Good Afternoon, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
I pray you are well, and that your spirits are full of the calm and peace of Jesus Christ. I look forward to the next opportunity to be with you, praying together in the church building that we worked so hard to acquire to the glory of God. Though I am still awaiting the results of my coronavirus test, I am confident in a negative result and fully expect to resume active ministry on June 25th. Please continue to pray for the welfare and good health of all who have suffered under the presence of this biological menace.
This Sunday is Father’s Day and I am pleased to share that the church will be open for live worship! The Orthros will begin at 9:00 am followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am. Due to my continued quarantine, there will be no weekday services until after my first Sunday back in church. I am sorry for that great inconvenience. But we must all pray for the time when this is behind us.
Having been touched by the realities of coronavirus, institutionally and personally, I have gained a great sense of humility and helplessness against a force that is much greater than all of out control. We can take precautions, follow guidelines, create procedures and live life through vigilance. We can’t stop the spread. But we need to do all we can to mitigate it.
Therefore, through the direction of our parish council, and with my full, enthusiastic support, we have upgraded out mask policy at the church:Beginning with Sunday’s services, the wearing of a face mask is required to enter the building.
We are not the first Greek Orthodox Church to make face coverings necessary, and I’m sure we will not be the last. But more and more organizations are tightening this restriction rather than loosening. it. Though I shouldn’t need to say this, I feel compelled to anyway: this is not a political statement.
This has nothing to do with party affiliations, political philosophies, Constitutional interpretations or anything other than our desire to create the safest environment possible, so people are free to worship at ease, and with confidence that we take the spread of coronavirus seriously.
Two weeks ago, we opened the church, and right off the bat we had a positive case of the virus at church. Had we not responsibly acted on safety measures, and had there not been a 100% compliance with our face mask request, perhaps our benign outcome would have been disastrously altered. It makes full sense to look out for each other, respect our mutual desire for wellness and dawn a mask for a couple hours.
Our community was established through positive energy, selfless sacrifice, a familial sense of community, the prayers of St. Anna, our protector and, and through the creative hand of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us continue on this same path, walking together (six feet apart, of course) and moving collectively to the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.
To all of our dads, grandfathers and godfathers, I pray fervently for you and the families who will honor you. I welcome Fr. Nicholas Andruchow as our celebrant on Sunday, June 21st, and thank him for not allowing us to suffer another Sunday without a St. Anna Divine Liturgy. I, like many of you, will be worshiping at St. Anna’s through my computer. I find that a blessing, in that it will give me a more intimate exposure to your own liturgical experience, and will undoubtedly help me improve our live streaming process.
God Bless and Be Well!
With Much Love in XC,
Fr. Anthony Savas