Parishioners and visitors are invited to participate in the Liturgy from their homes via live-stream at 10:00 am on Sunday. The Divine Liturgy is not open for in-person attendance. All other services have been cancelled this week.
His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios has written to the clergy and faithful of our Archdiocese yesterday regarding the impact of the Coronavirus. As a result:
- The Divine Liturgy this Sunday, 22nd March 2020, will not be open to parishioners or visitors.
- It will be conducted by Fr. Geoff, Dcn. Nicholas and a small choir at 10:00 am.
- It will be live-streamed on our Facebook and YouTube channels.
The most loving thing we can do for our neighbours, family, and friends right now is to stay at home (so that together we minimise the effect of this virus) and to pray at home (that we may petition our heavenly Father for forgiveness and healing for ourselves and for our neighbours).
Jesus said to His disciples: “You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)
None of us have any idea how God will use this situation to bring bring about His purposes through His people in the world. But we know that He will eventually.
In the meantime, please be in prayer.
We have introduced a new webform for submitting requests for commemoration during the Divine Liturgy:
We are also looking into other ways we can continue to connect with and support each other in the Parish and will let you know as things develop.
Please check The Good Shepherd newsletters and this website for the latest parish news as the situation is fluid and rapidly changing.
A call to prayer
In Mark’s Gospel, when asked “which is the great commandment in the law?”, Jesus answered: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God, The Lord is One; You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Referring to a second commandment, He also said, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
As we apply these two great commandments to the coronavirus crisis it is clear that we must do our best to maintain our worship of God despite the challenges. But we must also work hard at loving those around us in our panicking community. We have an important part to play in flattening the ‘curve’ of this disease, not out of fear, but out of love. Love for our family members, friends, and neighbours in the community, especially those who are vulnerable and at risk of contracting the virus. All our actions are driven by LOVE, not FEAR!
I believe that God will use this bad situation for good! We are working on streaming services and sermons. Who knows where that will lead for the establishment of Orthodoxy in English in Australia!!! What the Enemy uses for bad, God will use for good! God is opening a door to overcome the darkness, serve people in pain, and share the love and hope of Jesus Christ like never before.
A coronaphobia is rattling the globe. The reaction reflects a society that has largely turned its back on God. It is trying to face the crisis trusting only in itself.
There has been no public call to prayer from our government. Instead immense powers of government are being mobilized to control every aspect of life to prevent the spread of the virus. Science is scrambling to find a vaccine. The financial world and technology are doing all they can to lessen the potentially disastrous economic effects of the crisis.
So far, our efforts have not produced the desired results. This is why it is so frightening.
The coronavirus has appeared at a time when the majority in our society feel no need for God. It is a wake-up call. God has long been replaced by ‘bread and circuses.’ Modern pleasures are considered an end in themselves, with no thought of heaven. Postmodern vices proclaim no fear of judgement.
Alas, the coronavirus pandemic has had an uncanny ability to turn our material paradises into hell holes. The cruise ship, the symbol of all earthly delights, turning into an infected prison for passengers who did everything possible to get out. Those who have made sports their god now find empty stadiums and cancelled tournaments. Those who worship money now find drastically reduced portfolios and quarantined workforces. The worshippers of education look at their emptying schools and universities. The devotees of consumerism face emptying supermarket shelves. Our world is finally revealed as being incredibly fragile.
A small microbe has toppled the idols that were once thought so stable, powerful and enduring. It has brought our God-forgetting culture to its knees. Trillions of dollars will be spent trying to patch up these broken idols.
Will it bring our nation back to God?
In this time of plague, our prayers must rise to ask God to come to the aid of our God-forgetting society in need of His mercy. Our prayers must rise to ask God to bring our nation to repentance and spiritual healing, which is what Lent is all about. There is evidence in history to show that such prayers were often heard.
It is time to turn to God, who alone can save us from disaster.
God loves us all.
We, the clergy at The Good Shepherd, implore the faithful to raise their voices to God in prayer, seeking forgiveness for our sins, and His mercy and grace to be poured out upon the sick, the suffering, the newly-unemployed, and upon our nation’s leaders who are doing their utmost to navigate us through this global emergency.
May God help us to love Him and each other, especially during this crisis.
— Fr. Geoff
- About the Antiochian Patriarchate’s response to coronavirus
- About the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines response to coronavirus in Australia