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No Sunday Big Gathering For A While

March 22 - May 31

Where you're always Welcome

In the light of government regulations limiting gatherings of essential services to no more than 100 people, the Church board has voted to not have our whole church gathering on Sundays until the current pandemic crisis is over. So, No Church on Sundays for now.
Youth group and 5th Sunday will also be in recess until further notice.
As there are no restrictions upon small groups meeting, all the normal weekly meetings are scheduled to continue as usual. 
As usual, all our christian living will follow the rule of love. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7  
We are not to surrender to a spirit of panic as we see on the news, but take stock of the new information we are receiving about this pandemic; sort through it carefully, logically and sensibly, and move forward in power and love with a settled frame of mind.
Loving hygiene
The way we show love will change a bit.  Instead of a handshake we will have a smile, a positive greeting and a willingness to linger a while.  We may have a bit of physical distance between us (1.5m), but we don’t wish to make that a social distance.  We will still be friends when this is past, so let’s keep on talking and relating like good nurturing friends at all times.
We will be diligent about hand washing (soap and water is as good as alcohol based) and cleaning surfaces that get a lot of touching.  Of course coughing into the crook of the arm and self isolating if we develop respiratory symptoms will be good manners and good hygiene.
Helpful Technology
In some ways the internet and social media have been preparing us for some time to keep developing friendships without having to be physically close to one another. Facebook, twitter, email, texting etc are very familiar to us, and will be a key part of doing church for the next little while.
New way of doing church
For Sunday, we would encourage you to use normal church time for your spiritual renewal and refreshment just like any Sunday. Just, instead of meeting as a whole church, invite a friend or two over to your family group to pray with you and read the bible and talk about it together.  And then after that how about you make a phone call or two as a way of chatting with someone, just like you would do after church.
Small groups work!
The church has thrived as small groups over the centuries, so we should be good at taking church into our own hands for a while. 
Group Resources
From next Sunday onwards we plan on making resources available which you could use in your small groups, so that even if we aren’t all together in one place, we can still be all together around a common topic.
Natural reactions
Please note that when massive social change like this pandemic occurs, that it is perfectly natural to feel unsettled and a bit anxious.  There are many little new decisions to be made, and it just takes time to work out what to do and then go through a time of practicing new behaviours until you are comfortable with them. Just press on steadily, put on the spiritual armour, and stand firm. 1 Thess 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Evangelistic ideas
If you happen to notice a person who is self isolating you could ring up or chat over the fence and offer to pick up shopping, or post mail, walk the dog and so on.  The hardest thing about self isolation is loneliness, so taking a few minutes out of your day to make contact could be appreciated immensely.
And be open to just talk about what is happening with anyone.  Australians are being faced for the first time in a long time with possible death. They could very well be open to talking about eternal issues, so have your faith position on the pandemic ready for sharing. The Holy Spirit will lead you if you are listening.
Prayer Points
Please pray that we will clearly hear God’s leading, that the small group time will enable more leaders to step up, provide new and unique opportunities to minister the love of Jesus, and that God will pour out His Spirit upon Mukinbudin to save people and make them more like Jesus.
Pastor Michael Louwen. 0409 087 922 mukachurch@gmail.com


March 22
May 31