Dr David Pohlmann from Mt Louisa Community Church writes about what the congregation is doing to transition their church activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The congregation of Mt Louisa Community Church (previously Praise Chapel & House of Praise) is the custodian to a wide range of facilities used for worship, education, and community purposes at Mt Louisa (a central suburban area). Our property is bordered by main roads.
The church’s greatest challenges, pre-virus, was the full utilisation of our campus including extensive grounds and large building spaces. Like many Uniting Church congregations, ours is small, ageing, and including people with disabilities yet we have made progress incorporating many of these precious folks into our ministry using community-based programs.
Fortunately, some time ago, congregation leaders commenced Facebook Messenger groups for chatting, for prayer instead of a “prayer chain”, and special groups for church council and elders.
When COVID 19 struck, we continued to rely on these messenger groups to worship and minister during the crisis. When church buildings were required to close, these groups became even more important.
We maintained our corporate worship through MLCC Community Connect message group. There, we follow links to songs and hymns; pray for one another; bring testimonies of what God is doing in our lives; read the Bible; and follow a visual sermon created in PowerPoint but shown as individual jpeg slides.
Prayer continues to be conducted on our MLCC Prayer Room, almost 24-7. This has developed organically: there always seems to be someone online. These groups have enabled us to keep in touch and encourage one another. We also use email to share pastoral letters and important updates.
Church leaders drop in hard copies of sermon notes, prayer notes, and the CNN bulletin to the handful of people who do not at present have access to the internet. We also have people just checking in on each other independently on the phone or via some other safe means.
Dr David Pohlmann
Dr David Pohlmann is the Pastor in placement at Mt Louisa. He is also an emergency services chaplain. He is a former schoolteacher and university academic.