Last updated 9 December 2020
After almost 9 months since we started doing church online; 38 weeks since we last gathered in our church building, 269 days since we last gathered in person to worship together, finally some good news! Great news!! Awesome news to be exact!!! I know some of you have been catching up individually, in your Life Group or in a ministry setting, but now with the further easing of restrictions on the weekend we are now able to take steps towards worshipping in person on Sundays, which will see us together again for Christmas.
I realise that some of us are excited, and some a little more apprehensive about returning to in person gatherings, so we are seeking to be prayerful, mindful of the restrictions and careful with those who are more vulnerable. With this in mind the plan is to meet online again this Sunday the 13th December, and for a short reflective service on the morning of the 20th December, which gives us time to make sure we have all our processes in place. Then we would love you to join us in person on Sunday the 20th December, for our Community Carols Service from 7-8pm. The doors will be open for you, your friends and family, and anyone you’d like to invite.
In terms of what things look like for those who want to gather in person, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of in order to help us be Covid-safe, and most of all to try and ensure that everyone feels comfortable to come:-
- Firstly, remember if you’re sick or unwell in any form, stay at home and watch the service online.
- Recognising it will take a little longer to get in, so please try and arrive at church early so you can get seated in time.
- We are asking everyone to use the main door to the sanctuary instead of coming in through the office door.
- When you arrive at the main door you will be welcomed by some of our beautiful people who will get you to sign in with your phone using the QR Code at the door before ushering you in (we will have a spare device for phones that don’t work).
- Recognising that we have a larger gathering in an enclosed space, we ask that you keep your masks on while in the church. This protects those more vulnerable and means you can sing as loud as you want – to sing to your heart’s content. Some parts of the service are pre-recorded, and rather than have people do it all again, remember the important thing is not what we do, it’s the fact that we are together again.
- In order to try and maximise the space, you will be ushered in and directed to your seating so that we can stagger people in the pews and allow for the 1.5m density requirements to separate individuals, couples and family groupings. If you can wait to be shown in and sit where you’re placed, that would be greatly appreciated.
- While you can catch up with people after the services, there will be no food or drink served for morning tea. Instead we are encouraging you to look out for newcomers, invite some others, and head up the street for a coffee and to help support the local cafes who have done it tough the last few months.
Basically, this will be our new normal for summer. You are welcome to attend church in person if you’re in Melbourne, or to watch online if you’re away on holidays or still in your pyjamas. As we begin the new year, and focus in on some of the transitions highlighted in our 2021 vision titled ‘A Journey of Renewal’, the hope is that restrictions will ease completely by the time school returns next year and so we are hoping to see everyone back in person at the end of January for a regathering party, as we settle into our new COVID normal.
As we move into the Summer Holidays, most of our Life Groups and our various ministries will be taking a break, but church will still be open for you to attend in person and online while you are until things get underway again after the 31st December. In the meantime if you would like to get to know more about the church, what we believe, the various activities we provide for our local community, please don’t hesitate to contact the church office and feel free to join us as we continue to follow Jesus and find new and creative ways to love and serve Jesus in our community and beyond.