Welcome to our COVID-19 updates page. The purpose of this page is to make various statements and viewpoints available to our Hope Community so that we are well-informed of a range of Christian perspectives on COVID-19. We realise that this is a dynamic and fluid situation and emails can easily get lost, so an updates page will keep all the relevant information together.
Irrespective of your point of view, there will be important and potentially far-reaching implications for many of us who are employed in various sectors of society and how we serve our communities and people, so our desire is to keep you all up to date as best we can.
We ask that you continue to pray for one another, our communities, and nation, and we trust that this information will be helpful and assist in your prayerful consideration of your responses to what could be a new “normal” across all of society.
Please see our latest update below along with other church statements.
UPDATE 26 NOVEMBER
Hi Hope Church
A couple of weeks back I managed a quick trip to the West Coast with dad to engage in some whitebaiting. While the whitebait was scarce, the beauty of the scenery and the reminder of God’s creative and sovereign hand was all around us. We even had the blessing of a little caving trip into the limestone caves behind Charleston….well worth it if you get the opportunity.
On one of the still, crisp and clear mornings, I heard dad talking. I went over to see what he wanted….”nothing, I was just praising God for this beautiful scenery” was his reply. As I reflected on that, I was reminded of the bible’s instruction to “Praise the Lord”, whether we are:
- On the West Coast and the whitebait is scarce,
- In a cave like King David as he hid from Saul
- Reflecting on God’s faithfulness and steadfast love at the end of another interesting year
- Or. like Paul and Silas, imprisoned and in chains.
While David was in the cave hiding out, he penned these wonderful words in Psalm 57: “I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.”
There is a determination for David to praise the Lord….to rave and boast about who he is. And so, even during a year where things might not have gone according to plan, we invite you to take the opportunity to simply “Praise – boast, rave, celebrate – God”, for who he is and that he is faithful to his word and to us at all times and together we will do this at our celebration service at each site on the 28th of November as we ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God” – but especially today we praise God that the council Code of Compliance came through for the West Melton build!
I also want to say ‘thank you’ for all those that were able to complete our short survey. We appreciated the response and feedback, and we will digest this information as we chart our way forward. However, from the over 430 surveys completed, key themes that were identified included:
- A continued desire to gather in services.
- There was a clear message communicated that you desired energy to be put into Sunday Services, growth groups and online services.
- We thank you for the suggestions about how we can serve people better with our online service and we will work towards those.
- There was a desire for an in-person conversation so we have been making these available at all sites.
- There was little difference between people’s preferences for attending a passport service versus an open service. This does provide us with a unique opportunity to serve the needs of the people and we will be looking at how best we can do that alongside serving people with online services and connections.
- We received valuable feedback on how we can develop and increase the value of our growth groups at Hope.
For those that requested contact we will step into that this week…however, as a little heads up a number of people requested contact but forgot to give us their details – so please reach out if you have not been contacted by the end of the week.
We also have set up a reference group to support us with medical, legal and health and safety expertise as we identify what the changing environment looks like as we move to the traffic light system. We continue to work with the PCANZ as they provide input, too.
We continue to encourage you to reach out to those in your groups and especially if you have missed seeing someone in particular. We encourage you to simply pick up the phone and reach out. It is a wonderful thing to bring that blessing of showing care and concern into someone’s life….so who can you bless today by simply reaching out?
Once again, thanks for your prayers and we look forward to praising God together again this weekend.
Interim Senior Pastor
MOST RECENT HOPE CHURCH UPDATE:
25th October 2021
Kia ora koutou
I want to give you a brief follow-up on the Government’s announcement today, about the revised approach to managing COVID-19. If you missed the announcement please check the Government’s Unite against COVID-19 website.
In summary, the new COVID-19 Protection Framework will be introduced once 90% of eligible New Zealanders are fully vaccinated.
The framework has two main parts:
1. A new traffic light system that will replace the current Alert Levels.
2. A focus on vaccinations and vaccination certificates. The certificates will be a key part of the new system, and will enable businesses and the public to have more freedom across all three levels: Green, Orange and Red.
We have supported and complied with the government’s requirements relating to COVID-19 to date and we have been working in the background over recent days looking at what any changes might mean for our sites, our people, our kaimahi (ministry team) and community.
We’re also staying connected to other churches and the national church to ensure any decisions we make are aligned and God honouring and we are awaiting further information and updates from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) on some on these matter.
We will continue to work on what this latest announcement means for us all, and keep you informed, and we want to affirm that we remain dedicated to looking after the needs of our church community. In the meantime, if you have any questions please talk to your local leaders or Site Pastors.
Interim Senior Pastor