People in leadership in the Uniting Church in the Synod of NSW.ACT
Leaders from all Presbyteries and the Synod have met today, to give consideration to the situation regarding worship and groups meeting on Uniting Church facilities. We have agreed to provide the following guidance to Presbyteries, Congregations and Faith Communities across the Synod.
We note the clear advice that has been provided by government health authorities, about the importance of acting early for the benefit of the whole society. Early action will minimise the likelihood of becoming infected, slow the rate at which the virus spreads, flatten the curve of the incidence of serious cases, and assist the medical and hospital systems in responding to seriously increased demands.
The very strong recommendation is that we should not be meeting in person in any gathering.
As Paul long ago advised, “whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith“ (Gal 6:10). Our commitment to the common good mandates that we proceed in this direction.
We have a responsibility towards one another in our community of faith. By keeping distant from one another, not touching physically, not gathering in groups, we lessen the possibility that we pass on the virus to one another.
We also have a responsibility to other people in our society. We know that the virus will keep on spreading. By not gathering, we reduce the spread of the virus in society, which flattens the curve, spreading out the number of serious cases, making it more feasible for the hospital and medical systems to cope with the inevitable rise of cases to be dealt with.
We acknowledge that conversations about modes of operating have been undertaken already in many presbyteries, congregations and faith communities. We anticipate that a government directive is imminent, which will restrict meeting in groups and require us to cease all gatherings.
We therefore propose the following strategies, on the understanding that they will contribute to lessening the risk, slowing the rate of spread of the virus in our communities.
Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator
Rev. Jane Fry, General Secretary