This COVID Resource Page lists the latest COVID Safety directives and developments at Ascension. There are also Liturgical and Educational resources and past communications listed at the bottom. Please call our office M-F between the hours of 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 847.482.1200 if you have any questions.
Thank you for your prayers and patience as we continue to navigate the changing pandemic landscape. At this time, the CDC and Metropolis of Chicago have updated safety guidelines that bring us a step closer to near normal “pre-pandemic” conditions for worship and activities.
To that end, let us rejoice that we can gather together once again as one body of Christ to participate more fully in the life of the church. The Ascension Parish Council and COVID Safety Team are pleased to announce the following safety updates effective immediately.
OVERVIEW OF METROPOLIS COVID-19 UPDATE, MAY 16, 2021
All parishes of our Holy Metropolis may cease requiring fully vaccinated people to use facemasks and observe social distancing. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated, or who independently desire to do so, are encouraged to continue wearing a facemask over the nose and mouth and observe social distancing. Of note, individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
To assure that all are welcome in our churches, each parish must set aside a portion of the Nave for individuals who wish to wear a facemask and practice social distancing and/or for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
All parishes are encouraged to resume regular programs and ministries, including, but not limited to in-person coffee and fellowship hours, meetings, classes, choirs, ministries and all other programs.
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY AT ASCENSION
- Ascension no longer has seating capacity limits. We rejoice in taking this opportunity to welcome everyone back to Ascension!
- You are no longer required to pre-register to attend services, however you will be asked to sign-in upon arrival for all church services, sacraments, meetings and events.
- Please continue to enter through the doors of our fellowship building, just north of the main church doors.
- A section of our Nave will be reserved for individuals who wish to continue mask wearing and physical distancing. 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 the proper section.
- The remainder of the Nave will no longer require physical distancing, and mask wearing is always optional. In implementing this new protocol, let us heed the humbled words of our Metropolitan Nathanael: “During this time of transition, I especially pray that we may all exercise the virtues of patience and humility. Let us not judge, criticize, or shame others, thereby continuing to grow stronger as an Orthodox Christian family.”
- You may resume venerating the Gospel, icons, the Priests’ hands and other sacred items.
- You may resume holding the red cloth when receiving Holy Communion. Napkins are no longer required.
- Antithoron will again be distributed after Holy Communion as well as at dismissal.
- Hand sanitizing, although no longer required, is encouraged.
- Air purifiers and enhanced cleaning protocols remain unchanged.
- Trays will once again be passed at the conclusion of Liturgy. You may also set up your own online giving account to electronically make tray and candle offerings.
- We ask that you are vigilant about your health. If you do not feel well, please stay home and participate via our live-stream option.
- We look forward to reinstating Coffee Fellowship Hour in the coming weeks. An announcement will be forthcoming.
- Ministry leaders are working closely with Fr. Sotiri to resume in-person programs. Events will be announced in our bulletin and weekly email. Stay tuned for more exciting developments!
As always, please help us continue to follow the high-standards we have set in ensuring our new church is beautifully maintained.
During this joyful Paschal season, we thank our parish community for persevering through this pandemic by following what Holy Scripture teaches us in Ephesians: to be patient and considerate of one another, always looking to the best interest of others, and bearing with one another in love.
With love in our Risen Lord,
Fr. Sotiri Malamis, Parish Priest
Nick Marino, Parish Council President
METROPOLIS MAY 2021 DIRECTIVES:
Read Metropolitan Nathanael's May 16, 2021 Letter HERE
FOR THE LATEST HEALTH INFORMATION:
Until we can worship together in our church home, we will be live streaming each Divine Service HERE. The stream will also be carried live on our Facebook page and our YouTube channel! If you miss the livestream, all services will be archived on our livestream webpage.
Click HERE to sign up for our Electronic Newsletter.
LITURGICAL RESOURCES and PRAYERS
Metropolis Separate But United webpage: The Metropolis of Chicago shares sermonettes, prayers, reflections or stories from the clergy members and others of the Metropolis on a daily basis.
Prayers posted on the Metropolis of Chicago COVID-19 Resource Page
OUR HOMES ARE A SMALL CHURCH: Links for Learning
FOR CHILDREN & TEENS:
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Ed at Home
- Tending the Garden Virtual Sunday School
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Lesson Plans & Activities
- Be the Bee: Complete Series of Videos
- Lives of the Saints: St. Porphyrios
- Vessel of Grace: The Life of Saint Paisios the Athonite
- Y2AM Ministry At Home Resources
- Y2AM You Tube Channel
- OCF at Home: An on-campus connection for college-students
- GOARCH Library: Learn About the Orthodox Christian Faith
- Ancient Faith Podcasts
- Ancient Faith Ministries
- Mobile Apps and Books
- Discovering Orthodox Christianity Video Series
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care
- Greek Orthodox Archdiocese "Comfort Food: Daily Reflections Just for Families"
- Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops Spiritual and Activity Resource Page
PAST CORRESPONDENCE ON THE PLAN TO REUNITE
- May 21, 2021: New: Ascension Updated Safety Protocols
- May 16, 2021: Ascension Safety Updates
- February 24, 2021: Important Update from Ascension's COVID Safety Team
- February 2, 2021: Metropolis of Chicago Safety Update for Non-Liturgical Programs
- November 20, 2020: Ascension Updated Safety Measures
- August 21, 2020: Protocol for Non-Liturgical Programs in Education Ministries
- uly 8, 2020: Message from Metropolitan Nathanael: COVID Parish Relief Fund Update & More
- June 23, 2020: Ascension Receives Blessing to Reopen
- June 12, 2020: Ascension Reopening Update
- June 10, 2020: New Directives and Special Rubrics for Celebrating the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation and Marriage
- June 5, 2020: Parish Email from Fr. Sotiri and Nick Marino: Update on Ascension's Plan to Reopen
- June 4, 2020: Metropolis of Chicago: The Divine Liturgy: Special Directives and Liturgical Rubrics, June 3, 2020
- June 2, 2020: Revision of the May 20, 2020 Guidelines
- May 30, 2020: Update and Summary of Levels of Participation
- May 30, 2020: Metropolis Statement Regarding Sacraments of Confession and Holy Unction
- May 28, 2020: Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services
- May 20,2020: Metropolis of Chicago issues "Reuniting Our People With Their Parish Homes" directive