Monday, November 1, 2010
Something for the heart: An Indigenous Australian Orthodox Parish
On Saturday the 4th of July 2009, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion travelled 2 and half hours from Sydney to the township of Gunning. Here, in the home of Father Seraphim (above) and Matushka Helen Slade he served the Divine Liturgy in English and blessed a chapel in honour of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. Ordained priest only a year ago and of aboriginal heritage, Father Seraphim’s work with aboriginal media organisations obliges him to travel widely around Australia to many indigenous communities. This provides him with many excellent opportunities to introduce Orthodox Christianity to indigenous Australians in many different locations. The blessing of the home chapel provides Father Seraphim with a base where the Divine Liturgy can be regularly served for a small but growing number of converts to the Orthodox faith in Gunning and surrounding areas.
Father Seraphim requested that the chapel be blessed in honour of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco because of the encouragement St John gave for the establishment of local churches and the evangelisation of non-Russian peoples.
Serving with the Metropolitan were Father Seraphim Slade and Father George Robertson from the St Stephen of Perm mission in Queanbeyan. Over 60 people attended the Divine Liturgy, with many travelling from Sydney , Queanbeyan, Canberra and Yass. The choir from All Saints Church, Kentlyn, under the direction of Sub-deacon Stephen McKay, provided the singing. Following the Liturgy, the Metropolitan, clergy and congregation attended a festive trapeza in the hall of the Gunning fire station. Among the guests were the elders of the local indigenous community.
Posted by Orthodox Christian Resources at 10:18 PM