WEEKLY UPDATE 29 March 2020

Here we are, this is our new reality. Some of us are alone, many of us are scared, all of us are in this together. Remember that we belong to one another. We move together in spirit so we will remember none of us goes alone. We belong to one another and we will care for one another.

Here is a message from the BUV God is bigger than the virus – balancing fear and anxiety with faith and trust in God 

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds around us, there are natural and understandable reasons to feel fearful and anxious. Our world has changed dramatically in a very short space of time and we find ourselves in circumstances we have never experienced before in our lifetime. The constant stream of grim news, job losses, strain on the health system, the physical isolation and restrictions create stress and uncertainty.  And yet, as people of faith, in these challenging days, it is vital we remind ourselves of God’s character, his goodness, faithfulness and power. In the words of Psalm 46: 1 God is our Refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear… As we encourage ourselves and one another with the many promises and truths of God in scripture, as we worship God and lean into his kindness and love, may we experience the essence of Phil 4:7: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Even though our Sunday morning worship services have closed until further notice we hope that you have been able to watch the online service we prepared last week. If you have trouble accessing this please let us know and we will try to help you through the issues. We want to assure you that lots of thought has already been offered to creative ways to keep our community connected, supported and cared for. These include:

  • Each week we will make available a short, pre-recorded service you can participate in on your computer or mobile phone. You may like to watch it at 10am on Sunday morning – or any time during the week. Stephen has done a lot of creative work to facilitate this. This Sunday’s service includes Sally, Alan Marr, Bill and Stephen. You can watch the service at:

 https://stkildabaptist.org.au/sermons/ use the following password StKi!d@B@ptist1954

  • On Wednesday the Community Kitchen management committee met and we made the very difficult decision to close CK. We explored a range of possible alternatives and different ways of logistics but each still carries risk and while the food is an essential part of CK it was also pointed out that our sense of deep community and the care of each other is also paramount. Ross and all involved with CK will continue to reach out to those we have contact details for and if any concerns come to you and you think Ross might be able to assist then please don’t hesitate to contact him. 
  • A recommendation from the Pastoral Search Committee to appoint a new co-pastor on 5th April, has been postponed. We are still hoping to find an innovative and safe way to meet to consider and at this time have set the date for 19th April, although we may need a little more time to explore options and put logistics in place. We’ll keep you posted.
  • In the next week or so, we will be sharing plans to ensure that pastoral care networks are enhanced, and any needs can be heard and addressed. We will be especially proactive about regular connection with members of the community who may be especially vulnerable at this time. Please feel free to phone Stephen (0400 827 410), Sally (0402 402 348) or Ross (0412 383 162). Andrew (0409 217 750)
  • All groups using our building have cancelled their meetings for the foreseeable future. We are mindful of the stress this brings for the Anon groups who use our space and pray that they can maintain contact online with those who offer them support.
  • For those who experience significant financial stress during this time due to loss of income we assure you that while “most of us enjoy considerable comfort and security, we believe that no-one in our Christian community should have to live below the poverty line”. (FairShare Scheme) Please talk to one of our Pastors, Andrew, Ross or Stephen if you are struggling financially or emotionally during this difficult time.

With the loss of daily routines, life can feel very unsettled. Here is a very simple resource to bring some rhythm and peace to the days that you may be spending with your normal routine disrupted City Liturgy,

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar

PRAYER POINTS

  • Those who are especially vulnerable and those who are very frightened
  • For our friends from CK who relied on the company as much as the meal
  • Some of our members are having medical tests at present and we seek wisdom and peace.
  • Those who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut and the financial stress this brings
  • For our leaders we ask for wisdom in managing these unprecedented times

Let’s not despair. God hasn’t forgotten us. And God, giver of life and love, continues to beckon us to celebrate the hope and peace of God’s presence. 

We are a community of people drawn together by the love and grace of God

exemplified for us in the life of Jesus.

We welcome everyone.

This includes people of all cultures, races, religions,

mental and physical capabilities,  sexual orientation and gender identity.

We are committed to peace with justice, and the integrity  of all creation.

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