Email regarding COVID-19 (no public gatherings) – 19 March 2020

Dear reader,

Yesterday I sent you an email to inform you of the temporary suspension of our public gatherings such as services and youth groups. I wrote that I would give an update today as to how we can go forward. This is longer than our usual emails, so please read it carefully as there is a lot to consider and some stuff to do.

Sunday Services

Sunday services will be temporarily hosted via Facebook Live at 9:30 AM and 6:30 PM each Sunday. The usual format will be notices, Bible reading, short message, questions and answers and prayer. Each service should take about 40 minutes. This Sunday, at 9.30am Jono Chan will preach from Isaiah 9:1-7, ‘A child is born’ and at 6.30pm I will give a short message, with an interview format from, Mark 1:1-13 ‘There is hope’.

Graham Schabel has done a great job of setting up a temporary CAC studio. (NOTE: AS OF 29/3/20 THIS IS NOW DONE VIA ZOOM. THE STUDIO IS CLOSED)

Action: If you do not already have a Facebook account, would you consider signing up? If you watch on Facebook you will have an opportunity to comment and enjoy a virtual meeting experience. Facebook is free and harmless if used properly. Spend a little time becoming familiar with it and adjust the privacy options to suit yourself. You will find our page by clicking here. Make sure you are online and watching Facebook at the designated times. For those that do not have access to Facebook, you should be able to watch on our website.

Youth Group

Youth Group, FRIDGE, will be meeting online at 7:30 PM every Friday during term and Dan Butler has been in touch with our youth to give them login details.

Action: If you know a youth who has not been contacted by Dan, please contact Dan and he can give that person the login details.

Children

Adam is currently working on ways to virtually minister to our children. It may include activities and things via email.

Action: The children may want to watch Facebook Live with you. We are aware that people under 13 are prohibited from having Facebook accounts. They can however watch with their parents. Now would be a good time to be praying and reading the Bible with your children. Try the family mealtime.

Growth Groups

Our Growth Groups will continue to meet privately. We need them now, more than ever. It will be up to the leaders and hosts as to how they will meet. If they do meet in homes, we are encouraging them to read and follow the New South Wales health guidelines. Some groups will provide Zoom conferencing. Leaders will be in contact with their group members.

Action: Are you in a Growth Group? Now would be a great time to join. Contact Darryl Beitsch or me and we can give you options and approach a leader on your behalf.

Monthly prayer meetings

Will we be praying? Better believe it!

Our monthly prayer meetings will continue to be at the usual venue unless sickness prevents. We will provide Zoom teleconferencing so that people can join remotely.

Action: Please mark 7:30 PM, 14 April in your calendar for our next prayer meeting.

Mission 2020

All Mission 2020 events have been cancelled. No doubt some money will be lost but through careful negotiation with suppliers some money will be saved for a future event (Mission 2021?).

Giving

This may have an impact on our revenue. Time will tell.

At this stage gospel work in Cherrybrook is not going away but rather ramping up. We need the local church as healthy as ever. We depend on your gifts.

Many of you would be aware that we had a recent appeal and the generous response to that appeal has now put us back in black. Lord willing we can stay that way.

You will be encouraged to hear that Hornsby Shire Council will credit us for our March and April charges for renting the community centre.

We are yet to see the true economic impact of this pandemic. Some may be impacted more than others. Some people may need to give less. We do not want anyone to give what they cannot afford but ask that we consider our unique situations and give accordingly.

Many give generously to our church by electronic funds transfer. This will be our major means of giving. Click here to find our banking details. Alternatively, you can mail checks to PO box 203, Cherrybrook 2126.

Action: If you give electronically and can still do so, please continue to give generously. If you depend on the weekly offertory to give, would you consider giving by electronic fund transfer or sending it in the mail?

Pastoral Care

Our goal will be to contact everyone in our church (over 200 people) either by personal email or phone once a month. That will mostly be done by Growth Groups however we will also reach out to those who are not in Growth Groups. We are particularly mindful of the elderly, and those who live alone. Many people have offered to help.

Action: Please be mindful of those who need help. Would you call them? Is there anything you need? Please contact me. I carry my mobile phone with me constantly and, if I can’t take the call, I will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible. Have we got your latest contact details? Please let me know if they have changed.

Website and emails

I’m so glad that this is happening in an age of technology. Our website will be a key source of communication and you can expect regular emails.

Would you believe that our website went down last night? Thanks to the quick work of Dave Frizelle it is up and running again.

Action: Regularly check the news section on our website and please take the time to read these emails (I promise they will not all be as long as this). Emails are sent in batches to avoid looking like spam so you may receive them at different times during the day. If you have received this, we have your correct email address. If someone has not received it, please ask them to contact me or subscribe via our website.

This feels like we’re doing the best that we can under trying circumstances but imagine if we came out of this stronger, more dependent on God, and more reliant on each other? Please Lord!

Gav Poole

Pastor

M 0425 37 5401

[email protected]