March 12, 2020
Protocol No. 7/2020
God is with us!
Dear Reverend Clergy and Faithful Laity of the Diocese,
I am writing to you today with a sense of urgency, as we confront the new Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic that is potentially affecting not only our physical and spiritual health but also our way of life in the United States of America. If you have turned on the television, listened to the radio, or followed the announcements on your phones for the last three weeks or so, you would think that the world is coming to an end. Local public and private schools are shutting down for several weeks. Professional sports leagues are suspending their schedules.
Colleges and universities are closing down their on campus activities and doing everything on-line for the remainder of the spring semester. Even the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball March Madness Tournaments have been cancelled. What will we do for the next three weeks without our madness? How about going to Church and observing Great Lent in a more meaningful way.
Several Priests and lay people have contacted the Chancery and/or me personally asking for some guidance/directives on what to do as we deal with this current health issue. Some have even offered their own suggestions. Various Christian Churches, Roman Catholic and Protestants, have made pronouncements concerning the Coronavirus. Some of the Orthodox jurisdictions here in the United States and others around the world have made pronouncements encouraging their faithful.
Here are my thoughts and directives concerning this issue:
“But the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you: do not be afraid, nor be terrified.” (Deut. 31:8)
Working in His Vineyard with much love,
+METROPOLITAN GREGORY OF NYSSA