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Roadmap to 2022!

The following ‘roadmap’ aims to indicate the shape of our path out of lockdown and into 2022 will take. It aims to provide some clarity for our planning, and to give us things to think about, work towards, and look forward to. Some or many of the details may need to change as guidelines evolve, but this is our best bet at this point.

It is very important that throughout this time we take great care, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes:
- Ensuring you check in
- Do not attend in person if you have any symptoms at all!
- Make sure you practice social distancing when required

In broadest outline, our path to 2022 has four stages:                  

Beginning to Return

Sunday 31 October (assuming 80% vaccination threshold reached) to Sunday 28 November
Overview
In this phase, we will be able to return to church with significant restrictions in place. These include a capacity limit based on the 4m2 rule, facemasks, social distanced seating and interacting, and a range of other requirements. Youth and children's ministry may be more complex in this period.

All services will be livestreamed to cater for all those who cannot yet attend in person. 

We hope to be able to promote and enjoy our Christmas Wreathmaking event on Saturday, November 27. 

This will probably be a bit of a transitional period. It will be a time for patience and grace with one another, and to give thanks for God’s sustaining blessing throughout the lockdown period.
Summary of Restrictions
- 4m2 rule caps capacity at 115 people in the church building
- Face masks must be worn inside the building
- Congregational singing is not allowed
- People must sit 1.5 metres apart
- Where possible, all volunteers should be vaccinated, and all volunteers involved in children’s ministry, singing, or welcoming, must be vaccinated.

Service Details
Morning Church
The 10am service will meet in the St Stephen’s building. As there is a capacity limit, we may need to use an overflow space in the hall.

Kid's Ministry
Guidance about children's activities is currently still in flux. Based on current guidance and space requirements, we hope to be able to run a kids program in the hall, or in the outdoor space adjacent to the hall. To ensure we do not exceed our capacity limits, children will be dropped here at the start of the service, rather than beginning the service in church. 

An online kids ministry program will continue during this time for those not attending in person. 

In addition, we are working on strategies to increase our crèche capacity for this period

Cottage Church
Cottage church will at this stage meet in the main hall, for reasons of capacity.
Church in the Graveyard
Evening church will continue at its usual time of 6.30pm. 

Regathering and Celebrating Advent

Sunday 5 December to Christmas Day
Overview
In this phase, restrictions are currently set to ease. Capacity limits will be reduced to the 2m2 rule, facemasks will no longer be mandatory (though they are still recommended), and singing will be permitted. Hooray!

We hope that at this stage, children’s ministry will be able to recommence as normal. We are also hoping in this period to be able to enjoy our Christmas carols in the graveyard afternoon on Sunday 12 December, and our Christmas services, which will be:
 - Christmas Eve, 8pm
- Christmas Day, 10am

Although there will continue to be some restrictions and complexities, we may hope that this will be a joyful time. Start thinking and praying now about who you might be able to invite along to one of our Christmas events!
Summary of Restrictions
- 2m2 rule caps capacity at 200 people in the church
- Face masks are not mandatory
- Congregational singing is allowed
- Kids ministry will be back as ‘normal’
- People must sit 1.5 metres apart
- Where possible, all volunteers should be vaccinated, and all volunteers involved in children’s ministry, singing, or welcoming, must be vaccinated.

Service Details
Morning and Evening Church
Morning and Evening church will continue in the St Stephen's Church Building at their usual times of 10am and 6.30pm.
Kid's Ministry
We expect Kids Church to be able to return as normal
Cottage Church
Cottage Church will be able to return to the Lower Hall

Summertime Church

Sunday 26 December to Sunday 23 January
Taking Care
In this phase, restrictions are most likely to continue as they were in December. Again, it will be important to continue to take care in order to prevent the spread of the virus. 

There will be no regular children’s program in this period, but holiday activities will be provided as much as possible. Some of the ministry team will be away on holidays at different times throughout this period, so do be patient with us!

Summary of Restrictions
- 2m2 rule caps capacity at 200 people in the church
- Face masks are not mandatory
- Congregational singing is allowed
- People must sit 1.5 metres apart
- Where possible, all volunteers should be vaccinated, and all volunteers involved in children’s ministry, singing, or welcoming, must be vaccinated.

Service Details
Morning and Evening Church
Morning and Evening church will continue in the St Stephen's Church Building at their usual times of 10am and 6.30pm.
Kid's Ministry
There will be no regular children’s program in this period, but holiday activities will be provided as much as possible.
Cottage Church
Cottage Church will be in the Lower Hall

Into 2022

From Sunday 30 January
Taking Care
We do not yet know what restrictions will look like in this period, but we should expect to continue to have to take care in the way we meet and monitor the situation

At this stage, the plan is for our congregations to continue meeting at 10am mornings, 4.30pm cottage, 6.30pm evening service. This represents a significant step for our morning congregation. See the note below for a little more on this.
A note about our morning congregations in 2022
Members of our morning congregations will note, in particular, the proposed plan to continue meeting as one congregation at 10am in 2022. Hopefully this possibility will not come as a great surprise, as it has been on the table throughout the consultations, was proposed in the ‘next steps for NEAC’ discussion paper, and has been discussed by parish council and in wider consultation. However, we are still in a phase of discussing this suggestion, and I (Andrew) remain interested in hearing your feedback on this proposal. I aim sometime in November to lay out in more detail how I am hoping we will be able to move forward with all the different proposed directions in the coming months and years. However, I thought it was worth indicating that this is our direction of travel at this stage – I hope you find it exciting, and I continue to welcome your feedback!

Get in touch!
If you would like to get in touch with us about the details given here, or provide feedback, please do feel free to do so. 

The best ways to do so are:
- Contact the office: office@neac.com.au
- Contact Andrew: andrew.errington@neac.com.au / 0476 374 056
- Contact the wardens: wardens@neac.com.au

our vision

Whole communities captivated by Jesus Christ and living out His freedom.

our mission

Connect people to Jesus, Build them up in Jesus and Release them to serve Jesus
hello@neac.com.au
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