Saturday, March 14, 2020

Updates for 2020


Saturday, 14 March 2020
Rev Johnny Chin

Dear fellow brothers and sisters in Christ,
Re: COVID-19 Pandemic: St. Andrew’s Church Temporary Measures
Greeting in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God who is Shepherd and Protector, gracious Giver of joy, peace and hope, the God who is alive and who is ever present with us.

So many things have happened in the last one week.  You have probably have received my  earlier announcement that we will have services this Sunday (15 March 2020) and thereafter, we will have to temporarily suspend our services for 2-3 Sundays.  That decision was made with huge difficulty by our Church Council and Bishop’s approval on Friday afternoon, 13 March 2020.  This was not done lightly or without prayer.

Since then we have our Ministry of Health (Brunei) making a few announcements, including the instruction to have all public and mass gatherings to be cancelled for the time being.  We are fully aware of what this mean and the seriousness of the announcement.  Follow by that is the announcement from our own Bishop, The Rt. Revd. Datuk Danald Jute, “… we have decided to temporarily suspend our Sunday & Weekdays Church Services effective this Sunday, 15th March – 1st April 2020.”  Bishop also stress that “this is only a temporary measure.”  This is in reference to all parishes in our diocese.

As of today, 14 March 2020, we continue to receive genuine questions and concerns from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, not limited to St. Andrew’s Church.  We have been receiving new updates of the challenging situation.  Our Church Council has continued to discuss and pray through this matter.

After much listening (to one another) and prayer I am here to announce another difficult decision, that we are also suspending our Sunday services for this Sunday, 15 March 2020.   I am aware many of you are looking forward to worshipping together for one last Sunday before the temporarily suspension and much efforts have been poured into the preparation of the worship services, including the precautionary health measures.  We really appreciate it.  We sense this is the most responsible action for the time being.  As in my last letter, this is for “our community containment of COVID-19 and to protect members of SAC … This period will also allow symptoms in the people infected to become clear and allow the authorities to contain this challenge.”  We hope for your understanding and trust of the leadership of St. Andrew’s Church.

What are we doing for the next few weeks to stay connected?  We want the church to stay connected, to encourage and build one another (1 Thess. 5:11) and pray for one another.  These are the following ways to stay connected and the steps you can take :
1.       Through St. Andrew’s Church website
-          You can visit our website at http://www.sacbrunei.org/ to find the recorded sermons and important notices.
2.       Through St. Andrew’s Church facebook account and page
-          If you have a Facebook account, log in and search for us Brunei Saint Andrews Parish / https://www.facebook.com/st.andrews.parish.bsb and send us a friend request. We would be uploading recorded sermons and putting up important notices here.
-          Alternatively, you can also like our Facebook Page, St Andrew’s Church BSB / https://www.facebook.com/standrewschurchbsb/ which you can also find on our Facebook page.
3.       Through St. Andrew’s Whatsapp Broadcast
-          Whatsapp us at +673 820 6850 and say “Hello, I am ________ and I am from ______ congregation. I would like to join the SAC Broadcast group.” Then the Church Office staff will do the necessary. Remember, you would need to whatsapp us first so we can add you in the broadcast group as we have previously encountered members who did not receive our broadcast messages.
Should you need any help with the above, do not hesitate to whatsapp us on +673 820 6850.  Please stay connected with us.
(Disclaimer: Please note that these social media sites are closed accounts only for St. Andrew’s Church members and if you require further information, please contact our church office.)

Through all these social media platforms the church can stay connected and the pastors can continue to provide pastoral care and provide spiritual feeding and support at such times.  You will find on these platforms the following items:
1.       Sermon from St. Andrew’s Church
2.       Daily devotion from St. Andrew’s Church based on our ‘Read the Bible’ guide.
3.       Material for Family Altar
4.       Notices and Announcement
5.       Others
Let us continue to be present to God and experience His presence and power, that we can be present to others, bringing peace, joy and hope to them.  Let us experience the life in God. 

Serving Christ with Joy,
Rev. Johnny Chin
(Vicar of St. Andrew’s Church)