Coronavirus email #7: Starting back with 3 services

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the ‘Roadmap to the new normal’ was released by the NT Government, outlining a 3-stage relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions. At the time we made the decision to wait until the guidelines for stage 3 were released, in the hope that we might be able to return to meeting physically in 2 services, at 9am and 5pm.

Unfortunately, ongoing physical distancing requirements mean we have too many people at St Peter’s to continue to meet in 2 services. This is true no matter how we arrange the seats (including more or less conservatively to allow for household groups) and it is true even allowing for overflow spaces at church. After extensive thought, prayer and discussion we have come to the conclusion that there is no way around it, and so from the 7th of June we will begin meeting in 3 services. 

Ordinarily if we made such a change there would be time to grieve what is left behind, as well as embrace what lies ahead. Unfortunately, we are hindered from properly farewelling our 2 gatherings for the same reason that we are hindered from continuing to meet in them: size. While our size is an extraordinary blessing from the Lord, it is also the reason we must undergo even more change as we return to physical gatherings. We hope you will recognise and mark this transition, allowing yourself time to feel grief, as well as opportunity.

After discussing the matter at Parish Council last night, we decided our 3 services will meet at 8.30am, 10.30am and 4.30pm. Changing the time of all 3 services (rather than adding an extra timeslot to our current 2) recognises this as a new beginning for everyone, as each service will be different to what we have offered in the past. 

We would like you to prayerfully consider which service to join and indicate your preference by filling in this simple survey. Once we have received sufficient replies, we will confirm with you which service we expect to see you at, before 7 June. 

You may have a number of questions and/or concerns, and rather than address them in the body of this email, we refer you our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

It is our hope that St Peter’s will continue to be a special church family, made up of people of different ages and stages and cultural backgrounds and giftings. We are excited to physically gather as God’s people, around his word, and encourage each other in Jesus. We will be praying for you as you digest this news, grieve what is past and look forward to the future. 

Love in Christ,

Joshua, Laura and Jenny