As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened in many countries and is causing a lot of concern. We do not know what the future situation will be. We are praying that the Lord will bring about a control of the situation soon. A few days ago, our Victorian Premier, Mr Daniel Andrews, has had to declare an emergency in Victoria. Since then, more stringent measures on restrictions of outdoor and indoor gatherings with specifications of social distancing were announced by the Prime Minister. The breaching of some of these laws may incur fines of thousands of dollars.

Many organisations, churches and businesses have had to either suspend their activities or cut down their operations. To follow the laws, we, at ECCI, have to temporarily suspend our Sunday services and other activities.

What do we do next and what are our plans for the immediate future? We hope that we will all co-operate to continue our ministry though in a restricted way. Let us outline some of our tentative plans:

1. For the next few weeks, our web-site will carry short weekly audio sermons by the preaching team of the church.
2. As part of our pastoral care, we shall be communicating with our members by phone.
3. We will review this situation after a number of weeks and may change our format of presentations.
4. When the situation improves, we hope to meet in small groups of 10 or less people (of course, observing the required measures) so that we can do some worship, Bible Studies and prayer.

At the meantime, let us pray:

1. that this pandemic will be brought under control soon;
2. for the protection of all of us, young and old; that none will suffer the dire consequences of the pandemic;
3. that God grants our Prime Minister, the Hon Mr Scott Morrison, and the Victorian Premier Hon Mr Daniel Andrews wisdom to know how to manage the affairs of the nation and state. The economic prediction is that the world is heading towards a deep recession, seemingly a destruction of world economy.
4. that our community and our members will be spared the adverse social impacts;
5. that God protects and provides for the vulnerable, e.g. the senior citizens, the jobless and the homeless; and
6. that more will come to the grace and knowledge of Jesus as time of Christ’s return is drawing closer each day (Matthew 24).

Finally, may God be with us and bless us. Please follow the rules set by the authorities and take care. Also, to follow future church events and developments, please watch this space.

The Pastoral Team.