Preparing for COVID-19 @St John’s

Like many other churches throughout the world , we have taken some small but important steps to prepare for the COVID-19 virus.

While there is no need for us to panic, the time has come to do this as part of our loving care of one another, especially those among our church family who may be more susceptible to this virus (particularly those over 60 and those with existing health conditions).

It’s for this reason that the following measures were introduced last Sunday March 15th.

  • thorough hand washing (especially before and after church and before and during morning tea – especially before you touch the urn/milk etc or take pre-packaged biscuits). Posters have been placed in obvious places in the hall and the church foyer to remind you to do this and to show you how. (If you are unsure how long to wash your hands for, sing Happy Birthday to yourself and wash for at least that long!)
  • avoiding hand shakes and close physical contact. Warm smiles are still welcome! Elbow touches and friendly waves are the new norm.
  • staying away if you are or become unwell (If you do become unwell, or have some specific needs, please let someone know so that we can care for you!!).
  • staying away for 14 days if you have been overseas

Also, for now, in the interests of good hygiene and public health

  • our regular 4th Sunday lunches and birthday cake will be discontinued
  • as of Sunday March 22 we will only be serving individually wrapped biscuits at morning tea and ask that you do not bring any morning tea from home to share (unless it is for your own consumption). If you have special dietary requirements, please bring your own morning tea as we may be unable to cater for you. If you have children, please feel free to pack them their own snack – and instruct them it is important not to share or to touch food belonging to others.
  • used cups and mugs will need to be placed on the dishwasher tray on the trolley (tip slops into the bucket provided) – so that those loading the dishwasher need not handle every individual dirty cup or glass. Those who are drying/putting away the dishes will also need to have washed their hands thoroughly before doing so.
  • all cutlery and crockery will be washed in the dishwasher after every use after every function – no rinsing under the tap and putting away please.

Although they are still meeting, we are still yet to determine if our Home Group and Playgroups will continue, although necessary arrangements have been implemented for each of these groups. The Men’s Fellowship and the Ladies’ Fellowship will not meet until further notice.

The situation in our country and state is changing rapidly and recommendations are being updated regularly – so please understand that there may be need to introduce stricter precautions, especially in the event of an outbreak of the virus in Bendigo.

In these changing times, let’s remember that God is in control and we need not fear. ‘The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.’ (Psalm 46:7).

You might also find some benefit from reading this excellent article that might help put this all into some kind of perspective.

Finally, we will continue to pray for all who have the virus across the world and in our nation, especially remembering those in our health care systems who are on the front lines of dealing with this pandemic.

‘Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.’ (Psalm 124:8)