WORSHIP AND COMMUNITY
4 JUNE, 2021: IMPORTANT NEW GUIDELINES FOR ATTENDING SERVICES
Dear St Jacob Family,
Christ is Risen!
Recently Metropolitan Tikhon has issued new guidelines for our diocese to deal with the covid restrictions that are in place in our church. In conjunction with the parish council, each parish may chart a course forward in light of the regulations by our State health authorities. In Vermont this means that most restrictions will be lifted when the vaccination rate reaches 80% of the population having at least one dose. This will likely happen sometime in the next week or two.
Our parish council has decided to take a gradual approach to full removal of restrictions. Our approach will be based on both the best scientific evidence available and our concern for the more vulnerable members of our parish.
In light of present circumstances the following guidelines are now in effect:
1. We will continue to wear masks. This may soon change if VT lifts this requirement for indoor gatherings. We would ask that only those fully vaccinated sing in/with the choir. (The Metropolitan has given permission for priests to remove their mask inside the altar area since they are far enough away from everyone else and are facing away when chanting/singing.)
2. Temperature checks are no longer required upon entry. If you have symptoms please remain at home.
3. On-line sign up for services is dis-continued as we do not need to limit the number of people to 18. According to VT guidelines regarding square footage and numbers of vaccinated vs unvaccinated people in indoor spaces, we can accommodate the regular number of attendees pre-pandemic. However, there will be a sign up sheet in the entry. The Metropolitan has requested that we keep track of attendees in the unlikely event that contact tracing is needed.
4. Please continue to maintain social distance as much as possible. Please go outside after the service to socialize.
5. We will continue to use multiple spoons for communion for the time being. Met. Tikhon would like us to be aware that this practice will need to be dis-continued in the near future and we will return to the single spoon. The single spoon method has been used for centuries and has not been a problem health-wise.
6. While we cannot resume coffee hour yet in the dining room, we will serve coffee/tea out back after liturgy for those who want it. We hope to have food outside in the coming weeks also. With the warmer weather this will give us a time to visit. There are 2 picnic tables available. You can also bring a lawn chair if you like. Masks are not required outdoors, but anyone who wishes may continue to wear them.
Thanks to everyone for all the cooperation over the past year in following the guidelines. It has been a challenging time for all of us. But we are now gradually emerging from the restrictions and returning to a more normal parish life. May God bless and guide us as in the coming days.
Yours in Christ,
The Sunday of the Blind Man
I come to You, O Christ, / blind from birth in my spiritual eyes / and I call to You in repentance: / You are the most radiant light of those in darkness!
St. Jacob Netsvetov 1802 – 1864
Holy Father Jacob,
Teacher of the knowledge of God,
You revealed your love for your people, taking up your cross and following Christ,
Enduring hardships like the Apostle Paul.
Pray on our behalf to Christ our God to grant us great mercy!
Kontakion to St Jacob
St. Jacob’s and COVID
Guidelines for Attending Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
“WE REJOICE EVEN IN TRIBULATION”
3 January 2021.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE
OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA
AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE
YEAR OF OUR LORD
A PRAYER FOR OUR TIME
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. O God Almighty, Lord of heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in your ineffable goodness, look down upon us, your people gathered in your Holy Name. Be our helper and defender in this day of affliction. You know our weakness. You hear our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord, who loves humankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Coronavirus. Send your angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from the virus. Guide the hands of physicians, and preserve those who are healthy. Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace, that together we may glorify your most honorable and majestic name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.