May 10, 2021: Message from Andrei Roudenko, Parish COVID-19 Protection Plan Coordinator
A year ago, on May 9, 2020, after a month and a half of LiveStream-only services, our parish resumed in-person attendance at our services. Then, as it is today, attendance was (and is) limited to parish “super-bubble” members, and was implemented using a pre-scheduled “invitation” protocol. Since May 9, 2020, we have had approximately 3,800 in-person attendees. This represents approximately 8,500 hours of service attendance, not counting clergy and choir members. By the Grace of God, and thanks to everyone’s careful adherence to our COVID-19 Prevention Training program, we have NOT had a single documented COVID-19 infection in our parish! Thank God!
Until State and County COVID-19 requirements are lifted, we remain “closed” to the general public, which means that attendance at our services will continue to be limited to pre-scheduled “invited” parish “super-bubble” members. Likewise, until State and County requirements are amended, we must continue to adhere to social distancing and face covering requirements. But, since members of our parish “super-bubble” have demonstrated successful compliance with requirements over the past year, we are simplifying our processes, as discussed below.
What will remain the SAME:
- Attendance at our services will continue to be limited to pre-scheduled “invited” parish “super-bubble” members. Dimitry Bobroff will continue to issue “invitations” to parish “super-bubble” members via email. (See “What is CHANGED”, below)
- We will continue “hybrid” indoor and outdoor attendance.
- Attendees will need to maintain 6-foot social distancing between members of different households (“Clusters”) and use face covering when on church property.
- Putting up candles and veneration of Icons INSIDE the church will be limited to BEFORE our Services begin, (i.e., before 6 p.m. for Vigil and 9 a.m. for Hours/Liturgy).
- Persons arriving for Liturgy after 9 a.m. may put up candles OUTSIDE the church BEFORE the beginning of Liturgy (approximately 9:25 a.m.). Once the Liturgy begins, all are requested to remain in their socially-distanced indoor and outdoor locations.
- If you are planning to take Communion (Holy Mysteries), you are requested to have Confession the NIGHT BEFORE (as was typical “pre-COVID” practice), during the preceding Vigil Service.
- Those who wish to partake of the Holy Mysteries will need to maintain 6-foot social distancing while approaching and departing from the Holy Mysteries.
What is CHANGED:
- Invitees no longer need to reply to the “invitation” email - just attend (or not).
- Inside attendee locations will not be pre-assigned. Early arrivals, i.e., prior to 9:00 a.m. can enter inside the church and occupy a location along one of our designated rows (1-6 in the main part and 7-9 in the side room), as long as there is social-distanced space available. Otherwise, please stand outside and maintain social-distancing from others.
- There will no longer be Ushers to check you in.
- On an “honor system”, prior to attending a service, all attendees are expected to SELF-monitor temperature measurement, SELF-assessment of COVID-19 symptoms, and all other aspects of our latest, revised COVID-19 Prevention Training Program, click here, and if potentially affected, refrain from attending services.
Our simplification of process is NOT a reduction of requirements. It is a shift of responsibility from parish Ushers to you, our attendees. With your continued cooperation and diligence, and of course with God’s help, we pray that our simplified process will continue to maintain our desire to combine expanded in-person attendance at our services with prudent safety measures.