Focus - Bush Ministry Fund News

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26 June, 2020

“In contrast to the BCA, which does not support rural ministry in the Anglican Church Southern Queensland, the BMF only supports rural ministry in parishes of our Diocese and gives at least 98 per cent of all money donated to support rural ministry,” says Bishop Cam Venables, as he updates us on the BMF’s vital ministry.

Read the full article here.

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We are well placed - 12 July 2020

We appreciate that the last few months have been challenging for us all. We know that many are looking forward to being able to gather as a church in worship once more. We are equally aware that some remain at risk and will hope to stay connected in whatever ways we can find. It is in this context that we are implementing our next steps towards a mixed model of worship. These steps include the commencement of gathered worship on Sunday 19 July at 9.30am and Wednesday 23 July at 9.30 am.

In line with the recent easing of COVID 19 restrictions, our parish is signing up to the Industry Plan for Places of Worship. This Industry Plan is now the only way a church may offer gathered worship in any form. Although restriction easing was announced on 3 July, the actual industry guideline is not yet finalised, and so some aspects might yet change. We have chosen to approach this return to gathered worship cautiously and in a stepped manner.

We believe that we take our part in ensuring the gains we have made as a community by following carefully the Health Directives issued by the State Government. As part of this commitment, we are required to appoint COVID Warden(s) "to champion safe practices ... and monitor and enforce compliance measures." To assist these Wardens, we ask you to be aware of the following;

- All individuals must stay away if feeling unwell, even if mildly so.

- Maintain Physical Distancing of 1.5m to the extent possible. This means we are to avoid shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting, farewell or during the greeting of peace.

- Practice good hygiene habits, including the use of hand sanitiser before entering the church.

- Please avoid queuing or crowding especially at the church entrance.

We are setting in place several changes that will assist us in complying with the Industry Plan. These include;

- The current maximum congregation is 40

- There are 40 individual chairs appropriately distanced in the nave of the church. People living in the same household can sit together.

- We will hold only one service on Sunday and one service on Wednesday to allow proper cleaning between services

- All liturgy and hymn lyrics will be displayed on the screens although singing is now allowed.

If you intend attending the service you must register through our website or by phoning the parish office. For those who do not have internet access, we ask that you call the office by 10 am Friday for the Sunday service, or 10 am Tuesday for the Wednesday service and leave your name and how many people will be attending with you.

We are required to remind people who are at a higher risk of serious illness that they should stay at home and avoid contact with others. Those identified at risk include those over 65 with chronic medical conditions, people over 70 years old and those with compromised immune systems. The decision to attend ultimately rests with the person in the high-risk group and should be made with advice from one’s own GP.

It is a requirement that we keep a record of persons who have attended each service. These records are kept for 56 days for contact tracing if required by the relevant authority. Please be assured that all documents are kept in a secure location.

Please contact us with any concerns or questions regarding any of the matters raised in this letter. Our aim as a Parish is to continue to find ways to moving closer to God and each other, even in these times.

God's Peace,

The Rev'd Michael Stalley, Priest in Charge

Karen Green, Warden

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We are well placed - July 5

When I was at High School, I remember a thing called the Metre ruler. It was meant to be used for drawing straight lines on Chalkboards. This Metre ruler was also regularly used for a purpose it was not designed; ensuring physical distancing between amorous teenagers. In these circumstances, this implement was useful in creating distance and ensuring compliance.

It is curious to me that I am now observing a similar artifact entering use in our churches. It is 50 cm longer but similarly effective in ensuring compliance with distancing requirements.

At St David's, we are committed to playing our part towards further easing of restrictions. This commitment means doing what we can to comply with the current Queensland Government Health directives as they apply to us. As we move towards Gathered worship, the wardens and I ask that if you choose to come to gathered worship, you will willingly comply with these guidelines.

In the next week, the wardens and I will prepare detailed correspondence regarding our planned return to offer gathered worship in St David's during July. This letter will be informed by the most recent Government Health Directive and our industry approved plan. We continue to follow our plan to move towards providing gathered worship from 19 July.

In summary, we intend on beginning with one service on Sunday morning and one service on Wednesday morning. The maximum number of people who can attend will be 50. We will be required to maintain strict physical distancing (hence the introduction of the newly improved Metre Ruler). Other health directives we will need to follow include;

- no handshaking, hugging or kissing

- registration to attend

- individual seating that is separated by 1.5 m (unless you are with people from the same household)

- no queuing at the entrance

- following the guidance of appointed COVID safety wardens

- electronic donation options only

We remain aware that even when we can return to gathered worship, many will remain at risk. We are taking a cautious step by step approach, so what we start we can continue.

God's Peace

Michael

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