Thursday, May 26, 2011

our monasteries in nsw

need your help
"Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 We need your assistance - action is needed prior to Tuesday 31 May 2011!
After many years of hard work and fund-raising, and with the support of all the Greek Orthodox Australian faithful of NSW and other States, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has been developing two Monasteries on the Central Coast of NSW: Pantanassa Monastery at Mangrove Creek and Holy Cross Monastery at Mangrove Mountain. At the time of acquiring these lands, the construction of a monastery, including a church was permissible within the current zones, and on this basis the lands were acquired and the monasteries planned.
NOW, Gosford Council is proposing to eliminate "places of public worship" from the zones on which the Monasteries are located under its "Gosford Draft LEP 2009". This means that future development and expansion of the monasteries, including construction of new churches, is threatened and may not be permissible on monastery lands. 
 We have:
  1. made detailed submissions to Council opposing the proposed change to the zoning - these have been rejected! and
  2. asked Council to acknowledge the monasteries future development needs by placing the monasteries in the SP1 'Special Activities Zone' which would allow for development of the monasteries with Council consent based on merit considerations - this too was rejected!
On Monday 23 May 2011 we were informed that Council plans to consider the adoption of the "Gosford Draft LEP 2009" on Tuesday 31 May 2011!
You can help by sending letters we have prepared for you to the Councillors and Ministers at the click of one button. We have less than one week to let Councillors and NSW State Government Ministers know that we are very upset and disappointed with this whole matter! We must act before Tuesday 31 May 2011.

We thank you in advance for your support and pray that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ bless you and your families. We will email you further developments if needed.

Prayerfully Yours,
Pantanassa Monastery
Holy Cross Monastery"

a bit of a parking problem

police command centre proposition 

Those who attended the Easter services would of noticed protest signs in and around the houses of Henry street. These signs were in regards to a proposal made for a  Leichhardt local area police command centre for 29 Derbyshire Road (the street behind the church, beside the bus depot and Pioneers park). The implications of such a proposal on the St Gerasimos Parish and community has caused some concern. The list below are just some of the effects the command centre will cause:

- There will be no additional parking made for staff (100 staff on shift 24/7)
- Access will be via William street only (an already dangerous area with buses coming in and out of the depot)
- Footpath removal from Pioneers Park
- Criminals from Glebe, Balmain and Newtown will be transported to the Command centre for lock up, bail etc.

As part of St Gerasimos community, there is still time to have your concerns and voices heard, as community and council meetings are still taking place. A more creative resolution to the traffic and parking problem should be considered with such a proposition (i.e building under/upper ground parking) rather than making a current problem for the local community worse.

A way you can voice your concern and/or support, is by picking up a petition letter or by downloading it here, signing and returning it to Fr. Leslie at the church.
More information on this proposal can be found at Church and this page will also be updated shortly.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

allow Him

to enter your life.
"Once again we have come together on this Easter night to proclaim and confess our fundamental belief in the Resurrected Person that we call Jesus Christ. And all our faith, all our belief, all our convictions, all our teachings is based not on a theory, not on a philosophy, not on a hypothesis, not on an idea or on abstract thinking...but on a person. A human being.

That is why we are here: to proclaim, to confess, to underline this human being. Everything that Jesus Christ taught, lived and died for depended upon His Resurrection. Not a dictum or ideology, but a historical fact in time and space. We have to ask ourselves: How is this human being different? How is He distinct? How can we "tell Him apart"?Just notice and just think...
In the world everything can be taken from us. They can take our possessions away. They can take our ownership away. They can take our money away and our titles away. Everything we have can be taken away, except, our death. 

No one can take our death away.
No one.
No person.
No guru
No prophet.
No idol.
No polytheistic gods.
No holy person.
No religious leader.
No political leader.
No prime minister.
No pop star. 
No movie star.

Except one person: Christ. Except, Jesus Christ.
Only Jesus Christ has made the claim and conviction that He takes away death. That is why we can sing, "Death where is your sting?", "Death where is your victory?". Jesus Christ has taken it away and destroyed Death by His death. Don't we chant, "Life in the tomb.."?

So tonight it's a message of hope, of confidence, of faith, of assurance.Life is not gloom and doom, like others teach.It's not a message of despair, of emptiness, of sadness. The world has given us that, with what we have all been experiencing and hearing in the last 5 months.With the Resurrection we are not dealing with something that's different or differs from earthly life. The Resurrection is not a different life, but it is this lived, loved and mortal life, which becomes different, healed, reconciled and perfected. Life lived on earth in love can offer inspiration to evoke life in God.

Therefore with Christ, with the Resurrected Christ, the person we celebrate tonight:
Allow Him to enter our life.
Allow Him to enter our pain.
Allow Him to enter our wounds.
Allow Him to enter our emptiness.
Allow Him to enter our being.
Allow Him to enter our death.

 And everyone who has experienced death in the family, of a loved one, a friend, a family member, a child, a god parent, parent, wife or husband...whoever, whether here or overseas...tonight He gives comfort, hope, assurance. No person stops with the shovel of a grave digger. He has overcome death and no more are we in bondage. That is why we hold our lit candles tonight and we take them to our homes.

Xristos Anesti!"
~ Rev Fr Leslie