A MORE DETAILED UPDATE IN REGARDS TO THE RE-OPENING OF OUR
ANNUNCIATION CHURCH ON BEHALF OF THE CLERGY & THE PARISH COUNCIL
Our beloved parishioners, friends, and stewards of the Annunciation Church,
Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη!
We are delighted to announce you that your unique prayers have been heard. Once again, our Risen Lord, and Savior God, Jesus Christ, proved that He is the Only One, Who has the last word on everything. Once again, Jesus Christ proved that He is the eternal Winner, because He "went forth conquering, and to conquer" (Revelation 6:2). Therefore, filled with joy, we are pleased to inform you that, by the Grace of God, we have the Blessing of the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta to reopen our Annunciation Church to all the parishioners, beginning on this coming Sunday, May 31st, 2020. This is a wonderful first step in our effort to adjust to the ever-changing circumstances of the COVID-19. Through the reopening, all of us will have again the great opportunity to renew our spiritual health by freely and willingly participating again in the Holy Sacraments and Services of our Church.
Nonetheless, this is not a complete and termless reopening; it will be subject to the newly issued directives, which our Metropolis, out of sense of love and pastoral responsibility, has issued, in order to help and insure the health and safety of all. We should not forget that COVID-19 has not yet been eliminated. Unfortunately, it remains a threat to the health of all.
Being obedient to our Holy Metropolis, we have to take some serious steps in order to have the Blessing to reopen our Annunciation Church, and to provide again the in-person participation in the Holy Sacraments and Services we have so missed. Therefore, we are humbly asking a priori for your unceasing love, understanding, and most mainly your patience, as we are return to the inperson worship of our Annunciation Church after two and a half months.
- Parishioners who are at a higher risk (age 70 and older, those who have a chronic health condition, compromised immune system, etc.), should temporarily refrain from attending the Church Services in person. Arrangements can be made with the Clergy for home pastoral visitations in order to provide the Holy Sacraments.
- Parishioners, who are ill or have any COVID-19 symptoms, should refrain from attending the Church Services in-person, until they are well.
- All attendees will be required to wear a face mask throughout their time of Church attendance. You are kindly asked to provide your own face mask. The mask can be removed momentarily for those who are prepared to receive Holy Communion.
- Before entering the Church, the temperature of each person will be taken by a designated Parish Council member. It will be limited to a touchless temperature reading of the forehead, and verbal confirmation in regards to your temperature. If your temperature will be above 100.4F, then you will be kindly asked not to enter the Church. This precautionary measure is generally used as a cutoff to identify a fever, which is one of the key symptoms of COVID-19.
- All attendees will be required to sanitize their hands upon entering and exiting the Church. Please take advantage of the hand sanitizers that we will provide in the Narthex.
- It has been asked from us to write the name and phone number of all attendees the Church Services. This is NOT a shared information, and will only be used to contact fellow parishioners in the event someone communicates to the Annunciation Church that they have contracted the virus.
- The main Church Building, including the upstairs Choir loft (ginaikonitits), and the Breezeway, will be set up, based on the social distancing precautionary measures. Inside the Church, we used a blue painter's tape and we designated an X mark in the pews for each attendee. Furthermore, we will try to accommodate both for families and individuals.
- Due to the limited now seating capacity of our Annunciation Church, we encourage those that are retired or have flexible schedules to attend the weekday Services in order to allow for others to attend the Sunday Divine Liturgy. For that reason, the Annunciation Church, along with other scheduled Services, will also be offering some weekday evening Divine Liturgies. Our Church Services can be confirmed on our website, bulletins, and by contacting the Church office.
- For those parishioners who are at a higher risk, or may not feel yet comfortable attending the in-person Worship, we will continue to livestream our Annunciation Church Services.
For the sake of brevity, we have not listed every precautionary measure. Nevertheless, we are humbly asking for your continued love, understanding, support, cooperation, and your prayers as we are doing our best to adjust. Please forgive us as we implement these temporary precautions in order to combat the COVID-19, humbly attempting to balance safety while maintaining the reverence of our unique Orthodox Faith. This not easy for any of us, and we truly appreciate your unique patience, as we work through this pandemic together!
May our Risen Lord, and Savior God, Jesus Christ, through the intercessions of our most beloved Panaghia, the Patroness of our Parish, continue to strengthen our faith, more so now, and unceasingly bestow upon us His Divine Grace as we enter this unprecedented first stage of returning to the in-person liturgical, sacramental, and the worshiping Church life. AMEN!