Our COVID-19 Response
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak poses a challenging situation for our church. We’re regularly communicating with our church about how we will continue to worship. This page will remain updated throughout our church closure.
During our church closure, our newsletter is the primary source of information in our church community. Please subscribe to stay up to date with our COVID-19 Reponse.
28 March 2020: Our Digital Sabbath School & Church. Extracts from our Weekly Church Newsletter
Trinity Gardens' Digital Church and Sabbath School10:00 am: Join us at for Sabbath School
11:00 am: Worship together during the Church Service
While our church is closed, Pr Jan will be holding a Weekly Sabbath School on Saturdays at 10am, through Zoom. If you already use Zoom, you can enter the meeting ID: 586 598 272.
It works for Macs, PCs and smartphones and tablets with an internet connection. Visiting this link on your device will download the application and connect you so we can meet online. Jan realises that not everyone would like their face visible, and that’s okay! You can mute the camera and microphone just to watch, or turn off the camera so you can just speak but not be visible. If you don’t have a microphone on your computer, you can still connect to the Zoom and call from your phone. This will be a wonderful platform so we can connect virtually.
Additionally, at 11am we can tune in to the conference’s live church service together. Here, we can live chat as a church community, before, after and during the service.
21 March 2020: Livestream a Church Service & Be the Church @ Home. Extracts from our Weekly Church Newsletter
Livestream a Church Service
Many churches will be provide livestream of worship services each Sabbath, including:
- Kellyville Church (NSW) – at 9:30am (ACDT)
- Lilydale Seventh-day Adventist Church (VIC) – at 9:00am (ACDT)
- Para Vista Seventh-day Adventist Church – at 10:00am
- The Grove Adventist Church – at 11:00am
- SA Conference in conjunction with Living Ministry Media (LMM) – 9:30am & 11:00am. A live Sabbath School program will commence at 9:30am followed by a Church Service at 11:00am broadcast live from the LMM studio at Prospect. You will be able to watch on their website and the LMM Facebook page.
Alternatively, you can listen to some of our past sermons.
Closure of Worship Services
In response to the growing concerns associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Government Health advice, and the recommendation of the Australian Union Conference, the SA Conference has made the decision to recommend to all our churches that they suspend all services until the end of April 2020. They realise that this is an unprecedented action and it is a decision that has not been taken lightly. Whilst this will affect all of us, there are several opportunities for you to experience worship and spiritual nurture. Just because we are not meeting in our regular church facilities does not stop us from worshipping as a church.
The people are the church and not the building.
We are encouraging people to meet in homes as small groups, families and friends.
What can we do during our church closure?
There are 7 steps we can take to Be the Church @ Home.
Tithes and Offerings During Suspension of Church Services
We want to thank you for your ongoing faithfulness in the return of tithes and the giving of offerings. Even though church facilities are closed there are still a variety of ways in which you can continue to give:
- Use e-giving. (Click here to give directly to Trinity Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church)
- Giving cash in your home group meeting. Offerings and tithe envelopes can be collected in your home group meetings. These would need to be counted and receipt signed by two persons and then delivered to your church treasurer.
- EFT transfer to the conference bank account and we will send your donations to your local church. See Newsletter for details.
South Australian Virtual Big Camp, April 14-18
Whilst Big Camp is not going ahead in its traditional format this year, the SA Conference Office are very excited to announce that it will be presented online as Virtual Big Camp. A program is currently being prepared by the SA Conference in conjunction with Living Ministry Media where speakers, musicians and other presenters will feature. This program will be livestreamed from LMM’s Prospect studios each day so you can still experience and take part in Big Camp in the comfort of your home. You can even pitch your tent in your backyard and watch on your electronic devices! Specific times will be provided in due course.
18 March 2020: Church Closure — Our COVID-19 Response
After prayerful consideration, the church board has made the tough decision to close Trinity Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church until the 30th of April, 2020. Effective immediately, this includes:
- Weekly Church Services,
- Sabbath School Classes,
- Prayer groups on premises,
- Cell Group and Bible Study meetings on premises,
- Secrets of Prophecy seminars,
- and all other facility bookings and events at church.
Please note that this excludes our Community Pantry, which will remain open to help support those who need it most in our community. Additionally, our week of prayer meetings will continue as planned.
This decision was made under recommendation from the Australian Union Conference and the Conference Presidents of each state and territory. This recommendation, along with yesterday’s full press release, is attached below.
Although we will no longer be able to meet on premises, our church isn’t shutting down! We are still here to support our church and local communities, however, just with our physical doors shut. We are working with other churches in Adelaide to see how we can effectively continue operations using digital technologies, or how we can still meet in smaller groups to continue Sabbath School classes and small groups.
Additionally, ample online resources can be found at trinitygardens.church, the website of the Adventist Record, or by searching for your Sabbath School Pamphlet. Our Facebook Group is a great way to have discussions and keep in touch during the week. In addition to this, we have a extensive library of Sermon Podcasts available on our website, or by searching Trinity Gardens Seventh-day Adventist Church on your favourite podcasting app.
Finally, it is important to be subscribed to this newsletter to stay up to date with what is happening within our community. We understand that technology may be daunting, but we’re all here to help each other through these unprecedented times. If you have any questions or need some help — in any way — please contact someone you trust or email us at [email protected].
Please keep our community — and all those around the world — in your prayers.
17 March 2020: Press Release From Australian Union Conference
Dear church members,
Today, we met as Union officers and Conference presidents from across Australia. We met for several purposes, but at the forefront of our meeting was prayer and the wellbeing of our members and the wider community. Today, we prayed for you—for our elders and our children, our young people, and the thousands of faithful church members we have across this country. We prayed for the current pandemic affecting millions of people around the world, and we prayed for those directly involved.
As we are sure most of you are aware, last week a decision was made by the executive committees of four conferences to cancel their camp meetings for 2020. Today, as leaders, we have taken an action to recommend that churches suspend all services until the end of April 2020.
As a leadership team, we recognise the importance of community and worshipping together, especially on Sabbath. However, we have considered the current advice of the Australian Government and their health experts; as well as many of our own Adventist health professionals; and similar actions by Adventist church leaders around the world, and have made this decision—one we believe is timely and needed to protect our members, particularly those who are more vulnerable in our churches and the wider community. As Christians, we have a responsibility to help minimise the stress on our health system and those who work in it.
This is an unprecedented measure for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia, and please know that it is not a decision we have taken lightly. But while the doors to our churches are shut, it is our prayer that today, more than ever, we open our lives and our hearts to our God.
These next few Sabbaths will look a little different to what most of us may be used to. We will miss our churches, and being together. But our worship does not depend on the place; but rather, in our hearts we will choose to worship the Father, as Jesus called us to, “in Spirit and in truth.” We may not be together physically or sharing a meal with others, but we will be worshipping together, praying together, singing together, and meditating in the Word together. This pandemic may have closed our churches, but there is nothing that can stop us from worshipping God together. He will receive our adoration and our praise, no matter where we are. If you are able, you may want to gather together in a home group—either in person, or through digital means.
We invite you to take this crisis as an opportunity. Today, we close our church doors, but we invite you to open your hearts. Let us use this time to connect in creative ways with others that may be on their own or isolated. Reach out to your neighbours to check that they are well; offer to help and pray for them. If you are able, offer to help your neighbours and friends to pick up essentials or assist them as needed.
The time will come when we will re-open, so let us re-enter our places of worship as people who have prayed intensely for one another, for our communities, and the world in which we live. Above all, pray for God to continue leading in the affairs of this world until we see Him face to face.
Darren Slade President Northern Australia Conference
Brett Townend President South Queensland Conference
Adrian Raethel President North New South Wales Conference
Terry Johnson President Greater Sydney Conference
Cristian Copaceanu President South New South Wales Conference
Graeme Christian President Victorian Conference
Gary Webster President Tasmanian Conference
David Butcher President South Australia Conference
Steve Goods President Western Australia Conference
Peter Cameron Chief Financial Officer Australian Union Conference
Michael Worker Secretary Australian Union Conference
Jorge Munoz President Australian Union Conference
13 March 2020: Big Camp 2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19
Today, Pr David Butcher, President of the South Australian Conference, released the following message regarding the cancellation of this year’s Big Camp meeting:
Due to the increasing risk of the coronavirus COVID-19, the priority of the health and safety of all church attendees and employees, the Conference Board of Directors has taken the action to cancel Big Camp 2020.
This was a difficult decision to make, as we all highly value the spiritual and social contribution of Big Camp to Church life in South Australia. The decision was made prayerfully, but recognising our need to trust in God in every situation.
Given the current developing situation, the decision was necessary. Key information which assisted in this decision included:
The Coronavirus COVID-19 being declared as a pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO),
Advice from authorities recommending to cancel the event, given the risks associated with communal gatherings where there is need of communal use of amenities and facilities over an extended period of time.
Advice to cancel Big Camp in 2020 from health professionals.
Our Camp is unique in that we hire a school facility. Consideration was given that in the event of an outbreak, there would be significant impact on the school community.
Assessments of proceeding with Big Camp revealed that even with the implementation of strict control measures does not diminish the potential for serious consequences.
The AUC have given a recommendation that all Conferences cancel their Big Camps in this current environment given the significant potential risk to our constituents and staff.
NNSW, Victoria and WA Conferences have cancelled their Big Camps as well as their Grey Nomads camps for 2020.
Input was sought from key stakeholders prior to the decision being made to cancel Camp.
Over the coming days, the finance team will be refunding in full all application fees paid for Big Camp 2020.
We encourage all of our churches and members to take necessary precautions to ensure the health of their family. At this stage, no other Conference events have been cancelled and we recommend that church gatherings continue as normal with general preventative measures. Please familiarise yourself with recommendations by state health authorities in this situation.
Pastor David Butcher