As many churches in our community, St. George North Canton is striving to keep our house of worship available, while at the same time ensuring the safest-possible practices to combat the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
As Covid numbers increase nationwide, and are relatively high in the state of Ohio, the current rules are in place:
- Masks must be worn at all time in church – NO EXCEPTIONS – if you cannot wear a mask, please join us online
- Social distancing must be practiced – pews are clearly marked to help aid in this process
- Those receiving Holy Communion must follow the instruction of the parish priest
- Hand sanitizer is available for those that enter the building, or need it during the service
- Temperatures will be taken at the door
- Those who feel ill are encouraged to stay home; those who have a fever will not be permitted until an appropriate quarantine following the fever
- Safety precautions are in place with regard to ‘touch’ items – no books, pens, or envelopes will be in the pews; no baskets will be passed
- The choir is currently limited to a small group of singers, distanced
- Altar servers wear gloves and masks when preparing and distributing anaphora / bread
- No item, icon, cross, object, or priest’s hand will be venerated/kissed at this time – a reverent bow is to be done instead
Those who do not yet feel comfortable coming to church for any reason are invited and encouraged to participate via streaming services on the parish Facebook page. Please contact Fr. Aleksa to schedule a pastoral visit, with appropriate safety-precautions, if you are homebound.
The near-future is uncertain, and ever-changing, so the information provided is current as-of the date listed above – but may change again, or even without broader notice, pending any government orders or regulations.
We have chosen to follow the best-recommended practices by the CDC and the Health Department of the State of Ohio. Current data suggests that masks + social distancing, combined, significantly reduce the possibility of transmitting Covid-19.
For those who are looking for ways to further connect to our Lord Jesus Christ during these troubling times, here are a few items to aid you in that journey:
- Check in with Fr Aleksa weekdays for morning prayers at 7am on Facebook – download a copy to read with him at home!
- Looking for ways to grow in faith even though we’re a bit disconnected right now? Download this Orthodox Family Checklist
- Orthodox Homeschooling Links -Here are some great resources for homeschooling your child(ren) in the Orthodox Faith
- Sunday services will be live on Facebook indefinitely
- “Orthodoxy Live”, hosted by Fr. Aleksa, offers a 15-20 minute lecture followed by a Q&A periodically on the Eastern American Diocese of the SOC
Our God-protected Diocese of Eastern America in the Serbian Orthodox Church has given us additional recommendations as well. Much like with guidelines set forth by the state, this is intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 – and to ensure that our parishes are responsible members of our community with regard to public health and safety.
Until further notice:
- Folklore classes, church school, coffee hour, meetings, gatherings and events are to be suspended
Please keep up-to-date on Facebook for news regarding events and services.
If you are worried of contracting COVID-19 due to respiratory issues, age, or personal health concerns – please be sure to do what makes you feel safe and in good health. Contact Father Aleksa to make sure he knows, and so he can reach out to you once the Coronavirus has been dealt with effectively by our wonderful medical professionals.
This is not a time to panic – this is a time to trust in the Lord and be prudent. For the general safety of the community and each other, we as a parish will strive to follow best-practices as mandated by the State of Ohio and by our Diocese. Our trust, however, is in our Lord Jesus Christ who will see us calmly through these troubling times.
Yours in Christ our Lord,