COVID-19 Advisory Updates

Update #9 - 15 May 2020

OUR COVID-19 UPDATE #9 (15 May 2020) & SUNDAY@HOME RESOURCES

*Information was accurate as at 4.00pm 15 May, 2020.

It was so encouraging to receive your wonderful response of gratitude for our Mother’s Day service and to hear that the Lord spoke to many, including those who don’t ordinarily come along to MPBC.

This Sunday we continue our series entitled Uncertain Times which will take us through to the end of June. The series has been designed to focus on how we practically face and get through the difficulties and painful challenges that come our way in this life.

 

COVID-19 Restrictions

During the week our State Premier announced a 4 Phase WA Roadmap to carefully ease restrictions following our Prime Minister releasing a 3 Step Framework for a COVID-Safe Australia.

We move into Phase 2 from Monday 18 May where the number of people permitted to gather increases from 10 to 20 with the social distancing and hygiene measures continuing. Although churches and cafés are permitted to open we are taking a cautious approach and remaining closed for the time being. The main reasons for this include:

  • The 20 person restriction means it will be some time before we can hold our Sunday gatherings. It’s thought that in 4 weeks’ time under Phase 3 the number of people permitted to gather may increase to 100, although this has yet to be confirmed by our State Government.
  • The Government and Baptist Ministry Centre has only today released the Phase 2 requirements to be included in a mandatory COVID-19 Safety Plan that enables us to reopen.
  • The social distancing and hygiene requirements, along with the administration required to log and control numbers, is not a simple exercise within most of our church ministries.

At this stage it looks like Infuse Café will be the first ministry to recommence in our facility in the next couple of weeks. The café will gradually provide a controlled place of reconnection and community.

A key component in our planning the pathway to re-engagement in our facility has been receiving the Government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan guidelines. While our planning is underway we are adopting a cautious and carefully-thought-through approach given the risks involved.

In the coming weeks we will continue to encourage the existing mechanisms for connecting including small group meetings in homes or in public places. Sunday@Home could well be in place for a number of months yet.

 

Sunday@Home

Mick Stringer will bring a message titled “Weeping: In Uncertain Times.”

The sermon and supporting material, including songs and children’s resources are available on our Sunday@Home webpage.

There will be a time in the service to share Communion. I would encourage you to be prepared in advance with the appropriate elements for the bread and the cup.

For prayer requests please click here

 

SaturdayNight@Cooby

There will again be an opportunity for us all to engage in our Coolbellup Saturday evening service where Michael Christie will bring a message titled “Living on the Word of God.”

The video is available on our Sunday@Home webpage.

 

A Word in Season

This week’s devotional in our series “A Word in Season” was given by Dan Rodgers and can be accessed here

 

Church Offerings

There are several giving options listed on our Giving page:

  • You can give through the Church App or Click here
  • Cash or cheques can be delivered to our Church Office Reception: Tuesday to Friday 9.00am to 30pm.

 

Good Friday Corona Care Appeal

The $5,800 given has been allocated as follows; $3,000 to Baptist World Aid’s COVID-19 overseas relief work and the balance of $2,800 to local needs including food hampers and support for those in real need.

 

Virtual Foyer

Mike Miles will continue to be hosting a Virtual Foyer, using internet technology called Zoom between 11am and 12noon on Sunday, where you can enter our church foyer and chat with Mike from the comfort of your living room.

The meeting can be accessed here

Meeting ID: 833 7834 8532 and Password: 497497

 

Other Matters

If you have any pastoral care needs please contact us at the Church Office by email or by phone 9329 1777.

Keep safe, keep in touch and have a wonderful weekend.

God bless

 

Simon Ford

Executive Pastor

Update #8 - 3 April 2020

OUR COVID-19 UPDATE #8 (3 April 2020) & SUNDAY@HOME RESOURCES

*Information was accurate as at 2.00pm 3 April, 2020.

It has been a great joy to witness the way our church family has responded in love and care for one another and the wider community as we have worked together to adopt and embrace our new operating environment for the benefit and well-being of our nation.

I would like to extend a huge thank you on behalf of the pastoral and staff team for all your love and encouragement extended to us during this challenging time – it’s been much appreciated.

It has been encouraging to see a flattening of the curve of COVID-19 infections following our Governments initiatives and the overarching direction to stay at home unless doing essential activities. There is a new COVID-19 Government App you can download to keep updated on all the developments.

 

Sunday@Home – Our Sunday Gatherings

Thank you for your inspiring and heartening feedback and photos sent through after last Sunday. We have prepared a feedback clip for you to enjoy this Sunday, along with a missional links clip providing feedback on the most recent Cambodia trip and visit to our Transform Centre.

Our current sermon series on Friendship will continue to the end of April and this week Peter Christofides will be speaking on Acceptance.

This Sunday’s sermon and supporting material are now available on our Sunday@Home webpage.

 

A Word in Season – Our New Weekly Devotional

We launched our plan to provide a mid-week devotion to be led by a different Ministry Leader each week. Each devotional will be 3-5 minutes with the intent of providing encouragement from the Scriptures from across our pastoral team.

The first devotion was prepared by Nick Scott and distributed on Wednesday 1 April by email with a link to the devotional. The devotionals can also be accessed through our Church App, our social media channels and via the home page of our website.

 

Easter

Good Friday is only a week away and we are preparing something special for both Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The services will again be available on our Sunday@Home webpage.

 

Church Offerings

We all find ourselves in financially challenging times and we greatly appreciate those who are 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 and Prayer

Our pastoral team will continue to be available and will 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 specific prayer requests, please send them via this form.

 

Small Groups

It has been great seeing families sharing in the Scriptures together as well as the many inventive ways Connect groups/Home groups have found to continue to communicate without physically meeting together.

Links to suggested tools are listed here.

If you are struggling to find a Connect group to be part of during this time please get in touch, either by contacting the office or you can go to our Connect Groups page, find a group and request to join.

 

Our Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Our AGM will not be held on Sunday 26 April as originally planned. The Board are reviewing available options and we will notify you in due course.

 

Other Matters

Thank you for your patience as we seek to align our costs and staff levels in order to provide the required ministries and meet our missional commitments during this ever changing and challenging period. We are making an application under the Job Keeper package announced by the Government this week.

It is so important to continue to keep in contact and look out for one another. The Lord is doing new and exciting things and so let us together look to him and find shelter in him while letting the light of Christ shine brightly in our neighbourhoods.

Keep safe and have a blessed weekend!

 

Blessings in Christ

Simon Ford

Executive Pastor

Update #7 - 27 March 2020

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

Update #6 - 26 March 2020

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

Update #5 - 20 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

Update #4 - 18 March 2020

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

Update #3 - 14 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