I write to you with an update of the restrictions placed upon us regarding church participation in light of the COVID-19 virus that has now begun to overtake our country.
Beginning immediately and continuing through Thursday, April 9, only the clergy will be allowed to enter church and conduct the appropriate services.
All other non-liturgical activities will be cancelled; specifically, Coffee Hours, Lenten services, Palm Sunday services and banquet.
In addition, without a knowledge of how long we will have so many restrictions, we have made the difficult decision to postpone until a future date the banquet scheduled for May 31 to celebrate our Education Ministries and honor Merle Santerian.
All of these steps are in accordance with the directives of our Primate, His Grace Bishop Daniel Findikyan, and also align with the government restrictions that have been imposed.
Also at the direction of the Primate, no sacraments will be conducted during this time except in the case of an emergency. Should the need arise for a funeral, only a graveside service will be conducted, with the family limiting the number of people attending the service.
We continue to recommend that all practice social distancing in an effort to slow down the spread of the disease. At the same time, this practice will allow for those who are seriously ill to be taken care of at a hospital or other health facility.
Our local hospitals and other health facilities have already begun to restrict clergy visits to a person who is in such facility. However, I will always be available to speak and pray with anyone by phone as requested.
For now, these are the directives sent to us. In the days to come, we will be receiving additional information about what might be expected as we approach Easter.
I ask you to join me in regular and heartfelt prayers that our Lord will guide us through this storm and give us a spirit of good will towards all as we struggle through these many restrictions and grow impatient. If you have any concerns, please know that I welcome your call to answer any questions or help put your mind at ease (917-213-8658).
Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand
Rev. Fr. Hakob Gevorgyan