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Dear St. George Parishioners: The Church Board wanted to provide an update of our plans regarding the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic that we are all currently facing.
The Board met via video conference Sunday night (March 29th, 2020), in which we discussed in great length, this current extraordinary situation that we are in and what is the best plan going forward for our St. George Community. In summary:
The Serbian Orthodox Church included a communication from the Holy Synod of Bishops (included below), which is relatively consistent with communication from our Midwest diocese, that indicates the following: “… The Church will not interrupt the serving of the Divine Liturgy or cease communing the faithful, because this is a matter which cannot be debated: it is the basis of our faith in the Living God. Specifically, this means that during the services in the church there is to be a priest (or priests) with a deacon, chanter, and an altar server (according to the need and circumstance)…”.
From our Midwest Diocese they have indicated the following: “…We will celebrate all Divine services…, but services will be limited to clergy and cantors. In case of an emergency or if you wish to receive Holy Communion at home, please contact your clergy who in this time of sheltering remain concerned for your physical and spiritual well-being. Our common Lenten services and gatherings are now cancelled entirely until further notice.”
From the State of Kansas (Executive Order No. 20-16): “…Due to the limitations on gathers of 10 or less people issued by the Governor of Kansas’ office which states: “Under Executive Order 20-16, Kansans are directed to stay home unless performing one of the following essential activities: ……Engaging in an outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size”. Although there is an exemption for religious or faith-based services or activities, it does indicate that the attendees have to engage in the appropriate social distancing requirement and size limitation.
Thus, based on this information, we have decided to limit Divine Liturgy to only be served by clergy, chanter(s) and an altar server for the coming days and weeks. We as the Church Board, believe this is the best approach for our Church community
IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR PARISHIONERS AND CLERGY SAFE AND COMPLY WITH SAFETY MEASURES OF DISTANCING DUE TO THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, THE CHURCH IS CURRENTLY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE JOIN US AND PASS THE WORD TO OTHERS. PLEASE ALSO STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES AS WE NAVIGATE THROUGH THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. STAY SAFE AND GOD BLESS.
One of the first things that strikes a non-Orthodox visitor to an Orthodox church is the prominent place assigned to the Holy Icons. The Iconostasis (Icon-screen) dividing the Altar from the rest of the church is covered with them, while others are placed in prominent places throughout the church building. Sometimes even the walls and ceiling are covered with them in fresco or mosaic form. The Orthodox faithful prostrate themselves before them, kiss them, and burn candles before them. They are censed by the Priest and carried in processions.