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Response to COVID19 virus 18 March 2020

Dear Glen Waverley Uniting Church members,

UPDATE: Please see communication from Presbytery now included.

Attached (PPEP COVID-19 Call to Action March 17.pdf) is a communication Church Council received yesterday (17 March) from Presbytery. It is challenging us to provide leadership within our congregation.

"In the light of the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port Phillip East Presbytery urgently calls church councils on behalf of congregations to prepare ways of gathering differently. We recommend that congregations minimize face-to-face meetings as much as possible, including gathering for public worship. This is to provide for mutual distancing and isolation, for the sake of our members and the wider community. We recommend that immediate action be taken."

I met this morning with Rev NeilPeters, AlaneeHearnshaw and WarrenGreenwood to look at different options. Yesterday and this morning there has been on-going discussion and consultation with ChurchCouncil members. We take very seriously the assessment of the danger provided by presbytery (below) and health experts.

"We are facing an escalating situation that places people of all ages in grave danger, particularly those with vulnerable health conditions and those in their senior years. Acting now, rather than later, improves the chances of sparing our members and their loved ones from un-needed suffering and even death, as well as doing all we can to help prevent a total overwhelming of health care services."

This morning Church Council resolved that in the best interests of our immediate and the wider community we will:

1. have virtual on line services without congregation members in the pews (live streamed and available from YouTube and the church website) this Sunday at 9:15am and 11am with a minimum number of key people involved.

2. cancel the 8am, 1pm and 5pm services on Sunday

3. advise all church groups to use other than face to face meetings to communicate.

4. from Sunday week (29 March) to conduct one 10am virtual service (without congregation members in the pews).

What can you do?

We know that many of you have already decided to minimise your face to face contact with others. We also recognise that this leaves little time to let everyone know of these changes. We ask that each of you spread the word to your church groups and friends and especially those who might not hear via the weekly bulletin email list.

I know that each of you as individuals, and in your church groups, will be helping to build a safety net of love and care especially for the most isolated and vulnerable in our community.

Feel free to ring, email or text me, members of church council or the ministry team if there are questions or difficulties that we can help with.

On this as every other day we are called by the Gospel to walk together in faith and hope knowing that nothing can separate us from the Love of God.

Yours in Christ,

Church Council
Glen Waverley Uniting Church

CovidResponseMarch18 (last edited 2020-05-28 04:10:22 by DavidMorgan)