PROTOCOLS FOR REOPENING OUR PARISHES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19:
In light of the recent events regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey has endeavored to take active steps in order to prepare our parishes for re-opening. This strategy has been developed in accordance with all State and Local regulations, CDC guidance, as well as additional Metropolis of New Jersey requirements.
Except where these GOMNJ Reopening Guidelines are more restrictive, each Parish must also follow the orders and directives of their State, County, and Local Authorities. Regulations allow us to re-open with a maximum of 50 people.
- For the time being, the celebration of the Divine Liturgy shall continue to be livestreamed for the parishioners (due to capacity limits) who are unable to attend the service.
- Prior to entry into the Church parishioners will be asked if they have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if they are taking care of anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. If they respond yes, then they will not be allowed to enter the Church.
- There are to be no gatherings of any kind after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
- All Parish Council Members and Ushers must wear a mask at all times.
- Collection baskets are not to be passed. At the end of Liturgy a basket will be placed in the Narthex and parishioners are encouraged to leave their donation as they exit.
- There will be only one door available for entrance into the Church. This door will be kept open so that parishioners do not need to touch the door handle.
- There will be no access for parishioners to enter other buildings or areas, other than where the Liturgy is being celebrated, except for use of the restroom.
- All Divine Liturgy books/Hymnals and parish publications (bulletins) will be removed from the pews.
PARISHIONER SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:
- Parishioners must wear protective masks throughout the Service.
- Parishioners must sanitize their hands upon entering the Church.
- Parishioners upon entry must register their attendance with their full names and contact information.
- Parishioners must adhere to the social distancing guidelines of keeping a 6 foot distance from other parishioners at all times in the pews and throughout the Church. The only exception being for families that have quarantined together, as they will be able to sit together in a designated section of the Church.
- Parishioners must screen themselves prior to coming to church including a temperature check even if they have not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19. If they have any symptoms, they are not to attend Church.
- Parishioners are not to wander in the Church, in the Parish facilities, or outside on the parish grounds.
- Parents are asked to keep their children from roaming the aisles.
- Parishioners shall not come to the Church by a ride share (Uber, Lyft), a taxi, or other means of public transportation. Parishioners must arrive in their own vehicle. (Strongly Recommended), or arrange for another parishioner to transport them.
- Parishioners must leave the Church premises, including the parking lot and exterior grounds, upon conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, all the while maintaining social distancing standards.
- Only one parishioner will be allowed in the restroom at a time. Parishioners must thoroughly wash their hands after using the restroom.
- If after attending any service, a parishioner experiences symptoms of or tests positive for COVID-19, in addition to immediately contacting their medical provider, they must contact the Church office to inform the parish of the date that they attended service.
- All parishioners are to be given the opportunity to attend the Divine Liturgy before anyone can sign up to attend a 2nd Liturgy.
- Any parishioners that reserve their place for a service and do not attend the Liturgy will have to wait for all other parishioners to have the opportunity to register before they may register again.
PARISHIONERS ATTENDING THE DIVINE LITURGY:
- In order to give more Parishioners the opportunity to attend the Divine Liturgy, the parishes may offer the Divine Liturgy multiple times throughout the week.
- There will be an adequate number of Parish Council Members at every Service to ensure all requirements are adhered to.
LITURGICAL GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING:
- Until further notice there will be no Choirs.
- The traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion will not be changed.
- Andidoron will be placed in a plastic bag, and each parishioner will carefully take their own piece from the basket, without touching the remaining. The same process will be used for the distribution of Kollyva.
- The celebration of the Holy Sacraments of Baptism and Marriage are not permitted to take place until further notice.
- 40 Day Baby Blessings are to be scheduled during the week with only the parents present.
- Throughout the Service Parish Council members will continually monitor and remind the parishioners of the 6 foot social distancing guidelines.
Parishioners MUST register online at St. George's website in order to attend services. Please visit stgeorgeclifton.org and click on "CHURCH SERVICE RSVP" on the home page. Orthros will begin at 8:30 am and the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am. If you have difficulty registering online, please call the Church office at 973.779.2626 to register.
Follow us on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Stgeorgeclifton.org/ or on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJEO_34m3S9yKpiFfzZQo5A or visit the church's website at www.stgeorgeclifton.org for online streaming links. To find the prayers for each service and to follow along, go to agesinitiatives.com.
To light a candle or make a donation follow this link https://st-george-greek-orthodox-churchand-the-shrine-of-st-nectarios.square.site/. All Ministry and non-worship events are STILL CANCELLED until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation and we pray that God keeps everyone resilient and strong through these unsettling times.
The mission of our beloved parish of St. George is to put into practice our Orthodox faith for our spiritual growth while creating fellowship and ministries for all the faithful. It should be our mission to spread the word of the Gospel and build harmony and love within the community and be the example of our Orthodox faith for our youth.
Liturgical Schedule via Online Streaming Only:
Sunday, June 14th - The Sunday of All Saints..............Divine Liturgy 9:00AM
Tuesday, June 16th - Paraklesis.........................6:00PM
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese COVID-19 Relief Fund:
In its efforts to support those around the country who have been impacted by the current pandemic, the Archdiocese is making available one-time grants of up to $2,500 to those who are facing extreme financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Those facing an economic or financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and in need of emergency help with expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, food, childcare, medical, funeral or other daily costs, may apply to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has been privately funded, through the GOARCH website at: https://www.goarch.org/covid19relief
Virtual Bedtime Bible Stories & Adult Bible Study With Fr. Peter:
Following the Paraklesis service on Tuesday evenings at 6:45 pm, Fr. Peter invites the youth in grades Pre-K to 4th grade to participate in a virtual "Bedtime Bible" storytelling program. THIS WILL BE THE LAST BEDTIME BIBLE STORIES MEETING FOR THE SEASON. Then at 7:15 pm Fr. Peter will conduct a virtual adult bible study. ADULT BIBLE STUDY WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE END OF JULY. We will be discussing the Gospel readings of Holy Week through ZOOM meetings. We will notify everyone through a separate email to join the meeting with a ZOOM invitation so that all the faithful can join us in learning.
For all matters, please make sure to call the office directly or email directly rather than using texts or various forms of social media. Office hours are limited so please leave a message and we will respond as soon as possible. DO NOT COME TO THE CHURCH. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
St. Paraskevi Philoptochos Pampered Chef Fundraiser:
A big "Thank You" from St. Paraskevi Philoptochos. Thank you to all who participated in our on-line cooking demonstration this week and for your generous purchases via our virtual fundraiser. There is still time to purchase pampered chef cooking and baking products at: https://www.pamperedchef.com/party/stparaskeviphiloptoc
Thank you again for your support of our PHILOPTOCHOS.
Sponsor A Day Program:
For 2020 our ambitious goal is to meet our operating budget through Stewardship. It is estimated that the operating expenses of our church average to be $1,400 per steward/family. If this average were to be reached, then the Church would be able to pay all its bills only with Stewardship donations. All other funds collected from candles, trays, raffles, fundraisers, etc. could be used towards capital improvements. One way to bridge the gap is through our “Sponsor a Day” program. We encourage our parishioners to select a day that has special meaning to them like a birthday, feast day, anniversary or a memorial and make a $250 donation. All donors will be recognized on a calendar located in our atrium. For more information about the program, speak to one of our Parish Council members, Ministry Leaders or call the church office.
Church School Graduation:
Since June is graduation month, we will continue to recognize and celebrate our students and seniors all month long. Please take a moment to review the updated Graduation Program in the "Flyers" section. Diplomas for the graduates will be available for pick up in September.
Orhtodox Life Institute:
We have moved our lessons online to Wednesday nights at 7:00pm through ZOOM. If you would like to join us virtually, send your email address and contact information to Lisa Marcopulos at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the ZOOM invitation.
St. George Endowment Fund Scholarship Deadline Extension:
The Endowment Committee has elected to extend this year's application deadline for the scholarship to October 15, 2020. Since applicants are experiencing difficulties in retrieving high school transcripts and other necessary documents as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions, we hope the extension gives them sufficient time to complete their application. Scholarship awards are tentatively scheduled to be presented on November 29, 2020. For more information about the memorial scholarship, please inquire at the church office or read our online bulletin.
St. Paraskevi Philoptochos Cancer Awareness:
National Cancer Survivors Day® (NCSD) is an annual, treasured Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide, and around the world, on the first Sunday in June (June 7, 2020 this year). On National Cancer Survivors Day®, thousands gather across the globe to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring. NCSD offers an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer - including America's nearly 17 million cancer survivors - to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way. It is also a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors' quality of life.
6 Tips for Recognizing Milestones in a Life with Cancer:
- Take time to reflect. Arrange for a quiet time to think about your cancer experience and reflect on the changes in your life.
- Plan a special occasion. Having a special event is a good way to recognize milestones.
- Donate or volunteer
- Join an established celebration
- Do something you like
- Celebrate your way