No gathering outside or coffee bars after the service. All hymn books, bibles to be removed from pews: Readings and hymns to be provided by electronic means where possible or printed in leaflet form. We shall walk this path, equipped with the ringing voice of Him who said, “Behold, I am with you till the end of the age”; even Jesus Christ the risen and ascended Lord! Preferably no wine to be served to prevent recipients from touching the chalice. Confessions may also be conducted outside the church, to avoid having to sanitise the confessional furnishings. Lay Ministers of Communion sanitising hands regularly whilst administering Communion. Consider going out of your way to model recommended behavior. In that capacity, they can play a vital role in caring for our people’s spiritual, emotional and material well-being under carefully-formulated guidelines to protect them in the way health workers, the police and the army are protected from infection. The president of the mass/Holy Communion, must sanitise before the service, at the preparation of the elements for the Eucharist and after receiving Communion. Churches will need to pay special attention to the needs of poor congregations, which mostly serve communities with no running water, and no easy access to sanitisers, in order to meet the requirements of these operational standards. Collection to be done as people exit Churches maintaining distance. This means that only the minister will use the chalice. Sacristans/attendants need to be particularly careful in their preparation of the sacred vessels and the elements to be used in a service and both hygiene and sanitising must be strictly observed. Wales is also under Tier 4 measures. To do so, the following practical steps are suggested: Have a schedule of services to ensure compliance with regulations in terms of the numbers and social distancing. This means ideally the first congregation to meet would be on June 28, if COVID ready, but it can take up to 12 weeks, to as late as last week of August. Population prepared for an increase in alert levels if necessary. • Pastors set the tone for their flock. If any members present with flu-like symptoms, or have been exposed to any person exhibiting such symptoms in the last 14 days, they must be recommended to consult their family, family physician, or local clinic or hospital, as appropriate. Attendees arranged alphabetically to make the required quota for the worship service. No one with even the slightest cold ought to attend services. Church Registrations - Register a Ministry in South Africa . Pastor/Bishop/Moderator should take the responsibility on behalf of his or her Church, and should there be a breach, heavy punishment/penalty be placed on the responsible Priest, Pastor or Bishop, by the church, to demonstrate the seriousness and importance of ensuring that Churches too, are COVID-19 compliant. There need only be one Lay minister assisting to lead the service, as well as one altar server to assist at the altar. Church leaders/ Bishops and other clergy should continue to make it clear that attending a live Eucharist service, is a decision for people to make, without risking themselves and others; and that churches where possible, will continue with streaming live liturgies. This article discusses recent regulations setting out specific measures that employers must to take to protect employees. As we consider the policy options for the church, our people are in the throes of starvation, leading them to run in all directions with not a remote prospect of finding food, to mitigate the serious food insecurity. In order to keep people healthy and safe, recovering from the pandemic is going to need to be a marathon, not a sprint. A man prays in a derelict yeard outside a mosque which has been closed in against the outbreak of Covid-19 Coronavirus, in Johannesburg, South Africa, 19 March 2020. A church might start by allowing a certain level of occupancy and subsequently raise it by a percentage as guidelines allow for further opening up. Anyone with close contact with people who are showing symptoms in the past 14 days should also be prevented from attending. Citizens will be appropriately informed as we move to the next levels,” said Zikalala. Ministers /Priests/Pastors should help their congregants/ parishioners make good decisions in this regard. A specific time should be allocated for daily worship. Guidelines, Norms & Standards for SACC Member Churches and Affiliate Groups of ChurchesTo Self- Regulate to Protect Lives at Worship During The COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond, SACC National Church Leaders Forum in COVID Watch, “COVID-19 will test as never before our capacity as a Church to innovate, and share with one another” -Thabo Makgoba, (Church Times, 2020). The Church expects a high degree of integrity in all its workers, clerical and lay. Stewards at the door will take people’s temperatures and those with readings of 38 degrees Celsius and above will be asked to return home. Even in the most rural of congregations, sanitising will be required. Physical distances to be strictly observed, with no hand contact during the service, especially at the peace. President of the Council, Dr Monokoane Hlobo, says the church has a role to play during this time. GUIDELINES FOR CASE-FINDING, DIAGNOSIS, MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE In the light of the transmissibility of coronaviruses, and the global experience with MERS-CoV (ongoing) and SARS in 2003 which were also caused by coronaviruses, South African authorities have compiled this guideline document to support surveillance, case finding, diagnosis, management and public health … The South African government on Friday unveiled guidelines for religious gatherings after the country eases COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. A register of all those in attendance should be kept and archived for possible contact tracing. Sacristans/attendants, Lay Ministers, and servers must observe a similar discipline. Social distancing and the avoidance of crowded spaces are some of the precautionary measures that authorities are encouraging. Attendees must be allocated by regions/blocks/sections to limit the number of persons per session to assist in the management of flow, attendance, and numbers at any given time (wyksgemeentes). We note too, that a significant percentage of South Africans, have conditions such as renal failure, and will require dialysis for the rest of their lives. Where more than one service in a building is required per Sunday, time must be allowed for cleaning between services. The SACC is an instrument and servant of its members and is committed to expressing, through proclamation and programmes, the united witness of the church in South Africa, especially in matters of national debate. On the other hand, many South Africans are expressing lockdown exhaustion, with hundreds and thousands of livelihoods lost, many more jobs on the line, and many people starving, with prospects for a revival of the economy and an increase in Government revenue becoming more and more distant. Churches are requested to study them carefully; including the suggestions of between 4 to 12 weeks of preparation time. There should be no processions in and out of the Church. The return to Church will require careful management by the minister and local congregational leadership as Churches reopen. The council’s General-Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana says they will adhere to the restrictions. No elbow greeting, only waving of hands be done during Peace time. Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) Expresses solidarity with African people amid COVID-19, Bishop Frank reflects on the murder of his Friend George Floyd, Catholic Church reaffirms the decision to resume religious services under level three lockdown, Precious Blood Sisters Confirm Covid-19 Tragedy in their Mother House, COVID Status Analysis for each congregation with specifics of what is required as per these Norms and Standards. A register of attendees needs to be maintained for contact tracing. Social distancing must be maintained as per regulatory guidelines. These include precautions that the Church centrally must lead, and those that lie in the hands of its local Clergy, and Congregation. As the occupancy cap increases, the number of different facilities in use will go down. With effect from today, the eve of the coronavirus lockdown, we will be focussing in links on this Provincial website not only on publishing guidelines, but also sharing resources for worship, prayer and ministry in a time of the coronavirus, COVID-19 and the lockdown in South African dioceses of our Province. Varying service times such as 9:00 am and then 11:00 am can be implemented. After wide consultations with the religious sector, the government is now in a position to categorize religious counselling as an essential service, said Min Sundays and mid-week services can be arranged, and congregants encouraged to attend only one service and not two services per week. SACC Secretariat is exploring suppliers of bulk sanitisers, paper towels etc. Seating must be according to the ‘social distance’ of the recommended distance between participants in every direction. Ensure adequate supply of 70% alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Soap, water, and paper towels (no cloth towels) must be provided. Members who have flu-like symptoms must avoid coming into contact with each other. Strict adherence to laws regarding COVID-19 at all times and all protocols as prescribed by the government are to be observed. Presider/preacher should ideally be the same person. As such, it will be based on the size of the Church and social distancing requirements that will determine the number in the congregation. As South Africans prepare for the return to work, the message from government has been that employers must adopt a cautious and phased approach to return to work and employees should work from home, where possible. Leaders will need to make wise decisions for their local church in line with local, state, and national guidelines, considering the needs and safety of their church … On the one hand, we are bracing ourselves for a “storm” of infections as large-scale, country-wide testing reveals the true infection rate. As we have already noted, as a country we are bracing ourselves for a “storm” of infections as large-scale. The singing of hymns may need to be considered VERY carefully. The priest/minister/pastor, standing centrally at either the altar rail or sanctuary steps, shall administer the host to the communicant’s hands. The Celebrant would administer the Sacrament at a safe distance, and only place it on the hand of the recipient and NOT the tongue. She suggested adopting a Phase + 7 strategy. A decision to allow religious gatherings in South Africa, after a two-month lockdown, has triggered a national debate over the political power of church leaders and the health hazards of … The congregations/parishes to procure forehead thermometer to screen and use members of the health team in the parish. Church leaders are instructed to consult the First Presidency letter from April 16, 2020, “Administrative Principles in Challenging Times,” and its two enclosures (see here and here).They are also invited to consider these additional principles and guidelines to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19: The lockdown regulations that prohibit our meeting in public worship feel very hard on us and our churches. Medical personnel within the congregation should be reached out to assist with screening before congregants enter the Church and all those who screen positive be directed to seek medical help and possible COVID-19 testing immediately. This we should do to save lives and ensure that our places of worship do not become the gateway to the grave for the faithful. With effect from today, the eve of the coronavirus lockdown, we will be focussing in links on this Provincial website not only on publishing guidelines, but also sharing resources for worship, prayer and ministry in a time of the coronavirus, COVID-19 and the lockdown in South African dioceses of our Province. The Anglican Church of Southern Africa, known until 2006 as the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, is the province of the Anglican Communion in the southern part of Africa. Presbytery meetings and other majority assemblies to be postponed indefinitely; unless they can be conducted electronically. All members of the Church and congregation need to be frequently trained and educated about precautions and kept up to date with government regulations. Safety bins to be provided with plastic liners to be easily and safely disposed of after each service. Some church leaders have voiced their disapproval of the restrictions, which include social distancing and the banning of large gatherings. In Southern Africa it has published a document of ethical standards called ‘Integrity in Ministry’. There is a growing number of Covid-19 related deaths and a growth in gender-based violence. The National Council of Churches (NCC) has appealed to President Cyril Ramaphosa to allow church gatherings during the less restrictive level 4 of the nationwide lockdown that is currently in place. The Church supports the staged adjustments to the lockdown, tailored according to regional and sectoral needs, upon which the Government has embarked. A church might start by allowing a certain level of occupancy and subsequently raise it by a percentage as guidelines allow for further opening up. These norms and standards are a small but significant way to effectively rebuke the storm of the virus in our congregations. Bishop Ough asks every congregation in the Dakotas Conference to develop a plan for how to return to in-person worship in a gradual manner. Assessing what churches are not able to meet these on their own, and what should be done to enable them. Mixed reaction to court’s ruling against single-religion schools South Africa X Read more at the SA government's online coronavirus portal or use the 24-hour public hotline: 0800 029 999 Ideally, running water and hand-washing with liquid soap ought to be used in this process. UPDATE: MARCH 26, 08:05. Because Holy Communion is the meal of the whole faith community, when we do celebrate it in our homes it is important to let our brothers and sisters know that we are celebrating it, for them to intercede for us in prayer and rejoice with us in the celebration. Mosques, churches and … Church leaders need to develop a plan for dancing back and forth between phases as well as a logistics plan for a potential second wave of outbreaks. Should it be raining, this form of greeting will not occur. Cooperative Governance Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has urged South Africans to continue to adhere to regulations that are in place as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus. South Africa has 150 confirmed cases, but no deaths. Each province has mat makers and member churches must take the trouble to support these churches with procurement. In Scotland and in Northern Ireland Christmas bubbles are allowed up to 8 people from 3 households, while in Wales only 2 households can meet. Marking out pews for the appropriate seating order. That makes self-regulation in each church to be the full burden of the member church leadership. A roster, possibly, alphabetical order, of all congregations to be maintained. Be still!” (4:39). The Church, as an integral part of society, is faced with the same challenges as the rest of society. Communion in one kind should continue as was the case before the lockdown, still with no kneeling at the altar rail, but instead standing with the social distance provision. Communicants must stand in a single file observing a two-meter distance between each person. In our pursuit to bring back the worship and pastoral ministry of the church, we seek to bring that reassuring voice of Christ. This article discusses recent regulations setting out specific measures that employers must to take to protect employees. What we are saying is that if a grade 12 or grade 7 learner is trusted to go to school, government should also trust the church people to go back to the church.”. Based on the above, services may need to be spaced. UPDATE: MARCH 26, 08:05. [This is a critically important consideration as clergy may quite unknowingly be virus carriers. Note: This article is intended as a starting point for your church as you consider the right course of action for your local congregation. Where elderly people do come to worship, say above 55 or 60, it is recommended that they worship by themselves; this is the principle of defining worship attendees per service by age range. Instrumental music or solo singing can fill the other slots where hymns would usually be sung. No offertory procession with either the elements or the collection. In testimony of that, each leader needs to be conscious, and take every measure to ensure the application of these norms and standards in the congregations of the church. The Church can supply cloth masks to those without any, or. Designed and maintained by: Mariannhill Media, South African Council of Churches (SACC) Releases Church COVID-19 Readiness Guidelines, History of the Catholic Church in Southern Africa, Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life (LCCL SA), Our Mother of Mercy Shrine – Archdiocese of Johannesburg, LCCL SA (Leadership Conference of Consecrated Life South Africa), Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office(CPLO), Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (M&R), Rural Development Support Programme (RDSP), Annual Gathering of Recently Ordained Priests(AGROP), Southern African Council of Priests(SACOP), SOUTHERN AFRICAN COUNCIL OF PRIESTS (SACOP), Leadership Conference Of Consecrated Life, The Southern African Council of Priests(SACOP), Catholic Church Southern Africa mourns the passing on of Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Mohlalisi, OMI of Maseru, Lesotho, Catholic Church Joint Witness against Covid-19 Second Wave in South Africa, Second Wave of Covid-19 Hits Catholic Church Religious Communities, We need to be collectively responsible for the prevention and cure of HIV/AIDS. South Africa went into lockdown in March to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Rural and outdoor churches that use reed mats will need new mats that can best work with spray sanitisers. South Africa– Blue Sky Publications (Pty) Ltd T/A TheSouthAfrican Number: 2005/028472/07. Individuals and family cohorts maintaining social distancing in Church parking lots. Consider going out of your way to model recommended behavior. The SACC held a meeting with Ramaphosa on Thursday. In the face of this, our people who are the present day disciples of Jesus, are crying out to Him in their heightened anxieties, saying “do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38 NRSV). These norms and standards will require detailed planning for application, with due regard to the diverse contexts of our congregations and their resource capacities. “The church should actually play a role in the present situation. • Pastors set the tone for their flock. Display hand sanitizer throughout the church. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Make sure that the Church is well ventilated by opening windows. What we are saying is that if a grade 12 or grade 7 learner is trusted to go to school, government should also trust the church people to go back to the church.” Loading… South Africa currently has 9 420 COVID-19 infections and 186 deaths. (function(d){var js, id="pikto-embed-js", ref=d.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) { return;}js=d.createElement("script"); js.id=id; js.async=true;js.src="https://create.piktochart.com/assets/embedding/embed.js";ref.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ref);}(document)); South Africa currently has 9 420 COVID-19 infections and 186 deaths. SACBC Khanya House Tribute to Fr Emil Blaser, Founder of Radio Veritas, Catholic Church Message of Condolences on the passing on of Fr Emil Blaser OP, Join a Virtual Public Lecture by Prof. PLO Lumumba on challenges of Corruption and Economic Transformation in South Africa, Catholic Church gives Clarity on the Homosexual Civil Union Issue. Before opening our buildings for services, each parish/local Church needs to be fully prepared. We have supported suspending public worship for very practical pastoral reasons, and it is necessary to remind ourselves of that context today. Its aim is to enable all Church workers to develop and maintain the highest possible standards in pastoral ministry. As churches prepare to return to church Bible study and worship gatherings, our first imperative is “do no harm.” Instead of providing a list of dos and don’ts we offer a series of questions as conversation starters and guidelines for pastors and laity. Weekly Worship and Activities In May 2020, the Church authorized a phased return to some aspects of its weekly worship services and activities. For this reason, it is recommended that churches conduct a quick status analysis of their congregations. COOKIES. You can stay attuned to the guidelines to know when is best to reintroduce these services. In the tough choices between lives and livelihoods that all of society faces, the Church is obligated to place theological and pastoral imperatives, derived from the Scriptures and our lived experience as people of faith, at the forefront of our considerations. Page 3 of 27 1. We have learned from science and observing trends in other countries that, while everyone may be vulnerable to infection, some 80-85% of the infected will not be seriously affected but that it is among the remaining 15-20% that the most danger to life will be. The return to Church will require careful management by the minister and local congregational leadership as Churches reopen. Communion to be distributed with sterile gloves. Service suspensions (changes from normal practice): Droplets are carried further when we sing and we also breathe in more deeply in singing, and as such, choirs have been known breeding grounds for the virus. Indoor confessions where this practice is practiced regularly, to use antibacterial spray and a stack of paper towels, so that each penitent can spray the kneeler and wipe it down, and the area immediately surrounding it. Where projection of services on overhead screens is possible, these can be used to avoid the use of books such as hymn and prayer books and bibles that would ordinarily be found on pews at each service. Leadership believes that the church can meet under limited physical distancing protocols by implementing limited guidelines. Family paid R100,000 to 'quash docket' but were conned by bogus Hawks South Africa . Hillsong International Ltd atf Hillsong International, "Hillsong", uses cookies on this website and its associated Hillsong websites. Stilling the COVID storm – The Challenge of This Moment: South African society is at a crossroads in the struggle against the coronavirus/ COVID 19. 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All should move into the sanctuary discreetly to limit contact with others as far as possible. This in the same way that schools have to have a readiness plan that is verifiable by central administration. To feed in queries and information of local concerns, they can email to info@churchinaction.org.za. We must ensure that our pastoral ministry does not become a death warrant for the vulnerable who receive our ministrations.] These guidelines come as government gradually reopens the economy under level 4 of lockdown while ensuring that the spread […] The reality of the vulnerability of poor people to this virus and its effects stares every sector of society in the face. The most visible ritual for sacramental churches is Mass, Eucharist, Holy Communion or a service of common meal. The Department of Basic Education has proposed that the reopening of schools be done in phases, starting with Grades 7 and 12 from June. Each parish/local Church must have a task team (with people with skills and knowledge of our guidelines and measures given by the State). When adapting this plan to your church, it is very important to adhere to local government guidelines. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1 Returning to Public Worship Theological and Practical Considerations This resource seeks to provide theological and practical guidance for congregations and leaders as they make faithful and responsible decisions about the church’s worship in … These are the large immune-compromised communities, not the ones flooding the beaches, but rather the ones risking to flood the food lines. After disrobing, the Clergy shall again wash their hands with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds. The Alert Level 3 Regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act were signed on 28 May 2020 (AL3 Regulations).. Congregation Load-Shedding: Load-shedding of worship meetings entails, while encouraging attendance, that the congregation must be dispersed to limit congregation size for each service held. A man wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus speaks to a woman in a building in Bo-Kaap Cape Town, South Africa, May 23, 2020. Resource details: Publication title: Guidelines for quarantine and isolation in relation to COVID-19 exposure and infection Author(s): The department of health Publication date: 5 May 2020.On 17 July these guidelines were updated. With a number of workers set to return to work from Monday under level 4 of lockdown, the Labour Department has drafted the minimum guidelines for employers to ensure the workplace is safe for returning employees. As the lockdown in South Africa is eased and businesses start to re-open, ensuring the health and safety of employees and members of the public will be of paramount importance. In our considerations we need to remind ourselves that none of us are immune from contracting the virus, including the ordained. Cough or sneeze into the crook of one’s arm, or into a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in a plastic-lined rubbish bin with a lid. Floors and pews/benches/chairs need to be wiped down before and after services with cloths soaked in disinfectant. These guidelines are tabulated in this report but the SACC will assist member churches and affiliates who may need to supplement their guidelines. Service times and attendance registers to be maintained with the personal details of attendees. They must also wear gloves, and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser. The Minister has warned that failure to do so could force the country back to the stringent level 5 lockdown. Alert level 1 is in place from 00h01 on 21 September 2020. Weekday worship can be arranged on selected days or daily to accommodate numbers. This includes the following categories of people:  Those with weak immunity – mainly with underlying health conditions such as TB, diabetes, cancer, and HIV, especially those not taking anti-retroviral treatment. This will be critical for rural churches where running water may not be adequately available for long hand washing. People taking offering should wear gloves and wash their hands as required. In the current situation, to reflect the compassion of Christ, we must prioritise the vulnerability of the poor to this virus and its effects. Purpose of the document This document outlines the standard operating procedures for detection and response to case/s of suspected novel coronavirus disease (2019-nCoV) in South Africa. This team is to regularly watch for information on the SACC COVID website, www.churchinaction.org.za, and the SACC WhatsApp information platform on 060 058 2107, and WhatsApp “hi”. 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