Saint Panteleimon's is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving the New South Wales Central Coast and the northern suburbs of Sydney. We are a parish of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Established in 2000, our parish is one of the newest in our Diocese. Download an English-language copy of our Summer (December, January and February) 2019-2020 Schedule of Services in PDF format here. A Russian-language copy of the Summer 2019-2020 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
On Saturday 1 February and Sunday 2 February we will have services for the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost. All-night vigil will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. This year, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost will be the Sunday of Zaccheus, the final Sunday before the beginning of the preparatory period for Great Lent. The Sunday is so named because of the reading from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 19:1-10) concerning the conversion of Zaccheus the tax-collector, one of the great Biblical models of repentance.
On Saturday 25 January the parish rector baptised Elliana Sutula, the infant daughter of Evgenii and Anastasia Sutula. Elliana, whose godmother was Natalia Yakimova, was baptised in honour of Saint Elena, Equal-to-the-Apostles. We warmly congratulate Evgenii, Anastasia and Natalia, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Elliana many years!
On Saturday 18 January and Sunday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of Theophany, the commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves – was served on Saturday evening and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Sunday morning. As in previous years, we were joined for the Theophany services by many friends from the Sydney parishes spending their summer holidays on the Central Coast.
On Sunday 5 January, Monday 6 January and Tuesday 7 January we had services to prepare for and celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matins for the Eve of the Nativity and in honour of the Martyr Eugenia (+AD) was served on the evening of Sunday 5 January. On the morning of Monday 6 January Vespers with the eight prophetic readings from the Old Testament and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great were served, after which we decorated our small church for the main festive services. On Monday evening we had All-night Vigil (Great Compline, Matins and First Hour) with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves, and on Tuesday morning Divine Liturgy was served. In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, our parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Hilarion Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Following the service on Tuesday many gathered in the church hall for a festive meal.
On Saturday 4 January and Sunday 5 January we had services for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the Forefeast of the Nativity of Christ, and the day of commemoration of the Holy Fathers, the ancestors of Christ from Adam to Joseph the Betrothed, together with all the Righteous Ones of the Old Testament who lived in expectation of His coming. All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. During the evening service and before Divine Liturgy many of our parishioners confessed in preparation to receive Holy Communion. At Divine Liturgy the appointed reading from the Apostol (Hebrews 11:9-10,17-23,32-40) was read in Church Slavonic, Russian, and English, and prayers were offered for relief from drought and from fire. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the historical certainty of the Incarnation of Christ and of the faithfulness of the Holy Fathers through the centuries prior. With Bishop George’s blessing, on Sunday a collection was commenced for the relief of those adversely affected by the 2019-20 bushfire emergency.
In 2019 we celebrated 15 years of parish life in West Gosford. The renovation of our parish centre was effectively completed, with the office, meeting room and vestry all brought into use. We acquired new candle-stands and beautiful new church vestments in green, white and blue. We had nine baptisms: Rocco Ward, Alexander Tomachinsky, Sophia Grishina, Noemie Vitkovsky, Myron Markarov, Ellis King, Dominic Sytin, Natalia Karonin, and Martin Westcott. Four of our parishioners departed this life: Reader Paul Douriaguine, Olga Itsikson, Ludmilla Roubanoff and Olga Erzikoff. Great Feasts celebrated during the year include the Meeting of the Lord, the Annunciation of the Mother of God, the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), the Ascension of the Lord, Pentecost, the Transfiguration of the Lord, The Nativity of the Mother of God, the Exaltation of the Cross, and the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. In January we were honoured to receive the revered Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God. In August Bishop George visited and the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia sang at Divine Liturgy. All the news from 2019 can be read here. Glory be to God for all things!
On Saturday 14 December and Sunday 15 December we had services for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Prophet Habbakuk (7th Century BC). All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. Following the Prayer before the Amvon a new gold protodeacon’s orarion and cuffs were blessed, and after the dismissal these were presented to our parish Protodeacon, Father Martin Naef. Upon presenting them to Father Martin our parish rector congratulated him on his recent name-day (Saint Martin of Tours, 24 November) and commended him on his faithful service to the parish over the past eleven years.
On Tuesday 3 December and Wednesday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Wednesday morning. At Divine Liturgy many of those present received Holy Communion. In a departure from our usual practice, the morning service commenced at 8.00am rather than 9.00am, a practice that we are likely to adopt for weekday services in future.
On Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December we had services for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Martyrs Platon of Ancyra (c.+302 AD) and Romanus of Caesarea (+303 AD). All-night Vigil was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. A great many people were present on Sunday morning for our first morning service in four weeks. Receiving Holy Communion for the first time at Divine Liturgy was the newly-baptised Martin Westcott. Following the service on Sunday our church was cleaned and adorned in new blue vestments in preparation for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple on 3-4 December.
On Tuesday 12 November our 2019-20 Parish Council met for the first time. Convening by teleconference, the meeting included newly-elected members Kate Marcotrigiano and Alla Karmadonoff as well as our parish clergy and returning lay members Vladimir (“Rick”) Golovin, Anna Kourbatov, Nina Golovin, and Anne Nielsen. The meeting heard reports on parish life and finances; considered charitable projects; discussed support for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Centenary Icon project; appointed office-bearers for 2019-20; approved membership applications; and finalised plans for participation in the Diocesan Assembly to be held in Strathfield from 14-17 November. God willing, the Parish Council will meet next on Tuesday 10 December.
With blessing of His Grace Bishop George of Canberra, Abbot Dorofei (Urusov) will be leading a pilgrimage to the island of Tubabao in The Phillippines. In 1949-50 Tubabao was a place of refuge for Russians leaving China after the communist victory there in 1949. The great hierarch and wonderworker of the Russian diaspora, Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, lived and served on Tubabao during this time. This pilgrimage will honour the place of his prayer and commemorate the Russian presence on the island. The program will include Divine Liturgy, a memorial service, benevolent work including a dinner for the children of the island, creative evenings, visits to natural attractions, and cultural activities. Contact details are available here, and some historical information is available here.
The November 2019 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. As usual, it contains a number of interesting articles in both Russian and English. In Russian: "Мельбурн: 70 лет приходу Покровского собора"; "Австралийцы поют в Соборе Кремля"; "Указы"; and more. In English: details of a number of service awards recently given to Diocesan clergy; the Resolution of the Nineteeth Triennial Assembly of Clergy and Laity of the Diocese; "Five ways Eastern Orthodoxy differs from other Christian denominations"; "Christmas Lent"; "Can a Christian marry a Muslim?"; "What is Patriarch Bartholomew's error?"; "Shame before Confession"; and more. Copies are $5.00.