Updated 9 Sep 21, 1200h
1. Government leaders have expressed concerns that as community infections rise so does the risk of severe illness for vulnerable groups and that our healthcare system could be overwhelmed. Our most urgent response is to pray to our Sovereign God and intercede for the public health and safety of this nation. We invite all GBC members for a time of corporate prayer for Singapore on 12 Sep (Sun), 3–4pm over Zoom.
Meeting ID: 890 9907 9298
2. In-person worship at GBC will continue as Government regulations have allowed (see question 1 below for what's required to attend worship). We recognise that with high vaccination rates and good compliance with public health regulations, we have been permitted to do so safely.
However we urge all worshippers to be vigilant and practice good personal responsibility. Do not attend worship if you feel unwell or have been in contact with someone who is ill. We encourage members to consider testing themselves regularly and especially if you feel ill.
3. In-person Sunday School will be suspended for 12 and 19 Sep as our children are unvaccinated and remain vulnerable. We will instead have online Sunday School on 19 Sep from 1030-1130. Parents who wish to bring their children for in-person worship where interactions are more limited may also do so.
4. While other in-person ministry activities are permitted to continue safely, we call on ministry leaders and members to exercise personal restraint. Minimize social interactions where possible as Government leaders have asked of us. Ministry leaders holding gatherings should enforce safe management measures strictly and prevent mingling onsite.
5. Let us also remember GBC members and believers working in healthcare. Their days are long, work is gruelling and feelings of spiritual isolation can grow. May our Lord strengthen their faith, equip them for good works, and guard them according to His mighty power. Let us come together and seek His mercy in prayer on 12 Sep.
English Congregation Elders
1. What should I do if I want to attend worship services?
GBC's English Congregation has resumed in-person worship on 21 Aug (Sat) and 22 Aug (Sun). To attend, worshippers must:
1. register for worship ahead of time using Eventbrite; and
2. show vaccination proof from the TraceTogether app, cross-verified with NRIC OR proof of a negative ART test from an approved clinic.
Children below the age of 12 who are not vaccine-eligible can join us in worship services. They 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?
From 24 Aug onwards, other ministry activities like care groups and Bible studies can meet in church with up to 50 pax. Your ministry activity must be registered with the church office and approved in advance. This is in compliance with Government SMMs. The authorities have advised all to observe a separation of 2m between groups of 5 for these activities.
However, in-person Sunday School will be suspended for 12 and 19 Sep as our children are unvaccinated and remain vulnerable. We will instead have online Sunday School on 19 Sep from 1030-1130. Parents who wish to bring their children for in-person worship where interactions are more limited may also do so. In short,
i) 12 Sep – No Sunday School
ii) 19 Sep – Zoom Sunday School 1030-1130
iii) 26 Sep – back to in-person Sunday School
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 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. Under the current measures, care groups and Bible studies will also be able to regather in-person at homes in groups no more than 5 (not including hosts). 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 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 in the church office to receive your calls and emails should you need to speak to a pastor or staff member.
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.