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2020/3/24
Ministry during COVID-19

In our Assembly Circles of Interest, people have been helpfully sharing resources to assist congregations and individuals during the Coronavirus pandemic. They include helpful resources for conducting ministry online, supporting people in their faith formation remotely and theological and prayerful reflections.

MINISTRY RESOURCES

Liturgy Resources


Online Services:

QLD

A full list of livestreaming congregations in Queensland is available here.

The Queensland Synod has also issued a comprehensive information package.

NSW

Turramurra Uniting Church (contemporary service)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TurramurraUniting/(You'll need to join the group)

live-streams to our open Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/turramurrauniting/

Saltbush
https://www.insights.uca.org.au/virtual-gatherings-make-connection-possible/

NEW Beginnings Uniting Church
https://www.facebook.com/nbu.org.au/- live stream of complete service. For notes on the message checkout https://nbu.org.au/latest-message
for all past messages in both video and audio check out NEW Beginnings Uniting Churches website - https://nbu.org.au/media

Leichhardt Uniting Church is live-streaming from their Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/LeichhardtUC/

Adamstown Uniting Church: is sharing videos related to the weekly readings. This video includes a reading, reflection and song by Heather Price. See their Facebook Page for more.

North Ryde Uniting Church: uploading podcast of sermon https://nrcc.unitingchurch.org.au/?fbclid=IwAR1a_RTF4lQaGTttdsywFF70HNjwu82d78wEl87QSCMENmXK18vP-J_KlsM

Pitt Street Uniting also upload podcasts of their Sunday sermons.
https://pittstreetuniting.org.au/spirit/reflection

VIC

North Balwyn Uniting Church– 10am AEDT (traditional service) – Rev Alistair Pritchard
http://northbalwynunitingchurch.org.au/…/live-stream-of-se…/

Glen Waverley Uniting Church– Sunday 22 March - 9:15am and 11am AEDT (traditional service) – Rev Neil Peters.
On 29 March, Glen Waverley UC will stream one service at 10am.
https://gwuc.org.au/live/

Newtown Uniting Church
https://www.facebook.com/NewtownUniting/

St Michaels Uniting Church is sharing its service on You-Tube
https://youtu.be/3FIod94oLII

WA

The Billabong Uniting Church– 10am (AWST) – Rev Luke Williams
https://thebillabong.churchonline.org/

Busselton Uniting podcasts sermons too
http://www.busseltonuniting.org

SA

COVID-19: Communications and resources
http://createsend.com/t/j-B1AE6F81F9EB08D42540EF23F30FEDED


Multicultural Services

Mascot Wesley Uniting Church (Rev. Jason Kioa)
https://www.facebook.com/mascotwesley.unitingchurch.7/videos

Tonga Parish Media
https://www.facebook.com/tpmuca/

GKI Perth Indonesian congregation
A pre-recorded service will be available via Facebook, Youtube and other media at 10am (WAST) Sunday.
Possible future recording of Sunday School lessons.
https://www.gkiperth.org.au/


By the Well Podcast: produced by Pilgrim Theological College, Senior Lecturer Dr Robyn Whitaker, UCA minister Rev. Fran Barber and a scholarly guest discuss one or more of the lectionary readings, to help preachers prepare or for self-reflection. Existing episodes can be found at www.bythewell.com.au and on all the main podcast platforms.

The Sacrament of Empty Hands: written by Rev. Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, the liturgy follows the pattern for Holy Communion and allows for the absence of consecrated bread and wine/juice, written with the Easter season in mind. Find it here.

Liturgy During a Pandemic
A liturgy designed for use at home from SCM Press by liturgical theologian Porter C. Taylor:
https://scmpress.hymnsam.co.uk/blog/theologyinisolation-a-liturgy-during-a-pandemic-by-porter-c-taylor

The Centre for Music Liturgy and the Arts is developing worship resources for communities to use as congregations are not able to gather together. The first are now online: https://www.cmla.org.au/resources/worship-in-times-of-isolation/

Project Reconnect: A Resource created for small congregations. The resources include a weekly DVD and worship Information sheet. The DVD includes two messages, a short “all-age” and a longer main message, discussion questions, hymns and choruses. Find out more here http://www.projectreconnect.com.au/

Coronavirus Liturgy and Prayer Resources: from the Church of England including prayers about the outbreak, prayers with children, worship at home and prayers if you can’t get to Church.

Home Church Resource: An example of a resource to use for home worship who do not have an online option, prepared by Rev. Jon Humphries for Sunday 22 March.
Download here.


Tips for Doing Church Online

VIC/TAS Synod Step by Step Guide to Livestreaming a Church Service or event is on their website.

New Life Church has posted this 15 min video with simple steps on one way to get online Church happening.

Leichhardt Uniting Church: reflects on their first attempt at live-streaming a service
https://uniting.church/what-is-was-like-to-live-stream-worship/

Gathering when we can't gather: Pulse Officer and Discipling Next Generations Advocate Steve Molkentin shares this reflection and tips for gathering people remotely.
https://www.ucapulse.org.au/2020/03/gathering-when-we-cant-gather-part-1/

Other helpful pages:


Music

Free Music Licence: One License is providing gratis license options valid through April 15, 2020 giving permission to reprint or project music for their congregations from Member Publishers and also to podcast or stream religious services.

Because the Lord’s My Shepherd: Song and music score composed by Rev. David McGregor for Psalm 23, which is in the Lectionary for this Sunday 21 March. Chris McNaught has recorded the vocals.

Click here for the Music: https://www.facebook.com/dmacgreg1/videos/pcb.10157844678954871/10157334835597986/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

Click here for the Score Sheet: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157334836187986&set=pcb.10157844678954871&type=3&theater&ifg=1

See also this post from the Progressive Christian Artists Network on access to streaming music.


Faith Formation Resources

Illustrated Ministry is supporting local congregations and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing free, weekly, faith formation resources for all ages.

https://www.illustratedministry.com/flattenthecurve

Weekly Lenten Studies: Shared by Craig Mitchell on his blog Mountain Masala

Mediacom has made this Sunday's Seasons (Exploring the Bible) material available for free here


IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS

  • Meeting together as a group of 6-10 people for community worship
  • The Contemplative Cottage offers a collection of ideas for checking in on people and connecting one-one-one or in small groups, including setting up prayer partners, sharing the Daily office via text, sending cards via post
  • “Social distancing and social isolation is a great opportunity to reinforce our connectedness when we are not together and to get creative in maintaining community; whilst being scattered. Take the challenge, observe the wise instructions and get creative!”
  • Suggestions for alternative ways to pass the peace:
    • Learn how to say peace in another language, given we have several in our community it may encourage people to learn from each other.
    • Use Auslan, this will help people learn some core Auslan signs.
    • Foot tap, this was a bit of fun, ends up with a couple people doing a jig together, but not great for our older members.
    • Air high five, add sound effects to increase its usability.
    • Hand on chest. See also https://www.pluralguild.com/journal/pass-the-peace-alternative
  • Faith, Wellbeing and Covid-19 - a short article by Rev. Dr Judy Redman on five ways to wellbeing.
    Download here

PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS

NCCA National Day of Prayer: The National Council of Churches in Australia has invited Christians across the nation to offer a prayer every evening until Easter at 7pm, and to make a particular focus of Prayer for the Nations amidst COVID-19 on Sunday week, 29 March 2020. See suggested prayer here:
https://www.ncca.org.au/ncca-newsletter/march-2020-3/item/2050-call-for-unifying-prayer-across-our-nation-for-the-nations
Rev. David McGregor has written this song after a similar call to prayer by Churches in Scotland, with the encouragement to light a candle at 7pm every night.
Vocal, words and video recorded here: https://www.facebook.com/dmacgreg1/videos/pcb.10157360176902986/10157360175272986/?type=3&theater&ifg=1

Loving God, stir up our nation: Prayer shared with audio and visuals by Rev. Michael Barnes, Revesby Uniting Church.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=244626580039212

Toilet Paper Blues: A 5-minute reflection and prayer from Rev. Rod Pattenden, Adamstown Uniting Church on toilet paper shortages – “We thank you God that you provide us with what we need.” https://vimeo.com/397871432

Reflection on community in the midst of a pandemic: a theological reflection by Rev. Dr John Squires on how we be Church in the midst of a crisis.
https://johntsquires.com/2020/03/15/when-you-come-together-reflections-on-community-in-the-midst-of-a-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR12z-xY6YLwZdckisNhzejwXJVyKbxeTHs1XG90oxAYiIGlXJgXJw8fdOA

Certainty in uncertain Times: Reflection and Prayer from Ravenswood School Chaplain Rev. Jon Humphries:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/growinginfaithuca/permalink/1280841815442499/

A Call to Worship for Dispersed People: Prayer from Craig Mitchell
https://www.facebook.com/groups/PrayersThatUnite/

Prayer for those affected by Coronavirus in Australia and the World: Written by Rev Enshuo Zhu, Rev Dr Ji Zhang; Translated by Rev Dr Ji Zhang. On behalf of Chinese National Conference of Uniting Church in Australia
Download Here

Pastoral Letter from World Council of Churches:
Download Here

Dispersed Community - Prayers, Psalms and Reflections - Rev. Dr Amelia Koh Butler is continually updating her blog Hyphenated Faith with prayers, psalms and reflections, including for those experiencing grief, isolation, for children, for loved ones who are in aged care and more.

A Prayer for Dispersal by Rev. Ann Perrin
Ever-living, ever-present God,
You are with us.
We come before you this day
knowing we’re are to be dispersed,
sent out into your world
to be your church in new ways.

If we are resistant to this change Lord,
hear our prayer of confession
and bless us with forgiveness,
patience and resilience
for we are committed to care for each other as we care for ourselves.

So help us to discover new ways to share
why we live our lives committed to sharing the promises of the gospel.

During this time of upheaval, we will remember those whose groups who meet in our buildings
that are not longer available to them
and the new ways they will need to be community.

We remember planned baptisms and weddings
And pray times for rejoicing will not be too far away.

We remember those for who this time is one of uncertainty and challenge
those who now live with fear and in isolation.
and those for whom this time is one of anguish and death.
Hold all those in need of your love at this time.

Holy God, you encourage us when doubtful to draw closer to you.
Allow us to recognise your Holy Spirit as our guide, comforter, and companion.

And so with the hope you instill in us
and when the time time is right and this season of our church is over
we will return as your gathered community
with the joy of Easter Day,
celebrating our resilience, knowing our communities are stronger then ever
to continue your work to help build a flourishing world where ever we find ourselves.

Amen


* To keep informed of other resources being shared, you can join the Transforming Worship Circle. Please note you will be asked two questions you need to respond to before your request to join is accepted.

Source - UCC


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