Halifax. Thank you for the kind offer.

I've been looking up the rules for serving when a bishop is present. I can find the rules for when there is a priest and a deacon but not for priests alone serving with a bishop. Never mind, if Archbishop Irénée should manage to visit us, we will do our best to have the Orlets (eagle mats), and Dikirion (left hand) and Trikirion (right hand) in the right places at the right time for the Archbishop to use; let us hope he can come to us; it would be a blessing.

I am going to ask again about a charitable outreach from our parish. Are we donating to a charity? Our young men were helping with the Salvation Army kitchen on Saturdays before Spyridon was called away to the Baltic and Augustine joined the army, and Covid caused another shut down. I know the downtown churches run soup kitchens and I think that Orthodox churches do not, but I'm sure they have other charitable activities. How can we help? What can we do? This might be one of the most important questions our parish needs to answer. So, do we collect for the Food Bank? Does Halifax have a Food Bank? What can we as a parish do? Please think, and pray, then speak to me about it.

I'm writing this on Thursday evening with the humidity at 98%. There is a heat warning and there will be no let up overnight or even until Sunday according to the forecast.

Here are three interesting sites you might like to look at. The first is from the Greek Archdiocese, the second from the OCA, and the third from the Antiochian Archdiocese. All three address some of the questions we may have been pondering over the last little while. I commend them to you.

You may also find this Wikipedia site to be of interest.

There are other resources to be found on our own Archdiocese of Canada web site.

Check them out.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

P.S. The ducks are local, and remind me of the Kenneth Grahame poem from The Wind in the Willows.

August 7, 2021

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6

Saturday, August 7 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, August 8 at 10am - Liturgy

Romans 15:1-7
Gospel: St. Matthew 9:27-35

On Monday, Father Alexander, Mark Blaauw, and I drove to Margaree on Cape Breton to visit, give Communion and Anoint Will Pemberton, who is in hospital with a serious illness. He has given permission for this photograph, which I took in the hospital, to be published in this bulletin. I was overjoyed to see him and for us to be there with him. Entering the room, I was filled with the understanding that Will occupies that room and that his spirit really does fill it. I mean that most sincerely, there was more than just Will in that room, there was the Love of God, and I think Father Alexander felt the same. Pray for Will and the family - Please! I'll remind you below.

It was so good to be able to give Communion to the Pemberton family and to have a delicious lunch with them. I forgot to take a picture of the lunch, never mind, my stomach remembers it well. The two missing from these pictures are Will senior who is in the hospital, and the baby who was asleep and by general agreement, we didn't awaken her.

Please pray for this family: Seraphim (Will), Mary, Vladimir (Will jr.) Herman (Hugh) Mathias, Raphael, Hermione, and baby Juliana (Eleanor).

Please pray for Jakovos and for John (that's Seamus and Jeff). We love them lots.

There is an Orthodox gentleman Yaroslav, a parishioner of St. Nicholas Church in Vancouver who wishes to move his family (wife Tatiana and their three children) to our area. He has asked if there is anyone with a spare room, who could host just him for two weeks while he searches for a home. If you are able, please contact either Father Alexander or me. The gentleman communicated first, in Russian.

The keys we found were claimed!

I can't get over how wonderful our garden parties are after outside church. We seem to have an endless supply of coffee thanks to the coffee makers, and the food is delicious. I love the sandwiches.

I think we are very fortunate that we have people who put up the tents, constructed the awnings that keep the sun from burning us. We are definitely a community, may God bless all of us and protect us. You've heard that there is a Fourth wave of Covid and that it is mainly one of the variants. I hear that young children are most at risk because there is no vaccine for them at the moment. I'm going to ask us to be sure to wear masks and keep distancing. There are cleansing pump bottles around, Thanks to Eric.

This is the most recent information form Dr. Strang regarding Faith Gatherings. We must obey these instructions if we are to avoid the Fourth wave of Covid.

Faith gatherings hosted by a business or organization - 50% of the venue's capacity up to 150 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors with social distancing and masks. Drive-in faith services have no limit on the number of vehicles.

We won't be having "Drive-In Church." I remember drive-in movies and the in-car speakers and in the winter even in-car heaters. You won't remember the time when the motor had to be running to operate the windscreen wipers.

Mark snapped the picture below as we were leaving. Missing, besides Seraphim and Juliana, are the cow, some horses, two hairy pigs and some chickens. There are ducks somewhere (I'm very fond of duck eggs!) and I think they said there are a couple of goats or perhaps they said there used to be a couple of goats. It is really a beautiful place. Thank you Mark, for taking us in your car, and thank you Father Alexander, for driving part of the way; they wouldn't allow me to drive.

May God bless all of us, and keep us safe,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David


Monday - Great-martyr and Healer Panteleimon
Saturday - Procession of the Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord
Saturday - Beginning of the Dormition Fast

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold[a] of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh - my adversaries and foes - they shall stumble and fall.

3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. (Part of Psalm 27 NRSV)

July 31, 2021

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5, Commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils

Saturday, July 31 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, August 1 at 10am - Liturgy

Romans 12:6-14
Gospel: St. Matthew 9:1-8

Vespers Readings
Genesis 14:14-20, Deuteronomy 1:8-11; 15-17, Deuteronomy 10:14-21

What a wonderful party we had on Sunday after the Liturgy celebrating St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev, the patron and protector of this parish. The food was incredible with enough left over for this Sunday. If that day is nice, the coffee time will be outside but if it is wet, the food and coffee will be served in the basement and consumed under the awnings outside. Did anyone take photos? It is important to record everything for the Bulletin and the Website. I couldn't, I was occupied. It's really important that everyone, older and younger, help with the cleaning up afterwards.

I had a telephone call from Nick who returned to Toronto. He is doing very well and will let us know what he is doing in due time. We wish him God's blessing for the future, and hope that he will keep in touch with us; he does receive our Bulletin so at least we can keep in touch with him that way. God bless you Nick, we miss you.

There is a set of keys which was found on the steps of the church. If anyone is missing a set of keys, please let one of us know.

Again I appeal for prayers for the Pemberton family who are going through a really rough time. As you know, Will senior is very ill. This is serious enough for Father Alexander and for me to be taking a trip to Margaree on Cape Bretton to anoint him, and give Communion to him and to the family. This will happen as soon as Mary says he is home from the hospital again.

Thank you Alexey Treiger and Mark Blaauw for serving in the altar for the St. Vladimir Vespers and Liturgy; very kindly, Alexey was training Mark how to be an altar servant, and did it very capably as well.

The garden looks great thanks to Yan and his team. It seems to be full of yellow flowers at the moment and I can't decide if they are Cucumbers, Zucchini or Pumpkins. There are several other plants that have similar flowers, and it could be them as well I suppose. We shall see when Yan harvests them in the Fall. I hope you are still ordering from the Monks. Their stuff is delicious and healthy. I know, I have ordered from them.

I'm looking forward very much to knowing whether Heather and David are having a girl or a boy. I've been teasing them that since they already have two beautiful daughters, this one will be a boy, but none of us knows. God protect them as the time gets close. May God protect and strengthen Heather.

Parish Council Meeting in the room under the church following the Liturgy on Sunday. Council members have been informed of the agenda; it should not be a long meeting, but important as always.

I've noticed that this parish has no charitable activities. We do not collect for the Food Bank, we do not serve meals to the underprivileged; as a group we do nothing of this sort of work at all. How can we call ourselves a Christian Church when we have no outreach? How can we hope to survive as a parish if we do not give of ourselves and of our resources (money!)? Several months ago the Men's Group helped the Salvation Army kitchen on Saturdays until Spyridon was taken on a cruise by the Navy, and Augustine joined the Army. Let me show you how ancient the idea of giving from a congregation is. Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 16, and look at what Saint Paul is telling the Christians of Corinth to do. They are to save and put aside whatever extra they earn and when Paul arrives, he will send it with whomever they approve, to Jerusalem; there were poor people in the Jerusalem Church. We have no excuse. As the Local Church and that is what we are, we must give of our time and of our monetary resources. Let me put that more bluntly: You and I must give our time to the Church and we must give our money to the Church. If we all Tithed, we could buy a plot of land and build a new church to serve us and God's people. Now! How do we reach out and serve others? What outreach shall we undertake right now?

We have an upcoming baptism. Cameron will be Baptised on the feast of the Dormition, which is a Saturday, that's the 28th of August on the civil calendar. I was looking at this photo of the font and wondering how we are going to fit Cameron into it? Fortunately for Cameron, we have a larger font tucked away in the back somewhere. I hope you had a little chuckle! Don't forget to pray for Carol Ann Karmanov in Sydney and Victor, both of whom are Catechumens.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future - all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:18-23)

July 24, 2021

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4

Romans 10:1-10
Gospel: St. Matthew 8:28-9:1

Saturday, July 24 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, July 25 at 10am - Liturgy

Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, Patron and Protector of this Parish

Galatians 1:11-19
Gospel: St. John 10:1-9

Wednesday, July 28 at 10am - Liturgy

Sunday is not the feast day of Saint Vladimir, that is on Wednesday July 28th but since it is a Wednesday, not many of our faithful will be free to attend the scheduled Liturgy, therefore we will celebrate St. Vladimir this Sunday, July 25th with a great feast, God willing.

Did you miss the Bulletin last week? Did you notice that there was, somewhere along the line, a hiccough (hiccup!) and the Bulletin only went to the few people I send directly to? Never mind, you will find the one that was missing as a separate file this week. Please try to break the habit of ignoring the Bulletins. It takes me a lot of effort to write it, but when I ask people if they have read the Bulletin, most say, NO. Most important - this is the way I am able to communicate with everyone week by week and I think that it is important.

Peter Togni, That's Peter Anthony Togni to the Musical and Arts World, received an award for his composition Sea Dreams. It was entered into the East Coast Music Award - Classical Composition and he won! Congratulations Peter - but we miss you.

That isn't the only news to come from the Togni family, Peter and Patricia's son, Luke has been appointed Research Fellow at the St. Bonaventure's Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University in New York, Congratulations to him.

Wow! Have you noticed the new tent that Mark found? You can't exactly miss it, the outside altar is constructed in it and there is a photo on the right here. It provides a lot more room than the small gazebo we have been using. Besides that you will notice that there is a vent at the top of the roof allowing the hot air to escape. Thank you for finding it Mark.

We are blessed that we now have the two canopies keeping the sun off of us, and the altar tent, plus a gazebo that we can use, as we need it. We also have a large tent that we could put up if we should need it. God seems to be blessing us in many ways. For that we thank Him heartily and further determine that we will protect His Church, His Body.

You may have heard rumours that we are looking for a new home. We did look at a building vacated by the Catholics but it was already sold. It would not have done for us because we don't have enough money to think of buying a church of our own. We are not particularly looking for a new home even though we do not have water, and the Anglicans could theoretically repossess at any time. It's no good. We don't give enough. And that's the truth. If we want the parish, the Church to grow we have to hurt. Lots of Ukrainian and Russian Churches in the west were built on Perogies (Yum! Yum!) I don't think Nova Scotia has that tradition - Yet! I believe they are easy to make and can even be Lenten. I have friends in Perogy Country; I'll ask how to make them with a genuine recipe.

Another request: We need Prosphora makers. No experience is necessary, just willingness to pray and mix water with yeast, salt and flour and combine them in the correct proportions, kneed them for about 15 minutes, let rise, bash down, emboss with the seal, let rise again, bake, and deliver to the church in time for Proskomedia. Colin has supplied a very good website. Note, contrary to popular belief, we don't add sugar to the yeast, but if you put about a half teaspoon of the flour into the warm water, the yeast will be very pleased with the snack, and will multiply. We also don't use oil, at all. The recipe on our website is wrong and I shall ask Alina to remove it.

Thank you to all who do read these bulletins. I may have to send those who don't to be encased in Carbonite, or drop them into the Sarlacc; two very nasty fates, just ask the Star Wars folk.

My love for my people is not infinite, as God's is, but I do come third or perhaps fourth. May God bless all of us.

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

July 17, 2021

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3

Romans 6:18-23
Gospel: St. Matthew 8:5-13

Saturday, July 17 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, July 18 at 10am - Liturgy

Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia
Saturday, July 17 at 10am - Liturgy

I want to point out the notice that Alina sent to the Parish Council regarding the Chemical Toilet that is tucked away in the little room in the basement:

Dear all, I would like to remind everybody that we have to maintain our compostable toilet at least weekly so that it would work and compost waste properly. There is a printed schedule on the wall in the bathroom. If some weeks I'm not there, someone else has to step in and do it. It doesn't take more than a few minutes to spray inside the toilet (weekly), add some microbes (every other week or so) and then pull out and rotate the handle 36 times to mix and air everything. Please make sure to mark the date and your name on the sheet so that we could keep a track of it! Thank you very much!

And spider flowers in the basement need to be watered too if neither me nor Leslee are around. -- Alina

This is so important. We do not have a water supply and this is the only sort of toilet we can have. Please be sure to look after it.

I spoke to the Archbishop on Monday evening at which time he suggested that a drive to us would be something he would look forward to. I would not be surprised if he motored down and be with us sometime during the summer. I assured him that we would look forward to an Archpastoral visit. I'm not sure that we are quite up to a complete Hierarchical Liturgy, but we'd certainly try hard and have a darned good feast afterwards.

Have you noticed how Cameron has stepped up and taken over the reins of the choir? He is being helped by Allison, Matushka Ksenia plus others who sing when and as they are able.

It has been brought to my attention that our church building is situated the wrong way round. Anglican churches are invariably built with the altar to the east, just as Orthodox churches are, look at St. Augustine's and others. There is not much we can do with our building, we can't turn it round without making a great deal of mess, which none of us would want to clear up, but we can turn the outside services around. I've therefor asked that the altar gazebo be placed at the eastern end of the lawn. Let's try that and if it works alright, we'll move the children's equipment to the other end of the garden.

I want to warn, and I include myself as usual. It is a sin to make a judgement about anyone. We may not agree with decisions that those around us make, but not any one of us has the right to judge. Judgement is the right of God alone. There are so many issues assailing us in this 21st Century, issues that are perhaps a little more insidious than were faced in the 20th Century.

(That century had two World Wars and other wars during which in excess of 108 million people were killed with another 50 million worldwide dead of the "Spanish Flu", 500 million people were infected, which was about one third of the world's population, and that number I suspect is the tip of an iceberg.)

Can you believe it? During this 21st Century, we have faced a crisis that could easily have become as rampant as that "Spanish Flu". Miraculously, the science and learning that has been accrued since the twentieth Century has saved many during this present pandemic. Vaccines were developed faster than was thought possible, and we must thank God for all that led up to the saving of people. God always has had to make good out of human wrongdoing.

There are so many insidious problems assailing us during our present century, people I know are having problems with gender assignment. God in His wisdom makes us male and female but for some that seems not to be enough; the possibility exists now, that one born male or female could be medically changed. Within our society, men can marry men, and women can marry women, we can be judged for being vaccinated for Covid or for not being vaccinated.

You and I might call some things sinful, but dare I look at another human being, a child of God, and say, "You have made a wicked choice?" I may hope that a person will find his or her way amongst all that assails, but I dare not judge. It is one of the things that Jesus was very clear about: "In the same way you judge, you will be judged." See The Lord's Prayer, and Saint Matthew 7:1-5. My brothers and sisters, pray that neither you nor I fall into judgement. It will become more and more difficult I'm certain, but judging others is not for us, which again does not mean that we must approve, it means that we may not make a judgement.

I personally have spent far too much time in my life judging others, for which I earnestly ask God to forgive me. The very opposite of judgement is love and the Love of Christ on the Cross is the proof of that. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." (Saint Luke 23:34)

I do not wish to say anything further!

May God Bless every one of us, and may He keep us in His love,
In Christ,
-- Father David

July 11, 2021

Third Sunday after Pentecost

Romans 5:1-10
Gospel: St. Matthew 6:22-33

All New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke, plus All Saints of: St. Petersburg and Ladoga, Novgorod, Pskos, Belorussia, Vologda, Galicia, Poland, Odessa, and Britain and Ireland
Romans 8:28-39
Gospel: St. Luke 21:12-19

Saturday, July 10 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, July 11 at 10am - Liturgy

Sts. Peter and Paul and end of the Apostles' Fast
Monday July 12th at 10am - Liturgy

Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexis, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia
Saturday, July 17 at 10am - Liturgy

We had a very nice celebration for Father Alexander's birthday. He did tell me his age but I forget it. We had pies, Rhubarb pies, instead of cake. So good! Too bad it rained, sort of, but it did not daunt the spirit of our people. I think we could have an after Liturgy coffee time now, especially if we are able to be outside.

I've been asked to include this special announcement from the Monks in New Germany. I hope you will be able to make use of this offer, after all, fresh vegetables are a blessing:

"The Hermitage of the Annunciation will have plenty of fresh vegetables for sale throughout the summer, and delivers to two locations in Halifax every Wednesday and Saturday. Contact the monks (goosechasemonk (at) gmail.com or text 902-644-1388) to be added to a weekly email announcing the vegetables that are harvested and ready to be purchased. (Yum! Yum!)"

Look what I saw just outside the church door. I expect you noticed these beautiful flowers as well. Just see how they adorn the building. In the garden at the back of the church is a bed of garlic. If you look at the various beds, you will see all sorts of things that Yan and Jeff have planted. I think they have help from some of the children.

Yan would like to get the Sunday School started. For us, it is a casual time with the children going downstairs but coming back up in time for the Creed. I leave this in your hands, Yan. Perhaps it is time to restart the children's sermon before they go downstairs.

I do want to thank everyone for the efforts they put in to maintaining and cleaning the church, and to those who are around Sunday by Sunday quietly getting on with the tasks that need to be done. It takes organization and we have folk who are good at organizing and doing things.

We have discovered that the building we were looking at, a round ex Roman Catholic Church, has already been sold, so keep your eyes open for a suitable building that has water and a better electrical supply. Mind you, we will never afford it unless our giving and Tithing practices improve! We have people in the parish who Tithe (that means giving a straight 10% of income to the Church, an ancient practice). There are many verses in the Old and New Testaments that talk about giving and Tithing. I shall look them all up and get someone to do a sermon on Tithing and giving to the Church - it is Our Obligation.

Please remember to pray for each other, and for those whom we know who need our prayers. There are people within the parish who need prayer; please write their names on the sheets provided by the candles, and if Orthodox, mark as Orthodox and they will be included on the plate beside the Lamb as part of the living, if they are not orthodox put the names on a separate sheet marked Non Orthodox (equally important to pray for), so we can pray for them during the Litanies, and please light candles for them all.

David, Heather, and the two girls are going on a little weekend away (a little get away before baby appears). We should be alright in the Altar, as Spyridon/Braidyn is back and I know Josh could help if he's available.

I think that's all for this week,
Please remember to pray hard and frequently.
May God bless you,
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

July 4, 2021

Sunday of All Saints of North America - Second Sunday after Pentecost

Romans 2:10-16
Gospel: St. Matthew 4:18-23

Saturday, July 3 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, July 4 at 10am - Liturgy

Just a reminder that there will be a Liturgy at 10 am on the morning of July 12th, that's the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, also the end of the Apostles' Fast.

What a party for All-Saints and for Nick. The food, and the gathering of our parish was beyond expectation. I think I was not alone in really enjoying the Liturgy and the party afterwards.

When we looked up, there was that great sheet protecting us from the sun. Thanks to Stanislav and Yan for putting that up. I understand that there will be another erected. There are also two large tents to go up as well. This will certainly make it easier for us to keep our distance and to keep the sun and weather off of us, and thank you Yan, for erecting and taking down the gazebo each Sunday. Being outside is far easier now with all of these innovations. Colin is also working on new flooring for the church and the road sign that was destroyed in a heavy wind just at the end of the snow season, thank you Colin for all of your work and thanks to David who is also involved in the choosing of the proposed new flooring tiles. Please remember that these things all take money, so please remember to be extra generous in your donations to the church funds. Here is a reminder how you can direct deposit to the church account.

May God bless all who labour for the good of our parish, and all who contribute money. We could not exist without any of these people. I encourage you to please dig deep into your talents and into you purses, and please contribute what you can.

Father Alexander's birthday falls on July 5th and we wish him Happy Birthday and Many Many years. I am so thankful that he is here with me; he is always ready to step in when necessary and that is such a blessing, Happy Birthday Father.

I received information about a church for sale. Wouldn't it be good to have water and a decent electrical supply. The people next door to our present church allow us to use their water, which is supplied by their well. We can't have a well because of the cemetery. There is a lot that we can't do. If the authorities came to inspect our church, they would very likely close it as unsuitable for occupancy: No water, no toilets, no wheelchair access, and inadequate electrical supply. It is difficult. We are looking to put flooring over the present Nave tiles without removing the tiles as someone mentioned the possibility of asbestos, which as you know is dangerous and should not be disturbed. The building is quite inadequate but it is rent free and we can't ignore that. I'll ask David to briefly talk about the church, which apparently is reduced in price, or can be leased.

Doctor Strang sent a note reminding us that we are now in PHASE 3. I've copied the rules below:

Phase 3 - Faith gatherings that are run by a recognized business or organization

  • 50% of the venue's capacity up to 100 people indoors and up to 150 people outdoors with social distancing. Large venues can be considered for multiple groups with an approved plan
  • Drive in services permitted
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals (including receptions and visitation) - 50% of the venue's capacity up to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors with social distancing when hosted by a business or organization.

May God bless and inspire all of us,

-- Father David

June 27, 2021

Sunday of All Saints - First Sunday after Pentecost

Hebrews 11:33-12:2
Gospel: St. Matthew 10:32-33, 37-38, 19:27-30

Saturday, June 26 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, June 27 at 10am - Liturgy

I want to remind our people that it is not necessary to have been inoculated to attend Vespers or the Liturgy. Father Alexander and I have both been inoculated to protect our people. The Archbishop has stated that inoculation or not is each person's choice. We do not make judgement about the choices others make.

Monday next is the beginning of the Fast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, known as the "Apostles Fast." The actual feast is on Monday July 12th. This fast entails the abstaining from meat, fish, eggs, and dairy except of course when permitted. The strictest days are Wednesdays and Fridays. Again, children, the aged, and those who are taking medications are not permitted to fast, but should make some effort to observe the fasting period, as they are able, and as wisdom dictates.

Mark and Rhoda Blaauw are now residing in Halifax and self-isolating as they have moved from Montreal. May God bless them, and we shall look forward to seeing them soon, as soon as their quarantine has been satisfied that is.

I had a note from Mary Pemberton, the family is at home in Margaree on Cape Bretton and I am asking that we earnestly pray for them. May God bless them as they face really difficult times. Father Alexander and I met and know the family and I ask you to please pray hard for them. You may remember this photo, it was a year or so ago when we went to Pictou where Crystal and Eric had their home. We Baptized, Chrismated, heard confessions, and Anointed, then served a Liturgy.

On the left side of the above photo is Spyridon. As I am writing this, his ship is in Portsmouth England. He sent the picture (below) with the caption "Some proper Portsmouth fish and chips." Very nice but why are the few chips hiding under the fish, which by the way, I can tell is Cod, with eyelashes? Wow! I bet it's NAAFI food!

On Monday, Cameron came and took me to Peggy's Cove. I have had difficulty exploring even the local area, mainly due to Covid, and that I do not like going off on my own to visit these places, I suspect it is a fear of getting lost. We went for lunch at the restaurant there, and both chose Fish and Chips, now you can compare. Of course our fish was Haddock. It was a really enjoyable trip.

Please remember that this Sunday is Nick's last service with us before he goes back to Ontario. (Why he wants to return there, I just don't know.) He has been such a help to us and we shall miss him greatly. He has been the choir since the end of Lent, along with Allison and now Cameron. After this Sunday we shall be depending on Cameron and Allison with Peter when he is able to attend. If there is anyone else who would like to be part of the choir, please just ask. I believe Heather is organizing a feast for Sunday, to let Nick know that we appreciate his work and that we shall miss him greatly. May God bless you Nick. Please keep in touch with us and pray for us, as we will continue to pray for you.

Maria sent me a contact for a film about the Georgian Saint Gabriel whose icon is on the wall in the altar area. It is worth watching this film.

I am very blessed to have served alongside the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, Illia II. (A very holy man.) He gave me a silver wrist bangle; I had the honour to present to him, an icon of St. Silouan the Athonite.

Finally I want to thank you for all the gifts and cards I received for my birthday. Your love is very much cherished and I pray that God will continue to keep me strong to serve Him and you. I didn't know that there were such people. I am blessed to have a church family that stretches from Saint Vladimir Prince of Kiev Church, to Newfoundland, across the west of Canada, down to California and across the Atlantic to the British Isles and even further, and into Georgia.

May God bless each and every one of you, and keep you safe,

-- Father David

June 19, 2021

Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples - Sixth Sunday of Pascha

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11
Gospel: St. John 7:37-52, 8:12

Saturday, June 19 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, June 20 at 10am - Liturgy, Kneeling Prayers will follow the Liturgy

Tuesday, June 22 at 10am - Liturgy

This is the message we received this week from Dr. Strang, the chief medical officer, and the Government of Nova Scotia:

Faith gatherings hosted by a business or organization - 25% of the venue's capacity up to 50 people indoors or 75 people outdoors with social distancing.

25% of about 20 is not very many for us! Therefore we will now keep the doors of the church unlocked during services, until the next wave of Covid restricts us. Serving Liturgies outside with our new "Gazebo", we shall be able to have many more people for Liturgy. Masks, distancing and signing in are still necessary. If the weather is wet, I suggest umbrellas or waterproof apparel. I think you won't want to be as wet as Father David was after he fell into the ocean at the baptism last Saturday (see the photo below, it was really fun, I enjoyed it).

Remember that there are still candle inside the church and there are still intercession forms for inclusion on the Plate.

Will you miss it? I'm not the tiniest bit Druidical, but Monday is the longest day of the year (I'd love to see the sunrise at Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice though), which means that by the time we serve the Liturgy on Tuesday morning, the day will be very slightly shorter, and soon the evenings will be drawing in and we'll be thinking about Christmas again. Stop! Let's enjoy the sun while we can-it's summer on Monday.

Next Sunday June 27th will be Nick's last Sunday, before he returns to Ontario. God willing we can have a decent send off for him. Let us hope that the weather is conducive to a decent get together for his send-off. Hopefully the Liturgy will be outside and we can have coffee and a light meal as we used to have downstairs before the Covid struck. I know that if Josh was able to be there, he would probably bring something with lamb, and Crystal would bring something without gluten, Father David would make something English, or bread. Let us see what happens, we are just not used to church feasts now.

May God bless all of you.
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

June 11, 2021

Sunday of the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, Tone 6

Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36
Gospel: St. John 17:1-13

The First Ecumenical Council was called by the Emperor Constantine and was held in Nicaea (present day Iznik in Turkey) in 325. It was called to deal with the problem of Arius and Arianism, a belief that stated that Christ was not divine, but a created being. Arius was condemned. The phrase "of one substance (essence)" was added to the Nicene Creed to emphasize the Son's complete equality with the Father. Think of that when we recite in the Creed: ". . . of one essence with the Father . . ." That phrase was fought for, perhaps by words alone, but perhaps not. Most of the Nicene Creed was written after lots of discussion and arguing to ensure that we keep the Faith intact and protected from wrong teachings. In the Orthodox Churches we maintain the original creed refusing the Western Church's addition of "and the Son" when we recite "Who proceeds from the Father" referring of course to the Holy Spirit.

If this council had managed to set a date for Easter (Pascha), just think how different our calendar would be today. It did try to set a date but failed, leaving us dependent upon the first full moon after the vernal equinox, since Pascha is the first Sunday after that event. We Orthodox calculate the vernal equinox by the Julian Calendar which as we know, adds thirteen days on to the Gregorian Calendar dates. We have another stipulation; Pascha must fall after the Jewish Passover. Now we can calculate the dates of Pascha ourselves.

Wednesday was the Apodosis (the final day of a feast) of Pascha. On this day the Plashchanitsa is removed from the Altar and the Corpus of Christ is returned to the large Cross in front of the Iconostas. I mention all of this because due to the Covid 19 restrictions, we are not permitted to have people in the Church and I don't want you to miss it all.

We have celebrated the Ascension of the Lord and we now look forward to Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon those gathered in the Upper Room. We shall celebrate this feast on June 20th on our civil, Gregorian Calendar. (Remember it is the same Holy Spirit that came upon us when we were Chrismated.) I hope by then we shall be able to celebrate all together - outside. We need a feast and a party - outside - hopefully. We now have a means of protecting the Altar when we serve outside, a gazebo, which is really a sort of tent. Now we have to work out a way of providing shelter for people so that the sun will not strike them by day (see Psalm 121 about lifting eyes to the hills).

Crystal sent this picture of Elijah and Evangeline with Eric in the background, a lovely picture. I think the family is enjoying Winnipeg. I hope the mosquitoes are not enjoying them. I remember that while I was teaching in Winnipeg, there was a humorous move to make the mosquito the official bird of Manitoba. They certainly liked my blood!

I'm sorry that Nick is moving back to his home in Ontario. We shall certainly miss him and all his work in the choir. More about this later.

These are the Icons drawn by various children (and one 16 year old adult!). They look pretty good to me and I hope they were fun to draw.

This coming Sunday, we will attempt to serve the Liturgy outside, testing our new Gazebo, which will contain the altar. The outside Liturgy can have only 10 people so please do not rush, but if you would like to attend, contact me and I will keep track of numbers, besides that there will be "back door" Communions as usual these days; please let me know if you would like to come, and I will give you a time. Please note that we stop the Liturgy at Communion time and wait for each group to arrive. If you can't come, please phone and cancel so we are not waiting for you.

The following is a message received this week from Archbishop Irénée. It is addressed to the Faithful as well as to Clergy and Monastics, so I include it here:

"To all Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada (OCA) CHRIST IS RISEN I take this opportunity to greet all of you on the leave-taking of Christ's glorious resurrection. The Feasts of our Saviour, His Ascension and the Feast of the Most Blessed Trinity and Pentecost this year come as we are nearing the end of the special regulations result of the COVID pandemic. The relaxing of certain measures is not the same, subject to each provincial jurisdiction. I request each Deanery to work together, clergy and Dean, in understanding the sanitary rules laid out in each case and to adapt to these regulations, trying to serve our flock to the upmost of our possibilities, while staying within the limits of the law. As for the extraordinary permission to use multiple spoons, we must seriously prepare our faithful for the cessation of this measure. In Quйbec, where there are no red or orange zones, I will inform our Quebec clergy to stop using multiple spoons. I encourage our Deans to evaluate the situation and implement this. The spoons used should, in no way, return to other use. They should be removed and set aside and eventually be disposed of reverently. I wish to note that in the parishes where one spoon was used throughout the pandemic, here in Canada and in our churches in the USA, there was no transmission of the virus in this manner, glory to God.

I continue to hold you all in my heart and look forward to being able to pray with you in person soon. I thank you for your prayers and wish you all the blessings on the Feast of our Saviour's glorious Ascension."

In Christ, +AB Irénée Archevкque d'Ottawa et du Canada (ЙOA) Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada (OCA)

Indeed, may God bless and protect us all,
-- Father David

June 10, 2021

Sixth Sunday of Pascha, Tone 5, Sunday of the Blind Man

Acts of the Apostles 16:16-34
Gospel: St. John 9:1-38

Thursday June 10th: The Ascension of the Lord

Acts of the Apostles 1:1-12
Gospel: St. Luke 24:36-53

Remember about the Ascension pictures that the children are drawing.

We are now permitted 10 people besides the priests at outdoor liturgies. There is, in the church, a tent style gazebo, eventually we'll get to erect it to make sure it is satisfactory as a cover and protection for the altar. We'll then need cover to keep the sun off of us when we serve the Liturgy outside again - soon. Any suggestions? Of course we can always use hats and umbrellas.

Let me ask again for people to come to the back door for Communion. There are several slots open for this Sunday. Please email or phone me to make the appointment, 11.50, 12 Noon and 12.10 are available.

If you need the instructions for depositing monies to the parish account, please check last week's bulletin. The same place to find the contact for ordering the two sorts of Ukrainian eggs from Alina, and for the Covid prayers.

The Icon below is a Georgian Icon of the Ascension. By far the most interesting picture of the Ascension I have come across was a window in a church near Leicester Cathedral in England, it showed the Apostle looking up at a pair of legs disappearing into heaven.

May God bless us all and protect us,
-- Father David

May 30, 2021

Fifth Sunday of Pascha, Tone 4, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Acts of the Apostles 11:19-26, 29-30
Gospel: St. John 4:5-42

The last couple of Sundays, there have been families coming to the back door of the church to receive Communion. This has been an experiment to see if it can work and indeed it can. We are not allowed to gather as a community but individually and with care we can come to receive Communion. The slots are: 11.30, 11:40, 11:50, noon, and 12:10. The requirements are that you be on time, and that you leave immediately afterwards, to make way for the next family. That way there is nobody waiting, and no more than one car in the parking area. Please contact me if you wish to come for Communion; my email address is: archimandrite.david.edwards@gmail.com. God willing, we shall be able to meet together as a complete parish soon.

I'm writing this on Victoria Day, Her Majesty's Official Birthday. I have seen the Queen several times and now our Spyridon has seen her. Apparently she was signing something on HMS Queen Elizabeth, the British aircraft carrier in Portsmouth Harbour, and that's where he saw her. You can tell where the Queen is, her Standard is always on display.

Challenge for children: Now here is a challenge for the children of the parish: Thursday June 10th is the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. I challenge each child to draw and colour an Icon for the Feast of the Ascension. They could be sent to me via email. Remember that icons tell us who they are portraying, for example Jesus has IC XC, usually somewhere close to his head. Holy people are drawn with a Halo (like light) around their head. People who paint (or "write" icons) are called Iconographers, and because they are drawing very holy subjects, they do it very carefully. The account of the Ascension, when Jesus was taken bodily into Heaven can be found at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles - 1:9-11. Say a little prayer before you start, because real icons are written through prayer.

May God bless us all.
He is Risen!
Love in Christ,
-- Father David

PS: Remember to pray for everyone, all the parish.

May 23, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Pascha, Tone 3, Sunday of the Paralytic

Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42
Gospel: St. John 5:1-15

During this week I have heard from Mark Blaauw, who is in Montreal, which is still suffering a curfew and limits on services. Mark's family is well and increasing by leaps and bounds. I have asked him to send pictures which I am sure he will do. We shall look forward to those photos.

I remember Archbishop Irénée telling me that he had to serve Pascha in the morning because of the curfew. I don't remember how many attendees he was permitted probably about the same as us. But then we served on Saturday night lit with only candles just in case someone became suspicious.

When is this Lock-down going to end, I ask. I have 11 people in Goshen desperate to be baptized and I'm even more desperate to get them baptized and Orthodox. I think when we get the OK to move around again, I'll get a pair of waders and Father Alexander and I will go there and get it done in their local lake Brrrr! Please pray for them.

I also heard from Spyridon who is travelling with the RCN. First he was in Derry Ireland and now in Portsmouth. That city being the next city from Southampton, my birth place. During "The War" Southampton and Portsmouth people used to watch each other being bombed. I'm sure this picture was taken from HMCS Summerside and not of it:

I know that the crew are not permitted to land, which is a shame but understandable under the circumstances. Nice ship anyway. I wonder what the Summerside looks like? No sooner were the words out of my computer keyboard than there she is, HMCS Summerside (below). The Internet is good for something after all. Spyridon says that they are just beside the Royal Navy Flagship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, an Aircraft Carrier, and big. Never mind, the ship on the right is the one Spyridon is on.

Please remember to pray for all the people of the parish, including those who are unable to get out and I'm thinking of Thйrиse and perhaps there are others you know. Please let me know so I can include their name in the next bulletin. We must also pray for the Pemberton family reorganizing their farm.

Alina has Ukrainian Easter eggs for sale, she said: "I've got a parcel of real eggs, they are beautiful! They are $15 each, with $3 to be donated to the church for every egg purchased. I also have other Ukrainian Easter eggs (not real ones) at $5 each, just as beautiful. If anyone is interested in specific patterns or colours, I can set them aside and then meet them once the current lockdown restrictions are over. My contact phone is 902-830-7803." Orders also can be placed through Fr. David if necessary.

May God bless every one of you. I miss you, and I miss the sound of the children playing, please remember and pray for each other: ". . . A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (Gospel of Saint John 13:34-35 ESV)

Christ is Risen!
-- Father David

Let's remember who we are and pray for each other!

May 15, 2021

Third Sunday of Pascha, Tone 2, Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women: Mary Magdalen; Mary the wife of Clopas; Joanna; Salome (the mother of the sons of Zebadee); Suzanna; Mary and Martha (the sisters of Lazarus); and Mary (Mother of the Apostle James). Also of St. Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus.

Acts 6:1-7
Gospel: St. Mark 15:43-16:8

Who then were the "Myrrh-bearing Women"? Their names are listed above and they are celebrated along with St. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They were the women who ministered to Jesus during his life. Some carried spices to anoint the body of Jesus and were the first to see the opened tomb. The OCA website (oca.org) amongst others, has an explanation which is worth reading. We can't be in church so please take a moment to read this, and then look at the following site which has a really nice video explaining who the Myrrh-bearing Women were. It is clear and interesting.

Troparion (Tone 2) - The Noble Joseph, When he had taken down Your most pure Body from the tree, Wrapped it in fine linen and anointed it with spices, And placed it in a new tomb. But You did rise on the third day, O Lord, Granting the world great mercy.

Troparion (Tone 2) - The angel came to the myrrhbearing women at the tomb and said: Myrrh is meet for the dead; But Christ has shown Himself a stranger to corruption! So proclaim: the Lord is risen, Granting the world great mercy!

Kontakion (Tone 2) - You did command the myrrh-bearers to rejoice, O Christ! By Your Resurrection, You did stop the lamentation of Eve, O God! You did command Your apostles to preach: The Savior is Risen!

If you have been following the daily reading from the calendar, you would have come across one of the most well-known passages from Saint John's Gospel this week - Saint John 3:16 and following:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (ESV)

The actual words of Saint John could not be clearer. We have just experienced the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. Most of us had to celebrate at home, but that does not make the feast any less important or real. We suffered through the trial and crucifixion and on the eve of Pascha we proclaimed that Christ is Risen, "conquering death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." Every Sunday is a remembrance of the glorious Resurrection. At home we can still read the assigned scripture readings and celebrate as we gather together for meals, remembering to thank God for the food and drink we enjoy and that nourishes us. It was while being assaulted by the tempter in the wilderness that Jesus said (and we must remember): "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."" (Saint Matthew 4:4 ESV) So let us then give thanks for all things that God has given us, including His Son.

I have heard from Mary Pemberton that the family is back on their farm in Margaree, so they are back in Nova Scotia. She reports that Will's energy is up and down. We must keep them and especially Will in our prayers.

May God bless us all as we continue to battle the Covid Virus. Remember that each and every one of you is missed. I continue to serve, but just with Subdeacon David - we have both been inoculated. Father Alexander will be inoculated at the end of this month (God willing!) so will join us at the beginning of June. I look forward to him serving.

Alina has Ukrainian wooden eggs for sale she said, "I just got a new parcel of wooden eggs in any colour one can imagine. Please let me know if you need some. They are $5 each, and I'll be donating $1 for each egg sold through the church contacts." She is also expecting a shipment of real eggs. I'll let you know the details when they arrive.

Love in the Risen Christ,
-- Father David

May 8, 2021

Second Sunday of Pascha - Thomas Sunday

Acts 5:12-20
Gospel: St. John 20:19-31

Can you believe that eggs and cheese and butter and meat could taste so good; as though they had just been invented? Enjoy! There is a while before we are encouraged to fast again; we must always keep Wednesdays and Fridays in mind though.

I do want you to know that during Holy Week, the services of the Church were not ignored. Father Alexander and I served most of the proscribed services and were seldom alone. Palm Sunday Liturgy was about to begin when there was a tap on the back door and Nick was there. He said that he suspected that we would be serving Liturgy, and he was right. He came in and was choir along with Father Alexander. Nick came to sing for us at every opportunity, when he was not working that is. We did not ignore processions, even though they had to be indoors. We served the Thursday morning Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil; the Commemoration of the Mystical Supper. We served the Matins and read the twelve Passion Gospels of Holy Friday on Thursday evening, then the Vespers of Great and Holy Friday when the Body of Christ is removed from the Cross. Friday evening we served the Matins of Holy Saturday which is the service that contains the Lamentations and the procession of the Body of Christ around the church. We had to keep it inside the church, but we did do the procession and sang "Holy God" the Trisagion. Saturday night the three part service of the Midnight Office, the Matins and the Great Paschal Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom began at 10.30pm. Again the procession was within the church and the lights were off (we served by candlelight.) But it was glorious, there were four of us (five was the number Dr. Strang told Father Maximos we could have) and the brightness was in our hearts. Following the Liturgy we blessed baskets and feasted for a short time before going home. Spyridon was there and was blessed for his sailing to the Baltic with the Navy; he will be away for a while and will certainly be missed. All in all it has been a good and inspiring week, if long and tiring. Personally, I feel I need a vacation and a change of scene but I'm not alone in feeling that, and God will provide.

I wonder if you can name these people? I received these photos plus a couple more from Crystal and Eric who are now living in Winnipeg, as you know.

It was really good to get a telephone call from Crystal this past week, letting us know that they are all well and that Eric is enjoying his work there.

The weather is good but the restrictions still hold, and are a pain. Please remember that the church does not survive on prayer alone. Action is one of the necessities and the action of giving to the parish is very necessary. It is easy for us to believe that money just appears when the oil and electricity bills come in. Please consider using the formula here for transferring money directly to the church account.

I want to thank Father Alexander, Nick, Subdeacon David and Spyridon for supporting the services during Holy Week and Pascha; without them it just could not have happened. Let us pray that we will soon be back to having public services.

Love in Christ,
Christ is Risen, Kristos Boskrese,
-- Father David

May 1, 2021

Glorious and Holy


No Fasting Allowed

Christ is Risen! Reply: Truly He is Risen!

Christos Voskrese! Reply: Voistinu Voskrese!

Le Christ est Resucité! Reply: Vraiment est Resucité!

Christos Anesti! Reply: Alithos Anesti!

Al-Maseeh Qam! Reply: Haqqan Qam!

The Catechetical Homily of St. John Chrysostom

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; He gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one He gives, and upon the other He bestows gifts. And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior's death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

But you are going to have to celebrate at home. At the night service on Saturday, we would be shouting "Christ is Risen - Christos Voskrese - Le Christ est Resucité! - Kristos Anesti - Al-Maseeh Qam!". We can still do that, or do it early on Sunday morning. The reading for Pascha Liturgy are: Lesson in place of Epistle Acts 1:1-8 and Gospel Saint John 1:1-17. Get together around your feasting table and proclaim that Christ is Risen and thank God for the feast and His seeing you and the family safely through the fasting time. Christ died and rose for us, so let us thank Him. Remember, Father David and Father Alexander both miss every one of you and greet you Christ is Risen!

My goodness! What havoc 24 hours can bring upon a group of people. There we were enjoying a beautiful liturgy and expecting a joyful Pascha with baptisms then Boom! the government comes wham and closes us all down. The baptismal candidates are disappointed, the altar servers are disappointed, Father Alexander is disappointed, Father David is disappointed plus there is no choir so they are disappointed. Everyone is disappointed. But the feast must go on, you'll have to celebrate at home. You've become used to this - last year, and now this year again. You've fasted-now feast; eggs, cheese, cream, chocolate, fish and meat, just don't get sick if you have been truly fasting.

Here's a question: Should we ignore and disobey the government? A good question and the answer would be "Yes" if we want Covid to continue to spread. If however we look at what St. Paul says in his letter to the Christians in Rome:

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God , and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those that resist will incur judgement. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad." (Romans 13:1ff)

I don't want the spread of Covid to increase. I don't want any of my parish to come down with it; it can be deadly I understand, and my people are very special to me. The Baptisms are a priority so we will accomplish them when we can. I shall decide when that will be; please resist the temptation of telling me when it will or should be, that just causes a lot of confusion and confusion is not welcome at this time, or any time. Pray instead, we all have to be patient.

Love in the Risen Christ,
Father David

Indeed He is Risen!

April 24, 2021

This is Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday, Tone 5

Epistle: Philippians 4:4-9
Gospel: St. John 12:1-18

Lent Ends and Holy Week Begins


As ordered by the Government of Nova Scotia

Watch for further notices and information and PRAY

You will have to observe Holy Week and Pascha at home

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon thy people gathered in thy name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the corona virus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve thee in peace and glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Боже Вседержителю, Господи небесе и земли, всея твари, видимыя же и невидимыя, по неизреченной благости Твоея призри на люди Твоя, к Тебе притекающия. Буди нам Помощник и Защититель в сей день скорби. Веси бо немощи наша, слышиши глас покаяния и умиления сердечнаго. Господи Человеколюбче, избави нас от напасти коронавируса на ны движимыя. Ниспосли ангела Твоего призирати на ны и избавити ны. Страждущим от болезни здравие и исцеление подаждь. Руки врачующих направи. Здравых в здравии сохрани, да в мире поработают Ти и да прославят пресвятое и великополепое имя Твое, Отца и Сына и Святаго Духа, ныне и присно, и во веки веков, аминь.

Love In Christ,

-- Father David

April 17, 2021

This is Fifth Sunday of Lent, Tone 4, St. Mary of Egypt

Saturday, April 17 at 6:00pm - Vespers
Sunday, April 18 at 10am - Liturgy
Wednesday, April 21 at 6:30pm Presanctified Liturgy
Saturday, April 24 at 10am Liturgy - Lazarus Saturday
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the week following - Holy Week
There will be numbers of services. They are listed below.

Epistle: Hebrews 9:11-14
Gospel: St. Mark 10:32-45

Please remember the "Monks' Basket" deal and order your weekly delivery of vegetables.

The question is always, "What services should you attend during Holy Week and Pascha?" I can tell you that it is really important that you attend and receive Communion during the Easter Season. You have my telephone number and that of Father Alexander; Confession and absolution can be served over the telephone, by appointment, or when one of the priests is available during a service. Try not to wait until the last moment, there are just more than two weeks until the Great Feast of Feasts - Pascha.

You can plan your Holy Week attendances - there will be:

Bridegroom Matins Sunday 25th April, at 6:30pm.

Great Thursday morning at 10am Liturgy - this is the Celebration commemorating the Last Supper (St. Matthew 26, St. Mark 14 and St. Luke 22, look it up).

The Twelve Passion Gospels are read at Holy Friday Matins at 6:30pm Thursday evening.

Great Vespers of Great and Holy Friday at 11.00am on Friday is the service during which the Body of Christ is removed from the Holy Cross.

Matins of Great and Holy Saturday at 6:30pm on Friday. (This is the service that contains the Lamentations and the Procession of the Body of Christ around the outside of the church - you won't want to miss this!).

Baptisms at 8.00am Holy Saturday.

Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Saturday 10.00am followed by the blessing of Baskets and First Communion of the newly baptized. Dried fruit, nuts and wine to follow.


Celebrations will start with Midnight Office and Matins at 10.30pm Saturday. This is the service when we go around, and re-enter the church which is by then blazing with light and the radiance of Christ's Resurrection; at the end of this service, the blessing of Baskets that have not already been blessed.

Agape Vespers of Holy and Glorious Pascha 3:00pm Sunday.

Bright Monday May 3rd 10.00am Liturgy with blessing of Baskets that have not already been blessed.

May it Please God!

Love, strength, and perseverance; nearly there!
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

April 10, 2021

This is Fourth Sunday of Lent, Tone 3, St. John of the Ladder

Saturday, April 10 at 10:00am - Liturgy (for the Departed)
6pm - Vespers
Sunday, April 11 at 10am - Liturgy
Wednesday, April 14 at 6:30pm - Matins and Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Epistle: Hebrews 6:13-20
Gospel: St. Mark 9:17-31

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Two of the young men known to us in our parish, namely Spyridon, the coordinator of men's activities and Augustine, a member of St. George parish and frequent altar server at our Saturday Vesper, worked again at the Salvation Army kitchen doing things like peeling potatoes and carrots and generally helping. The third person is the chef at the Salvation Army kitchen, where they serve nourishing meals.

I enjoyed my Fish and Chips on Wednesday - delicious. The next fish day is Palm Sunday, Fish and Chips again? Perhaps Salmon with Dill and home-made chips?

There was a nice group of people for Tuesday evening Vespers; the Wednesday Morning Vesperal Liturgy for the Annunciation of the Lady Theotokos was well attended and the choir sang beautifully on both occasions.

Courage during this latter half of the Lenten Fast, don't give up now, we are almost there. I was explaining to the Catechumens about the baskets that we prepare for blessing after the Paschal Liturgies. We decorate the baskets which contain the things we don't normally eat during the Fast, things like hard boiled eggs, cheese, ham, Paska (bread made with eggs, raisins and the like, covered in icing), and garlic and horseradish (bitter herbs representing the bitter herbs of the Passover), all delicious things. You don't have to be Orthodox to have baskets blessed, it's to do with the ending of the fast, even if you haven't manages to fast - (St. John Chrysostom explains that in his Paschal Homily) - giving glory to God for all things, including what we eat. Here you will find an explanation of the Basket and its origins and a recipe for the Paska bread. If you search Google for easter cheese paska recipe you will find a number of sites that offer recipes for the wonderful cheese type of Paska, my favorite - so delicious and worth exploring. (It seems that Cottage Cheese with the moisture pressed out can be used for Farmers' Cheese.) But look it up, there are lots of recipes. I'm giving lots of notice about these things, for those who are Catechumens and others who may not be so used to Orthodox customs.

Let us pray for Her Majesty the Queen at the loss of her husband Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, and all the Royal Family at the loss of their father. May God bless them as He blesses all of us.

"Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.

The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but the fool is reckless and careless.

A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated."

Proverbs 14:13, 15-17

Love, strength, and perseverance
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

April 4, 2021

This is Third Sunday of Lent, Tone 2, Veneration of the Precious Cross

Saturday, April 3 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, April 4 at 10am - Liturgy

Wednesday April 7th Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos
Remember, it's the Patronal Festival of the Monastery
Tuesday evening, April 6 at 6:30pm - Vespers
Wednesday Morning, April 7 at 10am - Liturgy
At out church!

On this feast day we can eat Fish, so Fish and Chips are in order (yeh!)

Epistle: Hebrews 4:14-5:6
Gospel: St. Mark 8:34-9:1

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

This week I have asked that two files be added to the Bulletin, one is the Newsletter from the Monks of the Holy Annunciation Monastery and the other, information about their "The Monk's Basket" programme where they will provide vegetables, grown in their garden, to families each week for a small fee. Please read both of these files as they will certainly be of interest and to your benefit.

Again I can't be certain about weekday services so I shall announce them at Saturday Vespers and Sunday Liturgy. Please pass on the information to those who are absent - I don't want anyone to miss any of these very important and beautiful services as we enter April and wend our way towards Glorious Pascha.

This Sunday is Easter for the Western Church and we wish them love and Joy in their celebrations, and that God may bless them. In the event that you are part of a mixed family, please do not spoil the celebrations, but if you are asked, join with them; God is the Lord and should always be glorified.

I want to make sure you know about the usual rules for Confession. It is quite normal for Orthodox Christians to receive Communion every Sunday - Yes! Every Sunday! The usual practice is to go to Confession once a month, unless of course there is something major that needs to be confessed to God. Fasting before Communion is usual, unless you have a medical condition in which case you must have a little something to eat, and this does not preclude you from Communion. Communion every Sunday; Confession once a month. Children should start coming to confession when they have learned the difference between what is right and what is wrong. That consciousness comes at different ages for children, so parents must be aware - as I'm completely sure they are - and suggest to the child and the priest, when the time is right.

Love, strength, and perseverance
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

March 27, 2021

This is Second Sunday of Lent, Tone 1, Saint Gregory Palamas

Saturday, March 27 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 28 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: Hebrews 1:10-2:3
Gospel: St. Mark 2:1-12
For Saint Gregory Palamas
Epistle: Hebrews 7:26-8:2
Gospel: St. John 10:9-16

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

I am hoping to meet with as many Catechumens and recently baptized as possible on Thursday Evening April 1st at 7pm in the church. Please come loaded with questions to which I will try to find an answer or at least an explanation. This will be the final meeting before the mass baptism. That doesn't mean that you can't ask questions after the various church services. This session might also include any Orthodox parishioner who has questions about the Faith; not one of us is too old or has been Orthodox too long to have questions about the Church and the Faith. I shall ask Father Alexander if he would like to be part of this session.

The wonderful Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, a really Great Prayer was served a week ago Wednesday. Rather than serving it in four sections with Compline, we served it in its entirety, in one go. Long but the words are so inspiring.

We were to have a Presanctified Liturgy this past Wednesday evening but unfortunate circumstances arose making it impossible. Sorry about that.

We had a lovely procession around the church with the Icons. We were celebrating the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy when Icons were returned and the Iconoclasts defeated. Even the children carried Icons proudly around. It was good to see. There was still some snow around but we managed to overcome that. I'm sure there were some damp shoes and feet but it was all worth it and the children enjoyed the trek and the swings afterwards.

Too bad there were no snacks! See how hungry our people look, after all it's Lent.

Sorry there are no photos of the Men's group peeling Carrots and Potatoes, or eating fish and chips at the Salvation Army Kitchen where they were helping out. Perhaps next time.

Because of the difficulty arranging services this Lenten Season and not being sure of choir resources, I am announcing midweek services on Saturday at Vespers and Sunday at Liturgy. Please pass information on to others as it is published.

Thank you Alina for the pictures of the procession, the wooden eggs, the masks, the calendars and lots more. We are blessed with folk who do things. Thanks also to Seamus for vacuuming the nave, David for getting the vacuum fixed, and many others.

We are going to tile the floor of the nave. It is really unsightly and dangerous. We will put tiles over the top just in case there is asbestos underneath, and we do not want to disturb that. You will likely be asked to donate time to doing the tiling. The cracked basement needs fixing too.

Love, strength, and perseverance
Love In Christ,

-- Father David

March 14, 2021

This is the 40th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Expulsion of Adam from Paradise, Cheesefare, Forgiveness Sunday

Saturday, March 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 14 at 10am - Liturgy
Vespers of Forgiveness will follow directly after Liturgy

Epistle: Romans 13:11-14:4
Gospel: St. Matthew 6:14-21

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

The Sunday of Cheesefare is the last day for those of us who will be fasting, to consume dairy and egg products. We must not deprive the sick, infirm or children from their usual nutritious diet. This week is called Clean Week when we eat no food at all. The first week of Lent, which begins on Monday following Cheesefare, is a strict fast so getting us prepared for the continuing of Great Lent. After a week of no food, even a small snack will seem like a great feast, very filling. Do what you can, but don't be silly, you probably do not live in a monastery. Butter and cheese can be frozen.

Peter Togni's album Sea Dreams has been nominated for a JUNO award in the East Coast Music Awards for best classical composition. Congratulations Peter.

The men's group met at my apartment and has been reconstituted with rules set down, and their objectives in place. They will be looking to collect and donate any clothing that has become too large or too small; they will be looking to help serve meals to the less fortunate. To this end they have contacted the Salvation Army and others and are intending to help as they can. Any man who would like to join in with these endeavors, please contact Spyridon. This is not just a young men's group but for all the men of the three Orthodox churches. One must however, be a voting member of an Orthodox parish to participate.

I remind you that St. Antonios Church is much more able to hold midweek services than we are at the moment; Father Maximos' wife is his ever present choir so you might like to visit St. Antonios for the midweek services. I've posted his schedule in the church. Father Panagiotis has services also. When I receive his schedule, I'll post it in the church as well.

Our services this Lent are going to be severely limited. I can't ask Vladimir Ryan to do more than he already does, he works fulltime from home and looks after Ivan as well. Father Alexander is also working full time and is unavailable during the week. These are the two sources for choir responses at the moment, and as you know there must be someone to reply to prayers, a priest cannot serve without a choir of some sort.

Next Sunday we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the restoration of Icons. We shall celebrate by having a procession at least inside the church but hopefully outside as well. Bring an icon to carry in the procession. If the weather is good enough, we shall proclaim the Gospel outside on the steps, just as we re-enter the church. Bring warm toques, mittens and scarves. Thank goodness our masks keep our faces warm.

Love, strength, and perseverance In Christ,

-- Father David

March 14, 2021

This is the 40th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Expulsion of Adam from Paradise, Cheesefare, Forgiveness Sunday

Saturday, March 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 14 at 10am - Liturgy
Vespers of Forgiveness will follow directly after Liturgy

Epistle: Romans 13:11-14:4
Gospel: St. Matthew 6:14-21

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

The Sunday of Cheesefare is the last day for those of us who will be fasting, to consume dairy and egg products. We must not deprive the sick, infirm or children from their usual nutritious diet. This week is called Clean Week when we eat no food at all. The first week of Lent, which begins on Monday following Cheesefare, is a strict fast so getting us prepared for the continuing of Great Lent. After a week of no food, even a small snack will seem like a great feast, very filling. Do what you can, but don't be silly, you probably do not live in a monastery. Butter and cheese can be frozen.

Peter Togni's album Sea Dreams has been nominated for a JUNO award in the East Coast Music Awards for best classical composition. Congratulations Peter.

The men's group met at my apartment and has been reconstituted with rules set down, and their objectives in place. They will be looking to collect and donate any clothing that has become too large or too small; they will be looking to help serve meals to the less fortunate. To this end they have contacted the Salvation Army and others and are intending to help as they can. Any man who would like to join in with these endeavors, please contact Spyridon. This is not just a young men's group but for all the men of the three Orthodox churches. One must however, be a voting member of an Orthodox parish to participate.

I remind you that St. Antonios Church is much more able to hold midweek services than we are at the moment; Father Maximos' wife is his ever present choir so you might like to visit St. Antonios for the midweek services. I've posted his schedule in the church. Father Panagiotis has services also. When I receive his schedule, I'll post it in the church as well.

Our services this Lent are going to be severely limited. I can't ask Vladimir Ryan to do more than he already does, he works fulltime from home and looks after Ivan as well. Father Alexander is also working full time and is unavailable during the week. These are the two sources for choir responses at the moment, and as you know there must be someone to reply to prayers, a priest cannot serve without a choir of some sort.

Next Sunday we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the restoration of Icons. We shall celebrate by having a procession at least inside the church but hopefully outside as well. Bring an icon to carry in the procession. If the weather is good enough, we shall proclaim the Gospel outside on the steps, just as we re-enter the church. Bring warm toques, mittens and scarves. Thank goodness our masks keep our faces warm.

Love, strength, and perseverance In Christ,

-- Father David

March 5, 2021

This is the 39th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6, Sunday of the Dread Judgement, "Meatfare"

Saturday, March 6 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, March 7 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2
Gospel: St. Matthew 25:31-46

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Just is a reminder that this is the last Sunday of "Standard Time" for a while. Next Saturday night (Cheesefare, but after Vespers) we switch to "Daylight Saving time" which means that being spring we shall jump forward. You won't want to come to church because it will feel as though it is an hour earlier. Don't give in to that feeling - come anyway!

I've been looking in to Lenten recipes. It is amazing how many resources there are on the Internet. Search orthodox fasting recipes and see what turns up for example: thegreekvegan.com, thespruceeats.com - greeklent, greekboston.com, orthodoxmom.com. I'm sure you will find more. My quick search found lots of seemingly good recipes that will make our lives much easier, more pleasant and much less worrisome.

I was asked, "Why do we give up wine and oil for lent?" I suggest you read psalm 103/104, the psalm we read at Vespers, it starts "Bless the Lord O my soul." There, you will find what oil and wine were created for, thus why we give them up for lent.

Please remember that next Sunday is not only Cheesefare, but also Forgiveness Sunday. We shall have Vespers directly following Liturgy after which we have the forgiveness ceremony. You won't want to miss that - it is a beautiful Orthodox ceremony. Come, and let us beg each other to forgive, and God to forgive us all.

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

February 28, 2021

This is the 38th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5, Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Saturday, February 27 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 28 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Gospel: St. Luke 15:11-32

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Don't be frightened by the word "Xerophagy" which is the word describing the fasting we do on Wednesdays and Fridays and all of the days in Great Lent, except for certain feast days. It means "Dry Eating". I'll share a download from the Internet with you: On weekdays (Monday thru Friday), beginning with Clean Monday, a strict fast is observed without wine and oil. Furthermore on Wednesdays and Fridays, according to one's strength, unprocessed foods are consumed, (such as fruit and nuts). This is called Xerophagy or "dry-eating". The first week of the Great Fast, Clean Week is kept as strictly as possible. On Saturdays and Sundays, the partaking of wine and oil is allowed. On the Feast Day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos (25th of March) fish is allowed. The week after Palm Sunday, Holy Week is kept as strictly as possible. Holy Friday especially, if possible, is kept with total abstinence from food until after the Divine Liturgy on Holy Saturday when bread and wine are blessed for consumption in the church. As the Lord said to the Pharisees: "The days will come when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast" (Matt. 9:15) (Lenten Triodion in English pp. 611, 660). During all these days, an effort should be made to eat once a day in the evening, if possible. This is the ancient practice of the Holy fathers, if and when they ate at all during Great Lent or Holy Week.

I'll also point out an important condition in this statement "according to one's strength". People who are on medications and children may not fast. Remember, fasting is for us to come closer to God, it is not a torture. We observe what we are able and thank God for what we can achieve.

I was contacted by a Romanian priest in Scotland, Father Christopher. He asked to use a sermon from our website. We have continued to correspond from time to time and discovered many things we have in common, for example, his being at Durham University, as I was; his being a teacher as I was. I asked him to send photographs of him and his people, and he did. I thought I would share them with you so you could pray for this small community.

From Father Christopher's note: "We had Saint Columba's well just a few miles away which never ever froze or ran dry. Our church was dedicated to Saint Columba's abbott: Saint Finnan; who lived on an island in the loch near to our home." May God bless them.

Lenten Recipes are coming in. Thank you to everyone who has supplied simple and easy recipes for our use. There are some really interesting ones which will contrast my Baked Beans on Toast recipe which is simply Baked beans on Toast, and my bread with, for me Crunchy Peanut Butter (no additives) with Banana, both delicious and filling. At a push one could always put Hummus onto a plain or toasted Bagel. I think we should be careful not to be too searching about ingredients. I used to ask restaurants if their vegetable soup was made with chicken stock. I think that is going a little too far. I seldom look at ingredients now, unless it is for health reasons.

During this week, Father Alexander and I will meet and make a plan for the services we intend to serve during Lent and Pascha. The Military Padre, Peter who comes to Vespers from time to time, has suggested that we hold our Pascha night service in one of the military chapels. Subdeacon David and I went to view the church which would be ideal for us but way too far away for the comfort of our parishioner. That really is too bad. I could see us serving a wonderful Paschal Liturgy there; thank you Padre Peter for suggesting that chapel, and taking us to see it. I want to again make sure that the people who do things for the parish know that they are appreciated greatly. To that end I would like all the Parish Council members to please be at Liturgy this Sunday - we must have an induction ceremony which will take place before the blessing at the end of the Liturgy.

Following the Liturgy, Catechumens may remain behind and any question could be asked and hopefully answered. This is a continuation of sessions that became dislodged over the Christmas celebrations. The men's group will be meeting at my apartment after the Liturgy on March 7th; talk to Spyridon if you wish to be included. I expect they want to organize another meeting with a fire and hotdogs (vegetarian ones!). A Parish Council meeting, I believe, is on March 11th at 7pm, undisclosed venue but likely at my apartment.

Prosphora: I notice that the recipe on the St. Vladimir website contains sugar and I remember Archbishop Irénée explaining with some force, that we never put sugar in Prosphora. It will rise quite well without it. Flour, Salt, Yeast, and warm Water is all it takes; the flour itself contains enough sugar for the yeast to feed on.

May God bless us and protect us, and enfold us in His loving arms.
Love in Christ,

-- Father David

February 21, 2021

This is the 37th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 4, Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

Saturday, February 20 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 21 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: 2 Timothy 3:10-15
Gospel: St. Luke 18:10-14

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. That means this coming week is the Fast Free Week. There is more to this than just being able to eat meat on Wednesday and Friday, it is a reminder that fasting from meat is just around the corner and that we should be looking through our freezers and refrigerators to discover all the meat we have stored away, consume it so we can start afresh for Pascha. If you look on your calendars, you will see that Meatfare Sunday is March 7th (after Meatfare we don't eat meat again until Pascha).

I have asked for simple recipes to help jus through the Lenten fast but have received only four so far. Please send your favorite Lenten Recipes. They will help all of us. I shall include them in the bulletin before the fast begins - all of them! I hope that will be a long bulletin.

You will have heard that there was a note from Mary Pemberton asking for prayers for her husband Will who was in intense pain. I have asked for updates so will include anything Mary sends, at the end of this bulletin. Please pray.

We are slowly switching all the light bulbs in the church to LEDs. This means that the use of electricity will go down significantly. Four new bulbs in a chandelier will use less electricity than one of the previous bulbs. All in all, we might be able to use the microwave and the kettle at the same time, and have light in the church.

The sign indicating where the driveway is on Purcell's Cove Road fell down or at least I found it leaning against the church door. I expect Richard our next door neighbour found it; he also put lots of sand on the driveway so we could get up that steep slope for Vespers and Liturgy; thank you Richard. We owe him sand and more, for example, without his kind permission, we would have no access to water; he and his family kindly allow to take water from their outside tap.

Spyridon has been cleaning the brass candle holders in the altar. That is a good piece of work. Thank you for noticing, and doing that fussy job. I think he has been cleaning the woodwork beneath the altar table as well.

Can you believe, it is going to snow again just in time to give us the problem of getting up the steep driveway for Saturday Vespers and Sunday Liturgy. I hope we have lots of sand.

May God bless us all and protect us,
Love in Christ,

-- Father David

PS Mary says that Will has to go for a scan, we look forward to hearing the results. May God bless all of our families, but especially the Pemberton family at this time.

PPS Don't forget the recipes.

PPPS This is a fast-free week!

February 14, 2021

This is the 36th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 3, Zaccheus Sunday

Saturday, February 13 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 14 at 10am - Liturgy
Sunday, February 14 at 6pm - Vespers and Litya - The Meeting of the Lord

Epistle: 1 Timothy 4:9-15
Gospel: St. Luke 19:1-10

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

The usual time for House Blessings is almost over. I am concerned that houses are not being blessed so please take some Holy Water and sprinkle throughout your home and say or sing the Troparion for Theophany: When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest, for the voice of the Father bore witness to You and called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, You have revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You.

As regards the Lenten recipes I suggested we collect, I did receive some from a friend of mine in Edmonton, Professor Hani Henein, who sent Egyptian recipes. They are in the folder for you to copy along with a recipe for Vegan African Peanut Stew. Thank you Hani. So far that is all. Never too late, please forward recipes to me, they help to inspire us to be Lenten but also healthy in our eating. Who knows we may all lose weight during Lent this year although that must never be the reason for adjusting our eating during fasting times. Fasting is to do with concentrating on spiritual matters and not the body.

There is a fast free week coming up. Look on your calendars and enjoy it before the increasing austerity of the weeks following that.

I went to the church on Tuesday. The driveway had been mostly cleared of snow but there was significant ice remaining. I got half way up and had to stop. My tyres, have the snowflake emblem on the sides, but did not have protection against slick ice. Fortunately Richard from next door came with some sand, and that provided enough traction. Help also came from a gentleman from across the street. I think we'll have to get sand to sprinkle over the driveway. I shall ask Colin to look in to that.

Please pray for Christina a person who contacted Father Maximus first, who suggested she contact me. She lives too far away to get to us, but she will eventually. Please also pray for the parish and the Catechumens: Jeff and Seamus, Cameron, Carol-Ann, and Victor.

If you would like to learn how to make and seal Prosphora, please let Heather Decaire know. We really are looking for help. It is not difficult - how do I know that? I occasionally have had to make it myself and have been quite successful. I usually make the five breads for Lityas (don't forget Sunday at 6pm) and for Soul Saturdays. I have ordered two extra Prosphora seals and will order more if necessary.

May God bless us all and protect us,

With thanks to the people who help and support the parish in so many ways, by their prayers and constancy Sunday by Sunday, and day by day.

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

PS Saint Valentinus was a real 4th Century saint who was martyred in Rome. The internet will furnish the details of his martyrdom and why he became associated with romance, hearts, and love on February 14th in the Western Church - Orthodox celebrate him on July 6th. Saint Valentinus pray to God for us.

February 6, 2021

This is the 35th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 2, Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

Saturday, February 6 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, February 7 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Gospel: St. Luke 18:35-43

Readings for the Saints
Epistle: Romans 8:28-39
Gospel: St. Luke 21:12-19

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

Next Sunday is Zaccheus Sunday and the start of our looking towards the beginning of Great Lent. Meat-fare is March 7th and Cheese-fare the following Sunday which is also Forgiveness Sunday, that's March 14th. Great Lent starts on March 15th. During Great Lent there are certain Saturdays which are designed for the Commemoration of the Departed. I would like us to observe these Saturdays with a Liturgy, if at all possible. Please use the forms provide on the candle stand to list your relatives and friends. For these celebrations, we can celebrate Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike so please complete the forms in preparation for this. "Be Prepared", as the Scout and Guide Motto went.

I have finally worked out how to change the format of photos on my mobile phone. Suddenly, probably as a result on an automatic upgrade, the photos on my phone became HEIC files instead of JPEG files. Searching the internet, I found a free conversion programme so I downloaded it and can again add photos to bulletins (makes bulletins much less boring).

Here is the photo of Kevin and Dorothea, formerly known as Jeff and Krystal.

Recently we have added a new altar boy. I don't know if you have noticed but Alexy, the son of Father Alexander and Matushka Ksenia has been learning the altar ropes from David, Spyridon, and Augustine; a very good addition to the altar.

While polishing my shoes and thinking about this bulletin, and slow cooking some Lamb Shanks for the weekend, I started thinking about Great Lent and that numbers of us have come into the Orthodox Church from other places where the type of fasting that is usual in the Orthodox tradition, is not familiar. We know that we stop eating meat, and then all dairy products, plus eggs, but sometimes we find that Lenten recipes are complicated and a bother to think about. Personally I usually fall back on two pieces of bread with peanut butter in between, sometimes with jam or banana squashed onto it. So, I thought I could start a file of really simple recipes for meals; things that you have found that at a push are easy and take little time or effort to make. Let's do this, and gather some easy recipes and ideas together, and make a file. There are Lenten recipe books available, I know, and the Internet has lots of vegan stuff on line, but some of it is complicated with unfamiliar ingredients. I am suggesting this way before the Great Lent begins so we have time to get it together. It will be a help to me, and I hope to others as well.

Why is it that on a photo of Vladimir reading his mouth is closed. A photo of me and my mouth would be open; I must close my mouth more.

May God bless you all
Love in Christ,

-- Father David

January 29, 2021

This is the 34th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 1

Saturday, January 30 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 31 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: Colossians 3:12-16
Gospel: St. Luke 18:18-27

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door, which will be opened at Communion time. I'm assuming that those making use of this, will have read this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel (see above) ahead of time.

This is not a long bulletin this week. We had a rather full week with Theophany and the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike last year, this latter was accomplished with quite a crowd of us gathered to sing and witness the blessing. Let's hope that the fish, other creatures, and all who work on or in the water are blessed.

From now on, any official church group meeting must have the endorsement of one of the parish clergy. If you should meet in an informal manner, for example, a hike or around a bonfire etc., it must be clearly stated at that meeting that it is not an official church gathering and that the opinions stated are those of the individual, and not of the group, nor of the parish and not of any part of the Orthodox Church. Please do not ask me about this. I will not comment.

The baptism went well. It was sort of an experiment to see if we could bring warm water and baptize more than one person at a time. It worked. The water, I understand was lovely and warm and we baptized two people: Jeff who became Kevin, and Krystal who became Dorothea. The next scheduled baptism will be a wonderful time with Cameron and Carol-Ann, plus Jeff and Seamus. This will be the day before Pascha, so May 1st since Pascha is May 2nd this year. I'm really looking forward to it. Father Alexander and I will be soaked to the skin as well, I think.

You have the prayers to help those with, or working to protect people with Covid, and you have the formula for donating to the Parish, thus the Church.

May God Bless us all,
May He encourage us to obey the distancing and Mask Rules,
May He encourage us to remind each other to distance, wear a mask, cleanse our hands, and sign in at the door,
May He protect us all as we go about our daily chores and work,
And may He Protect us,

Love in Christ,
-- Father David

January 23, 2021

This is the 33th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 8

Saturday, January 23 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 24 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: Ephesians 4:7-13
Gospel: St. Matthew 4:12-17

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door which will be opened at Communion time.

Saturday January 30th is the feast of St. Anthony the Great on our calendar. I did greet Father Maximos on the New Calendar feast day, when they observe their Patronal Festival.

This has already been a busy week. Monday evening the Eve of Theophany, we served Vespers followed by the Great Blessing of Water. A beautiful service thanks to Father Alexander and the choir, as usual led by Vladimir/Ryan. A wonderful crowd of parish faithful attended and of course Holy Water was sprinkled copiously and taken home for blessings.

I was asked to bless a home on Wednesday evening - such a simple and short service; it was lovely, Each room is sprinkled with Holy Water as the priest and family sing the Troparion printed in last week's bulletin. The priest really does not look at the state of your home. If you don't have time to tidy, it doesn't matter, the priest doesn't go telling everyone that this or that person's home was tidy or untidy. The blessing though is important. Please contact either Father Alexander or me to arrange times for House Blessings.

Sunday morning two special things will happen: the Baptism of Krystal and Jeff, and the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean. The Baptism will take place during the Liturgy. The blessings of the Baptismal Water will take place during the reading of the Hours. The entry of the Gospel will be extended to include the Font and the Baptism itself. May God bless all of the Catechumens.

May God bless us all
And keep us in His love.

-- Father David

January 15, 2021

This is the 32th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 7, Sunday before the Theophany; Synaxis of the Seventy Apostle

Saturday, January 16 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 17 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: 2 Timothy 4:5-8
Gospel: St. Mark 1:1-8

Reminders: During the Covid restrictions we are allowing Communions at the back door which will be opened at Communion time.

Tuesday January 19th is Theophany so Monday evening January 18th at 6:30pm Great Vespers with the Great Blessing of Water. Make sure you bring containers so you can take Holy Water home.

January 20th: Synaxis of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John

Sunday January 24th: Holy Baptism and First Communion of Jeff and Krystal Frellick. Plus the blessing of the Atlantic Ocean after liturgy.

Calendars (English and English/Russian Version) are available at the candle stand and are valued at $12. This is a voluntary contribution towards the cost of the calendars. Please put the money in an envelope and mark it "Calendars".

There are several things I want to bring to your attention. The first is something that does not seem to happen in this parish and which should. I noticed last year that I was not asked to bless any homes. It is the custom within most Orthodox communities that the faithful have their homes blessed every year, and this takes place in association with the Theophany feast. I commend this practice to you and would like you to consider this in terms of your own home and having it blessed. We simply go around your home sprinkling it with Holy Water, which has been newly blessed at Theophany, and with lighted candles singing or saying the Theophany Troparion: When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest, for the voice of the Father bore witness to You and called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God, You have revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You. Please take this to heart. It is important that where you live day by day be filled with the Holy Spirit and the love and light of Christ. We shall bless the Atlantic Ocean as well.

I noticed that there were members of the parish missing for the Christmas liturgy at St. Antonios Church and I am wondering why that would be so? It could be that people were working that evening so couldn't come; it could be that being on the Julian (old) Calendar and the next morning being a work day, people didn't feel they wanted to be tired that next day. I asked for the use of St. Antonios, after remembering the stream of our people and others coming for Communion a year ago. It is important that we receive Communion on the great feasts of the Church, so I ask you to make sure you are prepared, and come for that purpose. Almost all of the Catechumens were present at St. Antonios, including those who travelled from Antigonish and Goshen. May God bless them.

I presented Father Maximos with a bottle of Champagne Cognac as a token; thanking him for allowing us to use his church for our Christmas Liturgy. He is always gracious and generous towards us.

It reminds me, what shall we do this year for Pascha? We can't fit everybody into our church if the Covid restrictions are still in force, and we can't ask to use another church since all Orthodox serve Pascha at the same time. Speaking to Father Maximos about this, he may have to ask permission to serve two Paschal Liturgies as it is; I may have to make the same request. We can pray that the weather on May 1st and 2nd be sunny and warm so we can serve the night liturgy outside, it's not an unreasonable prayer request, but we should start praying now. (It's unlikely there will be sun during the night Liturgy . that would take an awful lot of prayer! but perhaps not impossible.)

My Dear Friends, May God give us the courage to do His will, and may He bless us all,

In the Love of Christ,

-- Father David

January 8, 2021

This is the 31th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 6, Sunday after the Nativity

Saturday, January 9 at 6pm - Vespers
Sunday, January 10 at 10am - Liturgy

Epistle: Galatians 1:11-19
Gospel: St. Matthew 2: 13-23


Here it is Friday morning, the bulletin not yet written when it is usually well under way at the beginning of the week. The nervous energy leading up to the liturgy at St. Antonios Church was quite draining and somehow the bulletin went right out of my head as did several other things. I thank God that we have Father Alexander who makes sure I have what I need. Thank you again Father Maximos for allowing us to use St. Antonios Church for what was a wonderful Christmas Liturgy; the choir sang and chanted beautifully; the three altar servers helped the service run smoothly, thank you to all. Thanks to Augustine who provided Jeff and Seamus with a place to stay so they didn't have to drive back to Antigonish after the service. It was good to see so many at the service. I know there are photographs because I saw Alina taking them. When I get them, I'll include some in the bulletin. Please pray for the parish and for the Catechumens most of whom were able to get to the Christmas Liturgy and receive a blessing - Glory to God.

May He who was Born in a Stable Bless each of us,

Love in Christ,

-- Father David

January 2, 2021

This is the 30th Sunday after Pentecost, Tone 5, Nativity Fast

Saturday, January 2 at 6pm - Vespers (Lots of Confessions)
Sunday, January 3 at 10am - Liturgy (Lots of Confessions)
Wednesday, January 6 at 9pm - Matins followed by Liturgy at St.Antonios church (2480 Windsor Street, Halifax)


I have rethought the three Christmas Liturgies I mentioned. Now that we are able to have people back in church it is really important that we Gather Together so we shall all celebrate at one Liturgy at St. Antonios, at a great Christmas Night Liturgy (thank you Father Maximos). Please come - it is the parish, the people of God celebrating the Birth of Christ - TOGETHER.


  1. Nativity Fast Ends on Wednesday January 6th, then a Fast Free Week.
  2. This Saturday/Sunday, January 2nd/3rd is Confession time, Father Alexander will be available during Vespers 6pm and Liturgy 10am and I'll be available before or after Vespers. Please don't wait for the last minute.
  3. Confessions can also be made by appointment or over the telephone. I want us all to receive Communion.

How to e-transfer money to the church account. To send, follow these easy-to-use instructions:

  • Log into your online or mobile banking app
  • Find and select the option 'Send an Interac e-Transfer.'
  • On the next screen, select an option 'Interac e-Transfer Recipient.'
  • Insert the name and the email address halifaxorthodox@gmail.com
  • Insert donation amount

Prayer for protection against the Covid virus: please use it:

O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon thy people gathered in thy name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind deliver us from the impending threat of the Corona Virus. Send thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy that we may continue to serve thee in peace and glorify thy most honourable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Боже Вседержителю, Господи небесе и земли, всея твари, видимыя же и невидимыя, по неизреченной благости Твоея призри на люди Твоя, к Тебе притекающия. Буди нам Помощник и Защититель в сей день скорби. Веси бо немощи наша, слышиши глас покаяния и умиления сердечнаго. Господи Человеколюбче, избави нас от напасти коронавируса на ны движимыя. Ниспосли ангела Твоего призирати на ны и избавити ны. Страждущим от болезни здравие и исцеление подаждь. Руки врачующих направи. Здравых в здравии сохрани, да в мире поработают Ти и да прославят пресвятое и великополепое имя Твое, Отца и Сына и Святаго Духа, ныне и присно, и во веки веков, аминь.

Last Saturday, Father Alexander served a Panikhida for Victoria, the mother of Leslee. Victoria was 100 years old when she fell asleep in Winnipeg. It is a blessing that Leslee was able to visit her in the autumn. We pray for Leslee and her family at this time. Just think what the world was like when Victoria was born in 1920, and all that happened during her lifetime.

Father David Remembers Christmas

I'm sitting here on December 25th, Christmas Day for most of the world and I am thinking back to the Christmases I knew as a boy. I was fortunate in that after the war, my father was posted to a military base in rural Dorset. We lived on the edge of moorland and a forest. We were about a kilometer and a half from where T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) lived and was killed. We were fortunate to live there because everything about Christmas was real; the fir trees were covered in Ivy and the Holly bushes had real red berries. Christmas trees were growing in the woods and were not given to the garbage collectors on Boxing Day. Real socks were hung at the end of the bed to be replaced by Father Christmas with a pillow case full of wonders. Christmas lights didn't work if one of the bulbs burned out and the tinsel was made of real metal. Postmen actually delivered cards and presents from distant relatives and the smell of the roasting goose or turkey prepared one for the sumptuous dinner that was to follow. While mother was preparing that, we boys went up the hill, through the woods to the church. On the way we played in the woods but arrived in time since we were part of the choir. Perhaps cutting it fine, one of the older girls, and I remember her well, scrambled to find each of us a cassock, ruff and surplice; then the procession around the wooden church to the main door of the nave for the procession, singing one of the beautiful Christmas Carols; probably Once in Royal David's City.

We ran home anticipating the feast, and we would not be disappointed. There might be chicken, or goose, or turkey with lots of gravy. There would always be Brussels Sprouts, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Swede; a feast indeed. But that was not all. There was the Christmas Pudding, the Mince Pies, the Custard. I remember all this because it was all homemade; it was real. There was nothing artificial about it at all. The meat came from the butcher shop, the vegetables from the greengrocers and the various fruits and fats from the grocers where you were served by someone wearing an apron. Stuff was weighed and wrapped in paper. We hadn't even heard of plastic bags in those days. Stuff was carried in shopping baskets made of woven branches or grasses, or cloth. It was real.

At tea time there was usually Bread and Butter, and Trifle and more mince pies. One had to eat the bread and butter before one was allowed to eat anything sweet. In those days children did not have a choice, you did what you were told, or else; some of us well remember those days and the "or elses."

Then there was the King's Christmas Message, later of course, the Queen's Message. The evening was quieter and children were sent early to bed on Christmas Day; not unreasonable since we had awakened early, anticipating the wonderful things left by Father Christmas.

Then Boxing Day. This was children's day; the only day we were allowed to stay up until we wanted to go to bed and there was no restriction on the number of sweets and goodies we could eat. That is where we learned to be careful with the amount of chocolate one should eat at one time. Well, some of us learned.

But you see, it was all real. I look around now and I see that the world has made Christmas plastic, artificial, and fake. Christmas Carols are used now to encourage us to buy stuff, animals are fed to make them fat, eggs are produced in goodness only knows what kind of conditions.

Can we have Christmases like that again? I don't know. It will be up to the children of today who will have to examine the world they will live in and ask themselves: "Is it satisfactory?" My answer at the moment would be a definite "No!" The world I live in at the moment is selfish and deceitful. The question again is: Will it continue to be? And for how long? How long before the Lord decides to wrap it all up?

I don't despair though, and I have hope. I look at the beautiful children who bless this parish of St. Vladimir Prince of Kiev in Halifax, and there are those of us who remember and who hold on to the Truths. Christmas is a marvelous feast. We shall each fill it with what it is meant to be, the Birth of the Son of God, Real not plastic or fake - His taking Flesh of the Most Holy Theotokos, becoming Man, just like us. He knows what we are about. Don't get tied up with "Season's Greetings," It's "Merry Christmas" - the Birth of Christ - "Christ is Born!" So Let us Glorify Him.

May God Bless each and every one of us. Merry Christmas!

From Father David, Father Alexander, the choir and Altar servers, and the Parish Council

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