27 Mar 2020
Further to our Pastoral Note on 25 Mar 2020, please note the following update following a dialogue session Elder Jim attended between Singapore church leaders and Minister Grace Fu, MCCY and MOH on 26 Mar 2020:
We have decided to also suspend all physical cell group gatherings .
Although cell groups within 10 are technically allowed, our sense is that it fulfils the ‘letter’ but not ‘spirit’ of the measure. Minister Grace Fu strongly urged church leaders to fully cooperate by encouraging our members not to gather physically in cells but to stay home, thereby significantly reducing the risks of further spread. These multiple “mini-lockdowns” (not just churches but in other centres) are to avoid a “full lockdown” which will have major ramifications/impact on the whole of Singapore.
1. No cell groups are to physically gather (even within limit of 10).
2. We will all participate in the worship service online on Sundays, as individuals or families.
3. We will all continue to gather as cells via teleconferencing platforms like ZOOM.
4. This applies to ALL cells and ministries – including those groups already smaller than 10 and all Youth Service groups. Also, no 1-on-1 face to face physical meetings and no informal cell group socials too.
These measures are necessary in the light of the critical time in the spread now and the facts about the nature of the virus. For example, the virus stays active 2-3 days outside the body on surfaces if not disinfected. Also the risk increases exponentially for those aged 60 and above.
● Let us fully cooperate and support the government & healthcare workers’ efforts.
● Let us worship & encourage each other from our homes through whatever way we can: phone calls (to seniors), text messages , meet via ZOOM , worship together online as a family (including your Christian domestic helper).
● Let us step up prayers to our great and faithful God to be merciful and heal our land as we come in humble repentance (2 Chronicles 7:14).