Due to the rapidly deteriorating situation with the Coronavirus, we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding church. It’s important to stress that these measures aren’t ideal, but are loving compromises in order to best serve one another and our wider community.
Firstly, please watch this helpful Vox video to understand the current situation with the Coronavirus, and why it’s so important that we take drastic measures as a church and a society before our healthcare system is overwhelmed like Italy and Iran. This video explains what it means to “flatten the curve.”
Overview of our response
- We have decided to suspend our normal Sunday services at 100 Enoggera Tce until further notice, effective immediately.
- We will instead run and livestream “closed” services with a small group of people (musicians, pray-er, Bible reader, preacher) which you can watch from home
- Growth groups and other social gatherings have been suspended for now
- We are coordinating an effort to stay in touch with each other and check up on each other during this time
- We are hoping to distribute cards throughout Paddington asking people if they need supplies (or wish to donate supplies) or prayer or someone to talk to
Suspension of services
On Wednesday, 18 March, the elders made the difficult decision to suspend services until further notice. As a church we have a responsibility to our wider community and we want to love and serve them in the best way we can at this time. Currently, indoor gatherings of over 100 have been banned by the Australian government, while smaller gatherings are required to be held in a space that provides four square metres per person. Our nation is not alone in enforcing restrictions: the US has banned gatherings over 10 and people are being instructed to remain indoors. To play our part in stopping the spread of the virus here, we must suspend our physical gatherings.
Livestream from home
While we believe it’s important to practice physical isolation at this time out of love for others, we don’t want to socially or spiritually isolate from each other. We know that gathering as God’s people to worship and build each other up is the calling of the people of God.
That’s why we are setting up a livestream of the service, which will go live at 9:30am on Sundays. A small crew will gather at church on Sunday to run the service behind closed doors, and you’ll be able to watch the live video feed from home. You’ll be able to access this livestream from home simply by clicking the link, tiny.cc/ipclivestream at 9:30am on Sunday.
Staying in touch with each other
We also recognise that during this time, many events and activities are being cancelled, opportunities to get out and meet people have been greatly reduced, and many of us will experience loneliness. We want to care for each other and check up on each other to make sure we are all going okay. If you need someone to call or speak to, please phone us on 3103 0471, or email us at email@example.com.
Loving our neighbours
Soon we’ll be distributing cards throughout the neighbourhood of Paddington, asking people if they need prayer or supplies (food, toilet paper, other essentials). If you’d like to be involved in this effort, let us know by filling in this survey. If you need any help, phone us on 3103 0471 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in an online form at ithacapc.org.au/help.
These are troubling times, but let’s remember that we have a sure and certain hope in Christ. While taking precautions out of love for others, we do not need to fear or panic – we do not even need to fear death itself, for Christ has conquered death on our behalf, and nothing can separate us from his love for us. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:35-39:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is our time to shine as a church, and to demonstrate to others the hope that we have in the Lord Jesus.