FIRST, THE NEWS: FastDomain Website Hosting


Good News! The Good News of Jesus Christ, our harmony of the four Gospels, is finished and online for all to view and use!


MOSCOW AND KIEV FIGHT OVER WHO "OWNS" PRINCE VLADIMIR
from The Moscow Times

Select to see full-size! (28 Jul) Tuesday marked the passage of a millennium since the death of Vladimir the Great. As both Kiev and Moscow honored the occasion with high-profile celebrations, leaders of each took advantage of the opportunity to emphasize the strength of their own countries' ties to the medieval ruler. Prince Vladimir is revered for having introduced Christianity to the Kievan Rus, a federation of Slavic principalities that at times included portions of Russia, Ukraine and much of the former Soviet space.

In 988, Prince Vladimir was baptized in modern-day Crimea, converting from Slavic Paganism. He went on to Christianize the Kievan Rus, declaring Orthodox Christianity the official religion of his people. According to the Kremlin, sometime between the late 13th and early 14th centuries, Prince Vladimir was “made a saint equal to the apostles by the Russian Orthodox Church.” He is celebrated annually on July 15. President Vladimir Putin marked the occasion in style this year, inviting some 400 members of the Russian clergy, state officials and public figures to a grand reception at the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attended a church service at Kiev's St. Vladimir's Cathedral and a celebratory concert was held in one of the capital's central squares. Though both festivities centered on one man, Moscow and Kiev offered divergent views of what it was that Prince Vladimir ruled over. While the Kremlin referred to him in a statement as the Prince “who baptized the people of Rus into Christianity,” the Ukrainian presidential administration referred to him as the “Grand Prince of Kyiv who Christianized Kievan Rus-Ukraine.” [read more...]


FINES IMPOSED ON REFORMED ORTHODOX TRANSFIGURATION CHURCH PASTOR SERGEI NIKOLAENKO AND BAPTIST LYUBOV KUNDAS AFTER POLICE RAIDS
by Olga Glace, Forum 18 News Service

(24 Jul) In Gomel Region of Belarus, appeals are due on 24 July in Gomel Regional Court against fines imposed on Reformed Orthodox Transfiguration Church Pastor Sergei Nikolaenko and Baptist Lyubov Kundas after armed police raids on their churches. Nikolaenko is appealing against a fine for organising a meeting for worship without state permission. Kundas is appealing against a fine imposed for refusing to testify against her fellow-Church members.

After a 31 May raid by OMON riot police raid on a meeting for worship of the Reformed Orthodox Transfiguration Church in Gomel, on 11 June the Church was banned from meeting and on 19 June Pastor Sergei Nikolaenko was fined 3,600,000 Belarusian Roubles (about 235 US Dollars). Pastor Nikolaenko has appealed against the fine and an appeal hearing in Gomel Region Court was due on 24 July.

Also in Gomel Region, after a 17 May armed police raid on the Svetlogorsk Council of Churches Baptist congregation, two Church members - Vladimir Daineko and Yuri Volodenko - were fined 3,600,000 Belarusian Roubles (about 235 US Dollars) for meeting for worship with others without state permission. Lyubov Kundas was also fined 1,440,000 Belarusian Roubles (about 95 US Dollars) for this "offence". She has appealed against the fine and the appeal hearing was to be held in Gomel Region Court on 24 July. [read more...]


PATRIARCH KIRILL CALLS MURDERS OF PRIEST AND NUN IN KIEV OUTRAGEOUS
from Interfax-Religion

(30 Jul) Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has expressed condolences in relation to the deaths of prior of the Church of St. Tatiana in Kiev Father Roman Nikolayev and a nun of Florovsky Convent in Kiev, Sister Alevtina. "It is especially alarming that these outrageous murders of a priest and a nun were committed at the very time when seizures of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church continue, when false charges and threats are voiced in the public space concerning its clergy, monks and laity," says the patriarch's message of condolences to Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry which was circulated by the patriarch's press service.

62-year-old Sister Alevtina was found murdered. She had gone to her city apartment. Later her nephew found the nun's body with her hands tied and traces of torture. Also on Wednesday morning a 40-year old Father Roman Nikolayev died of gunshot wounds to the head inflicted last week. [read more...]


POROSHENKO HONORS UKRAINE CHURCH LEADER DERIDED BY RUSSIA
from Yahoo! News

(29 Jul) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday unveiled a monument to an Eastern-Rite Church leader derided by Moscow for initially welcoming Nazi soldiers during World War II. Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky lead the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for more than four decades and was always lionised by the nationalist west part of the oft fought-over east European state. Sheptytsky died in 1944 just as Moscow's Red Army had once again taken full control of Ukrainian territory and quashed its remaining independence dreams.

"The best possible memorial to the Metropolitan would be the independence of Ukraine," Poroshenko told a crowd of 10,000 in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. "Today, we are finally putting the historical record straight," he said moments after the veil was lifted from the 3.6-metre (12-foot) statue of the controversial but widely-revered religious leader. Sheptytsky had been portrayed by Soviet textbooks as a traitorous villain for his initial support of Nazi soldiers and ardent backing of Ukrainian sovereignty in the decade preceding the war.

He was arrested by Soviet security agents in the wake of Russia's 1917 revolution and kept under constant watch after his release. But he has been exonerated by both the Vatican and the Yad Vashem centre for Holocaust research in Jerusalem. [read more...]


SINGLE LOCAL ORTHODOX CHURCH WILL PROMOTE THE UNITY OF THE COUNTRY – PRESIDENT AT MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
from Religious Information Service of Ukraine

(29 Jul) President Petro Poroshenko met with representatives of the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who came to Ukraine to participate in the celebration of the Day of Christianization of Kievan Rus’ – Ukraine and commemoration of the 1000th anniversary of the repose of Grand Prince of Kyiv Volodymyr the Great. The President welcomed leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA and Canada Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk), Metropolitan Antony (Scharba), Bishop Daniel (Zelinsky) and UOC representative Danyl (Bilak) in Ukraine. “The Prayer of Ecumenical Patriarch and his unshakable position in defense of peace and unity of Ukraine helps us heal the wounds caused by Russian aggression and terrorism,” President Poroshenko said.

The Head of State noted that Ukraine is going through difficult and crucial times. Each day is an example of great service to the Motherland by the Ukrainian militaries in Donbas and the entire Ukrainian nation, which is doing everything possible to unite and overcome challenges, as stated by Petro Poroshenko. “The Ukrainian people pray for the unity to be achieved in church life. All Ukrainians strive for the creation of a local Ukrainian church. It is a dream that will help Ukraine become united and preserve principles and traditions,” the President emphasized. In their turn, representatives of Ecumenical Patriarch noted that it is a great honor for them to take part in today’s events. “The Patriarch asked two Metropolitans from Canada and USA to come to Ukraine and celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the repose of Grand Prince of Kyiv Volodymyr the Great with the people of Ukraine,” Metropolitan Yurij said. [read more...]


UKRAINE CHURCH LEADERS REJECT CONSTITUTIONAL MOVE ON SAME-SEX RIGHTS
from Catholic Herald

(25 Jul) Ukrainian Church leaders condemned plans to permit same-sex partnerships under a series of constitutional reforms. The Ukrainian parliament has been debating the issue of same-sex partnerships while plans call for adopting the amendments in autumn. The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations, a group of 19 churches and faiths including Catholics and Orthodox, have issued a letter in response to the amendments, saying the constitutional amendment would "seriously threaten" family life.

The council said in their letter: “These provisions threaten to plunge the Ukrainian state into the abyss of immorality and sin, to destroy the family as the basic social institution and popularise relationships between persons of the same sex which are unnatural for human beings.” “In its appeals, our council has stressed the need to incorporate, in one way or another, principles of identity and human relations which are traditional for Ukrainian citizens,” the council said. [read more...]


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES:

POROSHENKO SAYS STATE NOT TO INTERVENE INTO FORMATION OF UNITED ORTHODOX CHURCH IN UKRAINE
from
Kyiv Post

PATRIARCH KIRILL LAUNCHES ANTI-WAR APPEAL TO PUTIN, POROSHENKO ON EVE OF CHRISTIANIZATION OF RUS' DAY
from
Interfax-Religion

UOC(KP) TO ASK THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO RECOGNIZE THEIR AUTOCEPHALOUS STATUS
from
Religious Information Service of Ukraine

UOC(KP) OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES TERMINATION OF DIALOGUE WITH UAOC
from
Religious Information Service of Ukraine

MOSCOW CHURCH IRRITATED BY UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS
from
Religiia v Ukraine

SUMMER BIBLE CAMP SOWS GOSPEL SEEDS
from
Mission Network News

SERBIA: ORTHODOX CHURCH'S PLAN TO ERECT A GIANT STEEL CROSS STIRS DEBATE
from
BBC

See HOSKEN-NEWS Daily for more of the latest news!


NOW, OUR VIEWS:
d

Let's keep the comments coming! When you've finished reading,
leave your
COMMENTS in our Hosken-News Blog below. Thanks!


Select to see full-size!Over 20,000 people - by unofficial estimates about 100,000 - from all over Ukraine came to Kyiv for the celebration of the Baptism of Russia (Rus’) and the 1000th anniversary of repose of the Holy Grand Prince Vladimir. This great event was organized and led by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), indicating its effort to claim the legacy of Grand Prince Vladimir: founding the Christian Empire of the Slavs. Of course, the UOC(KP) doesn't support Moscow's claim to be Grand Prince Vladimir's heir: see our first news article MOSCOW AND KIEV FIGHT OVER WHO "OWNS" PRINCE VLADIMIR on this.

In our fifth news article SINGLE LOCAL ORTHODOX CHURCH WILL PROMOTE THE UNITY OF THE COUNTRY – PRESIDENT AT MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH the Ukrainian President appeals to the Ecumenical Patriarch for his recognition of a united Church for the country. But in our first Other News headline POROSHENKO SAYS STATE NOT TO INTERVENE INTO FORMATION OF UNITED ORTHODOX CHURCH IN UKRAINE he appears to back off from that position. Several of our news articles and headlines report on the continuing war of words between the church leaders of Russia and Ukraine. Please pray for a just peace!

It is sad to read that the UOC(KP) OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES TERMINATION OF DIALOGUE WITH UAOC. I held onto hope that the two church bodies would come to an agreement on what the proposed union would be named, but alas, it seems it was not to be.


Please support Agape Restoration Society by e-check or credit/debit card: click on the "Donate" button there.


Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...

Select to see full-size!When we look in the mirror, what do we really see? Do we see ourselves as a brave lion, as a scrappy tomcat, or as a road-kill pussycat? Do we see ourselves as we would prefer to think of ourselves,as others see us, or as God sees us? We can comb, brush, dye or perm our hair (if we have enough!), we can apply "touch-up paint" makeup to hide any blemishes, etc., but does all that change who we really are? The Apostle James, brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, wrote -

But be doers of the Word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer of the word, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn't bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:22-27)

People may view us by what they see, hear or read about us. We may think we are putting on a good show by talking the good talk... but God views us by our walking the good walk: God sees us by what we actually DO. Are you a DOER of the Word? The Word is The Good News of Jesus Christ - His miraculous birth, His life of DOING good deeds - feeding the hungry, healing the sick, even raising the dead - and His resurrection from death!

You may think that it's impossible for you to do all those miracles, so it's out of the question. But you can feed the hungry, heal the sick, visit the orphans and widows in their affliction. This is what God sees, even if nobody else is watching. You can enroll in our four-week course Ministry to Handicapped and Poor that starts on Monday, Aug. 17. The Enrollment Deadline is Thursday, Aug. 13, so don't put it off or think someone else will do it... YOU DO IT!

Continue reading in our Hosken-News Blog.

For a daily reminder to pray for the items below, go to My Daily Prayer Guide and click on the "H-N pr." link!


Prayer and Praise:

Sun. - Thank God for Prince Vladimir the Great, the baptizer of Ancient Rus' whose repose was celebrated last week.
Mon. - Pray for Reformed Orthodox Pastor Sergei Nikolaenko and Baptist Lyubov Kundas, fined after police raided their churches.
Tue. - Pray for the souls of Father Roman Nikolayev and nun Sister Alevtina who were recently murdered in Kyiv.
Wed. - Thank the Lord for Metropolitan Andriy Sheptytsky who chose the lesser of two evils, siding with the Nazis in WWII.
Thu. - Pray that President Poroshenko's meeting with representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarch will bear fruit.
Fri. - Praise God that Ukrainian Church leaders condemned plans to permit same-sex marriage in constitutional reforms.
Sat. - How do you see yourself in the Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall? How do others and God see you? What will you DO?

Map of former USSR   Please remember to pray for Christians in the former Soviet bloc countries, and for...

  Your fellow-servants,

  Bob & Cheryl

 
p.s. Unless I love God with all my being and my neighbor as myself, all my ideals, health & wealth "ain't wuth a hill o' beans!"