As we struggle with this global crisis, it is the local Church that is on the frontline to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful. We the faithful at Holy Cross comprise the fullness of the Church in Roseburg, but let us remember who the Head of our Church is. He is the God-man Himself, Crucified in the flesh and Risen from the dead. As we struggle day after day being confined, let us look forward to the new day He promises: He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new. (Revelation 21:3-5)
As you are seeing around you, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant financial impact. In light of this, I would make you mindful of two things. The first is that we ask you to continue supporting the life-giving work of our Church and its ministries, through your stewardship. I am grateful for your faithful stewardship which has put us in a very strong financial position. In light of the church being “closed”, we are working on ways to help you to continue giving, e.g. online giving. The second thing I wanted to make you mindful of is that we have established a Benevolence Fund which you can donate too, or if there is a need, you can make a request of. As with other like funds, distributions will be at the discretion of the priest.
Indeed, the life-saving work of our Church continues. At every Divine Liturgy, I pray for you by name. We are being creative in connecting online but also focusing on connecting with you personally. No doubt in the days ahead, you the faithful will discover new and creative ways to connect with each other. Please don’t hesitate to share those ideas. Continue to worship at home together via live-stream, and please continue praying for God’s mercy and healing of our world. Together, we will navigate this crisis. Together, we will overcome any financial challenges and, by God’s grace, continue to thrive and grow. Finally, may our gifts in support of the God-saving message of the Gospel be offered not out of any sense of obligation but as a privilege (philotimo). It is an honor to bear the name of Christ. May we all prove worthy to be called “Christ-bearers” (Χριστοφόροι).