A Message from Pastor Dale
We’re looking forward to meeting again for in-person worship services. The team is working on a number of initiatives to create a safe and inclusive environment at each stage of the re-opening. For more details please visit crossway.org.au/services.
All of Crossway is being invited to worship outdoors in groups of thirty, at a density of 4sqm per person, with no reference to vaccine status. This is in line with covid safe practices. In Acts 8 when the Church was scattered they took the message of Jesus with them wherever they went. Can you imagine the impact of outdoor worship on our community? That which has previously been hidden from people’s eyes and ears will now resound in the parks and public spaces of our society. The potential impact is enormous.
We are also able to meet in homes with up to 10 guests (including children).
On November 13/14 and 20/21, we’ll have on-campus worship services at the Burwood East facility. We are opening a new outdoor space on the lawn next to Highbury Road where we can have up to 500 fully vaccinated people worshiping together. We are planning to set this up with a coffee cart and food available and celebrate meeting together. The Children’s ministry will operate out of the main facility.
Government covid settings are expected to ease further after this time so that by November 27, we are intending to have on-campus outdoor options for people with undisclosed vaccination status, and up to 1000 fully vaccinated people in the auditorium.
Our Asian Languages Campus will recommence in-person services at the Burwood East facility from November 13/14.
Our South East Campus will be working with Nossal High School as their facility re-opens to gather as limits allow. In the meantime, as a community they have launched CSE Live online on Wednesday nights and they will continue to meet as a community on Altar-live on Sunday mornings. They are also planning for 30 person gatherings as restrictions allow.
Our Brighton Campus similarly will be meeting as allowed, and once their current renovations are complete the congregation will move in and officially commence Crossway Brighton in their updated facility.
At Crossway we believe that we are on a journey out of the global pandemic towards a day where we will all worship together as the body of Christ, people who are vaccinated and people who are not vaccinated, in a society where covid-19 is endemic. The pathway out of lockdown will be filled with challenges which will include government regulations, significant outbreaks and community angst about the timing and impact. However, we are moving ahead with the plans outlined above.
It is predicted that as Victoria opens there will be a significant spike in new infections. It appears the State Government will ease restrictions as it is able without crashing the healthcare sector. People who have chosen not to be vaccinated, have immune system vulnerabilities or who are unable to be vaccinated will be at far greater risk of covid-19 as it continues to infect people into the future.
Crossway will be a safe place for people and their children to attend. The most vulnerable to covid-19 must feel safe in being present at the facility and their children need to be in as safe a space as possible. The implication of this stance (at least in the short term) is that those attending the facility must demonstrate that they are vaccinated. This is a requirement from the government. It is anticipated that this will apply only until we are living in a fully open society with endemic covid-19.
Crossway does not believe that our gathering practices require us to act in civil disobedience. We shall be respectful of the laws of the land as we move towards society living with endemic covid-19. Crossway will seek to be an inclusive and safe place.
We are all one in Christ (Eph 4.4-6). This transcends whether we are people who are vaccinated, people who are not vaccinated, people who are vaccine hesitant or people who are unable to be vaccinated. Our commitment to one another transcends our diversity of thought about covid-19 and vaccination. We are lovingly committed to one another while we maintain best known practice for living with covid-19.
We will update you again when we have more information on the lifting of Government restrictions. I look forward to meeting together again in whatever form that may take to celebrate, worship together and praise our God.
Beginning 13-14 November Crossway people are being encouraged to regather in groups of 30 people with no reference to vaccination to worship outdoors around the city. Additionally, there will be an opportunity for 500 people who are fully vaccinated to gather on the lawn outside the LifeCare Centre on both Saturday night 5:00pm and Sunday morning 10:15am to worship together. This will be supported by the Crossway Kids ministry with a capacity for 150 people indoors who will need to be fully vaccinated if of age.
In compliance with current Government requirements, vaccination will be a requirement of entry into the Crossway facilities. At Crossway we do not believe that it is in the best interests of our most vulnerable to exercise civil disobedience in our practice of living with covid-19. We believe that we will be all worshipping together when society has fully reopened. There will be an interim period with increasing freedoms, initially for those who are vaccinated, as the Government keeps a watchful eye on the healthcare sector to ensure that it retains its operational integrity.
Crossway, like many sectors, is required by the Government to see proof of vaccination upon entry.
Yes. People with a vaccine exemption are permitted on site. If a person has proof of not being able to be vaccinated, they have the same entry permission as those who have been vaccinated.
No person will be treated like a modern day leper. All people deserve to be treated with dignity, love and respect. In the process of learning to live with covid-19 the ability to demonstrate that any person is not a risk to other vulnerable people will be required for gatherings. The basis of this is to create safe environments for vulnerable people and to show loving respect to those who, for a time, will have requirements placed upon them for the safety of vulnerable people.
Crossway encourages people to consult their medical professional about the appropriateness of vaccination for themselves.
Vaccination is required for entry to the facility by the Government. Team Crossway members will therefore be required to be vaccinated if their engagement is at the facility. Crossway does not see this matter as one of civil disobedience. We shall be seeking to create a safe environment for all in attendance. Some team members engage off site and vaccination for these people may not be required.
Worldwide data shows kids are at extremely low risk of severe illness from covid-19. Nevertheless Crossway will align to broader community practices in creating a safe environment for our kids and youth. When schooling is a shared space for both children who are vaccinated and unvaccinated, Crossway Kids will also be a shared space. There will likely be a transitional period where there are regulations around this and Crossway will align with the law in this regard.
All of Crossway’s care options continue to be active whether a person is vaccinated or not. The LifeCare Centre and operations have not ceased in the pandemic and the various care options through Pastors and Life Groups have continued too.
In line with the current government guidelines, up to 10 visitors per day in addition to the normal household residents are permitted. This may allow some smaller groups to gather in a home. It is strongly recommended that all be vaccinated. Face masks must be worn.
Up to 15 people can gather with appropriate social distancing and face masks on in a public space. It is strongly recommended that all are vaccinated.
Private gatherings in homes or outdoors will be in line with public policy. Crossway does not encourage civil disobedience on the matter.