The NSW Government has recently released it’s ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ for NSW. Considering the ‘Roadmap’ Church Council has been able to discuss and finalise CLCC’s ‘Tentative’ plan for recommencing meeting in person for our Sunday Services and weekly ministries. Tentative, because we are aware the Covid situation in NSW remains fluid and restrictions may continue to change for the foreseeable future.
CLCC’s TENTATIVE PLAN FOR RECOMMENCING MEETING IN PERSON
1. Our priority must always be to Honour God and love people
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.
2. We recognise there is a balance between spiritual, physical, emotional and health needs.
3. CLCC’s position will be to…
A. obey the government
Romans 13:1-2 Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.
B. love, care and encourage each other, especially where differences in opinion may arise i.e., the issue of vaccination or not vaccinated.
Romans 14:1-4 Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters. One person believes he may eat anything (GET VACCINATED), while one who is weak eats only vegetables (DOES NOT GET VACCINATED). One who eats (GETS VACCINATED) must not look down on one who doesn’t eat (DOES NOT GET VACCINATED), and one who does not eat (DOESN’T GET VACCINATED) must not judge one who does eat (GETS VACCINATED), because God has accepted them. Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before their own Lord he or she stands or falls. And they will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.
4. Based on the NSW’s Governments current roadmap; when 70% of NSW is doubled vaccinated, Churches and places of worship will be allowed to open (1 person per 4sqm, wearing of masks, with no singing indoors) for fully vaccinated persons only.
Once NSW reaches 80% double vaccination Churches have been given provision to open to both fully and unvaccinated persons provided, they continue to adhere NSW Health and Government Covid-19 regulations. As the likely date for 80% double vaccination is between October 18-25, Church Council has decided we will plan to recommence meetings in person from Sunday October 31.
5. We recognise Cherrybrook Technology High School will determine if/when we are to return to meeting in person at the school MPC. We also understand even though 80% double vaccination in NSW allows for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons to attend church services, the school will have its own policy/plan regarding if/when unvaccinated persons may enter school property. The NSW Government has indicated December 1 will see restrictions eased for unvaccinated persons in NSW.
Currently CTHS has informed us, ‘outside groups’ are prevented from using school property until such time as the Department of Education allows. Initial indications from CTHS are we may not be able to access and use the MPC until mid-to-late November. They will keep us apprised of when we can return to using the MPC.
As the school MPC is currently unavailable we will commence our Sunday Services at the Ministry Centre ‘The Hub’.
6. At present we recognise no public health order has been drafted regarding what ministry to Youth and Children will look like considering vaccination targets. The current NSW road map states the following which will determine when and how we look to recommence these ministries in person.
Children’s and youth ministry programs/groups without parents will only be able to occur outdoors. Children and young people under the age of 16 won’t be required to be vaccinated to attend, but anyone over the age of 16 years must be double vaccinated. Masks will be needed for those over the age of 12. And the numbers will be subject to the gathering limits for outdoor events.
Children and young people under the age of 16 who are not vaccinated can be part of indoor programs, events and church services if they are with their fully vaccinated parents. All those over the age of 12 will need to wear masks. No singing. 1person/4m2. Service NSW QR sign in.
Children and young people will be able to have programs and events indoors without vaccinated parents present.
Once all year groups in all schools return (Oct 25) we currently understand the restrictions in schools will be significant including no mixing of year groups, no extra curricula activities and masks required indoors and outdoors. All of these restrictions may have implications on what we will be able to do in youth and children’s ministries in the next few months.
7. In preparation for meeting in person again, we have submitted a new Covid-19 safety plan for places of worship with the NSW Government, noting existing requirements (i.e., QR code check-in, social distancing, mask wearing etc.) and updated requirements (i.e., ventilation and requirements of staff and workers to be fully vaccinated etc.).
8. As ministries recommence, we will be asking those who serve on a ministry team to provide a copy of your vaccination certificate.
9. We realise as NSW moves toward reopening out of lockdown, the situation will remain fluid, we will need to adapt as health orders and the like are issued or changed. This may or may not impact the running of our weekly services, events or ministries. We appreciate your support and patience as we continue to navigate through this pandemic.