News and Events
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We pray everyone is safe and healthy, by God's grace, during this difficult time of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Savas and our Metropolis of Pittsburgh, the church is now reopen each Sunday for Orthros and Divine Liturgy. We are following CDC guidelines for churches and the directives Metropolitan Savas has provided us to help keep everyone as safe as possible.
As we as a Parish are preparing for a gradual reopening of church services and parish activities, we are working with our Metropolitan Savas and our Metropolis of Pittsburgh to follow CDC guidelines for churches and the directives Metropolitan Savas has provided us with to help keep everyone as safe as possible.
We are attaching the Metropolis of Pittsburgh's publication The Road Ahead which outlines the temporary guidelines we are following as we resume church services.
First, if you have any signs or symptoms of any acute illness (whether it is COVID or not), you MUST stay home, as should those who have come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID within the last 2 weeks.
At this time, we are permitted to serve Divine Liturgy with up to 50% capacity in the church, everyone wearing masks and social distancing. Pews and carpets will be marked to help maintain 6 feet social distancing. Once you arrive at church, someone from the parish council will help you to your seat. Family groups may sit together, but must remain 6 feet social distancing from everyone else. Masks are required to be worn throughout by all in attendance.
Our Orthodox Christian faith and worship remain unchanged at their core, including our teaching on the sanctity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ "for the remission of sins and life eternal." As stated by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, "The Mother Church of Constantinople knows empirically from its two-thousand-year existence that Holy Communion is 'the antidote to mortality' and remains firm in its Orthodox teaching regarding the Holy Eucharist." As such, parishes are permitted to return to their customary parish practice of distributing and receiving the Holy Gifts. Please form a line following the directions of the parish council and observing 6ft distancing. Those who are prepared to receive must remove their mask prior to approaching the chalice. After receiving Holy Communion but before replacing the mask they should proceed to the Antidoron tray to consume a piece of bread to ensure the Holy Gifts are not expelled onto the mask.
After Divine Liturgy, everyone is asked to head to the back of the church and take antidoro, if they wish, while maintaining social distancing and immediately leave the church. No trays will be passed out. Please drop off your stewardship in a tray as you exit the church.
Coffee hour is suspended until further notice.
Kollyva is permitted if pre-bagged and left at the back of the church for parishioners to take.
The church will be cleaned and sanitized after every Divine Liturgy.
It is recommended that parishioners 65 years of age and over, those with health issues and those living in long-term care facilities not attend church services but watch online or by other means during this initial yellow phase.
We are working on implementing a live stream of all of our church services.
We pray the remainder of the pandemic is of short duration. We will keep you informed of further developments.
In the Risen Christ,
The Parish Council of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre
Helpful links during COVID-19:
Spend time at the appropriate moments to participate via video in the services at https://www.goarch.org/live-broadcasts
Those with newer AppleTV devices, Roku, or Amazon Fire can find the Archdiocesan channel: https://www.goarch.org/tv
Utilize the Archdiocesan Online Chapel for texts of services, daily readings, and lives of the Saints: https://www.goarch.org/chapel
Utilize the various service texts available on AGES Initiatives http://www.agesinitiatives.com/…/pub…/dcs/servicesindex.html, singing or reading the hymns.
(Replace the litanies of petitions by saying "Lord, have mercy" three times, and replace the Priest's exclamations or blessings with "Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.")
Live Stream of Orthros and Liturgy Now Available
Church Facebook Page
Our parish now has a Facebook page, from which we will share information about all aspects of church life, parish activities, and event photos.
To access the page, please visit http://www.facebook.com/annunciationwb .
Please note that you do not need to have a Facebook account to view our page.
Iconography Restoration Project
The church is currently undergoing an icon restoration project to revitalize our Iconostasis. We are also adding several new icons in the church. For photos of the project so far, please click here.
In addition, the church is still accepting donations for new icons. Please contact the Christina Stelmack by calling (570) 417-4465 or by e-mailing GreekOrthodoxChurch@hotmail.com for more information.
Stewardship for 2020
Please visit the church Web site to view the updated stewardship information for 2020. This year's stewardship theme, requirements, and form have been added to the church Web site on the "Stewardship" page (http://annunciationwb.pa.goarch.org/stewardship-form)
The continuation of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre is dependent on the will of our parishioners. The stewardship program provides parishioners with the opportunity to support the church according to each person's specific circumstances and financial status. Thank you in advance for all your support of the continued operations of the parish.
The AHEPA Black Diamond Chapter #55 of Wilkes-Barre, PA is currently seeking new members.
The mission of the AHEPA Family is to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence
Any adult males interested in joining, please email GreekOrthodoxChurch@hotmail.com or contact an AHEPA member.
More information about the organization is available at www.ahepa.org
Fellowship Coffee Hour
The church is currently seeking coffee hour donations. We encourage parishioners to donate coffee hour in when they are celebrating a name day or birthday or when they are commemorating the death of a loved one, but we also are seeking general weekly donations. We strongly encourage everybody in the parish to donate coffee hour at least one time during the summer season. Please sign-up at the church, contact a parish council member, or e-mail GreekOrthodoxChurch@hotmail.com to reserve your date.
If someone who is unable to attend church to receive Holy Communion would like to arrange a visit with Fr. Gabriel, please contact a member of the parish council.
Parish Email Address List
Join the parish e-mail address list in order to receive church newsletters, bulletins, and news updates. To become a member of the list, send an e-mail to GreekOrthodoxChurch@hotmail.com with the subject “Subscribe to Parish E-mail List.” Please include your name in the body of the e-mail.
Learn Greek Online
The Metropolis of Pittsburgh offers parishioners a variety of online resources to learn the Greek language online.
Please visit https://pittsburgh.goarch.org/greek-education/ for more information about Greek education programs and websites to supplement learning Greek.