Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sept. 30th message from Fr. Lawrence & weekly bulletin

I have taken all your hugs, prayers & good wishes to Fr. Lawrence today. Tomorrow the doctor will tell us what level of activity he can return to in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, for anyone who was not able to be at church today, here is the message read out by Dn. Kurt after liturgy today-- Mat. Donna

My dearly beloved brothers and sisters in Christ:

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Events of the last month have given me lots of time for reflection, and I would like to share some of these reflections each Sunday as a way of keeping in touch during my time of medical exile.

I have discovered, for example, that many thoughts go through one's head while lying on a gurney waiting to be taken in for eye surgery. The first thought that went through my head was, "Help! I'm trapped in an episode of /Grey's Anatomy /and I can't get out!" The second (and more enduring) thought was, "Now I know what Zech. 2:8 means." Well, actually, the numerical citation eluded me. But there was no mistaking the words of the Scripture: "He who touches you, says the Lord of Hosts, touches the apple of My eye."

In its historical context, this refers to God's care for the city of Jerusalem, newly-restored after the Babylonian captivity. In its mystical context, it refers to His care for the Church, the heavenly Jerusalem, the People of God. God declares that, just as a man jealously guards the apple (or
pupil) of his eye, so God guards and protects His people. Lying there on that gurney, waiting for nice people to stick sharp instruments into the apple of my eye, I had a renewed appreciation of God's care for us.
I felt very jealous about the apple of my eye. It was comforting (in
retrospect) to know that the Lord regards us in the same way. He loves us, cherishes us, jealously guards and protects us from all harm. He who would harm us harms the apple of His eye.

This is an important lesson, even for those who are not lying on hospital gurneys. All that we now have and enjoy will eventually fade: health, riches, sight, even life itself. Yet our true life remains untouched by the relentless parade of years. The outer man, St. Paul reminds us, is decaying, but the inner man, touched and transformed by Christ, is being renewed day by day. In this saving renewal, all is preserved by God's power, and will be restored to us in the Kingdom of God. Death, darkness and disaster cannot harm us, for we have a mighty Protector: the Lord of Hosts. He protects us from all harm, and he who would touch us touches the apple of His eye.

Your loving papa and fellow-servant,

Fr. Lawrence

Notes from the bulletin Sept 30:

Services this week:

Wed. Oct. 3—Vespers

Sat. Oct. 6—Vespers

Sun. Oct 7—Liturgy w. blessing of THANKSGIVING HARVEST

Please bring your harvest bounty (on Saturday night or early before liturgy) to decorate the temple and be blessed with holy water.

October newsletter & calendar now available in the narthex.
To find the newsletter info online, click on the first link in the sidebar column on this page.

To have an item included in a future bulletin, please contact
Rhiannon G 604-726-0619

Fr. Lawrence Farley, rector, is currently on sick leave.
For all inquiries at this time, please contact

Dn. Kurt Jordan, 604-824-1214

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In our very own Archdiocese-- the FIRST Orthodox "Quiet Garden" in the world!

I hadn't even heard of the "Quiet Garden" movement-- Oh, how we could use something like this in the neighbourhood of our church! If only we had more property......check out the links at the archdiocesan website to find out about the Quiet Garden movement....

"Our Orthodox Quiet Garden
at Sifton, MB, Canada
On the grounds of the recently-restored, beautiful Orthodox Church dedicated to the Holy Resurrection, a simple Quiet Garden awaits visitors.
We invite all to drop by, sit for a bit and enjoy the greenery, flowers and birds. It is a lovely prairie spot.

It is affiliated with the Quiet Garden Movement world-wide. One of the Trustees of the Quiet Garden Movement is Bishop Kallistos (Ware).
We are the first Orthodox Quiet Garden in the world! "

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fr. Lawrence's message to the parish

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ at St. Herman's:
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Please forgive my absence from you as I recover from my second emergency retinal surgery in as many weeks. It is very difficult for me to be away from you: when the starting bell rings, an old race horse wants to bolt from the starting gate, and when Sunday morning comes, an old one-eyed priest wants to pray at the altar and preach from the ambo. But my surgeon has forbidden me to return to work for an entire month, and my bishop has ordered me to obey his medical advice.
In all this enforced absence, I am consoled by three things. (Here comes the three-point sermon after all.)

1. I am consoled by the hard work and dedication of Deacon Kurt, who is God's great gift to all of us. Being the interim pastor for an absent priest was /not /part of the expected job description when he was ordained, and this added burden is made all the more challenging by his extra domestic tasks during the week. Yet he has risen wonderfully to the sudden challenges and our community could not be left in better pastoral hands.

2. I am consoled by the presence of my dear friend and concelebrant, Fr.
John Bingham. This month has been more than interesting for him as well, and yet he has selflessly carved out the time to befriend a sick brother. I am grateful to him for his love, compassion and kindness, both me and to our community. It is my hope that we shall yet stand together at the same altar and serve together for many Liturgies.

3. Finally, I am consoled by your presence here in my absence, for it means that my words have not altogether been in vain. In all my sermons my aim has been to uplift the Name of Jesus, so that you, the holy people of God, come to Liturgy to meet, worship and exalt Him. He is our joy, the strength in our hearts, the breath in our lungs, and, (as I am discovering) the light in our eyes. You come to Church to commune with Him, as earthly members joined to our heavenly Head.

That is, you do not come to Liturgy because Fr. Lawrence is there, but rather because the Lord Jesus is there and because, as His people who belong to Him, you also belong to one another. Your absence from here on Sundays would tell me that you are failing one another as fellow-members of the same body, and therefore that I have failed you as your priest. (And how could I remedy that? By starting to preach
_four_-point sermons?) Therefore, as you meet together in the weeks to
come as the holy community you are, as St. Paul says, "I am filled with comfort, I am overflowing with joy in all my affliction". You are my consolation.

May God bless and keep you all.

Your loving papa and fellow-servant,
Fr. Lawrence

posted by Mat. Donna

please see post below for bulletin announcements

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Issue of Canadian Journal of Orthodox Christianity

The Fall 2007 issue of the Canadian Journal of Orthodox Christianity is out, and includes Fr. Lawrence's akathist to St. Arseny and my paper "Parables for Mission Planters: Principles of Leadership and Community (Drawn from Richard Adams' Watership Down). This is our very own Canadian Orthodox Theological Journal, published by the St. Arseny Institute in Winnipeg as a free download in PDF. Check it out!

Further surgery for Fr. Lawrence

all, we find unexpectedly that Fr. Lawrence must return to surgery on Thursday this week. Last week we were told the eye was healing well, but today it seems the retina is detaching again. Please continue to pray. If there are any changes in services, they will be announced-- otherwise just show up for church as usual! thanks-- Mat. Donna

Monday, September 10, 2007

now or never

well, I know its not THAT far, but still. I need you all to know how important you are to me, you hermanites. and Fr. Lawrence being laid up is a little nervewracking but a little relieving. I am glad he is taking a rest, but hopeful for his recovery.
anyways. that said, you all need to know that whenever Fr. John commemorates the wonderworking elder Herman I feel a large tug of "I MISS HOME" deep in the caverns of my soul, and I know that it really is the people who live and breathe through that lame little building in langley who have so deeply shaped me and helped me get over so many things that needed to be gotten over. not to mention hosting great parties and putting up with my incessant complaining.
so, as I have just gotten back from work, and I need to eat, and drink, I wish you all could see me raising my beer in a solemn salute intending it to mean that I love you all very much and I know that while I will see you soon, it won't be soon enough.
Nice driveways!


oh, and ps, the island really does have better coffee. I tried it, and I like it. I know some will say I don't drink coffee, but Its the caffeine I avoid, I tried it, it really is much much better.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Reflections on Camp

Phil has told me some wonderful and inspiring things about camp, as well as reports from both parents and campers given after camp. I think it would be wonderful if we created a bit of a "reflections journal" here in which everyone and anyone (whether they attended camp or not) can reflect on the goodness that was and remains.
I, for one, would love to hear it.

What was inspiring?
What was uplifting?
What was funny or fun?
What was the best part?
What was the first thing you heard about when the campers returned?
What were the workshops like?
What was learned?