Corona Virus Precautions and School Closings

Greetings dear stewards in Christ,

Christ is in our Midst!

As you are aware, the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a significant concern in our area, and we have been carefully following the guidance from our Archbishop and Shepherd, His Eminence Elpidophoros of America, from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities which has been evolving rapidly. Currently, there is no prohibition to convening worship services in our church in Rye, NY. Still, in the abundance of caution we ask that you take the following precautions:
According to the CDC, some people are at a higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including: older adults; and people who have chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and other respiratory issues. In addition, you are more vulnerable if your immune system is weak or compromised from a fever, cold or other illness. If you fall into any of these categories, we encourage you to stay at home and participate virtually via [YouTube Live]. Moreover, if you live in the same household with someone who falls into one of these categories, we would encourage you to also consider staying home and participating virtually.
As per the Center for Disease Control and for your consideration: If you recently travelled internationally or were in close contact with anyone who travelled internationally, the Church of our Saviour is asking that you consider waiting 14 days from the return date before attending church. The CDC has made this a recommendation for all employers, employees and guests.
While we believe and uphold the integrity and holiness of Holy Communion, we do understand that some of our faithful may still have some doubts as to whether or not they should commune. We want to be sensitive to the feelings of everyone so if you have any doubts or concerns please contact Fr. Elias privately at frelias@gocoos.org No one is to feel judged or guilty. We love you! The Lord loves you!
If you do attend church services please follow the protocol sent to us by the Archdiocese: Do not reverence the hand of any clergyman. Do not kiss the icons but just bow before them in reverence. There will be no books distributed in church so you are encouraged to bring your own book or CLICK HERE to download any service onto your mobile device or iPad. During the “kiss of peace” we ask that you just bow to one another with love and respect.
If you do attend church and begin to not feel well, go home immediately – our church leadership can assist you with travel arrangements etc.
Please be mindful of respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene – We will have ample hand sanitizers. Please use it regularly. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
If for whatever reason you do not wish to attend church services in person, you can attend virtually via YouTube Live by CLICKING HERE on Sunday morning.

Regarding our Sunday, Hellenic and Pre-Schools: Due to the growing concern of the Coronavirus during this unprecedented time, and out of an abundance of caution, all Hellenic School, Sunday School and Pre-School classes are cancelled effective immediately and until further notice. You will be hearing directly from your teachers regarding your child’s assignments.

Regarding our sister parish in New Rochelle, NY: As you know The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church community has been officially contained by our New York Governor and the following has been communicated to the Holy Trinity Community by their parish priest, Fr. Nicholas Anctil: “We have been notified by the CDC, and also mandated by the Archdiocese to follow several specific guidelines. Those of us who either live in the Containment Area, have worshiped in the last two weeks here at Holy Trinity, have attended the Schools or youth programs in our facility, even those who have frequented the shops in the Wykagyl area should refrain from attending any social or religious service anywhere for the next 14 days. The idea being that we should not be taking any chance of exposing others to the virus for this period of time. You need NOT be quarantined unless you personally know of anyone you have been in contact with that has been diagnosed with Coronavirus.”

The Church of Our Saviour Parish Council and I are monitoring the situation carefully and we are taking every precaution possible for the safety of our stewards, students and community. We will respond quickly to remain consistent with public health guidance as the situation develops. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at frelias@gocoos.org or our Parish Council President, Nick Balidis at nick.balidis@gmail.com