Advice on responding to COVID-19 from the Presbyterian Church (PCA NSW)

27th March 2020

Dear Tregear Church family,

We are receiving information and advice from The Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW to help us in our response to COVID-19. The Leadership team want to share three letters of advice we have received this week. The letters are attached and the key points that impact our church community are noted below.

On March 23rd we received the following advice – 

  • churches not organise gatherings in homes or small groups for watching live streamed worship
  • churches not organise any gatherings for youth, community or prayer groups
  • leaders’ meetings should be held by phone or video conference wherever possible
  • ministers, elders and those involved in pastoral care should only make physical visits when that is unavoidable or seems necessary to sustain a person’s spiritual, mental or emotional health

On March 25th, in response to overnight government directives, we were also advised – 

  • No organised meetings or groups on church premises or in people’s homes…
  • Limit unnecessary visitors to private homes, including private events in homes.  However, congregational members can still be visited by the Minister or Elder to provide pastoral support.
  • Staff using church premises as their workplace is still allowed with appropriate social distancing. This includes a small number of people working on the production of a live stream or pre-recorded church service.
  • Sadly, funerals can only be conducted with fewer than 10 people in attendance at any one time (adhering to the 1 person per 4 square metre rule). 
  • Weddings may proceed with only the couple, the minister and two witnesses present.
  • Unfortunately, all places of worship should now be closed.
  • No outdoor gatherings, with a limit of no more than 10 persons in a related group in an outdoor gathering.

The letter dated 27th March includes information on support available through Jericho Road along with advice to help us in complying with government and legal requirements.

We are striving at Tregear to work with this advice and with government directives. Our church is now closed for group gatherings and ministries involving groups of people have suspended meeting. 

We are providing a ZOOM live stream on Sunday mornings so people can share in church via computer, tablet, smart phone or landline phone from 9:15am.

Contact us for information about joining our weekly ZOOM community worship meetings.

The Bible Talk is recorded each week and is available, usually by Sunday evening, at www.tregearchurch.net

You can use the Tregear Church Favourites Spotify playlist at any time. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5JmV5Y6fwdEoJCOoYk5aQ1?si=u3z6mTSNQIW8wggCB-w8Fg

In this quickly changing environment, we need each other more than ever. Let’s keep in contact with people as best we can while respecting safe social isolation rules. Telephones, Facebook, e-mail and on-line gatherings are all ways we can maintain and build community while we are separated.

Let’s remember that while illnesses and shut downs can separate us from each other…

…neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 ESV

Russell Baker, Elder

On behalf of the Leadership Team

Tregear Presbyterian Community Church

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