COVID-19 UPDATES

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

**LATEST UPDATE** Tuesday 13th October 2020   11:30am

Hello Church family. It is a pleasure to write to you again. I truly hope all is well for you and your loved ones.

 

In John 15: 13 Jesus says these well-known words, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

 

Have you considered that the many restrictions we continue to endure are a display of our deep love for one another?

 

For almost seven months we have been forced to suspend our usual way of worship. We have been separated from family and friends. Many have had to work from home. We cannot travel interstate. We must continue to wear masks (something that is not going to be very fun at all in the peak of a Sunraysia summer).

 

The restrictions have gone on far, far longer than we ever thought they would. We are all sick to death of it. But the fact is that we have had to do it to prevent the spread of this disease. We have had to be restricted in our regular patterns of life in order to protect our most vulnerable. We have had to put self aside and lay down many of our freedoms as a display of care, concern and love for others.

 

We have seen, particularly in America, many Churches and Christian leaders speak out against the restrictions enforced by Governments, especially restrictions that have forced the closure of public worship. The protests claim that the restrictions go against religious freedoms and the Biblical mandate to ‘not give up meeting together’.

 

But I would put to you that the restrictions that are in place could be seen as an example of ‘denying yourself and taking up your cross’.

 

I don’t like the restrictions we are under. It grieves me deeply that we still cannot meet together for Sunday worship. I hate wearing a face mask everywhere I go. But I know that we have many elderly and vulnerable members in our Church, and if gathering together for corporate worship could put some of those precious people at risk of contracting the Coronavirus, then I will willingly stay at home and continue to enjoy our online content.

 

It is annoying, it is frustrating, it is difficult, but when was sacrifice ever pain free?

 

In 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 the Apostle Paul writes this, “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.” (The Message)

 

The early followers of Jesus went through the harshest of treatment that you could imagine. The persecution of the Church was in full force. Thousands of faithful believers were tortured, thrown into jail and put to death. Paul knew this first-hand. Yet he boldly challenges every believer to stand firm and endure the worst as a testimony of the unfailing love and presence of our Heavenly Father.

 

Yes, I want these restrictions to end. I desperately want us to be back together every Sunday, gathering in person as the body of Christ. But until that is a possibility, I pray that we will all faithfully and patiently endure. Endure as an expression of our love for one another, especially the most vulnerable among us, and as a testimony. Endure as a testimony of the higher calling and purpose of the follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In His service,

 

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

Thursday 24th September 2020   9:30am

To the members of the Mildura Church of Christ,

 

I continue to pray for our Church and every person who is a part of our Church. In fact, I have found myself praying for our Church more than ever before, because at times I feel as if it is the only thing that I can do. I certainly get frustrated, angry and worried. But I have made up my mind that I will never lose hope. I am going to keep my focus on Jesus and call out to Him in prayer, more and more.

I feel like I am Peter walking on the water. If I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, I will be able to continue to walk in victory and blessing. But as soon as I take my eyes off Jesus and focus on the wind and the waves – I will sink.

I acknowledge that Jesus is my strength, He is my peace, he is my calm, He is my endurance, He is my sanity, He is my comfort. And if in my frailty I fall, I know without a shadow of a doubt that He is there to pick me up, dust me off, and help me to keep on walking and pressing on. Jesus is a Wonderful Saviour!

 

SIX MONTHS!

March 21st was our first online service. I am writing this letter on September 21st. I never imagined that six months later we would still be under government restrictions prohibiting us from public worship. But, sadly and frustratingly, the restrictions are still in place and it looks like some form of restrictions will remain in place for many more weeks to come.

 

We are currently in the third step on the roadmap back to ‘normal’. While things have improved, particularly with the ability to now meet with friends for coffee or lunch, there are still many restrictions that mean Church life is still not able to return to normal. The restrictions relating to the Church in this third step are as follows…

 

Worship Services:  Five people plus a faith leader are permitted to record online worship.

Small Groups / other gatherings: Up to ten people plus a faith leader can meet outdoors. This does not include meeting at a private home, even if you use an outdoor area.

Weddings / Funerals: Up to ten people plus the celebrant can attend a wedding ceremony. Up to twenty people plus those required to run the service can attend a funeral. Children under 12 months do not count in the number limits.

Pastoral Care: People are encouraged to meet at a public location such as a coffee shop or park. Home visits are permitted only in an emergency or for a specific compassionate reason.

 

WHAT I MISS SO MUCH

Almost every Church in Australia and around the world has had to move their services to online. It is now easier than ever before to have easy access to some of the very best preachers in the world. And many of them are far better preachers than me or Josh Cole. But I have been reminded that the Church is more than the preaching.

Music is often a huge part of most Church services. We all have our favourite worship songs. Many of us love to sing out loud to praise our God. Some like to listen and contemplate. Some like traditional music. Others like their music to be modern and contemporary. A few of us crazy ones like it to be loud and heavy. But through everything I have been reminded that the Church is more than the music.

Most Churches put most of their efforts into their music and their preaching. But the Church is far more than music or preaching.

I love to preach. I love listening to good preaching. But it is not the preaching that I miss.

I love to sing. I love to listen to music. I love to play my guitar. But it is not the music that I miss.

What I miss is people. What I miss is our fellowship. What I miss is you!

Jesus didn’t say, ‘Where there is good music and quality preaching there I am I with them.’ No. Rather Jesus said, ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ It is about fellowship, friendship, communion. It is about people being together.

And this is what I desperately miss. I am grateful for our online services. Josh and I are committed to producing the best services that we can to encourage you, equip you and give you a tool with which to reach out to your loved ones. I think the quality is fantastic, at least as good as what any other Churches are doing. And I do love watching our services every week. But I so desperately miss the fellowship, the conversations, the handshakes, the shared morning tea, the praying together, the little jokes and laughs, and so on. I miss being together, gathered as the people of God.

 

I look forward to when restrictions are finally lifted and we can be together, corporately worshiping our Saviour and King. I know that may not be possible for a few more months yet, I hold on to that hope. I truly hope you too are looking forward to that day as well. So until then, may we all remain encouraged and faithful, remembering that God is certainly not confined to the church building, but that He is with you each and every day.

 

I again remind you that if you require prayer, a pastoral visit or you would like to meet up for coffee, then please call at any time. My number is 0419 525 910. Email to andrew@milduracofc.org.au

 

In His service,

 

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

Friday 7th August 2020   9:00am

As I write this letter we are in our first day of our second round of Stage 3 restrictions due to the Coronavirus. It is difficult. It is frustrating. But if we want things to get back to some kind of normality then we must do the right thing and follow our Government’s instructions. Try not to see this all as a restriction to your freedoms, but as an important step to help care for and protect our most vulnerable.

 

Obviously, this new round of Stage 3 restrictions means that we still cannot meet in-person as a Church for Sunday worship. We are only allowed 5 people in the Church premises, so all connect groups have also had to stop.

But the Church is NOT closed. We are the Church, meaning that the Church is still active and alive in your home, among your family, in your work place, wherever you are. Therefore, keep on shining forth the love and grace of our Almighty Saviour. Continue actively loving God and loving people.

 

ONLINE SERVICES

We are still fully committed to producing quality worship services each and every week. These services will continue to be posted to YouTube every Sunday. The service goes live on Sunday mornings at 9:00am and can then be watched on demand any time after that.

I know I keep harping on about this, but please be active in sharing the services with others. I recently met a member of our Church in Fishers and through the conversation I discovered that this person did not know about our services being on YouTube. So don’t assume everyone knows about it. Be a part of getting the message out and share with anyone you can about our online services.

 

Also remember that DVDs are available to anyone who is not able to access YouTube. You can get copies of any service. Simply contact Joshua or myself.

We are continuing in our series on relationships through August. We will then have a special Father’s Day service before beginning a series on Psalm 23. So we have plenty of great services coming up in the next few weeks.

 

OFFICE HOURS

The Church office hours have been reduced to enable staff to follow the recommendation to work from home. The office is now open only on Monday from 9:00am to 12:00 noon. Please use this time to drop in your offering, collect assistance from our Hope Pantry or any other specific reason.

Otherwise, please call one of our ministers to make an appointment and we can meet you at the office.

 

FACE MASKS

I am sure we are all aware that wearing a face mask is compulsory whenever you are leaving your home. A group of our extremely generous and talented ladies have been very busy making washable fabric masks. These are available completely FREE from the Church office. So if you or someone you know needs a mask, please contact Josh or myself and we can arrange for you to collect a mask or we can drop one to your home. We also have a good supply of disposable masks as well.

 

PASTORAL CARE

Joshua and I are available for pastoral care. However, the guidelines we have been given state that we can only visit you in your home or at the Church office if you make a personal request for us to do so. We are not permitted to visit any home uninvited.

I do not want anyone in our Church feeling that restrictions mean they must suffer alone. Please reach out and we will make a pastoral care visit to pray with you and encourage you in any way we can.

 

PRAYER

I continue to set aside blocks of time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to specifically pray for the members of our Church. I invite you to please email, text or call me with any specific prayer need you or your family may have. Big things or small things – I want to take them all to the Lord and partner with you in prayer. Every prayer need will be dealt with in complete confidentiality, with love and grace.

 

CONTACT DETAILS

If you do need to make contact with Joshua or myself, then here are our contact details….

 

Church Office: 03 5032 1202

 

Andrew Mobile: 0419 525 910     Andrew Email: andrew@milduracofc.org.au

 

Joshua Mobile: 0417 554 341       Joshua Email: josh@milduracofc.org.au

 

To conclude this letter, here are a three of my favourite verses from the Bible that I hope encourage you in this time…

 

Deuteronomy 31: 6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 

Psalm 27: 1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?”

 

Matthew 11: 28, “Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

 

In His service,

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

Friday 26th June 2020   4:00pm

It is good to be able to send the members of the Mildura Church of Christ another message to keep everyone as informed on what is happening within our Church as we continue to endure restrictions regarding the Coronavirus.

I certainly hope that you and your family are doing well. Please be assured of my continual prayers for you and your family. I set aside blocks of time each week and regularly pray through our membership list. If there are any specific prayer needs you or your family may have, please contact me at any time.

WHAT IS HAPPENING?

One of the questions I am regularly asked is, “When will Church be back to normal?” I totally understand why so many are asking that question. I honestly cannot wait until we are back to our regular three services every Sunday. But unfortunately I cannot give any clear and definite answer. No one really knows when we can be back, gathering as usual.

Gatherings at the Church continue to be restricted to 20 people, plus those required to run the meeting. And with restrictions being relaxed and then tightened again due to an increase in Coronavirus infections, it makes it very difficult to make any predictions to when large gatherings will again be allowed.

A number of other restrictions also make regular worship very difficult to run, even in very reduced numbers. While singing is allowed, it has been suggested that it may be best to avoid congregational singing. There is to be no passing of communion trays or offering bags. People are not to shake hands or hug one another. Morning tea or supper has strict restrictions on how it can be served.  Very significant fines are given out to groups who fail to comply with the government restrictions.

As you could imagine, this all makes it pretty well impossible for us to be back on Sunday for regular worship. It is very disappointing and sometimes I feel quite discouraged. But we can continue to press into Jesus and endure these frustrating trials, remaining united in Christ despite being separated physically from meeting.

Our online Worship Services via YouTube will certainly continue. Joshua and I are fully committed to bring you a quality worship experience that you can share with your family and friends. I am sure you have seen a few significant changes each week. We are seeking to learn what works and want to continuously improve to make the online services the best they can be.

We have some fantastic sermon topics coming up. From July 19 we will have a four week series on relationships. This will be followed with a deep look into Psalm 23, a favourite of so many people. We really hope these two sermon series will encourage you, inspire you and help bring the hope of the Gospel directly into your home.

WHAT ELSE?

We had certainly hoped that by now restrictions would have been eased enough to allow our Connect Groups to freely meet again. Unfortunately, as you know, the Victorian Government have actually tightened restrictions, meaning that only 5 visitors are allowed in our homes. This means that it isn’t really possible for Connect Groups to meet in the home. However, up to 20 people can meet at the Church. So we are encouraging Connect Groups to meet at the Church until restrictions are again relaxed. We certainly hope that on July 12 the Government will announce more relaxed restrictions as long as Coronavirus cases have reduced.

If you are not currently in a Connect Group and you would like to be, then please contact the Church. And if you would be interested in running a Connect Group then Joshua and I would love to talk to you about this.

We are also hoping to announce soon some new social based Connect Groups. We would love to see a few new opportunities for people to be meeting together for much needed fellowship. So please keep an eye out for more details in the near future.

We also hope to have a regular prayer meeting up and running soon. This will still need to be restricted to 20 people, but for those interested it will allow some corporate worship and prayer.

PASTORAL CARE

We are committed to caring for one another, even while we cannot meet as usual. However, the Ministry Team is still wanting to be very careful and sensitive to the various needs of our members. While home visits are now possible, we still want to respect boundaries and health concerns.

If you do require a personal visit for any reason, please feel free to call the Church office or a member of the Ministry Team at any time. We are happy to come to your home, meet you at the Church or even go out and share a coffee together. As a pastoral concern I have recently had my flu shot. Noel and Kaye Underwood have also recently had their flu shots.

STAYING IN TOUCH

While we will not be able to resume our Sunday services for at least a few more weeks, I want to encourage you to remain connected as much as possible.

I remind you that our Worship Services are posted on YouTube every Sunday morning. Every service is still online and can be viewed at any time. If you need help with viewing services online, or would prefer to receive a DVD of the services, please contact the Church office.

The Pastor’s Chat with Coley and Tonks is posted on YouTube every Wednesday. This is a light hearted, fun conversation that Josh and I love doing as we share a few things from our heart that we hope gives you a lift.

Our Church Facebook pages are regularly updated through the week. If you use Facebook then search ‘Mildura Church of Christ’ and like the page.

Don’t forget our website, www.milduracofc.org.au.

And please let me encourage you to stay in touch with each other via a phone call, meeting for coffee, opening up your home, going out to visit, or whatever you can do to encourage one another.

 

God bless,

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

Friday 15th May 2020   10:00am

It is so wonderful that restrictions are slowly being lifted. Kylie and I were so excited by the announcement that we are now able to have five visitors to our home, meaning we can resume our weekly family night. We have really missed having our sons and daughters-in-law come for dinner each week. I hope that you too have been able to reconnect with your loved ones too.

 

Sadly, it still looks like it will be a couple more months before we can resume our Sunday worship services. Even with our three services it is logistically just not possible for us to meet until gatherings of over 100 people can meet again. In the meantime, please remain positive, hopeful and faithful.

 

Our Church leadership is committed to continuing to provide worship services via YouTube, each and every week. And I think that the overall quality of our online services has gotten better and better. The lighting and sound have really improved. We have almost 200 subscribers to our Mildura Church of Christ YouTube channel and each service has had over 300 views. Please continue to pass on your feedback. We have really appreciated the encouragement we have received from many people. We also welcome and appreciate constructive criticism designed to help us improve and produce the very best service that we can.

 

Not everyone in our Church has the internet, so we are also making our services available on DVD, completely FREE of charge. Each fortnight we hope to distribute the previous two services on a DVD. If this ministry would be beneficial to you, or you know of someone who this would minister to, please contact either myself or Noel and Kaye Underwood.

 

Another ministry Joshua Cole and I have begun is Pastor’s Chat with Coley and Tonks. This is a video that is uploaded to our YouTube channel every Wednesday afternoon. Our plan is to share from our heart on various topics. We want this to be a source of encouragement and equipping as we continue together through these difficult times. Make sure you check it out and we invite your contribution by suggesting topics we can discuss or sending through a ‘question of the week’.

 

Ministry and mission certainly continues through this time. One of the really exciting mission activities we have been able to launch is a Hope Pantry style ministry in Dareton in partnership with Sunraysia Indigenous Ministries. We have been given a special grant through Churches of Christ Careworks to help fund this ministry of bringing hope and love to some of the vulnerable in our region.

 

While we are still being encouraged to practice social distancing, the slightly relaxed restrictions allowing visitors into the home does mean that Pastoral Care is now a lot easier to do. However, we will still be acting very carefully in this and observing strict and wise guidelines. If you would like a Pastoral Visit from myself, Josh, an Elder or Noel and Kaye, please contact us at any time. We would love the opportunity for a brief visit to chat and pray with you. We can also arrange to deliver grocery assistance if needed or even collect your offering you wish to give.

 

I also want to encourage you to email, text or call with any prayer points you may have. A few times each week I have set aside quality time to specifically pray for the members of our Church. It truly is a privilege to pray for you and your family.

 

Speaking of prayer, I want to finish this letter by encouraging you to be praying for our nation, for our leaders and for each other. Below are seven ways we can all continue to pray…..

 

7 PRAYERS TO PRAY

 

1. FREEDOM

Pray that the Covid-19 virus will be gone, that the restrictions can be fully lifted and we can feel a sense of freedom once more.

 

2. WISDOM

Pray for our Nation’s leaders, federal, state, and local, that God will grant them the wisdom to make godly decisions that will benefit all Australians.

 

3. STRENGTH

Pray for all those working in the health industry in our hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s clinics. Pray for all those who are providing care to so many worried and anxious people. Pray that God’s strength will be theirs to sustain them.

 

4. HEALING

Praise God that the curve is well and truly flattening and that new infections are low. Continue to pray for those who are sick and vulnerable, that God’s grace will be with them.

5. EMPLOYMENT

Pray for people who have either lost jobs or had their hours cut back. Pray for our local businesses that are really struggling through this time.

 

6. CHURCH

Pray for the Mildura Church of Christ, that we will remain fruitful and effective and that Christ will always be honoured through us. Pray for all the Christian Churches through Sunraysia.

 

7. HOPE

Pray that your family and friends may know Jesus and the eternal hope that we have in Him.

 

May God continue to richly bless you in all things.

 

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

Friday 17th April 2020   12:00pm

I continue to hope and trust that God’s blessing is with you as we continue through this unprecedented challenge. And let that be a daily encouragement to you – that we are continuing THROUGH this challenge. This brings to mind the words of the much loved Psalm 23 where it says, ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.’

 

It has been a real pleasure for Joshua and myself to bring you our Sunday worship service each week via YouTube. It has not been easy, but I think it is getting better every week. The overall quality has been terrific and we are continually seeking ways to make it better and better in order to give you and your family the best worship experience we can during this ‘lockdown’. We have a terrific team of volunteers, particularly Clinton Waters. I am so proud of every one of them.

 

I want to encourage you to be sharing the videos of our services with your family and friends. Many people may find it difficult to walk into a Church on a Sunday morning or evening – but they would be quite happy to watch a service in the privacy of their own home. I had a friend of mine watch our Easter Sunday message. I have been witnessing to him for about 5 years, regularly inviting him to Church, but he always said ‘No’. I was so excited that he tuned in to watch our Easter Sunday service. It was the first time he had ‘been to Church’ in over 30 years.

 

So invite your family and friends to check out our YouTube channel and help keep spreading the hope that can only come through our Saviour Jesus.

 

This past week we have introduced videos for Adventure Kids. We hope to post these every Tuesday. They will be available through our Church YouTube channel or via our website. Each video will include music, Bible stories and more, hosted by Joshua Tonkin and Adele Beasy. Make sure you check it out and share it with your children and grandchildren.

 

Thank you so much to the many people who have sent texts, emails, cards, letters and phone calls to Joshua and myself. Your encouragement makes a massive difference. Thank you for your many prayers and I ask that you will continue to pray for us both as often as possible, particularly on Sunday mornings.

 

Please keep in prayer those from our Church who are involved in the medical field. We have many members who are doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists and medical receptionists. Every day they are dealing with sick people, frightened people and sometimes frustrated and angry people. Pray that the Lord will bless them with patience and endurance, peace and joy, and that the light of God will shine through them.

 

Also be in prayer for our many teachers who are working in very difficult circumstances to continue teaching our children.

 

As you pray for others, please be aware that I am praying for you regularly. A few times every week I am setting aside time to specifically pray for the members of our Church. If you have any particular prayer needs at this time I would love to know how I can specifically be praying for you and your family. Please feel free to email me any prayer requests to andrew@milduracofc.org.au

It is an absolute honour and privilege to pray for you.

 

Finally, I want to share with you some words of encouragement….

 

This will pass. The Bible tells us there will be trials. 1Peter 4:12 says, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire”. These are tough times, but they won’t last forever.

We need to do what the health professionals recommend. We need to take the common sense actions that will decrease the spread of this virus. We won’t need to make these changes forever. Our church will gather again.

 

Focus on what’s unchanging not what is changing. There are many changes to our world, our community, and our Church. We do not know all the changes this pandemic will have on our community or how long the changes will last. This can bring fear and uncertainty, therefore remember what hasn’t changed.

The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). In the midst of all this change, you can count on that truth. You can also know that God’s love for you and your family has never changed. God’s call on your life hasn’t changed. Don’t let all the changes make you lose sight of everything that is still the same.

 

God is going through this with you. This virus didn’t surprise God. He will walk through every bit of it with us. We will never be alone.

I encourage you to remind yourself of Isaiah 43:2 during this time: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”. Focus on that truth and it will replace your worry with worship.

 

This is not the end of the story. The Bible says, “In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again . . . because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life” (2 Corinthians 4:8, 14). Easter reminds us that we win no matter what happens. The resurrection of Jesus proves his power and authority over ALL things. There won’t be a COVID-19 virus in heaven.

We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know who holds it.

 

God wants to use our church to help others. Our church is going through an incredible challenge right now. But God doesn’t just want our church to survive during this period. He wants it to thrive! This is the difference between how we deal with pain as believers and how the world does. The church sees every need in the world as an open door for ministry. This is an opportunity for the Mildura Church of Christ to shine; to be loving God and loving people.

Andrew Tonkin

Ministry Team Leader

Mildura Church of Christ

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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9:00AM Early Service
10:30AM Family Service
5:00PM Evening Service

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