Pastoral Letter to the Congregation – Reopening after Lockdown
I am writing during a tumultuous time as we approach reopening. There is heightened emotion in our community, many people are concerned and anxious. I am aware of unvaccinated people beginning to feel like outcasts and those at most risk from COVID-19 feeling very vulnerable. God’s love for the world and Christ’s command to love our neighbours as ourselves call us to protect the vulnerable while also safely welcoming all people regardless of vaccination status. There is no perfect way of doing this so that everyone is included at all times. However, under the health constraints we face, we seek to be the Body of Christ with grace and sensitivity, including everyone in some way at some time.
Plans are currently being made by Church Council and our Worship, Pastoral Care and Olive Way committees in consultation with the wider councils of the church. We plan to continue to love one another as Christ’s people and worship God together through a mixture of gathered worship for the vaccinated, ongoing online offerings and smaller alternative in-person events for groups with mixed vaccination status. We are exploring ways to offer Holy Communion so that no-one is excluded from Christ’s table. A detailed plan will be released in the next week or so.
In the meantime, vaccination certificates will be required for many aspects of life when we open up. If you are vaccinated, you can view and print your certificate on MyGov or download a digital copy. You can also link your certificate to the Services Victoria app which will streamline the checkin process at many venues including church. Instructions
Printed Immunisation History Statements can be ordered by calling Services Australia on 1800 653 809. They can take up to 14 days to arrive in the post. If you need help with any of this please contact our Pastoral Care Compassion Team (via Gwen 0413 047 938 or Ian 0438 547 842)
If you have chosen not to be vaccinated or don’t wish to share your vaccination status, you are no less a beloved part of our community. Please reach out to us so that can hear your needs and help you connect with us.
May God bless you through this ongoing ordeal.
Peace be with you.
Rev Ian Ferguson
Brunswick Uniting Church
on Wurundjeri-Woiwurrung Country