Coronavirus and The Lakes Church
Friday 10th July
You might be wondering what the latest round of eased restrictions in Queensland means for our church services. Some churches are beginning in-person services again this weekend, which is wonderful! We won’t be resuming in-person services just yet, and we want to explain why.
You can watch this video update, then keep scrolling to read more details.
With the latest easing of restrictions and the size of our building, we would still only be able to have 97 people in the church auditorium with all of the social distancing requirements in place. On any given Sunday prior to Coronavirus we were prepared for up to 400 people across our two services. The bottom line is that with the restrictions that still exist, it just wouldn’t be church as you know it. At the moment you can have ‘Church Online’ by yourself or with your household, and you can have ‘Church at Home’ by inviting others to join you at your place. Current restrictions means that those expressions are still a better experience than ’Church Together’ would be right now. Tap here for more information about these three expressions.
When we do resume church services in-person, we also want to continue providing some form of church online. We’re still figuring out what is possible, but we know that we can’t continue both online and in-person in the same way. Our team is continuing to work on the way forward to ensure those who are only able to join us online for health or other reasons don’t miss out.
We really look forward to the day we can meet face to face as a whole church again. But in the meantime, who we are as a church and what God has called us to do hasn’t changed. We are a community who gather in Jesus’ name to encounter him, to grow in our faith and follow Jesus more and to connect with each other for encouragement, support and growth. In this season we are having to do things in different ways, but we’re still all about helping people encounter Jesus, grow in their faith and connect with each other.
And also, crucially, we are a community you can invite your friends into. It is easier than ever to invite someone to join you in church online or to come to your place and experience church at home with you. Everything we do as a church is designed to be helpful and engaging for your friends and family.
So invite, share and introduce people to your church community. They just might meet Jesus for themselves.
If we can help you with this, or support you in any way, please reach out. We’re here to help.
Friday 19th June
As restrictions continue to ease, there are three ways you can engage with church services in the coming weeks:
You can now host church at your place! Restrictions are continuing to ease, and we’re now able to spend time with each other. We encourage you to invite someone over and enjoy each other’s company as you engage in an online service together.
Remember to follow government restrictions when inviting people into your homes. Current restrictions allow for up to 20 people in homes or at outdoor venues with the following things in place: 1) Stay at home if you’re sick. 2) Keep 1.5m away from others. 3) If possible try meeting outside. 4) Wash or sanitise hands regularly. 5) Avoid sharing snacks. 6) Keep a list of the people who come over.
Need help? Contact us and we can help you find someone to experience church with on Sunday.
We’re looking forward to restrictions easing so that we can meet together in person every Sunday. We’ll keep you updated as the situation changes and as we make plans based on what you’ve said.
Friday 5th June
Can I come back to church services in person yet?
Not quite yet!
The government has indicated that stage 4 will mean the removal of all physical distancing restrictions, and this could begin sometime in August. Geoff shares a bit more in this video.
Tuesday 26th May
We are making some changes to Church Online starting this weekend. They are only small changes, but we don’t want you to miss out on anything.
- The chat will open at 8.20am and again at 10.20am. You might like to log in early to say hi and connect with others.
- The countdown video will finish at 8.30am and 10.30am, and our welcome and a song will begin straight away. Make sure you’ve got your pyjamas, coffee and communion ready to go.
To get the most out of church online each week, check out our brand new ‘Church Online Guide‘.
Friday 22nd May
When will church services begin again at The Lakes Church? Geoff shares what we know so far about the road back to meeting together in person.
P.S. We’re continuing our People Problems series this Sunday online, we hope you can join us.
Friday 15th May
Are your relationships under stress during the Coronavirus pandemic?
On Sunday we begin a new series called People Problems: how Jesus can recharge all of your relationships. Whatever relationships you’re in (friends, colleagues or family), we’ll explore some practical wisdom from Jesus that give us wisdom, hope and a way forward in all of our people problems.
To join us online, go here.
Thursday 7th May
Geoff & Andrew chated today about how good (and bad) technology has been during the Coronavirus pandemic. They also talked about how (and why) you can join a midweek group. To express your interest in joining a group, go here.
Thursday 24th April
What will your life be like at the end of this pandemic?
You will survive this pandemic. But what if things could be better than that? What if you could come out of this season better and stronger than ever before?
To find out more about Mark Sayers, who Geoff mentioned, go to his website.
Thursday 17th April
How do you keep your faith alive during a pandemic?
#1 Read. Read something from the Bible today. The YouVersion Bible app is fantastic! You can get it on any device here.
Make sure you’ve joined our community group on Facebook so that you see the reading plan we’ll do together starting next week.
#2 Listen. Listen to a song from our playlist on Spotify or YouTube today.
You’ll find the playlists here.
#3 Talk. Talk, discuss, share and pray with each other today.
We can help you join an online group – express your interest here.
Friday 3rd April
Geoff’s top three tips for getting the most out of church online:
#1 Experience church online in full screen mode
You can make the church online video fill your whole screen. Within the video, in the bottom right corner, you’re looking for one of these symbols:
If you tap it or click on it, you can experience church online in full screen. When you’ve finished, tap the symbol again (in the bottom right of your screen) and it will return to normal size.
#2 Add a profile picture to your comments on church online
One of the best things about church online is the interaction with each other. In addition to giving yourself a name in the chat, you can give yourself a profile picture.
Tap the three horizontal bars in the top left of your screen (this is the menu). Then either Sign Up for a free account, or Log In to an account you’ve already created. Once you’ve signed up or logged in, tap the circle with your initial in it. You’ll then be able to choose a profile picture for yourself.
#3 Set your kids up with something special just for them
We have a new YouTube channel and a new Facebook Group just for kids and families! We suggest you set your kids up to watch a Lakes Kids video from Sharon each week (on our new YouTube channel), and then as they do the challenges and activities you can interact with other families on our new Facebook group.
If you subscribe to the YouTube channel you’ll get a new video every weekend in your YouTube feed.
Friday 3rd April
Geoff is getting ready to share his first message at church online this weekend, and he has some encouragement for you whether you’re struggling in isolation or overwhelmed with work.
Join us online for a church service at 8.30am or 10.30am this Sunday right here.
Thursday 2nd April
In line with the updated government requirements, the office is now only open on Monday afternoons. From 1-5pm on Mondays we’ll be ready to receive food donations, hand out food packs and help anyone who turns up.
We’re still available by phone or online anytime you need to reach out.
Friday 27th March
Church Online is happening again this Sunday morning at 8.30am and 10.30am. Throughout the pandemic crisis we’re committed to providing you with ways to connect with God, grow in your faith and connect with each other.
Make sure you and your household are ready to join us at 8.30am or 10.30am on church online right here. We’ll take communion together each week, so you can prepare something to eat and drink beforehand. You can also jump into church online a few minutes early and start chatting with each other if you like.
If there are any kids in your household, Sharon has put together another video for them. You might like to set aside some time over the weekend to let your kids watch this video and the extra links below.
We’re looking forward to connecting with you this Sunday. See you at 8.30am or 10.30am at church online!
Monday 23rd March
Here’s a video update from Geoff about our prayers for you, Church Online and a verse to encourage you today.
Saturday 21st March
Everything is ready for church online tomorrow! All you need is a device that can connect to the internet. Your phone, tablet or computer will do the trick.
We will have two services online tomorrow, at 8.30am and 10.30am. Please test these steps on your device before the service begins:
- Tap this link http://thelakes.church/online
- You’ll be taken to an information page on our website where you can read more about church online. When you’re ready, tap on the sentence ‘Join us for church online.’
- This link will take you to the church online platform and you’ll be ready for church online to begin at 8.30am and 10.30am on Sunday.
If you arrive early for church online you’ll see a short video about what to expect. This video will be replaced by the church service at 8.30am and again at 10.30am.
If you have any questions or any trouble along the way, please reach out by replying to this email. We hope and pray that you’re able to join us online this weekend!
Friday 20th March
We’re putting the finishing touches on church online, and we’ll be sending you that information soon. We want to make sure that you’re ready to join us by following these three easy steps.
1. Find something to use for communion
During church online we’ll each have the opportunity to take communion, but it’s up to you to find the emblems. There are no special rules about what to use. The idea is to use anything that can represents Jesus’ body (we usually use crackers or bread) and anything that represents Jesus’ blood (we usually use red juice).
2. Decide if you’d like to experience church online in person with others
If there are other people in your household, or people you’d like to get together with, you could invite them to experience church online together with you. Please remember the government’s social distancing guidelines – this is important to continue to combat Coronavirus.
3. Show this video to any kids in your house
We want to make sure that kids don’t miss out in this season without being able to come together for Lakes Kids. Sharon has put together a great video, saying hi and providing other videos and activities for them. If you have any kids in your house you can show them this video and use the resources anytime before or after church online.
Make sure any kids in your house get to watch this video and check out Sharon’s recommended resources of the week:
1. This Church Babies video.
2. This God’s Story Rescue Plan video.
3. This great example video.
Your church online checklist
If you have communion emblems ready…
If you’ve decided who you’re experiencing church online with…
If the kids in your house have watched Sharon’s video and are ready with their activity sheets…
Then the last thing you need is a device connected to the internet.
Church online will begin on at 8.30am on Sunday and again at 10.30am. We’ll post all of the information tomorrow.
Wednesday 18th March
Church is coming to you this Sunday!
Due to the developing Coronavirus situation, we won’t be gathering in person at the church on Sunday. Instead, we’ll have church online! To find out more, you can watch this 2 minute update:
We will share more details later in the week, and we look forward to hosting you online on Sunday!
Geckos update – Wednesday 18th March
Hi Geckos families,
As you will all be very aware there is much talk and consideration being taken around Coronavirus.
In light of this situation we have made the decision that Geckos will be taking a break for the rest of the term – and until we see more clearly how to proceed.
So from and including this week, there will be no Geckos on Friday nights.
This was not an easy decision to come to as we know the kids enjoy Geckos as much as we enjoy running it. But we also want to help protect each other and our wider community.
Each year we have an Easter gift bag to give away. We are getting those ready and will letter box drop them over the next week.
Please don’t hesitate to be in contact if you need anything.
Stay safe and we look forward to meeting again in the future.
God bless, Tina
Lakes Crew update – Wednesday 18th March, 2020
Dear Lakes Crew,
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has made interesting times in the last few weeks for all of us.
As a church we have been closely watching and following government regulations. In light of this we have decided to cancel our last two weeks of our Friday night program (20/3 & 27/3). We are looking and thinking about ways to keep interacting with our online platform so if you haven’t already like our Lakes Crew Facebook page.
We’ll be in contact with you via email and on our Facebook page with information regarding next term. We will be praying for you guys over the next few weeks. Jesus offers us peace in the midst of fear and cares for each of us.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Laura and the Lakes Crew Leaders
Tuesday 17th March
Here is a video update, encouraging us to connect any way that we can.
Our new Facebook community group is here.
Monday 16th March, 2020
A letter from Rosemary (our Playgroup Coordinator) to playgroup families,
In light of the COVID-19 situation we have made the decision that Koala Kids playgroups will be taking a break for the rest of the term – and until we see more clearly how to proceed.
So from and including this week, there will be no Koala Kids playgroups meeting.
This was not an easy decision to come to as we know that these sessions are part of a family’s weekly routines. But with an abundance of caution we also want to help protect our immune-compromised, our very young, our pregnant mums and our grandparents.
Please don’t hesitate to be in contact if you need anything.
Stay safe and we’ll look forward to meeting again in the future.
We’ll continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its impact on our other programs – Geckos and Lakes Crew. We’ll communicate with families if we make any changes to these programs.
Friday 13th March, 2020
Things have moved quickly this week from toilet paper jokes to some pretty big things around the world. COVID-19 is a virus that for many may be nothing worse than a cold but for others who are vulnerable can be much more serious. It can also put our medical system under huge strain, and is already putting the financial world and many businesses under strain.
As a church there are two things that are important in our response. The first is what this means for us meeting together and the second is what we can do as people of faith.
Cairns does not have a COVID-19 case yet. If things continue, we will. But things are not the same here as they are in China, Italy or even in Brisbane. We are following the advice of Queensland Health who have been saying:
- Wash your hands.
- If you’re sick, stay at home.
- There is no need to cancel any events or gatherings or take additional precautions to normal practice.
This advice began to change this afternoon with the Prime Minister announcing that from Monday all gatherings of 500+ people should be cancelled. This doesn’t affect our church, as we only have around 200 people participating in each church service.
If we need to continue to make changes as a church based on Queensland Health advice, we’re ready for that and we’ll communicate via our Church News emails, Facebook and SMS if we have your details. If we don’t have your details, please update them securely here, so that we can stay connected over the coming days, weeks and months.
As Christians we do have a particular response to things like COVID-19. It is not one of superiority or ignorance. But the words of the Apostle John remind us that we have the Spirit of Jesus living within in us, and “greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world.”
This means that Jesus enables us to choose peace instead of panic.
Jesus enables us to choose faith instead of fear.
Jesus enables us to choose love instead of selfishness.
We don’t need to be caught in fear or panic, but in faith and peace. We can be a voice of calm and a voice of hope for others. We can look out for each other and for our neighbours when they are afraid or unwell.