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ORPC Phase 3 (Jan 2021) Update


2 January 2021

A Blessed New Year to all!

Entering Phase 3 of Re-opening from Circuit Breaker in Singapore

We thank God that on 14 Dec 2020, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced that Phase Three of Re-opening will commence from 28 Dec 2020. On 26 Dec 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has also announced further details on the conditions under which religious organisations are permitted to resume more activities in places of worship during Phase Three

Phased Approach to Increasing In-Person Worship Congregation Size and Resuming “Live Performance” Elements

In line with these conditions, ORPC will begin a phased approach to increasing the congregation size at our Sunday AM and PM in-person worship services over the next two months (January and February 2021), as well as resuming permitted “live performance” elements during the worship services.

For the AM service, we will increase the congregation size from the current capacity of 100 worshippers segregated into 2 zones in the Sanctuary to a maximum of 250 worshippers to be segregated into 5 zones in the Sanctuary (3 zones) and Dunman Hall (2 zones) by the end of February 2021. This will be done in phases over the next two months, adding one zone (50 worshippers) at a time, and then incorporating “live performance” elements, such as having instrumentalists and up to 5 singers leading worship.

This phase in approach is in line with MCCY guidance and allows us to ensure that safe management measures are well adhered to before increasing the congregation size further or resuming more activities.

For the PM service starting in January, we will keep the congregation size at 50 worshippers and monitor the take up for the next two months before making a decision on further increases in congregation size.

We will announce further details about in-person worship services and the resumption of more activities such as children’s Sunday School as they become available. We covet your patience and prayers as our leaders and fellow servants make plans for us to worship safely and resume more ministry activities in Phase 3.

Safe Distancing and Management Measures for In-Person Worship Services

All safe distancing and management measures previously implemented will remain in place for worshippers attending in-person worship services. These include following (changes highlighted in yellow):

  1. Congregation members who wish to worship in person must book their places online beforehand. This is to ensure that the church keeps to the maximum limit per worship service. More details about the online booking system can be found here. These details will be updated on the webpage as we increase the number of worshippers at each in-person worship service.
  2. TraceTogether-only SafeEntry (using either the TraceTogether App or Token) will be made mandatory soon (early 2021) and you are encouraged to start using these for entry to ORPC worship services.
  3. Safe distancing and safe management measures will be in place throughout the service:
    1. Masks must continue to be worn at all times.
    2. Congregational singing is still not allowed. Spoken responses are allowed in Phase Three.
    3. No mingling with one another before, during, and after the service.
  4. Worship services will be kept to a maximum of 1 hour duration to allow cleaning of the premises between services and to minimise contact between congregations.

Congregation members who are unable to participate in in-person worship services are encouraged to continue worshipping at home with their families or small groups through our online Sunday worship services and join the various ministry activities that are taking place online. The worship services will be live-streamed, and the recording will be available throughout the day on Sunday, as before.

Please prayerfully consider returning to regular Sunday worship with us in person as we move towards a resumption of more gatherings safely at ORPC. As we make these decisions in the new year for ourselves and our families, let us first consider how we can honour God, rather than putting our own inclinations first. May God give us all the grace to choose wisely and with love for one another.

Yours in Christ,

Rev Dr Clive Chin

Senior Minister, Orchard Road Presbyterian Church