Very shortly, we will be sending out to our regular church attendees a survey to get feedback on issues relating to how our faith community may function going forward. The government has told us that in early December, Auckland will be moving to the new ‘Traffic Light’ protection framework for managing the covid-19 pandemic. Auckland will be moving directly into the ‘Red’ Level, which has the following requirements regardless of vaccination status of those attending.
- Record keeping and scanning in will be required for all faith-based events.
- Face-masks will be required
However, different rules will also apply depending on whether we choose to use vaccine certificates or not.
- If vaccine certificates are used, up to 100 people can gather, based on 1m social distancing.
- If vaccine certificates are not used, up to 10 people can gather, based on 1m social distancing.
If and when Auckland moves to the lower ‘Orange’ setting, the allowed numbers will ease as follows:
- If vaccine certificates are used, there will be no number limits but still 1m social distancing.
- If vaccine certificates are not used, up to 50 people can gather, based on 1m social distancing.
Given that daily numbers of covid infections in Auckland are presently growing, Auckland may stay in ‘Red’ for some time. While Remuera Baptist Church could under the traffic-light system legally meet again physically in our church building as early as December of this year, this would require us to adopt vaccination passports for those attending services and events where more than 10 people are present.
This new system has enormous implications for how churches can operate, and is causing real grief and heartache among pastors and church leaders as they try to discern the most Christ-honouring way forward. It is a conundrum that is setting two Biblical values against each other: the Biblical values of unity and welcome of others on the one hand, and the Biblical values of care and respect for others (by keeping them physically safe) on the other.
As a church, if we did not require vaccine passports for attendance at events, then we could only have gatherings of up to 10 people which would profoundly change the way our corporate community life would function. On the other hand, if we did require vaccine passports for attendance at events, we would be able to recommence our normal worship services and other events (although with masks, social distancing and possibly some other changes). The cost of this, however, would be the exclusion of our own unvaccinated people and also future unvaccinated visitors. There may well be some creative approaches that can seek to enhance both values of inclusion and safety, and we would welcome any suggestions!
These decisions affect us all, and so the leadership team would love to receive your thoughts on these issues. Please look out for the survey in your email inbox, and pray as we navigate some challenging times!
This Sunday: When Foundations Go Bad
Jesus, the builder, brings some expert knowledge to bear on the question, "How do we build a disaster-proof life?" (Bible Reading: Luke 6:46-49)
Kids Programmes during Lockdown
There will be not Blaze or Spark's programmes running due to covid restrictions.
Youth on Zoom
There will be no youth group meeting this week. Catch you soon!
Virtual Morning Tea
This Sunday at 11:30 am, after our worship service has been posted, we will be having a Virtual Morning Tea!
Get your biscuit and a cup of coffee and sit down for a Zoom chit-chat with others! Catch up on others' weeks, talk about whatever, leave whenever you wish, enjoy some fellowship!
The young people are also invited to this, and then will have a 'break-out' Ignite youth meeting using the same zoom link, which Matt will organise.
Giving to our Community During Lockdown
There are many in need in our community during lockdown. If you would like to contribute financially, a couple of good options would be to Vision West (click here) or contact Ruapōtaka Marae in Glen Innes on 09 5705340.
This is a family-friendly Christian music and arts festival held in the Waikato, on anniversary weekend, 28-31 January 2022. Ticket prices will go up at the end of October; however, there is still plenty of time to sign up. Check out their website here, or talk to Matt Anderson if you have any questions.
Due to covid restrictions, we are unable to meet in person for out mainly music sessions. However, a link will be posted on our Facebook page each Tuesday at 10am for anyone who wants to sing along virtually!
Young Adults Home Group
Every Sunday evening at 7:30pm. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us!
Basix Small Group
Basix is a series of chat group courses looking at the basics of the Christian faith. Each course runs for four weeks, and discusses questions about who God is, life and the Christian faith. Please contact the office if you are interested.
Wednesday Night Home Group
Home Group at the home of Paul and Ruth Ungemuth every second and fourth Wednesday at 7:30pm. Each week we share in supper, do a bible study and pray for each other. Will begin on Wednesday 13 February. Contact the office for more information.
Thursday Morning Home Group
Home Group in the church lounge on the third Thursday of the month at 10am. After morning tea we do a bible study and pray together. Contact the office for more information.