During the COVID-19 outbreak, we encourage you to get up-to-date information from the NZ Ministry of Health website – www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
More info about COVID in NZ go to www.covid19.govt.nz
For all our current notice please visit our NZ Adventist Communication board on Trello at https://trello.com/b/SZHx7Eus
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Auckland – COVID Level 3
Church buildings are closed – connect using digital media and use your membership contact networks.
If there is likely to have been a close or close plus contact in your church building – clean all surfaces before reopening the church.
Weddings and Funerals may be held but are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
- Ensure your QR code is displayed – maybe have more than one for ease of scanning
- Encourage all attendees to scan
- Use sign-in sheets and have a record of all attendees – keep pens sanitised
- Social distancing is observed
- Mask wearing is encouraged, especially for the vulnerable and sick
- All surfaces in the church should be cleaned well after the event.
Alert Level 3 info covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/alert-level-3
Rest of North New Zealand – COVID Level 2
Church buildings can be open and can hold meetings and programmes provided:
- There are less than 100 people – where your church is likely to exceed this number a decision to close your building or manage attendance is required
- Social distancing is observed
- Attendees are encouraged to wear masks
- You ensure your QR code is displayed – maybe have more than one for ease of scanning
- Encourage attendees to scan
- Use your sign-in sheets and have a record of all attendees – keep pens sanitised
- If members are sick remind them to stay home
- For vulnerable or sick members encourage wearing a mask or offer connection with your church media services
- Food/church lunches should not be served
- Footwashing/Communion and baptisms should be delayed till Level 1
Alert Level 2 info – covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/alert-level-2
North NZ Conference Office
Conference Office staff are working remotely and are contactable by email and phone. The Office at Ben Lomond Crescent is closed.
Phone: 09 262 5620 | Email: [email protected]
Adventist Book Center
ABC is open for click and collect customers. Please make your purchase online and you will be advised when it is ready for collection.
Email: [email protected] | Free Phone: 0800 50 22 22 | www.adventistbookcentre.co.nz
South NZ Conference Office
Conference Office staff are working remotely and are contactable by email and phone.
Phone: 03 365 1020 | Email: [email protected]
A Call for Respect, Dignity and Love
Two Sabbaths ago at 3pm I observed and participated in a Zoom gathering concerning the COVID vaccination issue for the Adventist Church in Aotearoa New Zealand. I was impressed by the grace, clarity, poise and integrity that the panel of Adventist doctors, professors and scientists conveyed through their calm presentations and kind responses. I am grateful for their assistance to the church and community in these anxious and confusing times. Thank you to Adrielle, Geoff, Dr. Farzana and Dan for their careful and considered coordination of the event.
The maximum of 300 connections was quickly reached as church members across the country gathered around their screens. The vast majority were genuinely engaged and respectful. There were, however, about 12 people who were committed to “bombing” the call with mischief making and misinformation in the chat line. The spirit and behaviour expressed during the meeting reflected the best and the worst of the church. The panellists and organisers upheld dignity and respect despite the unfair and unkind comments directed at them.
In this church era of “us vs them”, narcissistic leadership, theological tribalism, politicised denominationalism and fear-driven agendas we are faced with an immense challenge that by God’s grace we will endure. My primary concern is how people are treating each other followed closely by the importance of presenting accurate information and sound guidance to the church. I call for every leader in our union to uphold the standard of Scripture in your sphere of influence. As a Church, we’ve always upheld the value of community. This is deeply rooted in our Pacific cultures as well as in the New Testament.
But there are times when the culture wars in the wider community amplify the differences between us. Now is one of those times, and, sadly, the disagreements that are commonplace on the news are becoming increasingly commonplace in our faith communities – these include different opinions regarding climate change, gender equality and women in ministry, the way we should relate to LGBT individuals, and most recently, differences of opinion regarding lockdown laws, face masks and vaccinations.
So how can we as a faith community avoid the social divisions all around us? How can we avoid judging each other harshly and thinking in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’?
The Apostle John tells us that perfect love casts out all fear. As disciples of Jesus, we are to be known not only by our stand for what is right and true, but also by our unswerving love for one another. While there may be things on which we disagree, love lowers the temperature of our conflicts and allows us to disagree graciously.
Let’s listen more than we talk with genuine curiosity, and a desire to understand. Let’s assume the best. It means we are not so convinced of our own rightness that we forget to be kind. It means we are sister and brother, each doing our best to make sense of life in this broken world.
I have a good friend who was at the meeting. We serve as elders at a local church in Auckland. Most of the time we agree. On the matter of COVID and vaccinations we strongly disagree. Though he agrees with the controversial views shared on the chat line he did not engage in the discussion and certainly not the abuse that took place during the call. This is consistent with my experience of this brother. He has always been respectful, genuine and kind. His example is my plea to you.
I ask that in every way and on every occasion we lead with respect, dignity and love.
Please join me in leading a church that reflects the heart of the founder, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and your neighbour as yourself” – Jesus.
– Pr Eddie Tupa’i – Lead Pastor, New Zealand Pacific Union Conference