My dear Saint Nicholas Family,
On Friday, April 3 His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios held a conference call with all of the clergy of our metropolis. During the 90 minute phone call His Eminence led us in prayer, conveyed his love for us all, and gave us a set of directives to follow during Holy week before addressing specific concerns shared by the clergy. Among some of the most notable updates from the call:
- ALL parishioners are expected to PRAY FROM HOME using the parish Live Stream Services (excluding the few necessary persons to physically conduct the services).
- While the office will remain open, there will be NO appointments or walk-ins conducted in person.
- The clergy will make emergency visits only, and must wear gloves and a mask during that time.
- The timing of Holy Week services must be in agreement with suggested civic curfews. As such, the Resurrectional Service of Great & Holy Pascha will be Sunday Morning instead of Saturday at Midnight.
The above directives are just a few of the main points discussed over the weekend, and all of these measures have been taken out of love and concern for the health and welfare of our faithful. In anticipation of this increased "virtual" need our Saint Nicholas Clergy, Staff, Parish Council and Technology Ministry have been working around the clock to provide a greater online presence for our faithful. These enhancements include a complete redesign of our parish website, major enhancements to our livestreaming services, as well as an increased priority in our remote contact with the faithful (through mail, phone, and digital means). Please use these tools to help transform your home into a house of prayer!
The fathers have always considered the home to be a “small church.” Always remember that your home is a place of holiness. Therefore please pray with us during Holy Week. Log on and journey with us (albeit from home) to our Lord's Resurrection. Make sure to also carve out some time to pray for those who are under the threat of the Coronavirus, those who are suffering and those who are recovering. Pray for the nurses, doctors and researchers, to keep them healthy.
Lastly, we understand these are difficult financial times for many of our faithful. Having said that, we humbly ask you to consider making online contributions to Saint Nicholas. Through our new website services you will be able to establish automatic recurring donations, or one time offerings at anytime from the safety and comfort of your own home. We are also offering a new "Light A Candle. Say a Prayer" feature on the website. Simply click the link, select an amount, and write the names of who you want us to pray for in the "notes" section and we will light a candle(s) for you and your loved ones during the services. You are not alone, and not forgotten!
Even though our doors may be closed, our hearts remain open. We love you and miss you! Feel free to call or email us anytime. Praying for you always,
- Father Steven