COVID-19 Advisory Updates

OUR COVID-19 UPDATE #7 (27 MARCH 2020) & SUNDAY@HOME RESOURCES

*Information was accurate as at 2.00pm 27th March, 2020.

Our ongoing response to COVID-19 has been to fully support and work with the Australian Governments in flattening the curve of the infections for the well-being of everyone. Our response is a faith response that has the love and care for our neighbour clearly in view and a right submission to our governing authorities (Romans 13:1-10).

The latest measures issued by the Australian Governments include:

  • Restrictions on religious gatherings and places of worship, including marriages and funerals.
  • Further actions to strengthen and support social distancing measures

Last Sunday we closed our buildings at Booragoon and Coolbellup and suggested meeting in smaller groups. Much has changed during this week leading us to suspend remaining ministries and where possible reformat the delivery of particular ministries to meet our desire to limit face- to-face contact as far as possible.

A major consideration for you now is how you operate Sunday@Home. Nick Scott made a video announcement on Thursday recommending only family households meet together. Connect groups and small groups will now need to connect in ways other than face-to-face.

I set out below under key headings the impact of these further developments:

 

Sunday Gatherings (Sunday@Home)

We commenced our new reformatted Sunday@Home family approach last Sunday involving the pre-recording of the sermon and providing intergenerational family activities and resources with suggested song playlists.

This Sunday’s sermon and supporting material is now available on our Sunday@Home webpage click here

 

Church Offerings

These times will be financially challenging for all of us and we greatly appreciate those able to sustain normal levels of giving. There are several giving options:

  • Direct EFT bank transfer
  • Through the Church App
  • The Offering link on our Sunday@Home page
  • Cash or cheques can be delivered to our Church Office Reception: Tuesday to Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm.

 

Pastoral Care

Our pastoral team will continue to be available and do our best to keep in contact with you, especially people in need, the elderly and those who are unwell.

If you have particular needs such as being unable to get to the shops or not able to acquire essential items, please contact us at the Church Office 9329 1777 or at contact@mounties.org.au

For prayer requests please click here

 

Prayer Meetings in our Facilities

House of Prayer and all organised prayer meetings in our facilities have been suspended until further notice. We are encouraging prayer over the phone and internet connections.

 

Small Groups

Connect groups/Home groups as normally practiced should be suspended. We are suggesting you connect and communicate through the most appropriate communication channels including phone, email, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Links to suggested tools are listed here.

Please be aware that our Safe Church policies and guidelines apply to all forms of communication.

 

Office

The Office, including Reception will remain open during normal work hours however we are encouraging staff where possible to work from home.

 

Facilities

All venue hire events have been cancelled or postponed and the Book Shop and Library will be closed until further notice.

 

College

Our College is continuing to operate with students moving to an online educational platform until further notice.

 

Cafe

Infuse Cafe has been operating in a take-away capacity this week and from close-of-business on Saturday 28 March will be closed until further notice.

 

Other Matters

We are reviewing and aligning all our costs and staff levels in order to provide the required ministries and meet our missional commitments during this challenging period.

Let’s all continue to keep in contact and look out for one another. The Lord is at work in all of this and our trust is in him. Keep safe and have a blessed weekend!

 

Blessings in Christ,

Simon Ford

Executive Pastor

Sunday@Home (COVID-19 Update #6) – 26 March 2020

Our COVID-19 Update #5 (20th March 2020) & Sunday @ Home Resources

*Information was accurate as at 12.00pm 20th March, 2020.

We certainly have been busy managing our response to the risks associated with the coronavirus, COVID-19, across the spectrum of our ministries, activities and events on what feels like an hour by hour basis.

Our response as a church is not one of fear and panic as those without hope but is characterised by love and care for the people of our city and your leadership team is continuing to seek the Lord’s wisdom for us. As a minimum we are following the recommendations of the Australian Governments.

You should have received two church-wide communications this week already

  • a recorded announcement from Nick Scott regarding our Sunday gatherings
  • our regular Weekly Communication from Sue Ford that includes helpful messages in particular areas, around our response to the current situation

You would have also received various other communications relating to specific ministry areas within the church that affect you.

Following the previous two church-wide communications this week there is a need for this third note today to provide key information referenced in previous communications regarding this Sunday and how we currently propose to move forward day to day.

 

Overall position

We believe the most loving response at this time is to refrain from meeting in large groups for a period to help flatten the exponential curve of infections, for the benefit of our medical and health professions and for the well-being of the whole community and indeed our nation.

Our intent at this time is to reformat and reframe our gatherings to enable us to meet in small groups until further notice. So some ministries have been reformatted and reframed to continue operating during the foreseeable future (mainly, Sunday gatherings, Prayer meetings, Connect groups, Salt and Youth), while other ministries and events (which is a long and growing list including our Pillar Event with Rikk Watts) have been postponed until we are in a safe position to continue them in a workable format.

It’s important to let you know that our Office and Building will continue to be opened during the week as a place of welcome and hospitality with the café, Book Shop and Library open as usual. The Auditorium at Booragoon will be a place of prayer on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 12:30pm and on Fridays between 6am and 9am, in accord with our social distancing guidelines.

 

Sunday Gatherings

As previously announced by Nick Scott we will not be meeting in our Auditorium at Booragoon or at our Coolbellup building this Sunday until further notice. We will be meeting in small groups (suggested no more than 15 people) in various homes and locations across our city. No small groups will be meeting in our Facility on Sundays. If you are not currently in a Connect Group then please be proactive in gathering with a few other people. We suggest that as far as possible you meet on Sunday at your usual service times, so we are all in this together and be praying for one another.

We have created a special page on our website that will hold our Sunday resources, including the Sermon for the week along with Children’s ministry material and song playlists if required. The website will be updated every Friday afternoon and contain:

 

  • The pre-recorded Sermon Video, which includes Screens and if you require subtitles click on the “CC” button next to the play slider
  • Links for Song suggestions to a YouTube Lyric Video Playlist and a Spotify Playlist (recommended songs from our CM team)
  • Links to Kids Praise Clips and Children’s & Families Activities (you will need to provide your own craft materials, paper and pencils etc.)
  • A Button that will take you to our online giving page

 

We will also be sharing the Sermon video direct to our Facebook Page and the Church app. Our provision of videos and other materials will develop further over the coming weeks. Our desire is to provide resources for all aged groups across our church family.

 

Other Matters 

Our desire is to continue to keep in contact with you and provide pastoral care, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are in need of pastoral support. Sue Ford and Mike Miles are gathering a larger group of carers to help meet pastoral and other needs during this challenging time.

I encourage you to continue to comply with the following guidelines which are on our Sundays webpage:

  • General Infection Control Measures
  • Social Distancing Guidelines
  • Small Group Guidelines

If you normally give your offering to the Lord’s work through the Offering buckets as opposed to EFT bank transfers then please feel free to come into our front reception during office hours and our receptionists will handle this for you.

We pray you have a safe and blessed weekend as you meet together.

 

Blessings in Christ

Simon Ford

Executive Pastor

Sunday Church Update (COVID-19 Update #4) – 18 March 2020

Our COVID-19 Latest Update (#3 14 March 2020)

 

 

Dear Church Family,

It’s important to update you on our on-going planning and response to the risks associated with the coronavirus, COVID-19. Since our two previous church-wide communications the situation has escalated and our risk management response has been progressively updated and will continue to be updated over the coming weeks as necessary.

Our desire is not to respond in fear but love and care for the well-being of our people and those who enter our Facility, and with wisdom given the potential significance of COVID-19.

As a minimum we are following the recommendations of the Australian Government, along with directions from the Baptist Ministry Centre and are prayerfully seeking wisdom from the Lord concerning further actions we believe we should be taking.

We have identified high risk events and activities and are monitoring our response on an hour by hour basis, things are changing rapidly.

Over the last couple days having assessed the risks involved, we have cancelled the following events until further notice:

  • The International Dinner
  • Seniors Communion Service
  • Women In The Word
  • Men’s PIE Night
  • Women’s Essence Event
  • MPK Training and lunch Sunday 15 March
  • Craft Connection

 

Sunday Services

In relation to the Government’s announcement on Friday (to come into effect from Monday) regarding cancelling gatherings of over 500 people and for churches to consider spreading attendances over multiple smaller services:

  • Some larger church have cancelled all their Sunday gathering and are live streaming and other large churches are continuing to meet.
  • Our response at this time which could well change as events unfold, is to continue to hold our Sunday gatherings and implement precautionary measures.
  • We ask you to consider how you could help spread our numbers more evenly across our 3 services at Booragoon – only the 8:30am services is around 500, the others are much lower
  • Of course the choice to attend or otherwise is up to each one of you.

 

General Infection Control Measures

  • If you or a family member have flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, or
  • if you have returned from overseas travel from any destination, or
  • If you have been in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus,
  • We ask that you refrain from attending any of our services or activities for a minimum of 14 days.

If you are unwell, or self-isolating, or are diagnosed with COVID-19, then please do not hesitate to contact us so we can be praying for you and provide pastoral care.

 

Others precautionary actions that have been taken to manage the risk, include:

  • Refrain from handshaking and close physical contact – no hugs and kisses!
  • Exercise caution in touching surfaces and practice thorough hand-washing
  • Teas and Coffees in the foyer
    • There will be no self-serving – you will take a cup and be served by an attendant to limit the handling of dispensers and jugs
    • We have closed the water fountain and no food will be served
  • Offering buckets will not be passed along the aisles but there will be an opportunity to come and give in the buckets placed at the front of the auditorium and at the rear doors
  • A foot opener has been installed on the bathroom doors
  • Our children ministries will be taking added precautions to help protect our children
  • We are currently awaiting further supplies of hand sanitiser.

This and all major updates to our response will be posted on our website and through our social media, including the Church app.

The leadership team is united in our response and will be meeting this coming Tuesday 17th March to review and if necessary update our response.

Blessings in Christ

Simon Ford
Executive Pastor