Covid-19 update for EBC
Many of you will have kept yourselves informed of the evolving coronavirus situation as it is unfolding. The government has banned all non-essential indoor gatherings of over 100 people, and asked for voluntary compliance in an effort to slow down the spread of infection.
The Safety Team/Diaconate of Eastwood Baptist Church have made a decision to stop Sunday services until further notice. We consider this to be a drastic but appropriate response that will reduce social contact within our church community and slow down transmission of the virus. We understand that our gatherings have typically less than 100 people in attendance, but if the overall aim of these measures is to encourage social distance, ceasing to gather is us playing our part to protect our society and those who are particularly vulnerable.
This is a sad, but we believe necessary, response to the current pandemic. We will be deeply impacted by this because church, by its very nature, involves gathering to encourage one another as we follow Jesus. My prayer is that in this time of change, we will put our energy into growing in our love for one another in all manner of practical ways, expressing that through new channels, and coming out the other end stronger having shared these trials. I believe Jesus will continue to build his church.
Along with everyone else in these unchartered waters, we will be working some things out as we go. What follows are our current plans, some of which I am sure will change with time, and we would appreciate your input and feedback.
We are uploading onto this website weekly talks, announcements, news, and prayers. We may be able to include interviews, input from other church members, and other content in due course. We hope for it to be encouraging and to help our church family stay connected. Please don’t have too high expectations for the professionalism of this production, particularly when we first start.
The leadership team are drawing up plans to ensure that we can make phone contact with every person in our church community on a regular basis. If you can make yourself available as a resource for pastoral care in this coming season, please let us know and we will keep you in the conversation as we plan for the coming weeks.
We are looking into ways of maintaining contact and providing input to our children and youth.
Our advice for small groups is that they make use of video conferencing technology such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams.
Pastor Jonny plans to continue to working out of the church office for the time being. If you are unwell please drop us a line, for prayer, pastoral support, and to manage any risks around informal meetings. Jonny can be contacted on his mobile: 0425 333 779 or email: email@example.com
One of the most helpful items I have found explaining how to minimize the risk of transmission is the following video from BaptistCare. In this video BaptistCare staff receive a helpful briefing from NSW Health experts who have been coordinating the response the COVID-19 outbreak at Dorothy Henderson Lodge. I encourage you to watch it in full. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suxz8vngk4k&feature=youtu.be
Today, Pastor Grant shared with me that he and Corbyn were listening to and singing the Colin Buchannan's song, Be Strong and Courageous. A line in that song says,
Do not fear the sickness... Jesus has conquered them all.
Be strong and Courageous,
The Lord of the Ages,
Holds all his little ones, safe by his side
He told me he shed a tear as he sang that with his son. This is the courage we need to share with each person in the life of our church and beyond. Can I encourage you all to keep working at maintaining healthy relationships one with another. Take time to encourage each other in the Word of God, to pray for and with each other and, as you are able, to love one another deeply, from the heart, as we are commanded to do.
Serving with you,
Rev. Jonny Lam
On behalf of the leadership of Eastwood Baptist