As you are aware, in July we had tentatively planned to returnto the church building by September 6 with a couple of provisos to meet before hand. The first was that we needed at least 45 people from MCC Sydney to attend a 1 hour Covid-19 Safety Training. The purpose behind this was to ensure that a good percentage of people in the church will have taken this awareness trainingin order to learn about best practices for keeping us all safe prior to our return to the building. The Training also goes into detail of our Church Safety Plan. We have not hit the 45 person requirement as of yet, we have currently had 23 people take the training which is not a high enough percentage of our community and so as a matter of keeping everyone safe, that is the first reason we are unable to reopen in September.
The second reason is tied to my original commitment that we would follow the recommendations of the Uniting Church of Australia, NSW/ACT Synod in regards to when we will go back into our building. The recent August Covid-19 Guidance Letter from the Uniting Church’s Synod Office advises strongly against returning to physical buildings and to remain online for the time being, and so for this reason as well I have decided it is not the time to return to 96 Crystal Street.
That said , in an effort for community to physically gather and break bread in a safer way I am instituting two new services at Brighton Street Reserve just down the street from the church, where we’ll gather on a Wednesday and a Saturday each month for Communion in the Park, an informal Communion service with a new component of shared reflections after the Gospel, followed by a picnic lunch/ or take out from a local café. This I hope will be seen as a positive step forward during this unprecedented time for our community to physically gather and worship in person, whilst all other current services and programming will remain exclusively online for now.
The September dates for Communion in the Park will be Saturday September 5 at 11am, and Wednesday September 9 at 11am.
Thank you for your continued patience during these complex and challenging times.