The church recognises the need to try to protect its members, and so the Synod has published guidelines for minimising the dangers of transmitting the virus. We will incorporate these suggestions in our congregational life; however, no one need feel guilty if they choose to stay home on Sunday morning, especially if they have medical conditions that put them at risk, such as asthma, emphysema or other chronic lung problems, heart disease, etc. Of course, such people may keep up with the message for the week on this website.
There is ample room at both Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove churches for the congregation to spread out in order to maintain the recommended two-metres between people.
On communion Sundays, we will change the method of distributing the elements and go back to using individual glasses (Ocean Grove) and continue to use them at Barwon Heads . The elements will be passed by two people wearing gloves, and only they will handle the trays and the bread. To facilitate this, we will ask people to sit in alternate rows to allow the servers to walk to each person. Of course, those who prepare the communion elements will have observed the appropriate sanitary measures.
For the offering, bowls will not be passed during the service; rather, they will be present in the vestry, so that people may add their gifts before the service. During the offertory in the service, the bowls will be brought forward to be blessed.
PASSING THE PEACE
As we have been doing, we will refrain from passing the peace with a handshake, hug or kiss and the minister will not shake hands at the door.
While the Covid-19 threat exists, neither congregation will have it usual morning tea after the worship service.
Hand sanitiser is available in both worship centres. Since we do not need hymnbooks, it is actually possible to attend church without touch anything with one’s hands
LENTEN STUDY CANCELLED
The lenten study, “Records of the Life of Jesus” will be postponed until later in the year, and all other church groups should consider the wisdom of continuing to meet.