SGY eMagazine Oct12

1 Heaven Together ST. GEORGE YOUTH OCTOBER EDITION H e a v e n T o g e t h e r E-MAGAZINE 2012


St George Youth eMagazine - October 2012

Transcript of SGY eMagazine Oct12

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Heaven TogetherST. GEORGE YOUTH


He a v e n T

og e t he r


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Happy Coptic New Year! Welcome to 1729By: Sandra Abdelmalek

On celebrating this feast I learnt two new things:

-Honoring the millions of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our Lord. How do you become a martyr in today's day and age where there are no emperors flinging swords at you?Recently we addressed this phenomenon. "Purity is the new martyrdom in today's day and age." Look at things which are hard to attain in society, the things that are against the social norm and make you feel a bit on edge and plummet you out of your comfort zone. Then simply follow your moral compass. It's different for everyone, not everyone's going to struggle with purity for example. You may be struggling with an illness and find it hard to remain thankful for all the other blessings in your life. Firstly pinpoint what's hindering your spiritual life and ask why has this particular thing got a hold on me? I know its much easier said then done, but if it weren't complex what's the point in striving for it in the first place? “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Last step is to take a hold and gird yourself with the ammunition we

regu la r ly t ake fo r g ran ted-PRAYER! Prayer is usual ly composed of request, thanks and praise. Task for this month is to compose your own custom prayer where you ask Christ to help you. Make sure your prayer is intimately tied with your current struggle/s. A martyr is a witness to Christ. A witness as in, I can see Christ portrayed through your very being, as if He has left an imprint on your heart. Become an instrument of praise.

-What's heaven like? My Sunday School lesson was based on familiarising 6 year olds with what heaven is going to be like. We will be amongst the angels, saints, family members and friends; continually singing and praying to God. The best part of heaven is we will be able to see Christ for REAL, not in an image or a drawing but for REAL. After we got past the morbid questions of when am I going to die? How am I going to die? Will I know I'm dying whilst I'm dying?We spoke about how can I familiarise myself with what it's going to be like on heaven. Look at the saints and emulate their qualities; they're in heaven for a

reason so it won't hurt to take some pointers from them. Recently in youth meeting, Tasbeha was likened to "Heaven on Earth.” Tasbeha is composed of an introduction, 4 canticles, 1 psali, 1 theotokia and the conclusion. Second Task for this month is attend a Tasbeha to experience “Heaven on Earth”; be conscious of which of the five Parts you are up to. Notice how even the mundane things that we don't notice such as the rivers, hills are praised simply for fulfilling their purpose and acknowledge that you too are called to fulfill your purpose.

Last but not least, be sure to check out the ABC's incredible podcast on 'Coptic Christianity and September 11'… Enjoy!h t t p : / / w w w . a b c . n e t . a u /r a d i o n a t i o n a l / p r o g r a m s /s p i r i t o f t h i n g s / e g y p t - w a s -christian3a-coptic -christianity/4235786





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YOUTH UPDATEOn 16 September St George’s Youth conducted an all night vigil. It begun with Tasbeha. A wonderful twilight mass followed. To end, we all had a light breakfast. Definitely an event to be repeated!

Did you know that every time you donate blood YOU save 12 lives?!! The 2nd blood drive on 26th August was a great success! These blood drives will be a regular event so be sure to join us!

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Masterchef 2012!

Inspired by the hit TV phenomenon “Masterchef” the youth conducted their very own cooking drama on the 22nd July. Surprising main dishes and mouthwatering desserts were on offer. Our winners were Nathan Bebawi and Samer Joseph. Well done lads!

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a little imagination

As I walked through the doors, the smell of disease and death hit me. It hit me so hard; like an arrow straight to my heart. “What am I doing here”, I thought?

It seemed like a great idea at the time. The only way I could escape home without actually escaping. I was at college and a friend of mine was telling me how her church group were going to volunteer in Africa at the end of the year; helping sick kids. I’m not really big on religion or doing things at no cost but I hated home and knew this was a way for me to get out.

I never thought I would be one to feel sympathy or to be moved by what I was seeing. I must have had a look of great sadness on my face. I felt something tugging on my leg. I looked down and there I saw a little boy. His eyes drooped low. His skin was all dry and was missing one limb. What he was not missing though, that I was, was a beaming smile; full of hope and joy.

“What are you smiling at?”, I found myself rudely asking him. His smile turned into a short laughter and he asked me, “Why do you look so sad?”. I didn’t answer.

It was around five o’clock in the evening. “Afram, it’s time for your nap”. A lady came up and carried him. “Follow me”, she said. I found myself following her to the little boy’s ward. She put him down on a piece of an old, battered mattress. In no time at all, he was sound asleep. So peaceful.

I asked her what was wrong with him. She told me, “ This is my son Afram. He really needs a blood transfusion and if he doesn’t get one soon, he will die”. I was shocked. “It’s ok”, she smiled. “This is God’s will for Afram. Besides, he has already received the best blood transfusion anybody can ever have”. I was puzzled. “ You see, when Christ came down and shed his blood for us all; he saved us. My little boy is already saved”.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

SavedBy Youstina Morcos





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A lot of the time we will pray, asking God to help us in a certain aspect of our life. Either to help make a problem go away or for a blessing to come our way. Yet in all this we expect immediate action, as if God is our servant, when in fact it is God who is our master and we His servants. Sometimes when calling on God we assume that God works like some sort of miracle drug, where as soon as we finish with him, we can have a glass of water and within a few minutes all our problems will vanish.

God’s grace is a highly misunderstood concept. God does not bless us according to our whim. He is not subservient to our agenda. St Paul writes to the Romans that:

“…in due time God died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6)The key words here are “in due time”.

Yes! God is merciful and loving and ever-so kind towards us, and it may be because He loves us so much and does so much for us that we think that we can call on Him like a king would call on his servants. But in actual fact God will bless us “in due time”. He knows what we need and when we need it. In Genesis we read that even after Joseph was taken from his father’s house and sold as a slave, it was written that:

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man…”

(Genesis 39:2)Thus regardless of how difficult our

circumstances, God will not leave us stranded. As He promised multiple times:

“I will never leave you nor forsake you”(Hebrews 13;5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua

1:5)He has also promised that even when we are

at our lowest He will be there. Sometimes in keeping us far away from God, the devil will convince us to think that we have sinned so much and that we are so unclean that we are not worthy of calling on God. This is such a common device used by the devil in order to keep us from repenting and turning from our uncleanliness. But during the Holy Liturgy when the priest prays the Absolution of the Father he says:

“Where transgression has abounded, let Thy grace be multiplied in abundance”

This prayer is taken from Romans 5:20. It is a promise from God that there is no sin that God cannot forgive. That no matter what your history is, no matter how sinful you are or how deep the abyss of transgression you have lived in; God is more than capable of pulling you out. There is no sin too great for God and his grace.

Thus when calling on God remember that there is nothing He cannot do, nothing is out of His reach; yet His grace will come only when the time is right. Sometimes we aren’t ready for it and sometimes it’s not what He wants for us. Just pray and and ask God that His “will be done” because he has your best interests at heart.

God’s GraceBy : Chris Henies


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Liturgical ContemplationChrist and the Liturgy

By John Nasr

As Orthodox people we all attend the Liturgy and enjoy the rituals and hymns and understand the significance of partaking of the Eucharist. But what is the significance of partaking of the Eucharist in the context of the Liturgy?

Today there are so many Christian denominations and all of them take a different view on the Liturgy and the Eucharist.

Some see it as a mere Remembrance of a historical act. Some see it as the celebration and partaking of the actual Body and Blood of Christ. Some see it as non-significant part of Christian life and don’t celebrate it at all.

Through this article we want to explore what Christ meant the Eucharist to be and its significance to our Christian life. In order to do this we will first define the meaning of ‘liturgy’

1. What is the Liturgy?The Meaning of Liturgy

Liturgy can be defined as the coming together of a group of people where the sum of all their abilities put together is greater than the ability of any one individual’s. This is the underlining principle of the liturgy - the union of the body of Christ. I want you to keep this definition in your mind as we discuss this topic.

The Liturgy is a Heavenly Banquet

In Matthew 25:21 in the parable of the talents Christ says to the good stewards “...enter into the joy of your Lord”. How do we enter into the joy of our Lord? Through the Eucharist!

The Church Fathers were so consumed by this fact that they called the liturgy of the Eucharist the heavenly banquet hosted by Christ. To them this was not a mythical philosophy but a reality; an intimate meal with Christ.

The Orthodox Church believes that through the Liturgy the congregation ascends to Heaven. This heavenly ascension is our joy on earth.

There is a story about the late Fr. Bishoy Kamel that highlights this point. While Fr. Bishoy was still alive a nun in Alexandria had a dream that she was taken to heaven by an Angel and was given a tour. At the end of the tour the angel took her to the most beautiful part she had ever seen. So she asked “which saint lives here?” the Angel replied “this is the place which Fr. Bishoy Kamel ascends to every time he prays a liturgy”. No wonder he loved to pray liturgies!





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The Liturgy is Remembrance

Christ at the last supper commands His Disciples “Do this in remembrance of Me”. The Orthodox Church looks at this statement without excluding the verse before it “take eat this is My body” and “take drink this is My blood”. Christ’s affirms strongly that this bread and wine is His actual body and blood and then continues to explain that we should celebrate Him through remembrance in the Liturgy. So the command “Do this in remembrance...” is actually a command to participate of the Eucharist through the Liturgy and is not lessening the significance of the Eucharist itself.

The Greek word used in the Gospel for remembrance is ‘anamnesis’ which means much more than to merely recall a past event. It specifically implies that we live in the present and behave in the present in light of our memory of the past. It is memory that gives meaning to our present.

I’ll explain what I mean here by using a portion of the Coptic Liturgy. After Abouna says “For every time you eat of this bread and drink of this cup, you proclaim My Death, confess My Resurrection, and remember Me till I come” (based on 1 Corinthians 11:26). The congregation responds with the hymn “Amen Amen Amen we preach your death O Lord Your Holy Resurrection and ascension we confess, We Praise You, We Bless You, We Thank You O Lord...”

Therefore, this tells us that by remembering Christ through the Liturgy our life is transformed so that we offer ourselves in praise, worship, offering until His second coming.

That is why we need to come to the Eucharist regularly when we feel like it and when we don’t, for the great danger is that we would forget what He has done. We can so easily forget.

The Liturgy is an Offering

The liturgy is not merely coming to Church and partaking of the Eucharist so Christ can help me in my life. It is more serious than that!

In the liturgy I give my whole life to Christ as an offering as a response to Him sacrificing Himself for me. Christ gives His life to me on the altar and I give him my mind, my heart, my money, my time, my family and my whole life. This is reflected in the liturgy by the congregation when we say “we offer these gifts from what is Yours”.

The Liturgy is the Real Altar Call

As we sometimes see on T.V. Evangelical Protestants during their services make an altar call asking that “whoever is ready to meet Jesus and submit their life to Him come up now to the stage and receive Him”. Where did this practice come from? Well this is a modified version of the Orthodox Church’s Altar Call which it has been doing for 2000 years. Every week in the Liturgy just before communion Abouna turns around to the congregation lifting the Body and Blood as if to say “come forward all who are ready to accept Christ. It is Christ Himself that is calling us saying “come, eat My body, drink My blood, give Me all of your heart, trust in Me and I will abide in you and you in Me”.

This is the true and biblical Altar Call that we partake in where we accept to give our lives to Christ by eating His body and drinking his blood.

The Liturgy is a Personal Encounter

“The climax of the Sacrament is in the Presence of Christ… and in the personal encounter of the faithful with their living Lord” Fr. George Florovsky

I leave everything behind and come to meet Christ in the Liturgy; it is my presence in the heavenly banquet.

It is during the liturgy that I can really excel my own personal relationship with Christ. I am at His house, invited to His banquet as an honorary guest.

The liturgy is for you individually as much as it is for the whole Body of Christ.





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2. The Liturgy and its Rituals

The symbols and rituals are used in order for us to see through tangible symbols the hidden work of the Holy Spirit. So in order for us to gain a deeper understanding of the liturgy we can look at the spirituality behind its rituals. I will only go through a few sections which will allow us to get the picture.

The Morning Doxology

If we go early to the liturgy on Sunday we sing the morning Doxology where the Church is declaring our destination – “We worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Hail to the Church the House of the Angels.”

The Deacons proclaim that we are in the house of the angels which is heaven. We are on the way to heaven.

Liturgy of the Word

Then following the raising of incense and the offertory, there comes the Liturgy of the Word. What is the benefit of this, if we are here for the Eucharist, what is the point of the liturgy of the Word?

Through the liturgy of the Word our worship is given meaning, were the act of participating in Christ through the Eucharist is given meaning. If the Word of God seized to exist in our lives and take a central role then the Eucharist or liturgy becomes a series of symbols that have no effect on our life. That is why the Liturgy of the Word is central to our liturgical worship. Every sacrament and every prayer has central to it the Word of God which together with the power of the Holy Spirit brings life to the Church and meaning to the worship.

The Creed

Following the liturgy of the Word is the declaration of faith through the recitation of the creed. This is because without the Trinity, without the love of the

Father, without the Work of the Son, and without the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the Eucharist has no meaning does not have its salvific effect.

The recitation of the creed ensures that every member of the body of Christ has the one unified belief. Bishop Kallistos Ware of the Greek Orthodox Church says that this is what made him convert from the Anglican Church to the Orthodox Church. It was the fact that every member in the Orthodox Church believed in exactly the same thing without variance which is not the case in many other denominations.

The Anaphora

After the prayer of reconciliation the priest prays “Lift up your hearts” and the congregation responds “they are with the Lord”. In this brief declaration the Church begins its ascension to heaven.

At this point you will find that reference to the heavenly angels and saints abundant. You will find that our requests multiple in number. You will find that the Church is standing, facing the east and focused. This is the joy of our Lord. We stand in front of the throne of the most high with nothing on our minds except Him.

The Orthodox Church holds this belief so seriously that there have been many occurrences where the priest and deacons inside the altar actually see angels standing around the altar in worship.

These are just some brief points about the segments of the Liturgy but I hope it gives a deeper meaning to the Eucharist and Liturgy.

Check this fraction out!

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Youth Meeting Updates

Patristic Lens Bible StudyWednesdays at 7pm

Youth MeetingFridays at 7.30pmFollowed by an outing.

SGY Annual CampDate 30th Nov - 2nd DecPlace - Forest Edge CYC

(Check it out

accommodation/#1Register on Fridays

A Magazine for Youth written by Youth We need your talent!Feeling outspoken lately?We’re continually on the search for literary whizzes to contribute to this magazine.Email: [email protected] your expression of interest.

CALENDAR:NOVEMBER10th-Sunday School Fundraiser

18th-Youth Kitchen

23rd-Movie Night

30th-Youth Camp



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