We are pleased to share with you the ways that Jericho Road is seeking to help congregations and their families during this health crisis, as well as to provide an update on live streaming.
Access to Counselling
The Presbyterian Counselling Service is available to connect folk from the Presbyterian Church in NSW to Christian counsellors. During this period where COVID-19 is restricting face-to-face contact many of our counsellors are providing assistance via phone and video link. This service is currently only available to individuals and families within the Presbyterian Church in New South Wales.
Jericho Road is providing subsidies and many of our counsellors are reducing fees, to assist people access counselling during this time. Bulk billing is available for Telehealth with a referral from a GP. Counselling may assist people who are anxious, grieving, finding relationships difficult, dealing with depression and the like.
To access the service you can call 1800 818 133 or go to jerichoroad.org.au/counselling
Financial Support Appeal for individuals and families affected by COVID-19
Jericho Road is appealing for funds to help those affected financially by the impact of COVID-19. This appeal is limited to PCNSW folk both giving and receiving rather than a community wide appeal. It is one way we can support each other through this time. The need for financial assistance in the wider community is likely to be much greater than we can both administer or meet. As with all Jericho Road appeals, funds will be given directly to those most affected via local Presbyterian churches. This is one way the broader Presbyterian Church can assist each other at this time.
You can find out more about the appeal at https://jerichoroad.org.au/financial-support-appeal/
Please encourage your congregational members and friends to consider giving to this appeal by going to jerichoroad.org.au/donate for more information.
If you have a family in your congregation who would really appreciate the help, please contact Liz McClean on firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaplaincy support for healthcare workers
Jericho Road is appreciative of all frontline health care workers
who are caring for so many and under added strain at this time. To help health
care workers who are part of PCNSW we have set up an open chat time with our
Senior Chaplain, Ian Schoonwater.
Ian has worked as a hospital chaplain and has some insight into how difficult this time is for our healthcare workers.
Ian will host a live chat on Tuesdays 9-9:30am and Thursdays 5-5:30pm where anyone can just drop in. He will do a short devotion and there would be an opportunity to pray together and to share concerns and support one another in general.
The chat will be held via Zoom and the Meeting ID: 654 470 888
Helping out your neighbour with food
Jericho Road has issued guidelines for all congregations relating to food ministries, both new and planned, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic: jerichoroad.org.au/covid-19-and-food-ministries.
However, these guidelines do not apply to individuals providing meals to neighbours or members of their church. Dropping food into your friends is different as it is not a service offered to the wider community. It does have some risks, and some of those you can address (like don’t deliver to anyone if you are sick etc) and maybe you could add some protection (such as wipe the packet with a soap/alcohol wipe before leaving it for pick up). You can use the guidelines to assist with what precautions you might take.
Conduct Protocol Unit
The CPU is issuing helpful tip sheets about how to conduct safe ministry online and via social media. These can be found on the website at jerichoroad.org.au/breaking-the-silence
Live Streaming Music
We are receiving lots of questions about copyright and licensing considerations if a congregation streams hymns and worship songs from YouTube. We have taken legal advice on the issue. Although these songs are all freely available for anyone to watch on YouTube, the material has been licensed by the users uploading to YouTube, which then licenses it to those downloading. In short, the YouTube license may not permit you to broadcast YouTube material to congregations or in public. We are in touch with our lawyers and are checking whether this would be problem on other music platforms. We will keep you advised.
Please note that churches doing music over livestream need to upgrade their regular CCLI licence to a “streaming” licence: au.ccli.com/streaming-licence-manual/. This license gives permission to share their live-performed music over the internet, as long as it is not for download.
Dave Phillips, General Manager of Presbyterian Youth, will be making resources available on the PY website soon. Please contact Dave at email@example.com for more information.
The Lords’ Supper
We have received several questions from Ministers about the Lord’s Supper. These questions are answered in the appended paper: ‘Virtual Lord’s Supper?’.
We also refer you to this this article on church meetings on the GS&C site: http://gsandc.org.au/church-and-meeting/.
Finally, on this Friday evening, please take a few minutes to listen to this beautiful song by Andrew Peterson. It was recorded last year but is so relevant now!
Uphold Christ’s Church, and those in anguish and need in your prayers this weekend.
Grace and peace,
Rev Richard Keith, NSW Moderator
Jeoffrey R Falls, General Manager, Chief Executive Officer