20 March 2020
Dear Church family
In the light of most recent instructions given yesterday by the government that restricts group meetings to no more than 100 people, we wish to advise a strategy going forward.
People are all affected to varying degrees by the disruption the Coronavirus is causing. We are not immune to what goes on around us, however we do have a God we can trust and therefore we don’t need to fear.
We will implement and adhere to the following health and safety protocols and update you as and when things change depending on advice we receive from the Ministry of Health, keeping in mind that this is a very fluid and moving situation.
These are some current updates, and therefore will replace the previous update regarding COVID-19 sent on 18 March.
Church Gatherings – We will be taking things on a week by week basis at this stage.
This coming Sunday we will have a church service (and a kids programme will be run as usual). Numbers in the auditorium will restricted to the first 90 who arrive (given we have a worship and tech team to include). Please note it is our intention to stream live services going forward for those who choose to stay at home (just go the the Bridges FaceBook page to join us)
We wish to reiterate that it is not the intention of Bridges leadership to resist or run the gauntlet with Ministry of Health instructions as we are committed to cooperate in restraining the spread of this virus and caring for people’s well-being.
We will re-evaluate the practicalities of gathering in the way described above going forward and the numbers of people presenting will be a strong indicator on the decisions we make regarding gatherings.
Eldership & Trust Board teams are meeting separately to discuss how best to manage this whole situation going forward. Should Sunday gatherings be suspended in the short-term, we will provide and encourage smaller gatherings for groups in order to nurture and maintain a sense of family and connectedness in the weeks ahead.
Cleaning/sanitising – We will ensure that regular cleaning and disinfecting measures are in place, where surfaces which are regularly touched by people (such as doors/door handles, tables, counters, stairway handrails etc) are disinfected regularly and when groups have been in to use the building.
Parents – please assist children under the age of 10 with getting drinks from the water cooler as a lot of touching of taps and cups goes on here – thank you.
All our dishes will be hand washed and put through the commercial steriliser.
If we were to have communion in any gathered context, communion bread will be served as individual portions (rather than sharing one loaf of bread), and cups washed and sterilised between each use.
Your part – be aware of the symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19
• a cough
• a high temperature (38°C or higher)
• shortness of breath
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19 as symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are more common such as cold and flu.
• have the above symptoms, or
• have been in direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or
• have been outside NZ in the last 14 days,
telephone health-line on 0800 611 116 or your doctor immediately
We ask that you postpone attending church gatherings until you are advised it is safe to do so by your medical practitioner.
When attending gatherings – try to avoid close contact with people, avoiding kissing, hugging, handshaking, hongi-ing, or sharing cups or utensils.
Perhaps, besides family members – leave a chair or two between you and the next person when seated in the auditorium.
Wash your hands regularly and well and avoid touching your face when your hands are not clean.
Thanks for your co-operation!
Bridges Leadership Team