T H E C A L L A N D T H E W O R K O F T H E A P O S T L E S
“So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.” (Luke 5 : 11)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
The four Apostles, Peter and Andrew, James and John, after they accepted the blessed and privileged call from the Lord to follow Him, obeyed Him completely. They then took their fishing boats to the shore, left everything and everybody and attached themselves to the Lord. Within the frame of that guileless decision of the four disciples we observe the total obedience, the complete dedication and spirit of sacrifice, the attitude of offering and the general adaptation of their given mission.
However, all these men had parents, other relatives and friends. Furthermore, each one of them had their human pursuits, their own ambitions and weaknesses. The divine call, however, set aside everything else and activated their whole inner being placing themselves on the front line, so that their missionary work would result in juicy and sweet-drinking fruits. They themselves did not look for plausible excuses to delay or to postpone their decision.
Later on the word of the Lord: “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9 : 62) would reach their ears as praise and confirmation, that their decision and acceptance were right. After three years of discipleship at the feet of the Lord, the illiterate and simple fishermen, after they had received the illumination from above, were transformed to indomitable mouths of the word. They proved to be loud and piercing preachers to the world and carried the message of the redemption and salvation to the thirsty and suffering souls of men.
Following the day of Pentecost each one of the Apostles accepted his own area and went there and started preaching the faith and transmitting the light of Christ, to the people and races who up to that time were sitting “in the region and shadow of death.” (Matthew 4 : 16). They invited them to accept the light; to come to know the truth and abandon the delusion of idolatry; to free themselves from sin and become members of the new life.
The zeal of the Apostles and the sincerity of their intentions, Apostles, their unpretentious love towards the Lord and Teacher and to their fellow men, gave them wings and strength to nurture the world with the truths of the Gospel, using the means which they had at their disposal.
One wonders, we who have the responsibility of spreading the divine word and safeguarding the faith, what are we doing? Are we perhaps thinking about our time-table? Are we reluctant to offer our labour? Do we try to amass wealth? Are we interested in having a good time? Are we lukewarm in what we believe and improvise with what we occupy ourselves? The result is that we give grounds to the enemies of the faith to argue and give ammunition to the accusers of Christ. But we all need to remember that God not only does not need us but also is able to raise children to Abraham from stones, according to the word of the Bible, from the mouth of John the Forerunner. (Matthew 3 : 9). Let each one of us to exercise his duties in the best and most exemplary way so that we will walk unwaveringly towards the Kingdom of God and to contribute towards the glory of the Triune God. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!
C O M M U N I T Y N E W S
MEALS FOR THE ELDERLY: The meals for the elderly after the summer holidays, have resumed on Tuesday, 13th September 2011. As you probably know these meals are offered twice a week, namely Tuesday and Thursday at 1.00 p.m. at St Barnabas’ Church hall. We hope that as many of our elderly as possible will come and participate in this friendly atmosphere. We would also ask our regular kind donors to continue their generosity by contributing towards this very worthy cause.
The meals for the month of September were subsidised by the following: Erotokrita Livera in memory of her beloved parents, Andreas and Anna; Georgios and Foula Neokleous in memory of their beloved departed Panicos, Neoclis, Martha; the family of Andreas Hadjitheodosiou; Marias and Koula Minaides in memory of their beloved father Georgios, an anonymous donor and the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of PANTANASSA. We thank all of them for their kind generosity.
RENEWAL OF SUBSCRIPTIONS: The subscriptions for the Community (£50.00), Pantanassa (£25.00) and the Archdiocese Magazine (£15.00) are now due. If you have not already paid your subscriptions or wish to subscribe to any or all of these you may contact our Community’s offices.
PANTANASSA’S SOCIAL: On Tuesday, 27th September at 7.30 p.m. the Ladies’ Auxiliary Society of PANTANASSA is holding a social evening. This will be held at St Barnabas’ Church hall. The purpose of this social is to raise sufficient funds towards the expenses of improving the lighting in the church of St Barnabas. Tickets are sold at £20.00 each.
NEW EDITION: The Community’s bookshop is pleased to announce that it has just published the 28th volume of the Greek leaflet “Diaconia”. This volume contains all the sermons and the community news for the year 1998. Each volume is available for purchase at £10.00 each from the Community’s offices. We intend gradually to bind all the remaining years of the Greek leaflet in volumes. In this way anybody interested can learn about the life and history of our Community.
SCHOOL BLESSING OF WATERS: On Saturday, 17th September 2011, His Grace, Athanasios, Bishop of Tropaeou, assisted by the clergy and deacons of the Community, blessed the Waters for the official opening of the Greek and Sunday Schools of St Barnabas. The ceremony took place at St Mary’s Greek Cathedral. In attendance were the Educational Counsellor-Inspector of the Cyprus High Commission, Mr Savvas Pavlides, the President of the Greek Orthodox Communities and Chairman of St Mary’s Cathedral, Mr Marios Minaides, the Honorary Chairman of St Barnabas Church Mr Antonios Prodromou, Dr Andreas Pelendrides, the head of the Educational Office of our Holy Archdiocese in North London, Mrs Eleni Vrahimedes, the Chairwomen of the Philanthropic Society of PANTANASSA, Mrs Meropi Livera-Kyriacou and Mrs Androulla Christaki, the Chairwoman of the Parent/Teachers’ Association Mrs Ioanna Onoufriou, parents, guardians, teachers and pupils.
At the end of the Ceremony there was a reception for the invited officials and our teaching staff. We express our warm thanks and gratitude to all who offered their labour, time, gifts and prayers for a blessed and fruitful school year.
OUR SCHOOL MAGAZINE: We think that we are the only Greek School in London which prepares and circulates our School magazine three times a year. Its first issue was published in March 1975. Since then, 111 editions have been circulated. In its pages one may come across many photographs which present the life of our community in its two aspects, the church and the school.
What is important about the magazine is that most of our work takes place on our premises. That is, typing, editing, printing and binding. The magazine is given to all the children, free of charge. This, of course, costs time and money. But it gives the opportunity to our children to cultivate the language in its written form. This is we believe beneficial towards the education side of the children. We trust that the School Magazine will be in existence of many more years. Therefore, we appeal to the friends of the Greek School to bear this in mind and support our work.
We also take the opportunity to thank all those pupils who assisted us through writing essays and other pieces of work. Additionally, we thank all those who assisted us financially throughout the years of the magazine’s existence.