CHURCH REGISTRATION FOR SATURDAY, AUGUST 15 IS FULL.
WE HAVE REACHED THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE ATTENDANCE.
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.
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.
Pastoral Message for The Feast of the Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady The Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary:
Dear St. George Parishioners:
I pray that you are all doing well. We are on the eve of once again remembering the repose of the Blessed Mother of God, Panagia, on August 15th. The repose of the Virgin Mary or the Kimisis (“falling asleep”) of the Theotokos is one of the special days which our Church has set aside to honor the Virgin Mary. The Orthodox Church honors the person of the Theotokos as the highest member of the Church, as “the handmaiden of the Lord.” She is more honored and glorified than the angels because she was chosen to serve a mission that no angel could serve. She is the most outstanding example and sign of the Mission of God’s will. She is the representative of the entire Christian Church. We, as Orthodox Christians, should study and know her mission and try to imitate her example of life, and we, must constantly pray to her:
“In thee, O Mother of God,
all my hope I set;
guard me under thy protection.”
At this time, I am calling upon all of us to offer a $100 donation to support our church of St. George. On this special day of August 15, I ask that everyone submit names for the special blessing and prayers that will be read that day during the Artoclasia. All the names of your loved ones will be heard in church and we pray for the continued blessing of the Holy Mother of God. I pray that you all remain healthy and patient during these trying times. I ask you not to forget about your church. The revenues of the church are low and could be depleted by the end of September. Therefore, I am asking you to join me in making a wonderful contribution in memory of the Blessed Mother of $100, or whatever you are able to donate, for our beloved parish. Donations can be mailed to the church or they can be made online at www.stgeorgeclifton.org.
Thank you and God Bless you all for your faithful support of our St. George community.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Fr. Peter Balkas
Liturgical Schedule via Online Streaming:
Sunday, August 16th - 10th Sunday of Matthew................Orthros/Divine Liturgy 8:30am
Sunday Memorials, Artoclasias and Other Blessings:
Please inform the church office well in advance of Sunday mornings for all memorials, artoclasias, 40 day blessings and other blessings so as not to disrupt the Divine Liturgy. If any requests or lists of names are received after the Great Entrance they will have to wait until the following Sunday.
****Additionally, in order to preserve the sanctity of the Divine Liturgy, please wait to light candles in the St. Nectarios Chapel at the correct time. If one arrives after the Great Entrance, they will have to wait until the end of Liturgy, while the Andithoron is being given out, to light candles in the Chapel.
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
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.
The beginning of each new school year can be exciting and apprehensive at the same time. We invite all of our students, teaching professionals and school staff to a "Back-to-School" Blessing immediately following the end of Liturgy on Sunday, August 16th. Fr. Peter will perform this special blessing to ask God to bless, guide and encourage everyone throughout the school year. We will all gather in the parking lot in front of the church for the service.
Young Adult Ministry:
We are asking all young adults from the ages of 18 to 25 who are interested in forming and joining this new ministry to email the church at email@example.com. "Young adults are faced with the challenge of prioritizing many aspects of their lives. Spiritual, professional, and social growth all require considerable effort. Because our broader culture places greater emphasis on professional and social development, the spiritual lives of our young adults often fall to the wayside. For these reasons, the positive teachings and traditions of the Orthodox Church must become a living presence in the lives of our young adults." We are excited to offer all this and more to our young adults.
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 Jerry Cammarata for sponsoring August 15th, the Dormition of the Theotokos, in memory of his wife Debbie. We also thank the Manis family for sponsoring August 15th in honor of their son Christos' birthday, their daughter Maria's Name Day and in memory of their mother and grandmother, Maria D. Manis. 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.
Feast Day Flower Donations:
During the Ecclesiastical year, our Church comes alive with many Liturgical services. It is customary in our faith to decorate icons used during special Feast Day services with flowers. We encourage our parishioners to offer a special contribution for this purpose. Your donation is a unique and appropriate way to remember your departed friends and relatives. Donations are now being accepted for the following Feast Day celebrations:
- August 6 – Transfiguration of our Lord $100
- August 15 – Kimisis Tis Theotokou $100
- September 14 – Elevation of the Holy Cross - Donated by the Kopellas Family
Thank you in advance for your flower donations.
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.