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St Nektarios Parish Newsletter 03-06-19

Dear all.

For the last time this year: Christ is risen!

Gospel reading

  • Yesterday’s gospel reading of the man born blind (John 9:1 – 38) poses an intriguing question: is there such a thing as inherited sin? That is the ultimate question which is posed to Christ by his disciples: “who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Now to our modern ears the notion that a person can inherit sin sounds monstrous. How can a child yet to be born, inherit the sins of his parents?
  • It appears to me that there are two possibilities: sin cannot be inherited or, in the alternative, there is such a thing as inherited sin – whether we like it or not. So let us explore that a little deeper. In the book of Genesis Adam is denied paradise through the sin of disobedience. Through Adam all of us have lost paradise. As St Paul puts it in his letter to the Romans: “therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” (5:12). Through Adam, and his sin, we are denied paradise. So the answer to whether or not there is inherited sin must be yes. To believe otherwise would be to fall in the same heresy as did Pelagius(+418CE)
  • Read what the great Paul sees as man’s greatest gift: “then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (5:18 – 19). The greatest gift to mankind is the redemptive work of Christ our Saviour. Through baptism in and following Christ our sins can be washed away. Through Christ, who is our bridge, we can cross the chasm between us and God.
  • Notice, that in responding Christ says that this man was born blind so that the works of God should be revealed in him and returns to him his sight. Christ looks to our salvation. That was his purpose in taking human form from the virgin. He came to show us a better way. He came to enlighten us to the truth. He came to a show us the light. And what is that light? Christ says I am the light of the world. How do we reflect that light is the question. Do we strive for ourselves or for Christ. That is a question that each one of us needs to resolve.

Around our church

  • The program for this week is as follows:
  • tomorrow Tuesday, adult Bible class continues looking at the book of Genesis. Note the class will commence at 7 PM instead of 6:45 PM.
  • Wednesday Apodosis of the feast of Pascha from 7:30 AM.
  • Thursday Analipsis of the feast of Pascha from 7:30 AM.
  • Saturday morning English liturgy 9 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Our food store requires: blankets, doonas, tinned chickpeas/white beans, toilet paper, milk (long life full cream), tinned tuna (large/medium) oil, tea, sweet biscuits, tinned corn, soap, ladies hygienic products and shampoo.
  • Mark this in your diaries: on Pentecost Sunday we are holding a cake stall. This is part of our fundraising for the year. Anyone who can make, mix, bake, slice and otherwise cook sweet or savouries (such as cheese pies, wild greens pies, spanakopita, sausage rolls et cetera) is most welcome to contribute. Those of you can’t be a supplier then you can be a purchaser. You are most welcome to bring your goods on Saturday morning (being the Saturday of All Souls) or on the Sunday itself (Pentecost). Please help St Nektarios help others.
  • On Sunday, 30 June we are holding the first of our two lunches for the year. Please look at the attached flyer for details. Again, this is a major fundraiser for us. As Nektarios does not have any major donors, nor any other sources of revenue, and we rely upon the assistance of such people as yourselves to carry out a sacred work.
  • Tuesday evening (tomorrow) a vigil is being held at St Constantine and Helene in Parker Street from 8 PM. All are welcome to attend.

Thought of the week

How can we be saved? Each person is cast adrift in the middle of the ocean with no aid to save themselves. Despite their best endeavours they will eventually drown. The only salvation is in the ark of the church. But which church? Is it the church given by Christ or the churches made after the image of men. I for one, find no comfort the idea of being in a church that is younger than myself. One Christ, yet 350 voices in the world Council of churches saying: “I am he.” No wonder we all run the risk of drowning in sin.

Till next time.

In Christ.

Father John Athanasiou 0411 061 554