Happy New Year!
After a couple weeks on hiatus things are just beginning to pick up steam towards a fresh year of ministry. And while I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised I am, nonetheless, a little surprised at where we find ourselves as a community in relation to COVID-19. The omicron variant and the government’s decision to shift focus from suppressing the disease to living with it (alongside vaccinations and boosters – I’m booked in for mine. Are you?) has led to yet another period of significant uncertainty about what the immediate future holds. This is especially true for those of you with young, school-aged children as the 5-11 year old vaccinations roll out and schools figure out how to stay open. In the midst of this uncertainty it is comforting to know that God is still on his throne and that, though the mountains may tumble to the sea, he will remain untouched by the storm and able to care for his people and continue his mission to renew all things!
As we navigate this period of time there are two things I’d like you to know. First, we want to care for you and your family during this time. If there is something we can do to care for those in our community who are impacted by COVID – prayer, a phone call, or practical support please don’t hesitate to contact Karen Watkins, our Congregational Care Coordinator. She works with GBC Cares and the elders to facilitate care and support for our congregation. You can contact Karen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on the Care Phone on 0468 573 810.
Second, after three consecutive weeks of online services only, we are opening the building once again. Of course, the live stream of our morning services will continue and we would prefer you to remain online if you are willing and able. Our evening service will be face-to-face only (but the services are identical so if you’d like to join the livestream, you can!) This is more a matter of public health than anything else; both for those who attend and for our volunteers who are choosing to be in a public gathering to serve but who would prefer not to get sick! If you do attend onsite please remember that we are required to wear masks at all times.
As we start ramping up for a new year and all that God has in store for us I hope and pray that you will experience God’s comforting presence in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty.
Marc Rader, Senior Pastor