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dochawk, Michael_Thoma, Utroque
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#420281 09/04/2020 11:24 PM
by Fr. Deacon Thomas
Fr. Deacon Thomas
A redacted email from a nearby Orthodox parish concerning their Sunday Church School.

Sunday Church School will be very different this year. After considering all of the ever-changing factors, including the very real burnout that students and parents are experiencing since Covid began, we have decided that meeting outdoors once a month in person is our best option for ... fall programming. Further planning is not possible at this time. Please note that the Preschool class will not be offered in-person, but rather via email.

Cancellations will be called on Saturday nights and will be emailed and posted to Facebook. If the raindate is bad weather as well, class is cancelled for the month.

Classes are during Orthros from 9:15-10. Please instruct students to wash their hands before going into the liturgy.

Noting that classes will be outdoors only, please dress your students appropriately for the morning weather, including old shoes or boots that will keep their feet warm in the cool, wet grass.

The new door to the SCS wing on the left of the building will be unlocked and all students and staff should use it to gather and return supplies, including chairs for outdoor use to minimize our disruptions to the ongoing service. Please remember masks are required in the building. Please remind your students to be quiet going in and out of the church.

Teachers will receive a measuring tape to help ensure the required 6 foot distancing is achieved for seating their students. I cannot stress this enough to you that we must do this. We will not require masks in an outdoor setting, but we must maintain the distancing. Parents are welcome to help set up as needed. It would be appreciated.

We will be following [the local School District's] open school policy and their monitoring of Covid cases for the local area. If they deem it necessary to close school, then SCS is cancelled. Notification will be sent to you in such a case.

You will be receiving more information from your student's teachers in the coming week. Please make sure you have all the information you need. We want you to have all your questions answered beforehand so we have a smooth start to the year.

It is possible that your student(s) may have videos to access either prior to or after class to supplement the lesson due to our restricted time. These videos will ideally be available on the church's YouTube page in as timely of a manner as we can. Please remember that this is a volunteer run program, and it takes time to get things done.

Last, but most importantly, regardless if you are able to join us in body or not, please remember to pray for us, for all the students and to do so with your families. Spiritual leadership in the home is the most important thing we can each do for ourselves, our families, and our community. Make this your first priority. For encouragement to this end, I recommend reading Matthew 6.

Is this fostering faith...or fear?
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#420565 Nov 10th a 05:41 PM
by Andy Makar
Andy Makar
I just have to jump in. If I am over the line, then I invite the moderator to summarily chuck it. If it is too much of a rant, feel free to delete it and chastise me. I make no claim of speaking from the Spirit. This is simply my personal, and humanly flawed view. And I am no stranger to being the fool.

I am appalled at what I see some people writing here. There is a justifiable concern about rights. But I see a conservatism, both religious and political, that is devoid of responsibility to the society around it. I am sorry that the virus isn't deadly enough for some people's tastes. I really do not know how they ignore ERs and ICUs that rapidly get filled up to their capacity, and frequently over capacity to the point that patients get sent out-of-state. That is not your normal flu season. Don't crow about not enough deaths to make it worthwhile. It is the hard work of doctors and nurses and scientists that have resulted in the success rate we have, not any impotence of the COVID. And even with the medical marvels, we still have hospitals with morgue trucks outside. Do we have to wait until we're pressing Hormel meat trucks into service? Keep operating those medical units at over capacity for long enough, and you will not have the same medical success rates.

This is a mentality that has resulted in our nation, supposedly the most advanced, in having a wildly disproportionate amount of cases and deaths as a proportion of our population. Personally, when we have more deaths than India, a nation with three times the population, something has gone wrong. That does not scream "we care about our fellow man". What it does scream is "I don't care as long as it doesn't affect me or mine". It also comes accross as " Who cares, as long as it is the old and infirm". As if we do not owe a moral duty to the old and infirm or anybody but ourselves. Do we really offer a gospel that only blesses those in the Church? I see poeple that are so wrapped up in ideology that they cannot make practical decisions. I will borrow a statement from my Evangelical days. They are so heavely minded they are no earthly good.

There are many that lament the rise of atheism. I have to be honest, I am repulsed by some of these attitudes. When I speak with those that are non-churched, this gets thrown in my face. I can't answer it because, frankly, there is no acceptable answer to it. I cannot bring myself to defend the undefensable. It forces me to conclude that the atheism and agnosticism are on the rise because they have the very best of evangelists. Christians. This mindset is digging the Church into a hole. Please, stop digging!
2 members like this
#420609 Nov 24th a 03:33 PM
by Andy Makar
Andy Makar
The question was posed as to why we have spread with so many wearing masks. The answer is simple. People get complacent in too many areas. Complacency is generally a significant factor in every human disaster. Smart people ignored safety issues on the Deep Water Horizon because nothing bad ever happened. Until one day something bad did happen.

I was issued body armor in the event I needed to go into a hot area. Will that body armor protect me from all weapons? No. But I would have to be a complete idiot not to wear it anyway. Seatbelts will not guarantee that I will emerge unharmed from an accident. Do I wear them? Yes! 50% protection (and I'm pulling that figure as an example) is better than no protection at all. A mask may not eliminate my risk, but it will reduce it. I'll take every edge I can get.

COVID is extremely good at transmitting itself from one person to another. It has a much higher fatality rate than your typical seasonal disease. It has proven that it can fill your hospitals beyond capacity. There are increasing cases of people suffering significant after affects. We won't know the full consequences of this disease for several years. We won't know if there is permanent immunity either until it, and the vaccine, have been in the general population for a while.

So, I plan on taking the vaccine. I will also continue to take precautions as I watch it play out. Remember, the consequence of FDA approval is that the general population becomes the last phase trial. We have rushed this, so risk has unavoidable shifted to that last phase. I see it as my duty to my fellow man and to my nation to get this under control. We are still learning the disease and its consequences. And you can only rush it just so much.

Think of it as an exercise in humility. God has allowed Nature to show us we are not nearly as invincible as we think we are. Maybe its an occasion for prayer.
1 member likes this
#420606 Nov 24th a 02:01 AM
by Fr. Deacon Lance
Fr. Deacon Lance
Infected idiots refusing to wear masks going out in public around others. I hope you don’t get it. I did. It was not pleasant.
1 member likes this
#420632 Dec 1st a 02:25 AM
by Fr. Deacon Lance
Fr. Deacon Lance
Truth? You have departed from the Truth because you have set up Trump as an idol to replace Him, seeing conspiracies where there was only ineptitude, ridiculing love of neighbor as an inconvenience.
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#420662 Dec 4th a 02:39 PM
by Fr. Deacon Lance
Fr. Deacon Lance
From a friend, a doctor of nursing, and an educator on the front lines:

I write this from love. Pure love. I am not holding back, because silence is complicit. I teach. Young people are watching us. They are dismayed. They shake their heads. I speak for them.

Please pay attention.

It is unethical to ignore this public health crisis in our nation.

We are letting a virus take over our lives. It is a virus. I've said this before. It has no pollical party and no allegiance. It simply seeks a host. We have given this virus way too many hosts. Freely and without even a second thought. Enough.

Ignoring this crisis shows extreme disrespect for our health care workers.

As of the first of November, 1,336 US health care workers have died from COVID exposure while on the job. A 2002 study showed 80-150 health care workers died from exposure to infection on the job. In a year. The worst months are coming up. Why are we not outraged?!

If 1,336 police officers died on the job in the last 8 months, would we be upset? I have former students on the police force. I would weep.

If 1,336 attorneys died on the job in the last 8 months, what would we do? I have dear friends and family members who are attorneys. I would demand to know why.

If 1336 teachers died on the job in the last 8 months, how would we react? I am a teacher. I am honored to teach new teachers. I would wail.

If 1336 miners died while working in the last 8 months, would we be outraged? My papa was a miner. I remember his stories. He was proud of his work. I was proud of him. I would cry out.

These fine health care workers are simply doing their jobs. They are exhausted; they are running on fumes. They are facing ridiculous challenges.

Why, you may ask, am I so troubled right now? I will share. I just finished messaging with one of my former students. She is in her fourth year as a nurse practitioner. Young, idealistic. Full of passion. She works in the Midwest. I will keep her name anonymous at her request, but she said I could share her story.

In her ICU, the beds are full. When one COVID patient dies, that bed fills quickly. Over the weekend, she and her team were preparing a patient to be put on a vent. As the MD on the team tried to explain the ramifications of this procedure, the patient cursed at the MD, told him the virus was not real and he only had the flu, and then, when the MD gently tried to once more explain the intubation. this very ill patient, full of anger, spat on the MD. The MD was wearing protective gear, but this act of disdain stunned my former student.

She connected with me because today the patient died.

If you know a health care worker, reach out to them. Tell them you appreciate them. Tell them you will mask. Wear your mask correctly. Distance. Stay home.

I honor our health care workers. I respect them. I was once one of them. I remember dealing with a meningitis outbreak as a young RN at Children's.

No one mocked the gowns/gloves/masks/protective gear we wore. Parents thanked us. They respected limitations on visiting. I felt honored and respected. No one denied what was clearly a public health crisis, albeit a small one in comparison to COVID.

We must do all we can to stop this.

I love Christmas, but it doesn't need to be celebrated with large family groups on December 25th. Host Christmas in July.

My very best holiday in the entire year is Christmas Eve. I love it. I love my traditions. I love my family around my table, but I will not gather with my beloved family members on the 24th. For the good of the whole. For the good of my community. For the good of my country.

I will define patriotism for you. A patriot does the right thing for our nation...for all Americans, right now. For those who are elderly, ill, or at risk of lethal COVID reactions. For all.

Please stop comparing wearing a mask to losing liberty. No one's liberty gives them the right to deny other people their lives.

My parents sacrificed during WWII. I know my papa would be dismayed to hear people claiming mask wearing takes away liberty. I know he would talk about rationing sugar and gas. I remember his stories about how he could not buy new tires for his car for years. People had curfew. They had black out curtains. All of these sacrifices were done for the good of the country. We live in a community and we do things for the sake of the common good.

I am not going to debate this, because it is no longer debatable. Wearing a mask does not mean we are a socialist nation. Nor is it the first step to communism. Do not comment bogus claims about masks not working or isolation not making a difference.

I have dear friends and loved ones in health care on the front lines. I have isolated myself since March, with my only "excursions" to the chemo clinic. I am one of the people some consider "disposable".

My life is not disposable. Neither are the lives of the health care workers we celebrated in the spring and now have conveniently forgotten.

I feel like a prophet. I have kindly and respectfully cried out about this since January. All that I feared and warned of is coming true.

Prophets are often disrespected. Even if I am disrespected, I will not disrespect anyone, but I will delete any lies, conspiracy theories, or comments that argue the reality of this virus. With impunity. Please think before you post. I'm finished discussing this. And, do not dare tell me this is fake news. If I never hear our free press called 'the enemy of the people' again, I will have great joy. You see, I also have dear friends and family who are journalists.

There is no anger like the anger of an Italian Nonnie who thinks those she holds dear are being disrespected or hurt.

We are all responsible for the well-being of our neighbors.
#EachPersonIsAPersonofWorth means it's time to get serious.

I am passionate about this. We can do this. Together.
1 member likes this
#420687 Dec 5th a 10:38 PM
by Utroque
I remember back in the 70s going to an automobile junk yard to get a part for my Ford Pinto. I noticed a number of cars that had very noticeable "spider web" cracks over the driver's side portion of the windshield. I asked the attendant, "why?" He told me those were from the drivers who were not wearing seat belts. They either died or got serious head injuries. It gave me the assurance I needed to do the right thing and always buckle up. The folks in my neighboring state of New Hampshire, long known as the "Live Free or Dieers" resisted this simple restriction on their personal freedom for a number of years. Eventually, they, too, noticed the "spider web" cracks. Is there a parallel to the masks we are being asked to wear? Of course people die in automobiles in other ways, but the wearing of seat belts has prevented a whole lot of head injuries and even deaths that would have occurred from less deadly accidents. As an old professor used to say to us: "A word to the wise is sufficient".
1 member likes this
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