RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Pastoral updates for the church are added here, newest at the top of page. These updates are in the first instance distributed to the church by email- sign up here.
27 March 2020
Dear Living Water,
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:1-2
Right now we can’t meet physically but we can still grow in Christ together and love one another.
During this challenging time Life Group leaders and the Pastoral Care Team are working to connect us with one another. So don’t be surprised by a phone call from someone now and again. Make a call to others and check in with them. A lot of this care is already happening, but we don’t want anyone to ‘slip through the cracks’ - please let the PCT know (0431 849 169, email@example.com) of anyone needing contact, perhaps they aren’t on the pastoral roll or aren’t in a Life Group.
A new HELPS team led by Gus Woithe is also on hand, to practically assist. If you need some practical help please fill out the form on the worship@home page, contact the Pastoral Care Team (Allyson, Dot or Paul) or call Revd Paul on 0431 849 169
Consider ways that you could connect with others right now:
- Engage with your Life Group online & by phone
- Fill out the prayer or practical concerns forms on the worship@home webpage
- Use one of the ‘Resources for Growth’ listed on the worship@home page to grow in faith
- Join & post on the LW Members facebook group page
19 March 2020
Dear Living Water
We are certainly living in uncertain and unstable times. In many ways we should not be surprised as Jesus warned us about the disruptions and the ‘birth pains’ that would come while we wait for his glorious return.
The coronavirus pandemic is quickly impacting and changing our lives and the world as we know it. The imperative to love our neighbor as ourselves calls us to reconsider the way we conduct ourselves not only as individuals but also as a church.
The reality of the most vulnerable in society being the most susceptible to infection and fatality must cause us to ask:
- How can we love our neighbour as ourselves?
- How can we be living water to our community, gripped by fear and anxiety?
- How can we embody hope, and what is God calling us to in this season?
- How can we not only survive but flourish since we are the church, regardless of whether we can meet in a building or not.
As we listened to the government, the advice from the Diocese as well as the Anglican church of Australia our Parish Council has met and made some tough decisions out of love and respect for others and to play our part in slowing the infection rate:
- With immediate effect all Sunday services are postponed until further notice. This means that the 8am, 10am and 5pm services are on hold and will not be taking place until further notice.
- All church groups/ministries are postponed until further notice.
We see our Lifegroups becoming an even more important aspect of our life as a church, in these coming days, and we are encouraging everyone to connect in smaller groups for fellowship, encouragement and care. But please bear in mind that social distance advice guidelines are to be adhered to and do not meet if you are feeling unwell in any way, have been overseas in the last 2 weeks or been in contact with travelers or unwell people.
Pray for our church, the vulnerable and elderly among us and our community, and those affected by this virus. Pray for God’s hand of protection and comfort and that people would seek him and find eternal life in Jesus.
So what are we going to do?
We are going to move to video based Home Worship. We will produce a video service each week consisting of bible readings, intercessory prayers, bodylife, children’s focus and a sermon.
This video will then be made available:
- On Living Water’s facebook page
- Here at the living water website
- And it will be embedded in an email that we will send to you on Saturdays, where you will be able to simply click on the video in the email and it will play for you. You can submit your email address so that you will receive this email here.
The idea is that we would love you to gather in homes, either individually or with a few others for worship on Sundays and watch the video, sing and pray together.
We are also aiming to produce material for families to use with their kids. Having home based family discipleship times after dinner or in the mornings will now be much easier since our diaries may be much emptier. We may have a lot more time on our hands in the coming weeks – lets use the time wisely!
The Sunday 5pm service, CU@5 will also move to video based talks – and we will develop a weekly video which we will put up on the CUat5 facebook page. Our prayer is to keep CU@5 alive!
So, look out for an email from Living Water on Saturdays, starting 21 March 2020. We most likely won’t get everything perfect this first Sunday – but bear with us, we’ll get there!
If you have any difficulty with accessing the videos please contact Revd. Paul Bartley in the office or on email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will gladly assist you.
It is very hard for us not to gather since so much of our life as believers is shared in community – but although we cannot gather face to face at the present time we can still express our concern, encouragement and care for one another in a number of ways:
- The Church Directory: Use your directory to make phone calls to check in on people and see how they are going.
- Many of you are familiar with skype and facetime – use these excellent tools so that we can still experience an aspect of face to face life together.
- Reaching out: This is a great time for you to be able to support others in need too – consider making appropriate contact with your neighbours to see if there’s some way you can be of assistance to them in the name of Jesus.
If you have any questions or need any help whatsoever please contact the church office on 9844 8850. We will be checking the messages each day: Monday to Thursday. Alternatively you can email Paul.
This is a great time for you to move over to electronic giving if you have not done so already. It is more hygienic and much simpler for our treasurer. If you need any assistance with internet transfers or setting up a direct debit from your account, please contact your bank and they will help you.
General: Westpac - Living Water Anglican Church BSB 706 001 Acc 30004022
Building /Pastoral Pledges: Westpac - Living Water Anglican Church BSB 706001 Acc: 30004023
Cash Giving/Envelopes: The Church will be open on Wednesday mornings from 9am -12pm and Revd. Paul will be there to supervise cash and envelope offerings into a locked box.
Paul will also be available to assist people with technology and helping you set up online giving.
Brothers and sisters, we are indeed living in uncertain times, not being able to meet together is hard but it’s not forever! Our God is good, he is reigning, he is unchanging and he has made us to be living water to others, so in the face of this challenge let us be people of hope, joy, peace and love for others in the name of Jesus. Our God is good and he is able to bring good out of every situation.
I can’t wait to be able to meet together again face to face. What a celebration it will be!
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)