Monday, December 15, 2014

December News

Sub-Deacon Paul, Father Andrew, Altar Server Max, Bishop Irenee, Dean Phillip, Deacon Kevin

Our Liturgy with Bishop Irenee was one of the most resplendent services our little church has witnessed. The special evening Liturgy service was very beautiful, and full of excitement with all of our additional visitors from Calgary, and the States. The Bishop raised up Sub-Deacon and a Reader while he was here. We were able to spend some time after services talking with Bishop Irenee - we learned a lot.

One of the things that we learned is that we (the Cranbrook church) are dear to the hearts of many Canadian orthodox. Their support of our church is phenomenal, and the latest of their gifts to us? A priest in residence! Father Andrew and Matushka Sonia are moving to Cranbrook, hopefully in the spring, to live here and provide regular services. This is wonderful news!! There will be more in the January newsletter, if not before, on this wonderful development,

Thank you to the Holy Martyr Peter the Aleut Orthodox Church, Bishop Irenee, and many others, for your support!

Excerpts from the December Newsletter:

Dec 6 – Vespers. 6:30pm. Soup Supper to follow.
Dec 7 – Hours. 10:10am. Liturgy. 10:30am. Potluck Lunch to follow.
Dec 8 – Special Liturgy with Bishop Irenee and Father Andrew. 6:30pm. Soup Supper to follow. *Fasting from Lunchtime for the Eucharist.
Dec 9 – Vespers with Bishop Irenee and Father Andrew. 6:30pm. Soup Supper to follow with Bishop Irenee.
Dec 10 – Breakfast with Bishop Irenee. 9am.
Dec 14 – Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck Lunch to follow.
Dec 20 - Vespers. 6:30pm. Soup Supper to follow.
Dec 21  - Hours. 10:10am. Liturgy. 10:30am. Potluck Lunch to follow.
Dec 28 - Typika service. 10:30am. Potluck Lunch to follow.

*Added: Christmas services to be decided ASAP.

*Added: Father Andrew and Matushka Sonia will be spending Theophany week in Cranbrook (January 5-11) and blessing houses. Please let Father Andrew know when you would like him to come to your house. 


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.

*Added: At the AGM on November 30, it was decided to start a regular Sunday School program again, as we have some young children attending. This will start in January, and will include stories, memory verses, virtues, monthly family activities, and annual celebrations. The full schedule will be posted at the end of December on the curch school page.

READINGS (posted on the website at

Dec. 7 – St Nicholas Story
Dec. 14 – St Aidan Story: Celtic Knot, Part 2
Dec. 21 – St. Aidan Story: Troubled Waters
Dec. 28 – St. Aidan Story: Aidan’s Death

St. Andrew the First Called - Nov. 30                                                                      Fr. Andrew                                
Nov. 30 is the saint’s day for my dear Patron saint, Andrew the First called. When I was about to be ordained a Deacon, Bishop Irénée asked who my patron saint was, and as he hadn’t run into any St. Brent’s, he suggested that St. Andrew was a very good choice. St. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist, and when John the Baptist pointed Jesus out as being the Son of God, Andrew immediately left John and followed after Jesus. He went and brought his brother Peter telling him that “We have found the Messiah – the Christ!” So it is fair to say that even before Peter’s memorable confession that “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” his brother Andrew the 1st called Apostle had been enlightened to understand this all-consuming truth and revealed it to his older brother Peter!

St. Andrew made four major missionary journeys and travelled extensively, preaching the kingdom of God and establishing the Church. He is the Patron saint of Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Scotland and even Barbados. He is the patron saint of the ecumenical patriarchy in Constantinople as St. Andrew installed St. Stachys who was one of the 70 as the first bishop of Constantinople (Byzantium) in 36 AD. St. Andrew travelled all through what is today Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Poland, Ukraine (including Kiev), and much of Russia, including what is now Moscow and Lake Ladoga where Valaam Monastery was later established. He travelled through parts of India and Pakistan and spent time in Ethiopia and Eastern Africa. It is possible he also travelled through the Scandinavian lands and through from there to Scotland. In the later years of his life St. Andrew spent 20 years living in a cave in his favourite place around Dervent in Southern Romania which has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

He was crucified towards the end of the first century in Patras Greece on an X shaped cross, as he protested he was not worthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as his Lord Jesus Christ. St. Andrew is noted for his great humility. Although he is the first-called Apostle of Christ, he never goes first, and when we see him speaking with his Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels, he is always asking for someone else’s sake. He brings his older brother Peter to Jesus; when Philip comes to Andrew asking him about taking some Greek worshipers to see Jesus, he brought them to Jesus; he approaches Jesus about feeding the multitude with the 5 loaves and two fish. Always it is for others that St. Andrew approaches his Lord. There are many miracles associated with St. Andrew’s missionary trips, and many books written about this most eminent Apostle. Through the prayers of St. Andrew the 1st. called Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon us and save us!

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