On Thursday 12 August the ACT Government announced a snap seven-day lockdown, with the recording of three COVID-19 cases in Canberra. This lockdown has been extended until at least the 15th October. While it’s not surprising, we’d all hoped that this wasn’t going to happen.
There’s information about what’s happening at Immanuel below, but first…
The restrictions mean a change in routine and disruption. It’s important for all of us to be reminded that God loves us unconditionally: God does not value you more or less depending on how well you handle lockdown. Whether you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, anxious, or relaxed at the chance to stay home, nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).
Gathering for Worship
This Sunday we’ll gather in our homes to worship together via Livestream as we did last year. The livestream will begin at 10am AEST, and you can access it via Immanuel’s YouTube page or at woden.lutheran.org.au/livestream. There’ll be hymns and songs, an interactive kid’s time, prayers and a message.
Reminders of God’s love
In this time of disruption, you might find it helpful to build some patterns into your day to be reminded of God’s love. You could:
- Just breathe. Take 5 or 10 minutes to pray and be with God at the beginning and end of the day.
- Be reminded of God’s promises in scripture. You could pray through Psalm 40, Psalm 121, or Psalm 139, or you could reflect on Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30 or God’s promise in Romans 8:31-39.
- Put a piece of paper on your desk or kitchen table and write down things you are thankful for. You can add to this throughout the day, and spend some time with your family or by yourself thanking God for his good gifts.
- Put a piece of paper on your desk or kitchen table and write down things you are anxious, upset or frustrated about. Remember that it’s okay to grieve; bring those feelings before the God who cares deeply about you. You can add to this list throughout the day, and pray for these things as well. At the end of the day, you might tear this list up and put it in the bin to symbolise that you don’t need to be trapped by those feelings.
- The LCA has more faith at home material for families available here.
If you need pastoral support, or just want to talk to someone you’re welcome to contact Pastor Tim (0490 765 061 – not on Fridays) or Jacob (0416 708 470 – not on Wednesdays). And if you or someone you know is not coping with mental health, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 (more mental health resources can be found here).
One of the joys of being God’s church at a time like this is that we are able to remind others around us of God’s love. You might check in on a neighbour or friend to see how they’re doing, especially if they live alone. You could offer to pray for them, or do grocery shopping for someone who’s vulnerable.
Other events at Immanuel
Unfortunately the lockdown means that several events are being postponed or cancelled:
- Living Faith in Canberra – session 3 postponed (details TBC)
- Candle Light Prayer Service – cancelled until further notice
- Blokes’ Breakfast (Wednesday 6.30am) – cancelled for this week. Now meeting online.
- Thursday Morning Fellowship – cancelled until further notice
- Ladies Night Out – postponed (details TBC)
- Garage Sale – postponed (details TBC)
The office will not be open regular hours as Hannah will be working from home. You can still contact her at email@example.com and messages on the office phone will be checked regularly.
There will be further updates when we know more about the lockdown, and what restrictions will be in place for in-person gatherings.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.