With the recent easing of restrictions, it’s been so special to re-launch our Sunday services and to gather with many of you face to face. Of course it isn’t the same with the reduced numbers, the hand sanitiser and not being able to hug or sing. However meeting in person is a blessing that doesn’t compare to meeting virtually. Those attending have been surprised at how good it is to finally be together again. We want to keep you informed and invite you to take part in the relaunch of church in the weeks and months ahead.
Three Sunday services from 2 August
- 8.30am with Kids Church – this service will also be livestreamed*
- 10.30am with Kids Church
- Church@5 (5pm)
*Our aim is to also provide the livestream for as long as government restrictions are still in place for those unable to join us face to face.
Why 2 August?
We expect that each week following the school holidays more people will return to face to face gatherings. While the Main Hall can seat over 400 in normal circumstances, during the current restrictions it only has a capacity of 140. With three Sunday gatherings we should comfortably accommodate everyone with minimal need for “overflow” into the function room.
- For the immediate future the NSW government has decreed no congregational singing.
- We are to continue physical distancing and minimise physical contact.
- We need to record the details of everyone who comes onsite.
Not everyone is able to join us
As indicated by government guidelines your medical condition, age and level of anxiety needs to be considered in making a decision to return to Sunday gatherings. We know that risk increases for those over 70 and for those with certain medical conditions, so please take these into consideration and know that we wholeheartedly support you in whatever you choose to do.
As wonderful as it is to gather at the ministry centre, we want to assure you that we do not expect you to come if you’re not ready.
Ministry teams will be impacted
Every Sunday we’re so wonderfully served by people in our Kids Church ministry, audio-visuals, welcoming, musicians, cafe/kitchen, cleaning, setup and pack-down. In each of these teams there may be people who are not ready to return to Sunday gatherings yet.If you are in a Sunday ministry team and will not be coming to church by the end of July please have a conversation with your ministry leader to keep them informed.
Join the relaunch team!
Whether or not you are part of one of our ministry teams we’d love you to join our relaunch team. We’re having a special get-together at 11am Sunday 19 July for anyone eager to see us make the most of our Sunday gatherings in the coming months. Please fill out this brief survey to let us know your capacity to serve and be part of this relaunch.
We’d love your prayers for wisdom as the leadership of our church make decisions in the midst of change and uncertainty. Pray for the sick and vulnerable in our church community, that God would protect and encourage them in the midst of isolation.Pray for our fellow Christians in Australia and throughout the world who are facing more extreme impacts.
The FIEC churches in Victoria have specifically requested our prayers:
IN MELBOURNE: Cross & Crown, Grace Christian Community, Laneway Church
ACROSS VICTORIA: Baranduda Community Church, Flooding Creek Community Church, Seed Community Church
BORDER COMMUNITIES: Albury Bible Fellowship
With the easing of restrictions this week we’re re-opening the ministry centre for public gatherings and everyone is welcome!
Resuming our gatherings will be familiar but different. With the government requirements of social distancing and a ban on congregational singing it will feel a bit strange. But it will be so good to be together face to face again. For the next three Sundays we’ll have:
9am church at the ministry centre with Kids Church
5pm church at the ministry centre
Will the livestream continue?
Yes! For now, the 9am livestream will continue as usual but there will not be any chat rooms after.
How many services will be run on Sunday and at what times?
For the next few weeks we’ll have two gatherings, 9am and 5pm.
How many people are allowed to attend?
Within the new regulations, our main hall has capacity for 140 people. In addition to this, we have overflow capacity for over 100 more and the children will be in their Kids Church rooms.
What about kids?
Kids will go straight to their Kids Church groups after they’ve been checked in:
- Minimites and Dynamites (K-year 3) will be combining in Room 3
- Extremities (years 4-6) will be in the upper hall
What about Teen Church?
There will be no Teen Church for the holidays (5, 12 & 19 July).
What about people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19?
We’ll still provide our 9am livestream for everyone who needs to stay at home for now.
Are we following government guidelines?
Absolutely! We’ll be practising social distancing, recording names, providing hand sanitiser, refraining from singing and will not be giving out our Sunday bulletin or providing pens. We encourage you to bring along your own Bible, notebook and pen.
Will we have morning tea afterwards?
We will not be providing morning tea however the cafe will be open and will sell tea, coffee and bottled water. Feel free to bring your travel mug or water bottle!
Will an offering be collected?
No, we encourage you to give online via direct debit or the Giving page of our website.
Will there be a Mandarin translation at the Ministry Centre?
We’re currently working with our Chinese brothers and sisters about what would best serve them at this time.
Do we have an official COVID-19 safety plan?
Yes we do and it has been lodged with the government to register our ministry centre as a COVID-19 safe place.
Got more questions?
If you have any questions regarding our relaunch of Sunday services please feel free to contact our office via the Contact Us page of our website.
The government has now started to ease restrictions on gatherings. They have implemented Step One of a three step plan.
This means we can start showing hospitality to one another by having up to five guests in our homes. Some Growth Groups will take advantage of this and will start getting together in person (bearing in mind social distancing and good hygiene).
At the Ministry Centre, we are allowed to have gatherings of up to ten people. However, since we can only have one gathering at a time, the Ministry Centre is still closed to the public. If you want to use the ministry centre for your Growth Group or another ministry you will need to making a booking through the church office.
On Sunday mornings the live-stream will continue at 9am. It has been very encouraging to have so many family and friends of our church watching live. Our youth ministries will continue to gather via Zoom until there are further easing of restrictions.
The Sydney Anglicans have put out a great document called Return to Gathering Framework. This gives a helpful perspective of what we might expect in coming months.
Whether we gather digitally or physically:
Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.Hebrews 10:24-25
Is there more to life than this?
In our six week Life course we look into life with Jesus, and his claim to offer all who believe in him ‘life to the full.’ This term we’ll be running the course online through Zoom, but everyone will still have a good chance to either listen to the discussion, or ask as many questions as they like. Course materials supplied.
There has never been a better opportunity to invite your friends to join us – even if they live a long way away, consider inviting them and doing the course together. Also, consider joining us together with others in your household!
When: 7.30-9pm Tuesday nights starting 12th May
RSVP: Thomas McConaghey by phone or email (his details are in the church directory) or fill in the contact form here
Living out the gospel in today’s world means we need to understand and internalise the truth about God and his plan for the world. Paul’s letter to the Romans remains one of the most important expressions of Christian truth ever written. In our upcoming sermon series on the Book of Romans we’ll dive into this message that confronts us with who we are, who God is, and what our place in this world ought to be.
“It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well.”Martin Luther in his ‘Preface to Romans’
“When anyone understands this Epistle, he has a passage opened to him to the understanding of the whole Scripture.”John Calvin regarding Book of Romans
Have a watch of the video of Dave taking us through an introduction to the Book of Romans, and the Bible Project has a great intro to Romans 1-4 here