As we continue in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to serve the people in our care, the communities and agencies of the Lutheran Church of Australia, Queensland District share these resources to help guide our response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In all our undertakings as people of God we hold fast to the promise that our Lord Christ Jesus dwells amongst us, providing for us and leading us. He is "Immanuel: God with us" therefore, we call upon him as people of hope, in prayer, praise and thanksgiving, trusting in his mercy and in his steadfast love.
We pray, "Kyrie eleison. Lord have mercy."
Updates to above document are highlighted in yellow.
The following is a summary of the key changes to the Industry Plan based on advice from Queensland Health:
- COVID Safe Events - if you are planning to have an indoor or outdoor worship service/event of more than 500 people, you must notify the Public Health Unit of the event a minimum of 10 business days before the event by emailing COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au.
- Contact tracing - a requirement to provide contact details to Public Health Units within a stated timeframe if requested.
- Displaying Exclusion Signage - patrons, contractors or staff cannot enter if they are unwell, have been in close contact with a known active case of COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, have travelled overseas in the past 14 days or have been to a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days.
- Clarification of what to do if you are operating under several approved COVID Safe Industry Plans.
- Drinking or eating - ensuring members of your faith community are seated and physically distanced during pre or post service gatherings.
- Home worship - If a person is using their home as a place of worship for people other than members of their household, ALL requirements outlined in the Industry Plan apply and are the responsibility of the person hosting the worship service in their home. The person hosting the home worship is required to obtain any usual approvals/permits/licenses necessary for their home to be classified as a place of worship.
- Maximum attendance at home worship - Special Density requirements and rules for determining maximum attendance apply where a home residence is being used as a place of worship. The requirements of both the most up-to-date Places of Worship Industry plan and the most up-to-date Movement and Gathering Direction will both apply, with the number of individuals permitted to attend a home worship service being limited to the lesser of the two.”
Have you covered all bases? Try this quiz produced by the office of the District Administrator to check that you are on track.
Once you have completed the quiz you can review your results to see how you went.
Or use this example risk assessment template shared by an LCAQD congregation to help with your planning.
Note section 5:
A new concept introduced in the June Road Map for Church activities is the "INDUSTRY COVID19 SAFE PLAN FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP". If religious communities, like Christian Churches in Queensland follow this industry COVID 19 safe plan, then those Churches will be able to have gatherings of MORE THAN 20 individuals at a place of worship (whilst complying with regular requirements such as social distancing). Currently there is no State Government INDUSTRY COVID19 SAFE PLAN FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP but one is being urgently developed.
After the end of this week (Friday, June 5th) the Queensland Government will be ready to release such a plan for places of worship. The Heads of Churches in Queensland have given input into the compilation of this INDUSTRY SAFE PLAN.
Some congregations are producing their own video or live worship resources. See our latest list at https://qld.lca.org.au/resources/ministry-and-mission-resources/ at the CHURCH OFFLINE: MEDIA tab.
Others are accessing the the Livestream worship resources that the LCA has been producing for some years.
Some elderly parents are asking their children to help set them up with the technology.
All congregations are ensuring that they keep in touch with one another, whether by phone, social media or video link-up, and especially in touch with the isolated and vulnerable.
For more ideas about maintaining Christian community that is able to have an impact on a hurting world, see https://qld.lca.org.au/resources/ministry-and-mission-resources/ at the CHURCH OFFLINE: RESOURCES and SMALL GROUPS tabs.
Even thought public worship services have been suspended, we have a wonderful opportunity as followers of Jesus to engage with new ways of ‘being church’. We are made in the image of, and worship, a Creative and ReCreative God. We are invited to use that creativity to think of new ways of engaging each other, and reaching out to anxious people during such a time as this.
Also, see our Ministry and Mission Resources Page for:
- Church at Home Resources
- Small Group Resources
- Online Sermons/Worship Links
- Models of Faith and Connection Examples
Read this practical guidance prepared by Bishop Paul Smith
Read this practical advice from Bishop Paul Smith about considerations for Holy Communion during a time of Pandemic
From Midnight May 15 - 10 people are permitted at a religious gathering. Some congregations are utilising an online booking system to enable Holy Communion to occur. (Primary Health Rules apply). Two systems being used (which have a free option) are
Churches and other places of worship, will be considered places of work so that services can be live streamed to the community. This will ensure that religious services, including Easter services, remain accessible to congregations. National Cabinet agreed that providing access to services is important for a sense of continuity and social connection.
Services may be conducted and live streamed providing only essential staff are present, the venue/facility remains closed to the public, and social distancing principles are adhered to.
Any church wishing to conduct religious services, including Easter services, must use the minimum number of participants required to deliver and live stream the service, which may include a priest, attendants, organist, videographer and sound recordist.
Please remember that live-streamed services are not open to physical attendance by the public, that social distancing must be observed at all times, that appropriate hygiene measures are to be followed at all times, and that a strong awareness of the Federal Government’s advice about those who are most at risk be taken into consideration.