My brothers and sisters in Christ,
As many of you have heard and seen by now in the news this week, New Hanover County is one of the many areas throughout the country that is reinstating a Mask Mandate inside all public places. While the mandate (effective beginning today at 5pm) does provide an exemption for those "participating in worship services," it has been determined by our Parish Council that Saint Nicholas, in the interest of the wellbeing of our faithful and the continuation of our parish services and ministries, will be adhering to the recommended mask mandate within our Church premises.
It is important to note that we will continue offering Coffee Hour in the Fellowship Hall. We ask that all those in attendance remain masked while inside the Hall, only removing their masks in order to eat or drink while seated at our socially distant tables.
Below you will find excerpts from His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios' most recent communication (August 19, 2021) to the metropolis in regards to this resurgence in the Coronavirus pandemic. In it His Eminence strongly encourages all parishes to resume wearing masks at all services and events indoors.
May our Lord continue to guide and protect our entire Saint Nicholas Family and Holy Metropolis as we set out in this new ecclesiastical year together.
Fr. Steven Klund
...The CDC writes "To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, fully vaccinated people should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
The serious reality is that many of our cities throughout the Metropolis currently fall under the rates of substantial or high transmission. Therefore, as stated last week, I must ask our Clergy and Parish Councils to strongly encourage all parishioners to resume wearing masks to slow the spread of the Delta variant."