It is with great joy we announce the reopening of our Church after the stay at home directive imposed by the State of Maryland has been lifted. His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos, has initiated a Three Phase Reopening Plan to insure that the Churches of the Metropolis reopen in a safe manner. The Sts. Peter & Paul Parish Council has implemented all the listed directives of Phase 1, and has received a blessing from His Eminence to reopen the Church.
Here’s a list of how to prepare before coming to Church, and what to expect once you’re here. We have opened the Social Hall for additional seating and the service will be closed captioned.
- Our elderly parishioners, and those with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable during this crisis. Please consider remaining in quarantine for your safety. Fr. George can visit you with Holy Communion. We encourage you to follow our Divine Services via live stream.
- If you are experiencing or recently experienced Covid-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone that has tested positive to Covid-19, Please Stay Home. Call Fr. George and inform him of your situation.
- REGISTER TO ATTEND: As part of the Three Phase Reopening Plan, we are reopening under limited allowed capacity (currently 10% less capacity than allowed by the local and state authorities, i.e. 40%) so all Parishioners MUST use a Registration Procedure in advance to reserve their attendance at the Sunday Divine Liturgy (Weekday liturgies do not require a reservation). This is on a first come first serve basis. First time reservation requests will be given priority over repeat reservations. We will also be accepting phone call reservations at the Church office (301 663-0663) for those unable to use a computer to register. You must register by noon the Friday before Sunday Divine Liturgy. Click here to register online.
- If you haven't done so already, please purchase a mask. A mask is required by State law and entry into the Church.
- Please consider purchasing a small bottle of hand sanitizer and bring it with you to Church to use throughout the service.
- Parishioners shall not come to the Church by a ride share (Uber, Lyft), taxi, or by means of public transportation. It is strongly recommended that Parishioners arrive in their own vehicle or arrange for another parishioner to transport them.
Entering the Church
- The front door is the only entry point. Please do not attempt to enter from the social hall or any other entry.
- Parish Council (or a designated helper) members will be recording the names of those who are coming to Church in order to assist with contact tracing should a need arise. You will be asked two questions:
- Are you caring for anyone who tested positive for Covid-19?
- Have you been exposed to anyone else that has tested positive for Covid-19?
If you answer YES to any of the questions, we will ask you to not enter the Church.
3. Please maintain social distancing (6 ft) between you and the person in front of you as you enter the Narthex. Please stand on the yellow tape marking the 6 foot distance.
- We are not giving out change for cash. We kindly ask that you leave an exact amount, or make your contribution online, or pay in the future in any way that works best for you.
During Church Services
- The Nave and Social Hall are available for seating. The other areas of the Church property are restricted.
- Restrooms: 1 Parishioner at a time. Please use the hand sanitizer before entering, and wash your hands before leaving. We appreciate your patience.
- You will see certain pews closed off (every other one). Please only sit in pews marked with a (+) at each designated space. The open pews are measured to adhere to social distancing and designated for 1 or 2 parishioners, as well as sections for families (click for a diagram). The social hall has chairs configured the same way (Click for a diagram). Please Do Not move chairs to accommodate your needs. Ask for assistance if needed.
- Parents please do not allow your children to wander. Keep them close to you at all times.
- Please stand on the yellow line when waiting to receive Holy Communion in order to maintain proper social distancing. We’ll begin with the front row pews and work our way back. Please do not crowd the aisle.
- Holy Communion is distributed in the traditional manner.
- We will not be passing a collection tray. Please leave your contribution in the basket located in the Narthex or make your contribution online.
- Antidoron will be packaged in individual plastic bags. Please maintain social distancing while waiting in line, and refrain from touching multiple bags.
- There will be no coffee hour or social gatherings after church until further notice.
- No lingering in groups in the Narthex. Please leave the Church property after receiving the Antidoron.
If after attending any service a parishioner experiences symptoms of, or tests positive for COVID-19, in addition to immediately contacting their medical provider, they must contact the Church office to inform the parish of the date that they attended service.
We're looking forward to seeing you at Church and once again gather as One Body in Christ.
Fr. George Mastakas
Dr. George Lountos (President, Parish Council)