ow has the World Health Organisation’s declaration of the spread of the coronavirus as a pandemic changed our WMCNZ response? In short it hasn’t. Given that the Ministry of Health assessment is that “With continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low” we continue to take a cautious, measured approach and to monitor the situation through the Ministry of Health and other sources. At the same time we want to be prepared and we have initiated the development of a WMCNZ pandemic response plan. This will provide us with a roadmap for not only responding appropriately to any escalation in the current outbreak but also for future outbreaks such as the ‘flu. It will help us know when to advise churches to take further specific precautions if that becomes necessary. But for now our advice continues to be to:
Wash your hands regularly, and encourage others to wash their hands, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly.
Practice good hygiene when gathering around food and when serving communion.
Stay away from others if you are unwell (i.e. stay home), and encourage others to stay away from others if they are unwell. This includes not coming to church or church activities if you are unwell.
Resources & help The Ministry of Health Resources page is a good source of posters, leaflets etc. which you can download, print and make freely available. Two of the most useful are:
This Poster reminding everyone how to protect themselves and others against the coronavirus.
All of Government Factsheet for Welfare Support is a helpful resource covering health (including mental health) & wellness advice and coping strategies; financial support available; information for tenants and landlords; as well as the approach being taken re schools, early learning centres and tertiary education institutions.
Also on the Ministry of Health website is this very helpful Questions and Answers page.
Our call as Christians
And let’s remember that the response of the Christian should be to walk towards and minister to those who are suffering. Let’s follow the example of Jesus, and countless other Christians throughout history, by stepping into the darkness of suffering to shine as lights, and to bring the comfort of the hope we have to those who suffer. For more thoughts and ideas on a Christian and Christ-like response see this article.
Contact the National Secretary (ph 027 243 9363) if you have a specific church-related question or concern.
This page will be updated as necessary and was last updated on 14 March 2020.