Bathurst’s “Ministry is for everyone” Conference to be in new format due to COVID

The Diocese of Bathurst’s “Ministry is for everyone” Diocesan Conference has had to be reconfigured due to the COVID-19 restrictions now in force.

In the video above, Bishop Mark Calder explains that they’ll be running all the elements of the conference online, over seven Monday afternoons and evenings, beginning Monday 2nd August.

And do pray for the churches of Bathurst Diocese, pray that this conference now might be a blessing to even more people.

Sydney Synod 2021 postponed

Due to the uncertainties of the current COVID outbreak, Archbishop of Sydney Kanishka Raffel has postponed the forthcoming session of the Synod which was to have to commenced on 6th September.

At this time a new date has not been decided. However elections to boards, councils and committees will continue as planned.

Cling to God, care for each other

“We were hoping COVID lockdown wouldn’t happen again in NSW but, once the cases kept coming, it was not surprising when the Premier extended the stay-at-home order yesterday for Greater Sydney.

Just like 2020, our work and life patterns have been mucked up. And, just like 2020, anxiety and depression have reasserted themselves in the lives of many people – if they ever went away.

‘For people who have still not recovered from last year, this has pushed all sorts of buttons,’ says the Rev Dr Keith Condie, co-director of the Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute and Mary Andrews College. …”

Encouragement amidst COVID restrictions from Judy Adamson at SydneyAnglicans.net.

The lockdown challenge and emotional wellbeing

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Anxiety, social isolation, loneliness, defeat & loss of agency… in this lockdown period. The research shows this is especially a problem for young adults but for all us as well.

Mike Sheedy is the Head of Mental Health and Trinette Stanley is Family & Life Skills Educator with Anglicare. What can we as pastors do to help our staff, members and the broader community?”

Watch or listen here.

COVID rules for NSW churches — exemption issued, though not necessary

“Following on from my recent post outlining COVID-19 restrictions that will impact NSW churches, the NSW Health Minister has now issued an exemption under the Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021 (the “TMGR Order”), cl 25, dealing with singing in live-streamed services and in places of public worship outside Greater Sydney (where gathering for church in limited numbers and with face masks is still permitted). The Minister is to be commended for responding to concerns that have been raised by advice given by officials of his Department to some churches …”

– Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle, welcomes the clarification given by the Health Minister.

See also:

Can Sydney churches sing in livestream services this Sunday? – The Pastor’s Heart.

GAFCON Chairman’s Pastoral Letter July 2021

“Every day we are challenged with troubling news from around the world. Of late, there is a further complication from the global pandemic. There is a mutation to COVID-19 called “Variation D.” In addition, some regions are having a much higher mortality rate than others.

Archbishop Laurent Mbanda has shared that a rise in cases has led to a new lockdown in Rwanda. Western Kenya and parts of Uganda are also being hit very hard. Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba reports that Uganda is in the midst of a 42-day total lockdown. …”

– GAFCON Primates Council Chairman Archbishop Foley Beach shares his pastoral letter to members of the GAFCON family for July 2021.

Encouragement from the Archbishop

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has recorded this message of encouragement for churches.

via SydneyAnglicans.net

Now, it’s a total lockdown

“With just hours before Sunday church services, Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast have been thrown into a lockdown.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Central Coast will enter a two-week lockdown as of 6:00pm on the 26th June. …”

The latest from SydneyAnglicans.net, including links to find churches with online services.

Common Prayer for Homes might be a great help for you

With many unable to meet for church at the moment, you might find Common Prayer for Homes, released last year, to be a great help.

Last year we spoke with Dr Mark Earngey at Moore College about the rationale behind this resource.

‘Hopeless or Hopeful…?’

“Over the last seventeen months millions have watched helplessly as loved ones have died from Covid-19.

For many there has been no comfort or hope.

In recent times our culture has made a habit of setting aside the wisdom of the past, and especially the wisdom of the Bible. But, as we touched on last week, when we are facing catastrophe and are confronted with the realities of the human experience, the words of the Bible come through with immense power and wisdom, truth and compassion. For here there is comfort for the broken-hearted and hope for the bereaved. …”

– John Mason at the Anglican Connection in North America continues to post help editions of Word on Wednesday. In the latest, his topic is ‘Hopeless or Hopeful…?’.

Listen or read here.

Restrictions back, congregational singing out

“Churches are back to the four square metre rule and singing by congregations is now longer allowed, according to new restrictions in force from June 23 for one week. …”

– The latest from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Update on restrictions as of 18th June 2021

SydneyAnglicans.net’s COVID page has the latest recommendations as of 18th June 2021.

Avoiding “long COVID” in our churches

“For some people, the impact of the COVID-19 virus can last weeks or even months after they have been infected. These ongoing symptoms are known as ‘long COVID’.

Despite its title, this article is not about medical long COVID. Rather, I am using long COVID as a metaphor for the ongoing disruption to our churches caused by COVID-19. …”

– Bishop Michael Stead writes with some key encouragements for churches – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

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