MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

July 31st, 2020

Dear Members,

Thank you for your patience while we continue to navigate the pandemic and reopening our Church in a safe manner. Reopening our Church and attendance for all falls under guidelines set out by the provincial government. In order to attend Church, parishioners will need to:

  • Remain socially distanced
  • Wear masks (mandatory beginning August 1st)

We are also required to keep detailed records and contact information for each person who attends each service, by date. In the event we have someone who identifies to us or if public health contacts us to let us know that someone in our Church tested positive, we can easily access all those that were on church that day and contact everyone.

Each time you enter Church, you will be asked to provide your name and phone number to keep these records detailed and precise. This is necessary to keep everyone safe; our clergy, our volunteers and especially our parishioners.

Should the attendance reach capacity, we will inform those arriving that we have reached capacity. Parishioners will be able to light candles and then proceed outside. We can only do this if everyone follows the guidelines and rules. 

Abuse of volunteers and staff will not be tolerated under any circumstances and those who act in ways that do not comply with our Code of Conduct and the directives of AHS will be asked to leave.

We hope that everyone understands this is difficult for all, especially those responsible for the Community and Church.

On behalf of the Community Council and Fr. Peter Rougas, 

Diane Polesello
President
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Community


July 17th, 2020

Member Update!

Dear Members, 

The last few months have been unprecedented and challenging for most of us as we adapt to changes in our daily lives while trying to remain healthy and optimistic. There have been several changes to our Church and Community, of course, the most noticeable being the inability to have Church services, host fundraisers and rent our hall as in previous years. We have been working hard over these months to keep as much consistency to our operations as possible by bringing services to our parishioners via live stream and now our limited attendance option. We encourage all members to subscribe and watch via our YouTube Channel by clicking here and attend services in person if you are comfortable doing so. 

Due to the lockdown and gradual reopening of our Church, our ability to generate revenue for the Community via offerings, hall rentals and fundraisers has been drastically impacted, as has our ability to manage expenses. We anticipate economic recovery will be very gradual and are mindful of the financial health of the Greek Orthodox Church and Community and remaining financially responsible. We have implemented increases to rental fees for the upcoming hall rental season, as well as cost cutting measures related to rentals. As is happening across the landscape, salaries for all paid employees of the community have been reduced and some paid positions have been eliminated. Rest assured, the sustainability of our Community is a top priority. We thank all those who have supported our Church via the online virtual disko. 

Related to capital projects, we want to thank those who have generously donated and also wish to provide an update. With regards to the stair project and the heating and air conditioning upgrades that we have planned, there have been some changes in our timeline due to COVID and although originally scheduled for this summer, we will need to postpone the project to summer 2021. We have successfully raised monies to date, which would have allowed us to move forward this year. Several delays, beyond our control and due to the pandemic, have made the completion of the project by September 2020 impossible for this year. 

Again, we want to thank those who have donated to this project and assure our members that all monies raised for this project, as promised, will not be used for any other purpose other than what was intended through the fundraising campaign. The funds raised will be placed in a locked account until August 2021 and we will continue to fundraise in the meantime for all our project needs. 

In addition to continuing to offer the ability to participate in services virtually and attend Church in a safe environment, the Community Council collaboratively with Fr. Peter Rougas are working together to create a schedule of events and experiences which will enable us to provide more engagement in our new environment. Our ecclesiastical planning and programming will follow the general guidelines set out by the Archdiocese. Members are encouraged to take time to review these guidelines by clicking here. There will be more communication to come regarding the schedule of ecclesiastical events and programming from Fr. Peter. 

As a reminder to all our valued members, we are still looking for two more members of council and several volunteers to implement programs throughout our Church and Community. We have particular need for individuals who are interested in supporting special events and fundraising - ideas are welcome but we especially need individuals to lead the initiatives. 

Those interested in actively participating can contact the council  by emailing admin@caglaryhellenic.com


On behalf of the St. Demetrios Community Council and Fr. Peter Rougas, 

Diane Polesello 
President 
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Community

June 11th, 2020

Church Procedures

Thank you to everyone who attended service last Sunday! It was wonderful to have so many familiar faces back in the church. Just a quick reminder to all who would like to attend service on June 14th, 21st & 28th:

  • Parishioners must RSVP by emailing admin@calgaryhellenic.com or calling (403) 246-4553 ext 3 by noon of the previous Thursday. You must include the names of all those from your family that will be attending along with your address for the purposes of contact tracing should an outbreak occur. You will receive confirmation of your attendance. If you do not receive confirmation of your attendance, do not come. Walk ins will not be permitted. The 50 person limit will include clergy and volunteers required to administer the process.
  • Parishioners showing symptoms or answering yes to any of the following questions will be denied entry
    • Have you traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days ?
    • Have you been in contact with anyone who is confirmed to have COVID ?
    • Do you have fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath?
  • Council members reserve the right to deny entry to anyone they feel does not meet the criteria.
  • Parishioners will be asked to sit with those they live with; otherwise a distance of 6 ft or 2 m apart must be kept.
  • Parishioners will be asked to sit only in pews that are open and not marked closed.
  • There will be no offering tray (disko) and no exchange of money however members will still be able to contribute money through the space at the candle station. 
  • All children under 2 years of age must be held by a parent/guardian.
  • All entering the Church will be asked to hand sanitize and don a mask which they will ideally bring, if they do not have masks a mask will be provided to them. They must wear mask for the entire duration of the service.
  • Candles will be handled and handed out by a council member wearing gloves, gloves will need to be changed between touching any other surfaces.
  • All icons will be marked unavailable for touching/kissing.
  • Only the main entrance of the church will be open for entry, but people can leave from back entrance or go to the gym.
  • There will be no coffee service and everyone will be asked to leave immediately.
  • At the end of service, Father Peter will announce that people will have to leave by row and that they will be escorted and queued by a council member.
  • All surfaces will b e wiped down between services with AHS approved disinfectant solution. 

Schedule

    • June 14th – Only members 65 and over who have RSVP‘d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 11th at noon
    • June 21st – All members with surnames A-K that have RSVP’d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 18th at noon
    • June 28th – All members with surnames L-Z that have RSVP’d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 25th at noon

    On behalf of the Community Council,

    Diane Polesello
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary


    May 28th, 2020

    Church Opening

    Dear Members,

    Thank you for patience during this difficult time. Our church has now been closed for almost 3 months and many things have changed in our day to day lives.

    I am happy to announce that we will be reopening church for live services on Sundays at this time, following the below precautions and guidelines starting on Sunday, June 7th.

    • Parishioners must RSVP by emailing admin@calgaryhellenic.com or calling (403) 246-4553 ext 3 by noon of the previous Thursday. You must include the names of all those from your family that will be attending along with your address for the purposes of contact tracing should an outbreak occur. You will receive confirmation of your attendance. If you do not receive confirmation of your attendance, do not come. Walk ins will not permitted. The 50 person limit will include clergy and volunteers required to administer the process.
    • Parishioners showing symptoms or answering yes to any of the following questions will be denied entry
      • Have you traveled outside Canada in the last 14 days ?
      • Have you been in contact with anyone who is confirmed to have COVID ?
      • Do you have fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath?
    • Council members reserve the right to deny entry to anyone they feel does not meet the criteria.
    • Parishioners will be asked to sit with those they live with; otherwise a distance of 6 ft or 2 m apart must be kept.
    • Parishioners will be asked to sit only in pews that are open and not marked closed.
    • There will be no offering tray (disko) and no exchange of money however members will still be able to contribute money through the space at the candle station. 
    • All children under 2 years of age must be held by a parent/guardian.
    • All entering the Church will be asked to hand sanitize and don a mask which they will ideally bring, if they do not have masks a mask will be provided to them. They must wear mask for the entire duration of the service.
    • Candles will be handled and handed out by a council member wearing gloves, gloves will need to be changed between touching any other surfaces.
    • All icons will be marked unavailable for touching/kissing.
    • Only the main entrance of the church will be open for entry, but people can leave from back entrance or go to the gym.
    • There will be no coffee service and everyone will be asked to leave immediately.
    • At the end of service, Father Peter will announce that people will have to leave by row and that they will be escorted and queued by a council member.
    • All surfaces will b e wiped down between services with AHS approved disinfectant solution. 

    Schedule

    • June 7th – Only members 65 and over who have RSVP‘d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 4th at noon
    • June 14th – Only members 65 and over who have RSVP‘d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 11th at noon
    • June 21st – All members with surnames A-K that have RSVP’d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 18th at noon
    • June 28th – All members with surnames L-Z that have RSVP’d and been confirmed
      • RSVP by June 25th at noon

    We would like ask any volunteers able to assist our admin to make calls to our members without email over the coming days to share this information, please contact admin@calgaryhellenic.com. Also, please be sure to spread this message to your family and friends. 

    Lastly, we would also like to sincerely thank all those that have made donations over the last few weeks. This has assisted us greatly and although we have taken several cost cutting measures will not be enough to continue to sustain us in the coming months for however long restrictions continue to apply.

    We kindly and humbly ask that if you are able to, please continue donating online (click here) and if you have yet to pay your membership, please call into our office and Penelope will be more than happy to assist you by taking your payment over the phone.

    Thank you for your kind consideration.

    On behalf of the Community Council,

    Diane Polesello
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary


    To view this announcement in Greek, please click here.


    May 13th, 2020

    Re-Opening Soon!

    Dear Members and Friends of our community,

    Christ is Risen!

    As many of you have heard or read in the media, places of worship will be reopening under strict guidelines and processes. While we understand that our faithful are eager to come back to church, we need to ensure the safety of the Clergy, staff and members. 

    As we work through and define our processes for the weeks/months to come, please be patient with us. One we have a process in place, we will communicate how we plan to roll this out to all our members.

    In the meantime, please continue to take good care of yourselves and others in our community. 

    On behalf of the Community Council,

    Diane Polesello 
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary

    To view this message in Greek, please click here.


    April 19th, 2020

    Dear Members,

    Χριστός Ανέστη και Χρόνια Πολλά!

    This Easter has been unlike any other and yet we are still so blessed. During this time of isolation, we have so much to still be grateful for, including the volunteers of our community who have gone above and beyond to ensure that we remain connected during this very important time. 

    I would like to recognize the efforts of council member Mr. Vasili Douros, who attended each Holy Week service to provide IT support and ensure that hundreds of our members were able to join in the service this past week. I'd also like to thank Fathers Dimitri and Peter Rougas for their inspiring services during this time of isolation, as well as Mr. Lefteris Safaris, Mr. George Mylonas and Mr. Konstantinos Doumos, who supported our parish priests during this past week. 

    In addition, I would like to recognize the efforts of Ms. Penelope Alefantis our administrator and Mrs. Kathy Vlismas and members of the Philoptochos Society for their community outreach, dropping off Easter baskets, or just calling to check in with many of our isolated seniors during this time. Thank you also to Ms. Anastasia Russos and Mr. Stathis Tarkazikis for ensuring that the premises remain secure, safe and clean during this time. 

    Although we are in challenging and uncertain times, our collective commitment to our community and church remains strong. We are grateful to all of those members who heard our call for donations, and took action. We continue to welcome donations (click here) which will cover the costs of operating our community. Thank you to everyone who has donated during these difficult times. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. 

    On behalf of all of council, Χριστός Ανέστη. We look forward to the time we can be together again, but until then, please continue to take care of yourselves and each other, and please stay safe.

    Kind regards,

    Diane Polesello 
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary

    To view this message in Greek, please click here.

    April 11th, 2020

    A Message from your Parish Council

    Thank you for your patience as we establish out our live streaming of services for Holy Week. The schedule for Holy Week is listed in this message and it is also available on the calendar of the main page of our website (click here). When you subscribe to our Youtube channel (click here) you will be notified when the live feed begins for each service (fingers crossed the wifi works and we are able to host the live stream!). 

    The Parish Council would like to extend their deepest appreciation and gratitude towards all the members who have already donated to the church during this very difficult time. We humbly remind those those who haven't made a donation yet and would like to give, to please click here, and select which donation type you would like to contribute to. Please note, the amounts listed are simply suggestions. Any donation at this time is greatly appreciated. 

    If you would like Father Peter to light candles for your family and loved ones, please indicate so in the comment section of the donation form and provide the names which you would like him to read. 

    If you are not able to access the technology, please call (403) 246-4553 ext 5, leave a message with your name and phone number, and our Admin staff will be in touch to process your donation online.

    Wishing all our families and members a blessed Holy Week and hope you're all staying safe and well.

    Kali Anastasi!

    Diane Polesello
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary


    March 27th, 2020

    Humble Request

    Good afternoon to our members and friends of St. Demetrios Church and the Hellenic Community of Calgary, 

    We hope that everyone is healthy and staying home during this difficult time. The closure of our church mandated by the Government, Archdiocese and common sense is going to have a tremendous negative outcome on our revenue stream for our church and community. 

    As this is typically the busiest time of year for revenue and given that we are missing March 25th, Palm Sunday, and all our Easter Services, we kindly ask that you consider an online donation. 

    Although the Church doors are locked, we continue to hold services, support our members, pay our employees and keep the building secure. 

    We humbly and kindly ask that you please consider making a charitable donation, from your home, in order to help keep the Church operating during the crisis so that we are able to open our doors when the quarantine is lifted.

    To make your donation, please click here, and select which donation type you would like to contribute to. Please note, the amounts listed are suggestions. Any donation at this time is greatly appreciated and if you can donate an amount greater than those listed below, please select General Church Donation under the donation type, enter your amount, and please provide a comment if you would like to specify your donation.  

    • Candle & Disko offerings for a week - $20 
    • Candle & Disko offerings for a month - $80 
    • Memorial Candle - $10 
    • In lieu of Epitaphio Flowers - $20 
    • In lieu of Palm Sunday Lunch - $15 
    • In lieu of Palm Sunday Lunch Family of 4 - $60 
    • In lieu of Good Friday & Resurrection Service - $20 
    • All Easter Services - $100

    If you would like Father Peter to light candles for your family and loved ones, please indicate so in the comment section of the donation form and provide the names which you would like him to read. 

    If you are not able to access the technology, please call (403) 246-4553 ext 5, leave a message with your name and phone number, and our Admin staff will be in touch to process your donation online.

    Your generosity during these difficult times is always appreciated.


    Kind regards,

    Diane Polesello
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary & Hellenic Society of Calgary


    March 23rd, 2020

    Church Services Live Stream

    Dear members and friends of our Hellenic Community and Church, 

    All Church services will now be live streamed on Facebook. If you do not have access to Facebook, you can follow along by clicking here and visiting St. Pauls of Regina's website. Go to the "Social" tab on the right side of the main page to see and hear the services. 

    Below is St. Paul's Church schedule until the end of March:

    • March 24th - Annunciation of the Theotokos: Evening Divine Liturgy 7-8PM
    • March 27th - 4th Stanza of the Salutations: Evening 7-8PM
    • March 29th - 4th Sunday of Great Lent: Matins & Divine Liturgy 9-11AM

    Currently, we are working towards getting a live stream from our St. Demetrios, but the wifi signal isn't strong enough to support that. Until then, we have permission from Father Spyro in Regina to use their live stream. 

    On behalf of the Board of Directors/Community Council & Father Peter, 

    Diane Polesello
    President 
    Hellenic Community of Calgary and District 
    Hellenic Society of Calgary and District


    March 20th, 2020

    COVID-19 UPDATE

    Dear members and friends of our Hellenic Community and Church, 

    Earlier today, we received word from the Archbishop of Canada that church services are to be held behind closed doors with the priest, the chanter and the sexton. To view his message, please click here. Therefore, there will be NO public open church services until further notice. 

    We are still working on live links to connect us to our services. This will be communicated once it is working properly. In the meantime, there are live links to services all over the world on social media as well as “Greek Television” channels. 

    We kindly ask our members and parishioners to share this information with all those who may not be connected to email or other forms of digital media.

    As mentioned before, we are in an unprecedented situation, but must all do our part to #flatten the curve. As community members, you can help by reaching out to our isolated seniors at this time or alert us of anyone needing assistance at admin@calgaryhellenic.comso we can assist by facilitating grocery shopping or anything else that may be of urgent need. 

    Things you can do for yourselves and others

    1. Stay home;
    2. Wash your hand regularly with soap and water;
    3. Pray;
    4. Check on seniors and others that may be vulnerable, that you know of via telephone, have a friendly chat, and make sure they are ok as previously mentioned. Perhaps make them a meal and drop it off on their front porch;
    5. If you are healthy, please donate blood;
    6. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, sleep well, get fresh air, and exercise as you are able
    If you are experiencing symptoms please use the online screening tool provided by AHS, or call 811 for more information. Your trusted source of Covid 19 information should be:
    https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx

    On behalf of the Board of Directors/Community Council & Father Peter, 
    Take good care of yourselves and each other,  

    Diane Polesello
    President 
    Hellenic Community of Calgary and District 
    Hellenic Society of Calgary and District


    March 18th, 2020

    COVID-19 Update 

    As many of you are aware, as of 3:30pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Alberta has declared a public health emergency on #COVID19AB. As a result, all events in the province larger than 50 people are cancelled, effective immediately. 

    As per the provincial and municipal restrictions and on the advice of the Archdiocese, we will be limiting church services to those under 60 years old and to a maximum of 50 people per service. Sunday Church service times will also change to 9 am – 11 am. 

    We are currently working on a live link and will share with our members as it becomes available. 

    Only the main church doors will be open for entry so please use those when/if you come to church. Please refrain from kissing any icons / eachother / the priest’s hand. Please try and sit 2m apart in the pews and please follow Fr. Peter’s direction during the service. 

    We kindly ask our members and parishioners to share this information with all those who may not be connected to email or other forms of digital media. 

    Due to the government restrictions, all activities in the adjacent community hall have been cancelled as well. 

    Our Greek School committee, principal and teachers have done an outstanding job in finding solutions to continue to deliver Greek School via digital means, which means Greek school will continue to take place but from each family's home. 

    We are in an unprecedented situation, but must all do our part to #flattenthecurve. As community members, you can help by reaching out to our isolated seniors at this time or alert us of anyone needing assistance at admin@calgaryhellenic.com so we can assist by facilitating grocery shopping or anything else that may be of urgent need. If you are experiencing symptoms please use the online screening tool provided by AHS, or call 811 for more information. Your trusted source of Covid 19 information should be: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx 

    As the communication with the Archdiocese & Government changes we will communicate with our members as soon as we can.

    On behalf of your Community Council and Fr Peter Rougas – Stay safe and healthy during this time.

    Best Regards,
    Diane Polesello - President 
    Hellenic Community of Calgary & Hellenic Society of Calgary


    March 12th, 2020

    COVID-19 Prevention

    Dear Members and Friends of our community,

    We realize that there is increasing attention and concern regarding COVID-19.  We remain vigilant at our community regarding cleaning protocols and, in addition to regular processes, we have implemented extra cleaning precautions throughout our church and property upon AHS recommendations.

    The weblink www.ahs.ca/covid provides guidance around prevention, testing and other useful information. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms call 811 from your home before visiting a hospital.

    • fever
    • cough
    • extreme tiredness
    • difficulty breathing

    The federal government’s coronavirus travel advisories can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

    We strongly encourage all our members and staff to visit these websites to help guide any spring break or other travel decisions. It is important to bear in mind that decisions made by airlines, travel companies, and other countries may impact your travel plans or ability to return to Calgary, and depending on your destination and mode of travel, you may be required by Canada Customs to self-isolate upon return.

    AHS notes that the following steps are important in preventing the spread of common respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, whether at home or while travelling:

    • use good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing
    • cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands
    • avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
    • stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
    • don’t share items that may have saliva on them such as drinking glasses and water bottles
    • clean high-touch surfaces, such as taps, doorknobs and countertops, frequently
    • contact your primary health provider or Health Link by calling 811 if you have questions or concerns about your health

    Rest assured that there is a considerable amount of work going on at our community behind the scenes to prepare for what next steps might be.

    We thank all our members for their attention to this in helping protect each other.

    Best Regards, 
    Diane Polesello - President 
    Hellenic Community of Calgary and District 

    January 20th, 2019

    PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: HAPPY NEW YEAR

    Dear Members:

    Happy New Year and all the best in 2019! On behalf of the Community/Society Council we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all our members for their support over the past year and ask for your continued support in 2019. A community as diverse as ours can only grow and succeed with the cooperation of all its members. We hope to continue the great work accomplished by our previous councils and look forward to your ongoing participation in doing so.

    We would like to announce the following as the members of the 2019 Community/Society Council:

    • Diane Polesello – President
    • Nick Zannis – 1st Vice President
    • Kathryn Marinakos – 2nd Vice President
    • Sam Kaketsis – Treasurer
    • Nick Vasilakos – Secretary
    • Dave Anagnostou – Council Member
    • Chris Chrisohou – Council Member
    • Geroge Liaridis - Council Member
    • Antigone Kollias – Council Member
    • George Mylonas – Council Member
    • Aristotle Tipoukidis - Council Member 
    • Kathy Vlismas – Council Member
    • John Yannitsos – Council Member

    Committees along with their chairperson will be posted on the website in the coming days.

    Best wishes for a happy, healthy, productive and optimistic new year!


    Diane Polesello
    President
    Hellenic Community of Calgary

    Αγαπητά μέλη,

    Καλή Χρόνια και ό,τι καλύτερο για το 2019!Εκ μέρους του Κοινοτικού Συμβουλίου , θα θέλαμε να εκφράσουμε την ειλικρινή ευγνωμοσύνη μας προς όλα τα μέλη μας για την στήριξη τους το περασμένο έτος και σας καλούμε να συνεχίσετε να μας στηρίζετε και το 2019!Μια κοινότητα τόσο διαφορετική όσο η δική μας , μπορεί μόνο να εξελίσσεται και να προοδεύει μέσα από την συνεργασία όλων των μελών της. Ευχόμαστε να συνεχίσουμε την σπουδαία δουλειά, που επιτεύχθηκε από τα προηγούμενα συμβούλια και βασιζόμαστε στην διαρκή συμμετοχή σας γι’ αυτό.

    Θα θέλαμε να ανακοινώσουμε τα ονόματα και τις θέσεις των μελών του Κοινοτικού Συμβουλίου για το 2019:

    • Diane Polesello – Πρόεδρος
    • Nick Zannis – Α’ Αντιπρόεδρος
    • Kathryn Marinakos – Β’ Αντιπρόεδρος
    • Sam Kaketsis – Ταμίας
    • Nick Vasilakos – Γραμματέας
    • Dave Anagnostou – μέλος
    • Chris Chrisohou – μέλος
    • George Liaridis – μέλος
    • Antigone Kollias – μέλος
    • George Mylonas – μέλος
    • Aristotle Tipoukidis – μέλος
    • Kathy Vlismas – μέλος
    • John Yannitsos μέλος

    Οι επιτροπές μαζί με τους προέδρους τους θα ανακοινωθούν στην ιστοσελίδα μας στις επόμενες μέρες.

    Θερμότατες ευχές για ένα ευτυχισμένο, χαρούμενο, δημιουργικό και αισιόδοξο Νέο Έτος .


    Diane Polesello
    Πρόεδρος
    Ελληνικής Κοινότητας Κάλγκαρι

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