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Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
The wisdom that we have from the Saints of our Church can inspire us and give us the courage to face the challenges we face in our lives. The words of St. John of Kronstadt remind us to be compassionate towards one another at all times but especially today confident that “God, the Angels, and the Saints will be compassionate to you.”
Today, as we struggle to find a cure for COVID19, the coronavirus, it is important that we pray, look for inspiration and comfort from the words of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ, and be guided by the wisdom of the Saints of our Church. At the same time, we are expected to follow the recommendations made by health agencies of our nation, our state, and our county.
I had mentioned that we would be continuously be evaluating the conditions of the coronavirus and how it affects our Parish life. Today, we have made the following decisions regarding our ministry schedule:
1. Divine Services will continue. At this time, you will be able to pray the services on our Facebook page. It has been in our plans to allow online services and are making every effort to allow you to participate.
2. Fellowship Hour after Divine Services will be suspended until further notice.
3. The Lenten meal AFTER the Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy of our Parish Feastday, have been cancelled.
4. All other Parish ministries, meetings, and events are being suspended until further notice (Sunday School, Greek School, Dance Practice, Choir, Choir practice, and Adult Religious Ed., etc).
The Cathedral cannot sustain without your presence and it is imperative that you continue to keep all in your prayers. It is also important that, respectfully, you continue your support to the Cathedral. If you have not made a pledge, or wish to make donations to the Cathedral, go to www.annunciationbaltimore.org. To the right side of the screen is the donate button. I thank you from now for your consideration.
Our Parish will continue to provide Divine Services and ministries to the faithful. All services from this point forward, until further notice, will be held in the Cathedral. The Parish Office will remain open; however, this is not the time to just stop in, call ahead of time. Our staff is limited and with this pandemic, we are also dealing with this situation.
Permit me to also say that we should be following the practices of Great Lent in our homes. The daily reading of Holy Scripture, the offering of daily prayers, the many videos that can be found on YouTube regarding our Faith (TrisagionFilms.com is excellent), or viewing Divine Services from our Facebook site can be helpful.
As we enter our own desert, read the lives of the saints, live your faith, and continue to offer prayers for guidance, prayers for those in health care, prayers for those who are working in various industries that are need, prayers for those who are not able to work due to these circumstances, and as we begin every service, In peace, let us pray to the Lord – Lord, have mercy!
During this time while you are home, take time to pray. Take some time to consider helping those in need – with our closets overflowing with so much, and when it is permissible, take items to those who will make good use of them. Check on your family members or neighbors that may need assistance. Try not to get so wrapped up in social media, but rather take advantage of this time with your family in not getting wrapped up in the busyness of life. As the weather begins to clear and warmer days are ahead, enjoy time outside. Consider taking a walk and instead of being tethered to a headset and listening to music, offer prayers, and most simply the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
I remind you the importance of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, “But rather give me the spirit of prudence, humility, patience, and love.”
You continue to be in my prayers,
24W Preston St, Baltimore, MD
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