Holy Week and Pascha: Updated Guidance from our Hierarchs
Per our Hierarchs' direction, and in accord with Virginia state requirements, restrictions on assembly for worship will continue through and beyond Pascha. A revised schedule of services will be sent to the parish via separate email, and texts and special instructions for praying these services at home will be made available in the next few days [some are online now].
Because of the extreme circumstances associated with the pandemic, all faithful are dispensed from the immediate requirement for Confession prior to Holy Pascha. Confessions heard remotely (e.g., over the telephone or via videoconference) are not advised, per guidance from our Hierarchs. Father will resume hearing confessions in person starting at the earliest allowed opportunity. If there is an emergency in the near term, or for extreme need, please contact Father as soon as possible and he will make the necessary arrangements for confession in the home.
Per our Hierarch's direction, we will bless palms and willows to be distributed later when we are able to again assemble in worship, at which point we will process into the church, Lord willing, "bearing the palms of victory."
Weekly Sermons from Father
During this period of curtailment of the parish' ability to gather in worship, audio sermons, written meditations and other resources will be posted regularly to the parish website ['Updates from Father Charles' link on the homepage]. Weekly bulletins and email communications will continue. Please use these resources to remain connected to your parish family.
2020 Budget and Board Proposals
In lieu of the the semi-annual parish meeting, originally scheduled for 29 March, please see the 31 March email from the Parish Board with the proposed 2020 budget along with instructions for comment. The Board has also recommended the parish move to one general meeting per year, to occur in late October or early November. Please provide comments back to the Board as soon as possible.
Despite the current (temporary) modification to the parish's schedule of services, meetings, and events, all parishioners are reminded of the pledges they have made as part of their stewardship commitment of time, talent and treasure. Some parishioners may encounter financial hardship during this time of crisis, and we can only give as we are able. That said, the parish must continue to meet its budgetary obligations and operating expenses. Please consider sending your contributions by to the church via US Mail:
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church
PO Box 6981
Charlottesville, VA 22906
Resources During the Pandemic
As we continue our Lenten journey, we must remember the critical importance of loving our neighbor (Mt 22:34-40), as the Lord commanded us to do ( "my neighbor is my salvation"). Love is demonstrated both in prayer and deed. Please remember your neighbors in this time of acute need. Here are some specific ways to help:
Virginia hospitals across the state are experiencing a severe shortage of blood, and the UVA Medical Center is encouraging healthy and eligible individuals to contact the American Red Cross to make an appointment to donate. Our Archbishop Daniel and our seminarians have already done so!
Please also keep an eye on Support Charlottesville, which is a hub for opportunities to give (and receive) material support. This is a very good way to stay informed, get involved and help your neighbors in need.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank needs healthy volunteers to assist them at multiple locations (even more critical as the needs increase.
- New: Charlottesville Community Cares just published a resource guide with information on how to receive financial assistance, request for grocery/prescription delivery, COVID-19 hotline, emergency shelter, and Region Ten Emergency Services Hotline. Join the network: bit.ly/cvillecare2020. Donate: congregatecville.com. Email: email@example.com.
Update From the Charitable Works Service Group
The Charitable Works Service Group has planned two projects during this Lenten season to demonstrate the importance of almsgiving and acts of mercy. The first project involves assembling personal hygiene kits for the Waynesboro Victim-Witness Assistance Program to distribute to trafficking victims. Each kit should contain shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, body wash and skin lotion, deodorant, washcloth, and a small snack (granola bar, crackers, etc.). We encourage each family to contribute one or more of these kits, which can be assembled at home and will be collected at a future date when restructions allow. The second project is collection of paper towels for Grace Grocery in Crozet. We ask everyone to contribute one or more paper towel packages. These also will be collected at the church when restrictions allow. Please consider these worthy charitable offerings to assist our most vulnerable neighbors, especially in this time of uncertainty and public crisis.
Special Intentions, Needs and Requests
A reminder to contact Father directly (firstname.lastname@example.org | 443-204-4542) with any special prayer requests, intentions or concerns/needs, and he will make sure these are addressed.
Recent Prayer Requests
+Anna (reposed this week)
+Alice (reposed this week)
+Daniel Sr. (reposed 27 March)
+Marcia (reposed 18 March)
Priest Brian (recovering)
Josephine, Daniel Jr., Lisa
Lisa and Daniel (illness)
All of those struggling financially during the pandemic
All medical personnel, first responders and others ministering to the sick, and those rendering vital services to their neighbors
All those in high-risk populations during this pandemic