Thursday 23rd April, 2020
Dear Church Family,
Thank you to all those who have joined us for Church Online these last few weeks. We’ve had lots of encouraging feedback and we are excited by the opportunities before us in this unusual season.
Yet we are also deeply aware that even though a church service streamed onto our TV or device is a blessing; it’s not the same as actually gathering together in the same place and in the same building. It’s my hope and prayer that this season of physical distancing will deepen our anticipation for the day when we will be able to gather together again as God’s people.
Here is the latest update regarding our ongoing response to the restrictions and implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
What’s the plan?
Sunday services will be streamed online
Instead of our usual Sunday gatherings being held in our building, we will provide an online stream of our services (with all its regular content) on Sunday’s at 9am and 6pm. Even though we might not physically gather together, we can continue to gather together in spirit and in truth; to sing, to pray, and to open up God’s word. We realise this isn’t ideal, and it’s certainly not the same as being together physically, but it won’t be forever. So, let’s open ourselves up to the opportunity before us; to worship God with our families, to be good citizens, and to help protect the most vulnerable among us.
Ministries and events will be suspended for the time being
All physical gatherings of our ministries, including Kidz Church, Playgroup, Cadets, GEMS, Inspire, Friday Youth, Senior Social Groups, and Conversation Club have been suspended indefinitely. However, many of our ministries are still operating online. For more information about Children’s Ministry, Youth Online, and to access resources for kids and parents, check out bpcc.com.au/church-online.
If you’re in a Growth Group, we would encourage you to explore other ways you can remain relationally and spiritually connected to one another (consider using Zoom, Facebook, or Skype). We will continue to provide updates via email and social media regarding our events and ministries.
If you have any questions, contact the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org and 3882 1989) or your ministry leader.
What can you do?
Let me encourage you to do three things in the midst of this ongoing situation: look upwards to God, look outwards to others, and look inwards to your own heart.
Look upwards to God
Above all, let’s put our hope and trust in God. The coronavirus is a reminder that we live in a broken world and that our lives are fragile and fleeting. But it’s also a reminder of the good news that because of Jesus’ sin-bearing death and life-giving resurrection, we can have hope in the midst of all things because there is nothing and no one that can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8). There are lots of resources in the latest edition of The Quarterly to help you ground yourself in God’s word and draw near to him.
Look outwards to others
As those who know the love of God and have eternal hope in Jesus, this is a historic opportunity for us to show Christ-like love, to serve each other and our wider community, and to care for the weak and vulnerable. So, let me encourage you to take a moment to look around you. Are there people in your life that may be thankful for a helping hand during this time? Could you offer to run errands or buy groceries for those who have high-risk health concerns? Could you send a note of encouragement? Could you check on the elderly people you know and ensure they have what they need? The tendency is to go into self-protection mode, but as the people of God and followers of Christ we are called to selflessness and sacrifice.
Look inwards to your own heart
Let’s be honest about our own feelings and fears in a time like this. If you feel particularly anxious or afraid, bring it God (1 Pet. 5:7) and make sure you share your feelings with someone else. It’s good and appropriate for us to lean on one another in a time like this. If you do need help or someone to talk to, let me encourage you to reach out to us, to a trusted friend, or to another member of our church family. We are not alone and now more than ever, we want to care for each other well and pray for each other regularly.
These are uncertain times and these are unprecedented measures, but I am so thankful that we have a sovereign God who has given us the unchanging truth of his word and the unfailing promise of his love. Let’s turn to him, let’s lean on one another, and let’s keep moving forward, for his glory.
Grace and peace,