Dear Friends in Christ,
These are truly times when we must rest in the peace of God. As you know, the situation in our communities (and the whole world) is changing almost by the hour. This first online edition of the Grapevine was compiled on Friday, March 20 and contains the latest advice that we have for how to continue our mission in Christ.
As we move forward, day by day, please know that you are all in my prayers. If you have any concerns, or just need someone to talk to, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Services and Liturgies
Church services at Ballan and Bungaree will continue as scheduled until further notice. The 5th Sunday service on March 29 will be at Ballan at 9:30 am (not Bungaree). Services at Morrisons are suspended until further notice.
If you are in a high-risk group, then I suggest not attending any gathering as per government guidelines.
If you have a fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing or shortness of breath, please refrain from attending church and consider if you need to seek medical attention.
Please ensure you wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds in the absence of hand sanitiser.
Please refrain from personal contact, including hugging or shaking hands. The Greeting of the Peace will be omitted from all services.
Holy Communion will be offered by bread alone until further notice. The benefits of the Eucharist are not diminished by receiving the bread alone.
Morning tea is suspended until further notice.
Keeping in touch
As we become more isolated, please make sure you call someone every day. Keep an eye on your neighbours. Support each other and be mindful of your own mental health.
St John’s Ballan
Unless otherwise notified, the doors of St John’s Ballan will always be open 24/7. Copies of the Daily Prayer Book (see below) will be in the church. Hand Sanitiser will be available at the entrance. If you need a place of peace and prayer, feel free to use the church.
As noted overleaf, services will continue until we are informed otherwise. If there is any change to Sunday, March 29 and beyond, a text message, email and phone calls will be made.
The Parish will still incur expenses if services are suspended. If you have the capacity, making your offering by direct debit (online banking) will help enormously. Thank you.
BSB: 633 000 (Bendigo Bank)
Account: 152 599 395
Include your church name in details. You do not have to put your name in the details.
For your Prayers
Please keep the following all people, churches and communities in your prayers this week:
Pray for everyone is isolation or hospital with the Coronavirus.
Pray for our Bishop, Garry, and all in religious and civil leadership
Pray for everyone working in healthcare and emergency services.
Pray for everyone in our Parish who are isolated or alone. For the residents of Ballan Aged Care.
Pray for the vulnerable and impoverished members of our communities.
A Prayer for those affected by Caronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In preparation for the possible suspension of services, and for those already in isolation, a daily prayer resource has been printed for everyone in the Parish. Take a copy home for everyone or pick it up from the Welcome Table at St John's Ballan. Use it as and how you need to. It is chock full of good prayers for this situation, including prayers for use with Children.