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A message from Stuart Lange
sent 27 May 2020
"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place" (Acts 2:1)
We are delighted to be able to tell you that church gatherings will be resuming at MASSEY this coming Sunday (31 May) and RIVERHEAD on 7 June. This is a very welcome step. It is part of the essence of being a church that we actually gather.
There are a number of things we all need to note...
(1) For all church services, careful safety measures will be in place, including the spacing of seats, physical distancing, sanitisers, cleaning, and a contact tracing list. For now, there will be no morning tea. As a church leadership, we are committed to do everything we can to help people stay safe and well. The church has an approved safety plan, for all events.
(2) Junior Youth, Kidztime, Bright Sparks and the crèche will also all resume this Sunday.
(3) There is a current cap of 100 people. We encourage people to come if they can. Obviously, though, we will not be able to accommodate everyone until Alert Level 2 ends, in about a month's time. Please respond by return email if at all possible to this Google Forms survey
, indicating whether (a) you are keen to come and definitely intend to come and please book X number of seats (b) you would prefer to come if there is sufficient space available (c) you would prefer not to come while we are still in Alert Level 2. Whatever option you have in mind, we ask everyone to respond here
(4) At least for now, our church services will continue to be available on-line. We are moving from pre-recorded services back to a live stream, filmed during the actual service.
(5) If are unwell, or if you are clearly vulnerable, please stay home for now.
Stuart and the Ministry Team and elders
sent 15 May 2020
Kia ora tatou, and warm greetings to you all.
As our society moves into Alert Level 2, and as we enjoy being able to meet again with family and friends, many of you will have been wondering what will be happening with our Massey and Riverhead church services. The elders met this week on-line, to carefully consider the way ahead. We are very eager to be able meet back together as a church family, but safety remains a high priority.
As you will all know, the current rules allowing gatherings of only up to 10 people obviously preclude any congregations from meeting physically. For the time being, our church services will continue to be on-line videos broadcast every Sunday morning via YouTube, and available by emailed link and also on the MPC website.
Once we have some further necessary equipment in place, we will likely move back to live-streaming from the MPC building, with only a small team of up to 10 people on site (ministers, musicians, and techies). This on-line service will continue to be for both Massey and Riverhead people, with participation by people from both congregations. We envisage that livestreaming and on-line church will continue into the foreseeable future.
When the limit of 10 people is lifted, perhaps initially to 50 or 100 people, some first steps back towards gathering physically will be able to begin…
- At Riverhead, we will probably be able to resume a normal church service, but with strict hygiene, physical spacing, and social distancing observed.
- At Massey, once the 10 people limit is eased, it is likely we will be able to make plans to have a small congregation present. We estimate that with proper distancing, the MPC building could safely seat 50+ people. It is possible we may also move towards having two morning services at Massey, so as to help keep our people safe.
Something we can now do: Now that groups of up to 10 can meet in homes, we encourage our people to consider meeting together on Sunday mornings to watch the church service and fellowship together. You might like to invite someone who has not had access to the on-line services. But careful consideration should be given to whether it would be possible to ensure that safe physical distancing can be maintained, and whether anybody who is more vulnerable would be exposed to risk.
Groups meeting at church: until we have issued our new Covid-19 Health and Safety plan as required by our national denomination, no groups (e.g. Youth, ICONZ, mainly music) should meet at the church premises. We will finalise that plan next week. Thank you and God bless you all, from the Ministry Team and elders
sent 20 March 2020
greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Last week, to help protect everyone against the risks of the Covid 19 virus, MPC initiated various "physical distancing" practices and everyone took that on board very well. Since then, the situation has changed. Yesterday afternoon (Thursday), along with other precautionary measures, the Government announced that until further notice there should be no gatherings of over 100 people, and also recommended that "where in doubt" some smaller meetings should also be cancelled. All of this obviously has implications for MPC. We do not want to give way to fear, but we do want to act responsibly..
The elders met again last night, and have decided that, to reduce the risk to our people and to co-operate fully with the wider measures against this virus, we will take the following steps:
- Our main 10.00 a.m. service is now suspended until further notice, and from this Sunday on it will be replaced by an on-line live stream MPC church service. This is the youtube link to access our live stream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmvlyqK2hfHmmnhglZ-KLKA/ To get this all established in such a short time is obviously challenging, but we are confident we will soon be up to speed. Our initial live stream service this Sunday will include mainly just a pastoral message from Stuart, together with some readings and prayers. In future weeks we will start including other aspects of our MPC services, and opportunities for discussion and questions. Jo and the Kidztime team will also start sending through some resources for parents and kids to enjoy together.
- We suggest some might like to arrange to meet together with some other MPC people in someone's home and together watch/ interact with the live stream MPC service and have fellowship. House churches are a good early church practice! Some who don't have access to live stream may like to go to a home which does. But please keep numbers low (about 10), observe first-rate anti-infection practices, and don't go if you are feeling unwell or vulnerable. If you like to offer your home for such a small group, or want to be part of one, or are arranging one, do let us know.
- If you are unsure about whether it is safe for you to go to gatherings with others, you may like to look at the section on people at risk in health.govt.nz-public-events-and-mass-gatherings
- Those who are advised to stay home rather than join any others at this time may want to watch the live stream, or may just prefer to spend the time with their own Bible reading and prayer (and involving their children too).
- For the time being, the Night Church Bible Study is suspended.
- Home groups (including mainly mums) can continue (but must review their practice to minimise risks)
- Youth Group can continue (so long as schools are still open)
- ICONZ and ICONZ 4 Girlz can continue (so long as schools are still open)
- mainly music can continue (so long as schools are still open)
- Please look out for others you know who are staying at home for now, especially those more at risk. Give them a friendly call, arrange to meet them (even just at their front door), drop off food, help get them things they need. T
- The elders have committed to weekly contact (primarily by phone or email) with everyone listed in our MPC phone directory.
- Stuart and Mark intend to email, and phone people, and to meet them as appropriate. Please do not hesitate to contact them.
- If you are sick, or someone in your family is, please let us know, so we can all pray and support.
- Email or phone requests for prayer may be sent in as usual.
- Note the Facebook group where we will also post updates and where anyone from the church can join and start discussions or share content: https://www.facebook.com/groups/131584143520975/
- Some very practical people, realising that most church expenses are on-going, have asked about how they can continue their offerings. About 40% of our MPC offerings are currently still by envelope, rather than by AP. We recommend that where possible people either switch to AP, or use a deposit envelope at the bank to BNZ - Massey Riverhead PCANZ, 02-0152-0024909-001, making sure you put your envelope number in the reference.
Finally, let's remember that "there is no Rock like our God"(1 Samuel 2:2), and "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control" (1 Timothy 1:7).
This morning Rose and I read this great verse...
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom 15:13)