“Fast is better than perfect”
While COVID-19 has proven to be a challenge for churches unable to meet, Bathurst Uniting Church has rapidly responded, rolling out pastoral care and worship resources.
Rev. Claire Wright said in a recent Presbytery newsletter that Bathurst Uniting Church was adapting to the challenge of how to continue connecting members of their community.
“Our mission statement is: ‘Sharing the love of God by connecting people to God; connecting people to people; and connecting people to community.’ That’s been a challenge, lately,” she wrote.
“But arguably, it’s more important than ever – and we’re gradually finding technical, creative and personal resources to try and do it in new ways. The WHO, speaking of its response to COVID-19, said: ‘Fast is better than perfect.’ Good advice.”
Bathurst Uniting Church’s first response to COVID-19 was to form a small Coronavirus Response Team, so as to act and communicate in response to swiftly-changing guidance and circumstances.
The church also has a Pastoral Care Group to co-ordinate
regular phone contacts, and a Welfare Group to do IT set-up, tuition and
support, deliveries, and general helps – including cooking a freezer-full of
meals for at-need households and the homeless.
The Kids and Families team delivered Activity and care packs to 26 families. The Aged Care team delivered Outreach Cards (a ‘we are still here for you’ message, with contact details) and took Easter worship services (filmed on phones, delivered on USB sticks) to local Aged Care facilites.
The church has also prepared weekly worship resources (including full Sunday services on video) and posted these online each week. They have also delivered USB sticks, DVDs, and print copies to those who need them.
“We’ve had ‘views’ of our services from all over the world – including Iceland! – which means that our Sunday ‘attendance’ is actually up a little,” Rev. Wright wrote.
“While we recognise that the most difficult period may be yet to come, as self-isolation begins more seriously to impact people’s mental and physical health, we are – for now – in good heart. After all, Christ is risen: He is risen indeed.”
For more information, and to access Bathurst Uniting Church’s worship resources, visit their official website here.