With the lifting of restrictions we now have the exciting prospect of planning when we can physically gather together again. Given that we do things a little bit differently at Soul Revival and have a regular practice of sharing meals together, there are many protocols we need to work out to ensure we are meeting together safely.
We know that the last few months have been challenging as we have sought to remain connected as a community using digital technology, so we are very keen to move back to physical gatherings as soon as possible. But we are also mindful that we need to do it carefully.
Outlined below is our road map for our return to physical gatherings. We are almost there, but please be patient as we navigate these last few weeks and put plans in place.
Drawing up the Roadmap
Our planning processes have ramped up this week as we have begun gathering information through surveys and meetings with our service teams. Earlier this week we sent you the results of our first survey and have sent out a new survey to dig a bit deeper into your ideas about our ministry practices. We have also been conducting service team meetings and beginning to draw up the protocols for our ministry practices.
Each of our 10 service teams have met this week to discuss plans and responses to the challenges related to safe gathering in the COVID environment. This includes issues related to hospitality, welcoming, Kids ministry, youth ministry, community groups, Berea training, life support, communications, arts and world mission.
All the information we are gathering through these processes will be collated into a set of church wide COVID safe protocols and formalised in our COVIDSafe plan. If you would like to see a copy of the plan please speak to one of our pastors.
Following the development of the road map we will conduct leadership workshops with our pastors, volunteer pastors, wardens and gathering leadership teams to analyse the road maps and consider the readiness of each gathering to implement the plans and meet physically.
There are many complex issues to be considered which will take some time to trial and refine. Some of the factors that will be considered include:the readiness of the factory, including signage and required modifications to the kitchen for hand washing; availability and readiness of the school halls for Woolooware and Yarrawarrah; people available to join new cleaning and hygiene teams.
These workshops will give the gathering teams a chance to revisit our core values, the structures that we have in place in our teams and the gaps and training that are needed prior to physical meetings.
As we implement these new protocols it will mean that some things we do remain the same but other things will be a bit different. Because there will be so many new things being implemented at once it is important that we take the gatherings for a test drive to practice and refine our new systems. These trials will allow us to ease ourselves back into gathering together without expecting all ministry practices to be fully ready at the same time.
We will communicate when these gatherings are happening, which we hope will happen in early to mid July.
These trials will help us to identify the things we need to get in place before we hit the road. In other words, to stretch the car analogies as far as we can, we need all the items on the checklist ticked off so we can get our pink slip.
Hit the Road
When a gathering is ready and has its pink slip we can go live with a public meeting. This means that under God we can be confident of running a safe gathering which helps us to encourage each other to grow in the faith.
Physical Meetings can resume from 22nd June
Gatherings in homes with up to 20 visitors are now permitted. There is no 4m2 rule applicable to gatherings in homes. However, we continue to encourage people to practice 1.5m social distancing and good hygiene in home group gatherings.
So if your group would like to meet physically please follow the steps in the diagram above to consider whether your group should stay meeting on Zoom or start physical meetings.
In summary please check if numbers allow group to meet; determine if home can accommodate numbers with social distancing; if not continue to meet online or find an alternate venue. If you can meet: Tell Central Coordinators that group is going to meet; check that all community group members are listed in your group on pulse; check that each group member has name, email and phone number listed.
Our amazing Youth team have run an exciting and engaging program on Zoom for the last few months but now will be able to return to live meetings from 24th July.