Pack your virtual suitcases and grab your Holy Water– Father Jerry Hall and Father Nick Manuel of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron, Ohio are taking their parish community on a month-long virtual spiritual journey across 30 monasteries and sketes of Mount Athos in Greece.
The project was created by the parish’s Philoptochos Society and a team of parishioners who knew that in-person fundraisers and gatherings weren’t going to be happening in the foreseeable future– but still wanted to maintain a close sense of community that the Akron parish enjoys.
In a nutshell, the two priests are on a virtual journey across the unique location in northern Greece known as the Holy Mountain. A specially-designed motion graphic of the two priests was created by a member of the parish and every stop at a new monastery comes with educational information and history about the monastery.
The catch is, the priests cannot continue their journey until $100 in donations is reached. Think of the donations as the gas that takes them to the next stop on their journey, together with hundreds of faithful who are following along virtually via the parish’s Facebook and Instagram pages and website.
Susan Pappas, who shared the story with The Pappas Post and creates the content for the stops along the journey explained that it’s a collaborative effort involving many members of the parish, the Sunday School, creative parishioners who have lent their design skills.
“It’s a great collaborative effort,” Pappas explains, adding that “We needed a way to keep our community close during these trying times.
This isn’t the first time the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron used technology to advance its mission and message.
Back in June, when parishes in Ohio were beginning to reopen, following months of closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the parish created a video tutorial showing parishioners step by step, how they would have to enter the church building, and also how Holy Communion would be shared.
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