Last week, in directives to the clergy and leadership of the Eastern Diocese, Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel outlined updated guidelines to address the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
The updated guidelines respond to mounting societal concerns about the pandemic, as some locales show a recent rise in infections—a reality that has also been felt in the community of the Eastern Diocese. Bishop Daniel consulted with leaders of the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO), who have graciously given guidance to the Diocese since the start of the pandemic. Under AAHPO’s advice, the updated safety guidelines were formulated.
Click the link below to download a PDF file of the directive, with the complete list of guidelines. They should be observed by all clergy, parish leaders, and laity as the official policy of the Eastern Diocese, effective as of December 16, 2021.
The directive concludes with these words from Bishop Daniel:
“Please know that I am well aware that these more stringent regulations will likely be disheartening to communities that have already endured nearly two years of the pandemic. But the current situation, and the urgent counsel of AAHPO, demand that we keep the safety and health of our people as the paramount concern. It is our intention to review the above requirements on roughly a monthly basis, and adjust them as appropriate, in accordance with the state of the pandemic.
“As our people have learned in so many ways over the past two years, we must care for one another, and be responsible for each other’s wellbeing. That is surely one of the hallmarks of our identity as Armenians, and as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ—beautifully expressed by his ardent disciple, Peter: ‘Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer care to one another without hesitancy. Use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its diverse forms’ (1 Peter 4:8-10).”
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