Friday, March 20, 2020
Dear St. George Family,
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Let these words be a guidepost for us as we work as Orthodox Christians, a nation, Southern Californians and members of our cherished St. George community in journeying through this challenging time without losing sight of our faith which will sustain us.
As you know, we are in the midst of a rapidly evolving situation with the Novel Coronavirus – Covid-19. We have been carefully monitoring the information and guidelines being established to lessen the impact of this virus.
With the recent announcement of the new CDC recommendations and requests, it is unfortunate, but necessary for us to now cancel public access (to parishioners and visitors) to all liturgical services for the next two weeks (until March 31st). We are working on setting up livestreaming for Sunday services (facebook.com/stgeorgeinsd). Though this practice does not correspond with the liturgical practice of our church where gathering as community is central, it does provide some connection for our community of faith during this extraordinary time.
Additionally, we’ve cancelled our Easter/Pascha banquet scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2020.
Though it is most sad to do this, it is our duty to make these necessary decisions for the protection of the faithful in accordance with public health mandates of the CDC and the San Diego Health Department and the restrictions now in place regarding public assembly and other such protocols.
Please be assured that I will continue to keep you informed as I receive more information from our local and state officials. (Check our parish website regularly: www.StGeorgeINSD.org .)
I hope this will be a time for us all to increase our prayers at home and in our families and continue to do our Christian work and Lenten effort during this challenging time. We will not stop ministering to those who may have special needs for assistance.
Please be assured of my prayers and love for each of you. We are people of faith and do not fear. God loves us unconditionally and never abandons us. In the many and often serious disruptions of our lives, we trust in God, the great Physician and Healer of our souls and bodies, who gave his life for us and always provides everything that we need so that we might live with Him forever.
Throughout history, society and the Church have faced many challenges of plagues and persecutions, and now our generation faces this pandemic. Each one of us must do our part — encouraging and strengthening each other as well as the community around us and offering our prayers to the Lord that this pandemic will end quickly. With God’s help, we will soon resume our regular schedule of services and parish events with even greater joy and zeal, gathering together at our beloved St. George Serbian Orthodox Church.
Finally, let us all remember the words of our Lord to His followers: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
With great hope, prayers, and love in Christ,
Fr. Bratso Krsic