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?
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
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?
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.
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!
Thank you! To everyone who attended our summer series of virtual visits to monasteries; to our wonderful speakers who shared their experiences so freely; to those who generously donated; and to those who have watched the recordings of the sessions they could not attend (available here). With a top-up donation from the Fellowship, each monastery we featured will receive £425 towards their life and work.
And thank you to everyone who completed our feedback questionnaire. There was a clear wish to have some more sessions that people could join. We are currently working on the precise programme, but here is advance notice that we will be holding a winter series of virtual visits to saints and holy places. Look out for more details and registration on the website!
As we face changing restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, please remember we have some resources collected together for you. If have something you would like us to add to the list, let us know in the comments!
In our final virtual visit, this week we will be considering the monastic revival in Lebanon in two locations, Kaftoun and Hamatoura. Our guide will be Amal Morcos who wrote her Master’s Thesis on the revival of monasticism in the Church of Antioch.
Thursday 3 September, 19:00 BST (7pm UK time).*
Register for Zoom details (if you have not done so already) on our dedicated web page, which also has links to the recordings of previous sessions.
Come and See!
* Time zones: For those joining from the US: 2pm EDT; 1pm CDT; 12pm MDT; 11am PDT. Check out the time zone converter if you need it.