Thursday, December 4, 2008

Met. Jonah on alms etc. in Advent

Advent -- A Light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death...His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah

December 3, 2008

Beloved in Christ,
Christ is in our midst!
As we prepare for the celebration of the First Coming in the Flesh of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we must fast and pray, and especially give alms, to be able to enter into the joy and grace of the Feast. By prayer and fasting, we empty ourselves of the chaos of our passions and the distractions of the world, so that we might have peace in our souls and silence in our hearts. By this, we identify ourselves with the silence and peace of the Mother of God, who accepted the Divine Presence within her self, so that the Word might become flesh and dwell among us. Let us also let the Word become incarnate in our hearts and souls and bodies, our thoughts and actions, that we might become instruments of His Will, being recreated in Christ for good works.
We give alms as a way of overcoming our selfishness, of detaching ourselves from grasping for possessions and money, so that the generosity of God who gave His Son for us may shine forth from us. We give alms to those in need, as a way of honoring Christ, who identified Himself with the poor, the suffering, the persecuted and the oppressed. Whoever is poor, whoever is suffering, whoever is rejected and oppressed, is Christ; let us minister to Him in them. Let us open our minds and hearts, our homes and our wallets, to those suffering from loneliness and despair, those who have lost their jobs and fear to lose their dignity, the orphans and widows-the fatherless and divorced, elderly, abandoned and alone. It is good to write checks to organizations. But the spiritual riches come from consoling Christ by serving those in need, personally, with warm affection.
Ours is a time of great uncertainty, fear and war. The economy is teetering, unemployment is mushrooming. Tens of thousands of our children, brothers and sisters are in peril at war in distant lands. Of those who have returned, how many are broken and in despair, not knowing where to turn from the unending nightmares in their memories and their minds. We must especially reach out to them and their families, Orthodox or not, to comfort and console and give them our help, as individuals and as Christian communities.
The Coming of Christ is a message of hope, the banishment of despair. True spiritual striving is the means by which we cast out the works and thoughts of darkness, and let the Holy Spirit heal and console our souls. Let us cleanse our souls through confession, accepting Christ's forgiveness, forgiving everyone who has offended or hurt us, and forgiving ourselves. By repentance we must cast out all resentments and anger, bitterness and self-loathing, selfishness and carnality, self-serving desires for revenge and retribution, all that entombs us in guilt.
Then with a pure mind and a broken heart enkindled by love, overflowing with compassion for those suffering and in need, we might give birth to Christ in our lives, that we might behold His Glory, the Glory of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Wishing you joy and peace, as we prepare together to receive Christ Come in the Flesh, in the Holy Mysteries, in prayer, and in the service of the needy, I remain faithfully yours,

With love in Christ,
+ Jonah
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Natalia T. wants to start a KNITTING GROUP to make scarves for the homeless this season!

Anybody interested, be sure to talk to Natalia at church next week for the when, where and how!

The socks and gloves collection is going well-- please remember to continue to bring contributions to the bin throughout the cold weather!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Socks, gloves and goodies!

We continue to collect new socks to be distributed to impoverished and homeless people. As the weather gets colder, please also donate gloves.

Starting in November, we will also be collecting little treats:

  • individually wrapped small candies and chocolate bars

  • cough drops/throat lozenges.

At the end of the month, we will put together goodie bags to be distributed near Saint Nicholas Day. Thank you for your continued support!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Socks for the Homeless

Drove past a lovely park in Burnaby this afternoon on the way to visit a friend in her home. The park was rich with reds and golds in the leaves, and I enjoyed watching people (while carefully watching the traffic) grip handfuls of coloured leaves and take pictures of each other. Everyone was relaxed (it seemed from the distance) and enjoying the early fall afternoon. The weather is changing. Soon I will have to concede defeat and turn on the heat in my apartment. (The bunnies don't mind yet as they have snuggley fur coats.)

Others watching the changing weather may not be so optimistic. In fact, I am sure they are not. They are the homeless. And they will be cold. Diakonia beginning this month and continuing for some time to come, will be try to help in a very small but important way. We will be collecting new warm socks. Homeless people cannot have warm enough feet. And they have no way to wash dirty socks and especially dry them once they are wet and soiled. So they go through a lot of them.

There will be a bin at church
this coming Sunday.

Please give as many as you can. Greg Wright and his faithful crew will be distributing them as much as we can collect. Any extras (wouldn't that be wonderful!) will be added to Christmas goody bags also for the homeless this Nativity.
Thank you for caring, thank you for being members of this ministry, and thank you for spreading the word to those not on facebook.

-- sent by Angelina

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Welcome to Diakonia!

DIAKONIA is the blog of the Diakonia Charity Ministry of Saint Herman's Orthodox Church, Langley BC. News about our work coming soon!