Official Church Announcement on Coronavirus – March 13, 2020
The following statement has been issued by His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak after recent meetings with clergy:
Special Statement about Coronavirus
“And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped.” (Numbers 16:48)
Very Reverend, reverend fathers, parish council presidents and beloved faithful,
May the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
All of you have been going through a challenging period recently and are unsure how to live our lives. The threat of coronavirus is in our communities, schools, and businesses.
And yet, for over 2000 years, in the face of war, disease, strife and famine, our Church has been a haven for those who need comfort and it will continue to be so.
We had a special meeting during our recent clergy retreat from March 3rd to 6th, 2020 to address this matter. We also had another meeting on March 12th with our local clergy and parish council presidents and have issued this guideline concerning a precaution plan to encourage your safety on earth, while always being your door to eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- First, we will continue to celebrate Sunday Liturgy at our churches for those who feel comfortable attending and are physically healthy to come. Services will be at the same time and those who choose to attend are welcome to take communion as well.We strongly advise sick people and those who have flu-like symptoms to stay home. The coffee hour after services, however, will be cancelled for the next two weeks. Sunday, March 15th and 22nd . Our social halls will be closed.
- All church activities such as bible studies, Sunday school, suryoyo faith and tradition program, scout, and sports activities have been cancelled for two weeks.
- Evening Lenten prayers will continue at the Archdiocese at 7 pm, Monday – Friday.
- Please keep informed! Visit CDC.gov or Coronavirus.gov, which gives the most accurate news on the spread of the virus, as well as tips on how to keep yourself safe, including advice on personal hygiene. And, above all, keep watch over our elderly and sick because they are the most vulnerable.
- We will continue to monitor the situation, as well as take the advice of our state, local, and federal government about how to proceed in the coming weeks. In two weeks, we will make another decision and make a subsequent announcement to you.
Finally, Even though we are in the midst of our Great Lent, we urge you to dedicate your prayers and fasting for this coming week to be delivered from this time of trouble.
We recognize that many of you are staying home during this period, and this can be a frustrating situation to have your life limited in this way. But please rejoice in the fact that God will never leave or forsake us, and you are never alone. Read your Bible daily, pray more than you ever have before, and God will deliver us.
“So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you.”(Exodus 23:25)
Dionysius John Kawak
Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar
Also, from the Board of Trustees:
Dear parishioners. We have a new update for tomorrow, March 15, 2020. Please read and spread the word:
To ensure of everyone’s safety while dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to announce that we will be livestreaming tomorrow’s Sunday liturgy on our Facebook channel.
We urge you all to believe in the power of prayer from your homes or in church. While we are open for Liturgy for those who choose to attend tomorrow, we strongly insist the elderly and those who are chronically sick not attend. Sunday school has also been postponed, and the social hall is closed after Liturgy. So please spread the word to check out the livestreaming of our Sunday liturgy tomorrow.
Church leadership is meeting regularly and we will keep you informed on what coronavirus means to our church community. Please subscribe to our Facebook and YouTube channels and join our email list. For more information on how to do that, see the bottom of VirginMaryNJ.org.
We are believers in the power of prayer for God to deliver us and bless our church. And please read Psalm 91 daily.
May God bless you all.
The Board of Trustees
Assyrian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary
April 05, 2020