When are we coming back to Church?
This is a good question! Church Council is aiming to begin public worship again in August.
Please read the information below so you’re aware of how this will happen.
Will church still be recorded?
At the moment we are pre-recording our services and uploading them to our YouTube channel. There are some people who do not have internet access so they are receiving a DVD of the service. These are being hand delivered by Pauline Seath before Sunday. (Thank you Pauline)
When we return to public worship we will be livestreaming. This means that you will be able to watch the service live at home as the service is happening.
It will also be recorded and uploaded to the YouTube channel so you can watch it later.
We will also record the service to a DVD for those who do not have access to the internet.
We have recently upgraded our Audio equipment to do livestreaming and the team are preparing for this next stage. This will involve moving to NBN and some training on the new system.
What’s happening about Government Regulations?
When we return to public worship we will need to abide by the new Government Health regulations.
We will need to sanitise our hands before going into the auditorium.
We will need to record our names and contact details at the door so we know who was present at worship.
We will not be able to pass papers, pens, offering plates, communion plates and cups or pass the peace. We will need to find new ways to do these things.
We will also need to allow space for 1 person per 4m2. If we want to all sing we need to allow for 1 person per 7m2.
We will be allowed to have 100 people in our service, however, because we are required to have 1.5 metres between each person we will not be able accommodate 100 people, even with the doors open to the other rooms.
People of the same household may sit together but there will be a distance of 1.5 metres between them and the next family.
As you can see this will require some planning to know who is coming to church and how many people can come.
The Plan for August:
I have requested from Church Council that for the 2nd August and 10th August, only Church Council Members, Elders, Stewards and their families attend worship. The reason for this is that we will need to train people to understand the new procedures.
Once these people have an understanding of what needs to be done – hand washing, guiding people to their seats, the collection of offerings, recording names, cleaning toilets, serving communion – then they will assist the rest of us as we begin to return to worship in a new way.
The 16th August, 23rd August and 30th August will be open for anyone to attend. However, you will need to phone the office to book a seat.
Once we have reached our limit of numbers no one will be able to enter the auditorium.
We would need to manage our expectations with a spirit of generosity during the month of August to allow everyone who wishes to return to worship the opportunity to do so on at least one of those Sundays.
What about having two worship services?
We have discussed the option to hold 2 Sunday morning services.
This will require cleaning in between services and managing the movement of people in and out of the building.
Only 20 people are allowed in the foyer at one time.
Starting a second service may be an option from September.
Can we share morning tea?
At this point in time we are not allowed to have morning tea.
This may change but we need to be prepared for not sharing in this time of fellowship.
I encourage you to plan an invitation back to your homes or at a coffee shop after worship.
What about Children’s ministry?
We are working on a plan for the children.
During August we will do our best to include the children in the service, however there will be no Sunday School.
I’m not sure I want to deal with so many changes:
As you can see we will have to find a new way of being together.
We will need to be patient with each other and thoughtful about everything we do until these new things become part of our routine for worship.
We will need to have more trained helpers to assist us during worship. We will have new rosters.
But we will do all we can to communicate with you about these changes so you don’t feel overwhelmed or silly if you get things wrong.
Please don’t give up! This is different but not beyond us!
“Let’s not give up in meeting together” as Paul instructs. Let us stay faithful to our commitment to each other as the body of Christ and be each other’s strength during this time.
Grace & Peace,