Updated: Mar 21, 2020
Good Morning Church. Further to the email earlier this week, although we were hoping to maintain 'normality', we clearly have to change quickly along with the rapidly changing situation with Covid19. We will try to keep you all informed as soon as we are made aware of things. This is a time for us all to exercise grace and compassion.
Church history is full of examples of Christians responding in times of crises, so now it’s our turn. How do we respond to this situation as the hands and feet of Jesus and yet be socially responsible? What does it mean to love our neighbour while protecting the vulnerable? These are big questions which we are all going to wrestle with over the next few weeks / months as we come to terms with our new norm.
As you know the Elders met last night along with Mathew & Julie (Health & Safety), Sandra (Pastoral Care) and Heidi (Admin) to discuss some of these very serious issues.
To that end we decided that –
We will not gather at Cavy Baptist for services over the next 4 Sundays – including Easter. We realise that this is a big call and it wasn’t taken lightly. We are not the only Church to take this action. There are at least 3 large Churches in Dunedin that I know of that, have made the same decision.
We are also cancelling Breakfast Church. The risks are just too great when there is food involved. All community gatherings will cease, including Youth Group, Play Group, Men’s Ministry and our current Life Groups. We have to take seriously our responsibility to protect the vulnerable within our Church community and want to ensure we support the safety measures recommended by health officials.
Pastoral Care is going to be a major focus as we make sure everyone is being looked after. Sandra is in the process of establishing a Phone Tree to make sure everyone without email is kept up to date.
Erin is busy making sure that the Young People are being cared for while Ebony is looking at new material to assist our Children’s spiritual formation.
Although our gathered ministries will close, it doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in Mission. Julian is exploring creative ways that we can be involved in mission and caring for people on the margins. We believe that there will be an increased demand for the Foodbank, so we want to keep that going. There will be more information coming out about these activities over the next few weeks.
This is not the end of the world as we know it. We can embrace this is an opportunity to see how we cope when the auditorium is knocked down. If you haven’t done so already, I’d encourage you to read the article A Faith Response to the Coronavirus. Ephesians 6:10 (NASB) states Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Remember, we serve an awesome God.
Pastoral Care - Sandra
To ensure we can all keep in touch by phone and email, we are about to print an updated Caversham Baptist Contact Directory. If your contact details have changed or you no longer wish to have your details included, this is your last opportunity to let us know! The new directory will be printed next week.
During this time of change and uncertainty, we want to make sure everyone is kept up to date on all church developments. We are aware that some people don’t have access to the internet or are not confident using it. In response to this we have set up a group of pastoral care team people who will phone those in this situation and read each church email to them, as they are posted.
To promote a sense of connectedness and to replace Life Groups, we would like to set up virtual care groups to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support and ensure individual needs do not fall through the cracks. If you would like to take responsibility for checking on a group of people by phone, on a very regular basis, please let Murray or I know. You will not be expected to meet all needs yourself but will be primarily responsible for keeping in touch with the people in your group and passing on to Murray or myself issues or situations that have arisen and that need to be addressed.
As in a previous email, we have people within our church family who are willing to run errands, collect groceries etc for people who have mobility issues, are self-isolating or feel too vulnerable to go out into the community. Please phone Murray or myself to access this help.
Tithing - Heidi
As you are aware, although we are not meeting together as a whole church family, church expenses still need to be covered. We continue to gratefully receive tithes and offerings. For those people who use the brown envelope system we realise this will be difficult. We are offering some other options to help:
Drop your envelope off to the office open 9:00am till 12:30pm Tuesday to FridayCall the office and we can get someone to pick it up – 455 8566Internet Bank with the following details
Account No: 02-0900-0513805-00
Acc Name: Caversham Baptist Church
Particulars: Your Name
Reference: Your offering number
Member’s Meeting - Heidi
We know that we are having a special members meeting on the 29th March. We are currently looking at different ways this can be conducted. There will be more information coming out over the next few days.