Slava Isusu Khrystu!
Please note that the 11:30 AM Liturgy has started the re-opening process as stated below, and planned for this Sunday for the 9:15 AM Liturgy (both will continue on live stream)
The good news is that we are preparing to open the church to public worship under the guidelines in the attached document: RulesForAttendingChurchDuringCovid19. These rules describe how public worship will be conducted in church from now until further notice and call for volunteers in order to make it happen. Our parish is now preparing to admit a restricted number of people to participate in public worship in the church on Sundays. This is a big change in how church is conducted from what we are used to. Please take the time to educate yourselves in the new procedures and to carry out the preparation work before you come to church. If you’re not ready by Sunday, it is quite acceptable to stay home and view the livestreams of the liturgies until you are prepared for these procedures.
A particular group of volunteers from parish council have met to set up the church for the sanitation and physical distancing requirements mandated by the Eparchy during this time of the COVID-19 hazard. This setup process has determined that the permitted capacity of our church is about 30-35 households. It will likely be a bit fewer people than the stated 30% capacity, which stands at about 100 people. This past Sunday, for the 11:30 AM Liturgy, we still had plenty of leftover capacity with less than half our allowed occupancy, so please, if the absolute only reason not to come is our limited capacity, do not hesitate to come.
Rules for attending church
If you are a member of a high risk group, which includes people over 70 years of age, those who are immunocompromised, or have any similar vulnerabilities, you are encouraged to stay home and view the livestreams of the liturgies, which will continue as before. If you have any flu-like symptoms, you are required to stay home. Please note that liturgy start times may be delayed as we start celebrating under these new rules because carrying out the new requirements will take time, we don’t yet know how much.
Attending church will not be a return to normal. If you would like to attend church in person, you will have to subscribe to a set of requirements outlined in the attached document “RulesForAttendingChurchDuringCovid19”. For example, each household group must maintain a distance of at least 2 meters from any other household group at all times. This means that seating, as well as everyone’s movements, will be controlled by the ushers and ordinary things like entry into church will take much longer than usual. Come 30 minutes early. You will be screened. Everyone is strongly recommended to bring their own mask to church and to use it. If you don’t surgical masks will be available at the entrance. Please read the attached “RulesForAttendingChurchDuringCovid19” document and familiarize yourself with the rules if you want to come into church.
For those who wishes to come on Sunday, please also print the Household Covid-19 Screening.Form and fill it on the morning of the Liturgy. There will be forms available for those who cannot print at home.
Call for volunteer ushers:
We will need volunteers to be ushers at the 9:15am liturgy and at the 11:30am liturgy. Their task will be to guide the faithful into the church before the service starts, to guide them up for reception of holy communion, and to sanitize the church after the service. They are to ensure that physical distancing requirements are maintained at all times during the service. Please see the attached document “UsherJobDescription” If you would like to volunteer for this position, please reply to this email or phone me at 613-723-1673. There will be another training session for ushers this week in preparation for 9:15AM service on Sunday. If we do not receive responses from at least 5 volunteers for the 9:15 AM liturgy then that divine liturgy will not be publicly celebrated this Sunday, and public attendance of it will occur only after enough volunteers sign up and are trained. That is how important ushers are under these conditions.
We will have a couple of donation baskets at the entry into church, but we prefer that you continue donating as you have been doing since March, through e-transfers to the church email address, or by sending cheques in the mail. Your support has been wonderful and is very much appreciated.
The pews will be empty of all books:
You may bring your own books from home to help you celebrate divine liturgy, but you must take them home with you afterward. If you don’t have such books, you can obtain a copy of the English language Anthology for Worship in return for a donation of $30 or more. This book also has daily prayers and is a very good support for one’s own personal prayer life. It is worth obtaining for this reason alone.
If anyone has questions, you can reply to this email, or phone me at 613-723-1673.