Although NZ has come down to level 2 on the government Covid-19 response scheme, Auckland Unitarians will continue to meet by Zoom rather than face-to-face for the immediate future, and our building will remain closed to outside groups. Read here for more detail on that.
We’ll be hosting a Daily Virtual Morning Tea via the Zoom platform – link below – at 11.00AM each day, no formal structure, just a chat for whoever turns up.
We’ll be hosting a more formal Sunday Morning Tea, via the Zoom platform at 11.00AM Sunday 7th June, and each week after that for as long as necessary. Follow the link below and you will be prompted to sign up (Free) and download the app, then, at 11.00AM Sunday Join the meeting. but don’t forget to pour your coffee or tea first. If you have a chalice at home you might light it.
Here is the format: Clay will open with some thoughts and maybe a reading. Then, much like our time for joys and concerns, you will be invited to share anything you are celebrating in your life or anything troubling you. Then there will be time to have a conversation. When it seems appropriate I will offer closing words. We may be separated from each other, but we need not be disconnected.
In deciding what to muse on this week I just needed to take a moment to reflect on what is happening around me. The first thing I noticed was the brouhaha surrounding Todd Muller’s first week as opposition leader. First there was the MAGA hat that he doggedly defended displaying in his office as just some political swag, a souvenir. He was apparently oblivious to its being a malevolent symbol promoting racism, nativism, xenophobia, anti-science, and gross misogyny as being okay at least to white supremacists. Muller might as well decorate his office with swastikas and Klan hoods.
We have now entered the most dangerous stage of the pandemic. We think we are safe. We dodged the bullet. Life can go back to normal. Even the government says so as we move into Level 2. No need to stockpile enough loo paper to get us through 2025. Raising the number who can gather to 100 has only strengthened this illusion.
But read the fine print. We still need to maintain physical distance. Wash our hands. Keep a diary of where we have been for contact tracing purposes. It is recommended we wear a mask when using public transportation or in any public situation where maintaining physical distance is challenging. Businesses, including churches, have to log via the contact tracing app or on paper forms those who have accessed their facility. Provide hand sanitiser. Businesses need to do deep cleaning whenever facility is used.
I am beginning to get inquiries about when we will open the church again for worshipping in person. Small church groups and renters are asking if they can now meet in the church.
I’m afraid at this time the answer is no, for we do not have the capacity or resources to comply fully with the fine print.
Worship services in the church would be greatly reduced in numbers due to physical distance requirements. We might have to ask you to book that you will be attending the service in advance. Unlike a restaurant or other businesses, we do not have a staff to monitor building use or assure compliance with present requirements.
Due to a significant loss of income the Management Committee has approved a bare bones budget for this year. The cost of cleaning the church after each building use is greater than the income generated through rent. We have a duty of care to maintain a building that is appropriately clean. Even if this was not a government expectation, it is an ethical and moral one. Expecting those using the building will meet these requirements in a consistent manner is unrealistic.
When the government issues notice of going to Level 1 and what will be required, this decision will be reviewed in terms of our ability to comply.
I’ve been musing on how long-range planning has become nothing more than wondering what might happen next week. Certainly, one vocation that has little future is that of futurist. Wikipedia defines a futurist as someone whose speciality or interest is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.
Links were provided by church members for discussion purposes, inclusion in this list does not signify endorsement of the linked content by Auckland Unitarian Church.
From Jeff Parke: Retroviruses are nearly impossible to develop vaccines against. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrovirus Accelerated vaccine testing procedures might come up with a vaccine soon, but major risk is one that either isn’t effective enough, or has a harm profile as bad or worse than the disease. Jury is out for a number of months about this.
From John Maindonald: How many have seen this piece of local satire? ‘And the Lord did speak unto Brian’ https://bit.ly/2X6rVlx