Today (20/03/20) the State and Federal Governments announced radical new measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent a massive peak in cases that would overwhelm the health system. The new advice includes:
Stop all non-essential social contact – which means we need to stop going to places with a high concentration of people such as churches, pubs, or cinemas; and stay 4 square metres away from everyone who is not a close family member.
Avoid using public transport as much as possible.
Work from home if you can.
Isolate yourselves for 14 days if you are living in a household with somebody who has either a persistent cough or fever.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook has confirmed that 12 of the 17 new cases of COVID-19 in WA overnight are likely due to community spread, as the state moves into the “next phase” of the virus.
We want to encourage you to be mindful of the words of Jesus amidst the concern about Coronavirus. His promise is: ‘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 want to resist the temptation to anxious fretfulness, which in itself is infectious, and instead, practise humble love and service to others.
In the light of the new Government advice, physical church gatherings at Scarborough Baptist will be suspended until further notice. This includes Sunday worship, Sundays@6, Bible Studies, Craft Group and Mainly Music. We need to play our full part, along with the whole community, in reducing the rate of infection. At this moment, this is what it means to love our neighbours as ourselves.
It is important to understand that this does not mean our church will be closing. “Church” will continue in different ways.
We will be live-streaming and recording Sunday worship (see the links on the Home page) thus making worship services available to both visitors and the congregation.
Those who do not use computers or mobile telephones will receive bulletins and copies of the weekly Sunday service via the postal services.
Bible study groups will be meeting via Zoom at the usual times (see the calendar and use the link on the home page.)
Keeping in touch and supporting one another will no longer be able to happen through face-to-face contact. The pastors at SBC have developed a care plan for using phones and social media to keep people connected and to offer practical support and help. We also encourage members to keep in telephonic contact with others, especially with those who are most at risk.
Our mission remains to “go and make disciples of all the nations” and we need to remember those around the world who have undertaken this in a full-time capacity. They will probably face all sorts of struggles in isolated areas where medical attention is scant. Let’s keep them in our prayers.
Our mission at this time is also to be witnesses for Jesus by being a generous, caring presence in the community, giving attention to people who are vulnerable, struggling or at risk of being forgotten. Please contact us or advise us of people who are isolated and may require additional help, for example, with shopping or home care, or let us know of those in our community who can no longer rely on food banks and might need food parcels.