ADAPT…is how we would summarise the past two months of COVID. It’s been challenging, draining, and the ground keeps shifting. We have found ourselves swinging between being cautious and complacent. It’s been easy to be complacent with the low numbers of new COVID-cases. Yet at the same time we want to remain cautious as it only takes one COVID patient to infect a whole country.
The NSW government has announced the easing of restrictions from Friday 15th May.1 This includes:
- outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
- cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
- up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
- weddings up to 10 guests
- indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
- religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers
- use of outdoor equipment with caution
- outdoor pools open with restrictions.
We have discussed this as a leadership team and arrived at this current position:
- We will continue to hold off meeting face-to-face in Growth Groups until further notice. We recognise that religious gatherings of up to 10 worshippers are permitted but we understand this as referring to a gathering in a ‘church’ building. The restriction of ‘5 visitors to a household at any one time’ still stands and our intent is to abide with the law. Technically, our Growth Groups could meet at church, but if many groups decide to do that, it becomes a bigger gathering. Not only that, the majority of our groups hover at (or above) 10 people. We hope to be able to resume face-to-face Growth Group gatherings when NSW reaches Stage 2 restrictions.
- We will continue to hold off meeting face-to-face on Sundays until further notice. We recognise that religious gatherings of up to 10 worshippers are permitted. However, we feel that the right time to resume gathering face-to-face is at Stage 3, when gatherings of up to 100 are permitted. Our plan is to wait for this stage. However, we will continue to review and evaluate our situation and adapt accordingly.
- We will continue to meet online for ACCESS, Kids, Creche, and Playgroup throughout Stages 1 and 2.2 However, we intend to use this time to plan and prepare for restarting these ministries in-person during Stage 3.3
Our suggestions at this point are:
- Sunday gatherings: We encourage you to consider watching the livestream on Sunday together in small groups with no more than 5 visitors at a household. We understand this to be 5 visitors (adults and children) in total.
- Mid-week share & pray: We’d also encourage you to consider informally catching up, to share and pray with other brothers and/or sisters in Christ. God’s given us each other as a way of encouraging each other to persevere in living for Jesus.
We believe these next steps are the best way forwards for our community as God’s people at this stage. We recognise it’s tiring to keep adapting to the changing circumstances. But thankfully, we have a God who comforts us in our afflictions. He’s given us an imperishable hope. He will raise us from the dead. Our afflictions (as hard, challenging, draining, excruciating they may be) are light and momentary compared to the eternal weight of glory to come! (2 Cor 4:17).
Our Gospel is unchanging and we hope that this edition of Cabra PHO will add fuel to your prayers, hope amidst your afflictions, and encouragement to your souls.
Your brothers in Christ,
Will, Hien and Rob.
2See the Government’s 3-stage plan here: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/update-coronavirus-measures-08may20
3See Sydney Anglican Diocese’ 3-stage recommendations for our churches here: https://sydneyanglicans.net/covid19