With the rapidly evolving situation around the world in relation to Covid-19, we felt it was important to continue to share our current thinking about how we respond as a church. Check this page for updates as we navigate this time.
LATEST Update: 4.30 Pm, 8 JUNE 2020
It is with much excitement that after so long, we are now able to reopen for onsite services this coming Sunday (14th June). Under Level 1 (which commences midnight tonight), we are able to gather without size restrictions and with confidence. It has been a pleasure to see many from our Small Groups in the last two weeks.
What does all this mean for us all?
With much joy we will recommence this weekend with all three services: 9 am, 11 am and 6 pm. (Please note the night church time has moved from 6.30 pm based on feedback that a 6 pm time tends to work best for most night-church gatherers).
We are so thrilled to be able to worship together and will have communion stations available at each service. You will be able to take this in your own time, before, during or after the service from these tables. A host will help you with this.
There will also be offering stations available at the door (rather than collecting during the service). Alternatively, you may wish to set up regular giving online through our bank account at 12 3110 0090469 00 or other ways of giving. Please include your giving number or name if you wish to claim a tax receipt.
Children and Families
To make the transition back to their spaces smoother for our children and families, we ask that all Kidspace kids be signed in at the foyer and taken straight upstairs to their environments. We will do this for the next few weeks to help get them settled with us again. Our hosts with orange T-shirts will be able to help you.
We are also including a short Family Experience five minutes after the finish of the auditorium service. Families will be able to be together in room 6 to share in this 15-minute fun time together around the teaching theme. We hear that you have all enjoyed being together for these times at home and wish to continue them while back on-site. This is for all children of all ages. Bring your picnic rug if you like!
[Important note: As this is a family experience, we cannot accommodate children who are not there with a caregiver. So if you choose not to participate, please ensure children are collected by someone over 18 before the Family Experience begins.]
As much as we are all encouraged in our faith by being together, we know that for many reasons coming out on-site will not be feasible for some for the next while. Staying home if unwell is VITAL in this current season so will be providing an online service for those who require it during the 11 am service. You can continue to access this from our website or our Facebook page.
Need help? Wish to give help?
Recent times have made us more keenly aware that we are a community. We are also keenly aware that there is a changing landscape for many people.
As a church, we have a number of ways to help: including a list of professional counsellors (through Greenlane Care), Job Club, a budgeting course, our CAP debt centre, Alpha Marriage, and our prayer team.
We are also forming partnerships with groups throughout our city at this time to assist where needed. If you need help or can give help to others, please let us know.
LATEST Update: 8 Am, 27 May 2020
Two months ago we were preparing ourselves for lockdown. Now, as we move towards level 1, I am celebrating God’s goodness and faithfulness. Some of our most effective ministries have occurred during this season as God has brought people to faith (who would never have stepped foot on church premises), caused families to blossom, connected people together, and nurtured spiritual growth. Only God could take problems and turn them into possibilities.
What does the news about the changes in level 2 mean for Greenlane Christian Centre over these next few weeks?
Our online services will continue for the duration of level 2. We will return to onsite services the first Sunday into level 1 (likely 28th June) once we are allowed to gather to 500.
However, to celebrate that we are moving quickly towards being able to gather again we will be opening our church building this Sunday for all three service times should members of our Small Groups wish to watch the online services together. If you are a member of a Small Group your leaders will be contacting you this week to provide details. It is essential that only those registered with their Small Group leaders come onsite.
After this weekend, and for the Sundays of the 7th June, 14th June, and 21st June, we want to extend this invitation to enable others not already connected to a group to meet with others on-site to watch the online services. It’s a great way to meet new people, especially as the groups will be kept small. We’ll be in touch early next week to let you know how you can register your place for this.
As a staff, we considered the option of holding more than three live services on the upcoming Sundays under level 2, but we decided that we wanted to continue providing a good online service for those who may still feel medically vulnerable at this stage.
Additionally, we wanted to channel our efforts into preparing for the needs that have arisen and will arise in our church and city due to the pandemic.
We will stagger the restart of various ministries. We will begin with the demographic that has the best health profile in light of COVID – our young people. Youth and Mania will be meeting in small groups at church beginning this Friday. Young Adults will begin meeting on-site next week as per their normal rhythm. The dates and details for other ministries will be communicated on our website and social media once they are confirmed.
We’ve loved having online daily devotions and lounge worship for levels 3 and 4. But, we’re now moving into a new season. Many thanks to those of you who participated in this, we have so appreciated hearing what the Lord has been speaking to each of you.
Now is also a crucial time to meet the growing needs in our church and city. I am so thankful for the ministries which are already gearing up – including Job Club, budgeting help, Alpha Marriage, Greenlane Care Counsellors, CAP Debt Centre, and our growing partnership with homeless shelters, and food banks.
If you need help or want to give help to others, please let us know through the website. Or give us a call.
UPDATE: 6 pm, 23 April 2020
Heading into our lockdown we advocated for a rhythm to help us stay connected and allow the Spirit to use this time to forge greater renewal in our lives.
Let me update you on that rhythm and some changes we’re making to it.
Our online services will continue at 9 am, 11 am, and 6.30 pm. Our Church Online platform has online hosts, live prayer, and available sub-titles. This Sunday, we’re kicking off a new series called ‘unknown’ looking at men and women from the Bible who faced the difficulties and felt the fear–yet were able to rise above the challenge with faith, hope, and love. It will provide us with help to step into the unknown with confidence.
In addition to streaming these services through our website, we are experimenting with an additional platform from this weekend on Facebook to host our 11 am services (so that our 11 am service would be available on Church Online and Facebook). The benefit of this is that once you share the feed, your friends are able to immediately see the live service feed providing a wonderful opportunity to spark their curiosity.
Family and Kids
Our family experiences have incredibly positive feedback from around the whole country! It provides a fun and informative experience for families to worship and interact together around the Bible. Based on feedback, we are moving these from Wednesday nights to a 20-minute follow-on from our 9 and 11 am services, from this Sunday.
Resources for Kidspace Primary and Intermediate will continue to be uploaded to our Kidspace Parents Facebook group on Saturday mornings, as well as on our website. This online pack contains video, crafts, and God-moment cards. In addition, we are looking to provide resource packs available for families to pick up in a couple of weeks.
We’re widening our weekday devotions to include hearing members of our congregation bring a 3-minute reading and reflection arising from their own Bible reading plans. It will be wonderful to hear from each other and see new faces. If you would like to explore making one of these, contact Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t meet in person on a Sunday but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep worshipping together. It’s our passion to see our homes full of worshippers - lifting up the name of Jesus and finding our hope in Him. Lounge Worship continues every Thursday, 7.30 pm during level 3.
God is at work–even at this moment. People who would not usually connect with the church are connecting. I love the way so many of you are inviting people–from both within your bubble and outside of your bubble–to join our online services. As a result, people are coming to faith. In addition, food parcels are being sent to families in need. And many in our church whanau are connecting with each other through phone and zoom calls. The Spirit of God is using this time to help us belong, thrive, and renew.
As such, I have four requests to make:
Grab the opportunity to invite people to our online services, especially with this new series kicking off Sunday. Plus, we have online Alpha and Next Steps courses beginning on Tuesday with video presentations and ZOOM rooms–all from the comfort of our homes.
The importance of connecting has never been greater. If you’re not currently in a group, why not grab the opportunity to try one of our online groups to meet new friends and encourage each other?
Should the opportunity come for us to provide household churches in the future (e.g. at alert level 2), we are looking for hosts who can provide their home for service on Sundays. If you would like to find out more, contact Linda at email@example.com
God is able to use this time to shape us into the people of God he longs for–a people who are maturing through a renewed commitment to their own personal spiritual disciplines, taking responsibility for their spiritual health, and becoming all the stronger for it. Now is the time for us to take charge of our spiritual lives afresh, to reignite the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading, and reflection. Allow the Spirit to renew us so that we can renew others. Find a healthy rhythm that nourishes your soul. In addition to the aspects mentioned above, check out our Bible reading plans, RightNow Media, and various resources here.
Seasons like this bring additional needs for people and fresh opportunities for us to connect with others. Giving enables us as a church to respond to the significant needs around us. If you can help others in this way, please give online or set up an Automatic Payment.
I’m looking forward to sharing God’s Word with you in our online services this weekend.
Update: 5 pm, 19 March 2020
We’ve just heard that the Ministry of Health has advised that gatherings of over a 100 people can no longer meet in one place which will affect the way that we gather on Sundays. Our teams have been working hard in preparation for a moment like this, and so we’re ready to go online for our services this Sunday. And so church is still on, you can meet with other groups around our city or from the comfort of your own home and we’re going to connect in together in our online services at 9 am , 11 am and 6.30 pm. Our 11 am service will also be in Mandarin. All necessary information to access church online will be available on our website or through social media at 6 pm tomorrow (Friday, 20 March).
We encourage you to stay calm—to be a peaceful presence to others. This Sunday, our team has planned a very special service to help us know how to respond to a time like this ourselves, and how to lead other people through a time like this. After all the words of 1 John say Love casts out all fear. I think this is a very needed word for us at this time. So, stay calm and see you online on Sunday.
Update: 6 pm, 17 March 2020
As a leadership team, we continue to monitor recommendations from the Ministry of Health as we seek to be vigilant and wise in response to the Covid-19 virus.
At this stage, all our services and ministries are continuing at Greenlane Christian Centre with live-broadcast available for all three of our services.
As you will be aware, the Government advised public events or mass gatherings where 500 or more people are together in one place, at one time should be cancelled. Our gatherings at present are less than this threshold so we will continue meeting until the health advice is to do otherwise.
We have seen smaller churches decide to close their services and meet in small groups around the city. And others (like us) are staying open. And both are legitimate options. We believe we should provide options for people to meet face-to-face while also providing a live-broadcast option for people who need to stay home.
In speaking to churches in Hong Kong (who have weathered this period a little longer) we have heard that it is preferable to stay open for as long as possible to provide for face-to-face connection for those that prefer this option. We also understand that for some of you coming to a service may not be possible or the wisest thing to do at this present time. In order to help you stay connected, we will be broadcasting our services at 9 am, 11 am and 6.30 pm. These services will also have pastors connecting with you online, with availability for prayer during and post service. The morning services will be live on these channels and the 6.30 pm will be a recording from the morning. The 11 am service will also have a mandarin translation available. We will provide details for how you connect later in the week.
If the ministry of health advice changes before the weekend, we have plans to meet in homes throughout the city. In that situation, we will let you know via our Greenlane Christian Centre Facebook page.
Let’s remember Jesus' words to his disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ (John 14:27). This is the peace that is capable of resisting the pressure of fear. It’s the peace that allows us to be stable, solid and caring whatever fears there may be. It’s the peace we need now. May that be our experience.
UPDATE: 2 pm, 16 March 2020
No matter how frustrating, confusing, or scary this crisis gets, fear doesn't have the final say. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Our hope is built on the perfect love of Jesus Christ, so we've been called to share that love with the world. And that's exactly what we'll be doing in the coming weeks and months as more and more people in our city are in need. Out of love, we are a church that will follow the guidelines and suggestions from Ministry of Health. We realise that most of us won’t get COVID-19, and if we do, most of us who are healthy will recover just fine. However, for those in our community who are older and for those with other health challenges that compromise their ability to fight the disease, it won’t be so easy. Love necessities that we protect our neighbours and city. We don’t make changes out of fear but out of loving responsibility for others.
So, let me update you on a few things that we mentioned in our services yesterday:
We’ve cancelled our conference that was planned for this next Sunday. Though we were looking forward to getting all three services on one site, it is not responsible for us to squeeze everyone together! Instead of the planned theme we had, I want to share a few thoughts about this cultural moment and the opportunity we have to trust in God during this time and demonstrate unexpected love toward our neighbours.
We have changed how we do some things in our services for this season in order to reduce possibility of hands transmitting a virus. So, instead of offering bags/baskets, we now have giving stations in the foyer. Communion will also be at available at stations before/after/and during services where people can take communion in their own time.
We will be live streaming services from Sunday so that you can join our service from your home. Details will be on our website /social media later this week for how you access these online services.
Common areas are being cleaned more frequently, with the addition of hand sanitiser stations.
At this time, all of our weekly ministries and services will continue as scheduled. However, there may come a time when the health advice is to close large gatherings for a season. If this occurs, we are developing plans to provide church in our households and small groups around our city. We will communicate any changes via social media and email. So - be sure that you check our church facebook site and your inbox for updates.
If you are sick, we encourage you to stay home even if you are scheduled to volunteer. It’s the most loving thing to do for others. We are asking everyone to refrain from shaking hands and encouraging all to wash their hands more often. This is the “smile and wave” greeting season.
I believe that every need in the world is an open door to God’s love. As a church, we respond to moments of crisis NOT by panicking or hiding out of fear, but by serving the people who are most vulnerable.
If you need help, we first want to say that we see you and we care about you! Our goal during this crisis is to serve you however you need. Get in touch with us here let us know how we can serve you!
If you want to help, there are multiple ways you can serve people in your community who are vulnerable to the virus. Over the days ahead, we will let you know ways that you can help but I encourage you to pray and step out in the ideas that the Spirit brings to mind. Remember that the early church wasn’t known for stockpiling ample food and supplies for themselves and spreading fear on social media. Rather, they embodied a love that does the unexpected. What might that look like for us at this time? We do have additional financial needs at this time as we consider some of the opportunities in front of us to help our city. Please consider making an additional gift at this time or setting up at Automatic Payment at PushPay Greenlane Christian Centre.