Our Church has re-opened for Sunday Divine Liturgy.
As we are still in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, reopening will require we follow a string of safety protections mandated by the Diocese and the state. These rules are for our protection. Churches in our region have not been immune from the spread of COVID-19. A church choir practice in Mount Vernon, Washington, in early March left 52 people infected with COVID-19. Two of them died. More recently, a church near La Grande, Oregon, had 236 cases of COVID-19 traced to services there.
We want to go to Church but we want to go safely. The following procedures and guidelines have been implemented to protect ourselves and each other. New protocols have been added to keep us all safe.
Should I go to Divine Liturgy at this time?
• Diocese leadership has strongly encouraged people with underlying health issues and those over 65 not to attend services at this time. The Diocese also recommends that because of the many changes in church protocol, this may not be a good time to bring small children to church. Divine Liturgy will be streamed live and can be accessed by here.
Make a reservation to attend Divine Liturgy
We are limited to 40 parishioners at each church service. Because this is less than half of our normal attendance, you will be required to make a reservation for you and your family members. There is a spot to make a reservation. If you are uncomfortable using the website, you may call Maro Leute at 509-998-1285 to make a reservation for you. Our attendance limits are set by the Diocese and the state, so no one will be admitted to church at this time without a reservation.
Enter through the Parish Hall
- Parishioners will enter through the Parish Hall.
- Face masks will be required indoors. If you don’t have a face mask, one will be provided for you.
- Markings on the floor will indicate where to stand to maintain 6 feet of physical distance between parishioners who are not from the same household.
- You will be asked several screening questions when you first arrive to determine that you are in good health and have not been in recent contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- Hand sanitizer will be available, and all parishioners will be required to use it.
- Each parishioner will be checked in using the reservation list.
Going into the church
- Once you are checked in, you will proceed to the Narthex of the church where an usher will greet you.
- If you want to buy candles, bring the exact amount of money, place it in the basket and an usher will hand you your candles. Candles will be lit and placed in the Narthex only.
- The Archdiocese has mandated that we venerate the icons with a bow. For obvious health reasons the Archdiocese asks that we don’t kiss icons at this time.
- An usher will take you to available seating that is a safe distance from other parishioners. Seating will begin at the front of the church.
- You may sing and recite prayers etc., but masks must be worn at all times. If you choose to take Holy Communion, follow the instructions of the ushers who will guide you to the altar and back to your seat.
When Divine Liturgy is over
- At the end of the Divine Liturgy, ushers will release you one pew at a time from the back of the church. Instead of Father Stephan handing you the Antidoron (consecrated bread), you will proceed to the Narthex to a table where the Antidoron will be individually packaged for you to pick up. There will also be a container for donations and stewardship envelopes.
- From there you will go to the double doors out of the church and into the courtyard and to your vehicles. There will be no coffee hour at this time. Restrooms
- The women’s lounge at the entrance to the Parish Hall and family restroom will be available. Men, please use the family restroom.
- There will be no access to the upstairs or basement areas of the Parish Hall.
Thanks for your patience. You are the key to our success resuming church services.
We are looking forward to worshipping together again beginning on June 28. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your Parish Council members.