Cnr Canning Hwy & Fortescue St, East Fremantle | Sat. 5pm & Sun. 10am

Loving God, Loving Each Other, Loving the World

Important Coronavirus Update

Dear church family,

As many of you may have heard, the Australian Government has recently increased their restrictions on public gatherings by limiting them to 100 people. While each of our church services technically fall just below this boundary, the church Council has unanimously agreed to suspend our services and all mid-week church ministries, including Playgroup, the ladies craft group and Friday night youth group. Initially, our ministries will be suspended for a period of 2 weeks and then we will review this going forward. We continue to receive valuable support and helpful advice from BCWA and will keep you informed of any further developments.

This decision comes into effect immediately, meaning that our services this weekend on March 21-22 will not run. Please understand that our overwhelming motivation for making this decision is to love, care and respect our people, particularly the more vulnerable in our community.

What does this mean for us?
It is important in times like these that we remember that the church is not a building or a worship service, but it is the people of God who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. To this end, the only thing that changes for us right now is that we will not be meeting face to face as the gathered body of Christ. We continue to be the people of God in our homes, our communities and our workplaces; we continue to be salt and light in this world and we continue to be Christ’s ambassadors in uncertain times. I would also like to say that we continue to be the people of East Freo Church wherever we might be. In these times, I encourage you to pursue your faith in the Lord through daily reading his Word, through consistent prayer, and through following Christ’s lead in taking up your cross and serving God.

What does this mean for small groups?
If you are currently leading a small group that meets outside the church building, we are happy for you to make the decision on whether to continue to meet or not. Please contact the church office if you are in this position and would like advice.

What does this mean for Stepping Stones?
Consistent with the approach being taken for schools, Stepping Stones Child Development Centre will continue to operate as per normal but with additional control measures in place. The Board of Stepping Stones will continue to provide support to Nikki Payne, the Director of the Child Development Centre.

What will change going forward?
The church leadership team is working hard to provide an alternative form of worship service that everyone can engage in. We remain committed to providing pastoral care for those in need, prayer and practical support, helpful resources that you can use in your home for your whole family, and a discipleship plan that will continue to challenge each of us to be transformed more into the likeness of Christ. If you have any specific needs, please contact the church office and we will do what we can to provide support. Please look out for more information through our weekly news, email updates and website (www.eastfreo.church).

A personal note
I would also like you to be aware that I have been a bit unwell the last few days with a type of virus. Having not been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 I am unable to be tested for it, however, my doctor considers it unlikely to be COVID-19. I want you to know that I am resting at home and recovering well. As I’ve been reading and studying through Mark 11 this week, I have been reminded afresh of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. One aspect of his character that is particularly meaningful at this time is that he is our great High Priest. I pray that these words from Hebrews 4 will encourage you as we work through these challenging times together:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-15

May we hold firmly to the faith we profess.
May we find grace to help us in our time of need.

Please feel welcome to contact me directly on this email address or call the church office on 9339 2610.

Blessings in Christ,
Ray.

Note: For further and up-to-date information, please visit the Australian Government Health Department on
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert