Thursday, May 14, 2020

Easing Out of the Quarantine

The Parish Council met on May 6, 2020. At that meeting we discussed the quarantine thus far, and how we might be able to start to gather again at St. Vladimir’s as the State of Michigan begins to slowly lift the quarantine.

1. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and understanding of our parish’s strict approach to the pandemic: we have done everything we can to not be a place of death, even as death pervades the society around us. That is, we will take every reasonable precaution to keep our parishioners safe during the outbreak and for the parish church to be a source of life-giving, not of life-taking. Many parishes have struggled in this regard. We have done very well at following the guidance from the diocese and the goverment. And we are very thankful to all for doing their part to keep the disease at bay by not gathering in person – even during the holiest days of the year.

2. It is very important that if you are struggling spiritually, psychologically, materially, or in any other way, that you reach out to me or Fr. Moses. Although we are being asked to visit parishioners only in an emergency, the definition of “emergency” has been largely left up to the clergy. So if you need us – rest assured that we will be there. You can find our contact information here:


3. We are actively working on plans to welcome parishioners back to St. Vladimir’s as the Michigan quarantine is lifted. We will be following CDC guidelines throughout the entire time of the pandemic, so when we first come back it will not be the same as it was before the onset of the virus. And we will probably not fully return to that “normal” baseline until there is wide-spread immunity in the population.

  • There will likely be limits on how many people can attend any one service (we will provide sign up sheets and serve as many liturgies as possible on the weekends to allow everyone to participate in the Divine Services in person to the greatest extent possible)
  • Parish Council member families and clergy families will do our best to attend Divine Services during the week so that the weekends will be maximally available to the rest of the parish family to participate
  • There will be physical distancing requirements
  • Masks/face coverings will certainly be required in the beginning (except for those less than 2 years old and those who cannot mask for specific medical reasons)
  • It is imperative that St. Vladimirians acquire a cloth mask or other face covering that covers the mouth and nose to wear at church. If you have any trouble in this regard please contact me. We have a limited number of masks to give away for those who cannot afford one or who cannot otherwise acquire one
  • There will be a contest for the best cloth mask/face covering on the first weekend the parish opens (details to come)
Over time we hope that our continued efforts will make it possible for more people to gather at one time and for this pandemic to come to an end as quickly as possible. We are also looking into whether we might be able to hold one of the Sunday Liturgies (probably the late one) outside – if that allows us to gather more people in a safe manner.

4. Bottom line: we want to bring our parish family back together in corporate worship – but we are only going to do this in ways that are safe and that follow experts’ guidance. We are not experts in Epidemiology or Infectious Disease, so we are going to follow the advice of state and federal experts in these fields, striving to keep our parish death rate as low as possible while providing the most robust parish life we can to our parishioners. As of today Michigan is presently at step 3 of 6 of the 6-step reopening plan. Step 4 allows for the beginning of small gatherings. It is likely that we will have our first public worship when we reach step 4. God willing that will be in the next few weeks.

Asking Your Prayers,

Fr. Gregory

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