Dear Church leaders and leaders in the Church,
We wanted to send you some information on how you can mobilise your congregation, network beyond your congregation and offer you resources (including the use of your church’s site/s to Health or Social Development departments) during this time of South Africa’s 21-day lockdown. The Warehouse convenes and is involved in many ecumenical and civil society networks across the city, province and country who are coordinating activities during this time. Please do be in touch with us should you have any questions or ways in which you would like to be involved after reading this email.
The current COVID-19 situation in South Africa and the current lockdown present challenges for all of us, but our country’s huge levels of inequality mean that these challenges are amplified for the population’s most vulnerable.
As followers of Jesus, who consistently sought to amplify the struggles of the marginalised, these are the spaces into which we are called. In this time, even as some give in to the temptation to lose sight of God’s dream for the flourishing of ALL of creation and put their own interests above those of others, we are also seeing beautiful examples of selfless actions of people caring and looking out for the most vulnerable in their communities. And in fact, one of the most frequent questions we are getting is ‘what can we do to help those that need it?’
While this is a rapidly changing situation, and one that is difficult to predict, there are absolutely ways that we can be good neighbours to one another in this time. Please note as you read this short guideline: RSA is in a national lockdown from 27 March – 16 April 2020. Please ensure that you and your church are fully aware of all the rules of the lockdown, especially what roles in society are considered essential services and what are not. This is key to understanding how the guidelines written here will apply to your church congregation, buildings and grounds.
Since we as yet do not know what the post-lockdown situation will be, and what new rules will be put into place until such time as Covid-19 is no longer considered a national threat, all guidelines in this document must be adapted to comply with emerging legislation.