In the event of a pandemic or emergency in New Zealand , the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand wants all synods, presbyteries, UDCs, parishes, and individual parishioners to be prepared with their own action plans. The aim for parishes will be to be prepared to provide advice, care and support to members before, during and after an event, and, where possible, to assist others looking for spiritual, emotional and pastoral support to help them stay connected to their world during the various stages. The local church will be one of the key support networks in each community.
Information packs are available from a range of government organisations on how to prepare for a pandemic or emergency event. For an information pack on influenza pandemics please email email@example.com. For information on preparing for emergency events please click on the following link to go to the Civil Defence website: www.civildefence.govt.nz. For information on developing a business continuity plan for your parish please click on the following link for the Ministry of Economic Development website: www.med.govt.nz
The Ministry of Civil Defence have indicated there is a real possibility that communities could breakdown in the event of an outbreak or emergency. Parishes have an opportunity to encourage their local communities to work together peacefully in a time of difficulty.
There will be a need for pastoral care during a pandemic or emergency – we need to think of how we are going to support and resource our ministers and elders. There will also be a need for parishioners to help with:
If your parish has identified an idea for assisting your community let us know! It is through sharing ideas amongst the wider Church that we can assist each other to be prepared for whatever the future may bring.