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    The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised global concerns that will have both short-term and long-term impacts. It continues to be an evolving situation, changing by the hour, and we will be monitoring and adapting our response to it.

     

     

    Get the latest news, press releases, graphics, and instructions on the COVID-19 pandemic and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sydney here.

    From Glenn Townend, South Pacific Division (SPD)

    Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific, issued the following statement regarding the ongoing spread of the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world. 

    How should Seventh-day Adventists in the South Pacific respond? I would urge you to focus on three things:

    1. Prayer: pray for the families who have lost loves ones to this virus and for those who are currently suffering with it; pray for our governments as they grapple with this issue, and for our health workers who are on the frontline treating those affected; pray for the health and safety of our communities, and for the Lord’s intervention to stop the spread of the virus.
    2. Show Christ-like love and compassion: let’s look beyond ourselves and respond to the needs and concerns of others, especially the elderly and vulnerable. It’s sad to see that some ethnic groups have suffered racial abuse because of the virus. This is never acceptable. Let’s look out for the needs of others (Philippians 2:1-4).
    3. Good hygiene: take sensible precautions like regular hand washing and follow the advice from your local health authority.

    As this situation continues to evolve, let’s maintain a sense of perspective and not get caught up in the hysteria. As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, let’s be beacons of light in our communities, holding fast to God’s promises and pointing people to Jesus as our source of hope in these troubling times.

    Latest COVID-19 Updates & Requirements for Churches

    COVID-19 Update – 10 May 21 

    The NSW Government yesterday announced an extension of restrictions in Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and the Blue Mountains) until 12.01 Monday 17 May. Please see the media release attached. 

    Measures to safeguard against the risk of further COVID-19 transmissions include:

    • Visitors to households are limited to 20 guests, including children;
    • Masks are compulsory on public transport and in public indoor venues, such as places of worship;
    • Singing and chanting by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship is not allowed; and
    • Visitors to aged care facilities are limited to two people per day.

    An exemption is in place to allow an individual (or a group of up to five individuals) to sing or chant if it is integral to the service/devotion. As such a call to prayer, a sung recitation from the Qu’ran or a sung Great Thanksgiving may be undertaken by an individual.

    For more information about what you can and can’t do in Greater Sydney see here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney

    The Public Health Order outlining the current restrictions can be found here: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/file/Public%20Health%20(COVID-19%20Greater%20Sydney)%20Order%202021.pdf

     For our Muslim community members, please do not hesitate to let us know if you have questions about how the changes may impact your community’s Eid celebrations. We will seek NSW Health advice and respond to any questions in advance of Eid al-Fitr. Eid Mubarak!

    These measures apply to people in the greater Sydney area – from Central Coast, greater Sydney down to Illawarra.

     

    __________________________________________________________

     

    Latest COVID-19 Update – 28 January 21 – Link

    The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Reopening [1]

    Letter to Religious Leaders – 28 October 2020 [1]

    CHO letter to places of worship, COVID-19 – 29 July 2020 [1]

    Advice for local churches as of March 13, 2020 [V2]

     

    Coronavirus Advice for Local Churches – PDF

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQs – PDF

    Coronavirus coverage in the Adventist Record Link

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) & the AUS Department of Health – Link

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) & New South Wales – Link

    Livestreams

    For a list of livestreams head to our Locations page, click on the Church tab, select Churches with Livestreams option and the Go button.

    For how to use eGiving or the eGiving app, click here.

    NSW Health

    For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au.

    Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

    The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts.

    COVIDSafe Marshal vests can be purchased for $20. If you are interested or needing some, please contact Pr Pablo Lillo directly at [email protected].

    Do you need help?

    The FUND FOR NEEDY PERSONS Committee has acknowledged that some church members wish to support other members facing hardship and poverty because of loss of employment caused by our current pandemic.

    The attached application form is to be completed by pastors, treasurers or elders so that church donors can make tax-deductible donations that will benefit others in their church family.

    Should you wish to discuss this with Malcolm Rea, Secretary, FFNP, please call him on (02) 49 949 246 or 0401 631 584.

     

     

    The Greater Sydney Conference runs a charity that gives us the opportunity to provide for those in need. The aim of the Fund for Needy Persons (FFNP) is to restore independence by helping people back on their feet again. Funds are used to help resolve crisis caused by accommodation problems, abuse, unemployment, illness or death.

    The FFNP charity is maintained by the generosity of members who give regularly and when the annual offering is collected. Contributions to this fund can be made at eGiving.org.au. Select a church or GS Conference and give under the FFNP charity. Thank you for your support.

    Download the form

     


     

    Mums At The Table Marketplace

    Mums At The Table, a ministry of Adventist Media, has launched a private Facebook group to help mums who are having difficulties buying everyday essentials for their family due to the panic buying phenomena brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

    The Mums At The Table Marketplace works like any other buy-and-sell groups on Face-book with one big difference: Anything listed on the page has to be free. It will be a dedicated space for group members to both ask for or offer help. Group members are encouraged to list any of their needs, with the idea that someone in their local area may be able to help—either because they have excess of that item or they know where the item could be purchased.

    Churches or individuals interested in helping can contact Mums At The Table at [email protected] or visit www.facebook.com/groups/MATTmarket-place.

     


     

    Mental Health Resources

    Social distancing can strain mental health. The South Pacific Division Comprehensive Health team is offering free support to members and community during this challenging time.

    Mental Health Resources Press Release

    We advise consideration of the following measures

    People who have returned from a country or region that is at high or moderate risk for COVID-19 should monitor their health closely. If you develop symptoms including a fever and cough you should isolate yourself immediately and urgently seek medical attention. Go to www.health.gov.au/covid19-travellers for the list of at-risk countries.

    People who think they may have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, should also monitor their health and seek urgent medical attention.

    Cleaning

    When cleaning, staff should minimise the risk of being infected with coronavirus by wearing gloves and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser before and after wearing gloves. If cleaning rooms or areas of the workplace where a person with a confirmed case of coronavirus or a person in isolation has frequented, staff may wish to wear a surgical mask as an added precaution. If a confirmed case of coronavirus or a person in isolation is in a room that cleaning staff need to enter, they may ask them to put on a surgical mask if they have one available.

    General Preventative Hygiene

    Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, after going to the toilet and in general.  This is not about just running your hands under water: it is about lathering and moving the soap over your skin for a minimum of 20 seconds. Water is used to rinse the soap, not to do the cleaning.
    • Avoid touching/rubbing your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Follow the coughing and sneezing etiquette: sneeze into the folded arm; cover your cough.
    • Take masks with you when travelling. Should you encounter situations where people cough and sneeze and are in close proximity, don’t hesitate to use your mask (airports, airplane cabin, lobbies, malls, student classes and other gatherings, etc.).
    • if unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
    • Avoid travel to endemic areas.

    General preventative measures around people

    • Avoid close proximity – enjoy your personal space and allow other to enjoy theirs. Maintain a social distance—at least 3 feet or 1 metre—between yourself and other people. Avoid close contact with those who are coughing or sniffling.
    • Avoid physical touch – whilst we enjoy the handshake and appropriate hug, this is a time to avoid it.
    • Have your own supply of hand sanitiser on you.

    If the above considerations are observed, at this stage there is no reason to change our regular routines including weekly worship services. It is important to remember that so far, the only people to contract the virus here in Australia have been in contact with people from the hot zone.

    While coronavirus is of concern, it is important to remember that most people displaying symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or tiredness are likely suffering with a cold or other respiratory illness—not coronavirus.

    For the latest advice, information and resources, go to www.health.gov.au.

    Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450.

    The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts.

    If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.

    Credit: North New South Wales Conference

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