19th March 2020
On the 18th March the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church issued the following advice and statement:
Our church expresses its commitment to stand in solidarity with our community, consistent with our understanding that to love our neighbour is a calling of the highest order.
We commit ourselves to supporting Government and public health policy and advice in order to assist in limiting the spread of the pandemic.
After consultation with leaders across the life of the church, Uniting Church congregations across Queensland will cease public worship gatherings effective immediately. We’ll work where possible to implement other means to encourage and enable Queenslanders to continue to support one another practically, and to give expression to their spiritual life.
At Iona West we will be following this directive and working to ensure that the spiritual life of our congregation will continue through this time of upheaval.
What this means is that as of this weekend, the morning and evening services will be suspended.
However, our elders and leadership team will be investigating ways in which we may continue to support and nurture our community, including connecting via telephone, social media and distribution of the Coracle.
During this time of societal change, many people in our communities will be confused, lonely, anxious and frightened, as well as those who are unwell. Through this time, it is important for us to remember our calling as Christians to be people of faith, hope and love. Prayer and care for others should be at the core of what we do, both as individuals and as a church together. Where practical, gathering as small groups in your homes to pray together will help to keep us encouraged and connected.
I encourage you to pray over the following scripture through this time:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
In all circumstances, remember that Jesus is Lord, and that no trials in life can separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ. Turn to him, lean on him, and allow him to lead you through the coming weeks and months as we deal with the pandemic.
God bless you all,
Rev Nathan Barton