IMPORTANT CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH RESPONDS TO THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

[WATCH THIS ARTICLE FOR FURTHER UPDATES. LATEST NEWS WILL APPEAR AT THE TOP.]

05 April 2020

JOIN US FOR VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR AFTER LITURGY!

This Sunday morning, join us online for worship (8:15am Orthros/9:30am Liturgy) on our website at HolyTrinityPgh.org/live. Then, at 11:15, use the Zoom video conference instructions below to log on to another "Virtual Coffee Hour!" Grab your own coffee or tea at home and stay in your church clothes or come casual. We're looking forward to seeing everyone!

VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR CONNECTION INSTRUCTIONS:

1. COFFEE HOUR GOES FROM 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

2. BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE!

3. HOW TO JOIN:

To join by video on your computer/laptop (best option to see everyone), tablet or cell phone (it must by video capable):

    Join the Zoom Meeting by using your browser to visit:

    https://goarch.zoom.us/j/502540023

    You may be asked to install the Zoom video app. Do it - it's safe and really handy these days! No account needed to join someone else's conference call.

    Or, if you already have Zoom installed, launch it and join Meeting ID: 502 540 023

To join by phone only (no video):

    Join the Zoom Meeting by dialing 646-876-9923

    When prompted, enter Meeting ID: 502 540 023

See you there!


05 April 2020

"LIGHT A CANDLE" DURING SERVICES NOW AVAILABLE!

Do you miss lighting candles in church during the current COVID-19 "Stay At Home" time? Now you can have a real candle lit for you during services at Holy Trinity Church! Check out our new "Light a Candle" program! Visit HolyTrinityPgh.org/candles to light yours today!


02 April 2020

TAKE A LENTEN PILGRIMAGE AROUD THE WORLD...FROM YOUR OWN HOME!

Ready To Get Out Of The House? Want To Go On A Beautiful Lenten Pilgrimage Right Now? Travel The Orthodox Christian World Right From Your Home! See Hagia Sophia, The Holy Sepulchre, Mount Athos and Orthodox Churches And Monasteries In The Us And Around The World!

Get comfortable and start clicking away! These are not videos, but virtual 360 tours you may visit at your leisure. Want to make it grand? Gather the family and put it on your big screen! May your journey be blessed! CLICK HERE TO BEGIN.


28 March 2020

JOIN US FOR COFFEE HOUR ONLINE TODAY FOLLOWING LITURGY!

Miss seeing everyone? We thought so! And we can fix that! Nothing can stop Holy Trinity hospitality!! Join your Holy Trinity family and friends tomorrow after Liturgy for our First-Ever Holy Trinity Virtual Coffee Hour!

While we are doing our best to observe the recommended and required coronavirus restrictions, it's great to be able to join online for worship services, especially during this holy season of Lent. Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually see and talk with one another like we do at Coffee Hour afterwards? Well, thanks to the wonders of video conferencing, we can!

Sunday morning, join us online for worship (8:15am Orthros/9:30am Liturgy) on our website at HolyTrinityPgh.org/live. Then, at 11:00, use the Zoom video conference instructions below to log on to our first-ever "Virtual Coffee Hour!" Grab your own coffee or tea at home and stay in your church clothes or come casual. We're looking forward to seeing everyone!

VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR CONNECTION INSTRUCTIONS:

1. COFFEE HOUR GOES FROM 11:00-11:45 a.m.

2. BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE!

3. HOW TO JOIN:

To join by video on your computer/laptop (best option to see everyone), tablet or cell phone (it must by video capable):

    Join the Zoom Meeting by using your browser to visit:

    https://goarch.zoom.us/j/586730083

    You may be asked to install the Zoom video app. Do it - it's safe and really handy these days! No account needed to join someone else's conference call.

    Or, if you already have Zoom installed, launch it and join Meeting ID: 586 730 083

To join by phone only (no video):

    Join the Zoom Meeting by dialing 646-876-9923

    When prompted, enter Meeting ID: 586 730 083

See you there!


18 March 2020

MARCH 18, 2020 UPDATE CONCERNING THE CURRENT COV-19 CRISIS
AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES BEING ENACTED AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.”
(Psalm 46[45].1-2)

Dear Faithful Holy Trinity Family,

It was only a few days ago I reached out to you to communicate directives to protect the members of this community, the Church and the world around us from the growing scrouge of the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Since then, many developments have transpired, resulting in unprecedented and even painful choices being made on every level of the Church and the world to stem the advance of this disease. Please continue to pray fervently for our leaders: world, national, local and religious. The heavy burdens they are carrying on our behalf require our help through encouragement, cooperation and, especially, prayer.

The pdf pastoral directives from His Eminence Metropolitan Savas (click here) (166 KB)  take effect immediately. Please read them fully and abide by them as faithful members of the Orthodox Church under the spiritual direction of our hierarch.

Of particular importance, please note the following direct quote from the encyclical concerning church services:

"Church services may continue as scheduled within our parishes, but the parishioners are directed to participate via the Internet. A minimum compliment should be present at the parish (no more than 5 persons including the priest, all of whom should be physically healthy and at low risk for the disease, who will participate at the invitation of the priest). Those unable to participate via live streaming are encouraged to utilize other resources available to the faithful (see below). Those clergy, cantors, and parish leaders who fall within the higher risk groups (older than 65; having long-term respiratory conditions; being immunocompromised or living with the immunocompromised; etc.) must remain home." (From His Eminence Metropolitan Savas)

What does that mean for us in the Holy Trinity community? Exactly what it says, as it does for all other parishes in the Metropolis. Therefore - though I never thought I would see the day that as your priest where I would be compelled to communicate this - please note:

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, PARISHIONER ATTENDANCE AT SERVICES IS NOT PERMITTED. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE BY ATTENDING ONLINE ONLY at www.HolyTrinityPgh.org/live. WE WILL CONTINUE OUR FULL SCHEDULE OF SUNDAY AND LENTEN SERVICES AS PUBLISHED IN THE HERALD AND LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE.

To make your online worship experience an expression of our "Church of the Home," please consider the following:

  • Watch the services in a special place, such as in your icon corner or the prayer space of your home.
  • Prepare yourself as if you were coming to the church, perhaps even dressing as you usually do for service at the church.
  • Turn off distractions such as other media and your phone.
  • Most importantly, tune in spiritually as participants, not just observers. This is still your church!

Also, our Parish Council met via online video conference last evening and we have also made the decision to close the church properties to outside visitors. Therefore

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THE CHURCH AND CHAPEL FACILITIES WILL BE CLOSED TO OUTSIDE VISITORS.

Please watch in the coming days for additional information, encouragement and spiritual guidance on maintaining our Lenten journey in faith and holiness, even in the midst of these challenges.

Please pass this information on to other community members who may not have access to email and continue to support and encourage one another as we walk this path together.

As I said in my last message, during this holy and sacred season of Lent, the Great Compline service reminds us of the ever-presence of our loving Lord with the hymn, “God is with us; give ear O you nations, for God is with us!” As you read the attached update, please allow that to be the underlying message of hope and strength. We do not face this or any other challenge in our life or the life of our community without that assurance: “God is with us!

On behalf of our Parish Council, Father Radu and our community leaders, I remain,
Paternally and pastorally yours in Christ our Lord,
Father John Touloumes
Proistamenos


13 March 2020

MESSAGE FROM FATHER JOHN CONCERNING THE CURRENT COV-19 CRISIS AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES BEING ENACTED AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AND CONTINUING THROUGH MARCH 31

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” (Psalm 46[45].1-2)

Dear Faithful Holy Trinity Family,

During this holy and sacred season of Lent, the Great Compline service reminds us of the ever-presence of our loving Lord with the hymn, “God is with us; give ear O you nations, for God is with us!” As you read the attached update, please allow that to be the underlying message of hope and strength. We do not face this or any other challenge in our life or the life of our community without that assurance: “God is with us!

Concerns over the current COVID-19 crisis sweeping the globe have brought about many and rapid changes in our daily lives and activities. We are a community of faithful Orthodox Christian believers; we are also active members of the society around us, personally and as a church community. It is, therefore, our calling to simultaneously be witnesses to the saving Good News of Jesus Christ—Who brings us peace and hope—and to be responsible citizens who are contributing positively and responsibly in the calls for caution and safety to help reduce the spread and impact of this new virus for the protection and well-being of all. We do this with the guidance of our Patriarchate, Archdiocese, Metropolis, government and public health officials.

With all that in mind, our parish leadership – myself, Father Radu, the Parish Council and parish ministry leaders – have been in consultation concerning an appropriate community response, and today I am announcing the attached changes, effective immediately and continuing through March 31 (pending further updates). Please feel free to communicate with myself, Father Radu, the Parish Council or your ministry leaders regarding any further suggestions, concerns or needs. We are here to help.

Our priority is to care well for the Holy Trinity family and the surrounding community during this period of increased anxiety and daily disruption. It is times like these where the Church also has the opportunity to show added measures of love, grace, and hospitality to one another both inside and outside the walls of our Holy Church and to shine the faithful light of hope in Jesus Christ to the world around us.

Paternally and pastorally yours in Christ our Lord,

Father John Touloumes
Proistamenos


COVID-19 CRISIS CHANGES AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH EFFECTIVE MARCH 13-MARCH 31, 2020

WORSHIP LIFE

  • All worship services will continue as scheduled – Sunday, Lenten and Festal.
  • All services at Holy Trinity Church and Saint George Chapel will continue to be broadcast online at HolyTrinityPgh.org/live for those who are not able to attend.
  • All who are ill, at-risk due to age or health-compromised conditions are encouraged to remain home and participate online until this crisis passes.
  • For those who attend services, the following adjustments are announced:
    • Wash or sanitize hands upon arrival using the entrance restroom or sanitizer.
    • Minimize person-to-person contact. Culturally, we are used to greeting each other by shaking hands, kissing and embracing, but this should be temporarily avoided during this period. Keep a safe “social distance” when speaking to others.
    • Temporarily refrain from the usual Orthodox Christian practice of kissing icons. Rather, honor the sacred icons by bowing before them, offering a prayer, lighting a candle and making the sign of the Cross.
    • During the Divine Liturgy, temporarily refrain from shaking hands, embracing or kissing those around you at the Kiss of Peace; instead, reverently turn and bow.
    • Holy Communion will be distributed as usual. This holy gift from God is the true medicine of our lives offered “for the forgiveness of sins and life eternal.” It is the timeless teaching of the Orthodox Church that Holy Communion is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which cannot ever be a transmitter of illness or death. (See online podcast of Father John’s sermon from March 8 on the Holy Trinity website).
    • Antidoron will not be available immediately following Holy Communion to avoid the practice of having many people place their hands a common bowl.
    • Antidoron will be distributed by the clergy at the end of the Divine Liturgy so that only the sanitized hand of the clergy goes into the bread bowl. Please do not grab the priest's hand or kiss it, but receive the Antidoron reverently with an open palm.

COMMUNITY LIFE

  • Coffee Hour and social gatherings are temporarily suspended.
  • Church School classes are temporarily suspended.
  • Lenten presentations and after-service meals are suspended.
  • The March 22 Godparent/Godchild observance and Philoptochos Lenten Luncheon are cancelled.
  • All non-essential meetings and any meetings of over 20 people are cancelled.
  • Following services, various areas of the church including doorknobs and contact points will be sanitized.

Thank you to all members of the Holy Trinity Church for the mutual understanding, compassion, and absence of judgment of others in all these matters. Everyone is free to make the choices that best suit their needs. We will provide updates as needed but are currently planning to resume regular activities in April unless notified otherwise.