Saint Abercius, Bishop and Wonderworker of Hieropolis lived in the second century in Phrygia. The city of Hieropolis was inhabited by many pagans and very few Christians. The saint prayed to the Lord for the salvation of their souls and that they might be numbered among God’s chosen flock. An…
IMPORTANT UPDATE: St. Herman Church open weekend of October 10-11, 2020
- Physical Distancing – We will be stricter about maintaining the required 6-foot physical distancing between households while on church property. There will, of course, be a few times that the services dictate that to be broken, such as communion, venerating the gospel, etc. and that is fine, but at all other times, the distancing must be kept. This also means that handshakes, hugging, etc. should be kept to a minimum.
- Masks – The clergy received a memo from the metropolitan last week. In it, the subject of masks was addressed as follows: “We continue to advise the faithful to wear masks when coming to the church and keeping them on, especially when moving about before and after services or when coming for Holy Communion. If the faithful need to remove them while in place during the divine liturgy or other services for short periods of time to get some air, that is fine, but in general they should continue to be worn at all times. "
In other words, out of consideration to the request of our metropolitan, we ask people to please wear a mask when coming into our going out of the church or hall, when moving about and in close proximity to other people. Obviously, you can't wear a mask AND receive communion at the same time, but the point is they should be worn in line when close to other people. When you are socially distanced from people during a service, the mask can be taken off for comfort. The exceptions will be the clergy and chanters who can keep their masks off during services so that people can understand what they are saying/singing. Parents are asked simply to do the best they can with their children.
You will see Fr. Matthew wearing a mask a lot more than he has been so far before and after the services. He is very willing to do this if it minimizes the risk of spreading COVID and increases the possibility that the church will stay open.
- Singing - If you would like to sing hymns or responses during a service as is our joyful custom, we ask that you wear a mask. Possible projection of saliva, and by extension spread of COVID, will be greatly reduced if a mask is worn when the laity are singing.
- Altar Servers - At this time, only Fr. Matthew's son will be asked to serve in the altar, as well as Dn. Thomas when he is available.
- Communion – There will be no change to the way communion is served or received. People who live close to the church are welcome to watch the liturgy from home and then come to the church after the Lord's Prayer to receive communion in the Narthex.
- IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY HOME.
- The archdiocese is permitting coffee hour to be outdoors. Even though the weather is getting colder, we still want to offer coffee hour in a reasonable, responsible manner. We will ask people to spread out during coffee hour and be outside as much as possible.
- Social distancing and mask wearing measures as listed above will still be in effect when not eating or drinking. Of course, if you are eating or drinking, then the mask can stay off. But at other times, we ask that you wear a mask. We also ask that you not sit shoulder-to-shoulder with non-household members.
- Leave a seat between you and your neighbor at the table, and stand a little farther away when talking with someone.
It is important to remember that we as members of St. Herman Church can help prevent community transmission of COVID-19 and thereby keep our church open by following a few simple health guidelines. Please use the following guidelines to help prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy (these are also attached here so you can save them or print them easily for future reference).
1) If you are sick, stay home. If any of your family members are sick, stay home.
2) If you have any symptoms or are not feeling well, stay home or go home if you are already at church.
3) Wash your hands frequently and particularly before eating or drinking.
4) Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
5) Cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm. Do not use your hands.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you get sick, especially with a fever, please be symptom-free for 72 hours before returning to church.
If we can follow the simple of rule of staying home when we are experience any of the above symptoms then this will help prevent the closure of the church.
CHURCH CLEANING - Just as with coffee hour, we are asking families who attend liturgy to sign up to clean the church immediately after liturgy. This involves vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and taking out the garbage, and straightening up misplaced books and papers. This should take one person no more than 15 minutes, and will take a couple of people much less time.
Please sign up to clean the church here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040A44ABA728A0FA7-church
Sign up to host coffee hour here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040A44ABA728A0FA7-coffee
The jobs involve:
- Make coffee before liturgy and set out food after liturgy
- Clean up coffee and food
- Wipe Tables
- Clean Bathrooms
- Wash Dishes and Start Dishwasher
If only one person signs up, we will assume that they will recruit the help they need to take care of everything involved. Preferably, at least two families will sign up each week.
Welcome to our parish!
Saint Herman Antiochian Orthodox Church is a parish serving the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. We are committed to living out the Orthodox Christian faith through participation in Divine Services, study of Holy Scripture, caring for the poor and needy as well as through worshiping Christ daily in our homes and community. We welcome all who wish to come and see. "Taste and see that the Lord is good!"
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