STATEMENTS + MEDIA RELEASES
C3 SYD Roadmap To In-Person Services
We have been in touch over the last few weeks regarding our roadmap as we plan to reopen services in the coming weeks. Thank you for your prayers and believing with us. We are celebrating that as a Church we will be able to hold in-person services for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated once we reach 80% Vaccination rates! For more information from NSW Government on the Government Roadmap and changing restrictions as they apply to places of worship click here.
As a church our mission and purpose is to help people Know Jesus, Find Community and Discover Purpose. Whether we are in person, online or facing any other limitations we will always continue to make what we do accessible to serve people.
We are a connected Church. As we embrace the future, we know that engaging in Church both in person and online is here to stay. We are committed to leveraging technology to connect with people and fulfil the great commission and the call of God for our church. We’ve seen the fruit in our online community over the past three months of Church online - and see immense value in continuing to make Church available in our online space as we recommence in-person services in the coming weeks.
The Church is more than the four walls of a building - the Church is a community committed to following Jesus. We can’t wait to welcome you to our home, whether you join us in person or online.
Today we are going to be communicating our roadmap as a Church. As we gradually reopen our in-person services, our online Zoom platform will continue.
We are looking to recommence in-person and online services soon after NSW hits that 80% mark. After three months online, we will be working closely with our location teams and venues to ensure that we can run our services safely and sustainably. This may mean that some aspects of our services may be a little different to what we were used to pre-lockdown, but we look forward to creating an incredible environment for you to encounter Jesus both in person and online. See below for a full breakdown on the significant changes when we reopen under 80% restrictions, to December 1st.
|70% Full Vaccination Target||80% Full Vaccination Target||December 1|
Further easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated
|Opening up for all.|
From Monday 25thOctober
|From Monday 1stDecember|
|Service Offerings||Online Zoom Services only.||
Online Zoom Services & In-person Services at some locations.
|Online Zoom Services & In-person Services at all locations.|
|Who can attend a service?||n/a Online Only.||
Both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated.
|Both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated.|
|Maximum Capacity||·||1 person per 4m2||
1 person per 2m2
10 fully vaccinated singers may worship lead, no singing in congregation.
|Singing permitted for all.
Masks must be worn inside. (Note: Children 12 and under and those with medical exemptions are not required to wear masks indoors)
|Masks not required.|
|Service NSW Check In||·||
Check in required.
|Check in required.|
|<16 yr olds (Kids & Youth||·||
May attend services under same restrictions as adults
Please click here for our full COVID Safe plan and conditions of entry.
Should there be a positive COVID case at one of our services, you will be notified via NSW Health. No isolation is required for those who are fully vaccinated. See here for more from NSW Government.
Online Zoom services will be available for all locations whether they are running in-person services or online only. Stay tuned for more information for dates when in-person services will recommence at your location. Make sure you’re on our mailing list so you’ll be the first to hear when we will be recommencing in-person services!
C3 SYD Kids
As Locations return to in-person services, C3 SYD Kids will also be returning! We will continue to provide on-demand Kids services to watch online, with the additional Super FUN Sunday live Zoom at 10am on November 7th.
To find out more about C3 SYD Kids, click here.
C3 SYD Youth
C3 SYD Youth services come under the same guidelines as a ‘Place of Worship’ and our roadmap for Youth will be:
- Friday Night Youthservices will return to in-person gatherings on Friday 5th November at Oxford Falls and Silverwater. Online services will also be available for teenagers who are unable to attend in person.
- Sunday Morning Youthservices will return to in-person gatherings on Sunday 31st October in Locations that can meet in-person. Online services will still run for Locations that cannot meet in-person.
To find out more about C3 SYD Youth, click here.
After discussion with Location Pastors and C3 SYD Executive, the decision was made to continue connect groups online until December 1. We feel we should wait until all connect group members can gather, so as none are excluded.
This model of some people being on zoom/online and some in the room is completely viable after December 1. Our priority is to help people grow, feel loved, accepted, and included as this is the way of Jesus and therefore His disciples. We encourage you as Connect Leaders to help your people be those who strive for unity, love, and peace among all. Thank you for your love and commitment to those you lead in Christ.
From December 1, Connect Groups may gather within the NSW Government guidelines which states:
Regardless of vaccination status the following applies:
- No limit on the number of visitors to a home
- Maximum Capacity will shift to one person per 2 sqm for indoor and outdoor settings
- No limit on the number of people who can attend informal outdoor gatherings
As a team we are very aware that many in our community would be craving to gather in person. Leading up to December 1, we therefore encourage you, outside of official online connect group meetings, to continue to gather informally with your connect group as permitted by the NSW Government Covid restrictions E.g., walking/gathering outside with one unvaccinated person or gathering smaller groups of double vaccinated people from your connect group to picnics after church, on the weekend, to cafés, etc. After December 1 we will have one Connect Week left before our Christmas and January break. This last connect gathering will be a great time to celebrate with your whole group and re-gather in-person with a Christmas party at a house, a venue or even a picnic.
We cannot wait to see you Church, whether at an in-person or online service – thank you for praying and believing with us during this time.
C3 SYD Team
15th October 2021
C3 SYD Pastoral Response to NSW Covid-19 Health Requirements
The NSW Government has communicated a ‘roadmap’ for NSW to come out of reliance on lockdowns in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for us as a church to respond in these circumstances in a way that glorifies God, maintains unity with each other and reveals Jesus to the people of Sydney. Our approach moving forward is provided at the conclusion of this paper.
Why we exist as a Church
Our primary purpose as a community of believers is to bring the good news about Jesus to the people of Sydney. As a church community we care for each other, encourage one another in our faith and help each other grow closer to Jesus and to be more like him. And the purpose Jesus has given us together in this city is to bring people into relationship with him and help them become his disciples.
Given that the mission we share together in Christ is to bring his good news to the people of Sydney, it is of utmost importance that we exhibit love and unity in our approach to Covid-19 health measures, and that our words and actions build bridges and not barriers to the people we are trying to reach for Christ. As ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor 5:20), our earnest desire is that people will experience Christ through our words and actions as we negotiate this season together.
The apostle Paul emphasizes the lengths to which he goes to build bridges for the Gospel when he says: I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor 9:22-23). In our approach as a church to the ongoing Covid-19 health measures we seek to embody this priority.
Personal Freedom to Choose
With the various health issues at hand, such as vaccination, each of us has a responsibility to decide how we will respond as a disciple of Christ. This decision should be guided by our biblical understanding and personal convictions, along with informed reading and medical advice. We recognise the importance of people being able to make decisions according to the leading of God in their life and to their conscience. Further to this, we recognise that every decision has consequences. And this is certainly the case with the NSW ‘roadmap’ and the decision regarding vaccination. To be vaccinated, or not, will have ramifications. We also want to validate that many have felt uncertain, even anxious around the decision to be vaccinated for understandable reasons.
Unity in Diversity
In the church broadly, and in our church C3 SYD, there are a diversity of views with regards to the approach of Government, corporations, and various groups in society for how we move forward in the Covid-19 pandemic. We urge that those in the church with differing views are kind and respectful of those with alternate views, as exhorted by the Word of God. We believe diversity does not have to lead to divisiveness or disunity.
The matters at hand are not moral issues, involving doctrinal truth, or preventing believers from following Christ and serving him, but rather matters of conscience and what the Bible refers to in Romans 14 as ‘disputable matters’. As such, we need to respect and keep unity with those who have differing views.
– Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19
– Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Titus 3:1-2
Biblical View of Government
The Bible gives us clear guidance on what our attitude and actions should be towards governing authorities. The Word of God exhorts us to:
- Recognise their authority is established by God (Romans 13:1)
- Honour them (1 Peter 2:17)
- Pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
- Submit to them (Romans 12:2-3, Titus 3:1)
Of note, the apostles wrote all the above instructions to pastors and churches living under the rule of a brutal and ungodly Roman government. Therefore, in the situation before us, unless the government causes us to explicitly violate our loyalty to Christ then we are to regularly pray, openly respect and willingly submit to them—even if we think they are inconsistent, ineffective or unwise in their response to COVID-19.
This means that not following God-ordained authority or engaging in or promoting civil disobedience because we have a philosophical disagreement with Government directives grieves the Spirit of God. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean we can’t protest and communicate our convictions—as long as it is done lawfully, and respectfully and builds bridges and not barriers with the people of Sydney whom we are reaching with the Gospel.
Representing Our Views as a Church
At C3 SYD we greatly value being able to meet together in-person. There is much that is good for the human soul that is discovered in connection and community. The possibility therefore, that unvaccinated people would not be able to join in-person church services is of great concern to us. These concerns have been represented to the Prime Minister by our C3 Australia Regional Director, Lars Halvorsen, and we will continue to represent them to NSW Health through our ongoing involvement in the NSW Inter-Faith Lobby Group. We believe that Christian leaders and believers have a duty of care to lobby the government in areas of justice or morality, or in our present situation if there are unfair restrictions or discriminations placed on the church community.
It is also important to recognize that any C3 SYD member or leader who have signed petitions do so representing their own conscience and view. They are free to do so, however their signing does not represent the view or approach of C3 SYD. While we do agree with some of the views expressed in various petitions that are presently circulating, we do not feel that the entire view expressed, and the tone in which it is conveyed, adequately represents how C3 SYD would engage in this discussion, which is why we are letting you know our approach now that the ‘roadmap’ is being released.
Our Approach Going Forward
- We will continue to prayerfully seek the Lord for guidance through this difficult season, that we might be and do everything He has in mind for us as his church, and as part of his answer for Sydney.
- We will continue to conduct ourselves in a way that conveys love and care for the greater community and seeks to build bridges for the Gospel.
- We will continue to support people to make their own informed choices and have respect for those with different views to our own held by members of C3SYD and beyond.
- We will continue to follow the health requirements of Government, in accordance with the Biblical instruction to submit to our civic leaders. We do not see current or anticipated future health requirements as justifying civil disobedience according to biblical standards.
- We will continue to be a voice to Government at National and State levels to advocate for meeting all together and to ensure fair and just application of health measures to the church in line with what is being applied in similar settings outside the church.
- Even after our in-person services recommence, we will continue to provide online Sunday services so that our C3 SYD congregation can meet online or in-person going into the future.
- Things are changing rapidly and we will respond accordingly, at this stage continuing to meet on our Zoom services. Going forward it is our desire for all to be able to meet together in-person, and we will continue to make representations to the Government to this end.
17th September 2021