What’s Next? Returning to In-Person Gatherings at NewHope

Published on October 13, 2021

A lot of praying, discerning and tentative planning is happening as we anticipate changes to the State lockdown rules in the coming weeks. There is still much we don’t know and so we pray and wait with courage. What we do know and can act on, we have tried to set out below. Here you can read our tentative plans for in-person Worship Gatherings and ministry activity.


Vaccination at NewHope

We desire to care for all and have respect for varied opinions and personal circumstances. Our values will guide us and we will seek to address each unique challenge individually. The following principles are guiding our current decision making.

  • Values first. You can read comments from Allan in a recent email sent to Members and Supporters HERE.
  • Multiple opportunities. We will seek to provide worship opportunities for the unvaccinated (currently a group of 20) as well as larger gatherings (currently capped at 150 fully vaccinated people).
  • Leading and caring. As leaders, we will take whatever actions we can to keep others safe and supported. We encourage all our leaders to get vaccinated if it is safe for them to do so.
  • Open and understanding. Every person’s situation is different. We will follow our State leaders, apply common sense, and talk through any person’s unique challenges with compassion and a desire to support and care.

It is important to remember that the Vaccination rules (passports, restrictions, and whatever else we learn about in coming days) are a bridge to an open future. We will do our very best to cross this bridge well.


Worship Gatherings

According to the Government’s plan, limited in-person gatherings will soon be possible. Small groups will be able to congregate in late October and then larger gatherings will be permitted in November. While many things are still being decided, our current plans are set out below. As the restrictions diminish in coming weeks we will make changes accordingly.

Pre-registration on the church’s website and sign-in at the church will be required once again, as we seek to manage attendance numbers and Vic-Gov compliance. We will implement COVIDSafe practices at all gatherings.


English Language Services

Online Worship Continues.

We will continue with 10am Online Worship. Changes will occur as we reintroduce in-person gatherings, but we are working hard as we build capacity to deliver this ministry with continuing excellence.

Sunday 7 November 2021, 10am In-person WATCH PARTY.

  • 20 person gathering to accomodate those who are not vaccinated.
  • 130 person gathering complying with all COVIDSafe requirements.

These events will be hosted and will provide opportunity to watch the Online Worship Service (English) in community at NewHope.

Sunday 14 November 2021, 10am (and following), English LIVE WORSHIP.

  • 20 person gathering to accomodate those who are not vaccinated.
  • 130 person gathering complying with all COVIDSafe requirements.

This vaccinated event will be a live worship service and the unvaccinated event will be a hosted gathering with a live stream.


Farsi and Mandarin Language Services

Farsi Live Worship
 Sunday 7 November 2021 (and following), 10am – 20 person indoor gathering complying with all COVIDSafe requirements, live worship.

Mandarin Live Worship: Plans are being made for onsite worship beginning in early December.


Other Worship Gathering Arrangements


  • We are exploring possibilities for a Sunday PM gathering.
  • Some consideration is being given to a one-off weekday gathering for seniors.


Kids & Families Gatherings

NewHope Kids is looking forward to meeting together in-person and hopeful this can happen sometime before the end of the year. We are prayerfully considering what vaccination requirements mean for our team of young leaders and what gathering opportunities are possible with the capacity restrictions given to us.

A timeline for return is not yet set but we are considering the opportunity to have an outside gathering, such as a Christmas Party, in the park. More details will be available soon.

Playspace and mainly music will reopen during the week as restrictions allow. Hopefully in early November in line with the current roadmap.


Youth Gatherings

Shift Youth is excited for the possibility of future in-person gatherings. We are committed to gathering safely and as soon as possible. Similar to worship services, we are exploring the idea of having a larger 150 person gathering for those who are fully vaccinated (in accordance with Vic Gov Roadmap), and several smaller 20 person gatherings for those who are yet to be fully vaccinated. We are also currently waiting on more information regarding age requirements for vaccinations at our gatherings. In this time please keep our ministry in prayer as we find ourselves balancing difficult timelines with vaccinations only recently opening up for our leaders and young people.

We would like to thank our team of dedicated leaders for serving in such a difficult time, and continuing to care for our young people. We would like to thank our amazing cohort of parents for encouraging their youth to stay connected. We’d love to thank Jesus for watching over us in this time.

Please keep an eye on our social media for up to date details on upcoming youth nights!


NewHope Groups & Ministries

As restrictions ease, each group and ministry will make its unique plans. It’s a good time to open up our circles and explore opportunities to connect in new ways.

It will take time as we emerge from lockdown, for many people to find a comfortable place again. Our mutual commitment to hospitality is so important. You can find out more about joining a Group via our website or phone reception on 9890 7999 to explore opportunities to connect or serve.


Please join us in preparing yourself and those around you for our approaching re-emergence from isolation. Very soon we will be gathering together again! Let us continue to pray, to listen, and to support one another as a church family.

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