St. Nicholas Adaptations During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Dear Beloved Faithful of St. Nicholas,
We have provided the following resources to assist you during this season of confinement: Service Participation, Educational Resources, Outreach
Please refer to the St. Nicholas Event Calendar, where you will find the links for livestreaming or service texts each service.
“But it’s Weird to Go to Church Online”
It’s a good thing that worshiping while watching the service from home is weird! Our norm is to be TOGETHER to worship our God! But in this weird time, we will benefit from doing what we can. So I encourage everyone to attempt their best to adopt as many of the following suggestions as is practical for worshiping from home.
Before the start of the service, place your device (phone, television, computer, tablet) on or near your icon corner; OR, surround your device with one or more icons.
Turn off all possible distractions (phone, notifications, oven, alarms, etc.)
Like you do before church, take care of all personal needs beforehand.
Dress like you would for a regular Sunday Divine Liturgy. (Casual clothes may encourage a casual, non-prayerful attitude.)
Follow your regular pattern for maintaining the Eucharistic fast, refraining from food, coffee, etc. until after the Liturgy.
Print the attached service booklets and have them in hand.
Follow along during the services, and sing/speak along with us, in whatever way you normally would do during the Liturgy.
As you are able, stand, sit, and kneel as you normally would do during the Liturgy.
Finally, resist the urge to offer any comments online until after the Liturgy is over.
It is a common part of our Orthodox faith to pray our morning and evening prayers at home. With our church closed due to the coronavirus, the faithful are gathering for worship in their prayer corners while streaming the services. In an ongoing effort to keep us all together as a family, we asked families to send us photos of their Prayer Corners. To see pictures of Prayer Corners visit: [PICTURES].
The Church and facilities are closed for the time being, but staff are monitoring messages. In spite of these enormous challenges, the St. Nicholas family is still connecting! It is vital during these days of isolation to stay connected to the Church family. We encourage everyone to participate in these opportunities if not for their own well-being definitely for the well-being of those who may be struggling with isolation.
Fellowship Groups are meeting weekly. Please visit the online calendar for this week’s opportunities.
Our Forerunners leadership will be in regular contact with our home-bound parishioners, and for those with limited family support provide any logistical needs: items from the grocery store, prescriptions picked up, etc. You will be encouraged to know that both our SOYO and Young Adult leaders have already contacted me to offer their support to our parishioners. Please convey any parishioner needs to the Church Office.
Tithes and Offerings
Last but certainly not least, our parish expends funds daily to maintain our operations. Even before attendance at services was restricted, we were in a time of a challenging cash flow. Please be diligent in assuring your giving continues, either by setting up automatic payments through you bank’s bill pay option, through ACH which you can do by filling out this form, by mailing your checks to church, or giving online.
Our Orthodox Education programs are alive and active. Our weekly Bible Study, Adult Sunday class, and Church School classes can be accessed by visiting the online calendar.
ASSISTANCE AVENUES: If you or someone you know is in need, please visit: Assistance. Parishioners in need of assistance are encouraged to contact Fr. Michael.
FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE (FFHP): Please remember that the hungry are in need of our help now more than ever. Continue filling your FFHP boxes. If you do not have a box, please mail your generous donation to St. Nicholas or contribute online. Contact Bruce Nicola with your questions.
HOSPITALS: are in dire need of supplies to combat COVID-19, including masks, bleach wipes, hand sanitizer, etc. For full information on how you can help, visit [SUPPLIES]. They will accept hand-sewn masks. To learn how to make these go to: [Masks]. There are also instructions for how to donate to the [COVID-19 Response Fund].
INNER CITY CHRISTIAN FEDERATION: (ICCF) has requested the following support for the COVID-19 Crisis for their residents in Family Haven and the Resident Engagement program. Please contact Greg Storey with questions or simply click here for the list of needs and how to deliver them: [DONATIONS].
Heart of West Michigan (volunteergr.org)
Individual Volunteer and donation opportunities-http://connect.hwmuw.org/need/
Team opportunities: If you want to be a part of a St. Nicholas volunteer team, contact Greg Storey.