Mosaic Choir – a wonderful return to singing

Mosaic Choir

On Monday 6 December, Mosaic Choir carolled in many different languages and traditions at the Orthodox Cathedral of St Andrew in Kentish Town, London, to celebrate St Nicholas and the Nativity of Christ.

Anna Conomos, accomplished storyteller, shared some of the stories of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, and the choir sang carols in English, Greek, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Bulgarian, French and Latin!

The Cathedral switched on the Livestream and we were joined by people all over the UK, and even from Canada and Australia! You can still watch the livestream version at https://youtu.be/GkBV9lTNU_g and we hope to have some close up videos on our YouTube channel soon.

The audience was very appreciative and incredibly generous and we have a total of £750 as the collection. The Monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex has thanked everyone for their generosity and love, but has requested that the sum be donated to another cause. By agreement of all, the collection will be divided between three other wonderful monastic communities:

  • Monastery of St Antony & St Cuthbert, Shropshire, England
  • Monastery of All Celtic Saints, Mull, Scotland
  • Monastery of the Lifegiving Spring, Shannonbridge, Ireland

If you would still like to support the Monastery of St John, please consider making a purchase from the online bookshop: https://essexmonastery.com/bookshop/

Thank you to everyone who supported the choir and we hope to have more concerts and engagements in 2022!

Mosaic Choir Christmas Concert

Mosaic Choir will be singing at the Orthodox Cathedral of St Andrew, Kentish Town, London on Monday 6 December at 19:30 for a 19:45 start. Please join the choir for their favourite carols from around the world! Free entry with a charity collection.

Summer Series – it’s back!

Following successful virtual visits last summer and winter, the Fellowship is delighted to announce:

Summer Series: Through the Prayers of Our Holy Fathers and Mothers

Come and listen to talks about these wonderful saints and witnesses who can teach us so much in living the faith in the modern world. Come and see!

Taking place every Monday, 19 July-23 August, 19:00-20:30 BST (London, UK) on Zoom.

  • 19 July: Dr Razvan Porumb, speaking on Fr Nicolae Steinhardt – recording
  • 26 July: Sister Magdalen, speaking on St Silouan and St Sophrony – this session was not recorded
  • 2 August: Subdeacon Ian Randall, speaking on St Maria of Paris – recording
  • 9 August: Dr Elena Sadovnikova, speaking on Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh – recording coming soon
  • 16 August: Dr Alexei Tsvelik, speaking on Fr Alexander Men – recording
  • 23 August: Dr Evi Voulgaraki-Pissina: St Porphyrios and Mother Gavrilia – recording

Sign up here whether you want to attend one or all of the series. See you there!

You can download the poster below to further advertise with your parish and community. Right mouse click on the jpeg image and ‘save image as’ or download the pdf file.

International Conference on Orthodox Church Music

Our friends at the International Society for Orthodox Church Music have published the programme for the ninth international conference being held in Joensuu, Finland – Church Music and Topography: City, Village, and Monastery

Academics and practitioners from a wide variety of musical disciplines attend and give papers on their latest research. Even if you are not a specialist, you can learn an enormous amount about musical traditions from the presentations from across the Orthodox world and beyond.

Joensuu is a wonderful place, a town where everything is in walking distance, with two Orthodox Churches, a seminary and a university teaching theology from both the Orthodox and Lutheran traditions, with Valamo/New Valaam and Lintula (pictured) monasteries close by. It is well worth a visit in person, but in these uncertain times, the conference organisers have also made it possible to participate virtually! Online attendance can be booked until 31 May, 40EUR for ISOCM members, 60EUR for non-members.

Why not attend virtually and think about attending in person in two years’ time?

Youth Festival applications open!

Not only is the Youth Festival now accepting applications on its website, but there is no age restriction because it will be online! And it will be free to attend (with donations welcome).

Join us in fellowship and learning on the topic of Faith, not Superstition: Seeking Orthodox Christian Spirituality

There will be talks by fantastic speakers and time to spend together in prayer and enjoyment. More information to follow!

28-31 May 2021, on Zoom

New YouTube channel!

The Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist now has a YouTube channel! Subscribe, share with your friends and watch our videos as a way to learn more about the Orthodox faith, but also feel free to watch videos again! As we move into the Great Fast, we hope making these videos even more accessible will provide spiritual nourishment.

Our own videos have been uploaded from recent events including

  • 2021 Study Weekend on the Psalms, hosted by the Romanian Orthodox Parish of St John the Evangelist in Cambridge
  • 2020-21 Winter Series of Virtual Visits to Saints and Holy Places
  • 2020 Summer Series of Virtual Visits to Monasteries around the World

These videos have also been put together as playlists for your convenience so the videos are brought together thematically as well as being able to watch them individually. We have also been able to create a other playlists thanks to the historic material still available elsewhere on YouTube with our friends.

  • 2015 Study Weekend on the Mother of God in the Bible, hosted by the Romanian Orthodox Parish of St John the Baptist and St Alban the Protomartyr in Luton
  • A collection of other videos from the Youth Festival and Women’s Ministries Initiative

More videos will be added when we can: subscribe, watch, like, comment, share, encourage people to join the Fellowship!

More opportunities to learn about the faith…

The Women’s Ministries Initiative has teamed up with the Centre for Applied Theology to run a monthly series of events January-June 2021 on Living Christianity Today – Loving Christianity Today. These sessions will be on Zoom and a link is on the WMI events page.

This year’s OFSJB Study Weekend has been moved online, so more of you can attend! It will be hosted by the Parish of St John the Theologian in Cambridge. This is a wonderful opportunity to dive into the Psalms in depth and find out why they are so important. There will be prayers and a chance to meet the Orthodox communities in Cambridge, as well as the talks set out below. An Eventbrite link will be available very soon to register – keep a look out!

  • Friday 26 February: Fr Ian Graham, Introduction to the Book of Psalms
  • Saturday 27 February: Fr Raphael Armour, The Psalms in liturgical life
  • Saturday 27 February: Dr Elizabeth Theokritoff, ‘The Lord has sent deliverance to His people’: reading Christ’s work through the Psalms
  • Saturday 27 February: Fr Maximos Constas, Praying the Psalms in monastic life, and the commentaries of Elder Aemilianos of Simonopetra

A Facebook Event has been created and an Eventbrite link will be available very soon to register – keep a look out!

Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell together in unity?

Psalm 132:1

Have you received an OFSJB calendar for 2021?

We have sent out copies of the 2021 Calendar and Lectionary to everyone on the repeat order list. Unfortunately we have discovered that some copies have a printing error with some pages appearing blank.

It would be really helpful if you could check your calendar and notify us if it has been affected. Also let us know if you would like it replaced. Please email us at OFSJBCalendar@gmail.com.

The Calendar and Lectionary uses the Revised Julian (New Style) Calendar, and sets out feasts, saints, readings, fasting rules and the music tone of the week. It’s useful in your Church building, but also in your home. If you would be interested in purchasing a copy, use our contact form on our dedicated web page or email OFSJBCalendar@gmail.com.

Our winter series is coming…

Just two weeks until our winter series of Virtual Visits to Saints and Holy Places: don’t forget to sign up for Zoom details!

In our sessions, we will be meeting:

  • The saint with 17 Orthodox Churches and communities dedicated to him in the British Isles
  • The saint whose shoes keep wearing out
  • The saint who crossed many time zones and the international date line to be a missionary
  • The place of Christ’s birth
  • The humble village in the UK dedicated to the Mother of God
  • The saint who literally shone with the Holy Spirit

Please join us!

New series of virtual visits!

The Fellowship is delighted to announce that we will be holding another series of Virtual Visits this winter, this time to Saints and Holy Places. We hope that the current restrictions will feel a bit lighter when you can attend these talks, find out about inspiring saints and places of pilgrimage, and ask questions of our great speakers!

  • 30 November: St Nicholas and Bari, Italy – Fr Stephen Platt
  • 7 December: St Spyridon and Corfu, Greece – Fr Themistoklis Mourtzanos
  • 14 December: St Herman of Alaska and Spruce Island, USA – Dr S. A. Mousalimas
  • 21 December: the Nativity of Christ and Bethlehem, Holy Land – Dan Koski
  • 28 December: the Mother of God and Walsingham, UK – Mother Melangell
  • 4 January: St Seraphim of Sarov and Diveyevo, Russia – Alevtina Tanu

As before, we ask you to register for details of the events using our dedicated page. See you there!