Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Glory to God!
I am writing to encourage that everyone in their homes, places of employment, schools if still in session and in our two Churches, exercise health and safety precautions and practice. If you or your family member are exposed to anything like a cold, or flu from another person, please stay home for your or other people's protection.
If you have any symptoms that are like those of the Corona Virus, please call your Doctor, Hospital or other health resource. Please provide ample soap and water to wash hands with clean paper towels to dry them and then to dispose. We will have both of those at the Church Rest Rooms. Please stay home and take care of yourself or your child if you do not feel well. God hears all of our prayers and will guide and protect us.
In the Churches and hall facilities, we will be wiping the glass of the Icons which are venerated, along with the surfaces of crosses, the altar and pews exposed. Everything is clean which the priest handles and everything will be presented with the greatest cleanliness and everyone's health in mind. We will keep everyone informed if there is any appearance of illness or threat, working along with the local Health Authorities.
Below is Bishop Paul's address to our Churches and the Diocese.
Fr. John Pawelchak
We have entered the most profound season of Great Lent when we concern ourselves with repentance and good works. During this sacred time, we look at every way in which we can draw closer to our loving Savior. This takes a great deal of attention. We are striving to simplify our diets and our daily activities. We are working to become more vigilant in the focusing of our thoughts on Christ. We embrace a simpler way of living with as few distractions as possible. And yet, although this is our main focus as Christians during this period, we cannot ignore the growing concern over the corona-virus.
Attention to this virus has increased over the past few weeks. To address the risk posed by this virus, precautions such as travel restrictions have been put into place alongside recommendations to follow common-sense measures such as washing our hands. It is good to adhere to these and other instructions and to keep informed of ongoing updates.
I encourage all of you, the faithful of this diocese, to take every precaution in protecting yourself and the well-being of your loved ones. At the same time, let us be attentive to abide in the peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Abiding in this peace is part of our witness to the world, that our faith and deliverance are found only in God.
Our Lord’s first words to His apostles after His glorious resurrection were, “peace be with you.” (Jn 20:19) It is with this peace and consolation of Our Savior that we continue our efforts of repentance during this season and throughout our life. This is the very peace with which we arm ourselves and approach our Healer and Redeemer through Holy Communion, the Fountain of Immortality. We take precautions as needed during such times of uncertainty, but we do not fear or lose sight of the one thing needful (Lk 10:42).
As we continue our Lenten journey, and as more information becomes available on this developing situation, let us not look away from Our Peace so that we are not overcome with fear. Let us rely not on our own strength and understanding, but on the strength of Christ and His love.