Frequently Asked Questions Why is the church building closed? On Sunday, March 15, 2020, our leadership team met to discuss what steps we would take to protect the health of our church family amid the COVID-19 pandemic; while keeping in mind our vision to become a multiplying disciple-making movement throughout Melbourne. We prayerfully decided to pause all regular worship services at our church building in Burwood and transition to a home worship format starting March 21. Subsequently, the Victorian Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, the sisterhood of churches to which we belong, resolved that all Adventist Churches in Victoria be closed until the end of April 2020. Why the home worship format amid COVID-19? While social-distancing is helpful, social-isolation is not. We believe now more than ever; we are in desperate need of community. The Church of Jesus has always been about community. Jesus' promises for his Church have always been made in the context of community. "Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you." (Matthew 18:20) The early Church met in small communities in homes to connect, study, pray, and break bread. Therefore, we believe that for us to remain the Church, the City on a Hill, we must do it in community. While live-streaming a sermon will be helpful for the individual, it would not foster community, or facilitate discipleship. So, we encourage people to gather in homes with one another, in their own homes with their families, or virtually online. How does this help move our vision forward? Our vision is to become a multiplying movement where disciples make disciples. A movement requires those that participate in it to take ownership of it. Jesus empowered his disciples to own the movement they were a part of. They baptized, they preached, and they performed signs and miracles just as Jesus did. They not only consumed, but they contributed. By entering into smaller groups in our homes or online, we can now partake and contribute to one another's life uniquely. We can share our prayers, learn together, and stand by each other's side in this time of great difficulty for our nation and the world. As the world sees our communities come to life, our love will become viral! And a movement would have been born where disciples make disciples. How do I join a home worship community? You can join three types of home worship communities. You can join one of our home worship locations free for anyone to attend. You can join our virtual community that will meet via zoom. Or you can register your home as a home worship site available for your family and close friends to connect. You can join or host a group here: https://burwoodchurch.churchcenter.com/groups What resources are available for Home Worship gatherings? All home worship leaders/hosts will have access to a weekly resource pack made for all our communities. These packs will include Adult & Kid's curriculum; video messages in line with a teaching series; praise and worship resources; and outreach ideas on how to neighbour well. They will also include "connect with us" cards that will allow anyone who knows someone or is someone affected to reach out to the Church for help. These packs will be distributed to home worship resource packs through our online portal for all registered homes and virtual spaces. If you want access to these resources, we encourage you to join a group, start hosting one for your family & friends, or host one for our wider community to join. Join or Host a group here: https://burwoodchurch.churchcenter.com/groups Is there anything available for teens? Our Teen Ministries leadership will be providing a gathering space for our teens on Instagram each Saturday Morning. Where do I find the addresses of the home worship locations near me and confirm which one I wish to attend? You will be able to access a list of home worship locations available to you through an online portal that will be made available on our social media platforms and our weekly newsletter. We currently have 15 home worship locations ready to launch this week, and throughout the week, we will be organizing more. You will need to "sign up" to attend a home worship location, as we are strongly recommending that they are limited to 10 attendees at a time. Once you sign up, your Host will send you information relating to your meet. Do I have to stay in the same home worship location, or can I change to a different one? We are strongly advising you to be faithful and committed to your group/community; therefore, we do not encourage hopping from home to home. In light of COVID-19, it will be beneficial that we limit having contact with a wide variety of people. While we still want to build community, we do want to be cautious. Hence, we encourage you to commit to a home worship location, since Church cannot be done in isolation. If you're continually swapping groups, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with those around you. How do I know the home worship location I attend is safe from COVID-19? The home worship groups will be limited to 10 attendees, you should still maintain social distancing: including a recommended space of 4 square metres, no handshaking or hugging, frequent hand washing/sanitiser, etc. If practical, meet outside in the open air. Also, if you are feeling unwell, you should NOT attend or host. As both a host and an attendee you should take responsibility for reducing the spread of COVID-19: including, staying home if you meet the criteria for self-quarantine (e.g. if you have returned to Australia from overseas since March 15). Also, if you have been in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, or you are a healthcare worker who works directly with patients or has a fever or respiratory or flu-like symptoms. Stay informed using official, reliable sources of information such as: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health- alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19. If hosts become concerned or develop symptoms, groups should transition to online meetings or shift in-person gatherings to another group member's home. And lastly, if you or anyone in your group goes into self-quarantine or is confirmed to have COVID-19, immediately let your Host know so that members can be notified as appropriate. What will be provided for people in quarantine and thus isolated? For those in isolation, we are hosting a virtual worship space which will be run by a facilitator via a video call, using Zoom. You can join this group, and the details will be sent to you once joined. Alternatively, resources will be made available to the general public each Sunday. You can join our virtual worship group here: https://burwoodchurch.churchcenter.com/groups/house-worship/2-virtual-worship Can I share food at the home worship group? Yes, but we recommend you be very mindful of what and how you are serving food. The same sensible and careful hygiene practices should be applied as being very diligent with hand washing and sharing of utensils, etc. We would recommend individually portioned snacks where possible rather than shared bowls or plates. How can I continue to worship through giving? This is a great opportunity to go online and give electronically through e-giving. If you do not have access to a computer or phone, alternatively, you could save your tithe & offering until we return to worshiping together at the Burwood building. You can access this here: https://egiving.org.au/Burwood%20SDA%20Church%20(Vic) or download the e-giving app. When will worship restart at our church building in Burwood? The Australian Union Conference and Victorian Conference have recommended that all churches remain closed until the end of April. Burwood will follow this recommendation and any further Government updates on group meetings. How are we catering to the vast geographic base from which our members come from? We have several host homes scattered around Melbourne, mainly in the eastern suburbs, as we've based this off our membership data. We do understand that Burwood also has many regular attendees that might be in other areas of Melbourne; hence, we have set up host homes fairly broadly. We know some people still might not find one convenient to their location, in which case we would encourage you to contact us so that we can try to cater to you. Can we cater for unregistered attendees who show up to a home without registering? We strongly advise all Hosts/Leaders and attendees to ensure that only registered attendees can attend and seeking permission from the host/leader to invite anyone along. Will other church business continue? For example – Leadership Team Meeting, Nominating Committee, Elders Meeting, etc. Yes, church business will continue, but it will be different. We are arranging for conference call facilities to be made available to leaders so that discussion and planning can continue.