COVID-19 - initial response

Resources from the City of Greater Bendigo.
Food Relief Information
Covid-19 Community Supports

 

Dear Church

We (Church Council & Ministry Team) continue to monitor the unfolding events pertaining to COVID-19 and discussing how we best approach these unprecedented times. We take courage from the fact that such events have not caught our God by surprise, and we firmly believe that what the enemy intends for harm, He will use for good. (Romans 8:28)

Monday 16th March, our staff & ministry leaders gathered together to discuss our ongoing approach to the current crisis that is sweeping across our nation. While the threat of exposure here in Bendigo is still low, the threat of the coronavirus must be taken seriously and, as a consequence, Church Council made the decision on Tuesday 17th March to postpone all weekend services, beginning Sunday 22nd March. This was not an easy decision for them to make, but after listening to the advice of the Australian Chief Medical Officer and other respected doctors within our church, they determined as a larger church that we must do our part in seeking to minimise the spread of the coronavirus within our church family as well as the broader community of Bendigo.

In light of this decision, we live streamed our very first weekend service on Sunday 22nd March at 10:30. What a privilege it was to share with our church locally and globally that Sunday. i spoke an important message for such a time as this as we seek to advance the mission of God in this new season of ministry.

Our commitment to helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ still drives our mission, and we will be continually looking to encourage each person in this direction through a variety of fresh and new ways in the trying times ahead. While there might be some challenging times ahead, I firmly believe that God is going to use this period of time in some amazing ways to accomplish His good and perfect will. He is now asking us to stand up, step up and embrace this new season. The mission of the God in the hands of ordinary people now takes on a new dimension in our neighbourhoods, small groups, amongst our families, throughout our sporting communities, in our interest groups and even in the midst of a global pandemic.

So, what does this mean for all of us at present? Let’s continue to:
• Live and walk differently because we believe that God is absolutely sovereign and in control over all things.
• Find ways to stay connected and in relationship with people. That might still be your small group where appropriate. Look for ways to reach out to one another. Keep your eyes on your neighbours, the elderly and specifically those that might be a higher risk for the virus. We have this unique opportunity to be the church in practical ways to those around us.
• Ask for help if you need it. https://www.bendigobaptist.org.au/churchlife/connect-care/bbccare 
• Let’s look for ways to demonstrate God’s love and care in real and tangible ways as we encourage people to find their sense of hope and peace in Jesus Christ.
• Update your contact details by contacting our office (5449 3033) and let’s keep giving to God’s work by dropping of your gift at the office or accessing our online giving at https://www.bendigobaptist.org.au/giving
• Access Bendigo Baptist Facebook page and our church website as this is a key portal of communication for us as a church.

Please be praying for us as we adjust to these times and begin to communicate such changes to our large church family. We will continue to review the suspension of our services and will look to provide you with updates via our website, social media and other forms of communication on a regular basis.

I hope you’ll continue to join me online each weekend, and let’s not forget that our God is able to “…accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” as we endeavor to be on mission as His Church. (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)

In His Service

Pastor Dave Lovell
(On Behalf of Church Council & BBC Ministry Team)