Dear Holy Apostles Family and Friends:
Christ is Risen! We offer our deepest gratitude for your prayers, support, and participation in parish life throughout the challenges of the pandemic.
On May 16, 2021, the Metropolis of Chicago issued new COVID-19 guidelines for all parishes that begin to return us to our regular rhythms of worship, fellowship, and ministries. The Metropolis encouraged parishes to begin the gradual reintroduction of regular activities, and highlighted the following in their statement: "All parishes of our Holy Metropolis
may cease requiring fully vaccinated people to use face-masks and observe social distancing. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to continue wearing a face-mask over the nose and mouth and observe social distancing." To read the Metropolis's complete set of guidelines, please click the buttons below.
Holy Apostles will begin this gradual transition by offering the following changes and revised safety protocols while continuing to ensure that our parish community remains healthy and safe. Beginning May 21, 2021:
Online reservations for church services are still required for contact-tracing purposes. We ask that you also continue to enter through the North door in order to check in upon your arrival.
- Sanitization of hands prior to Holy Communion is still required.
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours of being at Holy Apostles for worship or another activity must contact Deacon Perry through the church office for contact tracing purposes. Your identity will be kept confidential.
- The nave will now have two seating sections:
A "socially distanced" section for those who wish or need to remain masked and physically distanced. For now, this will be the South half of the nave (right side if facing the altar). Everyone in this section will be expected to keep their mask on at all times. If you wish to be seated in this section, please let the ushers know when you enter the narthex so they may escort you to an open seat. Those who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks and to sit in the "socially distanced" section.
A "general seating" section that is not socially distanced, and where masks will be optional. For now, this will be the North half of the nave (left side if facing the altar). Those in "general seating" may still wear masks if they prefer to; however, seating distances in this section will return to normal. The "general seating" section is primarily for those who are fully vaccinated; those who choose not to wear masks assume some additional risk.
Click HERE to see a schematic for the two seating sections.
Additional changes include the following:
- Parishioners may resume the veneration of holy icons and other sacred items.
- Antidoron will be distributed after Holy Communion and at the dismissal.
Coffee hour will resume, beginning May 30, 2021, but with pre-packaged snacks and controlled distribution of beverages.
- The choir will return in a few weeks.
- Ministries will begin to return to in-person activities, after discussing their plans with the COVID-19 Safety Committee.
- Additional changes will be communicated as local guidelines and parish conditions develop.
We give glory to God, rejoicing that we can come together again as brothers and sisters in Christ—enjoying conversations, participating more fully in the life of the Church, and fueling the renewal that can come from enduring a pandemic. It will take time for all safety measures to be lifted, and each of us will return to full participation at our own pace. Let us continue to support and respect each other, remembering that together we are one faith, one family, one Holy Apostles.
Again, Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
+Father Nicholas Georgiou, Presiding Priest
Norman Pomrening, Parish Council President
The COVID-19 Safety Committee