this year we have experienced Fire, Floods & now Infection.
In these uncertain times in which we are now living with the COVID-19 global pandemic we are faced with an unprecedented challenge.
Besides all the inconveniences of panic shopping & restrictions, we now have an added burden upon our church gatherings.
On Wednesday, I was informed by the Archbishop that:
All Church Services & Church activities that are on church premises are to cease immediately until further notice.
This means that all our Sunday services, beginning this week, along with Women’s Church, Youth, GFS, Meteors, KidsTime, Men's Breakfast, Open Door, Open Church, 8am choir, Maiden Chorus, Mother’s Union meetings, our Passover Meal and all our Easter services will now be cancelled until further notice.
Although some may think this is extreme, The Archbishop expresses that this decision has been made to show love and care for the health and well-being of our church and its community and to support the government’s endeavour to slow the virus down.
In regards to Small Groups meeting in people’s houses. The Archbishop has advised that it is possible to continue meeting in homes in small groups if you can ensure that your groups operate with appropriate social distancing.
This is not a time to panic, but a time to embrace change. Change in the way we do church. Change in the way we minister to each other, & change in the way we make contact with our community.
We can be thankful that we live in an age of technology which we can access in order to connect with each other.
We will endeavour to have our weekly sermons on the website every week, & to hand deliver sermons on if people have no access to the internet.
The church building may be closed but we the church are still open to share the Gospel but now in a different way then we have before.
Church is not the building but God’s people meeting around Jesus. We will explore creative ways in how we can best minister to each other until such time we can meet face to face, regularly again.
This is new ground for everyone and will feel overwhelming and disorientating.
You may feel sorrow, frustration and even anger that these things have happened.
I understand the feelings and along with you I am so greatly disappointed for us & our community that we will not be able to meet together to celebrate Easter.
Please be patient & prayerful so that we can best continue as God’s church.
This also has significant financial implications for all churches. The Archbishop has indicated that this would be a good time for all people to begin direct giving or online giving in order to maintain our staff for when this virus is over. If you are not giving directly please consider it, for the benefit & stability of God’s Church at Camden.
When the Christian Church was underground in China in the Communist days when they were restricted to meet together, it was a time the church grew significantly. In a similar way under the Sovereignty of God. I believe that together, in prayer & cooperation we can see Christians individually & the Church corporately continue to grow.
Jesus is Lord and He knows what’s happening. He will walk us through these dark days.
Please pray for this Virus to end and for all our healthcare worker’s safety.
Pray for our Government and especially our Prime Minister as they make decisions.
Pray that the staff and I will make the wisest decisions in the meantime.
Pray that God’s church will still remain the Body of Christ, connected & unified.
Pray that we will be a light on the hill of Camden, faithful and unified in our Lord Jesus.
We will endeavour to have Sunday & Women’s Church services & sermons on our website with video & audio links, as well as our Bulletin. www.camdenanglican.org.au
Let’s keep the good habits of meeting together, by coming to our website each time you would normally come to church.
We will also keep you informed at least weekly with any developments & plans of St John's Parish that will help us in our unity & love for Jesus & each other.
Phil. 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.