Reuniting With Our Parish Home
Why is there a process to opening up our Churches?
Over the past few months, our Church services have been limited to the priests and chanters, while the faithful have been prayerfully live-streaming from their homes. This was done to follow the directives and guidelines from both the Metropolis and the State of Illinois. In the beginning of June, the Metropolis implemented a process in which our Churches could gradually re-open to, hopefully, a full capacity. On Pentecost Sunday, June 7th, we did just that, but still with a limited capacity of about 90 - to keep in line with the current Metropolis and State guidelines. Over time, we hope and pray that we will return to our traditional worship experience, but continue to offer live-stream to those who cannot physically attend. In the mean time, there is a "process" in order to attend Church and we thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
So, what do I have to do to attend Church?
In order to make sure we do not go over our capacity, we are asking all faithful who want to attend to call our Church Office, Monday to Saturday from 10am to 3pm. You will simply give your family name, the number attending and a phone and/or e-mail. Each family must be from one household. So, please only call for your household and encourage extended family to call on their own. One you register, you will also receive a confirmation e-mail before attending services with some more important information. PLEASE READ OVER THE LETTER WE DISTRIBUTED WITH ALL THE DETAILS AND GUIDELINES. It is in English and Greek. Please help us share it with as many faithful as possible.
Do I really have to call in advance? And if so, each time?
Yes, at this time it is necessary to call beforehand - and for each and every service. With time, there may be changes depending on what the Metropolis and the State is telling us. We will let you know if anything changes. In the mean time, we ask for your patience...plus, we also enjoy talking with you when you call.
Can I leave a message, e-mail or text someone?
No. In order to try to be fair to everyone, we decided we would stick with the age-old, traditional phone call. Again, we will be awaiting your call from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday. Simply call during those hours and make sure you speak with someone. We cannot honor voice mail messages. So, please do not leave a message and just show up. Just make sure you speak with someone in the Church Office.
Do I have to wear a mask?
At this time, everyone 3 years old and up, must wear a face mask/covering, barring any medical conditions or extenuating circumstances. Please honor these guidelines and properly wear your mask. There may difference of opinions, but for now this is what we are all doing for the benefit of each other. The only other exceptions are the priest/chanters during services and the faithful when receiving Holy Communion.
In terms of Holy Communion, has anything changed?
The simple answer is no. Faithful will still receive in the normal fashion. However, there are some guidelines we will follow in terms of people coming up and receiving in a more orderly and spread out fashion. For the time being, faithful will also receive Holy Communion at the conclusion of services. Our priests will instruct you with any other information prior to Holy Communion. Μετά φόβου Θεού, πίστεως και αγάπης προσέλθετε. With the fear of God, faith and love, draw near.
Can I sit wherever I want?
In order to "socially distance" and keep everyone together with their own household, parish council members will seat everyone accordingly. We ask of your cooperation and understanding - you might not get your favorite spot. If you want to sit near extended family of another household, please plan on arriving simultaneously so you can be seated in the same area. However, we must follow the guideline of keeping everyone grouped by household.
Is there coffee hour?
At this time, no. The gym/fellowship hall is closed for the time being. This is a guideline of the Metropolis, but also helps us assure efficient and thorough cleaning of the Church. If you must use the rest rooms, please use the ones located in the Narthex. If you have any other need, please do not hesistate to speak with our Parish Council members.
Do I have to bring hand santizer?
If you can, please feel free to bring your own. However, we have put out hand santizer in the Narthex and Church.
Can I light candles?
Of course. The only difference is, the Parish Council members will bring up all 7-day vigil lights and place them where they belong.
Are you still live-streaming services?
Yes, since not everybody may have the opportunity to attend every service in person, we will continues LIVE-STREAMING.
Are memorials being celebrated?
Yes. We have been instructed that families must keep the koliva with them. Koliva will not be put up in the front of the Church and also should not be shared afterwards, but taken home. If you would like to have a memorial for a loved one, please call the Church Office to schedule. We are working with those families to get immediate family registered, but please encourage extended family and friends to call and register on their own. Please also understand that you may not all be seated together - as we seat by household. However, remember first and foremost it is the prayers we offer that will be heard and prayed by all socially distanced and far away.
I have some more questions, concerns and/or thoughts?
Please call the Church Office or Father Andrew directly. CONTACT US