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Today the disruption caused by COVID-19 has cast us all into a different world beyond many of the secure familiarities of life as we have known it. This presents challenges, opportunities and temptations for individuals, families, nations – and churches. As churches venture into this disrupted world, it is good for us to remember who we are – remaining true to our identity, beliefs and values as we seek to continue living faithfully and fruitfully with God – still being the Church in our new contexts. To encourage us in this, over coming weeks, members of the BUV’s Church Health & Capacity Building Team will offer short reflections on some biblical images of the Church.
Part 1: Remember Who You Are: The Church In An Unfamiliar World by Rev David Devine
Part 2: Remember Who You Are: God's Flock by Rev Mark Wilkinson
Part 3: Remember Who You Are: The Temple of God by Rev Marc Chan
Part 4: Remember Who You Are: Family of God by Rev Meewon Yang
Part 5: Remember Who You Are: God's Field by Christine Wanstall
Part 6: Remember Who You Are: Golden Lampstand by Peter Botross
Part 7: Remember Who You Are: Bride of Christ by Vicky Dyer
Is Church essential in this COVID-19 pandemic? Absolutely! The essential nature of church is not just about how many people come through our doors but more importantly is being a flourishing community of believers who love God, love each other and love the world (or just our neighbourhood) around us.
Unprecedented Love is a 5 week devotion series from the BUV
Part 1 by Rev Jonathan Stark – #unprecedentedlove for unprecedented times
Part 2 by Rev Graeme Semple – How can we express Jesus’ unprecedented love?
Part 3 by Kimberly Smith – Unprecedented Power to Act in Unprecedented Ways
Part 4 by Rev Robert Hayman – Unprecedented Love – Good Friday
Part 5 by Rev Dr Bill Brown – Unprecedented Love – Resurrection
Free song and video for use at Easter by Andrew Naylor
Often after a major trauma or incident we find ourselves having strong emotional, spiritual or physical reactions. I think COVID-19 would count as a major trauma! If you are in leadership in a church, over the last few weeks you have been forced to lead your church through a massive change process that has happened at very short notice. You have totally transformed your mode of church; had to learn how to stream services, provide pastoral care remotely, run meetings online and deliver sermons to camera rather than a present congregation. Some or all of this has been outside of your experience.
It is important for Victorian Baptist Pastors to remember that while visitation is now severely limited, there are still so many ways to provide pastoral care.
Rev Jonathan Stark, BUV’s Head of Pastoral Leadership, Support and Development, details the most effective ways to care for God’s people through this COVID-19 crisis, encouraging Pastors to: Go old school, Go new school and Go all out.