Parish Greeting and Updates

May 30,2020

Beloved Holy Trinity Family,

As we celebrate our Lord's ascension into the heavens, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing to ascend to our Father in heaven with Christ, I greet you in the Lord's love. God is always faithful and unwavering in His desire for our salvation.

We on earth still carry the cross, but the One who did this first gifts us with the hope of our ultimate ascent. In this spirit, I send my appreciation for the patience and caring that you have expressed during this time. I urge all of us to pray very fervently for ourselves and one another, so we may "commit our whole lives to Christ our God," wherever we may be. We are still at reduced capacity in the services, so I also appreciate that you have had each other in mind to give each other opportunities to come to the services.

Here are some important notes:

  1. The Metropolis guidelines for reopening are still in effect, in which we are to follow, in addition to ecclesiastical guidelines, those of local law and those in this link from of the Center for Disease Control.
  2. During this unprecedented time, for those who would be able to come to church with further hygienic precautions, we will be offering periodic liturgies where all who attend will agree to wear face coverings. While those liturgizing and chanting will not be able to cover their faces during chanting, we will do so when distance is hard to maintain. The times of these services will be announced when we have scheduled them.
  3. Despite the increase of precautions, there will still be parishioners who are unable to attend. To these parishioners, I remind you: do not hesitate to call for pastoral care or private appointments. To all parishioners, we should be aware that loneliness and need for kindness is there particularly for those who are very enclosed. Always remember to call those who come to mind.
  4. Normally, we have not been doing Paraklesis in June or July. Because Paraklesis can be done in any time of difficulty, I think it is important that we serve these services regularly now. The names are saved, and you can send more. These services will still be online only due to cleaning needs for the Orthros and Liturgy. Paraklesis times will also be announced once they have been scheduled.
  5. Many of you called the office to offer your availability for a person who may need assistance. You have noticed that we have not gotten many calls for assistance. We appreciate that you have made yourself available. We will continue to be vigilant for any needs and send updates for ways to help. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to let us know.
  6. Saturday of Souls is coming, and on this day, we typically do a memorial service with names of the departed loved ones. Families are still welcome to bring small individual bowls of kollyva. This year, however, the bowls of kollyva will be blessed and taken home as they are. We will not be able to mix or distribute anything. You will be able to put the kollyva on the table, one person at a time. As you are dismissed, you can take the blessed bowls, again one at a time, so as to not gather. You may certainly bring names for the memorial service with or without kollyva. May God rest their souls! What a beautiful preparation for Pentecost to commemorate members of the Church gone before us!
  7. The joy of reuniting after many weeks may be hard to contain. Please remember as you make your way into the courtyard after services not to block the traffic flow out of the church, so as to maintain the recommended distances. We all know it is not normal for human beings to avoid contact, but we look forward to a restored communal health once again.
  8. There will be an online town hall meeting scheduled for this Thursday, June 4 at 7:30 and led by Harry Tomasides. Look for further details soon.
  9. To affirm, there is neither change in how clergy and laity receive Holy Communion, nor in how the clergy consume the rest of the chalice. So, the way you received Holy Communion before these past months is how you may do it now.

It is hard to stay encouraged in times like this. Even those of us who are very aged do not remember times like this! Let us persist daily with the knowledge that God is victorious. God is gone up in jubilation! May God grant all of us protection, health, growth, and sanctification always.

Love in Christ,
Fr. Peter