Virtual Worship and Personal Reflection: Sunday, 9th August 2020

As we continue to observe physically distance during this unforseen time, we encourage you to take time for your own personal or family reflection this Sunday or join one (or more) of the many online Services of Worship tomorrow morning.

Shepparton Uniting Church will be uploading our pre-recorded Worship Video tomorrow and we will place a link online as soon as it becomes available. Until then all our recorded Worship Services can be found on our YouTube page.

One of the online Worship Live streams we recommend is Glen Waverley Uniting Church. Their virtual worship begins at 10:00am. Tune in 5 minutes before. Their website and live stream can be found here:

If Virtual Worship is something you’re not sure about, feel free to use the following resource created by one of our Ministers. Download it here: Pentecost 10: Sunday 9th August 2020.

Keep checking back and click on the following links for continued information and resources during this unknown time of Church Closures:

COVID-19 Update: 6th August 2020

With the reinstalation of stage 3 restictions for regional Victoria and the instalation of stage 4 restrictions in metro Victoria we acknowlege it brings pain and hardship for many.

In Regional Victoria, the Stage 3 restriction means that we must stay home except for the following reasons: For food and essential supplies, for study or work, for care and healthcare, for exercise or outdoor recreation.

Unfortanatly many of our gatherings at Shepparton Uniting Church had not started back since the introduction of restrictions on March 2020 and with the the return of stage 3 our small group gatherings are now to stop once again.

As a reminder following the above directive from State government all gatherings at the Shepparton Uniting Church will cease from 11:59pm Wednesday 6th of August. This includes the stopping of session times to drop in pastoral and prayer sessions with our ministers during the week

We know this is a difficult time for many and a time when people turn to their faith and church for support.

Please remember this is a time of physical distancing we can still be social. Keep in touch with each other and others within the congregation and community by phone, email or even by letter writing! And check the Shepparton Uniting Church Facebook page to see yesterday’s service and future online events.

The following is a Pastoral Letter from Rev. Loni about these latest restricions (for a prinable version please click here):

Pastoral Letter to the members and friends of the Shepparton Uniting and Shepparton Rural Congregations regarding the latest restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

6th August 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all in this time of pandemic.

I write to you with a degree of sadness knowing that for many the restrictions brings pain and hardship.

In Regional Victoria, the Stage 3 restriction means that we must stay home except for the following reasons: For food and essential supplies, for study or work, for care and healthcare, for exercise or outdoor recreation.

When outside your home, you must wear a face covering and no visitors are allowed at home. You are only allowed to gather with one other person from outside your household in public.[1]

As you know, we have done our best to maintain the availability of our Sunday worship services through our Shepparton Uniting Church web page, letter drops and social media. That will continue but the church will be closed even for private prayers starting on Monday 10th August.

Pastoral care of the sick, frail elderly and shut-in should as far as possible be undertaken by the minister(s) and in accordance with the current public health advice. We would endeavour to follow with precautions the recommendations by the health authorities when visiting aged care facilities, hospitals and private homes.

The pandemic has challenged the whole church and her ministers to apply pastoral creativity and prudence so as to ensure that our caring increases rather than decreases in this time of crisis.

Please be assured that I am available for emergencies and my contact number is provided at the end of this letter.

I urge you my brothers and sisters to keep praying for one another, telephone or text others to see how they are faring and pass on to me any request for help or assistance.

I will continue to entrust you in prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ whom we turn to in this time of distress. May Christ continue to bring comfort to those who mourn, eternal rest to those have passed and heal all who are not well.

Yours truly,

Rev Loni Vaitohi

(Your servant in Christ)