Last week, the Church Leadership Team and I met to consider the advice given by Baptist Association of NSW & ACT and our State Government regarding the easing of restrictions around COVID. Our discussions centred around what it might look like for us to Re-Gather in our church building and this email seeks to outline our best next steps for what that will look like.

Before we dive into details though, I’m keen to acknowledge that this past season hasn’t meant that church was ‘on hold.’ God has been at work in and through us during this time, in creative and often stretching ways. Let’s not forget how God has shaped and formed us in the last few months and be aware of what stepping into this next season might mean for each of us as individuals, and as a community.

I am also keen to acknowledge that there will be a range of thoughts feelings and emotions about Re-Gathering. May I encourage each of us to be prayerful, giving thought to others, and seeking to be kind as we navigate this process. Please do feel free to reach out to me or one of our Elders if you have any questions or concerns.

In summary, the church leadership has decided to Re-Gather in two stages:

Stage 1: From 31st October
In person with masks, with numbers set by 4sqm rule. Plus online Zoom option.

Stage 2: From 5th December
In person, masks not required, with numbers set by 2sqm rule. Plus online Zoom option.

Below you’ll find more details below about the involvement of youth and kids in our services, our general Attendance Guidelines, and information about Other ABC Groups, our Op-Shop and External Groups that use our facility.

Stage 1 in Detail –  From 31st October

As a Place of Worship, the NSW Government has granted us an exemption that allows both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to attend in person services once our state reaches an 80% double-dose vaccination figure. You can read more about this here. With that in mind, we have made the decision to recommence face to face services at 9:30am on Sunday 31st October, welcoming all who wish to join us under the Government advised attendance conditions outlined below. This date will not change even if restrictions are eased further before then. We believe that opening up once we reach an easing to this level of restriction, allows us to best extend the welcome Jesus has extended to us.

We completely understand however, that some may still choose not to Re-Gather with us in person until restrictions have eased further, or just more time has passed. For this reason we will continue to offer our services via the Zoom platform on our regular link until at least the end of the year. Our aim will be to make you feel as included there as if you were joining us in person.

As a church committed to being an intergenerational community, we want to include our youth in our Re-Gathering. However, to best work within government restrictions, we are providing two options:

From Sunday 31st October, youth will meet in church car park at 9:30am and then walk to Pratten Park for a Youth Program untill 11am.  OR, Youth may join their families in the church service following our attendance guidelines.

Due to government restrictions children must remain with their carers or families until a 90% double-dose vaccination figure is reached. Kids activities will be provided as you arrive.

Stage 2 in Detail –  From 5th December

Once our state reaches a 90% double-dose vaccination figure, there are plans for a further easing of restrictions for in-person services. At this time we believe these will come into place for our Sunday Service on 5th December. We have outlined what we believe our attendance guidelines will look like for our services from this date, but we’ll keep you updated of any changes to this in the coming weeks.

From 5th December, our youth will be encouraged to join the rest of our community in our services. Matthew Powell, our youth worker, will be sending more details to the youth and their families about this.

From 5th December our regular in service kids program will resume.

Attendance Guidelines:

From Sunday 31st October 9:30am

  • All welcome to join us either in our church building or on zoom.
  • If you feel unwell or have any COVID-like symptoms, please join us online from your home.
  • Whilst we will not be checking vaccination passports, for the protection of the most vulnerable within our commuunity, If you have choosen not to receive a vaccination, may I encourage you to consider joining us online for at least the first stage of our
  • An overflow in our church hall will be made available if numbers exceed the 4sqm Rule.
  • Masks Required.
  • A band will play, but there will be no congregational singing.
  • Check-in using Elvanto at the door required.
  • Kids welcome in service as there will be no separate programs.
  • Youth welcome in service with family OR join Pratten Park Program with Matthew and youth team
  • Morning tea will not be available. Please consider supporting local business.

From Sunday 5th December 9:30am

  • All welcome to join us either in our church building or on zoom.
  • If you feel unwell or have any COVID-like symptoms, please join us online from your home.
  • Attendance subject to the 2sqm rule.
  • Masks not required, but anyone wishing to wear one is welcome to do so.
  • Congregational singing.
  • Check in using Elvanto at the door required.
  • Kids program to resume.
  • Youth to join church services
  • Morning Tea will not be available. Please consider supporting local business.

Other Groups:
There will be further information regarding Home Groups and our Friday Night Youth program sent directly from your leaders in the next week, so please keep an eye out for that.

Our Op-Shop, will follow the Government guidance given for an 80% double-dose vaccination figure. This means that the Op-Shop will reopen in the first week of November for vaccinated people only. These restrictions will then change again on the 1st of December, in line with the NSW Government roadmap here.

External Groups:
The external users of our facilities will follow the same guidance as for our Op-Shop.

There’s a lot of information here, if you have any specific questions about our process please feel free to reply to this email, or you can contact me with any concerns you might have.

God Bless

Mark Coleman – Pastor

On behalf of the ABC Church Leadership Team