COVID-19 Safety Procedures

Winter 2021 Update

COVID-19 Safety Procedures

The St. John’s COVID committee’s mandate continues to be the concern for the safety of all parishioners in attendance at church. Thankfully, some newspaper reports are saying that Delta (and COVID) are on a downward trend; however, the same articles also encourage all to continue with COVID safety measures and to be cautious as winter sets in.  Any updates will be posted in the weekly bulletin and/or emailed to all parishioners.

Though we are planning to “stay the course” with most of our restrictions (see below), we hope to be able to make the following change:

  • Chanters and Choir

    Beginning Sunday, November 14, 2021, a small group of vaccinated and masked choir members will return to sing the Divine Liturgy under the direction of our choir director Andrew Hazerjian. The choir members will sing at the front of the church on the left (facing the altar) near the open door. In addition, fans will be positioned to further assist with ventilation. Chanters will continue to chant some portions of the liturgy. The move back up to the choir loft will take place at a later date.

As of November 6, 2021, the current safety protocols continue to be as follows:

  • Church School

    Church school students will continue to wear masks during class. Since September, air purifiers are in use in every classroom. Windows are open during class to assist with air circulation. Holy Bread (see note below) will continue to be distributed after church school in baggies to take home as there will be no eating in the classroom.

  • Universal Masking

    ALL those who come to St. John’s, vaccinated and unvaccinated, are required to wear a proper mask when you are at the church for any indoor services or activities. As noted above, this includes all indoor church school classes and activities as well as hall rentals.

  • No kissing of icons or kiss of peace

    We have not, and will not, yet resume the kiss of peace, passing baskets, or kissing icons or crosses. Simply bow in reverence.

  • Holy Bread

    Holy Bread will continue to be distributed after church only. Altar Servers will continue to hand out holy bread with clean, gloved hands. Please do not put your hands into the bread basket. Church school students received bagged holy bread after church school classes.

  • Front Door Dismissal

    During dismissal, Fr. John will continue to meet parishioners at the doors in the vestibule/bengarri.

  • Coffee Hours

    At this time, COVID committee reaffirmed that no regular coffee hours will be offered at St. John’s for the time being.

  • Air Circulation and Fans

    Pedestal fans will continue to be used at the front of the church and in the sanctuary to assist with improving air circulation in these areas which is important for COVID safety. As noted above, additional fans may be used near the small choir.

  • Open Doors

    Like last year, the front and side doors will remain cracked open to continue to assist with air circulation during winter. Please plan on wearing your coats in church

For those who remain unvaccinated, whatever the reason, please consult with your physician to discuss your concerns.

In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) has a wealth of information.

Let us all continue to pray for those throughout the world and country battling this virus; as well as for the families who have lost loved ones.

As always, please reach out to Fr. John with questions or concerns.

With much love in the Lord,

The COVID Committee
(Susan Bezreh, Carol Hazerjian, Gail Kurker, George Matthews, Dr. Rachel Sabbag Reynolds, Joan Teebagy, and Fr. John Teebagy)