COVID-19 Church Worker Frequently Asked Questions updated

The Diocese of Sydney has updated its COVID-19 Church Worker Frequently Asked Questions.

There’s important information there for churches weighing returning to gathering.

An invaluable resource for all in the Diocese of Sydney.

Safety first as restrictions on church gatherings eased

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has welcomed the lifting of numbers allowed for church gatherings, weddings and funerals saying a return to public worship will bring ‘relief, joy and comfort’ to many people. …”

Story from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop Davies’ full statement, courtesy of SydneyAnglicans.net, is below. Note his remarks about singing, Bibles and hymn books:

“I recognise the challenges that the Government faces in loosening restrictions while maintaining a COVIDsafe environment. This has been a delicate balancing act and I appreciate the level of consultation and the careful yet flexible approach of Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and health officials.

Our first concern is public safety and where risk cannot be minimised, then some churches will not be able to re-open their buildings.

But I was able to assure the Premier that Anglican churches are well prepared to return to normal services, within the limits of the 50 person maximum, appropriately distanced. Hand sanitisers will be available at each entrance, along with signage indicating that anyone with symptoms such as fever or cough, should not attend. Church premises will be thoroughly cleaned between services and designated ushers will record the contact details of each person who attends.

We realise that this is not the normality we enjoyed in 2019, as congregational singing will not be possible, the greeting of peace and the distribution of Bibles, hymn books and paper service sheets will not resume. However, we are grateful for the relief, joy and comfort that many parishioners will feel in meeting again in public Christian worship. Some congregations, of course, will be too large to return to public worship but will continue to provide church online until it is safe for the whole congregation to gather as one.

We continue to pray for our Federal and State Governments as they navigate the terrain of a coronavirus world and provide us with wise advice and prudent measures to protect the safety of all.

Archbishop Glenn Davies
29 May 2020.”

Preparing and praying for return


“Archbishop Glenn Davies and diocesan bishops have held talks with the NSW government about re-opening churches for up to 50 people as June is set to begin with pubs, clubs and restaurants allowed to have 50 seated patrons. …

Dr Davies said until there was an official lifting of numbers for churches, ‘We should all be prepared to continue, as we have successfully been doing for the past two months, with our online services.’…

Dr Davies recommended that, ‘Until there is clear medical evidence that it is safe to do so, no congregational singing should be allowed, as a precautionary measure.’…”

SydneyAnglicans.net has the latest.

SRE at Learning at Home now available

Writing on the GAFCON website, Youthworks CEO Craig Roberts writes,

“…the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to go online. Youthworks has modified some of its SRE lessons for parents to use at home with their children AND the government has put a link to our resources on every school website.”

Read his report here – and you can also access the SRE material here.

‘Every person counts’

“The Sydney Anglican Diocese and Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT have strongly recommended churches stay closed. …

Anglican bishop for Western Sydney Gary Koo who chairs the Sydney diocese COVID-19 taskforce, said churches had become more accessible to the community ‘than ever before’. He said people with chronic illnesses and those who felt self conscious about walking into church felt comfortable with anonymous attendance. …”

– Story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Too soon to open doors again — Archbishop Glenn Davies

“While it is legally possible to have a service for a maximum of ten persons, our strong advice is that Step One is not the time to re-introduce Sunday public worship, especially for senior members of our community who are among the most vulnerable…”

Archbishop Glenn Davies – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

The article also includes a link to a framework for church re-opening.

 

COVID-19 has been devastating for our community – and our church

“In Berala, a mid-west suburb of Sydney, the toll of coronavirus measures is high and widespread: job losses, evictions, sleeping in cars and no money to make ends meet.

‘COVID may be the greatest challenge our church has ever faced – certainly it’s the greatest challenge our church has faced in the five years that I’ve been here,’ says Mike Doyle, pastor of the local Anglican church in Berala. …”

Plenty for your prayers – for Berala and other parishes.

May 2020 Southern Cross now online

Anglican Media Sydney has released the May 2020 issue of Southern Crossonly available online – to read in your browser or as a PDF download.

Lots of encouraging articles.

For your prayers, there’s also a report (pages 9 and 10) on the coronavirus outbreak at Newmarch House at Caddens.

[Anglicare CEO Grant Millard] said the COVID-19 outbreak was “unprecedented and traumatic”. “Nothing actually prepares you for the trauma that our staff and residents and families are dealing with,” he said. “Please keep our residents and their families in your thoughts and prayers, especially those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.”

Moore College Open Night – Online!

11 May 2020, 7:30pm – 9pm

A night to meet online, get an insight into Moore’s in-depth theological training, plus have your questions answered by faculty and students. A live Q&A session is available.

RSVP here.

Good News from the Other Side — Dean of Sydney’s Easter Day sermon 2020

The Dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Kanishka Raffel, shares this Easter message. “From the Other Side”.

What is the good news?
Can we believe it?
Does it matter?

“The Resurrection of Jesus is Good News from the Other Side.”

The Bible passages to read are Psalm 118:1-2, 14-29 and 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Watch and share widely.

Easter messages of hope, joy and love from Sydney’s religious leaders


“The great news is that God is as close to us as he has ever been. He is not socially distant. What we ­remember at Easter is that Jesus came into a world full of viruses, loneliness and broken relationships.

In his death on the cross and resurrection on Easter Day, he foreshadowed a day when our world would be healed. His promise still stands. …”

– from Archbishop Glenn Davies’ Easter message in The Daily Telegraph.

‘Committing to what really counts’: Easter message of hope

“The Anglican Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, who will lead a service on the St Andrew’s Cathedral live stream at 9.30am on Good Friday and from 10.30am on Easter Sunday said many people were ‘dipping their toes into online church’ because they had nothing to lose watching it from home.

He said the COVID-19 crisis had challenged people’s trust and security in the material world. …”

– Story by Anna Patty in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Coronavirus can’t kill Easter

Here is Archbishop Glenn Davies’ 2020 Easter message.

Watch and share.

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