Monday, April 6, 2020

The Coming End of Great Lent, plus numerous updates

Dear Parish Faithful,

The Death and Burial of St Mary of Egypt
“What does war [or the coronavirus] do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent; 100% of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased. It can put several deaths earlier, but I hardly suppose that that is what we fear… Yet war does do something to death. It forces us to remember it… War makes death real to us, and that would have been regarded as one of its blessings by most of the great Christians of the past.”  —  C.S. Lewis

The Coming End of Great Lent

Beginning today and through Friday inclusive, there are only five more days of Great Lent remaining. I feel assured in saying that this has to be the most unusual Great Lent we have experienced, even for those of us who have been around for awhile. I encourage everyone to persevere to the end, or simply to "stick with the program." It is good for both body and soul, and it keeps us connected to the church when we are feeling the effects of being disconnected. Next weekend, we celebrate the great events of the Raising of Lazarus and Palm Sunday - a festal interlude before Holy Week and Pascha. I do not know what the week has in store for us, but I hoping to be able to serve the Liturgy on Sunday for the Feast of Palms. I will keep everyone informed.

Yesterday's Service

We did a pretty full Reader Service yesterday - The Typika - as we are getting accustomed to our "trio" inside the church. What was deeply encouraging is that we had over 90 persons who joined us on facebook, and a large group on zoom. We are all hungering for worship and fellowship. Of that, there is no doubt. We are working to improve the technical aspects of live streaming and zoom. We hope to add more microphones by the end of the week and our next service on Friday evening.

Practice Session

Because I will be using a different computer for our zoom Holy Week class on Wednesday evening, I thought to run a quick "practice session" this evening at 7:00 p.m. We could take advantage of the connection to perhaps "chat" a bit; and I would be glad to answer any questions at the time.

Expanded Prayer List of Health Care Workers

Here is a list of all of the health care workers that are either from our parish, or who are known by others in the parish. (This list is also maintained on our Coronavirus Page on our parish website.):
  • Radu, Wagih, Adam,
  • Arthur, Michael, Susan (presvytera's sister),
  • Courtney, Joshua, Emily (my daughter's close friend),
  • Jessica, Amanda, Michaelanne,
  • Amy, Shannon, Hanh (Shannon's wife),
  • Joe (Pressey), Svetlana, Sarah, 
  • Katie, Lauren (my niece), 
  • Sarah (daughter-in-law of the Carters)
  • Jessica (my son's girlfriend),
  • Linca (Presvytera's sister-in-law),
  • Jeff (Kris Gansle's brother),
  • Kirsten (Kris Gansle's goddaughter & cousin).

I most probably have missed someone, and if so, I sincerely apologize. If you have a friend or relative that you would want to be included on our parish prayer list, please contact Anne Taylor: anne.taylor431 at gmail dot com or me. Our deepest appreciation to all of our health care workers during this time of crisis.

Dyeing Your Easter Eggs

From Terrie Sauer: 
Since we will not be celebrating Pascha together this year, I thought this information about how to dye red eggs using onion skins would be helpful to our parishioners.  This process could be counted as a 'science experiment' for our parish children who are now schooling at home.

A Special Prayer Request

Dear Mother Christophora, Mothers and Sisters,

This is a message from the National Sisterhood of Prevyteras:
We humbly ask for your prayers for Fr. Kosta and Presvytera Pauline Pavlakos, who at this time have been hospitalized with pneumonia and COVID-19. They currently serve St. Katherine's Parish in Falls Church, VA. Pauline is a past president of the NSP.

Please take a few minutes to remember them in prayer. May the healing hand of our Lord be upon them through the hands of their doctors and nurses.

O Lord Almighty, You heal all diseases by Your word alone. You chastise with pity and heal because of Your goodness. Grant aid to Your servants, Kosta the priest and Pauline the presvytera, and lift them up from this bed of pain and sickness. Through Your mercy and in Your will, give health and full recovery. We ask this in Your Name.

The family appreciates your love and prayers.
Your NSP Board