With the easing of restrictions by our Metropolitan, the CDC and state and local authorities, we have revised the protocols for attending services at All Saints of America Orthodox Church. Here are the revised protocols:
Revised COVID Directives
All Saints of America Orthodox Church
1. These new guidelines have been approved by the Parish Council and Fr. John Kreta at our June 1 Council Meeting and reflect the general directives from His Beatitude.
2. These new guidelines meet with newest local and state guidelines regarding COVID safety in indoor and outdoor activities.
3. These new guidelines reflect the agreement of Parish Council members and are unique to All Saints of America Orthodox Church (not based on other churches or Dioceses). We strongly state that these guidelines reflect an Orthodox Christian love for the welfare of all members of our church family. There should in no way be judgements or criticism made by church family members regarding other member’s opinions and/or decisions regarding how they chose to respond to the COVID pandemic, (i.e vaccines, masks, etc)
4. Vaccines: We are in agreement with Met. Tikhon that the decision to get a vaccine or not is the sole choice of each individual; Please treat each other with charity and love, no matter other people’s decision to get vaccinated or not.
5. Masks: Even though CDC guidelines, State guidelines, and His Beatitude’s directives allow for the removal of masks for the vaccinated only, we will still be requiring the wearing of masks at All Saints of America. This is so that we may be one with each other in solidarity for those who chose not to vaccinate and those who are at risk due to autoimmune deficiencies.
6. Temperatures: we will no longer take temperatures at the door to the church or other buildings used by the church. We will still ask that those who are not feeling well, or may be symptomatic, to please stay home, get well, and attend services via zoom.
7. Pre-Registration: we no longer require pre-registration to attend a service.
8. List of Participants: for the foreseeable future (until further notice) we will still keep a sign-in list of attendees for church events/services. This is for health reasons in case someone going forward tests positive for COVID-19 so that we can maintain any safety protocols should there be a positive test. In the event of an outbreak or positive COVID-19 test the Parish Council will confer with our Chancellor/Priest about how to respond.
9. Social Distancing: for now, we will not be enforcing the 6-foot distancing requirement inside the church, However, we strongly suggest that people maintain social distancing. We will keep the markers in the church for a reference for everyone.
10. Communion: we will continue the current practice of individual spoons and napkins until further notice. As the Metropolitan has said, the goal of the Holy Synod is eventually to resume the single spoon practice, and we should start preparing ourselves for this.
11. Icon and Cross Veneration/candles: This will be an individual choice. Those who would like to may go to the Icons, our relics and venerate them should feel free to do so. We will have the cross available for veneration at the conclusion of services and those who wish to venerate may do so, and those who prefer not to should come and give a slight bow out of love and respect. People should now feel free to move and pray around the church, light their own candles and pray for loved ones. Again ,we do ask everyone to be mindful of others and the distance between you.
12. Coffee Hours: We will now begin to have outdoor coffee hours after Liturgy. Coffee will be made, and individual creamers, disposable cups will be available for everyone. We hope to also provide some individual snacks/bagels etc that everyone can serve themselves (not served) and of course everyone is invited to bring their own food or beverages if they so choose.
13. In person meetings: for now, using ZOOM to continue our meetings is easy to do. There may be times, however, when meeting in person would allow for a more in-depth discussion.
14. These new directives will go into effect on Sunday June 20. The Parish Council will be reviewing these guidelines at its regular council meetings and updating them as our situation changes and/or as appropriate.