After the morning divine service on Sunday 02 May 2021, District Apostle J Kriel addressed the members of NAC-SA providing updates on the following topics:
- Covid-19 restrictions in Mozambique
- Connectivity survey
- Broadcasting and streaming of divine services
- Singing during divine services
- Protection of Personal Information Act
- Copyright infringements
- Soul Care visits
- Midweek morning divine services
- Ascension Day
- Upcoming divine service to be conducted by the Chief Apostle.
Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to use the opportunity that we have together to make a few announcements:
Covid-19 restrictions in Mozambique
We are thankful that the president of Mozambique has relaxed some of the Covid-19 restrictions in their country. For the divine services and funerals, only 50 attendees are allowed in church buildings and 100 for any outdoor gatherings. In the other countries, restrictions remain as previously announced.
Firstly, a big thank you to all those who participated in our connectivity survey. We had a good response rate with close to 70% of congregations making submissions. To ensure that we have a complete picture, the survey collection period is being extended so that all congregations submit their results. Dear Rectors, please ensure your congregation is submitted as soon as possible. A separate communication will be sent to you shortly.
For our member’s sake, this is a paper-based survey where your Priests will ask a few questions which are collated per congregation. The answers will allow us to make informed decisions regarding the future of our NACTV broadcasts. Once again, thank you for participating. And I want to underline, this is extremely important, it will ensure that we make good decisions going forward
Broadcasting and streaming of divine services
We will continue to broadcast the central divine services on all current platforms until the 30th of June 2021. This decision will be reviewed during June, and you will be informed of the way forward for the rest of 2021. I remind Rectors that you are advised to not have a local streaming service as these are provided by the church on all platforms on Sundays. The exceptions are for divine services with blessings and sacraments, where we want to share the festive events with our congregation members and also families who are unable to attend due to lockdown restrictions.
Singing during divine services
Now and then, we are requested to change our current policy on music during services. I remind you that as per current legislation and reflected in our return to church guideline, music during a divine service consists of a soloist and/or instrumentalist(s). This remains the prevailing legislation, and we need to comply with that.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA)
As a church, we need to ensure that we comply with this legislation. In the administration offices, we are hard at work to ensure full compliance. Part of becoming compliant is that we need to share certain information with you, our members. To this end, there will be two broadcasts to share the relevant information with you. The first session is for all members and will be screened on Thursday, 27 May 2021 at 7 pm. I remind you that this is also available in your congregations, so if you haven't got connectivity, you can go to the congregation – I am sure the Rector will make the necessary arrangements to make this broadcast available for viewing.
The second session is for ministers and all MIS coordinators and will be screened on Thursday, 3 June 2021. Members, please feel free to join this session too. It's important, and we have to be compliant in this manner.
The recent streaming of funeral and divine services by congregations and outside parties resulted in multiple copyright infringements. We have taken legal advice to ensure the church complies with the relevant legislation. I must admit, we were surprised by how an innocent broadcast or post can result in the unauthorized use of copyright material. We will be sharing information with all Rectors and social media administrators in congregations on Thursday, 10 June 2021. Please avail yourself for this very important session.
Soul care visits
Scheduled soul care visits at homes are still not allowed. Some members, however, remain unable to attend divine services due to chronic medical conditions. Where there is a desire of a member to partake of Holy Communion, Priests, I plead with you, follow all precautions and serve our members with Holy Communion.
Pastoral visits to homes can be requested by members to their Priests. I kindly ask all Priests to avail themselves to conduct a face-to-face visit when it comes to special pastoral matters that the member would like to discuss with you. Please, Priests and members, do ensure that the correct COVID-19 protocols are followed at all times during these visits, and I recommend no cake and tea.
Midweek morning services
Regular midweek morning divine services can now commence. The venues and times will be communicated by your local leaders. These divine services are to meet all COVID-19 protocols.
Ascension Day Thursday -13 May 2021
As a church, we want to do our part in keeping this momentous occasion to our Lord Jesus, ascending to heaven, alive. All Ascension Day divine services will take place during the morning of Thursday 13 May, preferably at 8 am or earlier. There will be no evening service. Congregations who gather in venues other than church buildings, such as school halls, are encouraged to have their service at 7 am, if it can work.
We have secured a broadcast slot for 9 am with Cape TV and will be having a central AVT service. This divine service will be conducted by Apostle Swartbooi. In Namibia and Botswana where Ascension Day is a public holiday, services will take place as normal, at 9 am.
We have received the good news that the Pentecost 2021 divine service will be conducted by our Chief Apostle from Zürich on Sunday, 23 May. This divine service will be a worldwide broadcast. This divine service will commence at 10 am and will be conducted in English and translated to German at the altar. Translations to local congregations in Portuguese and French will also be provided.
Divine service conducted by the Chief Apostle
In addition to this good news, I am also grateful to announce that the Chief Apostle will conduct a divine service for the members of our area. This divine service will take place on Sunday, 11 July 2021. More information regarding this special occasion will be shared soon.