Stage 5 Covid-19 Plan activated – 23rd March update
WSCCC: Our church continues in today’s world
By now we see more clearly the effect of Covid-19 on our lives, our church and our world. It can seem overwhelming. But even now, we can take time to realise that the Lord has been good to us. He has blessed us with wonderful brothers and sisters in church, godly pastors, and a stable church body. Even greater than this, God has given us many promises: to heal, to give peace, to provide, to grow us, to make us holy, and heaven itself – eternal life through the death of his Son, Jesus. Please take the time to praise Jesus for all of this!
Thank you to all those who have worked hard to produce online church services in our seven congregations. We will continue to improve how they are produced and communicated – please be patient!
We are now at Stage 5 of our Covid-19 Response Plan
The NSW Government declared on 23 March 2020, that all religious gatherings and places of worship will be closed, other than very small groups, where 1 person per 4sqm applies.
This does not mean that church is cancelled! Church, the preaching of the Bible, and care for each other continues in a new form. Not only are our services now online, but we are looking for ways to nurture fellowship and unity as a church.
What are the goals for Stage 5?
Our vision for church have not changed! But we need to have a renewed focus whilst we face Covid-19. Our foci are:
1. Our relationship with God. Throughout Covid, we need to:
- Respond with prayer for the world
- Trust in God’s sovereign plan for us
- Seek personal righteousness during this trial
2. Our relationship with each other. We need to unite as a church by
- Prioritising worship together in new ways.
- Nurturing fellowship in new ways.
- Continuing financial support for our church’s expenses.
3. Our relationship with the world. We need to make a difference in our world by:
- Our outreach to people with new needs because of Covid-19.
- Personal evangelism through the new ways we are doing church.
- Our ongoing mission ministry around the world
How will Stage 5 work?
Obviously no services can be held at church. We will continue to work on improving our online services, so that they can be easily accessed by all.
Activities to prepare for online services can continue to be conducted at church. This includes recording sessions and music teams as required. No more than 10 people should be in one rooms, and exercise the 4sqm distancing.
Fellowship and community is fundamental to Christian life. Therefore we encourage group worship through Home Church arrangements and group prayer meetings via whatever communications are possible, eg Zoom.
If individuals choose to meet up with others from church, they do so by their own choice as a gathering of friends. We uphold the law of the land. If the government declares a strict closed-door lockdown, we stress the importance of abiding by it.
We encourage ministry meetings to continue, as part of our new lifestyle. Meetings should be done by teleconferencing if possible, and the leaders will try to facilitate it through means such as Zoom. Under certain circumstances, some urgent meetings can be still held at church (with hygiene precautions, and no more than 10 people) when teleconferencing is not possible. This requires approval by the pastors or Chairman of the Diaconate.
Church staff will have the option to work from home, or at church if they prefer. The cleaners will continue to clean the church meticulously, despite no services on Sundays. It is important that since our buildings are still used, the standard of hygiene must be very high.
Church bulletins will continue to be prepared, as there is important information and statistics to share. These will be circulated electronically to each congregation.
Because no offering bag can be passed around, we continue to encourage members to set up automatic electronic transfers directly from their bank accounts, or give online. See details here: https://wsccc.org.au/giving/
Covid-19 presents new pastoral challenges which we as a church need to recognise, and address each others’ needs. Some of these include:
- Those who do not have internet or similar communications, We must maintain fellowship and ministry to these people in ways they can do.
- Those who are quarantined need help with shopping and cooking etc.
- Some people may become unemployed.
- Some people may lose loved ones.
- These needs extend beyond the “walls” of our church, and we need to also love those outside, in the community.
May God’s will be done.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8