Covid-19 church update
As you would be aware, our PM, Scott Morrison, has announced that no inside public meetings of over 100 can be held, including church services. This does not affect the local services at Narrandera, Coolamon, Hay, Momentum Canberra or Leeton, which will all continue each Sunday for the time being.
The social distancing measures that are being recommended may seem a bit surreal, however the aim is to help flatten the contamination curve and reduce the strain on hospitals and risk to the vulnerable in our community. We can trust that we have highly experienced public health experts who are guiding the decision making of our government and helping them make decisions that are for the wellbeing of all Australians.
We will take extra care during our Church activities and respect advice from medical experts regarding steps to minimise risk to one another, in particular those who are more vulnerable to the impact of this virus.
Because of this, we have decided to move our mainly music sessions from the Community Centre to the Redgrave Park for the next few weeks. This decision was made in line with recommendations from other playgroup associations and with consideration for the elderly who often access the centre before, during or after our mainly music sessions. An outside location enables us to minimise sharing of food and drinks between children and minimises opportunity for cross infection during close indoor play, but still means we can connect with and minister to families.
Our Youth and Bible study groups and Sunday Services will continue as usual.
Current social distancing guidelines recommend we stop handshaking/hugging as a social greeting. We will also take extra precautions whilst preparing and serving communion and encourage you to practise normal good hygiene practices, particularly when making tea/coffee or serving food after our services.
If you are advised (or for any reason choose) to self-isolate please tell us so we can provide prayer and appropriate pastoral care and support. We must not allow this event to create division or social isolation among our Churches. I am personally hopeful that this event will in fact draw us together to be stronger and more unified as a Church community. This is a great reminder to us that being part of the Church is much more then simply attending a Sunday service. We must continue to press into the everyday relationships with one another that come from being united in Christ, together.
Continue to look out for one another – phone, text or visit, as appropriate. Keep an eye on your neighbours. Holy Spirit will be at work to prompt us to help people who have relational or practical needs. Let’s show the love of Christ and get creative in outshining the darkness and serving others with simple acts of care and kindness, while also adhering to the protective measures being put in place.
It’s important not to give in to fear, nor to be overly anxious but to get the facts so we can respond calmly and with common sense, as we put our trust in Jesus. As a good citizen please be committed to following the instructions of our Prime Minister for your own safety and for the wellbeing of others.
As Christians we live by the Word of God. God is our healer, protector and the one who guides our life with purpose and meaning. The fruit of living with this focus is Faith, Peace and Hope. Realise that even though you have peace and faith, there are a growing number of people around us who are fearful, anxious and overwhelmed. We have the privilege to bring leadership, encouragement, practical help and support to our families, neighbours, workplaces, schools, communities, social media connections etc.
One of the greatest things we bring is Hope – in a God who is not distant, angry or uncaring, but who says:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
A helpful source of reliable up to date information is www.health.gov.au . They post regular health alerts and updates as things develop. This is better than just relying on most of our media and social media sources.
I will be checking in with people over the coming weeks by phone, especially if we haven’t seen you on a Sunday for a while. I will also be looking at online and social media options that can help us facilitate prayer, Christian community and connection, particularly for those who are unable to regularly attend our Sunday service or Thursday night bible study, whether that be due to illness, family or work commitments.
We can trust that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). May this global pandemic be a time we press even more intentionally into Jesus and look for creative ways to outwork our mission together.
Grace and Peace,