It is with great joy that we inform you that St. Mark is now open for Divine Liturgy on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of every month, beginning this Sunday (July 12) promptly at 10:00 AM.
Stay tuned for information about live-streaming our services on Facebook and YouTube.
Please note: because of the strict rules and regulations regarding COVID-19, St. Mark is not open to visitors at this time. Only members of St. Mark are permitted to attend Divine Liturgy. In the near future, we hope to welcome back visitors once more to St. Mark. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
1. No one shall attend who:
a. Has COVID-19 symptoms (cough, elevated temperature, shortness of breath).
b. Has "at risk" pre-existing medical conditions related to COVID-19.
c. Has any type of current sickness that makes attendance undersirable.
d. Has not pre-announced attendance.
2. Divine Liturgy will be held twice a month every 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month beginning on Sunday, July 12th.
3. Prior to services, Dan will email you an attedance form. Only 20 people are allowed to attend services per each Sunday, so please make sure you fill out and submit your form as soon as possible to reserve your spot in church. Please note, without prior clearance from Dan, you won't be allowed to attend the service.
4. Each attendee will take their temperature before arriving at the church.
5. Church begins promptly at 10:00 AM. In order to attend services, you must arrive between the hours of 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM. If you arrive after 10:00 AM, you will not be allowed to enter the church.
6. Before entering the church, all attendees must sign in with the door attendant at the main entrance of the church.
7. Please enter/exit through the front, double-doors of the church only. If you are handicapped, you may enter/exit through the ramp door.
8. Please do not enter/exit through the kitchen door.
9. All attendees will wear protective masks with the exception of the priest and the choir. Children under 2 years old are not required to wear a mask. If you are unable to wear a mask because of medical reasons, please do not attend church until you are well or when face masks are no longer required.
10. Extra masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the church entrance.
11. No food or drink is allowed in the church. For sanitation reasons, please refrain from bringing unncessary belongings to church.
12. You may purchase a prayer candle from the candle attendant who will then light the candle for you. Please bring the correct amount of cash, as no change will be given.
13. There will be no prayer list in the church. If you would like to add someone to the prayer list, please email your prayer request to Fr. John.
14. Veneration of icons, the cross, the chalice, the priest's hand will be done without touch, i.e., by bowing. Attendees will not touch surfaces unnecssarily.
15. Physical distancing of six-feet will be maintained between all household units.
16. Children must remain beside their parents at all times. Please refrain from allowing your children to wander around the church.
17. Holy Communion will be given with santized spoons. The cloth will be held by an altar server who will be wearing a mask, but mouths will not be wiped. There will be no communion line. Holy Communion will be served 1 family or 1 person at a time and a pew attendant will be present to help guide this process.
18. Prosphora (antidoron) and wine will not be offered after Holy Communion and there will not be a coffee hour following services.
19. After using the restroom, please wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. Please use the air dryer beside the sink to dry your hands.
20. Only the choir will be allowed to sing. All other parishioners must refrain from singing.
21. There will not be a collection basket. Please either drop your donation/dues in the candle box labeled "Donation/Dues", or you may continue to mail your donation/dues to the church.
22. The loft and bookstore are off limits.
23. Church school is currently closed.
24. Please leave the church right after Divine Liturgy and please refrain from social gatherings inside or outside of the church.
25. Please be patient and don't be offended if a member of the council asks you to do or not to do something. In order to keep everyone safe and make sure everything runs smoothly, we may, at times, have to give firm guidance or direction.
26. Presently, the priest (Fr. John) and the President of the Council (Catherine) will be the only people allowed in the church in the off hours. If you currently have a key, please refrain from entering the church for the time being.
27. Lastly, if you are not ready to attend church yet, please know that we understand and that it is perfectly fine not to attend services until the time is appropriate for you to return.
The Parish Council of St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Mission
These Attendance Rules were approved and bless by His Eminence, Metropolitan TIKON
FAITH: I implore you to live piously in order that you might preserve your Orthodox faith, in order that no one and nothing, no circumstances and no kind of sorrow can turn you away from it. For this you absolutely must pray, seeking God's help to keep your faith pure. (St. Nikon)
The rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock." - Matthew 7:25
Phil. 4:6-8: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anthing praiseworthy-meditate on these things.
Do not despair! The Lord is near. Declare to Him all of our sorrows and confusion. When human means are insufficient for understanding, then God's help immediately grants beneficial thoughts, when we turn to Him as children to a father. (St. Moses)
In these times of uncertainty, is is well to remember that there is a time for everything and to everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8):
A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to pull down and a time to build up; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to keep silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace.
"Fear not, for I am with you. Do not go astray, for I am your God who strenthens you; and I will help and secure you with my righteous hand." (Isaiah 41:10). Above all else, is it good to remember He is always in our midst.
A Message from Fr. John:
In our tradition, there is fasting before reception of the Eucharist, and fasting from the Eucharist. Everyone knows of fasting in preparation to approach the Holy Chalice: eating and drinking nothing from midnight, observing the weekly fasts of Wednesday and Friday, frequenting Confession, reciting the "Prayers of Preparation" and so on. Fasting from the Eucharist means not approaching the Chalice for any number of reasons, i.e., work responsiblities, illness, lack of prepartion, grave sin, not going to Confession and so on. We are now practicing "Fasting from the Eucharist" because of the suspension of Eucharistic celebrations. For all of us, it is a difficult condition. But, for whatever reason, it is an unusual discipline placed on us for an indeterminate period of time. But, I believe that because of our present obedience, we will be rewarded with great joy at the next opportunity to return to receiving the Holy Gifts from the Lord. In the meantime, we continue to pray, read parts of the Lenten services, study Holy Scripture, and continue to grow in our "cells" or "prayer closets." At this time, we learn patience. I am reminded of the faithful people of Alaska in the 19th century who had no Eucharistic celebrations for decades, yet, still continued private and public prayer; that is why in the Aleut tradition, the tonsured Reader was referred to as the "second priest" because he read Hours, Typica, Matins every Sunday. Due to the pandemic, it may be very difficult for many to sustain the restrictions of the Great Fast. Therefore, as parish Confessor, I am blessing you to do whatever is possible. I am not trying to undermine what you have already put into practice; however, there are shopping restrictions. And, if you cannot abstain from certain foods, double your time in Scripture reading, attend the "virtual" worship cycle on the internet, and keep faithful to your daily prayer rule.
Prayer in Time of Affliction
O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in thine ineffable goodness, look down upon us, they people gathered in thy Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Corona Virus. Send thine angle to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians and preserve those who are healthy. Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace that together we may glorify thy most honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto agest of ages. Amen.
Sunday, July 12, Martyrs Proclus and Hilary of Ancyra
The Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilarion were natives of the village of Kallippi, near ancyra, and they suffered during the time of a persecution under emperor Trajan (98-117). Saint Proclus was put under arrest first. Brought before the govenor Maximus, he fearlessly confessed his faith in Christ. The governor decided to compel the saint to submit himself to the emperor and offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Durin his tortures, the martyr predicted to Maximus that soon he himself would be compelled to confess Christ as the true God. Saint Hilarion was brought to trail and, with the same courage as Saint Proclus, confessed himself as a Christian. After tortures he was sentenced to death.
If you would like to read more about Martyrs Proclus and Hilary of Ancrya, please visit Lives of the Saints for July 12 on the OCA Website www.oca.org
Zoom Adult Education Classes with Fr. John
Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM. You must be a parishioner of St. Mark to join this class. For more information, please email Fr. John.
Please remember in your prayers: ill & shut in: Ramon, Archpriest Marc, George, Gina, Paula & Jeff, Alban, Mat. Eleanor, Priest Antony, Kh. Diana, Eugenia, Lydia, Reader George, Mat. Irene, Gregory, Alexandra, Penny Samiotes, Peter Samiotes; the kidnapped Hierarchs Metropolitan Paul & Archbishop John; the suffering Christians of Egypt and Syria; those who suffer from terrorist attacks, fires, storms, floods, earthquakes, and pestilences; Catechumen: Daniel; newly-departed Annabel, newly-departed Reader John.