Letter from the General Secretary – Response to Coronavirus

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Dear Ministry Colleagues and members of congregations
Greetings and blessing to you all as you gather for worship and varying ministry activities in the coming days.
I have received a number of emails in recent days looking for advice in relation to the Coronavirus.
I have noted that a number of people are using resources from overseas and I would council against this.
Click here to download the letter from the President which I commend to you for circulation. [https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/new-times/Response-to-Coronavirus.pdf]
Wayne Booth (the WHS Coordinator for the Synod of SA) is in the process of preparing a resource for congregations which will be available next week.
There will be further information for the Presbytery meetings on the 14th March.
We are monitoring the South Australian Government Health website which has the most accurate and up to date information.
The Synod Executive Officers have met and approved policies and procedures for the Office in Pirie St and the Campus at Brooklyn Park.
While waiting for this update, our encouragement for congregations is to pay attention to general and personal hygiene, just as you might when preparing for the winter cold and flu season.
We encourage the availability of hand sanitisers in all places where people gather and that all bathrooms and toilets are well equipped with good quality soap and perhaps some instructions about how to effectively wash your hands.
We encourage special attention to the cleaning of high traffic spaces and surfaces – tables, chairs, railings etc.
We encourage you to consider alternative and creative ways to pass the peace and greet each other at the door. Please do not remove these important practices from your routine but have some fun thinking about doing it in different ways for the time bring. Congregations with people who are frail, unwell or have compromised immune systems will already be doing some of these things.
We would ask Leadership Teams to give some special thought to those members of your congregations who are already vulnerable and might be concerned or anxious about the virus. It is an important time to stay connected with these people and not to add to their anxiety.
There will be further information next week but we hope this will allow you to respond in an intentional way to the current and emerging risks.
Thank you for your attention to these matters
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The Uniting Church in Australia
Synod of South Australia
Level 2, 212 Pirie Street
Adelaide SA 5000