Dear Hume PC,
We are excited to announce that physical services will resume at Aitken Community Centre on Sunday 13th December, 2020. The is a wonderful opportunity to resume doing what we are called to do. 19 Brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus… 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:19, 22-25). Because of what Jesus has done for us, we have a responsibility to meet and serve one another. And what’s more, we are saved into a people to praise our great God. 9 ..you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). This Sunday it will be with great joy that we gather together as one, to praise our great God and to serve and be an encouragement to each other.
As of this Sunday, we will not be broadcasting on Zoom. We hope to have a YouTube livestream available for those who are still hesitant to meet physically. We will provide the link when available.
A requirement for churches (and businesses etc) to resume meeting is that we have a COVIDsafe plan. This keeps updating as restrictions are eased. Please find our plan at the end of this letter. As part of this plan, some things will look different at Hume PC. Here are some of the changes to expect.
As you enter Aitken Hill community centre you will be required to
- Carry a face mask.
- Answer questions from welcomers: You will need to declare verbally before each worship service if you have symptoms, have been in contact with a confirmed case, or have been directed to isolate, and if you answer yes to any of these, you will be asked to return home.
- Scan the Aitken Hill Community Centre QR code (with a smart phone) and enter your details (for their records). We will also request the first name, contact phone number, time of entry and exit, and area of church premises attended of all worshipers who attend for longer than 15 minutes as a record for Hume PC.
- Exit the building to the left of the dividing rope.
Changes to the service:
- Seats are to be 1.5m away from others. Those who live in the same household may sit together (1.5m space not required), but a family must be 1.5m away from others.
- Giving online is still our preference, but a Board member will walk around with the giving bag (not to be passed around) during a song within the service.
- To have an airflow, doors and window are required be open. This will create more noise, so please be patient and understanding.
- As we sing, you may wish to wear your face mask.
- Initially we won’t have morning tea, but aim to transition back to tea and coffee in 2021. No food, drink, crockery etc are permitted to be shared at this stage.
Changes might take a bit to get used to, but are worth it to be meeting physically.
As we resume meeting physically, I want to remind us all of the lessons were learnt a year ago in 6 steps to loving your church. That church is about other people; it’s about opening our eyes and looking around us, and noticing all the people at church just waiting to be encouraged and ministered to. Here are 9 review points:
1. The best way to walk into church is to pray about where you sit.
2. We go to church not as consumers or spectators but as loving servants and builders.
3. The strongest and highest motive for all that we do at church is to love; to seek the growth of others.
4. We gather together in church in order to build & encourage one another in God’s presence through the prayerful speaking of God’s word to each other.
5. Building the church is the job of all the members of the body.
6. I could prepare to build at church by reading the passage beforehand, praying, considering, planning to be there early.
7. I could build and encourage those around me during the meeting by everything I do: singing, actively listening, speaking as I have the opportunity and so on.
8. I could encourage other people in the informal time by talking about God’s word from the sermon, praying, sharing stories of grace, looking out for newcomers.
9. We should invite our non-Christian friends to church because it’s a great place for them to hear God’s word in the context of Christian fellowship.
May we all prayerful and thoughtful return to church this Sunday with these attitudes.
I can’t wait to gather and worship our great God with all in person!
See you Sunday!
(on behalf of HPC Session)