Our 2021 Great Lent coincided with Ontario's 2nd and 3rd Waves, leading to severely reduced attendance and splitting our church into small weekly and biweekly pods. Despite the challenges, we were grateful to actually worship and all those who devoted their time to keep our prayer lives uplifted. The Pre-sanctified Liturgies where somber and prayerful. Despite only having 10 people for Pascha, a highlight was the dozens that showed up that night in their cars to sing Christ is Risen, have baskets blessed and bring home the light.
Also this year has included both baptisms and funerals. A number of new faces joined with multiple people deciding to explore pitching their tent with us as Catechuman's and 3 adult baptisms planned this year. Some people moved away from our community and some moved in. All this without having our community face to face in over a year. Despite all the darkness, life continued with great beauty and joy. We continue our witness for Christ as a English Orthodox church in the heart of Toronto and Regent Park. Christ is Risen!
We processed around the church with the cross today (April 3). Since Byzantine times the church has processed the Cross out into the streets to proclaim the Gospel and preach healing to those suffering from all sort of illnesses. It seems rather appropriate as Covid-19 picks up a again in our City. While it is western Easter, we are celebrating the feast of the Cross this year at the halfway mark of Great Lent.
Dear young adults, you are cordially invited to attend a Pre-Lenten discussion hosted by St. George Antiochian's YAM entitled, "Give me this stranger" led by our very own Fr. Paul Tadros!
From the time of St. Joseph of Arimathea till our present age, Christians have influenced and radically changed the world because of our insistence and courage to ask for the stranger - to take care of their corporeal needs. Hospitals, orphanages, and education for all were the invention of the Church! Come and discuss what it means to ask Pilate for Christ's body in 2021.
Please RSVP to the St. George Young Adults Event here via Eventbrite. https://www.eventbrite.ca/.../qa-with-father-tickets...
"Give Me This Stranger".
Protocol No. 35/2020
September 9, 2020
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Very Reverend Protopresbyters, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, and Diocesan Faithful,
As I have been, I am concerned about our Diocesan children. I am concerned about their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Of course, we have always been concerned about the well-being of our children, but now, the continued effects of being physically distant from one another are becoming more apparent. If you speak with Child Psychologists, or read the growing amount of literature on the subject, you will begin to understand how difficult physical distancing is for children AND how dangerous it is to their well-being and formation.
We need to be ever more vigilant during this time in watching over our children.
As your Hierarch I am asking you to do 3 things:
We are planning an online event for our Diocesan children, ages 5-18, on Sunday, September 27, 2020 from 6:30 – 8pm. They will have an opportunity to see each other and be together, have some fun together, learn a little, and see the support of their Diocesan Priests and Hierarch.
We’ve learned through our Diocesan and Parish Youth Programs that getting our children together, even in the online environment, is important for them. God works in the online world too. We need only provide the opportunity. Again, help me bring our kids together.
I look forward to the time when we will gather in person. Until then, we will do what we have to do in order to continue to care for our children.
With my blessing I remain
Working in His vineyard,
We have a number of feast days and events over the next week:
Sept 9 :The Holy & Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna
Divine Liturgy at 7:00pm (Zoom)
Sept 10: Community Nights in the Park and Canon of Reconciliation
Hot Dog BBQ in Regent Park behind church 5-7:00pm
Canon of Reconciliation and Discussion 7-8:00pm
Sept 13: Sunday before Holy Cross
Divine Liturgy at 10:00am
Sept 13: Great Vespers for the The Elevation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross
Vespers at 7:00pm
Below is a construction notice informing the Regent Park community of roadwork during the next month. Please note that some of the roads around the church will be affected. (see map on page 2)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are delighted to continue our annual tradition - to give thanks to God and our patron St. Silouan for the many blessings we share.
The Zigomanis family has graciously offered their home in Caledon/Kleinburg to host our Parish Slava. The grounds are quite spacious, with a beautiful pond and ample area for kids and adults to pray and play. Parish Council is spearheading the organization of the event and BBQ - thank you kindly to them as well!
Click on the button below to RSVP.
Note: If you are needing a ride up or able to bring someone you can indicate that on the form.
Phos (Church School) is Back
It is with great joy that we will restart our Sunday School program beginning this coming Sunday. Our new Phos director Minja and the team of catechists are creatively finding ways of making catachesis available and possible during these exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. Classes will be held outdoors immediately following communion.
A link has been created to update and inform parents and catachists of our program: https://sites.google.com/view/cgs-phos-program/home - please check back periodically to get any all up-to-date information.
Please pray for Rd. Bogdan, Andrea and the new baby Teo!
For the souls of Elizabeth (Sandy), Ihor and Elisabeta
Also pray for the number of recent Catechumans that God may reveal Himself and His will to their hearts as they continue their journey with us.
All those who still can not be with us, are isolated, or suffering due to this current Pandemic
Protocol No. 33/2020
Glory to Jesus Christ!
August 27th, 2020
Dear Reverend Clergy and Faithful of our God-Protected Diocese,
Today I am writing to express my concerns about the importance of religious education especially in this time of the Coronavirus pandemic.
First, let me say that the most important time and place for the religious education of our youth, but also the adults, is while we are participating in the Divine Liturgy of the Church. When and where is there a better time and place to see, hear, touch, smell and taste our Orthodox Faith? All five of our senses are fully engaged. This is when we most experience the Faith as a family.
It is an imperative to be in the Divine Liturgy on a weekly basis. This is the time and place where we will see the icons and hear the hymns commemorating the Saints and /or Feasts of the day. In addition we hear the Epistle and Gospel Readings for the day. This is the time and place where we normally venerate items of the Faith.
This is the time and place where we smell the fragrance of the incense offered to God. This is the time and place where we receive and taste God’s gift to us, the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of His Son Jesus Christ. This is the time and place where together as the Christian family we offer praises and prayers to God, thanking Him for His gifts and asking for His help with our needs. Our participation is crucial to our lives.
Second, let me say that the next most important time and place for religious education of our youth is in Sunday School. This is the time and place where our beloved teachers offer additional information about our Orthodox Faith, its practices and traditions. The lives of Saints and their icons are examined. Feast days of the Church are studied for their importance and relevance in our lives. Life issues are presented and morals are reinforced by presenting them in the context of the Orthodox Faith.
This time is very important in the Orthodox understanding and the spiritual development of our children. It must take priority in their lives Sunday morning.
As we enter the Ecclesiastical New Year on September 1/September 14 we must renew our efforts to educate our young people. In this time of the Coronavirus it might seem easier to delay things until things get better, whatever that means, but we cannot afford this delay.
Our children are most important to us. Let us do whatever is necessary not only for their spiritual development, but also their physical protection. Each Priest and those responsible for religious education should get together to discuss ways of “making it happen”, in other words making sure that Sunday School begins as soon as possible.
Each local area within our Diocese has various directives connected to the Coronavirus, try to interpret them and move forward as safely as possible. Already some of our parishes have made their plans including for the use of masks, social distancing, on-line classes, out-door classes as long as the weather cooperates, etc.
Everyone should figure out what works best for your community and then implement your local plan. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to write or call me.
Looking forward to the Ecclesiastical New Year with much love,
+Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa
To download and read the letter click DOWNLOAD FILE:
Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,
Last week our parish celebrated three Divine Liturgies - and it would appear as though this weekly sign-up for Wednesday and Sunday Liturgies is good working model.
The registration form now has all of the liturgies for the month.
So please click the link below to reserve your place for any Wednesday or Sunday liturgies in July.
CLICK to Register for July Liturgies
The newly illumined Joachim! May God grant him and his Godparents Florence and Ted many blessed years!
With our blessing of our Bishop and the recent changes in Ontario's health directives we are now able to begin a phased re-opening and resumption of in-person service. Please find some information about this planned re-opening.
Frequency of Services
The directives allow us to have a maximum of 30% of capacity in the church. As a result of these capacity restrictions, we will not all be able to gather on the same day. In these first weeks, therefore, households will be invited to attend services on an equitable rotating basis. As such we will be increasing our number of liturgies in order to accommodate all who would like to attend (based on your responses to our survey). You will be contacted to come to church on a rotating basis in regular groups at specific times. Please do not attend if you have not been invited to a particular service. If you have not been contacted, need a different time, or you would like to visit our parish please reach out Father or the Parish council.
Due to the ever changing requirements and developments we may have to cancel parish events or services to accommodate the evolving schedule of services. Please bear with us and check our schedule and newsletter regularly.
In order to minimize risks and to ensure we are allowed to continue to meet, a number of protocols have been developed for attending services. This includes spacing, masks, singing, communion, fellowship etc.. Please see the email sent to parish members or ask us and we can send to you. An usher will be available at each service to direct people.
As per usual, if you have been scheduled to come to the church but are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.
If you are unable or uncomfortable with coming to the service, this is an honorable reason of an absence. We would invite you to contact Father who will be happy to work with you on any needs you may have.
We are excited and hope to see you soon!
Please find a humble offering of our Parish Choir. Christ is Risen (Serbian melody in Slavonic)
JOHNSTOWN, PA [Diocesan Chancery] - With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory, a booklet entitled “Holy Week From Home” has been created by Frs. William Bennett and Jonathan Bannon as an aid for all of our people who will be celebrating the services at home this year instead of in their churches. This family friendly booklet even has icons at the back that can be cut out and used during the week.
All Diocesan families young and old are encouraged to download and print up a copy of this excellent resource for use in their homes.
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