7 PM tomorrow (March 20th), EST via ZOOM. Details below or on the Archdiocese website.
Dear Vladyka Irénée, Fathers and Brothers in Christ,
GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST!
I am greeting you all with some upbeat and exciting news! Vladyka Irénée has blessed an All Canada prayer service to be held online via the Zoom app this Friday at 7pm Eastern time. The Akathist and Small Compline will be served by Vladyka, Fr. Geoffrey Ready, and a small choir. The meeting ID will be posted on the Archdiocesan website tomorrow along with a downloadable PDF text, so all of us are on the same page. This is a much-needed opportunity for all of us in Canada to join together in prayer and ask the Mother of God for her protection during this very challenging time. Please invite your faithful to be a part of this beautiful service (we can accommodate up to 10,000 participants). The intention is to continue this common prayer effort together at least a few more Fridays during Great Lent. We may be “self-isolated” but we are united as the Body of Christ.
Most Holy Theotokos Save Us!
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or iPhone one-tap :
Canada: +15873281099,,430585929# or +16473744685,,430585929#
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
Canada: +1 587 328 1099
Canada: +1 647 374 4685
Canada: +1 647 558 0588
Canada: +1 778 907 2071
Canada: +1 438 809 7799
Webinar ID: 430 585 929
What follows is a letter f rom Archbishop Vladyka Irénée.
In Conclusion: The Church will be closed until April 1, 2020. No Divine Liturgy, no services. At that time, the situation will be reassessed.
No 2027 Tuesday, March 17, 2020
St Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland
To all the Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of our Archdiocese of Canada
My beloved Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For days we have been monitoring this crisis. Last night the Holy Synod assembled in teleconference to hear the advice of medical and legal counsels.
This is by far the most difficult decision I will probably have to make in my life. Considering that this COVID19 virus has now begun to transmit within the Community, it is essential that we abide strictly with the guidelines of our Civil and Medical authorities. I realize that the Holy Eucharist will not harm anyone of us, but congregating in closed quarters could, therefore, I ask all our clergy to close the churches of the Archdiocese of Canada for the next two weeks, until April 1st, 2020. The situation will be reviewed then.
I ask you all to be safe and remain at home as much as possible. Clergy of the Archdiocese will do their best to accompany the Faithful and keep them safe. Prayer is essential to our life. Remember to pray to the Holy Unmercenaries and Wonderworkers of Christ for help and strength in these difficult times.
Asking your prayers,
In Christ our Saviour,
Archevêque d’Ottawa et du Canada (ÉOA)
Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada (OCA)
and the Archdiocese of Canada
Following is a letter from our Vladyka, +Archbishop Irénée
Pursuant to this letter, Divine Liturgy will be served at St. John the Divine, Sunday mornings at 10:30 am. There will be no coffee hour; there will be no weekday, or evening services. Should this situation change, announcement will be made, here on the website, and via our This Week at St. John email. May you all be safe.
Dear Fathers and Brothers in Christ.
I pray you are well .
Some clergy have expressed concern for their own health and that of their close family and have asked if services could be cancelled.
This is a difficult decision to make, I pray that I am not mistaken, church services should be limited to only Sunday Divine Liturgy, no weekday or Saturday services. No congregating for meals or coffee.
Elderly and people with health issues or colds should not be in church. Look out after each other. Close contact should be avoided. If your church cannot accommodate people safely, then services should be cancelled.
If a priest feels he is at risk and cannot serve, then he should advise his Parish Council and cancel services. This will apply until the end of March when a re-evaluation will be done.
May God keep you all safe and protect you
All children ages 3-12 are welcomed
Classes will begin each week immediately following the reception of Holy Communion and will continue 10 min. into Coffee Hour.
Please encourage your children and grandchildren to attend.
Your choice will make a lifetime of difference!
The Importance of Sunday School
“Let the children come to me, so not to hinder them; for to such belongs the Kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10: 14-15
Christian education is a permanent challenge to the work of the Church. Not only did our Lord and Savior continuously teach the word of God during His early mission, but the Church as well from the earliest times looked upon Christian education as one of its essential ministries. As the first Christians joined the Church “they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42
The greatest gift, the most precious inheritance that we have to give to our children is our Orthodox Faith. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and the He considers it a grave offence for an adult to hinder this process or lead child astray: “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matt 18:6
The Central aim of Christian education in our Church is to evoke and nurture faith in Jesus Christ according to the Orthodox phronema (vision) out of which issues a genuine Orthodox way of life. The Church nurtures a living awareness of the risen Christ in our midst, who is the true Celebrant of Sacraments and the true Teacher of His people, and makes Himself known to use by the grace of the Holy Spirit. The whole range of Orthodox educational material- books, filmstrips, visuals, Bible Studies, lives of Saints, contemporary discussion of Christian values- becomes effective to the degree that communicates the love and sprit of Christ.
The focus of our efforts to educate our beloved children in the Orthodox Christian Faith must remain in our Sunday School program. When we bring our children regularly to Sunday School, we provide them with a gift of knowledge that has lifelong value and significance.
The need of Christian education is as immediate as when the disciples first appealed to Jesus: “Teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1
Christian education is an essential and abiding ministry in the Church. As other important ministries, it is never finished. It can be as vital and meaningful as the whole body of the Church makes it through provision of adequate personal, spiritual and financial resources.
The validity of Christian education is demonstrated by the truth that a well informed Christian is a spiritually committed Christian within the greater body of the Church. The commission of Christian education comes from the Lord Himself:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Matt 28: 19-20
At St. John the Divine, Sunday School begins immediately after Holy Communion. Parents: Bring your children to Sunday School. Your personal example and involvement in the religious education of your children are extremely important. The priest and teachers cannot do the job alone. Here is how you can help develop the spiritual life and moral upbringing of your children.
Register your child to our Sunday Church School Program.
Bring them to Church on time.
Stay and worship at the Divine Liturgy in the Church.
Be positive about Church.
Discuss with them what they learned each Sunday.
Teach them to bring their weekly stewardship offering.
Give your personal example of Christian living.
Emphasize regular repentance and Holy Communion.
Put Church before every other activity on Sunday.
Avoid criticism of others.
Let your love for Our Lord Jesus Christ radiate.
From the Church Bulletin: St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church, Paramus, New Jersey.