AN IMPORTANT UPDATE RE SIZE OF GATHERINGS FROM QUEENSLAND BAPTISTS (AMENDED EXCERPTS)
Greetings to the churches of QB in these increasingly difficult times.
The Prime Minister has announced a third restriction on indoor gatherings in the last week in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. In this latest announcement, indoor gatherings of less than 100 people may only be held if 4 square metres of space is provided per occupant.
To determine the maximum number of people you are permitted to have in a room, you should measure the length and width of the entire room in metres, multiply these figures together and divide by four. For example, a room which is 10 metres by 12 metres is only suitable for 30 people.
It is important to note that these space limits apply to gatherings in homes. A family room of 5 metres by 4 metres is only suitable for a gathering of five people.
We encourage you to find ways to comply with these limits, even though they may be inconvenient and restrictive. Only full compliance will ensure we are doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
AN UPDATED MESSAGE FROM PASTOR NATHAN & THE CHURCH COUNCIL
Today I wanted to give you an update regarding how we as a church are responding in relation to Government and Health advice that has been issued regarding the Coronavirus. (COVID-19)
Firstly, we affirm our confidence and trust in our great God and we are responding not in a spirit of fear but are responding with faith and in love for our community and with heart of compassion and care for the most vulnerable just as Jesus did.
From this week we will be following the advice from our Prime Minister and Health Officials not to gather in groups of over 500.
This means that from next Sunday we will be live streaming our 8am, 10am and 6pm services (no 4.30pm service).
You will be able to link into our services from home in real time as the service is happening live here on location.
What we want to encourage people to do is to look at meeting with other believers in homes to watch the live stream together.
You may want to meet with your connect group or some members of your connect group or with some friends or family members in your home or at some other location.
Acts 2 says….
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We are believing that in the same way God will use this situation so that many more people will experience His life transforming love and grace.
One thing we don’t want is for anyone to be unnecessarily isolated in the midst of this situation. Fellowship with others is important.
With this in mind we will continue to hold our regular daily prayer meetings. This is great way to gather with other believers in a smaller setting for encouragement and worship.
Our regular connect group network during the week is another avenue to do this.
We do want to take special precautions with those most vulnerable in our community.
For this reason we have decided to also temporarily close our mid-week fortnightly service, Inspire.
Many who attend this service and those who bear the responsibility of coordinating this service are in the highest risk group.
We realise the disappointment this will be for those who value this service but we recognise the risk that coronavirus presents in the aged care communities in our city.
For the same reason we are also not going to hold our Playtime Ministry, Friday Night Buzz, Sunday Buzz, Junior Buzz and Creche ministries for the rest of the term as they also include many younger ones who are more vulnerable.
We will also not be running our Friday Night Switch Youth program for the rest of the term or our Sunday 4.30pm service or meal time until further notice as we seek to minimise any non-essential larger gatherings.
Importantly, we are going to continue our community care ministries while carefully following advised health precautions. We want to care for our community and demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ to our community and city during this time.
We also continue to refer you to the Coronavirus information sheet provided with your online newsletter as well as the statement from The Director of Queensland Baptist services, Rev. Stewart Pieper, on behalf of Queensland Baptist.
In line with this we are encouraging everyone to think of others and not attend any groups or gatherings:
- if you or your child is unwell.
- if you have returned home from travelling overseas within the last 14 days.
- if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive to coronavirus or if you have a test pending.
We are also seeking to minimize person to person contact which means rather than a friendly handshake to greet others we are suggesting a warm smile or wave to make others feel welcome.
As a leadership team we will be continuing to monitor the situation closely as well as responding to further advice as it is issued and will keep you updated with any further information and developments both via the website and email.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (Acts 2:27)
And so with this in mind we want to pray that our government, medical and community leaders will know God’s wisdom, and that this virus will be quickly contained and defeated and that we will see a great move of the Holy Spirit.
Blessings in Jesus,
Senior Pastor on behalf of the Church Council
We are constantly assessing the Coronavirus situation and we are taking a number of steps to minimize the risk of infection for everyone and especially the most vulnerable members of our church family.
We appreciate your understanding and help in these unprecedented times and we affirm our trust in God whose love drives out all fear and grants peace that passes all understanding.
What we are doing
1. We are planning to ‘live stream’ our Sunday services held in A1 from this Sunday the 15 March.
We would encourage those who are in the higher risk categories to share in this Sunday’s service from your home. We are planning to have the live feed available at 10 am on Sunday. You access this live stream of the service by going to www.bridgeman.live
This is the first time we have attempted to live stream so please pray for Ashton Lind (our audio visual expert) who has cancelled holidays in seeking to make this possible by Sunday. Should this not work for some reason Glenn Wilson (Bridgemedia) will be posting the 8.00 am sermon to our web site around 11am Sunday morning.
2. We are planning to hold our four services this Sunday although we will be reviewing this next week in light of further directives from the government.
We are encouraging everyone to think of others and not attend services
if you or your child is unwell
if you have returned home from travelling closely with others within the last 14 days
if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive to coronavirus or have a test pending.
3. We have decided to temporarily close our mid-week fortnightly service, Inspire.
Many who attend this service and those who bear the responsibility of coordinating this service are in the highest risk group. We realize the disappointment this will be for those who value this service but we recognize the danger that coronavirus presents in the aged care communities in our city.
4. We are seeking to minimize person to person contact at church
(a) Communion, which was planned for this coming Sunday at our afternoon and night services, will not be held in its usual form.
One of the pastors will remind us of Jesus’ sacrifice, but the elements will not be distributed. This format will continue in future services until a safer means of sharing the bread and juice can be organized.
(b) Our offering buckets will be positioned at the rear of the auditorium and we would appreciate if those giving could place their offering in these containers during or at the conclusion of the service.
(c) Rather than a friendly handshake to welcome others we are suggesting a warm smile or wave to make others feel welcome
(d) Our BridgeKids team leaders will assist in the check in process so there is no need for ipads to be touched.
5. We encourage everyone to read the Coronavirus information sheet released with our electronic newsletter and available Sunday with our paper version.
From this Sunday, hand sanitizer will be available prior to entering the services. We encourage everyone to bring your own sanitizer, as supplies of these products are hard to source.
6. Finally, even as we pursue preventative measures and exercise wisdom in keeping ourselves and loved ones safe, our faith and security is in Jesus Christ.
We remind ourselves of Jesus’ words, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27.
We will be affirming our confidence and trust in our great God this Sunday and at our special worship evening this Tuesday (7pm-9pm) where we will also pray for those affected around the world, that our government, medical and community leaders will know God’s wisdom, that the virus will be quickly contained and defeated and that we will see a great move of the Holy Spirit.
Blessings in Jesus,
Senior Pastor on behalf of the Church Council
BRIDGEMAN CORONAVIRUS UPDATES & INFORMATION
THE FOLLOWING IS A STATEMENT FROM DIRECTOR OF QUEENSLAND BAPTIST SERVICE – REV. STEWART PIEPER ON BEHALF OF QUEENSLAND BAPTIST.
The World Health Organisation has now declared the outbreak of COVID – 19 to be a pandemic, and the Australia Government has been taking necessary steps to prepare for this, with the Department of Health providing regular updates in relation to planning for and responding to COVID – 19.
Below is some information adapted from State and Federal Health authority web sites that might be of assistance to you.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia, including fever, flu- like symptoms such as coughing and a sore throat, and shortness of breath. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly.
There is evidence that it spreads from person to person through:
– close contact with an infectious person.
– contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze.
– touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face.
Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public. Everyone should practice good hygiene to protect against infections.
Good hygiene includes:
– washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
– using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
– avoiding close contact with others, such as touching.
– You should also try and stay at least one metre away from people coughing or sneezing.
– If you become unwell and think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, seek medical attention immediately.
– Call ahead to make an appointment with a doctor.
– Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
– If you must leave home to see your doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.
– Avoid contact with others until a diagnosis is made then follow medical advice.
If you have been diagnosed with coronavirus, or are awaiting a diagnosis, isolate yourself in your home.
How to isolate yourself:
– Do not go to public places, such as work, church, school, shopping centres, childcare or university.
– If possible, ask other people to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door.
– Only people who usually live with you should be in your home. Do not let in visitors.
– You do not need to wear a mask in your home.
– If you need to leave home to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others.