Our Plan for Re-opening

Our Plan for Re-opening

View COVID-19 Safety Plans

Working through the guidelines from the Uniting Church and the NSW Health Department has been quite complex but this page will attempt to give you the simple summary of the TUC reopening plan. Church Council decided to not rush into a big reopening but to break things down into three key stages:

1) Monday 22nd June – Reopening of the Church Complex for Church Hirers

The community groups who rent space in our complex during the week have been very keen to restart as for many, this is their livelihood. Church Council has approved the complex to reopen from Monday 22nd June to the regular hirers who have completed their COVID19 safety plan and have committed to the additional cleaning that is now required at the end of every session. As a church we will be required to make sure that the bathrooms are cleaned at the end of every day that the complex is used.

2) Sunday 5th July – Reopening of the 9am and 6:30pm Worship Services

Church Council had already made the decision to maintain the current level of quality for online worship focus for at least the next 3 months (and most likely ongoing) for those who are uncomfortable worshiping in person at this time and for all those who have been connecting in from afar. Happily, from Sunday 5th July we will be opening the doors of the church again for those who wish to gather within the restrictions placed on worship. In practice this will mean that you will be able to be in the church as we LIVE STREAM the entire worship service – including the music and preaching (readers, prayers and kids talk will still have the option of doing it live at the church or pre-recording). Please note that the pews will be spread out to met the 1.5m distance rule and at this stage the only people who can sing out loud is the worship band.  So, from the 5th July, you will have the choice to come to the church and worship in person, or to continue to connect and worship together online! Note that sadly, for now, we will not be able to serve morning tea or supper after the services, we encourage you to connect over a coffee from a local cafe, or morning tea at homes.

What to expect, our new Hybrid worship model

At this stage we are not restarting the 10:45am service on the 5th July (the pre-recorded DVD & YouTube will continue). We felt that we needed a little more time to make sure that we can best care for our vulnerable members. We hope to restart this service soon and will keep you all informed.

3) Monday 20th July – Youth groups and other church groups can start meeting at the church

Over the next few weeks, we will be chatting with all the groups in the church about their reopening plans. To give us time to do this (and for groups to work out their COVID19 safety plan), Church Council have suggested the date of the beginning of Term 3 (Monday 20th July) as the earliest that these group can start.

[More information will be added when it comes to hand]

Information to Church Members:

Church Council has given the green light for the Church Complex to re-open and for us, that means Worship on Sunday 5 July at both 9am and 6.30pm. Whilst celebrating what we can do, there are a number of rules, and regulations which are necessary and I’ll outline a few of the key things which we as a 9am Support Group discussed at our meeting on Tuesday evening {still via Zoom}.

  • Welcoming! We will be very excited to be back and to see everyone, but do ask you to remember the social distancing guidelines, so no hand shaking, hugs or kisses
  • numbers will be limited by the NSW Government guidelines which is currently 1 person per 4 square meters – the numbers are still being crunched, but it’s looking like about 80 people {note that family can sit together, otherwise it’s 1.5m spacing}
  • names and phone numbers will need to be recorded upon entry {so allow a bit of time for that}
  • the worship team will be simultaneously recording the online service – so, we will start at 9am – the countdown clock will be on … so, allow some time to get inside.
  • all the usual elements of the service will still be happening, however some things might still be recorded and for now, Kids Church will continue with the downloadable handout {we will have copies available in the church}. While on all things children, the creche corner has been packed away, so BYO toys if your little one needs entertaining!
  • due to the issue with handing things around, the offering bag/plate will be at the back of the Church, so you can place your offering on your way in or out.
  • Communion – similar to above, for now at least, we will be having BYO Communion … yes, something to get used to – don’t worry, we will remind you!
  • Morning Tea – another sacrifice – BUT, we encourage you to maybe gather in small groups to go to a cafe, or the park nearby or invite someone to your place for morning tea {all whilst keeping physical distancing}
  • HELP – you may be thinking with all these things we can’t do, that we are still in ‘holiday mode’ … BUT – there are a few areas where we need MORE help
  • Welcoming – we probably need 1-2 more people to assist with recording names etc upon entry
  • Technology – we need at least one additional person each week to learn/control the live-stream computer and feeds
  • Cleaning – ugh, yes, not glamorous but in order for us to come back to worship in the building we need to wipe over everything that has been touched, many hands make light work – we have room for 4 people on the roster.
  • Sue Whipp has sent an email regarding rosters, if you have responded, thank you, if you’d like to help – please email Sue at the Office