Worship at Castle Hill
Millions of Australians embrace worship as an essential part of life. For many faith traditions, gathering together for worship is at the heart of what it means to be a community of faith. But as Australians are now aware, gatherings still present a risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19 during this difficult and challenging time.
As of today, Monday, 27th July, fifteen new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed.
This morning, NSW Health identified four additional cases associated with a series of funeral gatherings and a church service attended by a woman in her 40s from the Fairfield area, a case reported on Thursday. The additional cases are a couple in their 60s from the North Coast and a couple in their 50s and 60s from South Western Sydney.
Attendees of the following funeral and other church services have been urged to immediately self-isolate, get tested for COVID-19 regardless of any symptoms, and continue to self-isolate for 14 days even if the test is negative.
The services attended were:
- 16 July: St Brendan’s Catholic Church Bankstown for one hour from 6.30pm
- 17 July: Ausia Funeral Services at Fairfield East between 1pm and 8pm
- 18 July: Funeral service at St Brendan’s Catholic Church Bankstown for one hour from 10am
- 18 July: Burial service at St John of God Lawn at Rookwood between 11.30-1pm
- 19 July: Our Lady of Mt Carmel at Mt Pritchard for one hour from 7.30am
This morning's news is saddening and a stark reminder that we need to continue to be wise and patient with all that’s happening around us. We need to continue with our broadcast services for church and Zoom for Sabbath School. This is our new normal for now.
Unfortunately, during my break, I heard of some at Castle Hill who’ve been wondering why we are not worshipping together again. Some were pointing to other Adventist churches in Sydney, who are meeting for corporate worship on Sabbaths. These churches are very small in number and their Boards had decided it safe enough for them to meet. The Castle Hill Church Board was unanimous in agreeing to not meet together until we are able to ALL meet together again—until things improved enough for this to happen.
Pastor Terry Johnson—Greater Sydney Conference President, said the following in a circular to church leaders in Greater Sydney last weekend:
“It is our recommendation for all churches in hotspots around Sydney to close their churches this coming Sabbath (If you had planned on being open). I was slated to speak at our Tahmoor church, but they have decided to close because of the majority of members being in the highly vulnerable age bracket. A wise decision in my opinion by their pastor and leaders.”
We continue to face unprecedented times together. At Castle Hill, we cannot be complacent and take our progress for granted. The recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria and across our State demonstrate we must remain vigilant and on high alert and aware of our own actions. I’m aware of many in society today who are not taking the COVID-19 virus seriously. Many of my colleagues across the globe, have lost their lives, whilst many have had to bury church members due to the virus.
So much has changed this year, and all of us have questions and concerns about our church:
• When should we reopen?
• How do we connect with our church family?
• How can we meet the needs of our community?
I understand the pressure you're feeling—I believe everyone is feeling it, too. But remember, Castle Hill isn't only “your” church. It's God's Church—the bride of Christ—and He’ll never leave her nor forsake her.
Matthew 16:18, Jesus says "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Why not invite people to yours for Sabbath School and church. We've been invited and have invited church family to ours. We've had so much fun afterward celebrating life together. It doesn't have to be a large group.
I look forward to the day when I can greet you in the foyer and welcome you back to church. Until then, let’s be wise and vigilant—constantly seeking our Lord in prayer. Constantly thinking about how we can make a greater impact on our community and sharing our faith, our journey with others.
Yours—because of Jesus.
Pastor Pablo Lillo
Preaching Roster: August
1. Pastor Nicholas Kross "Letting Go of Stuff" (Youth Service)
Offering: Youth Pastor Support Fund—please give generously
8. Pastor Pablo Lillo "Letting Go of Distractions"
Offering: South Pacific division Media Offering
15. Mitchell Strahan "Letting Go of Bitterness"
Offering: Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church—please give generously
22. Dr Bryan Craig "Letting Go of Control"
29. Zen Wijeyesinghe "Letting Go of Your Past"
Offering: Adventist Education
Our Church Vision:
The vision of Castle Hill Seventh-day Adventist church is to be the most loving church.
Our mission is for us to take the good of Jesus Christ to every place we can, in every way possible. Whatever the means, we want to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our School, friends, family, neighbours and the wider community.
1. To honour God through worship.
2. To share the Gospel message of Jesus with others.
3. To connect with others in meaningful relationships.
4. To prepare disciples to fulfill their purpose.
5. To encourage leaders in their God-given destiny.
Senior Pastor – Pablo Lillo
M: 0412 588 827
Associate Pastor – Nic Kross
M: 0423 107 766
Youth Pastor – Jessica Laws
M: 0424 370 294
Senior Elder - Marvin Malcolm
M: 0414 430 688