Updated 26 Nov, 1000h
There has been a steady decrease in weekly infection growth rate during the Stabilisation Period. The Government has granted an easing of measures for religious activities.
First, GBC's congregational worship capacity is 275 effective immediately (seated in groups of up to 5). This allows for nearly all the English congregation to attend worship on Saturday or Sunday.
Second, non-congregational ministry activities of groups up to 50 pax in the building can resume wef immediately. Participants must be seated in groups of 5 with safe distancing of 2m between them, and 1m between persons. The group must identify a representative responsible for the activity, register formally with the Administrator and submit an accurate list of names, NRICs and contact information ahead of time.
Third, our in-person children's ministry will resume on the 5th of December.
We believe our Christian responsibility is to resume assembling for worship as holy habit. When we gather as God’s visible church on earth, Christ’s presence is with us (Matt 18:19-20). We come together to build each other up in all we do (1 Cor 14:26) and not neglect gathering together (Heb 10:24-25). Psalm 50:5 says “gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
As elders we want to shepherd every GBC member by regathering us for worship. This is for our spiritual good and God’s glory.
With affection we welcome GBC members to return for worship and long to see you. Though we cannot sing, let us worship Him as Habakkuk 2:20 says: "But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him."
English Congregation Elders
1. What should I do if I want to attend worship services?
GBC's English Congregation has resumed in-person worship.
Currently, we can receive 275 worshippers at each service, with seating in groups of up to 5.
To attend, worshippers must:
1. register for worship ahead of time using Eventbrite; and
2. show Green status (Vaccinated or Cleared Test) on their TraceTogether App or Token OR a PET Exemption Notice (refer MOH's website for more info).
Children below the age of 12 who are not vaccine-eligible can join us in worship services. Children of 6 years of age and above must wear masks while attending. In the sanctuary, children cannot be seated in the same group with children from other households.
If you are unable to attend our services, both the Saturday and Sunday services will be broadcast on YouTube Live.
2. Can we conduct our ministry activities in church?
Non-congregational ministry activities of groups up to 50 pax in the building can resume. Participants must be seated in groups of 5 with safe distancing of 2m between them, and 1m between persons. The group must identify a representative responsible for the activity, register formally with the Administrator and submit an accurate list of names, NRICs and contact information ahead of time.
In-person children's ministry will resume on the 5th of December.
Existing bookings for weddings and events allowed by the Government to continue will be honoured.
3. How can I participate in church life?
All our services will still be available online. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and join us from home.
Sign up for our Grace eNews to stay up-to-date with church life. All GBC worshippers and members are encouraged to sign up for this weekly enewsletter so we can keep you updated with the latest information in this crisis. We appreciate members help to spread accurate and relevant info through their CGs and networks in case folks miss out on any communication.
We are also thankful for the many care groups in GBC that will continue to care for during this period. Under the current measures, most care groups and Bible studies may be on Zoom with only some choosing to regather in-person at homes in groups no more than 5 (not including hosts). Regardless, we encourage members to continue to check in on one another, pray for and with each other and meet online with each other where possible and appropriate. Read Pastor Eugene's note to the CG Leaders.
In this period, if you require practical help including visits and financial support, where appropriate, please do write to our Member Care team at email@example.com. You can also find out more here.
If you have any prayer needs, please allow the pastors-elders the privilege to pray alongside with you. You can submit your prayer requests here. You can also call one of our pastors who will be in the office on rotation basis.
4. Will there be staff in the office?
Staff will continue to work from home by default. However, there will be staff to receive your calls and emails should you need to speak to a pastor or staff member. You can find our staff contact information on our website.
5. What biblical principles should be guiding our decision-making as a church at this time?
The principles that are helping the EC elders make our decisions at this time are:
- Trust in our good and sovereign Father;
- Love for one another and others;
- Submission to the authorities;
- Regularly gathering as God's people; and
- Respecting one another's consciences.
6. How can I respond to this spiritually?
Our elders understand the real fear that this global pandemic can create. Sin, sickness, suffering and death is real and we are not immune to it.
The gospel is good news because God has not left us alone in this world. This place is not our home, and He has made a way back for us in Jesus Christ. The greatest news for us is not just an end to this situation. The greatest news is that Jesus lived in obedience to God without sin, died on the cross to bear the judgment and wrath of God for sinners, and rose again in victory. All who place their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ have been forgiven of their sins and are restored to the Father.
They no longer fear sickness and death in this world, because they have a new hope of eternal life in God, and can look forward to an end of death, sickness and tears (Rev 21:4).
If you do not know the salvation that we have in Christ and would like to find out more, write our pastors and elders and we'd love to tell you more.
And if you do know the joy of having Jesus as your Saviour, we encourage you to ponder on this daily and share this good news with those around you. If you have any prayer needs, you can share with us here.
Our pastors have also written a few reflections and articles:
- The Medicine of Memory (27 May 2021)
- Trusting God in Uncertain Times (20 May 2021)
- Adjusting to Changing Normals (30 Jul 2020)
- Protection is Not a Metaphor (25 Jun 2020)
- Preparing for New Normal (18 Jun 2020)
- While We Wait (28 May 2020)
- (No More) McDonald’s and the Unmasking of My Idols (23 Apr 2020)
- The Gift of Losing Control (16 Apr 2020)
- Community and the Coronavirus (9 Apr 2020)
- Skeletons in My Ministry Closet (2 Apr 2020)
- "If God Should Wish to Take Me" (19 Mar 2020)
- Ships. Going Nowhere. (13 Mar 2020)
- Trusting God our King (20 Feb 2020)
- There, Though Not There (13 Feb 2020)
- Faithfulness and the Coronavirus (6 Feb 2020)
We often sing this in our services — "When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay". This is especially true for us today.
As a way of keeping in touch with the congregation, our GBC elders and pastors also shared midweek devotion from their hearts during the "circuit breaker" period. These weekly devotions are available on our YouTube channel. We hope these devotions will minister to you and encourage you.
7. What other practical steps can I take?
There are many ways we can be faithful followers of Jesus in this uncertain period:
• Pray for the Singapore Government and world leaders to make informed decisions and policies that will be for the good of the people.
• Pray also for strength for the healthcare workers who are working hard and mercy and quick recovery for those who are sick. We have a couple of doctors and nurses in GBC who are currently stationed in the Government hospitals. Thank God for them and continue to pray for them! More prayer points can be found here.
• Stay informed and avoid passing on false information. Subscribe and pass on news only from official and reputable news outlets.
• Check in on one another, especially on the elderly and those who are sick. May the Lord help us to encourage one another during this season apart.