Important Announcement Regarding the Covid-19 Pandemic
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent declaration of a national disaster certain measures have been put in place in order to stem the spread of the virus in our nation. The Church leadership have discussed New Harvest’s course of action in order to do our part in aiding the preventative efforts while at the same time preserving the sense of community among the congregation. In this we want to model godliness through wise prudence and loving care for our members, especially for those who are more physically vulnerable to the virus. The following were decided upon:
We will be temporarily suspending our Sunday church gatherings and will instead be moving to live streaming of the sermons. The sermons will be streamed live on a Sunday morning at 9:00am via our YouTube channel:
The audio recordings of the sermons will still be made available on the Church website. For those with limited online access we are also looking at providing copies of the sermon on CD’s that can be collected from the Church office during the following week.
In light of the schools being closed from today until after Easter there will be no KICS or Youth meetings during this period.
The Alpha Course sessions (including the Holy Spirit Weekend) will be postponed for the time being. After Easter we will reassess when to carry on running the course.
We would like to encourage Fellowship Groups to take a break for the school holidays as per usual and to consider, based on the members in the group, if and when it would be prudent to continue weekly meetings thereafter.
The office will only be open on a Wednesday and Friday for the next few weeks. A pastor will be on duty during normal office hours (8:00 – 12:00) on these days.
Lastly, to confirm, all Easter related events will be handled online. No specific gathering will take place.
While thorough washing of hands, use of sanitisers and practicing social distancing (i.e. no handshakes, hugs etc.) all help minimise the chances of spreading the virus, reducing person-to-person contact is the surest form of prevention.
That being said, we feel that it is vital for us to maintain a sense of community and growth in our faith despite these changes to our meeting together. The pastors will send out via the WhatsApp group fairly regular communication of devotional material, words of encouragement, feedback on prayers etc. For the families with children we will send a weekly email containing a lesson pack that parents can use to run a mini KICS service with their kids. Through the live streams we will still engage in celebrating upcoming birthdays and acknowledge wedding anniversaries. We will also be putting together YouTube playlists of worship songs to accompany the sermon that week. There is a new ministry that will be starting which will give people opportunity to serve those most affected by the current situation.
It is difficult to think of Christian life without the weekly service on a Sunday morning, among other gatherings, and we pray that we will be able to go back to meeting together soon. It is challenging, but that is also a good thing. We will be challenged to ask if we live out our Christian faith every day in our homes, or do we rely on a once-a-week top up of holiness at Church on Sunday? Do we lead ourselves, our spouses, our families in the path of discipleship throughout the week? Do we truly desire the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ? God will use this time of pruning to shape us so that we may grow all the more into Christ’s likeness. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV).
Yours in Christ