Winding down livestream
The church leadership have decided to remove public access to livestream, starting 12 Sept. The link will only be available on request. Regulars can request it from CG leaders; visitors use this form (last request, Friday 5pm).
The link will only be distributed in special circumstances. For example:
– you are on stay-home notice
– you are housebound for another reason
– there are no tickets available for your congregation (including in Huddle House)
Please discuss your circumstances with your CG leader and, if needed, a member of staff. Our intention is to wind down the use of livestream and normalise being physically present at Aperia (including Huddle House). There are a few reasons for this.
1) Above all, the Bible teaches the priority of gathering physically. We have spoken and written about this in various ways over the past year. Get a refresher by watching these videos (Video 1 & Video 2) or re-reading this article. In short, our fundamental conviction is that church is a physical gathering, under God’s living word. That is our main reason to move away from watching livestream in homes.
At the time of writing there are ample tickets at Aperia, for vaccinated and unvaccinated people; we are eager to see them all snapped up each week. Book here.
2) We are convinced that physical gatherings are better relationally, even with the current restrictions. The chance to see and interact with church family outside your CG is precious. The opportunity to discuss the sermon with others who are gathered around you is wonderful. Dining-in together after the service is a bonus but even the interactions we can have during the service are sufficient reason to be together.
3) We want to rebuild gospel momentum. By May 2021, we felt we were in quite a good place as a church and were saddened by the Heightened Alert; it felt like a big step back in our church’s life and mission. We have been grateful for what livestream (and Zoom) have enabled during the pandemic (in discipleship and evangelism) but they are poor substitutes for what we had before. We long to see the gospel advance in our lives, in our country, and in our world. We are convinced, under God, that gathering physically will better enable that advance, for God’s glory.
4) We have sought to submit to the government throughout the pandemic, grateful for their leadership and striving to implement the relevant Covid restrictions, even though it meant many changes over the last 18 months. While things could again take a turn for the worse, the government’s current trajectory is to live with Covid-19. Singapore is opening up; we are trying to normalise our lives. This will be beneficial for the economy, children’s schooling, mental well-being, among other things. As Christians, our priority is involvement in our church’s life and mission. That is the most important “normal” we should pursue as Covid becomes endemic in Singapore.
Those are the key reasons we are pulling back from livestream. For some, we understand that you may not feel quite ready to “live with” Covid and you are hesitant to come to church. We understand and want to support you. Please reach out and talk to us starting with your CG leader; we’d love to have an open and honest conversation about how you’re feeling now, what you anticipate for the future, and how we can support you in moving closer to “normal” involvement in church life.
General articles thinking about the question of getting vaccinated
a) From Gospel Coalition (Australia) (many articles mentioned below are linked to this): https://au.thegospelcoalition.org/article/thanks-god-and-roll-up-your-sleeve/
b) From John Stephens, National Director, Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (UK): https://fiec.org.uk/resources/responding-to-the-ethics-of-the-covid-vaccine
c) From the Gospel Coalition (US)
i) A very important article about the getting the vaccine and Christian unity: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/covid-vaccine-christian-unity/
ii) A general FAQ article on things to know about vaccines: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-faqs-what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-vaccines/
d) From Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: https://albertmohler.com/2020/12/14/briefing-12-14-20
Some articles on specific issues
a) A helpful interview with Francis Collins (a Christian who led the Human Genome Project, and who wrote, ‘The Language of God: A Scientist presents evidence for belief’). He has personally been involved at the highest level with the development of vaccines: https://www.russellmoore.com/2020/12/11/a-conversation-with-dr-francis-collins-on-vaccine-development-2/
b) On whether or not foetal cells are used in the production of the vaccine: https://lozierinstitute.org/update-covid-19-vaccine-candidates-and-abortion-derived-cell-lines/
c) On RNA vaccines in particular: https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/explainer-what-you-should-know-about-the-covid-19-rna-vaccines/
To help us as a church think biblically and practically about responding to Covid-19, we hope you find the following resources helpful: