6 - 16 - 2020
Dear Parishioners of St. Demetrios,
With joyful hearts, we are thrilled to announce that we have been given approval to reopen our doors.
As expected, our first phase of reopening will include a host of guidelines that serve to facilitate a safe and clean environment in which we may gather and worship together again. Please take some time to read over the following detailed guidelines which have been carefully prepared by our Parish Council and are in compliance with the CDC, Contra Costa County guidelines, and the San Francisco Metropolis for the protection of our parish and its faithful.
● All services will continue to be live-streamed as they have the past few months.
● During the first phase of reopening, to ensure we have the personnel to accommodate Metropolis guidelines, only Sunday Divine Liturgies will be open to physical attendance. All other liturgies and services throughout the week will be live-streamed only.
● Please do not come to church if you have symptoms or do not feel well. Those who have pre-existing health conditions and those who are over 65 are requested not to attend services.
● Attendance will be limited to 40 people indoors (not including clergy, chanter, and ushers) as well as accommodations for overflow outside of the church. As requested by the California Department of Public Health, sign-ups will be required in order to assist with headcount management as well as to enable contact tracing in the event of possible exposure to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. You will be able to sign-up online (click here) or call the church office at (925) 676-6967 by the Thursday prior to that Sunday’s service.
● If you do not have a mask, please obtain one. This will be necessary for you to wear when inside the church. If you arrive without one, the parish will provide one. Masks are not required for children 2 years and younger.
● Touchless hand sanitizing stations will be available in the Narthex.
● Please do not kiss the Icons. Honor the Icons by bowing only.
● Please avoid kissing, hugging, or shaking hands.
● If you want to light a votive candle, an usher will assist you.
● Social distancing (6’ from others) will apply at all times.
● There will be specific directions and floor markings for safely entering and exiting the church to maintain social distancing.
● An usher will help direct parishioners to a seat in the church.
● Seating in church pews will be clearly marked for social distancing.
● Parishioners need not social distance from their immediate household (people living in the same dwelling and who arrived in the same vehicle) while inside the church.
● For those who wish to receive Holy Communion, please remove your face mask once you’ve reached the chalice. Tilt your head back with mouth wide open and the priest will distribute the Holy Communion from the spoon without touching the face or mouth.
● Antidoron will not be distributed at this time.
● Once the service has concluded, ushers will help parishioners exit the church through multiple exit points.
● Parishioners are kindly asked not to gather outside the church after service but to continue to their vehicles.
● Coffee Hour will continue to be suspended.
● After each service, the church will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Understandably, these guidelines may make the familiarity of our weekly gatherings and worship experience feel different, but it is only temporary. We ask for your prayerful consideration and patience as we implement these measures in order to open our doors and receive our church family in a safe and responsible manner.
Of course, anyone who may decide not to return to church for the time being should not feel any pressure or reservation, but confident that despite the distance, we are all together in Christ Jesus.
If you have any questions regarding the phase one guidelines for the reopening of St. Demetrios Church, you may contact our Parish Reopening Leads Dr. Hera Blazer (510) 506-2102, Kristina Reynolds (925) 766-7231, and Neveen Demopoulis (925) 808-5750.