Pastors from around Victoria met together on ZOOM to discuss the implications of the recommendation from the Victorian Conference and the AUC that all churches shut their doors until the end of April. This decision will have far reaching and, in some instances, unanticipated effects. But by discussing these issues, our church family can be better prepared.
Our Church made this call after considering Government requirements, best practice in Adventist churches in other countries that are ahead of Australia in dealing with Covid-19 and the growing community expectations across Australia.
The decision was not driven by fear nor a lack of faith. Pr Christian reminded everyone of Ellen White’s quote where she wrote, “Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so. But God did not regard their prayers, because their faith was not made perfect by works. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health” (The Review and Herald, April 2, 1914).
Clearly we shouldn’t expect God to work a miracle if we are not taking natural precautions and caring for our health. “We trust in God as we always have – and now even more,” Pr Christian said. “This is not a lack of faith.”
As a church family, let’s unite together and proactively find ways to continue to provide a sense of community and care for our church members and friends. Let’s find ways that even the elderly, who will be suffering the most with the need for isolation, will be able to worship and still feel a part of their church families. Let’s get creative in sharing the blessings God has given us with each other while minimising the risk of spreading the virus. Let’s look beyond our own boundaries, overcoming fear to reach out in safe ways. Be imaginative and maximise our impact to those around us who are vulnerable. So that they may know they are loved.
And let’s look to the future.
Don’t let Satan win. Keep our church families strong. Do not live in fear. Reach out and help. God is in control.
Let your faith be contagious!
IntraVic Editorial Team