Kia ora e te whānau,

As our country moves into alert level 4 measures tomorrow evening, and we experience a shut down of most groups and services, it is natural that we feel uncertain, afraid of how it will be, as well as what may unfold.

We are still a community of faith, despite being separated physically. Last Sunday I (Catriona) slowly made my way through the beautiful tribute service for Shirley Murray, and during the ‘passing of the peace’ I greeted those I imagined around me at St Andrew’s. Your faces came easily to mind, and I think this is a weekly practice I’ll continue. 

Yesterday we shut St Andrew’s Centre immediately following the Prime Minister’s announcement.  We’ve summarise the main points at the bottom of this email. It is great that the government has put further wage subsidy measure in place and we will be exploring how to access those for our staff.

The pastoral care team meets today, trying out a meeting via Zoom! We will be focused on how best to keep in touch with each other, through cluster groups and other avenues. Already there are offers of help to support one another and creative ways to provide information and worship.

We are working behind the scenes with Laetitia and Jillene, who are today preparing to work from home (having done some quick trials last week), to come up with the best way to provide worship in as participatory a way as possible.

You will be also making preparations, wondering how it will be if you live alone and who will bring your groceries. Others will be preparing to work from home, thinking about how best to be with partners and children at home together, everyone contacting family and friends to check in on them, struggling with internet glitches, worrying about older relatives. It is a time of upheaval and stress.

Even so, there are always things to feel gratitude for. An email or text offering support, a neighbour who wonders if you need anything, work that is able to be done from home, the huge increase in vegetable seedling sales, the clear skies in Beijing!

It is human nature to hold both the sorrow and the joy, the despair and hope together.

We will send out an e-news as usual on Friday, with more details about Sunday’s service and other news. If you hear of anything you think others might like to know, please let Jillene know:

Meantime, arohanui,
Catriona – ph.027 305 9129  email.
Lynne – ph 029 279 8120 email.

COVID-19 Alert Level 4: What it means in a snapshot

People instructed to stay home
Educational facilities closed
Businesses closed expect for essential service e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, hospitals and other lifeline services
Travel severely restricted
Major reprioritisation of healthcare services
Rationing of supplies and some facility requisitioned
Parliament suspended 

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