Thursday, March 30, 2006

Church things from Russia

Dear All,

It would be our pleasure to bring you church things that you would like from Russia. The variety there is great, at rather low prices. It can be icons, crosses, holy oil, lampades, and whatever else you can imagine.

Please "place your order" by emailing me: alexch-at-math-ubc-ca, if you have not already done so. We will try our best. Orders are taken before April 25 :)

We will be back in early May.
God bless all of you,
Alexei C.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

We Made the OCA Website!

Check out the OCA website
for pictures from the Liturgy during the Retreat last weekend. Thanks Rebekka! I am still hearing raves from all fronts. Well done Holy Cross Community!
And remember--if you are wondering about any upcoming events check here or email Fr Chris for info.
Momma Kim
...Yes Mark, I think I have given in :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Glory to God for all things! Especially the many blessings He bestows on us!

The first annual Spring Retreat of the Holy Cross Chaplaincy at UBC was certainly that, a blessing!

From Friday March 24th to Saturday March 25th over 60 people from 9 Orthodox Missions and Parishes came to reflect with Matthew Francis on the theme “On behalf of all and for all: The Orthodox Way in a pluralist society” and to celebrate together the Feast of the Annunciation. Matthew gave us much to reflect on blessed us with much insight.

We were also blessed by the presence of the Most Reverend Lazar, former Archbishop of Ottawa. Not only did he contribute much to the discussions and celebrate the Festal Divine Liturgy he also brought the Annunciation Icon written by Canadian iconographer Heiko Schlieper!

Many assisted in making this, our first retreat, a reality. Thank you to monks of All Saints of North America Monastery, members of Holy Resurrection Sobor and St Nicholas Parish, and Mama Kim for feeding us all! Thank you to the singers who helped us make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Thank you to our able registrar, Kimberley! Thank you to St Mark’s College for their endless hospitality! Thank you to all who helped set up and clean up! Thank you to all who came and participated! And thank you Matthew for your words and your witness!

This weekend and this Feast was certainly a “little Pascha” along the Way of our Lenten Journey!

It seems fitting that the first retreat of the Holy Cross Chaplaincy was held on the eve of the 3rd Sunday of Lent, the Veneration of the Cross, Mid-Lent. “We are like those following a long and cruel path, who become tired, see a beautiful tree with many leaves, sit in its shadow and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, continue their journey; likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-Giving Cross was planted in our midst by the holy fathers to give us rest and refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task.” (From the Synaxarion of the Sunday of the Cross)

May we find strength in the Cross of Christ Jesus! May it be our joy our salvation and our only boast!
Your servant in Christ,
the priest Christopher

Thursday, March 23, 2006

UBC Retreat Friday and Saturday

"The Orthodox Way in a Pluralist Society"

The Retreat will be held at St Mark's College at UBC. If you haven't yet registered, but are planning on attending--you are most welcome, but please phone Fr Chris ASAP so accomodations and food will be ready for you!

To reduce the stress on our environment please BYOM (bring your own mug) if possible!!!

Here is the Schedule

Friday 24th
6:00 PM Registration*
7:00 PM Akathist
7:30 PM Key Note Address
Life in the World Today--The Holy Cross & Cosmopolitan
Matthew Francis
8:30 PM Discussion
9:00 PM Fellowship
10:00 PM Compline
(Confession offered after Compline)

Saturday 25th
7:30 AM Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation
9:30 AM Meal
10:15 AM Session 1
Life in the Body of Christ--Blessing and Vocation

12:00 Noon Break
12:30 PM Session 2
Life Along the Way. A Communion of TRUTH & LOVE
1:45 PM Meal
2:45 PM Session 3
"The Courage to Pray" For the Life of the World

4:45 PM Great Vespers

*Please bring the registration fee if you haven't already paid--thankyou!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Thanks to all who helped!

Many thanks to everyone who helped with the preparation of parcels with shoes and clothes for Russia’s orphanages! The parcels have been sent.

We have sent 2 big boxes, 15 and 20 kg. Not all things that we were given fit in. But we will take them with us since we are going to Russia!

God grant, we are going to Russia, in the end of March, for 1 month. We ask for your prayers that it works, and also accept orders of icons, crosses, etc. Please email us at alexey-at-pinewoodland-point-net.

Anna and Alexei C.

Tuesday Night Vespers and Study

Glory to Jesus Christ!
This Sunday the servant of God Mark entered the Catechumenate at Holy Resurrection Sobor!
May God grant Mark many years!

This Tuesday we will be holding Vespers at 6:30 at St Mark's College.

Please come and join us in this Ancient Worship of the Church as well as for fellowship and discussion afterwards.

Don't forget to bring your forms in for the Retreat this Friday!

Your servant in Christ,
the priest Christopher

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Upcoming Spring Retreat-deadline fast approaching!

Spring Retreat at UBC
March 24th-25th

Open to Life Long Learners of All Ages! (...word has it that our dad will be there)
$46 (includes all sessions, accomodation on Friday night and all Saturday meals)
The Friday 7pm session is open to all; donations welcome.

I would like to invite you to come take part in an upcoming retreat the weekend of March 24-25th. Matthew Francis (my little bro) will be speaking with us over the course of the weekend on the topic of Living the Gospel in a Plurarist Society.Matthew grew up in the mountains and valleys of Chilliwack, and currently serves as the Coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Orthodox Church in America’s Archdiocese of Canada. He has been a College chaplain, Amnesty International fundraiser, Assistant to an eccentric Artisan Baker, Writer of History, Landscaper, and Lecturer. He currently serves as Heritage consultant for the Province of Alberta and a contributing editor of Beyond magazine. After spending a couple of rain-soaked years in England, studying the concept of “Sacred Space & Place," he ended up with a M.A. in Theology from the University of Manchester. Matthew and his wife Krista, live in Edmonton, Alberta where they are active members of St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church.
Please feel free to help us get the word out about this exciting opportunity to come and be together, and learn some helpful things to equip us in the journey that is our life in Christ.If you have any questions or would like a registration form, contact me at or by phone at (604) 626 3296. There is limited space for those of you would like to sleep over and take part in the Saturday too, so if you're thinking you'd like to come, register soon.
If cost is an issue, please indicate that in the space provided on your registration form,
and provisions will be considered.
Love in IC XC,

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lenten Struggles

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Sadly, we will not be able to hold Pre-Sanctified Liturgies at St Mark's during this Lenten Season. This sorrows of shared (free) space. I will be speaking further to St Mark's College about scheduling services during Lent. Please check back for further details.

The "Country" Church School in the City will begin on Friday March 17th at 4:00 PM. Please contact me if you (or your children ages 4 to 14) are interested in attending. This will be held on the UBC Campus.

Your servant in Christ,
the priest Christopher

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

God is doing many wonderful things in our midst!

We give thanks to God that as we begin the Lenten Fast our number continues to grow in attendance with 26 coming out to our last Vespers (thank you to all who brought the amazing "bliny" and cheesecakes). And our number continues to grow in the Faith with others (Pedram seems to be on the cusp) soon entering the Catechumenate.

It is also with great joy that I announce the establishment of a Mission Station in the west part of Vancouver. This will be a community that is separate from yet very closely related to the Holy Cross Chaplaincy community here at UBC. Bishop Seraphim has not yet given the soon-to-be mission a name (or patron) as he awaits a list of founding members.

This Sunday (March 5th) a meeting will be held at Holy Resurrection at 7:00 PM. I will be sharing with all who wish to come the Vision for this Mission to Vancouver. A Visionary Document will be discussed along with the next steps necessary in planting this Mission.

All are welcome, both people who wish to be founding members and people who wish to learn more about this new work.

Please email ( or call (604-309-6871) me if you are able to attend so we can be sure there are enough refreshments. Some possible venues for worship will also be discussed as well as different ways of becoming involved.

Please pray for this work and for God’s mercy and protection on all who seek to become involved in this historic and eternally significant endevour!

Your servant in Christ,
the priest Christopher