Maintaining a Safe & Caring Community (COVID 19)

Maintaining a Safe & Caring Community (COVID 19)

A small team of leaders has been working hard to keep up to date with the current official advice about the virus COVID-19.

You will understand that the situation is changing quickly and so we are putting in place some safe practices and protocols to ensure that no-one is isolated or lonely or feeling anxious on their own.

Prayer:

With this in mind, let’s begin with a prayer to remind us that we are a community of faith believing in the hope and grace of God.  This prayer is written by Connie R. Burkholder, Monitor Church of the Brethren.  It’s inspired by Mark 4:35-41:

When dangers invade our sense of safety
and we wonder if our Redeemer cares,
we hear the invitation:
Be at peace. Be calm.

When we face job loss and financial downturns,
and our sense of security is shaky,
we hear the invitation:
Be at peace. Be calm.

When our congregations experience distress, conflict,
and loss of significant leadership,
we hear the invitation:
Be at peace. Be calm.

When controversial issues and rigidity of spirit
threaten to tear at the very fabric of the faith community,
we hear the invitation:
Be at peace. Be calm.

When our lives feel chaotic and desolate
because of illness or sorrow,
we hear the invitation:
Be at peace. Be calm.

Help us to know, O God, that the one who calmed the dangerous sea is present with us, cares for us, and can calm the stormy waters of our lives. Help us to trust more fully and more deeply in you. We pray in the name of Jesus, who invites us to be at peace.

Amen.

Practical support

If you are in need of food or other supplies and are experiencing difficulties, please contact the Manningham Care Network on care_network@manninghamuc.org. 

Pastoral support

We want to keep people safe, and many places are being closed to visitors, but we still want to maintain contact with everyone.  Scott, Megan, Bob and Claire are using the phone to keep in touch as are your pastoral visitors and elders.  There is no reason for anyone to feel lonely or isolated.  Even if you just want to chat, phone us or email care_network@manninghamuc.org – we will get back to you.

Worship

At this stage, our worship services will continue.  If you are unwell or anxious, stay at home but let us know with a phone call to Claire, Megan or Scott, or to your pastoral visitor, or emailing care_network@manninghamuc.org

No hand shaking, kissing, hugging to greet people – just nod or wave your greeting, smile warmly at each other.

There will be no communion services as the risk through contamination is too great – Bob is preparing a communion liturgy which is symbolic and will retain meaning for our worship services.

There will be no shared morning tea after services – bring a water bottle but no food or beverages will be served.

Groups

If schools close, then so do all of our activities with young people and families – playgroup, youth group, messy church, fresh theatre.

At this stage, we are not cancelling all group meetings as that will isolate people further but there will be no shared food or beverages served.  Please bring a water bottle and a box of food for yourself.  However, if you feel anxious about attending, stay at home and let us know.  If the leader has any concerns, they may make the decision not to meet for a while, but you can all still keep in touch by phone.

Hygiene

As always, hygiene is essential – coughing and sneezing into the crook of your elbow or a tissue which is then thrown away in the bin, hand washing for 20 seconds and drying hands.  Basic common sense!

If you need information on symptoms etc., follow this link to the Department of Health website:  https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

If you have any questions or need clarification about these protocols and practices, please contact our Operations Manager Moses Lee 98462012 / 0415665413 or email: moses.lee@manninghamuc.org

If you are in need of spiritual support at this time, do contact Claire or Bob.

If you are anxious or upset, or even just feeling a bit down, please contact one of the following people:

Rev Claire 0410 827 597
Rev Bob 0419 572 168
Megan 0417 558 376
Scott 0403 756 724     

Isaiah 41:10

 do not fear, for I am with you,
   do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Community Outreach

We are a community of faith who is hospitable and relational, and we do these things in a Christ-Centred way. We ‘emulate the life of Jesus, reflect God’s love and walk with our community’. This is radical and counter-cultural in the current climate, and a great opportunity exists for us to practically and intentionally be and offer this to our local community.

A team has been brought together to consider how we may extend support to those in our local Manningham community that are self-isolating due to COVID-19.

More information is to come including an invitation for MUC members to be involved. Please contact Emma Hanna, Missional Community Development Worker if you would like to know more. emma.hana@manninghamuc.org 

MUC Council

This document will be revised as necessary. Check for updates on http://www.manninghamuc.org/or by email to care_network@manninghamuc.org

Resting in God as we journey forward,
On behalf of MUC Church Council,
Care Network Team