Updated Saturday 21 March 2020
Dear Church Family,
Once again, thank you for your responses, we know many have been in contact about the current situation and are wondering what the plan is moving forward.
Pastor Ernest, myself and the leadership team have been working hard to come up with a solution. Additionally, the hard work of several in the congregation have helped us to develop the following plan which is what we will use moving forward:
Following government regulations, we ask all members to NOT come to church for the Sunday Service or Sunday School. Instead you can join the service online at 9am as we livestream at https://gracechurchintl.org.au/live/. The bulletin will be available to download as well. The church will remain open for anyone who have not been informed of the change. The service will also be recorded for those who want to watch or listen afterwards.
Grace Groups will continue to meet, some in person and some online. We will leave it up to each Grace Group to decide how they will meet moving forward. Grace Group Leaders, please be in contact with your members and inform them of the details specific to your group.
Please also think of how you can invite other people to participate in your Grace Groups and in our services. By God’s grace, we have no space restrictions on how many can lifestream or view the recordings of our services. This allows us to invite others to join us through social media and our personal contacts.
This will be our plan for the foreseeable future but we will keep you informed primarily through the church website and livestream services if anything changes.
Please contact us if any of you is in need (e.g. groceries, medication, finances, prayer). Many church members have offered to help. We will also be reaching out to the neighbours around our church to see how we can serve them. Please be on the look out for how you can love and serve those around you through this difficult time.
Updated Thursday 19 March 2020
Dear Church Family,
Thank you for your feedback on the survey. After consideration, the leadership team has decided on the following plan moving forward. Beginning this Sunday (March 22):
1. We encourage all who are at greater risk (e.g. elderly, has existing health conditions) to stay away from church activities but remain connected using online technology.
2. We will run the Sunday Services with only a skeleton crew (i.e. music team, AV, pastors)
3. The Sunday Service will be recorded for download and Live-streamed. We intend to livestream the service at the normal 9am time. Additionally, our goal will be to record the whole service with video and to continue to record the sermon portion in audio as well. Then these formats will be placed on the website and Facebook page. Detailed instructions to come.
4. We then encourage you to meet with your Grace Groups to watch the service together. Rather than meet in your usual groups, you may choose to meet in smaller clusters of 2-4 people and use Zoom to connect with the rest of your group. This way you can still talk and pray together.
5. There will be no Sunday School or Kid’s Church. We may try to provide some materials or resources later, but for now, these will be cancelled.
Regarding the service recordings, each Grace Group can decide among themselves how they would like to move forward. They can keep their existing time or move to a time on Sunday where they watch it live and then discuss. Additionally, they can decide if they wish to watch the entire service together and then do the study or if they would rather watch/listen to the sermon by themselves and then just watch the music/announcements part of the service when they come together and then have their study based on the sermon they have already watched/heard. It simply depends on how many have already watched the live-stream. We will leave it up to each Grace Group as to how they want to do this and when. Remember that wherever God’s people are gathered, Jesus is present with them (Matt 18:20).
While we all practice social distancing, it’s important that we continue to be connected as a church community. If you are not currently part of a Grace Group, this is an excellent opportunity to join (whether in person or online). We will be in touch with those who have indicated they need help with using online technology.
Some have asked about how this affects the Israel tour. This will be answered in the announcements this Sunday morning.
We know that some already contribute their gifts and tithes online, but for those who normally give with cash or cheque, you can set up online giving with the following information:
Account Name: Grace Chinese Christian Church
Account Number: 1025 4078
Finally, please look for ways to help one another during this time and see how you might use the current situation to reach out to friends and neighbours with the gospel. Also, let us know of any needs someone might have because of this situation. This situation is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ during more challenging times.
Updated Wednesday 18 March 2020
As a church, we recognise the constantly changing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the threat it poses.
In light of this morning’s government announcement, our Pastors and Deacons are currently working through how we will conduct our weekly meetings at GCCC. At this point in time, we ask for your prayers and patience and will provide you with an update shortly.
There are so many things about this situation that we just don’t know. But as Christians, what we do know is so much greater. Our confidence is in Jesus who rules and reigns as King, and we need not be afraid.