The Coronavirus pandemic has kept the doors of our churches closed and parish activities limited to virtual gatherings. That has not stopped the Metropolis of San Francisco in providing resources and support for our clergy and parishes by utilizing technology to create a network of information.

His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos established a COVID-19 Parish Support Team comprised of volunteers and staff who carry the responsibility to be the central point for planning, coordination and communications for Coronavirus-related resources and materials to support  our parishes and clergy. Team members include: Steve Tibbs, Coordinator; V. Rev. Archimandrite John Constantine, Acting Chancellor; Fanis Economidis, Metropolis Council Vice-President; George Psefteas and Philippos Athanasiades, Metropolis Finance Committee members; Paul Gikas, Metropolis Director of Ministries and Administration; and Kristen Bruskas, Metropolis Director of Development and Communications. During their weekly meetings, this team focuses on bringing forth practical resources for parishes including assistance with CARES Act applications, Financial Contingency Planning, Preparing for the Reopening of the Church, Stewardship materials and technology support for online giving, livestreaming of church services, and much more.

His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos has led weekly video conference meetings with the Metropolis Vicars and Metropolis Clergy. These gatherings provide an opportunity for the clergy brotherhood to meet, share ideas and challenges, and also discuss pastoral issues.

The Parish Support Team has also coordinated regular video conference meetings with Parish Council Presidents and Treasurers. A new network of communication has been established by the sharing of best practices and providing an open forum for questions and collaboration.

Metropolitan Gerasimos stated, “These meetings with clergy and parish leadership have given us the opportunity to symbolically put our hands together and fortify our efforts as a unified Body of Christ and for the strengthening of our communities. To have contact with over 150 clergy and lay leaders on a weekly basis through Zoom meetings has proven to be invaluable in enhancing communication and allowing the Metropolis to be responsive to the diverse needs during this unprecedented time.”

The Metropolis website has a section dedicated to COVID-19 resources both for parish administration as well as for ongoing ministry development. Regular video messages from His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos reflecting on these during Lent, Holy Week and the Paschal season are also regularly shared with the faithful.

Please visit the Coronavirus Resource page for more information.