UPDATE 26/03/2020

“SEE I AM DOING A NEW THING!” Isaiah 43:19

Despite the unprecedented rush towards isolation which the coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented us with, there remains a very real and human need for social connection. This provide the church of God with an incredible opportunity to find new ways of connection, new ways of bringing Jesus to others. Although the following programs are suspending their physical meetings, each has its own unique opportunities to forge new ways of reaching into the community with the grace of God.

Messy Church: Exploring ways of taking Messy Church into people’s homes, with online celebration (worship) and home devliered craft kits.

JAM: Considering creative ways of playing games online and staying connected by phone.

Bourne Youth: Considering creative ways of playing games online and staying connected by phone.

Momentum Youth Camp: Exploring ways to offer online engagement with the speakers, worship and games.

Thursday Craft: Planning for how people can continue to connect with their friends at Craft, through the Facebook page and by encouraging phone calls among the groups for each craft.

Fit & Focused: Investigating online opportunities to facilitate exercises, and collecting email addresses to enable communication.

Playgroup: Investigating ways to deliver Playgroup online, with home delivered crafts.

Pastoral Care: Although the Pastoral Carers Gathering for Sunday 29 March has been cancelled, the Pastoral Care work of the congregation will go on unbated. Pastoral Care is what all of us (what you) are already doing for others in the congregation, by expressing that we care for one another. In this season we’re encouraging every member of our congregation to ring 5 people from our fellowship each week.

 

 

UPDATE 22/03/2020

WORSHIP: CHURCH OR HOME?

Worship is vitally important in our Christian life and witness as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Worship uplifts, centres and refreshes us for the journey. The thought of life without the sustaining corporate fellowship with God found in Sunday worship is confronting at the least. The decision to withdraw due to the threat of the Coronavirus is therefore a difficult one.

Rest assured that we, your church family will do all we can to facility continued connection and engagement with our worship.

We ask if you answer YES to ANY of the below questions to stay home and connect with our worship online and through the Church At Home pack.

  • Is anyone in your family being tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
  • Could you or have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus?
  • Do you or any member of your household experience symptoms of fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath?
  • Have you returned from overseas since Sunday 15 March 2020?
  • Do you or any member of your household suffer from a chronic health condition or have frail health?

If you have answered NO to ALL of the above questions, we would love you to come here to Sunday worship.

 

 

UPDATE 08/03/2020

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

As Christians we have a place to go for any and all crises, including health issues like the Coronavirus. That place is described in the word of God, which reminds us where to put our hope. For believers, this is a good day to remember that our hope is not in what we save or even in our physical healthy. Neither the markets nor our current health status provides the source of our identity. Psalm 20:7 reminds us: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

God also asks that we not be foolish. There are things that we can do to help protect the health of ourselves and our community. We have put in place changes to our serving of Holy Communion, with individual serving cups as an example of one of these precautions.

I would like to update you on the situation regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the current advice from the Federal Government.

You would be aware of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus originating in mainland China. While at this stage the number of affected people in Australia is small, we all need to use wisdom and follow basic guidelines to protect those around us who are most vulnerable. Information can be found at health.gov.au and at health.sa.gov.au.

Step we are taking here at Westbourne Park Uniting Church to care for our community, especially the most vulnerable include:

  • Practising good hygiene, washing our hands regularly. For example, cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your arm and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Holy Communion preparation and service will not involve individual glasses.
  • We encourage everyone to greet one another without physical contact, keeping in mind that we are seeking to protect the vulnerable of our congregation.
  • Avoid spreading infections to others by staying home if unwell. As always, please advise us so we can support you pastorally.
  • If you have travelled overseas, please check government requirements regarding isolation instructions. We kindly ask that you consider your personal situation and use wisdom regarding church attendance. If you choose not to attend, please advise us so we can support you pastorally during this time.

If you have any questions about coronavirus disease, you are encouraged to call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

Ultimately, even as we pursue preventative measures and exercise wisdom in keeping ourselves and loved ones safe, our faith and security is in Jesus Christ. We pray His promise of protection over you and your family. Let’s also pray for those affected around the world, and that the virus will be quickly contained and conquered.

One final note to emphasise, this information should not alarm or heighten any distress you may have surrounding recent developments of the novel Coronavirus. Rather, our desire is for you to be informed and known that our heart is to protect and ensure the safety of all, especially those among us who are most vulnerable, so we can continue to worship together.