COVID-19 Updates

Update #3 – 23rd March 2020

Hi Church,

Wow…times are changing and the need for expressing the hope we have in Jesus is at an all-time high. Let’s lift one another up in prayer as opportunities are all around us in a world that is exhibiting fear.

As an Eldership we would like to communicate regarding a number of decisions that have been taken as a result of Covid-19 so I apologise for the long read.

Our stance at Northgate is to ensure we are being part of the “solution” rather than the “problem” and so we have been gaining valuable insights from both the government and from health professionals that we know.

We are therefore strongly recommending that all our connect groups and ministry groups now consider other ways that they can connect as self-isolation continues to be the best way forward.

Our government are also encouraging all groups to look forward 2 weeks, to where potentially things could be by then if we don’t self-isolate, and to make our decisions by looking ahead this way.

SELF-ISOLATION REMAINS THE RECOMMENDED WAY FORWARD ACCORDING TO GOVERNMENT.

We therefore would like to offer some links that could be useful as alternatives to meeting, to ensure we keep all our people connected.

SOFTWARE TO CONSIDER

  • This first option remains the one that we would recommend. It is called “Zoom” This is free downloadable software which is easy to use and similar to Skype. The Basic version says conversations can last only 15mins yet as Elders we used it for our meeting last night and it gave us 1hour free. You can down load it at here: https://zoom.us/
  • The second option is Skype. It is a well-known, one on one software, for communication that can be used for conferencing with more than one person as well. If you don’t already have a version of this, it can be downloaded free of charge from this site: https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/
  • The last option is called Google Meets, We have not used this one as yet but it is used through a lot of the schools. My understanding though after looking into this one is that it is a paid copy of conferencing software. If you would like to look further into it, you can do so by clicking this link (understanding it will only give you a 14 day free period before they start charging you): https://gsuite.google.com/signup/basic/welcome

The connect group notes are now going to come to every person on the Northgate database, instead of just our connect group leaders. This is so that we can all be studying the Word based around each sermon that goes online. Please can I encourage you to listen to each sermon, which will go up at 8am every Sunday on our YouTube Channel (the link is below). We have asked all connect group leaders to consider alternative ways of meeting in your connect groups so we can continue to be proactive around self-isolation and you will find a series of links below to help to stay up on building community.

Our two main online links for the church, and where we would ask you all to be going daily (if not more often 😊) is:

1) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NorthgateCC/
2) Our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA0CCYpZREjIUieAyIU9u8w

While some of you might not have Facebook, we recognise this is the platform that has our greatest reach to the Northgate family and therefore we must be using this platform to obtain that reach. While we understand you may have concerns around having a Facebook account, we still need to use its potential and will use all our other reaches through technology as well.

Maryanne and I will start working on a plan of pastoral care which we will need EVERY person in Northgate helping us with. So please stay tuned as we roll out a way that we can ensure we are all being proactive and looking after one another throughout this time. It is also needed as we have some people who do not use technology and who NEED our support more than ever now, so they don’t become isolated throughout this period.

The Lord bless you and keep you safe,

Paul Collins on behalf of the Northgate Eldership.


Update #2 – 19th March 2020

The changes that are happening world-wide means we are seeing things change almost by the hour at the moment.

As of 3.40pm today, the Government have outlawed any Indoor meetings greater than 100 people. This means that Northgate Community Church will now close our worship services on Sundays until further notice.

We have no idea how long it will be, but our best information suggests it could be significant.

Like I said earlier, we are exploring alternative ways such as live streaming our services so that people could listen from their device.
During this phase we would encourage you to support one another using phone contact, and if there are concerns you may have for specific people we would like to be made aware of those needs.

Please stay in touch with the church if any need arises. Paul will be available on 021426885 and will still be spending his time at the church on church matters.

We will keep our lines of communication open through e-mails, our Facebook page and our webpage etc so please visit these daily, if not more often. We are also working on a Pastoral Care plan ensuring that we communicate individually with you regularly.

If your name is not in the Phone book and you would like to list your details then please e-mail Maryanne at admin@northgatecc.org.nz as this is our most up to date database.

Our sermon this week will be uploaded to the webpage like normal at www.northgatecc.org.nz and we will hopefully be able to stream or at least provide video soon, so together we can still be encouraged and grown in our faith.

More details will follow in the next few days so keep a check of your inbox regularly.

Dennis Long – Chair of Elders 19th March 2020


Update #1 – 19th March 2020

We are living in fast changing times. As elders, we have moved this week from our initial statement of any Covid19 in Hamilton being the trigger point for further action, to saying if there is community transmission.

In response to the spread of the virus through our country the elders have made the following plans:

Current Phase:

While the virus is yet to be transmitted within Hamilton we will continue to hold services.

There are some things we will do to manage the risk. There will be no morning tea, and no communion.

Since the elders made this decision there have been two cases of people who have travelled back from overseas who have now tested positive.

There is a high risk that it will be transmitted in the community at some point (soon?).

With that in mind we need to ask that you manage your own risk.  For example: If you are older or prone to respiratory problems then the danger if you got this virus will be severe. So you may choose not to come to church.

We anticipate that there is a high chance that the virus will be transmitted within the community. So this phase is a week by week decision.

Phase Two:

Once Covid 19 is transmitted within the community there will no longer be worship services.

We would also request that ministry groups no longer meet.  This means all the various ways we function outside of our worship services – mainly music, The Café, connect groups, Purpose and Reboot activities.  There may be some creative ways of maintaining relationship without physically meeting.

We are exploring alternative ways such as live streaming our services so that people could listen from their device.

During this phase we would encourage you to support one another using phone contact, and if there are concerns you may have for specific people we would like to be made aware of those needs.

Recovery Phase:

Once Covid-19 subsides we will be guided by Government Health Officials as to when it is appropriate to commence our various gatherings again. We have no idea how long it will be, but our best information suggests it could be significant.

There may be instructions from the Government that could override these decisions.

If you would like to discuss the reasons for this action I would encourage you to speak with one of the elders.

Dennis Long – Chair of Elders 19th March 2020