17th March 2020
Dear Activate Community,
After discussion and prayer, Activate’s pastoral executive team has chosen to postpone all scheduled Sunday gatherings and small groups in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. The evidence suggests that self-isolation is the best method of slowing the rate of infection, so Activate gatherings will cease until we are able to make the decision to recommence our scheduled events.
Activate’s gatherings continued last weekend having followed the relevant health recommendations for the numbers that attend, but what has become clear in the last few days is that recommendations have been inconsistent and the curve of infection in Australia has dramatically increased.
While infection rates in South Australia are relatively low, there has been a lack of consistency from Government – both federal and state – and health experts regarding the specifics of how the virus is caught or contained. This complexity leads us to conclude that caution is our best response. We aren’t going to just follow guidelines, but look to model best practice.
Jesus was a healer. He didn’t make people sick. Activate believes in a God of renewal, but we do not see any theological justification for exposing crowds to a risk of infection. The current evidence does not suggest that large gatherings are free of risk, and no amount of religious declaration can make such events safe.
More details will be provided soon and the community will also be looking for practical ways to be part of the wider response and support those most vulnerable.
We are aware that this may be viewed as overreacting, but this is a global pandemic that is claiming lives of the most vulnerable; the elderly, the ill, the disabled, those in marginalised communities. We believe overreaction is the appropriate response, and invite others to consider ways they can self-isolate to slow the rate of infection and also how they might safely reach out to those at risk.
We look forward to seeing you in the flesh again soon, but for the meantime we will engage in some creative ways to connect.
Sending our love and prayers,
The Activate Pastoral Executive Team