PARISH NEWS for September 2019

In order to reduce the workload of your editor and the pressure on your inboxes (!) your newsletter is changing. This week’s will be the last in the old format.
From now on the Service sheet (‘Calendar’) will be emailed monthly, rather than weekly, headed ‘Parish Newsletter’ and will included regular reminders, etc.Items of News, changes of service, reminders of Feast Days, etc., will be sent out separately on an as-and-when basis in email format with the heading ‘Parish:…’.The Facebook posting will also reflect this pattern (i.e. changed monthly), except that it will not include items of purely local parish interest. These changes should hopefully reduce the amount of duplicate information you receive.

This year September the 8th, our Feast of Dedication to the Nativity of the Mother of God, falls on a Sunday. We shall celebrate the festal Liturgy followed by a Festal bring-and-share lunch. Please make arrangements to stay on that day, and please also bring foods to share!

As in previous years we shall have our church open to the public in the day of Bristol Doors Open Day, Saturday. Our participation this year has been registered with Heritage Open Days, but is yet to appear on their list. The day coincides with the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. So the church will be open for the Divine Liturgy at 9.00 a.m. and will stay open to concluded with Vespers at 4.00 p.m. WE NEED HELP! We normally provide tea and coffee and any cakes or other foods you our parish members bring. We also need people to volunteer to be in church to welcome visitors, or just to be on hand, help serve etc. Please plan now to hep in any way you can.

It is the common custom in Orthodox parishes to begin the celebration of Sunday with Vespers (Vechernaya, εσπερινός)on Saturday evening (or in some parishes a reduced ‘Vigil’ of Vespers followed by Matins). This was the custom in our parish for many years. We have for some time reinstituted the celebration of Vespers on the last full weekend of the month, but from Saturday, 7th. September we shall begin again to celebrate Vespers every Saturday at 6.30 p.m. This will be a much easier pattern to remember and follow. Many of our community are out of the habit of the Saturday evening service, but we must begin to change our habit! Most of the Church’s liturgical teaching material is found in Vespers and Matins, rather than in the Divine Liturgy. We Orthodox are not a ‘Sunday service only’ church.
Please think how you and your family can begin to come to this celebration – the beginning of the Christian day.

Some of the news from the wider Orthodox world can be a little unsettling at times. Many of you will be aware that Patriarch Bartholomew last year announced the ending of the ‘tomos’ of the  Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe, with the intention that all parishes would be places under the oversight of the local bishop of the Oecumenical Patriarchate. This has caused considerable concern among the parishes concerned, a number of which are in Britain. The Exarchate was thrown into  turmoil, but till now no further guidance has come from the Patriarch. The following communiqué, however, has now been published: The meeting of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which took place on Thursday and Friday, August 29 and 30, in the Holy Trinity Monastery of Halki, was concluded.During the meeting, it was decided to discharge Archbishop Ioannis of Harioupolis from the Apostolic and Patriarchal Ecumenical Throne, personally and only to him, thereby relieving him of the responsibility of the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe. services.As a consequence, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France is now responsible for parishes of the former Exarchate [in France].The same is true of the rest of the former Exarchate parishes in other Western European countries, which fall under the responsibility of the respective Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in these areas.It remains to be seen how the parishes will adjust to the new situation, but they all, and especially the parishes of the Exarchate in Britain,  most certainly need our prayers at this time.

The Children’s Group will re-start for the Term 1 from Sunday 15th September. Please enroll your children by responding to Lydia’s email or email for the sign-up form.

HAS THE FOODBANK SLIPPED YOUR MIND?The need for contributions to the Foodbank is as great as ever. Please continue giving. Especially:UHT milkUHT fruit juicePasta sauceTinned tomatoesTinned fruitTinned fishRiceCustard and Rice puddingLarge size nappies (5&6)IMPORTANT NOTE:How to unsubscribe:You are receiving this newsletter by email because you have given us your email address. You can decide to withdraw your consent at any time by emailing and putting ‘Unsubscribe’ in the subject box. We will then delete your email address from our mailing list and email you to say that we have done so.


The Eastern Orthodox Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God, University Rd, Bristol BS8 1SP, registered Charity No. 290747, is a member Parish of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
© 2018 Orthodox Community of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Bristol, all rights reserved

DID YOU KNOW that the parish also has a YouTube channel? Search on YouTube for ‘Orthodox Church of The Nativity of the Mother of God, Bristol’. You will find sermons and service clips from our church.