Be on Guard!

How Satan keeps Christians from Christ


We live in a world that zooms around us with ever-increasing speed and events that crowd our thoughts & feelings, overwhelming us with stress, anxiety and fears. There seems no escape from the tumultuous assault on all our senses, pervading our mind, bodies and souls.

Even our children are not spared – their very conscience is attacked by school politics which dictate learning acceptance of all that is immoral and amoral, that being even curious or interested in God is ground for ridicule, bullying and ostracism. It is not acceptable for Orthodox Christians to ignore or accept the assault on Christianity.

“Be on Guard” is aimed to make one aware and alert to what is really happening in our everyday lives –the spiritual warfare preventing us from God and salvation.

By Elena Metlenko

A life worth living – psychological perspectives

This presentation will introduce individual development from biopsychosocial and spiritual perspectives. It will also discuss main psychological approaches to what does living a good life mean and what it means to be well as a person. Conflicting social and spiritual values will be discussed using Christmas as an example. This session will be concluded having a discussion of the introduced material with the audience and allowing time for the questions.

By Valeria Zoteyeva

  • Master of Psychology(Health) from Monash University.
  • At Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia Valeria was a Psychologist/ Lecturer in Psychology, specializing in Organisational Psychology.
  • She is a practicing Psychologist, general registration with Health psychology endorsement, Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency.
  • She is also a full member of the Australian Psychological Society,
  • She has worked at private hospitals and community organisations, with over 10 years of experience in psychology research, internationally, and clinical practice in different settings in Australia.
  • The Holy Protection Russian Orthodox parish, Russian Ethnic Council and Valeria, are at the moment, supporting and collaborating in the setting up of a low-cost Orthodox psychology Clinic in Melbourne.

Apocalypse: The Role of Women in the Church

In this modern/post-modern age of challenge and change, the role and status of women in society has been a prominent issue. Inevitably Christendom in general, and the Church in particular is confronted with this important issue.

Various Christian groups have sought to accommodate the women’s movement by allowing female ordination, from the diaconate to the episcopate. Even some in the Orthodox Church have argued for a more active role for women in the Church.

This talk seeks to address the issue of the position and role of women in the Church by way of returning to some foundational concepts regarding Christ and His Church, what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman, and what it means to be a Christian. I hope that by re­-examining these foundational truths, we can place the “debate” into its proper context.

Indeed, context is very important. If we can appreciate the Tradition of the Church, the Teaching of the Scriptures, and the Practice of the Church when it comes to Christian Life and the Priesthood, we will be able to think through these challenges more fruitfully. Perhaps such an understanding will answer more than the particular question of women in the Church. Perhaps we can begin to nurture a deeper understanding of each other, as women, and men, and Christians in Christ’s Holy Church, and our relationship to the world around us.

by Fr. Dcn. Mark Woloszyn­

  • Bachelor of Theology (St.Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney)
  • Graduate Studies in Classics and Archaeology (University of Melbourne)
  • Masters of Theological Studies, majoring in Old Testament Biblical Studies, Classical Hebrew, and a double thesis on Biblical Archaeology (Catholic Theological College, Melbourne)

Apocalypse: Unseen Warfare

Very Rev. Fr Nicholas Dalinkiewicz of Holy Protection Cathedral Melbourne, Victoria will be attending Syezd as a speaker.

[gdlr_heading tag=”h5″ size=”20px” font_weight=”bold”  color=”#ffffff” background=”#9933FF” ]Abstract – Introduction[/gdlr_heading]

The theme of this year’s Syezd is the Apocalypse. Taken literally that would refer to events described in the Book of Revelation. This has little relevance to our day-to-day Orthodox life for a number of reasons:

  • Nobody knows when the Apocalypse will occur, except God the Father; it could be a thousand years from now
  • The Book of Revelation is highly symbolic, such that only a handful of saints were able to understand its significance and the meaning of its symbolism
  • From our perspective, the actual Apocalypse is only of academic value

Rather than focussing on the Apocalypse as a specific event, it is far more important to understand that the apocalyptic process is a journey that will eventually culminate in Antichrist and his subsequent downfall. That journey has now begun in earnest.

The holy fathers were experts in Unseen Warfare. They warned that no matter how intense and horrific physical warfare may be, unseen warfare is vastly more dangerous because the enemy is not visible. The unseen warfare in the 21st century is, however, entirely different to that experienced by the saints of old.

In our time the enemy is, in fact, visible, but he is heavily camouflaged, and uses tactics that the Church is not familiar with. The result is that, with few exceptions, we are not even aware that we are under attack, and consequently, we have no idea how to respond.

What is the Death of the Soul?

Very Rev. Fr Nicholas Karipoff, Rector of Holy Protection Cathedral, Melbourne, Victoria will be attending Syezd as a speaker.

[gdlr_heading tag=”h5″ size=”20px” font_weight=”bold”  color=”#ffffff” background=”#9933FF” ]Abstract – Introduction[/gdlr_heading]

The talk aims to explore, from an Orthodox angle, the spiritual origins of today’s moral relativism which has led to a breakdown of traditional views on the nature of the family, roles and interaction of men and women and many other things that cannot leave us indifferent as Christians.

The posed question is an inevitable invitation to the opposite question: “What is the life of the soul?”

It is through their  juxtaposition that we can really understand the Biblical message of the Fall and Salvation; our failure and God’s love culminating in the death, resurrection and ascension of The Lord, sending the Holy Spirit to His Church from the Father.

This talk- as Syezd talks typically do- strives to give some practical advice concerning our spiritual survival as Christians in the world of today.

The Orthodox Family – An Ark of Salvation

Very Rev. Fr. Gabriel Makarov, Rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brisbane Queensland will be attending Syezd as a speaker. He will be touching on one front of the apocalypse – how the world is making the church irrelevant.

[gdlr_heading tag=”h5″ size=”20px” font_weight=”bold” color=”#ffffff” background=”#9933FF” ]Abstract – Intro[/gdlr_heading]

The Great Flood of Noah’s time and its effect on those who lived at that time serves as a powerful prefiguration of the Apocalypse. For any individual, the most imperative issue at the onset of that Old Testament cataclysmic event was whether or not he or she was safe on the Ark.

In spiritual commentaries the Ark of the Old Testament is seen to represent the New Testament Church, of which we are members. If our membership is true, then we are assured safe passage on this Ark through the danger-frought sea of our earthly life, as it sails to safe-Harbour in Heaven.

Each Orthodox Family is called to be a mini or home-church, an individual spiritual cell of the parish community, with each family member – father, mother and children – contributing in a unique way towards the process of salvation of that family.

Therefore, each Orthodox Family is in fact a small version of the Ark of Salvation that is the True Church.