What's happening this term..

The hope and the aim of this series is simply to ask God and ask ourselves...WHAT'S NEXT?? There is always a next chapter - until we get to paradise in heaven - in HIS time. God always has a plan for us and it IS for good. There will of course be 'hard times along the way', but let's excited about creating the BEST, not easiest sequel - a blank page of actual hope, love and grace, which changes everything...and best of all freedom in JESUS.

Dear Soul Family, 

Thank you for your support, your love and your grace for us and for each other as we navigate these difficult and challenging times.  

Below are all the details around how we are going to include everyone in all our gatherings at Orange traffic light settings.

We're sure you would all agree that Friday night was one of the hardest nights for our Soul family, and for us it was the most heartbreaking night of the 16 years yet. If you feel like you missed a great deal of what was said and conveyed please know our heart was to do the very best we can to serve God and to serve you - the church, and we encourage you to click here to listen to what we were able to record of this message on Friday.

There are some of you that may have misinterpreted our intention and left Soul on Friday night thinking you no longer have a place to call home.  If that is you, please accept our deepest apologies, these were never our words and instead we need, love and value you more than ever before.  Soul is a family and we will always strive to build this community together and in unity, even when it isn't easy. This may not always be possible in a large group setting, but it will continue to be our mission to lead a church that functions throughout the week, not confined to one space or one time but always creating opportunities for people to gather together, so that God's word and the Holy Spirit reaches as many people in every way possible. 

We are so heartful to be able to announce the following details going forward, being that the government released the new information yesterday, and the current situation being 'Orange' in the traffic light system. This news is truly a celebration for our church!

As said often and again now, we as your senior pastors along with our trustees and staff have and will continue to do everything we can to live out the mission God put on our hearts when we planted this church 16 years ago and that is to build a community that finds freedom, hope and unconditional love through Jesus.

This has never been convenient, in fact it's very often the opposite, it has never been to serve Christians only, but instead it's to actively grow this community, all different and all valued and treasured to do the work God has entrusted to us, unconditionally.  

Right from the very beginning, long before saying 'yes' to his call, God asked us to create an environment where those that don't yet know him feel at home, and are loved. This season, and this decision to have a space where many or few can gather is very much integral to that call.  This is one we cannot deny and is very much part of the reason we exist.  We are so thankful that you are also part of that mission. Soul has never been limited to a building and going forward will continue to be centered around God and the community we are privileged and blessed to lead.
Under the current traffic light setting, announced on Monday 29th November, and guidelines for places of worship released on Tuesday 30th November, we have worked hard, prayed harder and we believe put together the best plan we can at this time, to function as Soul, regardless of your vaccination status and personal choice.  There are still many government guidelines for us all to follow so this can happen, and we ask for your support in doing this together.
This is how Soul will look while we are able to function in the current settings:
This will obviously be reassessed as and when setting and guidelines change.
This ministry will function this week, (Thursday 2nd December), as it has been for the last few weeks and next week it will come under the new settings, traffic light system and guidelines, so will have a few small changes.  Next week will be an OPEN gathering (meaning it will be open to anyone and everyone, but restricted by space and  numbers to a maximum of 50, plus staff). The leaders are so stoked to be able to finish the year together for the last two weeks.
We strongly encourage youth to wear facemasks and sanitise, and everybody will need to sign in, either using the QR Code Tracer App or manual record.
Please note, all youth leaders will be required to wear masks at all times.
This ministry will function under two statuses.  
Our year 1-6 kids will gather as an UNLIMITED group. The leaders will need to use the vaccination pass, and these year 1-6 kids will be under 12 years and 3 months in age so will not require any vaccine pass as they are not eligible to have had the vaccine. 
The check in  / drop off process and pick up will be very familiar to our kids and parents and no parents will be required to enter the building as normal.
Our year 7 and 8 intermediate kids will be meeting as an OPEN gathering (maximum 50, plus staff).  They will check in and meet as they have been already this term, at the Matamata Bible Church building, next door to Soul, where they enjoy their own space, set up and activities. 
Our KidSoul leaders in this gathering can be a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated leaders, and we are so excited to be able to make this happen under the current settings.  Please note:  At no time will these groups be able to mingle.
All KidSoul leaders will be required to wear masks at all times.
Pick up will be at our normal Soul quad space for the year 1-6 group, and Matamata Bible Church car park space for our intermediates, years 7 and 8.
We are so excited to roll out the last two weeks of KidSoul for this year, and going into the month of December with Christmas as our focus, it feels like such a blessing and celebration!  
PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE A CHANGE OF PICK UP TIME AND KIDSOUL WILL FINISH AT 5.15PM (15 minutes earlier, this will allow for cleaning and organisation to take place for the rest of the night - please be on time to pick up your kid/s).

Small Groups  / Mums and Bubs / Men's and Women's Ministries
These can all function as normal under OPEN gatherings, (maximum 50, plus staff) in their usual spaces. Staff will need to be masked at all times.
Friday Night Gatherings
We have decided to run two gatherings on a Friday night.  This allows us to have both as OPEN gatherings (meaning they will be open to anyone and everyone, but restricted by space and numbers to a maximum of 50, plus staff).  You will not need a vaccination pass to enter.
This will be very similar to how it has been before, when we have come out of previous lockdowns and had number restrictions.  

Because our limit this time is 50 (adults and kids of any ages) plus staff, we encourage you to still be really proactive in coming along and to be part of one of the gatherings but we are asking you to register your space so we can cater for all. 


Please don't be hesitant in registering because you don't want to take somebody else's chance to come along, because what often happens if we are all inclined to do this, is that everybody misses out trying to think of others and the intention of meeting together is lost. 
Under the guidelines, we can have designated separate spaces, so we will have an overflow room, with live video and audio feed available, which can also cater for another 35 people if needed, so space is not going to be a problem over the two gatherings. 

The two options for gatherings are 5.45pm - 6.45pm and 7pm - 8pm.

The kids movie at Aspire, the preschool room and the baby room will be running during both gatherings.

We will have a coffee cart ready for you, across the road at the park, straight after both gatherings, so you can head out, grab a coffee and hang out with your tribe after the gathering!  (Don't forget to get your kids from from Aspire on the way).
We strongly encourage you to wear facemasks and sanitise, and everybody will need to sign in, either using the QR Code Tracer App or manual record, as we have been already using for months now. 

Please note for staff (we are referring to staff as anyone who has a job or role in helping the gathering to function, as per the guidelines).  These people have to wear masks at all times (unless on stage) and where food is being served it is absolutely necessary.  If there is a medical reason you cannot wear a mask please let the person in charge of your team know, as we will find a substitute for your role, no problem at all. 

Please, if you are feeling unwell or showing any symptoms, stay home and seek medical advice.  This is all about looking out for each other and keeping each other safe.  Thanks for doing your bit. 

Due to the settings and guidelines there will be no livestream or video recording because everyone can attend a gathering. As usual an audio recording of the message will be available on the website.

Finally, we want to genuinely thank each and every one of you, for what you have already done, and what you will continue to do as a community, to unite as we charge forward and figure out a new way of being Soul Church, together and more focused on seeing Jesus famous in this town we all love.
We love you all. We're so excited to see you this week and going forward.
If you are Youth or KidSoul - have a blast this week!

Remember for the two gatherings on Friday night,  you will need to hit the link below and register as soon as you can!  Let's plan on taking the roof off the building with our worship and making the rest of 2021 a sequel worth reading!!

Love you heaps,
Dion and Stace.


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