Thursday, September 18, 2014

September Newsletter

Sorry its a little late!!!! It has just been sent out to our church members this week :)


September 7 – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.
September 14  – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.
September 21 – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.
September 27 – Vespers at Moyie Lake. 6pm. Soup supper to follow.

September 28 – Hours. 10:10am. Liturgy 10:30am. Potluck lunch to follow.


  Children have a variety of activities to play with both inside and outside. These activities are available both during church, if your kids need a break, and after church. Please have adult supervision.

Sept 7 – Nativity of the Theotokos (Sept. 8)
Sept 14 – Feast of the Holy Cross
Sept 21 – St. Aidan story: Oswald’s Generosity.
Sept 28 – St. Aidan story: Sharing their Gifts.


St Euphrosynus the Cook

September 11


Saint Euphrosynus the Cook was from one of the Palestinian monasteries, and his obedience was to work in the kitchen as a cook. Toiling away for the brethren, St Euphrosynus did not absent himself from thought about God, but rather dwelt in prayer and fasting. He remembered always that obedience is the first duty of a monk, and therefore he was obedient to the elder brethren. The patience of the saint was amazing: they often reproached him, but he made no complaint and endured every unpleasantness. . . One of the priests of the monastery saw in a dream what Paradise is like. He also saw there Euphrosynus. The cook picked three apples and gave them to his companion. When he awoke in the early morning, the priest thought the vision a dream, but suddenly he noticed next to him the fruit of Paradise. The priest found Euphrosynus in church and asked him under oath where he was the night before. The saint answered that he was where the priest also was. Excerpts from
Our Year of St. Aidan

We are midway through our church school reading series on our patron saint, St. Aidan. The readings are taken from a book lent to us by Ellen – Flame in my Heart by David Adams.  We are now posting the readings on the website with the kind permission of the publisher, SPCK. You can find this book here:
If you have any suggestions for the next series of readings or discussions, please let us know.

Believe in yourself, your neighbors, your work, your ultimate attainment of more complete happiness. It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in Autumn. 
- B. C. Forbes

The Nativity of the Theotokos

  The record of the birth of Mary is not found in the Bible. The traditional account of the event is taken from the apocryphal writings which are not part of the New Testament scriptures. The traditional teaching which is celebrated in the hymns and verses of the festal liturgy is that Joachim and Anna were a pious Jewish couple who were among the small and faithful remnant-“the poor and the needy”-who were awaiting the promised messiah. The couple was old and childless. They prayed earnestly to the Lord for a child, since among the Jews barrenness was a sign of God’s disfavor. In answer to their prayers, and as the reward of their unwavering fidelity to God, the elderly couple was blessed with the child who was destined, because of her own personal goodness and holiness, to become the Mother of the Messiah-Christ.

Camping Retreat

  Most summers, the families of St Aidans get together at Moyie Lake Campground for a weekend of fun, fellowship, and relaxation.
This year, we will be camping the weekend of September 27/28. Please contact Joanna to book a night or just drop in to visit for a few hours. Price will be approximately $28/night, depending on the number of vehicles and people on the site.
You are responsible for your own food, except for the pancake lunch on Saturday and the potluck dinner Saturday night.  
 Saturday evening Vespers will be held in the campground at 6pm. Potluck dinner to follow.
We will be driving into Cranbrook on Sunday for Liturgy and the potluck lunch. The campground is only 20 minutes from Cranbrook, so it is a nice easy commute!

A hidden fire burns perpetually upon the hearth of the world.... In autumn this great conflagration becomes especially manifest. Then the flame that is slowly and mysteriously consuming every green thing bursts into vivid radiance. Every blade of grass and every leaf in the woodlands is cast into the great oven of Nature; and the bright colours of their fading are literally the flames of their consuming. The golden harvest-fields are glowing in the heart of the furnace.... By this autumn fire God every year purges the floor of nature. All effete substances that have served their purpose in the old form are burnt up. Everywhere God makes sweet and clean the earth with fire. ~Hugh Macmillan

The Elevation of the Cross, celebrated on the fourteenth of September, commemorates the finding of Christ’s Cross by Saint Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century; and, after it was taken by the Persians, of its recovery by the Emperor Heraclius in the seventh century at which time it was “elevated” in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. From this latter event the “universal elevation” of the Cross was celebrated annually in all of the churches of the Christian Empire.
The day of the Elevation of the Cross became, as it were, the national holiday of the Eastern Christian Empire similar to the Fourth of July in the United States. The Cross, the official emblem of the Empire which was placed on all public buildings and uniforms, was officially elevated on this day by the bishops and priests. They blessed the four directions of the universe with the Cross, while the faithful repeated the chanting of “Lord have mercy.” This ritual is still done in the churches today after the solemn presentation and elevation of the Cross at the end of the Vigil service of the holy day following the Great Doxology of Matins.
The troparion of the feast which was, one might say, the “national anthem” sung on all public occasions in the Christian Empires of Byzantium and Russia, originally petitioned God to save the people, to grant victory in war and to preserve the empire “by the virtue of the Cross.” Today the troparion, and all the hymns of the day, are “spiritualized” as the “adversaries” become the spiritually wicked and sinful including the devil and his armies, and “Orthodox Christians” replace the names of ruling officials of the Empire.

The Nativity (birth) of the Holy Theotokos (Mother of God)          Fr. Andrew
We have just finished off last month celebrating St. Aidan’s feast day with a bang. Those who were at the glorious feast day celebration which Ellen and Pat so generously hosted will know that with Pat’s full effect Grizzly encounter story we did this quite literally. Thanks to Ellen and Pat and to everyone who helped!

Sept.1 first marks the beginning of the Church year, and also exactly 1 year since I first came to St. Aidan as your Priest. I have been greatly blessed to be able to come and serve and get to know our wonderful St. Aidan family, thank you for all of your love and patience with me. You have made Matushka Sonia and myself feel very welcome!

Sept. 8 is the feast of the Nativity of the Holy Theotokos, when we celebrate her birth to our righteous ancestors in Christ, Joachim and Anna. We always hear the familiar Gospel from Luke 10 and 11 on the feasts of the Theotokos. Mary the sister of Lazarus, sitting at the feet of Jesus doing the one thing needful – keeping her eyes and attention on Christ; and Martha working away serving, and feeling sorry for herself. Serving is not the problem here, it is Martha’s attitude. Serving with joy and being grateful for the opportunity, for the privilege of serving Christ, is always a blessing. Serving with frustration and an overdeveloped sense of duty, complaining and judging those not measuring up or pulling their weight - in our misguided opinion - is the problem. Mary the Mother of God always kept her eyes and heart fully attuned to her Son and her Lord Jesus Christ and completely fulfilled “the one thing needful”.

In the second part of this familiar scripture we hear: “Blessed is the womb which bore You, and the breasts which nursed You. And Christ replies: “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Why was the Blessed Virgin Mary chosen to have the incomprehensible privilege of containing within her womb; Him whom all of heaven could not contain; He who is the very source of life to her and to all of mankind. He who brought us from non-existence into being and pursued us, and made a way for us  when we had fallen, and raised us up and brought us with Him to His Father in heaven. The Creator of all dwelt in Mary’s womb and nursed from her breasts. Yes, blessed indeed is Mary, beyond any who had ever been born before or since. More honourable is she, and beyond compare than even the Cherubim and the Seraphim; she who gave birth to God Himself. There is none born of the human race that are on the same level of honour as the Theotokos. Yet…Christ answers the woman from the crowd with the reason WHY – with the reason. Why the precious ever-virgin Mary, is granted this most privileged of all roles in the plan of human salvation. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Never in all of human history has anyone more perfectly heard the word of God & kept it. Our pathetic efforts pale under the brilliant illumination and perfection of the sweet humble acceptance of Mary, the Mother of our God.

“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be done to me according to Your word,”  “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

The Blessed Virgin Mary accepted with grace and humility to be the very gate, the portal, to allow her womb to be the throne of God, to allow what all of heaven could not contain, to be contained within her womb. If she had said NO, I’m just not up to it, this is too much to require of me; the entire plan of salvation would have been lost. None have ever more perfectly heard the word of God and kept it, and that is the why - the reason she is more blessed and honoured than any other; and today we rejoice with Joachim and Anna and all of heaven and earth at her birth.

In the nineteenth century, St. Ignatius Brianchaninov made this observation: "When on a clear fall night I gaze upon the clear heavens, illumined by innumerable stars that send out a single light, then I say to myself: thus are the writings of the holy fathers. When on a summer's day I gaze upon the wide sea, covered with a multitude of distinct waves, driven by a single wind to a single end, a single pier, then I say to myself: such are the writings of the fathers. When I hear a well-ordered choir, in which different voices sing a single hymn in shimmering harmony, then I say to myself: such are the writings of the fathers."

by Fr. Michael Harper

It can be frustrating to move suddenly from the end, back to the beginning of something. But this is what Orthodox believers do as we move from August 31st — the last day of the old year, to September 1st, the first day of the new year.
It is part of the goodness of God, that He, who has no beginning and no ending, the Eternal Trinity, should take such care to give us a year which begins and ends, and then begins all over again. In our human and finite state we need fresh starts, and this is one of them. From the peaks of Pascha, Ascension, Pentecost, and Transfiguration, we move back to beginnings, the Nativity of the Mother of God, and then in December of the Son of God Himself. We start this wonderful cycle all over again. But the Holy Spirit, as we trust Him, will renew this new year to us, and give us a whole new understanding of it.

"Behold I will do a new thing", God says through the prophet Isaiah (43:19). The new wine will come to us in new wineskins.
The God who has put eternity in our hearts, knows our human frailty. He knows that marriages need their anniversaries, and all of us, especially children, need their birthdays from year to year. We in the Orthodox Church also hold a special place for the anniversaries of those who have died in Christ. We recall every year the glorious deaths of the saints. But the whole of this is held in a solid framework — the Orthodox Calendar. Through the God inspired wisdom of our fathers and mothers, we have a beautifully constructed lectionary, which flows through the year, like the streams of an effortless river, blessing whatever they touch.

It is significant that the last great feast of the old year is that of the Dormition of Mary, the Mother of God. Her human passing was to heaven's glory. And the first great feast of the new year is her Nativity. It is not that Mary is more important that Christ, around which most of the Calendar revolves. Mary is not God. She did not exist from eternity. But she is honoured in this way because she is our supreme example. She lived a life of complete obedience to God.

The first day of the Church New Year is also called the beginning of the Indiction. The term Indiction comes from a Latin word meaning, “to impose.” It was originally applied to the imposition of taxes in Egypt. The first worldwide Indiction was in 312 when the Emperor Constantine (May 21) saw a miraculous vision of the Cross in the sky.
     Before the introduction of the Julian calendar, Rome began the New Year on September 1.
     According to Holy Tradition, Christ entered the synagogue on September 1 to announce His mission to mankind (Luke 4:16-22). Quoting Isaiah 61:1-2), the Savior proclaimed, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to proclaim release to captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord...” This scene is depicted in a Vatican manuscript (Vatican, Biblioteca. Cod. Gr. 1613, p.1).
     Tradition says that the Hebrews entered the Promised Land in September.

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