| Church Services
Online Resources to Sustain Us
At All Times
Good hygiene - helping others
Food and drink (morning/afternoon tea and kava sessions etc)
Contact Tracing and QR Code Poster
Why wear face masks at Alert Level 1?
Mental Wellness Support
Sharing the Load
Admin and Ministry teams on site
In our buildings
Sharing buildings with others
Using Office 365
Help Us to Help You
Online Resources to Sustain Us
Please tell the Connexional Office about any online resources you have available to share across the Connexion.
This is a time of stress for all of us and some of us cope better than others.
Be kind with your words and actions.
Consider what other people are going through.
|And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other,
just as God also in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Good Hygiene - Helping Others
The most important thing those of us who are not infected can do is to reduce the strain on the health system. We can do this two ways:
1. Not getting sick with any other bugs:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly, regularly throughout the day.
- Try not to touch your face or rub your eyes
- Use hand sanitiser if hand washing not available or on exiting or entering public spaces
[Soap is useful for viruses with a fatty exterior like COVID-19, hand sanitiser is good for other bugs, but needs a very high alcohol content to kill COVID-19]
2. Not transmitting any other bugs we may have:
- Staying home at the first sign of illness in you or your dependents
- Sneeze into your elbow
- Use tissues for nose-blowing, only once, and dispose of in rubbish bin
- Avoid the following: shaking hands, hongi, hugging, or otherwise touching the faces or hands of people you are not living with
- Maintain social distance – if you do have to go out, spend no more than 15 minutes being more than 1m closer to each person you might meet.
Food and drink (morning/afternoon tea and kava
|Hand and serving hygiene are of the utmost importance.
Always aim to reduce the threat of cross contamination.
- home baking needs to be undertaken in a clean and hygienic manner
- consider using commercially processed food
- ensure hands have been thoroughly washed and dried before touching the glasses, cups, plates serving tools and other utensils
- ensure hands have been thoroughly washed and dried while preparing the food and drink
- or wear food-hygiene standard gloves
- always keep your hands away from your face
- handle the food as little as possible
- offer the food in such a manner it is easy to pick up
- ensure people don't need to use their bare hands
- offer the cups, plates and utensils in such a way that recipients need only touch their own
- where possible, use a dishwasher or steriliser to clean dishes
- ensure hands have been thoroughly washed and dried before touching the clean dishes
- clean and dry the cleaning/drying cloths often
Fast Contact Tracing is important
All of the world needs to be in control of COVID-19 before we will be truly safe.
Contact tracing will be New Zealand's key tool to minimise the chances of a second or further wave of COVID-19 sweeping our country.
Individuals are responsible for keeping a diary of where they have been, and who they've been with.
As a Church we should help by providing NZ COVID Tracer QR code posters at all of our buildings.
Must have: NZ Covid Tracer QR Code Poster
All our non-residential buildings must have QR Codes available for everyone to use.
- Have your driver licence ready
- Location Name is limited to 35 characters, avoid all punctuation marks including dashes and apostrophes
- Avoid the business number and use this BIC reference S954010
Using the app
The App is available from
Technical stuff: You will need at least Android 7.0 and iOS12.
The plan is to open it up to older versions but a date is still to be confirmed.
Don't have a smartphone?
For whatever reason you may not want, or may not be able to use the App.
Here are some ideas to keep track of where you have been and when.
Take a photo!
Make it memorable!
Write in a diary
Time, location, who you were with
Use a daily form
See attached. Time, location, who you were with.
|Govt Covid Tracer Booklet
Register online – update on line
App doesn't work on your phone?
The App will be made available to older phones; 'when' is still to be confirmed
Borrow a teenager to help with the technology!
Don't take your phone to church?
Cheat a little bit – have a copy of the church's QR code at home or in your car. Scan it there!
No data on phone
Once loaded, the App doesn't need data. All the information is stored on your phone. Turn the data off!
Using an alternative App?
These may be linked to the NZ COVID Tracer app; 'when' is still to be confirmed
Why wear face masks at Alert Level 1?
We want our people to continue our usual activities but with an increased response in our Auckland churches where certain activities have a greater potential for COVID-19 to spread via droplets.
There are new rules around wearing face masks, as at 22 February 2021
At Alert Level 1, face coverings legally must be worn:
- on all public transport to, from and through New Zealand - including on long-distance bus and train journeys, as well as ferries
- on domestic flights throughout New Zealand
- by taxi and ride-share drivers - while it's not compulsory for passengers to wear them, we strongly encourage you to.
When to wear a Face Mask
- On all domestic flights at all Alert Levels
- At Alert Level 1 everyone wears a mask on public transport such as buses, trains and planes
- Recommended for church services and events in Auckland at Alert Level 1
- Recommended in Auckland for people from multiple bubbles in a vehicle for a Church event or Church business
- Expect your taxi, Uber and bus driver to wear a face mask in Auckland
- Recommended for church services and events throughout New Zealand at Alert Level 2
- At higher alert levels in all close physical situations with people outside your bubble.
- They don't need to be worn:
- by people with a disability or physical or mental health condition that makes covering their face difficult.
- by children under 12
- on school buses
- by passengers of small passenger vehicles, such as taxis, Uber, and Zoomy
- on charter or group tours
- on interisland ferries
- on private flights
- by private contractors of air services such as top-dressers
- in circumstances such as in an emergency or when people need to prove their identity or communicate with someone who is deaf.(from 31/8/20)
The Methodist Church now expects that people from multiple bubbles in a vehicle for a Church event or Church business will also wear a mask. (from 31/8/20)
- Able breathing people who can remove the masks themselves
- young children or people who need help to remove the masks
- people who have trouble breathing
How to put on a Face Mask
- Use clean hands
- Use a clean, dry, undamaged mask
- Hold the mask by the ties or ear loops
- Place over your nose, mouth and chin
- fit it comfortably and securely against the side of your face
- ensure you can still breath easily!
- Clean your hands again!
How to remove a face mask
1. Use clean hands
2. Use the ties or ear loops to pull the mask away from your face.
i. AVOID TOUCHING your eyes, nose and mouth
ii. AVOID TOUCHING the front of the mask
3. Clean re-usable masks in a washing machine with detergent at 60°C.
i. ensure mask is fully dry
ii. use a dryer or dry it flat to maintain shape
iii. if possible, dry in direct sunlight
4. Responsibly dispose of single-use masks in:
i. rubbish bin with closed lid
ii. sealed bag (and then dispose of the bag)
iii. AVOID re-using or disinfecting single-use masks.
5. Clean your hands again!
- if it gets damp or soiled
- at least each day
- if you cough, sneeze or dribble into it
- wash before using again (resusable masks)
- wear only once (single use masks)
Under restrictive alert levels, the mechanics of food service advice is generally:
• avoid buffet style food-lines
• serve food individually
• only have one person touching a utensil rather than multiple people
• maintain hygiene of hands and utensils
• maintain physical distancing
How would you see communion happening when physical distancing rules are relaxed and we still want to maintain an ongoing standard of hygiene?
What will be a new Communion normal moving forward in times of threats of infections?
Guidance from Faith and Order
A Theological Statement
Celebrating Holy Communion or the Eucharist has been at the heart of worship for the overwhelming majority of Christian communities. However Christians and members of other faiths hold the insight that our worship forms and rituals are core aspects of celebrating faith and honouring God. Yet God is not honoured by practices that are unjust or diminishing.
A practice that risks the health or life of clergy and worshippers is an unethical one. Therefore we should take steps to ensure our experience of celebrating Holy Communion is safer for all of us.
Therefore we should ensure:
- The person preparing the elements must thoroughly wash their hands and wear gloves.
- Unnecessary handling is minimised. The bread and cup should be on the Communion table and veiled prior to the start of the service.
- Sanitiser gel is offered to every person who comes to church, as part of the ministry of welcome. On Communion Sundays this reduces the risk to the celebrant and those who assist her or him.
- Communion ware, cups, chalice, paten are cleaned and dried thoroughly by a person or people wearing gloves.
- The Sign of Peace is suspended at Level Two or higher.
Prior to distribution the celebrant and those assisting with distribution will wash their hands with soap and water, and then keep their hands cleansed with a sanitiser gel.
Often we receive communion in both spiritual and physical closeness. The gathering around to receive the elements is a moment of deep fellowship. However at this time we must continue to practice safe distancing even in receiving Communion.
What that looks like will be contingent on the worship space, the numbers of communicants and their mobility. One option might be to adopt the Presbyterian practice of taking the elements around the church.
Later in 2021 Faith and Order will be reflecting on the experiences of communion during the different Alert Levels and lockdowns from the past year.
Things for consideration include:
- Online Communion and including everyone regardless of technology ability levels
- The forms of communion during this time as performed by our fellow Churches
We know that people have been celebrating communion in many different forms, until such time as Faith and Order have further guidance and advice to share with you, please follow the safe path in caring for yourself and for others.
When we are restricted in celebrating Holy Communion
The following is offered from Alan Upson.
"Hearing that the St John's Parish Secretary here was seeking some guidance on how the congregation might experience communion, I've put some personal thoughts on the matter to paper and attach a copy for you in the hope that they might be useful.
They are intentionally personal, because the practice of Communion would be just functional, if not graced by people's intentions and feelings of anticipation, presence, acceptance and spiritual refreshment.
The traditional form of communion isn't, I feel, the only way to experience the fulfilment of the Last Supper ritual.
Feel free to share these or put them aside as signs of dotage, as you wish,
Communion - There's a strong element of imagination in our past communion practices. In reality, we are not there in the Upper Room. But what we have done in the past with bread squares and fruit drink to represent the bread and wine, has required some imagination.
In the Pacific Islands for instance I'm told that coconut milk and breadfruit have been used. As children, my brothers and I imagined the ice-cream-in-a-cone stamen of the Periwinkle flower was the real thing, just as others used a tiny tea service for a pretend morning tea.
Communion has elements, not so much of pretend, so much as association. I feel something special is about to happen before communion and a sense of spiritual refreshment afterwards.
In those moments where the elements are taken, I enter a similar mind-space where in child-hood the Periwinkle stamen was an ice-cream, or the empty play tea-set had real milk and sugar in the tea. Only in communion, it is a place where I am a disciple, face-to-face with Christ for that moment.
The physical means of communion and the essence of the ritual, have meaning only with my recognition of the reality of God's presence and connection with the real-me.
The familiarity of how I've taken communion in the past, takes second place to the sense of being at one with the love that is in all creation as it is in me. That's what really matters for me. That there are others who know that mystery also deepens the experience.
So association with the purpose of the event is primary and the mechanics of communion come second.
Touch may help some as with receiving the bread square and the tiny cup of juice. But the focus of the ritual can be done in other ways.
For instance - we know the disciples and Jesus met in the Upper Room where their usual sharing of bread and wine took on a special significance as they came together in the dim light of an oil lamp.
Today, such sharing with Christ-now, might instead have a candle focus, while the words of institution, sanctification and blessing are read, perhaps with responses, followed by a silence for quiet reflection .... without any piece of bread to munch and swallow; without concern for spilling the cup and where to put the tiny thing afterwards; without having to get out of the seat or wait in line.
The disciples didn't have their special moment with Jesus cluttered with such things, why should we?
Through this time of a sometimes-deadly-pandemic, caused by a social-function-dependent virus, invisibly-lurking-anywhere, for which there is no vaccination, we might release ourselves from another fear - of not doing things the way we always did them in the past.
The fear of infection by contact through the preparing and distribution of the traditional variety of elements can be put aside until an vaccination is found - just don't have that kind of communion.
Instead, try out other ways of using the Last Supper story, to bring the worshipping people close to the purpose of the Upper Room event and a full awareness of the resulting blessing of God's Presence.
May 16th, 2020
It is important that Supervision be maintained during this time. This period of lockdown is not a holiday.
It may be the most important opportunity we have to share caring pastoral ministry. We can only do this if we look after ourselves.
We are aware that some Presbyters have compromised immune systems. Please take special care of yourselves and as a team of leaders across the church, try and share the load.
- Confirm people are well, and assure them you are also
- Be upfront about hygiene and keeping each other safe at this time
Distance and hygiene
- Maintain social distancing
- Wash your hands before and after if you are able
- Carry sanitiser and use it before and after your visit
- Keep your hands away from your face
- Practice good hygiene and food handling habits
- Maintain a record of places you have visited
- You have the right to decline visits if you are uncomfortable with the level of risk the virus poses to you and your family's health.
- Only allow visits if you are sniffle and illness free
- Be guided by Hospital and Rest Home rules – they are in charge and may still be locked down
Mental Wellness Support
For many of us the changes inflicted on us can feel overwhelming. Help is always available. Please reach out if you need to talk.
Everyone needs support at times and we want to encourage you to reach out and ask for help when it's needed. If you are struggling you can talk to your Presbyter or to one of the caring agencies listed below. Presbyters and Deacons you are not immune to stress. If you are in a Stationed appointment you can access EAP, details below.
Another good start-point is your GP. GPs are trained to assess, treat, and manage many mental health challenges. However, there are a range of other services available spanning phone, online and face to face support. Most of these services are free and provide information and confidential advice from trained professionals.
Not All Right? - 1737 – free call or text any time, 24 hours a day
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP)
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Alcohol Drug Helpline - 0800 787 797
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or
What's Up: Online chat (1pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787
Helpline (12pm-11pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)
Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (4pm-9pm weekdays)
: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
Ola Lelei helpline
0800 OLA LELEI (0800 652 535) Auckland region freephone service
Talk to a trained Pacific mental health or social worker about any worries, issues or concerns they may have due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). If they aren't able deliver a specific service, then they are able to refer the callers, with caller consent, to one of their many partner organisations. This is the first known service of its kind for Pacific peoples in New Zealand. It is supported by funding from the Ministries of Health and Social Development.
Mentemia from John Kirwan is an app that coaches mental wellbeing and is free to all New Zealanders. It's packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It includes most common stressors experienced today - poor sleep, anxiety and stress.
Free, confidential counselling sessions to Xero subscribers and their staff. (Peter van Hout, Sarah Andrews and Bruce Johnston have confirmed availability on the plan MCNZ has with Xero)
Available to Presbyters and Deacons in appointments and their families
|Sharing the load
It is possible that some of our parishes or families may be significantly affected. Please advise your Synod Superintendent or the General Secretary if this is the case.
People in the shop – 2 metre spacing
- Only allow the number of people in as social distancing will allow
- 2 metres between strangers in public places
- 1 metre between known people in public places
- This includes volunteers stocking the shelves or tidying up
- Create a one way system if you have space
- Keep a customer register if you are open at Alert Level 2
- Encourage customers to touch with their eyes before they use their hands
- Consider all touched items being brought to the counter for sanitisation
- Sanitise counters and eftpos machines after use
Ideas for incoming items
- Use clean gloves while handling incoming goods
- Sanitise hard goods prior to sorting and displaying
- Wash soft goods separately if possible
- Date soft goods and hold for a week prior to sorting
- Select a date and time for drop offs (rather than at any old time)
Shared toilet facilities
- Will need to be strictly monitored to ensure they are sanitised for the next person
Play it Safe
- Only open if you have willing and able bodied people
- Maintain enough people for standard security protocol
Our volunteers are often the backbone of our outreach endeavours. They often build a routine around the work they do with the church and COVID-19 interruptions strain that routine.
Help our volunteers through this time:
• Keep in regular contact with your volunteer team
• Plan for any work that can be done at home
• Ensure there are available for work to be done at home.
Admin and ministry teams on site
Ensure the team has an opportunity to discuss and agree how operating the office will work, based on being sensible and setting a good example.
Play it Safe Protocols are available under the Downloads page. Edit the protocols to suit your building and your team. There is an additional Play it Safe poster also available to edit.
- Keep contractual obligations in mind
- Increase the cleaning regime and regularity for common areas
- Keep tenants informed of the changes of the steps being taken
- Only instigate contact tracing for the offices/building areas you work in
- Seek further assistance if you are unsure
- Their tenancy area, staff, and business operations
- Contact tracing for their business
In our buildings
If our region is in a higher alert level, we need to think about how we maintain physical distancing.
- Consider doorways and pinch points – create space to maintain distancing
- Think about chairs, standing space, queueing
- Use indications or signs expected behaviours – tape on the ground, footsteps (walking or standing), arrows
- Use alternative ways of working if possible. If customers are not on site, keep staff working from home.
- If workers are sick with symptoms of COVID-19, tell them to stay home.
- Talk with your team to identify risks and ways to manage them.
- Ask everyone, workers, contractors and customers, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away
- Provide and maintain appropriate contact tracing tools
- Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
Sharing Buildings with Others
• Have a conversation to discuss how each group will keep you and other groups safe
• Inform them how you will keep them safe – refer to the "Building use" item above
• Keep distance between groups
• Ensure groups stay within their designated time frames to avoid overlaps
• Shorten each groups time frames to avoid overlaps
Facilities – cleaning and hygiene
• A cleaning regime will have to be used to ensure facilities and building cleaning occurs between groups
Play it Safe!
• Stay at home if you are unwell
• Stay at home if you are at high risk of severe illness
The virus on surfaces
"COVID-19 can remain on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to about 3 days and less than that for other types of surfaces. This will depend on the surface."
Cleaning vs disinfecting
"If surfaces look visibly dirty, they should be cleaned first. Best to use a detergent which will have the added bonus of likely deactivating coronaviruses as they are enveloped viruses.
If you are using a disinfectant make sure it says it is antiviral and follow the instructions. Often, we just end up using a cloth to wipe the microbes around rather than actually letting them sit and stew in the disinfectant first so that it can do its job. Surfaces will need about 10 seconds soaking with the disinfectant for it to work."
Options to consider:
1. Leave surfaces alone for 3 days or more
2. Disinfect the surfaces/objects before and after they are touched
3. Avoid/bypass the surfaces/objects entirely
4. Disinfect the hands before and after they touch the surfaces/objects
5. Minimise the number of people who have to touch the surface/object
Apply the options to your building and activity.
6. Inform people of the upgraded procedures.
Hand washing dishes
Ensuring dishes are sterilised is easy with a dishwasher or steriliser unit. The following link has useful information in it regarding steps to take if handwashing is your only option.
The key ones:
- Buy antibacterial dish wash liquid
- Use a scrubber rather than a sponge
- Use water as hot as you can (and heat resistant dish wash gloves)
- Sterilise tea towels/drying towels between uses
Cleaning between groups and building uses
- Ensure groups stay within their designated time frames and or areas to provide time to clean
- Ensure group numbers are within the approved guidelines
- Shorten each groups time frames to avoid overlaps
- Ensure each group maintains outstanding hygiene habits
- Building use may be cancelled if users cannot maintain standards
- Create a one way system to help separate people
Additional cleaning products may have to be provided for cleaning, although some groups may also be obliged to provide sanitisation and cleaning products for their own people.
Care for Our People
All participating partners care for the wellbeing of their people.
Please take the steps you feel most comfortable with to ensure your wellbeing.
Please with any other differences between our advice and our CV partner churches so we can help make information sifting easier for you.
The Methodist Church of New Zealand welcomes you to share your stories of this journey so we may all learn.
The Board of Administration will continue to offer services during the lock down.
You may contact staff by email or telephone. Staff phones will have an automatic redirect to their working at home number. To contact staff phone 0800 266 639 and follow the auto prompts.
Other Church Roles
There is no cover for Business Interruption for the Covid-19 as there is an infection disease exclusion under the policy. This exclusion is common and standard across property policies in New Zealand.
Extract from the policy for your reference:
This policy does not insure loss, damage, interruption or inference animal or human disease and/or any pest management plan under the Biosecurity Act 1993 or any subsequent amending legislation or replacement Act.
There is only medical and emergency medical transportation cover during a pandemic.
The NZ Government currently advises that all New Zealanders avoid overseas travel at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions. Contact your travel agent for advice on cancellation fees if travelling during this time.
Please address any further insurance queries to
Using Office 365
Microsoft provides the Church with free access to its cloud based Office solution, Office 365. It is available to all Parishes and Synods but accounts need to be set up by the IT personnel at the Connexional Office.
With Office 365, members of the Church or employees of the Church are able to use the web based applications of Outlook, Work, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. to continue with their work. Multiple users can log onto Office 365 and share the same documents stored on OneDrive.
|All you need is internet access, a computer and a login.
If this is of interest please contact either:
Help us help you
Current communication efforts are based on current government media releases, personal knowledge and best efforts.
Tell us your concerns, give us your queries. Let us build a communication network that targets what matters to you.
or text: 027 457 4196
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