PROTOCOLS FOR REOPENING OUR PARISHES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19:
In light of the 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 NOW allow us to open with a maximum of 100 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.
- 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:
Sunday, July 19th - Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council.................................Orthros/Divine Liturgy 8:30AM
Memorial Services Today For:
George Dakos - 1 year
Andrew & Eleni Dakos - 23 years
May their memory be eternal.
The Artoclasia Service today is offered by the Orthodox Life Institute in honor of the feast day of Mother Maria of Paris, its patron Saint.
Ballot Results Regarding Sale of 810 Valley Road Property: The Parish Council would like to thank everyone who returned their ballots and voted. The votes were as follows:
We now await direction from the Metropolis of NJ.
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
Adult Bible Study With Fr. Peter:
The last Adult Bible Study session for the summer will be this Tuesay, July 21, 2020 at 7:00PM. 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. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
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. We thank the Orhtodox Life Institute for sponsoring July 12th, the feast day of Mother Maria of Paris, and St. Paraskevi Philoptochos for sponsoring July 26th, the feast day of St. Paraskevi. 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.
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. Our next class will be on the Book of Enoch from the Apocrypha.
Mother Maria of Paris, a French Orthodox Nun, sought to apply the gospel to everyday life. She was zealous in her attempt to restore the Christian Life to the Orthodox Christians of France. Her writings reflected a deep love for the church and also included a deep love for Jesus Christ. In the 1930's in Paris, she established a convent whose nuns would serve in the rehabilitation of prostitutes, battered women and neglected children. She also established a soup kitchen for anyone in need and helped everyone who came to the door regardless of their creed.
After the Nazis invaded France in 1940, Mother Maria built a network of doctors, firemen, policemen and sanitation workers that helped her rescue 1200 Jewish children from deportation to concentration camps. These children were sent over the mountains to Spain and eventually to Palestine which is now Israel. Mother Maria was betrayed to the Nazis by an informer, and along with her nuns and her chaplain, was eventually sent to Ravensbrook, a concentration camp for women. After many sufferings Mother Maria and her nuns were murdered in the gas chambers in August of 1944. Her chaplain was sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp and was murdered there.
In 1996, Mother Maria, her nuns and her chaplain were cannonized by the Orthodox Church. She is a patron Saint of the poor, the afflicted, the neglected and those seeking a deeper spiritual life. Mother Maria is the patron Saint of the Orthodox Life Institute because of her devotion to truth and the church. Today, her icon is being blessed and being given to St Georges church, and we welcome her presence among the saints of every land and every age. The icon was given by the Orthodox Life Institute of St. George.
Sunday Church School Assistance Needed:
We are at work planning for the upcoming Religious Education year and are looking for volunteers to join our staff. Assisting in our Church School program is extremely rewarding and can make a difference in the life of a child. We welcome anyone who wishes to join our team! Prior teaching experience is not needed. To volunteer or for additional information, please email us: email@example.com.
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.