20 March 2020

Due to new indoor meeting restrictions given by the PM this afternoon (and the likelihood of further restrictions given by Sunday), we are cancelling our Sunday services for the time being.

19 March 2020

The Coronavirus has changed the way we must practise and think church over the next six months at least. While we do not have a spirit of fear nonetheless we need to make prudent and sensible changes to protect our church and especially those who are vulnerable to this disease. A number of changes are outlined below and we appreciate that some people will find the changes difficult. Most churches in our area have made similar or even more drastic changes. Glenn and the diaconate will communicate more on the below issues this Sunday morning  and evening.

In Short

We plan to meet Sunday morning and evening but at a reduced capacity of 80 per service.

We think the elderly and medically vulnerable in our church would be best served staying away from public gatherings like our services.

Some of our folk are already in self isolation for this reason.

Trust we see you soon.

Sunday Services

  1. We will meet this Sunday morning and evening at usual times. We anticipate that the current public allowable number of persons (100) meeting in indoor gatherings will be reduced. Consequently we may not be able to congregate for too many more weeks.
  2. We have rearranged the seating according to the 1.5m distancing rule and so there is seating for 80 people maximum per service. Couples and families can sit together.
  3. If you are unwell at any time, please do not attend a Sunday service or Connect Group. We need to think of the well-being of others at this time.
  4. We are asking that some of our more able bodied ‘morning congregation’ persons come to the evening service instead to help balance numbers.
  5. Cleanliness is a must. The door greeter will be dispensing a ‘squirt’ of sanitiser on your hands before you enter the auditorium. We discourage people from touching the church doors where possible. There will be no communion or morning teas either – both are easy ways to transfer the virus.
  6. We encourage people not already giving online to do so. Church BSB details etc are on the back page of the bulletin (halfway down second column). For those still wanting to give cash, your offering is to be put into the offering bag as you enter the auditorium.
  7. Our denomination (as have all others) has advised churches to close down their children’s ministries during this virus season. This means that there will be no Crèche, Kids Club this Sunday onwards. Mainly Music has already been cancelled. After Tuesday night March 24th, there will be no more Brigades or EPIC.
  8. Families please feel free to attend services. Services will be shorter in length and feature a kids talk. Sermons will be taped each week and put online.
  9. Sue Brodie is compiling some resources for parents to use as a devotion time with their children. More details coming soon.

Connect Groups

  • During these next 6 months, Connect Groups will be the chief ‘church experience’ for our folk particularly as numbers allowed for ‘indoor public gatherings’ are reduced. This will necessitate a greater commitment by some to Connect Group attendance.
  • Connect Groups will also become the major Pastoral Care vehicle for the Church. Those not in Connect Groups to be followed up by pastors.
  • We encourage people to sign up to a Connect Group – sheets with each Connect Group will be available this Sunday. New groups will be made if needed.
  • It may work best that some Connect Groups meet on Sunday mornings – that’s fine. The idea of the Sunday services is that they become a Connect Group for those not in one.
  • Current discussion booklets for Connect Groups are still to be used. New preaching series from May onwards will use booklets supplied by Glenn. In this way we keep some continuity of teaching within the church.
  • Mobile church TV/DVD player will be based in auditorium for Connect Groups wishing to meet at church or in the Hall.
  • Pastors will keep in contact with Connect Group leaders weekly and visit Connect Groups as well.
  • Vulnerable persons to be phoned for care – prayer needs, shopping to be done etc
  • Prayer night continues on Thursdays.

Communication

  • We encourage everyone to please get in the habit of checking emails daily. This will be the chief way of receiving info. Matt will put items up on the church Facebook page as well.
  • Please let one of the pastors know if you are self-isolating or have COVID-19. You will be prayed for!
  • Please contact a pastor if you are in need of shopping or other important needs.

And finally . . .

We are learning the truth of James 4:13-14 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” How true. We have no idea what will happen from week to week. So it is our prayer that we learn to depend upon Jesus’ strength and wisdom all the more during these months ahead. And we pray that as a church we will also see the need for a fresh commitment to ‘connecting together’ and meeting needs.

We serve a sovereign God who sees the end from the beginning and therefore we can say “it is well with my soul.”

God bless you all,

Glenn on behalf of the Diaconate.

Glenn Brodie

Glenn Brodie
Senior Pastor