The church Board of Management (BOM) had a short notice meeting on Wednesday night. We have decided sadly and reluctantly, given the actual and potential worsening situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the new government directives (ie. on social distancing and limits on numbers attending public gatherings):
- To suspend, until further notice, our regular English and Cantonese on premise services from this Sunday (22 March 2020).
- As of 27 March 2020, Gungahlin service will not run. A message will be recorded and posted online. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- As an interim measure, to conduct our English and Cantonese services online from this Sunday (22 March 2020). The services will be ‘live-streamed’ the usual times of 9:15 am and 11:15 am.
- In the next day or so we will provide more information by email about how you can access via internet/social media these ‘live-streamed’ English and Cantonese Sunday services.
- Other ministries (ie. Sunday School, Youth, Bible groups) will also be affected and not be able to continue in their current formats. I (Rob) have contacted the leaders to explore options.
- We recognise that God’s word exhorts us to “not give up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:24-25). But we do not think we are ignoring Hebrews 10, because:
- we really do want to meet to encourage each other as God’s people and are not seeking to make a habit of not meeting;
- we are looking as much as possible for interim alternative ways to ‘meet’(ie. online Sunday services); and
- we are driven by a desire to protect the vulnerable, honour government, and witness to the Lord Jesus (ie. not be viewed by the wider society as reckless for still meeting when others are not).
- We want to encourage everyone to make a real effort to participate in the CAACC service ‘live streaming’ (ie. singing, saying Amen to prayers, etc) and not just sleep in.
- Try to watch the ‘live stream’ service with your family / the people you live with, consider inviting a few others to watch, or if you live alone join with others to watch / spend time together.
- We will seek to make the ‘live streamed’ services interactive (ie. we’ll share the Lord’s Supper together this Sunday – please get some bread and juice ready)
- Please be praying that despite the obvious deficiencies, the Lord would use these online services to grow us in love and commitment towards Christ and one another as a community.
- May we also encourage you to seek to take every other opportunity available to grow and strengthen our church community in the Lord Jesus during this challenging period:
- by joining or continuing to participate in a church Bible group, and even doing this through video chat (as some groups now are), if it seems best for a while to stop meeting together physically.
- by taking opportunities to ring, video chat, message or spend time with (with social distancing) other members of CAACC to see how they are going, if they are in need, and share prayer points.
- by perhaps even starting to read the Bible regularly one to one with someone from church or with a friend who doesn’t know Christ using video chat (eg. WhatApp, Zoom, Skype, etc).
- by taking regular time with the Lord in his word and in prayer (ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanks, Supplication) so you can keep growing in Christ and so bless your CAACC family.
- by giving feedback to the church leadership of ways we can improve ‘live streaming’ of services or encourage and support each other as a church community while we can’t meet as usual.
We are saddened that we cannot meet together with all of you this Sunday for church in Isaacs, and probably at least the next few Sundays. We do trust though that our good and sovereign God has His plans and purposes in all this. Even if we can’t understand why, somehow in His all powerful and merciful way the Lord will keep growing his church despite the challenges. He is the great “I am who I am”!
Again, let’s try and support each other in this time as best we can. And if you need help, prayer, a chat or encouragement, don’t be embarrassed to ask your brothers and sisters in the Lord at CAACC. Instead give them the privilege of serving you and so learning the way of Christ.
In particular, do feel free to contact me (0410 739 121) or our English congregation Elder, Tony (0412 227 254) if you would appreciate our prayer, counsel or further clarification about what I have written.
And let’s keep praying for the Lord to intervene and stop the spread of the Coronavirus, for those who are sick with it, for health workers caring for them, for grieving families who have lost love ones, for government officials and decision makers leading countries through this crisis, and for church leaders and Christians all around the world (including all of us) to share with our words and lives the hope, love and mercy of Christ to those suffering or living in fear because of this outbreak.
Warm greetings in the Lord Jesus, our unshakeable Saviour!
CAAC English Congregation
Mob: 0410 739 121