Monday, August 30, 2010

my retreat experience

by Hellen P. 

Initially on finding out about the retreat it caught my attention as something different.  I thought to myself, "that sounds really interesting and I would really like to go"... then my second, third and fourth thoughts were:
"can't go", " don't know anyone", "don't really want to go alone"..."so better forget it!!!"
To make a long story short, I wanted to know more about it, so I struck up a conversation with one of the youth from our parish. From there we attended the retreat and the state youth conference together and are now great friends.
I am so pleased that I went and I got so much out of it.  As this was my first year attending (2009) I only went for the one day. I thought I could check it out and maybe bring my family along the following year. On arrival everyone was very friendly and welcoming. To be part of the Liturgy in such a different location was a wonderful experience, as I've always only known the Liturgy inside the actual Church. 
The talks were informative and question time at the end of each talk was always welcomed.  Breaking off into groups for discussion was interesting, and the enthusiasm was good.  I was really glad I attended the Retreat, and will hopefully be able to attend again. The archery was so much fun! I would never ordinarily think of doing that, however it was heaps of fun.
I recommend the retreat - well organised, enjoyable, and nice to be with like minded people who have a keenness to further explore their faith.
(This year's retreat is being held at Stanwell Tops, October 15th-17th. 
Do what Hellen did from our parish and ask someone next to you! You can find an application form here. You can bring your application form and money to church on Sunday where it will be collected after Liturgy.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Panagia Iamatiki" chapel renovations

"Sanctify those who love the beauty of your house"

As part of a long plan for the Church at St Gerasimos Leichhardt, a lot has been completed so far: the altar, the ceilings, the hall, restrooms, kitchen and now the next step is our chapel of Panagia Iamatiki (of healing - which you find on your left when you enter St Gerasimos church)

chapel at St Gerasimos

The chapel will be installed with microphones and new lighting, but besides these modern day requirements, the doors and entrance of the chapel will also change. The overall aim is for the chapel to be a reflection of the Mother Church in Arakapa, Cyprus. No matter the distance between the nations - we are one community and unity.

new church
old church
Fundraising for this project has now begun, but we are calling out to anyone who would like to help. There is a lot of talent in our community and God brings help that is needed. Just some of the work that will be required is in electrical, plastering and cabinet making. If you think you could help or would like to ask if your services could be used, please ring Fr Leslie at the Church. 

There is a prayer in the Liturgy, that we hear read every Sunday:
"Sanctify those who love the beauty of your house". 
Beautifying the Church is not only for the uplifting of our senses, but also for the generations to come.

Icon of Panagia Iamatiki