Upcoming Events

His Grace, Bishop Seraphim  will Liturgize at our Church on Sunday, 22nd February.  Also present will be all the Sunday School teachers of NSW, and His Grace will bless them and the Sunday School work.   After this liturgy, all are welcome in our hall for lunch.  Also present this Sunday will be the honourable Geoff Lee, State Member for Parramatta, who during the luncheon will present the parish with a cheque for $35,000, being the result of a successful grant application so that we can repair the roof at our new property.  If any of you are able, we would be grateful if you could bring to the hall a plate of food for the luncheon.  (This whole week and this Sunday, being the week before Lent begins, we cannot have meat, but every day we can have milk, cheese, eggs and fish).

 

Sunday of Orthodoxy is on Sunday, 1st March.  After the Liturgy we have a procession of icons, and we would be grateful if children could come to the front of the Church during Holy Communion, and after Holy Communion if they could take one of the icons that will be on a table in the front of the Church and take part in the procession around the Church.  At the end of this service we will also do a blessing service for the beginning of Sunday School and Greek School, so we would like all the children to remain at the front of the Church and at the end to kiss the cross and be blessed with holy water.

 

Lent begins on Monday, 23rd February- a journey towards Pascha, a time of fasting, self-reflection, repentance, prayer, fervent participation in Church services which are very frequent during this period, a time when it is extra important to go to Confession, prepare well for Holy Communion,  and in general a period when we should strive to be extra spiritual- to read spiritual books, and to do works of love, to forgive, to be patient.  By fasting is meant that we do not have meat, milk, cheese, eggs, fish.  Strict fasting also involves not having oil, however most will have oil, but not have oil on especially strict fasts, such as the very beginning of Lent, Holy Week, etc. Fasting requires discernment, if one has certain medical problems, is pregnant, etc, one can be lenient with fasting, or perhaps not fast at all.  During fasting it is good not only to avoid certain foods, but also to watch how much we eat, to finish our meal a little before we are full.

 

The following are re-commencing for 2015,  (all initially at our current site at 11 Hassall St, Parramatta, God willing, within a few months, they will be held at our new site, at the corner of George St and Purchase St, Parramatta)

St Ioannis Fellowship, which is held every Tuesday 7.15 – 8.30pm, and during Lent 7.45 - 8.30pm, (but not on weeks when we have an English Liturgy)  will recommence on Tuesday 3rd February, in the classroom under our current hall

English Liturgies are held once a month, 7 – 8.30pm, our next one will be on Wednesday 15th April in our current Church

Greek School  is held every Tuesday and Friday,   4 – 6 pm, for now in the classrooms under our current hall and Church, later at our new site.  1st lesson will be on  Tuesday  3rd  February.  Our teachers have all been highly educated in Greece and are:

  • Christiana Alimperti   (Years 1 and 2)
  • Grammatiki Chatzistamatiou   (Years 3 and 4)
  • Ιoannis Kalaitzidis  sharing with Patricia-Panagiota Koromvokis   (Years 5 and 6)
  • We are currently advertsing for a 4th teacher, because we had a lot of new year 1 enrolments

Fees per year are:    $260 for first child, $240 for second, $220 for third, 4th and subsequent children free.

For any queries on Greek School you can contact the Greek School facilitator, Nektaria Elafros, on nekta_e@yahoo.com.au   or 0401 444293

Greek dancing lessons are held Fridays,  6 – 7 pm in our hall, and will re-commence on Friday 6th February

Filoptohos  is for women who want to help the Church and the poor, meetings are held every 1st Wednesday of the month, 7.30 – 8.30pm, in the room under the alter, the first meeting for the year will be on Wednesday 4th February

A playgroup for preschool children together with their carers, is held on Mondays  10am – 12 midday, under our hall, it will recommence on Monday 9th February

A Senior Citizens group, is held on Thursdays, 10am – 12 midday in our hall, it will recommence on Thursday 19th February

A vibrant Youth Group for teen-age boys, is held on Saturdays  5 – 6.45pm, it will recommence on Saturday 14th February

A Fellowship in Greek for ladies is held on Saturdays  3 – 4.30pm under our hall, it will recommence on Saturday 7th March

Sunday School, that inspires children & youth is held on  Sundays, after Holy Communion, it will recommence on Sunday 8th March

If you would like to receive regular emails, informing you of what our Parish is doing, simply email us on church@stioannis.org and ask to be put on our email database. Those receiving such emails do not see who else gets them, in this way advertising companies will not get hold of our database.

From the Holy Fathers

For many, if not the majority of Orthodox Christians, Lent consists of a limited number of formal, predominantly negative, rules and prescriptions: abstention from certain food, dancing, perhaps movies.  Such is the degree of our alienation from the real spirit of the Church that it is almost impossible for us to understand that there is “something else” in Lent- something without which all these prescriptions lose much of their meaning.  This “something else” can best be described as an “atmosphere”, a “climate” into which one enters, as first of all a state of mind, soul, and spirit which

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