Resuming in-person Church services
We're thankful the restrictions have changed and we're excited about the opportunity this gives us to return to in-person gathering. From this coming Sunday (31 October), we will be reopening with two services of 30 "unknown vaccination status" people at 9:30 am and 11:30 am. If both services fill up we may consider adding new services in the afternoon or evening. This gives us the benefits of meeting together in-person and also remaining open to anyone of "unknown vaccination status".
It is important that we take an approach which does not exclude anyone from gathering with God's people to grow as a disciple of Jesus. During Jesus' ministry, many people were scandalised at his openness to all kinds of people. But Jesus' grace was marked by the fact that he did not turn anyone away. This pattern of grace continues to shape our own discipleship and our collective gathered worship. Likewise, we need to avoid placing barriers on people gathering for worship. Sadly sometimes an individual is temporarily excluded from public worship because they are disruptive or under church discipline but that's a rare and sober exception.
Taking this approach does limit the size of our gathering. This is because our health experts are carefully considering the ways COVID-19 spreads and the impact this will have, especially on our vulnerable populations and the capacity of our health system. As a way of loving our neighbours, especially those who are most vulnerable, it is important that we follow health directives. Generally, the health directives to be vaccinated are highly encouraged. Be assured we will be carefully following all the health and safety precautions as stipulated in the COVID Safe rules, for example, QR check-ins, density quotients, regular hand washing, disinfecting and mask wearing.
We're thankful for our health system, and note that most Victorians are now vaccinated, which gives us the opportunity to worship together again in person. We look forward to joining you in worship!