Greetings worshippers/members at the Christian Reformed Church, Sutherland Shire. As you know the Church has reluctantly decided to not have our normal Sunday Services but we are doing our best to still encourage you in your faith and to be able to deliver a shortened kind of service – online. Tomorrow, some of us will be at the church, setting up the ability to live stream a sermon. On Sunday, we will send out a link to everyone on our email database, the link address to that service. At this stage we are not going to attempt to include music or a feedback session but these things might be possible as we attempt to do this well! We are simply hoping that you click one link in your email or WhatsApp, and your computer screen, mobile phone or smart T.V. will go to the correct
address (Again, patience with this will be necessary and if necessary forgiveness).
Firstly, as we will be screening this service at the same time as our normal Sunday service, we can have some people to come to the service at church. I imagine that the service would go for approximately 40 minutes. At this stage I am simply going to limit the numbers that are able to come (limited to less than 20) and you will have to send me a request. The school car park will not be open. If you would like to come to church on Sunday morning, you would have to be there before 9.30 a.m., be healthy, and know that we will not be having morning tea after the service unless you bring it yourself.
Secondly, we would also love for members of the church to gather in groups and would ask you to let me know if you would be willing to host such a group at your home (appropriate social distancing measures and health measures have to be taken into account). You could then listen to the shortened service on line and then interact with that, perhaps sing a few songs and pray together. Any other kinds of social interaction would be decided by the group themselves. I already know of one such group and would love to publicise a number of host families who are willing to do the same thing. You would have to contact the host directly because each home would have a limited number of participants. So, please let me know if you are willing to be a “host family”.
Thirdly, I want to set up a Congregational WhatsApp group. This will help with communications. The WhatsApp Group will be called “Sutherland Reformed Church” and postings can be done on that which will arrive quicker and also have the “links” you need to tap on them. Please send your mobile phone number to Nathanael van der Kolk on 0420331906. So you will need to install WhatsApp on your mobile phone and then let Nathanael know you would like to join the group. If he already has your number he will automatically add you and if you don’t want to be part of that group you can opt out yourself.
Fourthly, I will be adding daily devotions to the Church blog and will send the link to this Congregational Whatsapp group. You will receive notification on your phone from which you can click on the link to read the devotion. I am planning that there will be one 5 minute devotion each day. If you are not on the WhatsApp group, please visit the blog regularly to see the updated devotions.
Lastly, there are Prayer WhatsApp lists that you can post your prayers and requests on. There are currently about 50 people already using this and if you contact Ben Vanmidde or Nathanael van der Kolk they will add you to that list. It is a great way of sharing and praying together.
Well, that is this week’s update on what Session is doing and how we see our communication growing and improving.
On behalf of Session,