Dear Church Family,
We are facing a particularly challenging time. Our firm belief is that God is in control and is working out His purposes for His world. Please read Amos 4: 6 – 13. We see from this that God is most concerned about our relationship with Him, and that He uses the trials and difficulties of life to cause us to turn to Him.
The very first step in all of this is that we ‘turn’ to God. Psalm 121:1 – ‘I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth’. Jesus said: ‘In this world you will have troubles but fear not I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled neither be afraid. Trust in God. Trust also in me’ (John 14:1). Our faith, our hope and our trust is in Him by whom and through whom we are saved.
As a result of the government regulations which have been passed but also by virtue of our God-given responsibility to do what is right, there are steps which we as a church must take with immediate effect, especially in the way that we gather together for worship.
At this stage we are still permitted to meet with restricted numbers and we believe that it is important that we continue to do so under conditions which will minimise the chances for transmission of the virus.
The school holidays have been extended until after Easter. This presents a suitable first period during which, or after which, we can reassess the situation as necessary. We will constantly monitor and review the situation and ask for your understanding if further changes need to be made at short notice. We will try and keep you informed and updated.
The virus is spread through human interaction and this therefore needs to be the focus of the steps which are taken.
During school holidays, meetings other than the Sunday worship services are in any event in recess.
On Sundays we will add an additional service so as to KEEP OUR GATHERINGS BELOW 100 people. We will now have services at 8h00, 10h00 and 18h30. If needs be, we may introduce a fourth worship service. As regards attendance at these services the following guidelines apply:
- Attend only one of these services each Sunday.
- Our gatherings will not exceed 100 people. A head count will be taken at the door and we will turn people away if our numbers are too high.
- In consultation with you we would like to allocate names to each of the services to ensure a good spread across the 3 services.
- No one must feel compelled to attend. Whether you attend these services during this abnormal period, is between you and the Lord.
- If you feel at all sick with any symptoms which may be contagious, do not attend any of the services.
- If you have travelled or possibly been in contact with anyone who you have reason to believe may have any contagious disease, observe at least a 14-day self-imposed quarantine period, before resuming church attendance.
- This virus is most dangerous for the elderly, especially those over the age of 70 years or those whose resistance is compromised by chronic disease or autoimmune deficiency. If you fall into any of these categories please give particular consideration, preferably in consultation with your doctor, to whether you attend any of the services.
- Physical contact between us must be completely suspended for the time being.
- There will still be stewards at the door to welcome you but please understand when they greet you without physical contact. They may offer you hand sanitiser instead! Please don’t be offended. This is for the common good.
- Hand sanitiser will be on hand for as long as we can get it. Please make use of it.
- No tea, coffee or refreshments will be served at or after the services.
- After each use of the church facilities an extensive deep clean of the premises will take place including all pews, toilets, door handles, equipment, etc.
- Offering receptacles will be positioned at fixed points instead of the bags being passed around the church.
- When communion is held, those taking communion will need to make their way to the front to receive the bread and cup individually.
As mentioned, these are early days and we will no doubt need to make further changes as we go. We consider the above measures to be the minimum. Please be guided in the way that you interact with others by the consideration that you may, without even knowing it, be carrying the virus yourself.
These are extraordinary days but are nevertheless not cause for despair. In fact, because the Lord God Almighty is our God and He is in control, we still have cause to be thankful to Him, to praise His Holy name, and to go about our every day activities with a song in our hearts and as a witness to others of God’s sufficiency in spite of the situation.
May our Lord God Almighty be our portion now and always. Psalm 31: 15 – Our times are in His hands.
Yours in Christ our Lord,
Your Church Executive