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March 17, 2020

Dear Parishioners and Friends, 

We have received today pastoral directives from our Diocesan Hierarch, His Grace, Bishop Paul.  Here are the important points that concern our parish.

  1. From today until further notice, no more than ten people should attend any of the scheduled church services. His Grace asks that “people not attend services out of love for God and for each other.”  Therefore, most parishioners should remain at home, especially the elderly and any with underlying health issues. 
  1. None of the scheduled services for the month of March will take place as previously announced. At this time, these are the only services which will take place at Holy Trinity Church until the end of March:

                        Sat., Mar. 21 – Vespers at 5 pm

                        Sun., Mar. 22 – Divine Liturgy at 9 am

                        Tue., Mar. 24 – Vespers at 5 pm

                        Wed., Mar. 25 – Divine Liturgy at 9 am

                        Sat., Mar. 28 – Vespers at 5 pm

                        Sun., Mar. 29 – Divine Liturgy at 9 am

Should there be any changes, we will send a telephonic and email notification.

  1. Should someone desire to come to Confession, I will be in church prior to the Vespers services (Mar. 21, Mar. 24 and Mar. 28), from 3 to 5 pm. Confessions can also be scheduled by calling me (216-524-8989).

If there are other needs (Confession or Communion for sick or shut-ins, etc.), parishioners should call me to schedule a visitation.   Other pastoral matters will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

  1. The Trinitarian will be available on-line, and some printed copies will be in church.
  1. Thanks to Protodeacon Anthony, we are now able to offer on-line transmission of services on our Holy Trinity Facebook page, accessible on the parish website (holy-trin.org). Among other parishes and communities that do so are St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Mogadore, OH

( http://www.stnickoca.org/stnwp/ ) and Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City, PA

( http://www.orthodoxmonasteryellwoodcity.org/chapel ).

  1. The health crisis has precipitated an economic crisis as well. On both fronts, health and economy, we are all affected.   His Grace, Bishop Paul reminds us to not forget our stewardship responsibilities.  In whatever manner you are able to, please continue to support Holy Trinity Church, either by mailing your donations or setting them aside until you come to church.

As Orthodox Christians, we should not be surprised that at times difficult challenges confront us.  That this is occurring during Great Lent seems to have some strange significance.  Of course, to speculate on just why “this?” and why “now?” is beyond our capacity.  The Prophecy of Isaiah, which we read during Lent, says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, says the Lord” (Is. 55.8).  But Isaiah also tells us, as do other Bible stories, that difficult times lead to restoration and redemption.  That too, in a sense, is the story of Jesus Christ, as His Suffering and Cross lead to His Triumphant Resurrection! 

Our hope and vision remain steadfast:  Restoration, Redemption, Resurrection!  So, this period of viral tribulation will end in God’s time, with God’s love and peace abiding.  In the mean time we keep praying, for each other, for the world and for ourselves.  Our Lord taught us that the “kingdom of God is within us” (Lk. 17.21).  While we may not be “inside” our beautiful Holy Trinity Church for worship, the Church in inside us when we pray in faith and love.  And don’t forget to read the Bible, either following the daily passages as indicated on the calendar, or by reading any of the four Gospels, or Epistles from the New Testament.

Praying that Our Merciful Lord Jesus, Healer and Savior, will bless and protect you all, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Alexander Garklavs, Pastor

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church

6822 Broadview Rd

Parma, OH. 44134

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