Latest Update: 28 MARCH 2020
With the suspension of all congregational worship services till the end of April, we will increasingly need to rely on technology during this period to enable our communication with one another. It is no longer business as usual with the new restrictions of having a cap of 10 persons meeting together at any one time with all the necessary precautions. Under God, we as the body of Christ must join the nation’s effort to stem the spread of the virus.
Although we cannot gather in our usual way in our church building, we are increasingly reminded that the church is the people of God. Just as the early church was scattered out of Jerusalem to the surrounding regions because of persecution, this adversity is calling us to shine as the scattered church wherever the Lord has placed us.
Let me highlight 3 ways in which we will enable the life of worship and spiritual growth of our members during this time of adversity.
1. We will continue to live stream our services.
We have received some feedback that the sound quality for the live stream is not so clear. And so to improve the quality of the live stream as well as enable greater accessibility, we are planning to live stream using youtube instead of Facebook. Do join the live streaming of our services as it fosters our unity and connectivity. Please do also give us your feedback on the live stream as we continually work to improve.
2. Cell Groups
Cell Groups can continue to meet while observing the Just10 criteria and other precautionary measures like safe distancing, temperature and health declarations, etc. Can I encourage cell leaders and members to also keep in touch with one another by phone, text messages and video-conferencing. This is especially important for the seniors and those who are unwell and cannot attend the cell meeting.
Pastor Shalini will help send the cell leaders a sample of a video conferencing app that they can consider using. She will also be available to help guide cell leaders and members, where necessary, on how to use the video conferencing app.
There is a concern regarding singing in the presence of others because of the increased release of droplets. It would therefore be prudent to sing meditatively when meeting in small groups to address this risk.
3. Pastoral Care
Besides live streaming of our services and cell groups meeting together, you can let the church office know if any of you would like a pastoral visit for prayer or to receive Holy Communion. The pastoral team would be glad to visit and minister to you. The Lord is with us and He is showing us new opportunities in the midst of this adversity. As more time is spent in our homes during this period, may we renew regular family devotions and build our family prayer altar through the reading and study of God’s Word and praying together as a family unit.
My dear friends, we are approaching holy week where we will mediate on Christ’s suffering and death on the cross. And we will celebrate his glorious victory over death through His resurrection on Easter Sunday. On that first Easter more than 2000 years ago, we are told in John 20:19 - “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
The disciples were together behind locked doors trembling in fear because of the Jewish leaders and authorities. But the resurrected Lord appeared to them with these words of tremendous comfort and assurance…. “Peace be with you.” In this period of adversity, may we be filled with the peace of the Lord and be His channels of peace to others, especially those who have yet to know Him and the power of His resurrection.
The Lord bless you and we will connect again when we live stream our service. The peace of the Lord be always with you! Amen!
Rev Jeremy Ponniah
Vicar, St Paul's Church