When will St David's Chruch be open for public worship again?
This question seems to be what many are interested in getting a straight forward answer. The most straightforward response is that we aim to be ready to hold public worship in mid-July.
The Queensland Government has set out in "Roadmap to easing restrictions" a three-stage process. We move to stage two on 12 June and stage 3 on 10 July. Under the current guidelines, public worship can go ahead under limited circumstances.
We have recently received notification from the Archbishop that "It might be possible for parishes to return to some form of gathered worship" in stage 2. In this circumstance, congregations are limited to no more than 20 people, and people will need to "register" to attend. When the 21st person arrives, they will not be allowed to join. Full participation in Communion remains suspended, and it would seem there will be significant limitations for some time ahead. You will have also heard in the media question about practices such as communal singing, etc.. The wardens and I believe that the requirements to proceed in stage two prevent us from offering public worship during this period.
We do believe that we can begin to offer public worship again following the stage three easing of restrictions on 10 July. Under these guidelines, we can have up to 100 people gathered for public worship following further strict guidelines. There is much for us to do before this date in preparation for us to meet the new context we will face. The following are just some of what is shaping our thoughts in preparation.
- Things will not just return to how they were. Perhaps the most obvious example is the need to provide worship both online and for those in the church. Many of our congregations will remain at risk and will not be encouraged to join gatherings with others.
- Some of those who would generally help lead worship will be in at-risk categories.
- The government may need to impose higher restrictions again if there are further infections in the community.
- We are preparing our church to meet hygiene and physical distancing guidelines.
- We are preparing our church for the necessary technical capabilities to stream worship.
- We continue to seek creative ways to keep our commitment to being a caring community as well as grow in our faith.
- What we choose to do from mid-July needs to be sustainable both within our human and physical resources.
We are well placed to meet these challenges. We are blessed with committed and capable people who partner with me in leading this parish. We remain committed to finding ways to move closer to God and one another that lead to abundant life.
Do you love gardening? St David's is starting a gardening group in our parish community, open to all ages and abilities. The group will share knowledge, love and passion of all things gardening (whilst COVID restrictions are in place). We welcome all questions and sharing of ideas and information. While we continue to be in levels of lock-down, we shall focus on the activities we are all individually undertaking in our gardens, or what we plan to do, or any questions we may have. If you wish to be involved and share your love and passion for all things in the garden please join us. Contact us or phone us for more information.
Written by clergy and lay people across the Diocese, Sunday Devotions are short reflections based on the lectionary readings of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use. Check out this week's Sunday Devotion, written by Sarah Crips from Community of The Way, "The Young are at the gates".
We are well placed!
Numerous voices are telling us about the uncertainty that lies ahead in many aspects of our lives. You may be wondering what that means for our Church. What will things look like in two months, six months or next year? I don't have that kind of Crystal ball, but we are well placed to meet the challenges ahead. I think with creativity, courage and God's leading; we can move into the future with hope.
For some time now, we have been preparing to be adaptable. Much of our Mission Action Plan has been formed and implemented with a fundamental understanding of living in rapidly changing times. What we have done over this time to shape our ministry towards being intergenerational, to develop our facilities and to encourage generosity are now proving beneficial. Beyond this, the ministry partnerships we are fostering and use of technology are also showing themselves as providential.
Let me give you a simple example of how our MAP has helped us be well placed. It is clear that when we return to worship together that we will not be able to use prayer or hymn books because of the infection risk they pose. We can be thankful that we have already installed screens that will become even more important to our worship on Sunday mornings.
It seems clear that in the medium term, our worship and ministry will need to adapt. We will need to find ways of living in a world where some can gather, but others will still find themselves at risk. Over the coming weeks, I will continue to share how we are trying to respond and adapt as a church. To express how we will seek ways of moving closer to God and each other for an abundant life.
GOOD NEWS!!!! It is with some excitement that we share with you a significant step forward in achieving our Church refurbishment project. Part of our intentional plan to develop facilities that are best suited to meet the present and future needs of our parish.
You may remember that an essential step in this process was the sale of the two blocks of land. These are the blocks on which the tennis court is situated. The Diocese endorsed the sale of this land late last year. We need to remove the tennis court to allow us to proceed to this sale.
We have received confirmation from the Diocese this week that work is intended to begin on the removal of the Tennis Court in late May or early June.
We know that amid this good news, there will be some who receive it with a tinge of sadness. The Tennis Court has played its part in the community life of St David’s. It was built with a vision for the ministry needs of the parish at that time. It, therefore, reminds us to give thanks for the vision of those who served the parish over the years. It is on this foundation that we are seeking to build for the future.
Once the tennis court is removed, civil works will then commence connecting utilities such as sewerage, water and electricity. We intend that these blocks be placed on the open market for sale in the second half of 2020.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.
Priest and Wardens
Written by clergy and lay people across the Diocese, Sunday Devotions are short reflections based on the lectionary readings of the day, suitable for small group discussion (e.g. via Skype, Zoom or group voice call) or personal use. Check out this week's Sunday Devotion, written by The Rev'd Paul Bland from the Parish of East Brisbane.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Australia will be observed in the week between Ascension and Pentecost 24 - 31 May 2020
This year’s theme calls us to move from shared prayer to shared action. The international resources for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by colleagues in Malta. The 2020 theme, “They showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2), remembers the historic shipwreck of Paul on the island of Malta and calls us to a greater generosity to those in need.
See more through their website including daily prayer reflections you can use.
The Anglican Church Southern Queensland (ACSQ) will be recognising and celebrating National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June. An exciting program of activities and resources for the whole ACSQ community has been prepared, commencing with a minute's silence for National Sorry Day at 12 noon on 26 May 2020. Please mark your calendar and set the timer on your phone for this important event and participate from wherever you are at the time — by yourself at home, in the office, or in connection with others online.