New Apostolic Church South-East Asia intends to gradually restore the life of the congregation to normal by observing the efforts to prevent the transmission and spread of COVID-19. Starting July 5, 2020 divine services can be held regularly in congregations. There are rules that must be observed and summarized in a guideline.
Noting the official restriction on organizing events, the New Apostolic Church South East Asia has temporarily canceled scheduled divine services and other church services to protect its members from a COVID-19 contagion on March 17, 2020.
Since March 18, 2020, on every Sunday, streaming divine services have been held every Sunday transmitted via YouTube, and audio. With a Circular Letter of March 19, 2020, the Church Leader decided that all church activities in the congregations are stopped and church buildings must remain closed.
Divine services begin in July 2020
In accordance with the decisions of the Government of Indonesia, the Philippines and countries in South East Asia, the divine services will be held again starting July 2020. The Church leader intends to gradually restore the life of the congregation to normal by observing the efforts to prevent the transmission and spread of COVID-19. Starting July 5, 2020 divine services can be held regularly in congregations with due regard to the Health Protocol and the conditions described in this guidelines.
Meanwhile all other congregational meetings in the church besides the divine services were suspended until further notice. The Church leader decides its implementation by considering the development of the situation.
The celebration of Holy Communion
This guideline contains the main requirements (especially for the celebration of Holy Communion), but at the same time also provides general guidance in several respects. The background is that the requirements of the authorities differ from one region and another and the conditions (size of church buildings, number of people and ministers, etc.) differ in each city / country.
The contents of the guide were announced by District Apostle Edy Isnugroho to all district officials on June 20, 2020 and were then sent to the district and congregation rector to prepare for the service at the church.
There are two types of assistance for church members: on one side of the poster “Guidelines on Preventing Transmission and Distribution of Covid-19” (download), and on the other hand a guide that contains detailed information. (download)
Information for “risk groups”
People called risk groups who are otherwise worried about leaving their homes must also refrain from attending these services. The church leadership pleaded with members who were prone to contracting the disease, as well as people with congenital illness who were at high risk of Covid-19 (for Indonesians: elderly > 65 and children <15) to attend services at home. For other countries in accordance with applicable regulations.
Centralized video services remain available until the end of July or further notice. Upon request and depending on local conditions, the Priestly ministers will visit them at home starting in June and celebrate the Holy Communion with them.
Protection for all
District Apostle Edy Isnugroho realized that there would be different views on these new normal habits. However, the District Apostle asked for understanding: “We want this religious activity to return gradually. Divine service that has been permitted by the government can be carried out by implementing strict health protocols. The church should be a good example by obeying the rules that have been submitted by the government.”
This post is also available in: Indonesian