Dear Faithful of St. Sava Orthodox Parish,
Christ is in our midst!
We have some very good news! Because all people 16 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine here in the state of Texas, and because there is wide availability of the vaccine in our state, we have been able to petition his Eminence Archbishop Alexander for the total cessation of all restrictions on attendance at St. Sava Orthodox Church in Allen, Texas. His Eminence has officially blessed our petition.
As of April 11th, we began an eight-week timeline toward the removal of all restrictions on attendance at St. Sava parish. As such, all over the age of 16 who have not yet been vaccinated and would like to be are encouraged to receive your first dose over the next two weeks. Once you have received the first dose, you are allowed another four weeks to get the second dose. After this, you are asked to allow another two weeks to allow for full protection. Nothing about being vaccinated should keep you away from church. Once everyone who wishes to be vaccinated is fully vaccinated and has had a two-week buffer period, all precautions and restrictions on attendance at St. Sava parish will be lifted, and we shall return to full parish life as of Sunday, June 6th, which is two weeks before Pentecost.
All those who desire to continue to wear masks, socially distance, and take other safety measures after June 6th, are certainly free to do so, but such precautions will no longer be mandated by the parish. The parish sign-up will stop on Saturday, June 5th. So, we are moving forward to the full reopening of the parish without restrictions of any kind.
Current Restrictions in Effect Through Saturday, June 5th:
St. Sava Orthodox Church allows 21 families per service. It does not matter how many people are in your family. Just make sure you stand together and observe social distancing with other families. Please remember that if your family should be unable to attend a service for which you have signed up, please delete the name(s) from the sign-up list to allow others to attend.
You may sign up for services if you abide by the following safety measures:
- You are not exhibiting any signs of sickness of any kind.
- You are not suffering any chronic health problems.
- You have not had contact with anyone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients are asked to remain home.
- You have not been to another Church service elsewhere or to a large gathering of people in the last 14 days.
- You signed up for the Liturgy in advance. Those who arrive without signing up in advance will not be admitted.
- You are wearing a cloth mask and continue to do so throughout the service. (It can be removed for communion, and children under eight are not required to wear a mask.)
- You disinfect your hands with the sanitizer we provide at the door.
- You remain on the spot marked on the floor for social distancing. Families may stand close to one another. Children are to remain by their parents at all times.
- You depart promptly at the dismissal at the end of the service, not remaining to visit with anyone or taking children to the playground.
Confession is available to all at the end of Vespers services and before Presanctified Liturgy. You must sign up in advance if you want confession. If you would like to come to confession on a certain evening, but all the time slots have been filled up, contact Fr. Photius at 469-667-6366 to be added to the line or scheduled for a different time. The sanitation and sign-up protocols are similar to that of the Liturgy.
Fr. Photius Avant
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