Dear Community Members,
Our hearts are as one. During this moment in time as the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world and our communities, many of our lives have undergone significant change. Whether it be through our daily activities or how we approach one another, we must not forget that we are still a community and the communal spirit remains strong between us.
The Debre Mihret St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Illinois has been asked to suspend all of its in-church services and activities as part of the initiative to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Whilst our church is closed due to the state-wide lockdown, our costs continue without our regular service offerings unable to take place.
Extending through the month of May and through the unforeseeable future, we can expect additional measures by our government to prevent the spread of this virus. In our best efforts, we have offered alternatives to our in-person services by offering online services and phone conferences for those without computers and are able to access their phones. We are working on other alternatives as well so we may continue to provide services to our community.
Our church however is so much more than our building and its services. Our church is a community where relationships are built and strengthened. Through our weekly services, to the events we hold where memories are made and cherished such as our celebration of St. Michael, celebration of St. George, or our annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Or our deacon education programs and many more activities such as communal outreach programs, our activities are intended to help build and foster a strong and close community.
In the past, we have kindly received donations to our church to help keep our programs and our church running. Our church is community-funded whether it be through in-service offerings, donations, or fundraisers held during these events. Because of the suspensions of our in-church services and activities, we have unable to raise any money to help keep our church running. Whilst our in-person church services and activities have been put on hold, our costs continue. Without our regular service offerings unable to take place, we find ourselves unable to maintain the same level of donations we have had in the past to help pay for costs. We recognize that times are difficult for many and are grateful for any support that our community and those willing to help are able to offer.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
-The Debre Mihret St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Illinois in Wheaton.