Back together again….almost!

In line with recently released directions from the Vic Govt, we are pleased to announce that we can allow 60 people to come to our 10:30am service this Sunday December 6. Thanks be to God for His goodness! However, if you are feeling unwell, have been in contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have been directed to self-isolate, please do not attend.

OPENING AGAIN!

Yes, as of Sunday November 8, the good news is that we’ll be meeting at 10;30am. But the not-so-good news is that only 10 people will be allowed to be present!

So, if you would like to join with us and have your name placed on a roster for attendance, please contact us and we’ll do just that! Meanwhile our weekly podcasts at 9:30am will continue thanks to Life FM!

Like to do ‘Christianity Explored’ online?

These really are uncertain times….and yet are also a really good opportunity to be asking some good questions, some of the bigger questions of life that will always be eternally important. Questions like, ‘Who is Jesus’ and ‘What does it mean to believe in Him’? These are questions that will be raised during an online course called ‘Christianity Explored.’


Christianity Explored is an informal and relaxed seven-week course based on the Gospel of Mark that gives time and space to consider the big questions of life and to explore the life of the person at the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus Christ.
It’s an ideal course to attend if you want to;
• Find out what it what it means to be a Christian
• Get involved in a Bible study group on the Gospel of Mark
• Hear what the Bible says about the meaning of life
• Go over some Bible basics so that you can share your faith better
• Ask some questions about Christianity in an informal and non-threatening setting

As part of the course, the following also apply – you won’t need to know anything about the Bible, nor will you be asked to read aloud, pray or sing…but you will be able to ask any question you want!

Although it would be much better to run this course face-to-face, the next best option is to do this online – and we can do this via Zoom.  Would you like to join in? (You’ll need to be ‘Zoom ready’ on your computer.)

Please contact us if you’d like to get some answers to those big questions and we will send you the needed Zoom link. There’s no restrictions as to how many can attend, and as there’s no need to leave home (guaranteed 100% COVID-19 safe!)

Not July 5 after all!!

This morning we posted the news (in good faith) that with the easing of restrictions coming in on Monday June 22, we would be returning to worship on July 5. However, the Vic Government has just now delayed the easing of those restrictions until a further announcement to be made on July 12.

So….no, we won’t be meeting on July 5 after all….but keep your eye on this space for further updates.

On the air! Tune in…

Join us each Sunday morning at 9:30am for our ‘Lockdown Podcasts’ on 105.1 Life FM, Bendigo, commencing Sunday March 29th. Having finished the series on the theme, ‘God’s saints in tight spots’, (encouraging us all through the stories of the differing, yet often difficult circumstances that God’s people have faced – as told to us in the Scriptures), we are now working our way through Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth.

Closed …temporarily…but still going!

Sadly, that’s the situation. In line with Federal and State Government restrictions and recommendations, our services and activities have all been suspended until further notice with this exception…

…..you’ll be able to listen to the first of our ‘lockdown podcasts’ this coming Sunday March 29th on our website and also on the radio each Sunday at 9:30am on Bendigo’s 105.1 Life FM.

Sunday March 22? Yes, we’re open!

 

It’s a rapidly changing world with regard to the coronavirus situation, now that ‘internal gatherings’ of 100 have been asked to cease and the 2×2 metre rule has been introduced. Thankfully, we have a large building and accordingly can fit 100 people in it and still be ‘safe’ (it would be great to have that many!) With the measures we have in place already and a plan to introduce some more small measures to be introduced we will still be gathering together on Sunday March 22 as usual at 10:30am. We are preparing ourselves for the fact that this is now a week-to-week proposition and the situation may change again, but for now, yes, we’re open, so come and join us if you can! And in the meantime, here’s another excellent article to consider.

 

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)

Christianity Explored course to begin…

These really are crazy times. A spreading viral pandemic. Countries banning travel in and out. Fights in the supermarket aisle over toilet paper! Who could have seen this coming? Not many, I suspect.

Here at St John’s we are not about to prepare for the end of the world, but we are about to run a course that asks (and answers) some of the bigger questions of life that are so relevant in these crazy times and will always be eternally important. Questions like, ‘Who is Jesus’ and ‘What does it mean to believe in Him’? These are questions that will be raised during this course called ‘Christianity Explored.’

Christianity Explored is an informal and relaxed seven-week course based on the Gospel of Mark that gives you time and space to consider the big questions of life and to explore the life of the person at the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus Christ. It’s an ideal course to attend if you want to;
• Find out what it what it means to be a Christian
• Get involved in a Bible study group on the Gospel of Mark
• Hear what the Bible says about the meaning of life
• Go over some Bible basics so that you can share your faith better
• Ask some questions about Christianity in an informal and non-threatening setting
And by the way, the following also apply. You don’t need to know anything about the Bible or be asked to read aloud, pray or sing and you can ask any question you want, or just listen.

When is it on? There are two options to choose from.
Wednesday evenings @ 7:30pm on April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13
Thursday mornings @ 10:30am on April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14
(It’s the same course run twice. You can attend either or alternate between them as it suits!)

Where is it? The meeting room in the St John’s Presbyterian Church Hall, 35-41 Forest Street, Bendigo.

There’s no real need to RSVP, but if you would like to attend and want to let us know visit our contact us page 🙂

Another leap year day… another Scots Day Out!

 

 

It was a beautiful day in Bendigo today for the extra (leap year) day and also the 2020 Scots Day in Rosalind Park.

It was great to be part of our Scots Day Out Team, handing out free biscuits and gospel leaflets, chatting to the many people who passed our tent, helping children to enjoy some colouring-in and generally raising the profile of the three Presbyterian churches in Bendigo. Bring on SDO 2021!