Greek Festival Update
The prayers of the Festival Committee for good health and resilience are with our parishioners, our community and our world in these uncertain times. We have been paying close attention to the safety, health and social distance guidelines as they continue to evolve, leveraging information from both our church hierarchy and civil authorities.
We continue to approach the challenges of this pandemic with optimism and an open mind, but as time has progressed and more information is known the probable realities for our festival are starting to emerge. This includes hosting a significantly reduced event, with minimal (if any) ability to allow patrons to gather and possible cancellation.
We understand the weight and implication of such decisions about our festival. We are meeting on a regular basis to reflect on the guidelines unfolding before us and brainstorming on creative ideas to adapt. We find inspiration in the leadership of our Metropolis and Archdiocese, keeping faith in God and the safety of parishioners, guests and communities as our top priorities.
Our sights are set on the first week of June to settle on a path forward. This will give us the opportunity to learn from the outcomes of Phase I, as well as gather more information on the exact guidelines of Phase II, which will be critical for our planning and preparation activities over the summer. We aim to present a recommended plan to the Parish Council at their June 14th meeting and will provide an update to our entire parish community shortly thereafter.
All ideas, suggestions and questions are welcome and appreciated. Please email them to Dimi at email@example.com.
Please note that the following ministries will resume once given the clearance that it is safe to congregate once again.
- Sunday School for Kids K-8
- College Outreach Ministry
- Archangel Michael Food Barrel
Through a charitable gift, you can have a significant positive effect on the ministries of the Church and those people whose lives are changed because of them. The impact of your gift will be felt for years and generations to come. Consider making a gift in one of the following ways: •Bequest •Matching Gift •Gift of Cash •Gift of Securities •Gift of Life Insurance •Gift of Real Estate •Qualified Retirement Plans •Charitable Gift Annuity •Deferred Gift Annuity •Charitable Lead Trust •Charitable Remainder Trust. Planned giving can be very rewarding, allowing you to see your gift at work while receiving tax benefits now. More information is available at the church office.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every corner of our world. In the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, all seven states, 67 parishes, and three monastic communities, have had to make significant adjustments to worship services and ministry activities during this time when people are directed to stay at home and shelter in place. We know this presents challenges on many levels, but the Metropolis has compiled a unique page to include special resources for Worship, Technology, Finance, and Ministries. Please visit this address to view the Resource Page:
Additionally, the Archdiocese has a similar page with resources available, including a newly announced COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist individuals who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Visit: https://www.goarch.org/covid19
Currently, our services are not open to the public and will be conducted only by Father Stephen and one or two chanters and acolytes. Please understand that these measures are being taken in order to halt the continued spread of this virus, and our concern here is not just for one another but also for our neighbors throughout the larger community, and so the measures are being undertaken as an expression of love. As way of reminder, please note that:
All programs (Church Sunday School, Greek School, Bible Studies, Greek Folk Dance, etc.), are cancelled. Fellowship and Coffee Hours are cancelled as well as all programs (Church Sunday School, Greek School, Bible Studies, Greek Folk Dance, etc.).
●For pastoral appointments or any emergency, as always, please contact the church office at 825-5365.
●All scheduled and new Sacraments including weddings, baptisms, chrismations, and funerals will be open to the immediate family only until further notice.
●For building access please contact the church office. Currently, we request that only essential and authorized personnel be in the building and church.
We are making every attempt to live stream each service. In the meantine and due to recent technical difficulties, we invite you to please join the services streaming at Holy Trinity Cathedral at https://www.facebook.com/holytrinityphx.org
A Message from The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA (A Nationwide Approach for the Staged Reopening of Churches during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
“Feed My Lambs”
To the Orthodox Christian Faithful of the United States of America:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
In this time of global pandemic, the majority of the Faithful of our Churches have been withheld from receiving Holy Communion and attending Divine Services in order to safeguard their health and the health of others. We, the Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, are taking action to restore the possibility of Holy Eucharist to the “lambs” of Christ, in accordance with His word1.
We are aware that the course of the disease is not certain by any means. The structures that were put into place for Holy Week and the Holy Pascha, and which remain the common practice to this moment, may be necessary again in the future, depending on the best public health assessments and legal requirements.
Nevertheless, we have heard the pained cry of the Faithful who, although faithful in their devotion, as witnessed by virtual participation in broadcast services and their continuing stewardship support of the Church, have felt an intense separation from Holy Eucharist and their Communities. Therefore, in order to meet the spiritual nourishment of our Orthodox Christians in this time of the careful and considered re-opening of societal functions – with all the diverse legal restrictions among varying civil jurisdictions and with recommendations from public health experts – we have developed a common toolkit to facilitate the nourishing of the Faithful through the Most Pure Body and Most Precious Blood of our Risen God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, and return to liturgical services.
The system takes into account the plentitude of differing realities in the various regions, jurisdictions, and demographics throughout the country. It considers the wide-ranging parish sizes, local policies, and climate conditions. It provides each bishop assistance in determining a way forward that, when applied properly and tailored for specific parishes, leads to the best practice for a given scenario. Thus, there will be instances where one parish might be able to open while conditions remain unsafe for another. For this reason, it is of utmost importance for faithful to attend only their “home” parish during this period of restoration and follow the directives of their presiding bishop. Attending a neighboring parish can elevate risk, shift the aforementioned considerations, and contribute to regression.
Finally, we acknowledge that this is a first step in a long journey, in which we rely on the Mercy of God. With faith in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that better days will soon be seen, and the resumption of the normative practices of the worshipping Church may return to their full exercise.
It was the Lord Himself Who commanded the Apostles to feed the Five Thousand when He said: “You give them something to eat.”2 And it was the Disciples who distributed the blessed five loaves and two fishes to the assembled, after they were arranged in groupings by the Lord.3 We are following His example, asking that you also arrange yourselves to partake of the Holy Eucharist parish by parish, so that you also “may eat and all be filled” as were the Five Thousand.4
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
For more information, please visit www.assemblyofbishops.org/
1 John 21:15-25
2 Mark 6:37
3 Mark 6:39-41
4 Mark 6:42