Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Prayer request

If I may once again beg the prayers of the community. 

Over the next 10 days my mom and grandpa will be undergoing a major transition which will be very stressful and taxing on them both in various ways. My 86 yr old grandpa, who has been blind for about 20 yrs, is being relocated from his current home into a care facility for safety reasons. He is resistant and headstrong: aka, he's German ;) 

There are a lot of issues surrounding this move and my mom had had to take them all on full force, in addition to managing the failing health of her mother and running a business. 

They are both in great need of support and strength and I would be grateful if, over the next week at least, you would kindly remember them in your prayers. They have very little family support and few friends. Your kindness, even from afar, would be a great encouragement.

Kindly yours,


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Baby Shower for little Helena!

At the home of Eileen Mountain: 21638 Murray's Crescent 
rsvp Eileen by phone (can be found in the directory).

Will be for cake and sherry. You are welcome to enjoy lunch with the rest of our parish family immediately after liturgy :)

On the Effective 'Raising' of Children

* Disclaimer *  
This is not a post about "parenting", for all those who are already preparing a verbal assault with the 
"you aren't a parent so you have no right to make parenting statements" argument 
(yes, people have actually said things like that.) 

Often we have heard the adage, "It takes a village to raise a child" (It is pure coincidence that Father also used this phrase and touched on this very same subject in his sermon this morning!)  By being a part of a community, we have a collective responsibility in the raising of the children within that community.  Whether directly or indirectly, we are role models of what it means to be an adult, a woman/man, an Orthodox Christian, a spouse, a sibling.  As much as there are children in our lives, we have an influence on them through our actions, our attitudes, our choices and our attentions - both in and outside the Church building!

Children aren't stupid - they question, they test, they push boundaries and they observe everything we say and do against what we teach and encourage.  We teach children to speak nicely of/to one another, but then slander or gossip about others in our 'adult' conversations.  We teach children to respect each other and to treat each other fairly, and then judge or put-down those around us.  As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words: what are the children hearing when they watch us interacting with one another in these ways?

This sits most heavily on me when in Church, either for vesperal or liturgical services.  I am reminded that when brought forth for judgement, I will be asked to give an account for every act done or not done, for every kindness withheld, for every opportunity left abandoned.  Christ himself warns those who lead the 'little ones' astray.  Though traditionally taught these 'little ones' are those who are young in faith, it is equally relevant to our influence on those who are simply young.  We are likewise encouraged by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians to be roused from our stupor and to be vigilant in our acts:
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17
We have the power to effect either a positive, life-giving influence on others or a negative, life-denying one, especially children who are impressionable and in the act of being formed. We aren't responsible for what they do with the influence given to them, only to be it and to be it rightly.  The real question is, how?

- How do I set a good example?
- How do my actions speak to my true interests?
- How do I make changes which will provide a positive model for any child who may be watching?
- How do I ensure that in all things, I am reflecting Christ?

Big questions! Questions that should lead us to examine the 'why' behind what we do, the choices we make and the behaviours we exhibit.  These are also very Christian questions, as Christ is meant to be the central focus of our life and every aspect of it, influencing how we spend our time, our money, our energies and our efforts. 

As a community whose child-base is growing rapidly, these questions become vital.  Why are they vital?  Because it is by our example, the Light that shines within us and the Breath of Life that sustains us, that the children of our parish will either stand with us as adults and confess Christ by their lives, supporting the Church by their prayers and offerings, helping to share the gospel by their own examples, or they will abandon Her altogether, finding more to attract them in the outside world, no matter how empty the things of this world are.  It is in this way that I speak on the effective 'raising' of children, and how it is not only the responsibility of the biological parents, but of the entire community in which those children find themselves.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sign up now for camp!

Now is the time to take the plunge!

Send a camper:
Want to send a camper to camp?  Whether it is your own child, a child you know and love, or you just want to send a child in need,  please register your camper or send in a donation today!  Camp is less than 4 weeks away, and we'd like to know who's coming right away.

A number of people have spoken to us about wanting to come help at camp.  If you are planning to come to camp as a volunteer, please visit to register right away and follow the instructions for application.  We cannot begin your registration process or confirm your position until you have completed this form.  Thanks!

We still need a lifeguard, a cook, and some more counsellors to sign up!

For questions, or more information about camp or donations, please email director {at} allsaintscamp {dot} ca .

Can't wait to see you then!


Monday, May 05, 2014

Camp is Coming Soon!

All Saints of North America Orthodox Youth Camp 

Camp is scheduled for July 8-13, 2014, and we are still in need of campers, staff volunteers, prayer support, and donors.  

Camp is an excellent opportunity for Orthodox youth to learn more about their faith, get to see other normal people living in "their world" too, and have a ton of fun.

Any questions can be directed to

More info can also be found on 

Friday, April 18, 2014

holy friday

Sunday, January 19, 2014

[Updated]Lenten Preparation Day

Saturday February 1 
Church activities start at 10am - 2pm
Food preparation activities start at 10:30 am - 2pm

Lent will soon be upon us. This event is put on the day before The Entrance of the Lord into the Temple, which is also Zacchaeus Sunday, already! The thought was to have a few things occur this day. 

First, I'll put together a kids craft, where they get to make a wall chart, Journey through lent, similar to an Advent type calendar. This is also a time for the kids to just get together and play.

Second, for the ladies, there will be a food preparation / tasting / recipe swap. This will start at 10:30 and will occur at the ***Gascoigne*** Friesen/Jordhal residence, just down the street from the church. This will give time for kids and dads to be dropped off, and then allow the ladies to escape.

Lastly for those men (or women), who may not want to do children crafts or food stuff, there will be plenty of opportunity to do work on the church grounds, help clean up around where the trailer once was.

For the events at church, please bring a potluck dish to share for lunch.

From Julia - Information for the food prep get-together:

Please bring one of your favorite or go-to lenten dishes to share, along with a print-out of the recipe (and any other recipes or cookbooks that you think people might find useful.) The hope is that everyone will go home with some new ideas and resources to help get us all through Lent. (We will provide a bit of non-lenten fare as well, since the fast will not yet be upon us!)

If you have a specific recipe binder or box that you use, please bring it along so you can add to it, or if you're in need of something like that, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

If anyone has thoughts of something that would be fun (and not TOO complicated) to prepare together on that day, that could go home and into the freezer, please share your ideas.

I will have some meal planning templates available for those who would find them useful. (I can't get through the rest of the year, let alone fasting periods, without planning out our dinners in advance.)

Take a little bit of time to think about what has or hasn't worked for your family in the past, or if there's anything you're struggling with or something you can give advice on, in regards to meal planning/prep, grocery shopping, finding things that kid will eat, etc.

It would be good to have a general idea of how many people to expect, so please let me know (on here or at church) if you are planning on coming, and please pass this information on to anyone who may like to attend. I'll try to get a sign-up sheet up at church this coming Sunday. I can be contacted at julia_ann_green[at]

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Steenburgh House Blessing/House Warming

Hello all. You are invited to an open house to help warm our new home in Chilliwack on Sat Jan 25 from 1:30 to 5:30(ish). There will be a house blessing first thing at 1:30 followed by festivities. We will be providing food and drinks, including haggis in honour of Robby Burns day.

An RSVP is appreciated so we have an idea of numbers (but we won't turn you away at the door if you don't). While we will be providing drinks, feel free to bring something along if you have particular taste.

For more details (e.g. address and phone number) please e-mail me at Daniel.Steenburgh[at]

Look forward to seeing you there!

Dan, Lisa, and Sammy.

Theophany Party 2014

Hey folks!

I know we should've had something up here earlier, but this is just a reminder that we will be hosting our second annual (and last before we move) Theophany open house after the blessing of the Fraser River this coming Sunday!  I've spoken with Father Lawrence, and barring disaster, the party will now include our house blessing.  All are welcome (though we do humbly remind parents that our apartment, sadly, lacks a space where kids can be left unsupervised) and everyone's invited to bring what food or drinks they can share.  If you need directions or haven't been to our home, don't hesitate to call or email either Andrew or me; all our information is up to date in the parish directory - but make sure you get the right Friesens!  Hope you all stop by!