COVID-19 Updates | Livestream of Worship Service (13 Jun 21) | In-Person Worship Suspended till 27 Jun 2021

COVID-19 Updates and FAQS

Updated 12 Jun 2021, 0800h

 

On 11 June, MCCY provided details on the conditions for religious organisations as Singapore makes the two-step return to Phase Three (Heightened Alert).

GBC will resume in-person congregational worship from 3 and 4 July onwards for 200 plus worshippers. Registration through our website will open on 27 June at noon. However unlike before, in-person worshippers will need to show EITHER proof of vaccination OR a pre-event negative COVID-19 test result done at an approved GP (see list). Tests acceptable for Saturday service must be done after Friday 7pm, and for the Sunday service, after Saturday 11am. Proof can be presented using the TraceTogether app or with a physical result notice. 

When we gather in this new phase, only the song leaders, and not the congregation will be permitted to sing. Adjustments will also be made to our seating arrangements so we comply with new safe distancing guidelines and the 5 person group size. 

Ministry gatherings in the church (<50 persons) can resume from 21 June without the requirement of pre-event testing. In-person CG gatherings of up to 5 persons may also resume in homes from 14 June.

We encourage all eligible members to get vaccinated as this is a practical way to love our neighbour and keep each other safe. It also enables us to gather safely for worship.

We are also mindful that some groups will be impacted in this new phase — including families with young children below the age of 12 and unvaccinated persons. Our children’s ministry will also be affected significantly. We urge GBC members to remember these groups in prayer before the Lord, and seek out ways to minister and love them. One good way is to invite families with children for worship in your home, or visit them for fellowship and encouragement.

The words of 1 Corinthians 12:24–26 call us to be one body in Christ together “…But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” 

English Congregation Elders

---

1. What should I do if I want to attend worship services?

For the month of June, please continue to worship reverently from home via our livestream services on Sat 5pm and Sun 9am on our YouTube channel.

From 3 & 4 July onwards, GBC will resume in-person congregational worship. As each service is limited to 200+ people, you will need to register online beforehand (http://gracebaptistchurch.sg/service-registration). Online registration opens at noon every Sunday, starting 27 June. 

On the day of worship, 

  • Worshippers will need to show EITHER proof of vaccination OR a pre-event negative COVID-19 test result done at an approved GP (see list). As test results are only valid for 24 hours from the time an individual registers at the testing premises to take the test, tests acceptable for Saturday service must be done after Friday 7pm, and for the Sunday service, after Saturday 11am. Proof can be presented using the TraceTogether app or with a physical result notice.
  • Temperature will be taken. Face masks must be worn at all times.
  • Worshippers will be seated in groups of 50, with barriers to remind us to remain separate, and there will be designated entrances and exits to keep us from mingling across groups.
  • Within each group of 50, worshippers are to only occupy marked-out seats to maintain safe distancing.
  • Live singing by the worship team will resume and the preacher and service leader will also be able to preach and lead unmasked. The congregation needs to be masked and no singing is allowed.
  • Leave the church premise immediately after service and do not inter-mingle. Have fellowship offsite according to the government's guidelines on social gatherings.

2. Are children exempted from the requirement of showing proof of vaccination or a pre-event negative COVID-19 test result? Are DIY self-tests accepted?

Children who wish to attend the worship services will also need to show proof of vaccination OR a pre-event negative COVID-19 test result. 

The Government has not permitted churches to accept DIY COVID-19 ART self-tests. Thus DIY tests are not accepted. Only tests done at an approved GP clinic will be accepted (see list). As test results are only valid for 24 hours from the time an individual registers at the testing premises to take the test, tests acceptable for Saturday service must be done after Friday 7pm, and for the Sunday service, after Saturday 11am. 

3. Can we resume our ministry activities in church? 

Ministry gatherings in the church (<50 persons) can resume from 21 June without the requirement of pre-event testing. In-person CG gatherings of up to 5 persons may also resume in homes from 14 June.

From now till 21 June, access to the church building will remain restricted.

Sunday School classes will resume online via Zoom from 20 June until further notice.

Existing bookings for weddings and events allowed by the Government to continue will be honoured. 

4. I can't attend the service, how can I participate in worship and 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 to the Enews 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. We encourage members 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 membercare@gracebaptistchurch.sg. 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. 

5. Will staff resume work in the office?

Staff will continue to work from home by default. However, there will be staff in the church office to receive your calls and emails should you need to speak to a pastor or staff member. 

6. 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.  

7. 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: 

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. 

8. 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. Find ways to serve and love each other. With Phase 3 (Heightened Alert), families with young children below the age of 12, unvaccinated persons and our Children's Ministry will also be impacted. Do remember these groups in prayer before the Lord, and seek out ways to minister and love them.