church religious gatherings ramaphosa level 3

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Reformed churches ask for one gathering on Sundays during lockdown

The Reformed Churches in South Africa have asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to make an exception for Sunday gatherings during lockdown.

church religious gatherings ramaphosa level 3

Image via: flickr

The Deputy of Governmental Affairs of the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to allow one church gathering per congregation on Sundays during the lockdown. 

Reverend Cassie Aucamp said there are about 100 000 people who attend the churches across the country.  

While the Reformed Churches in South Africa have asked for an exception to the lockdown regulations to be made, it has also expressed gratitude for Ramaphosa’s strong leadership and personal sacrifice during the pandemic. 

“We fully support all governmental initiatives to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read. 

Reformed Churches ask for one weekly gathering consisting of 10 people 

The Reformed Churches said it would like to make the following request in light of the government’s willingness to consider requests from civil society regarding level 4 lockdown regulations

The request is that Ramaphosa and the government as a whole, allow that one church gathering per congregation, consisting of no more than 10 people, be allowed on Sundays. 

“Such gatherings need to comply with general phase 4 sanitary regulations such as the wearing of masks, 1.5-meter spacing, the availability of hand sanitisers, the absence of physical contact and the non-presence of persons over 65,” it said. 

Here’s why Sunday meetings are needed

The Reformed Churches provided reasons as to why it wants one gathering every Sunday during lockdown. 

The first reason listed is that ministers and pastors need technological assistance to streamline church services to the broader communities.

“Our church leaderships need to coordinate ecclesiastical welfare activities in our communities. This includes making decisions regarding the channelling of funds and the delivery of food parcels to people in need. Gatherings of 10 members on Sundays could allow key decision-makers to convene and consult about these crucial matters,” it said. 

“Note that many of our members, especially in our black communities, do not have regular access to digital platforms and that virtual decisionmaking is therefore not always possible,” it added. 

The Reformed Churches argued that some people in their communities are in dire need of counselling. 

“If small gatherings are allowed on Sundays, we could use the opportunity to invite one or two members in need to a specific Sunday service to assist them in their crisis. Many of the services provided by our churches are essential at this time,” it said. 

“Such a gathering will give a commission of the church council the opportunity to coordinate and finalise suggestions and proposals received by the congregation members via the social media, and to attend to necessary and urgent matters that may arise. We trust that you will give our proposal the attention it deserves,” it added.