Pastoral Message from Father Branko (6/14)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
New York State and our Metropolitan, his Eminence Metodij, have given us approval and blessing to re-open churches up to 25% capacity (about 45 people at this time). Therefore, I thank the Lord and I am happy to announce that our St. George Macedonian Orthodox church will be open for worshiping as Parish Family, starting today, on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost – Sunday of All Saints. I am excited to see some of you at the Divine Liturgy today, and all of you, God willing, soon. Until then, I will continue sending you Gospel Reading and thoughts by the Holy Fathers of the Church.
Attached is the Gospel reading for this Sunday (both English and Macedonian), along with the Thoughts by St. Theophan the Recluse on the Sunday of All Saints.
Have a blessed day and may God, through the prayers of the All Saints, bless us all.
Yours in Christ,
Face masks must always be worn.
Seating in the church pews will be set up to maintain safe social distancing. Church members will not be allowed to remove pew barriers or modify church seating arrangements at any time. Family members will be allowed, and encouraged, to sit together.
Hand Sanitizing Stations with disinfectant will be set up in the hall and must be used by each person prior to entering the church for service.
Please try to maintain safe social distancing from other members before and after service and avoid close physical contact like hand shaking and hugging.
Coffee hour after service and the church hall will remain closed until further notice.
Also, changes to the traditional Church practices:
Do not embrace the hand of the Clergyman, Icons or Cross upon entering our Church. Instead, make a slight incline to the Icons, Clergy, and Cross.
Kissing icons will not be permitted.
DO NOT rub money on icons. Slightly bow instead.
To stop the transmission of the virus, there will be no choir chanting at this time.
Holy Communion will continue to be given with one teaspoon as the Canons prescribe because every believer should be convinced of the sanctity of the Communion. Doubting her holiness is a sin.
The Anaphora (bread) is to be given with gloves by Clergy. No one is to take it alone.
If you are experiencing any flu like symptoms or are not feeling well, please do not attend church service at this time.
We appreciate everyone’s support and understanding as we work to safely re-open our beloved church. We will continue to communicate changes to these guidelines as we receive new instructions from New York State.