The Multi-Ministry Task Force issued an advisory on 24 March 2020 to implement tighter control measures to reduce the risk of local Covid-19 clusters. Among the measures include the immediate suspension of religious services until 30 April 2020. This communique seeks to notify all congregants of PSPC’s responses.
B. SUSPENSION OF WORSHIP SERVICES
PSPC worship services on these Sundays will be suspended: 29 March, 5 April, 12 April, 19 April and 26 April. We will monitor government advisory to determine when to resume worship services. Congregants may receive latest updates through PSPC website (www.pspc.org.sg), PSPC Facebook group and PCGM cell group notification.
The 8:45am English service and 11am Mandarin service will continue to be live-streamed and recorded for later viewing. Congregants may receive live-stream instructions from PSPC website.
C. POSTPONEMENT AND CANCELLATION OF CHURCH EVENTS
The government advisory limits all groups to a maximum of 10 people at any one time. Therefore, the following church events and programmes will be postponed or cancelled:
All baptisms, confirmations and membership transfers on Easter Sunday (12 April) will be postponed until the PSPC Anniversary Service (13 September).
The PSPC Prayer & Praise (Church Prayer Meeting) on 15 April will be cancelled.
The PSPC Annual Congregational Meeting (ACM) on 26 April will be postponed until further notice. The Commissioner of Charities (COC) has assured the National Council of Churches in Singapore (NCCS) that churches’ postponement of their ACMs will be permitted under the current situation.
D. PASTORAL CARE
It is especially during the suspension of worship services that the cell groups take centre place as the key vehicle of discipleship and the first line of congregational care. Together with the Pastoral Team and church leadership, cell group leaders and co-leaders are called to shepherd the flock at such a time like this when many congregants are affected by health concerns, economic uncertainties and suspension of worship services. At the same time, the Pastoral Team will broaden the pastoring work. Therefore, please do contact the Pastoral Team directly if you know of any congregant who needs pastoral care. Where home or hospital visitation is not possible, the Pastoral Staff will extend pastoral care through phone calls or WhatsApp video calls.
E. ADVISORY FOR PCGM CELL GROUPS
Cell groups are encouraged to use online meeting tools, such as Zoom (www.zoom.us). Cell group leaders and co-leaders who wish to find out more about Zoom may contact Dn Tay Bee Kiat from the PCGM Committee.
Cell groups that wish to meet physically must limit to a maximum of 10 attendees and also ensure: (i) Social Responsibility – Those who are unwell are to refrain from attending; (ii) Safe Distancing – Attendees are to be seated with 1 metre spacing. Larger groups may arrange for members to take turns to attend each week or multiply into smaller groups.
Due to the maximum limit of 10 people at any single time in any single venue, cell groups that meet in PSPC are to relocate to homes or use online meeting tools.
Cell groups that are unable to comply with this advisory should suspend temporarily.
F. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The economic impacts of the pandemic might have started to affect the livelihood of some congregants and/or their family members. The Presbyterian Community Services have an Emergency Relief Service (ERS) that provides short-term financial help to individuals and families regardless of race, religion or nationality. Please refer such individuals or families to the ERS website (www.pcs.org.sg/services/community-support/ers). The application for ERS is strictly confidential and does not require PSPC’s endorsement.
G. PASTORAL EXHORTATION
According to the Christian liturgical calendar, today (25 March), marks the Annunciation of the Lord when the angel Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary that she would conceive a child by the power of the Holy Spirit to be called Jesus (Luke 1:26-38). The way that Mary responded to such a great “disruption” to her life with faith and courage for a greater divine purpose is instructive for us as we respond to “disruptions” in our own lives as well. Today, we experience “disruptions” in the form of health concerns, economic uncertainties and suspension of worship services. May we discern God’s sovereign ways in times of “disruptions” to reflect on what it means to find in God and God alone an anchor for our soul; what it means to deepen our spiritual life even without the support of church ministries; what it means to disciple our children without Sunday School, Prinsep Lighthouse or YACHT; what it means to be Christian citizens who are part of SG United to pray for the authorities and support their control measures for the wellbeing of our society and nation; what it means for us to be the church – the body of Christ – in the world at such a time.
With Jesus Christ as the Head, the church will not be overcome by the gates of Hades, let alone plagues in the past or a pandemic in the present. We live in extraordinary times with an extraordinary God, so let us “Trust God, Take Care, Stay Calm, Carry On”.
“Pour Your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of Your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the virgin Mary, may by His cross and passion be brought to the glory of His resurrection; who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
From the Book of Common Prayer
Rev Darryl Chan
With Elders and Deacons Court
The Annunciation of the Lord
25 March 2020