St. Cyprian of Carthage
Orthodox Church in America
Diocese of the South

Important notification

Glory be to Jesus Christ!
 
Beloved in Christ,
 
It is important to communicate some information regarding a recent positive COVID-19test result in our parish family that has an impact on our gathering.
 
An altar server has tested positive for the virus and is symptomatic while showing some improvement. The day before his first symptoms, he served at the Altar with two other altar servers for the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos while Fr. Jeremy presided. Please keep them all in your prayers.The altar servers each are under the category of being in “close contact” as defined by our directives. They are remaining at home for the directed time or a negative test result.
 
While Fr. Jeremy was presiding, he and the altar servers did not meet the description for “close contact.” Given that Fr. Jeremy is fully vaccinated, he is going to wear a mask during the services this week as a precaution, but we are not going to cancel the upcoming services.
 
Following the Matins on Thursday morning, Fr. David and Fr. Jeremy drove to the Wilkes-Barre, PA area to retrieve items that did not fit in the truck when the McKemy’s moved last week. Since Fr. David is fully vaccinated, he is going to wear a mask during the services as a precaution, but will attend and serve this weekend.
 
Fr. Jeremy and Fr.David will each be tested by Tuesday of next week. If their tests are negative, we will not have any additional resulting directive from this exposure episode at the church. If either of them do test positive, the service schedule will be reevaluated, possibly with the cancellation of services for a prescribed period.
 
During services that are scheduled for this week, anyone who is not fully vaccinated, or who knows that they are at a higher risk for complications should they be infected, or who has family members that are at high risk, is encouraged to stay home with a blessing until the clergy are tested and infection free. Additionally, those who do attend the services may wish to wear a mask. Finally, Fr. Jeremy and Fr. David ask that they serve at the Altar without assistance until they are tested and shown to be virus free.

St. Cyprian of Carthage

 

The "End of Pandemic Guidelines" from the Diocese of the South go into effect at St. Cyprian on Sunday, June 13. If you desire to wear a mask during the services, you may do so, but they are no longer required on this date. If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or have any of the associated symptoms, please remain home until CDC guidance is met for such a situation. While receiving the vaccines that are available are not required, the eight weeks prior to June 13 were mandated in order to give time for the "fully vaccinated" status to be accomplished for those who wish to be vaccinated. The "fully vaccinated" status is not required for participation in the services. Please do not shun those wearing masks or not, as well as those who are vaccinated or not. If an "outbreak" occurs among our parish membership, we must cease to gather until the "Post Pandemic Guidelines" are met for such a situation. Any necessary cancellation of services will be announced by email and will be reflected on the parish calendar (see under "Welcome!"). Visitors are welcome. Our space is well ventilated, and is adequate for our typical congregation, so there is no need for pre-registration. We will be keeping a log of attendees to assist any necessary notification due to outbreak of the virus among us. Thank you for attending to these guideline. They have been distributed by email and facebook to our members. A copy may be obtained by request.

September 2021 COVID-19 Update

Glory be to Jesus Christ!
 
Yes, I am acutely aware of the increase in cases of the current variant of the virus in our immediate area.
 
Yes, I am aware that large public indoor gatherings allow the perfect environment for a virus to do what viruses do - and that the inside of our Church building is not exempt from the condition for viral transmission.
 
In response to these circumstances, we have had available since May the opportunity to be vaccinated in an emergency response to the virus. Those who wish to be vaccinated have had and still do have the opportunity to do so. We are not, however, limiting participation of clergy or laity due to vaccination status.
 
Attendance at services does not require wearing a mask, but everyone should be aware that during this week we saw daily new cases approach the level of daily new cases reached between January 1 and March 1 of 2021 in Chesterfield and Powhatan Counties. During that time, masks were required. What has changed? Well, it appears that the higher percentage of vaccinated persons in our area has helped the daily number of hospitalizations due to COVOD-19, and also death caused by COVID-19, to remain very low. This is not the case in every county or every state because the percentage of vaccinated persons is critically low in some areas, and they are showing much higher response of hospitalization and death in relation to the increase in transmission. Voluntarily wearing a mask under these circumstances is certainly understood and permitted, and should not be scorned. 
 
So, this is not an admonition to be vaccinated, although I have received both Moderna injections, but it is a reminder that we should be careful if we are in any of the higher risk categories. We should not judge or ridicule those who wear masks or not, as well as those who are vaccinated or not. An alarming echo of marginalization and negative characterization is sounding forth in our society. This needs to stop at our doors. If proof of vaccination is required, I will burn my record and exist without what vaccination affords, joining those who have burnt other items in my lifetime. This is not an attempt at humor.
 
I am hearing a common refrain among those specializing in the science of virology that this virus or variant will, most likely, infect everyone, regardless of vaccination or the best of masks. If this is a given, there will still be a level of grief to be endured as hospitalization and death does eventually come close to our circle of friends or loved ones. It is difficult to comfort or deflect with statistics when the sting of grief becomes very personal. This is the reality of living in the time of a serious pandemic. So, we need to practice love and empathy. We need to be mindful of the reality in which we live. As I have attempted to encourage, don't be afraid, be prepared - and that means be prepared for what may come at any time for any one of us, whether by this virus or any other circumstance or pathogen; our last breath and last opportunity to join the thief on the cross in repentance.
 
Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.


--

V. Rev. David F. Arnold
Rector, St. Cyprian of Carthage Church, Midlothian, VA
Dean, Appalachian Deanery, Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America

 


 

St. Cyprian of Carthage Orthodox Church · 2570 Huguenot Springs Road · Midlothian, VA  23113
Mail: 2570 Huguenot Springs Rd., Midlothian, VA 23113