Diaconate newsletter, 21 December 2020

2020 – a year of God’s grace!

2020 has been quite a year for the world! Whilst it has been an ongoing disaster for so many nations, we in Australia must give thanks to the Lord for his mercy upon us. For Christians, we must acknowledge that it is purely by God’s grace that we have largely been spared.

As a church, our journey through Covid so far has been one of:

  • Faith in God to preserve our health and wellbeing.
  • Trust in God’s leading through our transitions in church life.
  • Perseverance in serving the Lord in difficult circumstances.
  • Commitment to one another’s needs when we were dispersed.
  • Thankfulness when we reflect on all God has done for us in 2020.

As we reflect on Christmas, may we enjoy the peace which God has blessed upon us, given in no greater way than the eternal peace which comes from the coming of the Prince of Peace himself, our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Diaconate planning retreat

On Saturday, November 28, the Diaconate met for their annual day of reflection and planning. As we reflected, we gave thanks to the Lord that the church has been stable throughout Covid. There is cohesion despite separation, attendances have been sound, and there continues to be a strong desire for God and love for each other.

Particular needs we have identified through Covid is ministry to those who remain isolated (especially the elderly). On-line ministries need to be continued alongside on-site ministries. As we move back on-site for church, we must also nurture re-connection and re-engagement of members into post-Covid transitional church life.

The Diaconate also focused discussion on generating a culture of ministry training for all members, as well as working on a review of our missions vision alongside the Mission Committee. Please pray as the leaders seek the Lord’s wisdom in planning these important aspects of our ministry.

Return of church services on site

As a church, it is important that we meet together in person to worship the Lord, fellowship with each other, and serve in ministry together. Despite the convenience of online services, they are no replacement for church life in person. It is good spiritual practice to make the effort to meet with other Christians physically. We give thanks to the Lord that all of our services have returned on site at Strathfield.

However, we understand that some people are not ready or able to return in person yet. Therefore we are continuing to make our Sunday services available on line in various forms.

ServiceService timeAlso available online via
Strathfield English (S9)9am SundaysYouTube livestream
Strathfield English (4:30)4:30pm SundaysYouTube
Strathfield Cantonese (combined)10:30am SundaysYouTube livestream
Strathfield Mandarin10:30am SundaysZoom
Croydon Park Mandarin (CPM)
4:30pm Saturdays at StrathfieldYouTube
Croydon Park English (CP10)2pm Sundays
at Strathfield
YouTube livestream

Covid-safe update for our church

We thank God that the NSW government is gradually lifting restrictions on safe church gatherings. Our church policy on Covid is regularly changing, so please check here for the latest guidelines for our church activities: https://wsccc.org.au/news/.

As of 7 December, 2020, here are some of the latest changes.

Maximum attendancesUp to 344 on the whole site (including children).
Up to 180 people in chapel.
Up to 150 people in upper hall.
SingingCongregational singing is allowed, with masks on.
Choir or music team (up to 50) do not need masks, but distanced.
Food serviceFood may be served by designated servers in masks/gloves.
No buffet style or pot luck meals.
Cooking in kitchen possible from February 2021.
RegisterAll attendees on site at church must register contact details either by QR code or on paper at door.
Temperatures will be checked.
HygieneFace masks are strongly recommended for adults.
Compulsory for congregational singing.
Hand sanitizer will be provided.
Each ministry activity group or service to wipe down chairs and tables after their event.

Church Development Plan (CDP) Update

The Croydon Park stage of the CDP is progressing well – we are halfway finished! By now most of the excavation work has been done, and concreting of the lower levels is underway.

We are on track for completion in mid-2021, hopefully with the Covid pandemic settled, and a new facility to continue our next stage of church life!

Thank you for your support of the project. The weekly target fundraising for the CDP (both Strathfield and Croydon Park) is $6,923. Our next bi-monthly special offering during services will be collected on Sunday, December 20. Perhaps you could consider this offering as a gesture of thanksgiving to the Lord for his mercies throughout this year?

Update on church finances

We encourage our members to continue to give their offerings to the Lord as a spiritual act of worship, reflecting what is in your hearts. May our leaders use the funds wisely for growth of God’s kingdom. Please give in balanced amounts into the three funds of the church, according to our needs reflected below.

Our church supports 22 people/families in various ministries from our church (9 pastors, 2 children’s ministry workers, an administrator, and 10 missionary families).

Currently, there is a serious shortfall in our general fund of about $60,000 (from budget), which supports our staff and ministry expenses. Could you consider this current special need of the church?

The weekly targets are:

  • General Fund: $21,492
  • Mission Fund: $3,243
  • Building Fund: $6,923

A reminder that electronic giving is the most hygienic, convenient and consistent:

  • Via secure credit card at: https://wsccc.org.au/giving/
  • Via electronic bank transfers to the church accounts:
    • General fund: BSB 082 080. Acc 48 243 6244. Name: WSCCC.
    • Mission fund: BSB 082 080. Acc 52 856 0495. Name: WSCCC.
    • Building fund: BSB 082 451. Acc 73 932 0475. Name: WSCCC.

Prayer Points

Please continue to commit our church and the world to God in prayer:

  • Thank God for his mercy upon Australia as Covid transmission has fallen. Pray however for the rest of the world, who continue to suffer daily, especially those in the USA, India and South America.
  • Pray for each congregation of our church as we re-connect with each other on-site, and re-engage in church life. Pray also for those who are unable to join us yet – that we can nevertheless minister to their needs.
  • Pray for continued good progress and clear weather for the Croydon Park stage of the CDP.
  • Pray for God to convict our hearts to respond to the financial needs of the church, particularly the general fund shortfall.