12 March 2020 (updated 19 March) | St. Albans, UK [tedNEWS]
Over the past 6 weeks, Coronavirus or COVID-19 has spread from China around the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared it to be a pandemic. As Christians, we have a responsibility to care for others and each other, creating safe working and meeting environments. We need to be involved as part of the solution rather than potentially becoming part of the problem.
Reviewing the latest developments and the advice from the WHO and UK National Health Service (NHS) and Public Health England, the Trans-European Division Administrative Committee took action this morning, Thursday 12 March, to cancel all major TED events between now and the General Conference Session, which starts on 25 June 2020 in Indianapolis, USA. This includes:
- Global Youth Day (TED participation cancelled) – 21 March
- Family Life Training – 14-19 April, Spain
- GAiN Europe – 24-28 April, Romania
- Hope Channel Leadership – 28-30 April, Romania
- Pathfinder and Bible Experience (PBE) – 25 April, the Netherlands
- Ellen G. White Symposium – 1-3 May, United Kingdom
- Master Guide Camp – 4-7 June, Estonia
Information on future developments and possibilities for rescheduling events for a later date will be uploaded on the TED website in due course.
The TED apologises for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by this decision and continues to pray for all those who are being affected in so many ways by this pandemic.
With rare exceptions, TED officers and staff will not be travelling internationally or in the UK during this period. They will, however, continue to serve as effectively as possible within as safe an environment as possible. Our recent upgrade of video conferencing facilities is already an asset in this regard.
Elsewhere in our Division
Precautions and government advice are equally affecting other parts of our Division. For instance:
- Estonia, Greece, Norway, Denmark, the UK and most other countries in our Division have now all closed their churches or worship spaces. Ireland is closing its larger congregations and providing an interactive worship experience from the main church in Dublin.
- In Hungary, all churches with over 100 attendees have been shut and members over age 60 or with chronic diseases are advised not to attend meetings. This is based on a government request. Currently all union programmes are cancelled including all international and domestic travel.
- In the UK Stanborough Secondary School has been closed following National Health Service advice. This is due to an adult who is close to the school is being treated for coronavirus. A number of churches are closed for worship and the annual door-to-door collection for ADRA has been cancelled. See more on the BUC website. All schools are closing from 20 March.
- Newbold College of Higher Education is fully open with daily reviews with the management committee and strong guidelines for staff and students including restrictions on international travel. Staff have had to withdraw from a number of events across Europe, and the spread of the coronavirus has also impacted on a number of visits, international student programmes, and other events being run at the college such as the British Union Conference final for the Pathfinder Bible Experience. The College website is being regularly updated with the latest advice.
- The North American Division has instituted an international and domestic travel ban and cancelled or postponed events, effective of Friday, 13 March. The General Conference has also instituted a travel ban for their staff for at least the next 30 days. It is anticipated that much of GC Spring Council may happen via video conferencing.
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
119 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Herts, AL1 3EY, England
E-mail: [email protected]
tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.