COVID-19 UPDATES

Please keep an eye on this page for future updates regarding the COVID-19 Situation

**LATEST UPDATE** Wednesday 25th March 2020   10:00am

To the Members of the Mildura Church of Christ,

 

We send our love and greetings to you and your family. We are certainly in unprecedented times as a Church, as a community and as an entire Nation. We hope you are well and want to encourage you to keep pressing into the Lord Jesus Christ and draw on His strength at this very difficult time.

This letter contains some very important information for every member of our Church. So please take the time to read it through carefully.

 

PASTORAL CARE

We want to continue to extend pastoral care to as many people in the Church as possible, particularly to those who are at risk of isolation and loneliness. However, we want to ensure that all pastoral care is done appropriately, respectfully and most importantly, safely.

Government restrictions on visits to hospitals and nursing homes will make it difficult to visit some of our elderly and sick. Some of our elderly members and families with very young children have chosen to ‘self isolate’ for the time being. We want to respect that decision.

 

We hope that we will be able to make regular phone calls to most of our Church members, and we encourage you to do the same as an expression of our brotherly love for one another.

If you do want a personal visit then please contact Andrew, Joshua or the Church office and that can still be arranged. But we do not want to make wrong assumptions in this sensitive climate.

 

GIVING

Please continue to GIVE. It is very important that every member of the Church continues to give their regular offerings. We still must meet our regular expenses such as wages and utilities and there have been a number of extra expenses in order to set up the online worship services.

 

If you are someone whose offering is given as cash at Sunday services then please consider using online banking. The bank details are…

 

Mildura Church of Christ

BSB:  703 810

ACC:  05300208

 

If this isn’t possible then the office will be open Monday mornings, 9:00am till 11:00am.

 

HOPE PANTRY

Our Hope Pantry contains several food staples such as milk, cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, soups, noodles and more. We even have been able to get some rolls of toilet paper and feminine hygiene products.

If you or close friend is in genuine need of some basic essentials, then please contact the Church office. We want to help in any way we can.

We also encourage members to continue making generous donations to our Hope Pantry. Items can be brought to the Church office during the week and put into the shopping trolley in the foyer. Please call the office or Andrew to arrange a time to drop off.

 

CONNECT GROUPS

The Church Board has decided that all our connect groups will not be able to continue meeting face to face. However, if any groups would like to investigate the possibility of meeting together via an online group chat, then we can help facilitate that. Please contact Joshua Cole for more information.

 

PATIENCE

This whole situation is one giant unknown. The restrictions be enforced are the most severe in our nation’s history. We all need to be extremely patient as we endure it faithfully together.

 

Our worship and tech team will be doing their very best, but there may be some unexpected difficulties, so please be patient and encourage them as they seek to provide the very best services they can.

 

PRAYER

Thank you so much for your faithfulness in this. Your prayers are absolutely essential.

Pray for the unity of our Church.
Pray for those members who are among the ‘at risk’ categories; elderly, young children, pregnant mums, etc.
Pray that the online services run well and there will no major technical problems.
Pray that this will be over soon and we can resume our regular ministries.
If you would like to talk further about any of this we invite you to contact a member of our ministry team or an elder at any time. Please be assured of our continual prayers for our whole Church.

 

In His Service,

 

The Elders, Mildura Church of Christ

Thursday 19th March 2020   8:00pm

A statement from the Mildura Church of Christ Ministry Team and Eldership


From this Sunday our Church, the Mildura Church of Christ, will be meeting online as our considered and prayerful response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. There will not be any physical Church service. Our Sunday service, including worship, communion, prayers, Bible reading and sermon, will be available live on Youtube at 10:30am each Sunday and continue to be available to watch on demand through the week.


We understand that in many ways this is a very disappointing announcement. But we truly believe it is the correct one to make at this current time. This is not an action based on fear but is in line with our government’s latest decision around mass gatherings. We currently have almost 300 people attending our Sunday services.
 

Through February attendance at our 10:30am service was around 180 people. Logistically we cannot see how we can continue to meet each week without violating the new law restricting all gatherings to less than 100 people. The decision is also a responsible expression of love and concern for our region as we work together in doing what we can to slow the progress and reach of the disease.


We invite you, as Hebrews 10:25 encourages us to ‘not giving up meeting together, but encourage one another’ by gathering for our online service each Sunday – live at 10:30am.  Gather your family together or perhaps meet in small groups with close friends. Let’s commit to continuing to worship and witness together regularly. Whilst we will not be in our usual physical venue, we are still the Body of Christ united. We trust that every one of us will stay committed to giving and connecting online as we would if we were in church physically.


Our worship team are committed to creating high quality services, for not only our regular attenders, but anyone who would like to remain ‘in community’ at this time.  Everyone is welcome. So this may be the perfect opportunity to invite your family and friends to go online with you.


We have a brand new online and interactive church platform to access. The new platform is available via this link……. The link is also available via our webpage and Facebook group.


If you are unsure how to get this working properly then please speak with someone in your family who may able to assist you, or call the Church and we can arrange for someone to help.


If you would like to talk further about any of this we invite you to contact a member of our ministry team or an elder at any time. Please be assured of our continual prayers for our whole Church.


God is good and He remains in control.  Be blessed and we hope to see you online this Sunday.


For our whole Church.

Wednesday 18th March 2020   10:00am

Dear Friends,

 

I want to update you on the Mildura Church of Christ’s response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the steps we are taking to lessen the risks, and to ensure as a Church family we continue to model the faith, hope and love that is at the heart of the Gospel.

 

First, what we are doing.

 

We are continuing to host all of our current programs and activities, including all three Sunday services, and will continue to do so until we are advised otherwise. This weekend Josh will continue our ‘Didn’t See It Coming’ series.

 

We are closely monitoring and following advice from government, health professionals and our Churches of Christ head office, and will continue to do so.

 

We are continuing to ensure our property is thoroughly and hygienically cleaned.

 

As soon as local supplies are re-stocked we will provide hand sanitiser and encourage you to apply this on entering and leaving our venue, and to wash your hands thoroughly at other times.

 

We will make appropriate changes to some of our regular practices.

 

While we want to ensure all people are made to feel welcome, we encourage you to smile and wave but refrain from handshakes and hugs.

 

Morning tea will see some changes to how it is served. Be assured that all servers will be extra vigilant in their own personal cleanliness.

 

Communion is a central part of our weekly worship. We will still ensure quality time is spent reflecting on the sacrificial death of our Lord and Saviour. However, we will not be partaking in our regular emblems of the bread and cup. We will also not pass the offering bags but ask that you place your offering into bowls as you either arrive or leave our services. (Perhaps this may be a good time for you to consider giving regularly via your bank’s online services.)

 

Second, what risk-mitigation efforts are we asking of you.

 

If you are unwell, particularly if you have cold or flu like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat etc.), please do not attend any church activity until you are well again. If your symptoms do not improve please telephone your health care provider and seek their advice. Or alternatively phone the Coronavirus Hotline – 1800 675 398.

 

If you have travelled overseas within the last 2 weeks, or have been in contact with a person who has travelled overseas who may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, we ask that you do not attend any church activity. If in any doubt we ask that you err on the side of caution and please do not attend any church activity.

 

Restrict hand to hand contact at gatherings (we will remind of you this during welcome times), and use sensible precautions when in close proximity to others.

 

Thoroughly wash and/or sanitise hands regularly.

 

I want to also give my blessing to anyone in the ‘at risk’ category to feel free to stay home on Sunday. If you are elderly, if you are pregnant or have preschool aged children, if you suffer from a respiratory condition, or if your current state of health means your immunity levels are compromised, then perhaps it is in your own best interest to stay at home.

Third, let me talk about our opportunity in this unprecedented and challenging season.

 

This pandemic is a serious global crisis that we all must take seriously and humbly do our part. Having said this, while we need to be wise in minimising the risks to ourselves and others, we also are not governed by fear. God’s perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). In and through Jesus we also have a hope that is imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:42). Together, with our words and by our actions, let’s model the Gospel hope we have.

 

How?

 

Pray for those who are infected with the virus – for their healing.

Pray for our world and our nation – that the pandemic will slow and halt. 

Pray for our health care and other professionals on the front-line, including many in our church, for safety and strength.

Pray for our state and national leaders – for wisdom.

And pray for those whose livelihoods which have already been impacted by the economic fallout – for provision.

 

Let’s make sure we care for one another, be extra sensitive to the needs of those around us while at the same time placing our faith and confidence in a great God. (Philippians 4:4-9) We don’t need to fear the future when our lives are in the hands of the one who controls the future. This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate God’s love and care in practical ways to a fearful world.

 

We will keep in touch with you regarding any further developments as necessary. 

 

Grace and Peace,

 

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

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