Our Covid-19 Framework

How we are operating under the Traffic Light System

Update

Revised alert levels mean that even under the red traffic light setting we can have a gathering of 200 people plus workers. We are therefore able to operate as usual!

While we celebrate the prospect of our church family being back together, we recognise that Omicron (and future variants) are in the community and some of our vulnerable people may not be ready to return to a larger group gathering. Our heart is to cater for all people, and so we have initiatives to help meet these needs.

These initiatives include using non-circulating air conditioning, encouraging the use of face masks (but this is not a requirement), spacing out chairs (and allowing freedom to further rearrange chairs further apart or closer), opening a separate room with a live feed with additional precautions for a small group (15) of vulnerable people and continuing to offer a live stream to watch from home or in groups.

Previous Communication

Elders Communication

Nov 26, 2021

Dear Church Family,

The New Zealand Government has indicated that on December 3 that the country will replace the current Alert Level system with the Covid-19 Protection Framework, otherwise known as “The Traffic Light System.” This has implications for how we operate as a church.

We are mindful that within our church family, there are differing opinions on vaccinations and the government mandates, and that this is a potentially divisive issue. Our hope is that as a church community, we can respond well. That instead of being divided by opinion, we can love one another and be gracious to one another even when we disagree. We believe this is the alternative community that the church has been called to be.

For the present time, we will not be using a vaccine certificate system for church services.  We want to welcome everybody to our services regardless of their vaccination status.

That means church will function as it currently is in green, it will move online in red, and we are working through a new model for church in orange. Our best guess is that we will begin in red and we will use that time to prepare for church at orange, which we hope to be “normal” services in person at The Orchard Church. We will provide further updates on this in the future.

We also want to reassure you that we will be making every effort to keep people safe, using the tools available to us all. We encourage you to wear a face mask, keep your social distance where you want to, sanitise your hands often and stay home if you feel unwell.

Thank you for your prayer for us as a church, and as an eldership.  It was encouraging to see a good number out on Wednesday night to pray with us.  We are a body which means that we need each other. Each one plays a vital role in this church by bringing to the body their gifts and by encouraging each other to do likewise.

Above all, what we seek is love and unity.  As Jesus said, “they will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” May we see this as another opportunity to reach a broken and hurting community with God’s love and hope.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us at elders@theorchard.net.nz or speak to one of us in person.

God bless

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