Greek-Orthodox Easter was celebrated virtually all around the world in April 2020. For Holy Friday, the priest of St. George Greek Orthodox church in St Paul, holds the image of Christ toward the front so viewers can pay their respects. Typically, churchgoers would pay their respects on the epitafios. The church’s balcony which is reserved for the choir allows the camera to give a view of the whole space, immersing people in the iconography. Intangible aspects of the liturgy, such as the calming effects of the scent of thymiato, cannot be transmitted virtually.

Spiritual

Minnesota

Located in North Minneapolis, Kwanzaa Community Church thrives on the belief that every life is significant, every life has meaning and value, and relationships should be cherished and prioritized. Their outreach efforts include being a place of refuge from prostitution and the sex trade through their Northside Women’s Space. They were awarded the Public Health Award in the category of “Thirving and Violent Free Youth.” Minnesota is emerging as a leader in the fight against juvenile sex trafficking through laws such as Safe Harbor and models such as No Wrong Door that aim to “Ensure access to safe and supportive housing” for victims.

Kwanzaa Community Church

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis boasts many festivals and exhibits that celebrate the city’s cultural and ethnic diversity as well as bring people together. These take place in museums, outdoor plazas and parks, as well as streets and religious establishments. Founded in 1989,  the Taste of Greece Festival is held yearly at Saint Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in early September. The festival includes Greek food, traditional dances, homemade pastries, church tours, wine tastings, cultural demonstrations, a marketplace and a children’s area. The festival is the culmination of hours of volunteer work by church members and raised funds are used to support philanthropic efforts locally and abroad.

Taste of Greece Festival

Minneapolis, Minnesota