Re-opening of Church Gatherings following Government pronouncement on Covid-19.
- Church Extension Charges and UCCSA Institutions
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
This follows the pronouncement by the Government of Zimbabwe on the re-opening of indoor church gatherings for those who are vaccinated.
We welcome the statement that the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denomination (ZHOCD) released on the 12th of August 2021. We advise our membership to carefully study this ecumenical statement and take heed to its wisdom.
To provide further clarity and guidance we extend the following:
- In the whole of Zimbabwe we currently have about 10.5% people who have been vaccinated. This number includes people who are not active participant in church. Allowing this fraction of the population seems to be discriminating others from the means of grace, for the church is a presence of the Lord.
- Even though our idea of church is inclusive and open to everyone, we find ourselves restricted in these times that we are going through. We are going through the valley of the shadow of death but the Lord is with us. This is our courage.
- For this reason some congregations may decide on blending the physical gatherings in church with virtual ministry, we encourage extreme caution. In cases where virtual ministry is preferred, we may still organise gatherings for once off special occasions like the receiving of Holy Communion and small gatherings for administrative purposes. The minister can then organise with the rest of the congregational members for administration of communion to individuals in an open space.
- This window of opportunity for those who are vaccinated seems to be demanding health workers (whom we have as part of our membership), people to take the responsibility, and or ministers to take the role of screening (through verifying vaccination cards) of those who come to church in terms of vaccination status. In this case all WHO guidelines must be maintained.
NB. We will continue to monitor the situation and be part of the engagement with the government through our Umbrella bodies, and make periodic pronouncement for guidance based on prayerful consideration of the matters.
Be guided by the following scriptures:
- Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
- Mark 12:31 “You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
It is our duty of love to take precaution, protect others and ourselves.
Rev X. Maseko (Synod Secretary)