Monday 17 February 2014

Orthodox Mission in the UK - 17th February 2014

Today I am working on the next two events in our missionary ministry here in the UK. On Saturday 22nd February I am celebrating the Liturgy at the Orthodox Mission of St Andrew, Clewer, Windsor. This mission has been operating for about a year now and we have been able to celebrate a monthly Saturday liturgy every month for the last six months. There is a stable committed core of members, with many regular visitors. At our last Liturgy, for the Eve of Theophany, we had twenty-six people worshipping with us, which was our best attendance so far.

Missionary work requires a long-term commitment since the British Orthodox Church has to rely on drawing people to Orthodoxy from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We do not have the attraction of being a comforting expression of an immigrant culture and community. People do not come to our missions because they want to be part of a Greek, or Russian, or Egyptian community, but because they want to be Orthodox above all else. Such growth takes time and perseverance and prayer.

At the moment I am contacting all of the people who have ever visited our Windsor services, and who have contacted the British Orthodox Church and live within travelling distance of Windsor to send them a personal invitation to the Liturgy on Saturday. We are always looking for new people to contact and welcome to our mission. If you live within distance of Windsor yourself, or have friends and family who do, then why not organise a visit to the Liturgy on Saturday, 22nd February, we start Raising of Incense at 9:30 and the Liturgy itself at 10:00. Afterwards we always enjoy sharing an Agape meal together.

Today I am also working on the materials for the Orthodox Way of Prayer study day in Stoke on Trent, on Saturday March 15th. The outline for the day is as follows:

Proposed Schedule

09:30               Registration and Coffee
10:00               Welcome
10:05               Orthodox Morning Prayer
10:30               What is Prayer?
11:00               Discussion: Experience of Prayer
11:30               The Prayer of the Heart
11:50               Practical: Jesus Prayer
12:00               The Prayer of the Liturgy
12:30               Buffet Lunch
13:15               Prayer with the Scriptures
14:15               Practical: Lectio Divina
14:25               Developing a Prayer Rule
14:40               Discussion: Prayer Rule         
14:55               Afternoon Coffee Break
15:05               Orthodox Evening Prayer
15:20               Conclusion
15:30               Departure

I'm busy at the moment trying to produce a booklet that will contain the Morning and Evening Prayers, and study notes about each of the topics to be covered during the day. When I have finished the booklet I'll need to print enough copies using the Print On Demand publisher, Lulu, who I use for all of the church publications I have produced. If the booklet works out then I will be using it on other occasions to lead The Orthodox Way of Prayer elsewhere.

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