This past week a joint Liturgy with St. Apollinaria IOC was held for Pascha and broadcast via Zoom. This was a test run for having services available via Zoom as well as beginning to work out the process of having face to face services.
The link for the zoom services is on the Service and Events page. Coffee hour/fellowship time will immediately follow.
The services will also be streamed via St Thekla Facebook Page in the future as well.
For face to face services. A schedule will be made available. Due to restrictions and caution there are some procedures we must follow for face to face services. If you wish to come face to face please rsvp via email or the facebook event pages. This helps us make sure we follow appropriate guidelines and are prepared.
St Thekla IOC hosts a weekly fellowship time we call Coffee Hour . ‘Coffee Hour’ is for fellowship, questions, and connections. These are opportunities to meet, connect, and learn about Orthodoxy and our faith.
Coffee Hour, Sundays at 4pm EST – Click here for the Zoom Link
In any Orthodox Church the Eucharist is the central liturgical and communal activity and a center of faith and practice. In the coming weeks more items needed to celebrate the Divine Liturgy are in the works. Items are being checked off the list for scheduling a first community Liturgy.
In order to have Liturgy the Church has to have :
The appropriate clergy, – We now have a Priest
Permission/Licensure of the Bishop – We have that in the Antimins
Space – St Francis ECC has graciously given St Thekla use of their space
Liturgical items – The Chalice set and other small items are on their way
Iconostasis – We have a workable solution
Finally – A schedule of chanters and altar servers – We need to make sure we have a few people willing to be organizers and able to work together to make sure we are able to have at least one chanter and or altar server each week so we can have Liturgy.
We are well into October and it is time to start thinking about Advent and the Nativity season. This year is looking like it will also be affected heavily by the pandemic. Currently, Florida as a whole, the Tampa Bay area, and Pinellas county still have relatively high daily numbers when it comes to new cases. At this point, activities of St Thekla UOC will remain online for the time being and mostly likley into and past Nativity.
Part of this is due to the basic wisdom of staying home and not gathering as much as possible. The spaces that STUOC would use have also decided to only/primarily do virtual meetings. Depending on the situation, numbers, and participation we may plan an outdoor activity/service.
Second, as on Orthodox Christian community, without an ordained priest we are only really able to do reader services. Once it is safe for travel, the plan is for the Bishop to come and ordain Sdn Basil. Given the numbers and trends it is not clear when that will happen.
In the interim a coffee hour/intro to Orthodoxy will be held Sundays at 4pm via Zoom link. This will be geared for new comers with discussion and information that will engage those who have been Orthodox for a while as well. For those who are new and are looking for catechism or to talk with the rector, meetings will be available via zoom.
St Thekla UOC is a new mission of the Universalist Orthodox Church. Although still new, our Proistamenos began organizing last year. A number of setbacks, including Codiv 19 meant things had to be put off a bit.
Over the next few weeks there will be opportunities to connect and chat and learn more about inclusive Eastern Orthodox Christianity as well as the UOC. We are a church committed to expressing the fullness of the Eastern Orthodox traditions, but doing so in ways that are as inclusive as possible. If that peaks your interest check out our Facebook page, sign up for the email list, and join us for a coffee hour or service.