What we’re all about
We are a parish of Orthodox Christians with a strong commitment to the two Great Commandments of Christ: firstly to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds and souls, and secondly, to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).
These two commandments, the love of God and of humanity, have been described by St. Ephrem the Syrian as being like two wings that uphold all the teaching of the Christian Church.
We believe that to worship God with all our mind requires worship in a language that we can understand (1 Corinthians 14:19).
The migrant communities who brought the Orthodox faith with them to Australia also brought with them their own languages of origin. This was entirely appropriate for their generation at that time. However, an unfortunate result of this has been that the Orthodox faith has remained hidden from the English-speaking Australian community, as well as from the succeeding generations of the migrant families who do not speak or understand the ancient language used in their Church services.
Historically, the Orthodox Church has never expected people to learn a foreign language in order to hear and understand the Good News of Jesus Christ. Nor has it expected people to worship God in a foreign language. Our parish therefore conducts all of its services in English, so that English-speaking Australians can feel welcome and participate in its life and worship.
Our congregation is made up of people from various backgrounds (we currently have people from Australian, Egyptian, English, Greek, Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Romanian, Russian, Serbian and South African backgrounds) who are united by a common desire to worship God with all our heart, mind and soul, in the English language.
This is how we seek to fulfil the first Great Commandment.
We also believe that the Church should remember the poor (Galatians 2:10). To this end, our Mission has participated in various charity programs, including a soup kitchen and a food distribution program with a crisis centre for homeless and underprivileged people around Melbourne. Currently we are helping with food for needy students at Monash University as well as with a free meal that is provided for the students by the Monash Students Association each week.
We also provide regular overseas aid to the poor, the destitute and orphaned children in other parts of the world, particularly Sierra Leone, where Fr. Themi is working at the moment.
This is how we seek to fulfil the second Great Commandment.
Fr Geoff Harvey