Monday, March 16, 2020

Pandemic Help Needed and Help to Give - St. Vladimir Family Response

If you need groceries, a ride to the doctor, financial support, pharmaceuticals, to talk to someone so you don’t feel so isolated, or ANYTHING AT ALL during the pandemic please reach out to our St. Vladimir Family! And of course, if you need spiritual support! We are here to help! And we want to help!

Phone/SMS: 734-475-4590

And perhaps even more importantly: please tell us if you can PROVIDE the help that we outline above! We need to have a roster of people ready to help that we can call upon when a need is identified.

If we do not pick up the phone please leave a message! We will get right back to you.

Need to have Confession, partake of Holy Communion, or just talk with one of our priests? Please reach out! Fr. Gregory: 734-649-5746 ~ Fr. Moses: 530-591-0416.

*Lots of people who will never get sick will need spiritual and emotional support. The next few weeks will be isolating and anxiety-inducing. Your prayers are our first and most important line of defense. Social contact at a physical distance will be the second line. Make a plan to engage in regular phone calls, FaceTime, or Skype with people you would otherwise have chatted with at Church or in social gatherings. Reach outside of your regular circles to check in on folks. Be aware that some of our members have large, robust circles of families/friends, but others are already fairly isolated. If someone comes to your mind assume the Lord is touching you and asking you to reach out to that person!

*Elderly people are at much more risk of dying from Covid-19, but anyone can be infected and contagious. Experts believe that you can be contagious up to 14 days before you experience any symptoms. Young children can be contagious for that same period, even though they may never have apparent symptoms. Do not put yourself or your children in direct contact with the people you're supporting. Six feet is a safe distance to keep from infecting someone. If someone you're helping needs physical support (walking, getting to a car, etc.) wear a N95 mask and gloves. Wash your hands thoroughly before putting on gloves. Soap & water is much more effective than hand sanitizer.

*While elderly people are at much more risk of dying, and are generally more isolated in their daily lives, lots of people under 60 have contracted this disease and many have died. It is not an "old person's disease". So if you get sick and need help for you and your family, please let us know using the contact information above.

*Lots of people who will never get sick will need financial support. Hourly wages will be limited as businesses experience significant downturns in business. School closures will increase household expenses as kids no longer get school lunches, and parents have to take time off to care for their children. If you know that someone has financial needs and you can help directly, do. If you need help or you know someone who needs help let us know!

*Our parish financial resources will be STRETCHED LIKE NEVER BEFORE due to the pandemic. Many people are not coming to church now for public health reasons. That is good. But if your practice is to donate only when you are physically present NOW IS THE TIME TO FINALLY CHANGE THAT PRACTICE. Set up a recurring donation at our Donate Page below. Whether you are present at services or not (on Sunday, March 15 we had about 50% of the regular attendance) the parish needs your support! We have LOTS of people to help now – way more than usual. If we get caught in the death spiral of more needs with fewer people donating because they are not physically present we will get into a bad financial place very quickly. Stop that from happening by establishing a recurring donation today!


Thanks to Matushhka McPherson for providing lots of these great ideas!!!


In the middle of the third century, a terrible epidemic beset the great city of Alexandria, in Egypt. The pagans of the city deserted the sick and dying and tried to protect themselves. The Christians did the opposite. In the words of St. Dionysius the Great of Alexandria (quoted in Eusebius' Church History):

"Most of our brother-Christians showed unbounded love and loyalty, never sparing themselves and thinking only of one another. Heedless of the danger, they took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them in Christ, and with them departed this life serenely happy; for they were infected by others with the disease, drawing on themselves the sickness of their neighbors and cheerfully accepting their pains. Many, in nursing and curing others, transferred their death to themselves and died in their stead, turning the common formula that is normally an empty courtesy into a reality: ‘Your humble servant bids you good-bye.’"

"The best of our brothers lost their lives in this manner, a number of presbyters, deacons, and laymen winning high commendation, so that death in this form, the result of great piety and strong faith, seems in every way the equal of martyrdom."

Thank you to Fr. John Whiteford for this quote from Eusebius. Let us pray! As we discussed in the homily on Sunday we are going to be called upon in these times to show our commitment to Christ and His ministry to us sinners. He came to serve, and we as Christians must also serve! We must be Christians whether anyone is looking or not. The Lord will help us - and we must struggle to trust Him that He cares more for our salvation even than we do! When it is our time He will take us, whether via coronavirus, flu, cancer, car accident, or whatever. That does not mean we should be reckless - of course not! We should follow all recommendations from the Centers from Disease Control & Prevention. But if we are called then let us serve, and trust God that by emulating Him we will be saved. For the pearl of great price is our salvation - not our earthly life. We are citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom first and foremost. Now the Lord is giving us a chance to prove it! And with that challenge will also come His Grace. Ask Him for His help! Ask Him to overcome fear! Ask Him to do what needs to be done! And trust that indeed - He will answer your prayer.

"Fear not: believe only..." (Luke 8:50)

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)

Fr. Gregory

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