March 17, 2020
Message from Father Peter concerning the current COVID-19 Crisis and preventative measures being enacted at Saint Barbara Church
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.”
Dear Faithful Saint Barbara Family,
During this holy and sacred season of Lent, the Great Compline service reminds us of the ever-presence of our loving Lord with the hymn, “God is with us; give ear O you nations, for God is with us!” As you read the following update, please allow that to be the underlying message of hope and strength. We do not face this or any other challenge in our life or the life of our community without that assurance: “God is with us!”
Concerns over the current COVID-19 crisis sweeping the globe have brought about many and rapid changes in our daily lives and activities. We are a community of faithful Orthodox Christian believers; we are also active members of the society around us, personally and as a church community. It is, therefore, our calling to simultaneously be witnesses to the saving Good News of Jesus Christ—Who brings us peace and hope—and to be responsible citizens who are contributing positively and responsibly in the calls for caution and safety to help reduce the spread and impact of this new virus for the protection and well-being of all. We do this with the guidance of our Patriarchate, Archdiocese, Metropolis, government and public health officials.
At the instruction of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, all services throughout the Direct Archdiocesan District will be celebrated with only one priest and one chanter present. The faithful will not assemble at the Church proper but are asked to participate virtually via the Internet.
The Saint Barbara live service link is: http://www.saintbarbara.org/live_services/
We have made arrangements for the Salutations Service on Friday evenings to be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. and the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated on Sunday morning (Orthros 8:30 am – Divine Liturgy 9:45 am). A previously recorded celebration of the Great Compline Service has been posted on our website and can be viewed and prayed at any time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekcKJ_vrS1o
I will also place a recorded version of these services on our parish You Tube Channel so that anyone wishing to participate in prayer at a later time is able. https://www.youtube.com/user/stbarbaragoc
Please feel free to communicate with the Church Office regarding any further concerns or needs. We are here to help.
Our priority is to care well for the Saint Barbara family and the surrounding community during this period of increased anxiety and daily disruption. It is times like these where the Church also has the opportunity to show added measures of love, grace, and hospitality to one another both inside and outside the walls of our Holy Church and to shine the faithful light of hope in Jesus Christ to the world around us.
Faithfully,Father Peter Orfanakos
Holy Ascension; The Holy Hieromartyr Eutychius, Bishop of Melitene; Nikitas, Bishop of Chalcedon; Eutechios, Bishop of Mytilene; Helikonis the Martyr; Heladios the Hieromartyr of the East; Zacharias the New Martyr
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