#COVID-19 Beaudesert church reaches more souls with online sermon

ONLINE: Services have gone digital for the Uniting Church Beaudesert since social isolation regulations were introduced. Photos: Larraine Sathicq
ONLINE: Services have gone digital for the Uniting Church Beaudesert since social isolation regulations were introduced. Photos: Larraine Sathicq

BEAUDESERT Uniting Church held their service online after the federal government banned indoor gatherings, including church services, last week.

Reverend David Hawke said he posted his sermon on YouTube and shared it to the Uniting Church Beaudesert and Canungra Facebook pages.

"The sermon was conversational syle, more like a chat and we had amazing feedback," he said.

Rev Hawke said the sermon was noticed by producers at American Christian TV station FaithXtreme, who contacted him to offer a 30 minute time slot on the online station.

"I think we will do it," he said.

"Some of the older folk in Beaudesert only have landlines, no computer or mobile phone,,so we are going to transfer the sermons to DVD for them.

"We are practicing social distancing but we are reaching out to everyone. We send regular emails and text messages and we are posting to Facebook every day."

SOS: Rev David Hawke with some of the donated food.

SOS: Rev David Hawke with some of the donated food.

Rev Hawke said volunteers had been busy packing food hampers for parishioners and the wider community, who have reached out for help after so many people lost jobs.

"We have had more people needing help with groceries and we have food here including frozen meat from Foodbank," he said.

"It's very important to maintain contact, we need to care for each other.

"Every time we hear the news there's something else that causes stress. Now there are only 10 people allowed at funerals and that is causing a lot of stress in the community. We have a situation where families have to decide who gets to attend granddad's funeral.

"People worry that if they have a family member in isolation, they may get the coronavirus and if they are dying, their family can't go to visit, only see them through glass. the whole process is distressing.

"But we are looking after people. We are making sure they can get food and medicines."

Rev Hawke said it would be important for people to have a memorial service for loved ones whose funerals were impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis.

"We would certainly help organise these whenever it is possible," he said.

FareShare food from the Food Bank.

FareShare food from the Food Bank.

The church hit an obstacle last month when their trailer, loaded with donated furniture was stolen but Rev Hawke said the stolen trailer was small and they now had a bigger one, all the better to make deliveries to those in need.

Rev Hawke said his hope was that people could prioritise friendship and fellowship to remain connected to each other.

He said his message to parishioners was simple.

"Fear not," he said.

"That is something repeated in the Bible 365 times, so that's the message for every day of the year."