Dear Pastors, Elders and fellow church workers,
Grace and Peace be with you in these challenging and unprecedented times.
In this recent week, we have witnessed a spike of Covid-19 cases. Not only is there a deep concern for the safety of lives, but it also casts, once again, a dark cloud over our economy and general well-being of the nation.
However, God is not caught off guard. He who is our Anchor will take us through these times in preparation for that Great Day, when we will see His return. There is no room for pessimism or idealism. Let us all aim to be Christ-centred, leaning on His wisdom and practical common sense, as we navigate uncharted waters.
On behalf of the Council, I ask that we all continue to seek the Lord with a renewed passion for His presence and be the ones that stand in the gap to pray for the Church and our nation!
Meanwhile, allow me to share some practical pastoral advice, to address some pertinent issues for your immediate action, as you take measures to comply with the SOPs that have been released by the various government agencies.
- ALL ONSITE Services must comply with the most current guidelines given by the authorities. Churches that are in the RED ZONES are to suspend ONSITE Services until their status change. Note that gatherings to facilitate online broadcast are allowed but limited to 20 persons (even though you are in the RED ZONES).
Review and tighten your ONSITE (and office) SOPs in view of the present spike in numbers
- Physical small group meetings of any kind.
All small group meetings should be conducted online as it is almost impractical to maintain physical distancing in many of our homes.
- Children below 12 years of age.
At the moment the Ministry of Education allows schools to continue to function normally (BARRING THOSE IN RED-ZONES). We, therefore, see no reason why children accompanying their parents to church should not be allowed to continue to do so.
Those without parents accompanying them are not encouraged to attend church.
- Adults over 70 years
In compliance with the government directives, those over 70 years should not attend church for health reasons, if the church is located in the YELLOW and RED ZONES.
- There should be immediate communication to ask those from affected communities or states to refrain from attending ONSITE services until they have fulfilled all quarantine prerequisites.
- Those who are in contact with the infected cases should practise self-quarantine and verify their medical status with the relevant medical authorities with immediate effect.
- Government Links for reference.
With increasing changes in events, we append below some of the government links that will help you to retrieve up-to-date information that will enable your church to make the appropriate action.
INFOSIHAT : COVID-19 ZONE
MAJLIS KESELAMATAN NEGARA - COVID-19 FEDERAL SOP
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) (of the various States)
We trust that this advisory would enable your leadership to make the appropriate decision as we navigate through these challenging times whilst continuing to be the salt and light in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, let us remember to pray for our King, the Prime Minister, the cabinet, the front-liners at the Ministry of Health, and for our economy.
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah” (Psalm 68:19, NIV84)
Caring for all,
Eu Hong Seng
On behalf of the NECF Council.
8th October 2020