Important News About COVID-19

Published: Wednesday, 18 March 2020

You will all be aware of the growing concern about the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community. The medical experts advise us that one of the best things we can do is to slow the rate of infection by practising good hygiene and minimising social contact. This is important for everyone and particularly our older members who may be more severely impacted.

So what does this mean for our church community?

  • We will not be meeting together for worship on Sunday mornings until further notice. We will continue to review the situation based on government and medical advice and will aim to meet together as soon as possible. In the meantime, the pastors are working on online material to support worship at home.
  • Other official gatherings of the ABC community in activities involving more than 10 people such as Hive, Hub, Youth Group, Playgroups and Men’s Breakfasts will also be suspended.
  • Small Groups are encouraged to follow government medical advice when deciding whether to continue meeting in homes. Members are reminded to be particularly diligent about hand washing, food handling and social distancing. If you are not feeling well then stay home.
  • WellSpring will be closed from Wednesday 18th You will find more detail about the closure here.
  • Home visits from pastors will be minimised but they are planning to be active on the phone. The pastoral team will also provide suggestions on how we can care for each other at this time. Feel free to contact the church office by phone or email should you wish to speak with one of the pastors.
  • The church office will remain staffed but our buildings will be closed for other purposes.
  • We will not be able to farewell Gary, Evelyn and the family on 29th March as we had planned. There will be a farewell event but we will have to make another time to do this.

 Please watch this video conversation between Michael Johnson and Tri Nguyen for more information on why we are taking action now. If you would like to read more about the importance of social distancing and enhanced hygiene then read this article.

Other things to keep in mind

  • While we are not able to meet together for a while we are still the church of Jesus in Ashburton. We encourage you to remain spiritually, emotionally and practically engaged with the people and ministries of ABC.
  • Most of our sermons are recorded and published on the ABC website here We are also looking at what other resources can be made available online and these will be here We plan to regularly post new information and resources in the coming weeks.
  • About 20% of our weekly offering is given on Sunday mornings. Please consider making your offering electronically so that we can continue to pay our staff! Our bank details are A/C Name: Ashburton Baptist Church BSB: 013 210 Account: 8605880
  • If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the church office, the pastors or the deacons by phone or email.

We will keep the church informed of any further changes as we adapt to volatile conditions. Our actions are driven by our commitment to love and care for the church family and the wider community. We are called to respond in faith and love to the situation we currently face. Our faith calls us to a realistic view of the world, responsible action to challenge negative conditions and trust in God to enable us to do so. Our faith response and actions should always reflect God’s love and concern for people. If we have to close the church temporarily to serve the community in love, we will not hesitate to do so. It is more important to protect people than our services.

We are facing a totally new situation. We are learning how to respond as we go. Please support and encourage each other as we do so.

The Pastors and Deacons of Ashburton Baptist Church