The hope springs community weren’t going to let a pandemic stop them enjoying their regular Monday Art Therapy sessions and so decided to have an online Art Therapy class using Zoom instead.

Art Therapy student, Debra, led the group – consisting of Isha, Hamish, Joseph and Rebecca (from Arnica Lodge) and Jeff, Simon, Lindsay, Sammy, Brett and others (from Chippendale Lodge). hope springs Coordinators, Jon, and JJ, tried their best too!

Some great artwork was produced and, more importantly, some great fellowship was enjoyed.

It’s wonderful to be able to create a prayerful space at home for worship and prayer in this unusual time we’re living with.

Liz White shared these photos with us tonight after our SPACE Taizé service and Zoom time – her personal prayer space.

What can you do to make your worship space at home more ‘worshipful?’

Common Ground goes a little crazy online!

Our Messy Church families are joining in with the international sign of hope – a Bear in the Window – showing love for one another in these strange days of COVID-19!

Keep safe, friends!

Members of the Common Ground Community gathered together (with appropriate social distancing, of course) in the last few days before lockdown to record some songs for the Network to use in its livestream worship.

Without any rehearsal, they sang together a number of worship songs, such as ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Welcome Table’, ‘Faith, Hope & Love’, ‘Lord Let Me See’, an ‘Aaronic Blessing’ and more. You can see all their songs on the Banyule Network Vimeo page.

We are very grateful to the Common Ground Community, and their songs have been used in Network worship on many occasions.

From Andrew Bennett, Chair Joint Church Council

Dear Members of the Banyule Network,

It is clear from experience in countries throughout the world that the COVID 19 virus is spreading rapidly, and this is now happening in Australia. There is no vaccine for the virus. The only effective prevention of the spread of infection is isolation. The countries that have been most successful in reducing the spread have taken drastic measures to restrict the movement and gathering of people. 

In this context, we are acting early in the Banyule Network to reduce the risk of spread, particularly because many of our members are in the vulnerable age category. 

A decision has been made to suspend all worship services and face-to-face Network meetings as of Wednesday 18 March 2020.  

The Ministry Team are working on the preparation of resources so that people can worship God where they are. We recognise that many people may not have access or capacity to use electronic/digital resources and so there will be print material provided as well to ensure that worship material is accessible to everyone. Members will be invited to use the material at 10 am on Sunday so that, although not face to face, we will be worshipping together. 

Pastoral care of all of our people will be critical through this time. The Pastoral Care Committee is developing a Telephone Support Program to ensure that we keep in touch with people. They will be working with representatives from each congregation and community to ensure we have contact details for everyone and to develop a strategy for making regular contact.

We realise that this news will come as something of a shock, but we believe it is in the best interests of us all. 

Rev Carol Fletcher and Sylvia Jansen from Winnipeg in Canada, Messy Church friends of Rev Sandy Brodine, visited Common Ground on Sunday 9 February 2020 and posted on their church Instagram page in Canada!

Pretty cool huh! We had an ace time welcoming our Canadian friends – and particularly appreciated their Northern Hemisphere thoughts on Light and Salt – so very different from how we understand it here!

Great night at Messy Church as we explored Lent. And Thank God for Air Conditioning!

A huge night at Messy Church Heidelberg tonight! 25 people all enjoyed Celebration time in the Labyrinth as well as all the other usual fun, Phew! That’s it for another year!