Crossway Updates

Crossway Finance Update

Crossway Update 15 June 2020

We are living in an unprecedented time as our community continues to experience disruption and challenges flowing out of the global Covid-19 crisis. In recent months, we have responded to very significant demand for LifeCare’s services, and we’re meeting this demand by redirecting resources into practical and pastoral care where it’s needed most.

At the same time, the Covid-19 season has seen a drop in giving, with tithes down 19% and a year to date reduction of 13%. We are managing this well by decreasing our costs and with the assistance of the Commonwealth Government Job Keeper scheme.

If giving patterns don’t change, however, this will be problematic when Job Keeper ends. If you are in a position to give and perhaps have let that lapse with the disruption to normal routines, please be prayerful about resuming or initiating regular online tithes. There are several ways you can do this, find out more at www.crossway.org.au/give .

God continues to do great things and we praise His name. We will continue to glorify our God by serving those in need in our community. We are here for you.

Blessings,

Dale Stephenson
Senior Pastor

God’s invitation to mission

Crossway Update 1 June 2020

I trust the week has commenced well for you. The thoughts and prayers of our staff team are with all of you as we continue to navigate these unusual and changing times.

If you shared in Sunday’s online worship service, I’m sure like me you would have been very encouraged by the reminder of how God is at work in some many different ways through our Crossway community.

It was wonderful to celebrate multiple baptisms at home, mark the delivery of our 500th COVID care hamper and see our teams in action online across all our campuses, worshipping and creatively connecting online. We have much to look forward to over the next few months, including for our youth, our first Winter Camp “at home”, which will include a mix of large online and small group home gatherings. More broadly we are also seeing an increased engagement from churches across Australia with our Building a Discipling Culture initiative. There is much to thank God for!

As you will be aware some restrictions have been eased in Victoria from 1 June.

This means groups of up to 20 people can gather together for “religious gatherings” and households can have a total of 20 people come together, while ensuring appropriate social distancing and good hygiene practices.

As a Church community we sought to be proactive and wise as the pandemic curve began to rise in Australia and we want to remain careful and wise as we respond to the easing of restrictions in the months ahead.

From this week, we are opening the Chapel and Family Café spaces at our Burwood East site for bookings of groups of up to 20. This will enable, for example, prayer groups to connect together and small ministry teams to meet on site. All bookings need to be made through the Church office [9886 3700] and each request will be considered based on a COVID-safe plan, approved by the Executive Team.

Any groups that meet onsite will need to adhere to social distancing requirements and there can be no communal sharing of food. People will also need to sign in, so we have a record of attendance, as required by health authorities for tracing purposes. These arrangements will be part of our “new normal” for now and we will value the co-operation of groups, while we enjoy the benefits of being able to meet together in small gatherings.

We’re asking all Life Groups to continue to meet either online or in homes, given that groups of 20 can now meet together in homes. We would encourage each Life Group to make a decision based on their needs, venue and numbers. Some groups are planning to commence meeting on Sundays to share in online services together, while others have launched weekend “watch parties”.

For June, our staff team will continue to primarily work from home, as recommended by the State Government, and they will continue to be on the front foot caring for our community, engaging online and encouraging and supporting people in Next Steps.

We are thankful to God for how our Crossway community, scattered across Melbourne, has been creatively and lovingly engaging in local neighbourhoods, sharing the love and hope of Jesus in so many practical ways.

We look forward to continuing to engage together in online worship on Sundays. At the same time our team are prayerfully exploring other ways we can come together in small gatherings as restrictions slowly ease in the months ahead. We will keep you updated.

I read recently these challenging words: “God’s mission hasn’t changed. God’s invitation to join him in a broken world hasn’t changed. God is still changing lives every day. Our God is just choosing to use different modes at this time. He is beckoning us to fresh thinking and to be ready to seize new opportunities.

May that be so for all of us!

Serving Jesus Together

Scott Pilgrim
Executive Pastor

Serving Together

Crossway Update 23 April 2020

It’s good to share with you again today. While we continue to be socially distant as a church community, we are thankful that our faithful God is never distant and we can draw great comfort and confidence from his presence, peace, provision and power at work in our lives.

Let me draw your attention to a number of matters in this update.

Serving Others
We’re so thankful that so many people from across our Crossway community have been on the front foot serving and caring for others. We keep hearing so many good stories of creative neighbourly care and so let’s keep spurring each other on in these unusual times.

We realise that many Team Crossway members cannot fulfil their normal serving roles at this time and many others are looking for ways to express the love of Jesus. Can I encourage you to sign up at Serving Together and let us know how you want to play your part in serving your neighbourhood at this time. There are so many opportunities for you to get involved from neighbourhood support, hosting an online service watch party, prayer walking and much more. Join in today as Crossway together loves our community in Jesus’ Name.

Anzac Day Tribute
This weekend we will commence our online experience at 10am wth a special Anzac Day tribute. This will be a time when our church community can gather together to mark courage, sacrifice and service and pray for peace across our globe. Our online service will follow at 10.15am with our Senior Pastor speaking at our English service. For full details of all our services go to www.crossway.org.au

Praying Together 7:14
Join us to pray for our city, nation and nations as we put 2 Chron 7:14 into practice as a church community – we’ll be meeting via Zoom on Tuesdays at 7:14am and 7:14pm for 30 minutes of interactive prayer led by a Crossway pastoral team member, visit our events page for details.

Baptisms
While we can’t meet for public services, people continue to make next steps in their journey with Jesus. Over the month of May we want to encourage people who have a desire to be baptised to take that next step and we look forward to chatting with you and helping you make this happen in your own home . To express your interest simply visit our Next Steps page and one of our Pastoral Team will be in contact with you. Watch out for more on baptisms at our online service on Sunday 3 May. We look forward to sharing in video baptisms and testimonies in the months ahead.

Life Groups
Although we can’t physically meet together I am so thankful to God for the ongoing relational connectedness I am having with my Life Group. If you would like to find out more about joining a Life Group aligned with our Burwood East, South East, Asian Languages or Online campuses please make contact with us here at Next Steps.

Crossway Kids Online
At 10:45 AM (AEDT) every Sunday, Kidspace launches a new online experience for your family. Send your kids to www.crossway.org.au/kids after Holly & Molly.

Computers
As we support our local community at this time, we are seeking to refurbish second-hand computers that can be given to LifeCare clients and other families who need them for home schooling or to remain in touch with LifeCare services. Any excess computers will be provided to support clients of other local NFP services.

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Laptops must be working and usable
  • No data recovery will be provided and all drives will be wiped
  • Preference is for units no older than six years
  • Can be PC Laptop or Mac Books, Tablets, iPads, Monitors, Mouse.
  • All Mac devices must be unlocked or Apple IDs/ PIN included
  • Please include power pack if you have it
  • PC’s are non-returnable once donated

Computers can be dropped off at the Crossway Burwood East foyer area, where food is also being collected for the LifeCare pantry.

Groceries
Thank you for the generosity of so many who have been leaving food and other grocery items at our campuses. We appreciate your support and it’s wonderful to hear the feedback from grocery parcel recipients. Please keep the groceries coming in and if you need support please make contact with us here. You can also request a food parcel to deliver to a neighbour or friend in need and you can ask for this assistance here.

Giving
We appreciate this is a financially challenging time for some in our church community, while others may be in a position to generously give more at this time. Whatever our context, let’s continue to invest together in our vision. You can find out more about online giving here.

Care Needs
In this unprecedented and challenging time, Crossway is a caring community ready to help you in all kinds of ways. Our pastoral team are good listeners who would love to offer you practical help, prayer, and encouragement, as well as referring you to more help if necessary. To connect with us please make contact here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this latest update.

Let’s remind ourselves that we are in this season together. It is a stretching time, but one where are also seeking to seize opportunities to point people to the love of Jesus by word and deed.

Please remember we’re here for you! Reach out if our team can be of support to you in any way.

And let’s keep using this season to be open to the Spirit’s leading, learning new things as individuals and families, being imaginative and innovative and looking to all that God has ahead of us post COVID-19.

Take care.

Serving Jesus Together

Scott Pilgrim
Executive Pastor

Serving one another!

Crossway Update 31 March 2020

The New Testament has numerous “one another” encouragements, such as love one another, be devoted to one another, build up one another and serve one another!

It has been so encouraging to see our Crossway community putting these biblical mandates into action in these unusual times; uniting together so genuinely and generously. We are hearing so many stories of people caring for others and looking to creative ways to reach out safely and wisely to neighbours and people in need in this stretching season.

Thanks also for the very encouraging feedback from so many of you to our online worship experiences. These will continue this weekend with Pastor Dale speaking at our 10.15am online English service and pre-recorded messages available on our website for our Asian congregations. Find out all the details you need here. We are continuing to be proactive and wise in how we present our online services, implementing required social distancing and other relevant guidelines. We are also looking forward to an online Good Friday service at 9am and Easter Sunday celebration at 10.15am the weekend after next.

Public Gatherings
With all public gatherings reduced to no more than two people, all Life Groups, Prayer Groups and ministry groups should definitely only be connecting online. This has been our recommendation for a number of weeks now, but can we stress the importance of doing the right thing at this time, so together we can help flatten the COVID-19 curve. Our Life Groups team have been doing a great job resourcing our leaders and please be in touch with the team if you have any questions.

Here For You!
At this time, we continue to emphasise care at Crossway. We’re on the front foot seeking to care for people across our campuses – at all ages and stages of life. A reminder that you can request care or refer a care need, a prayer request or a grocery delivery at crossway.org.au. Thanks for the generous donations of groceries across all our campuses. Please keep them coming in so we are well prepared as needs grow.

Crossway Neighbourhood Card
A printable resource to help you reach out to your neighbours at this difficult time.

Crossway Youth & Crossway Kids
Our Youth & Kids teams have responded so proactively and creatively to the season we are in and families can find a great range of online opportunities to connect, grow and be inspired, as we partner with parents on the discipleship journey. Find out more here.

New SMS service coming soon
As Pastor Dale shared on the weekend, we are also moving over the next few weeks to introduce a church-wide SMS service, realising that for many people at Crossway this is the easiest and quickest way to get a message to you. Watch out for a Crossway-wide SMS coming soon.

Social Media Opportunities
Our team has also stepped up homegrown content on our social media platforms, including midweek devotionals, the opportunity to share in the Scriptures with Pastor Dale & Pastor Edi, live interviews and other helpful resources. Stay connected, engaged and encouraged at Crossway’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Give
We realise these are challenging times for many and there are people at Crossway that have lost jobs, had hours reduced, have family members unwell or have seen business income drop significantly. We’re praying each day for all at Crossway who have been impacted. And as together we pray for those in challenging seasons, we are reminded of the importance of our giving at this time – as we seek to support our ongoing ministries day to day, week to week, but also strengthen our capacity to care and reach out with the hope of Jesus in so many practical ways. If you haven’t already set up online giving, it’s a simple process and you can find out more at Crossway Giving.

Prayer across the nation
As we pray together, we can also join followers of Jesus across the nation in prayer. Two opportunities highlighted by our Prayer Pastor Scott Mitchell are:

  • 25 Nights of Online Prayer
    Time: 8PM AEDT (QLD 7PM / SA 7:30PM / NT 6:30PM / WA 5PM)
    Dates: Friday 27 March – Monday 20 April 2020
    ZOOM URL LINK: https://zoom.us/j/776881184
  • National call to pray daily.

Please be in touch with our Church Office on 03-9886 3700 if you have any questions or we can assist you with other information at this time. While our office is closed all calls are being diverted and will be referred to a relevant team member.

Crossway, let’s stay on the front foot – serving one another – and showing the love of Jesus to each other and those around us.

Serving Jesus Together
Pastor Scott Pilgrim
Executive Pastor

Flatten the Curve

COVID-19 Update 18 March 2020

It’s great to have our Senior Pastor and Pastor Edi safely back in the country. We begin this church-wide update with a video message from Pastor Dale.

As Pastor Dale highlights in his message we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic with a strong confidence in our God and with a passionate commitment to care for each other.

In these unprecedented times, I want to reach out again, on behalf of our leadership team, to let you know what Crossway is doing to support our church and local community. As we’ve previously shared, we are seeking to be proactive and wise, doing all we can to “flatten the COVID-19 curve” in our community and beyond.

Dependent on our faithful God and the advice of experts we are implementing strategies that seek to mitigate the spread of the disease, while also focusing on how we care and support each other at this time. In responding to the rapidly changing landscape we have established a Crossway COVID-19 Response Team, which is closely monitoring the situation and taking advice from government authorities and health professionals.

As a result, the Response Team needs to update our church community on some significant developments, including additional steps we are taking to foster social distancing as we seek to reduce the spread of the disease in our community, particularly to support the most vulnerable.

While we will be socially distant, we want to do all we can to stay relationally connected. This will look different to normal, but let’s all seek to play our part in intentionally and creatively strengthening community.

Please read our important Q&A update on Crossway related COVID-19 matters below.

We will continue to meet together online until further notice. We value the very encouraging feedback to our first all-campus online worship experience last weekend.

Services in English for our Burwood East and South East campuses will be streamed live from 10:15am Sunday [with a pre-service segment from 10am]. You can access this service via:

Crossway Website
Crossway Facebook
Crossway YouTube

This weekend there will also be a live Cantonese online service from 10:15am. We will also be posting messages from our other Asian Language congregations onto the Crossway website and we will update you more next week about longer-term plans with these services.

A decision has been made this week to temporarily pause all on-site ministry activities, including large and small group gatherings and activities, both run by Crossway and other organisations. Please be assured that this decision was not made lightly, but we are committed to doing all we can to keep our community safe. Please be in contact if you have any questions about these changes.

To support the wellbeing of our staff and their families we have released our staff to primarily work from home, as many other organisations are doing. Our staff will still be actively engaged with a strong focus on care and following up people in our church community. You will appreciate we have a passionate and innovative team who are working hard to deliver ministry in different ways in this unusual season.

Our church reception number 9886 3700 will be still be answered and members of the church community can be transferred to relevant staff members. You can also email a staff member or complete a contact form on the website.

Our LifeCare team will continue to support people in our Church and local community, recognising these are challenging times for many. Some services are being temporarily suspended, but you will still be able to access the team on 9886 3899. There will be urgent counselling available and some other services will be delivered remotely.

Despite a changing ministry environment, we are strongly committed to caring for our church and local community. In fact, this will a key focus of our staff team in the coming weeks and months. In practical terms, how this care is delivered will look different for some time. From Monday 23 March there will be a user-friendly care request/referral form available on the front page of the Crossway website.

In providing high quality and sensitive pastoral care, individuals and families can be assured of confidentiality in reporting any diagnosed cases of COVID-19. Crossway teams will seek to be proactive in providing pastoral support, but in this situation, we can only respond appropriately as we are made aware of the need.

As a praying Church we will continue to lean in together, seeking God at a time of both challenge and yet missional opportunity. Our prayer teams/groups will continue to connect regularly and remotely. From Monday 23 March there will be a user-friendly prayer request form available on the front page of the Crossway website.

Our Crossway Kids’ team are firmly committed to partnering with parents and equipping families to disciple their children. We will be featuring a high-quality kids’ segment in our online live weekend service, with additional resources for families to use during the week. Our team will also have ongoing pastoral contact with families.

Like our Crossway Kids’ team, our Youth Team will continue to do all they can to engage and support youth and their families. This will include relevant online resources, use of social media, pastoral contact with families and young people and other creative communication strategies.

For a time, as we respond to the rapidly changing landscape, we are no longer recommending larger Life Group gatherings. As experts advise on the importance of social distancing, we would actively encourage a focus on smaller “family” gatherings in homes, while ensuring good health & hygiene practices. We are actively encouraging Life Group leaders and participants to have regular contact via telephone, messenger apps, Zoom, etc, and also to be mindful of those less connected in the community. Our Life Group Pastors will continue to keep in contact with Life group Leaders to give any updated information and practical tips to support relational connectedness at a time of social distancing.

We are very thankful for the generosity of the Crossway community in responding to our call for grocery donations. We will need more supplies as we go the distance and support vulnerable individuals and families. Groceries can be dropped 24/7 at the Burwood East main building. Look out for signage at the upstairs entry doors adjacent to the undercover parking drop-off. Members of the South East Campus are also invited to contribute groceries as per details provided to the campus.

Following discussion with the team, we have made the decision to cancel our planned Easter Presentations. However, we will celebrate this significant season with online services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as well as releasing a special homegrown Easter video.

Under the circumstances we have chosen to postpone our Church Annual General Meeting scheduled for this month and we will update members in the coming weeks.

As we navigate this unchartered territory, we realise members of our community may have many other practical questions. Please be in contact with our team if we can assist with any other information. In terms of communication at this time, we encourage you to email reception@crossway.org.au.

We will continue to keep our Crossway community well informed as we continue to move ahead together.

This is not a time for us to shrink back, to fear or panic. This is a time where together we can be on the front foot, serving Jesus and seizing opportunities to bring God’s love to a community in need.

Further, we can demonstrate our core value of taking nothing for granted, by responding to God’s goodness with gratitude and generosity. Practically this includes maintaining our commitment to bringing our tithes and offerings to the Lord and going the extra mile in care at this time. At this time, we need all tithes and offerings to be given online. Full details are available at www.crossway.org.au/give

Be assured of our team’s ongoing prayers, care and support. We will be in contact again soon.

Serving Jesus together

Scott Pilgrim
Executive Pastor
On behalf of the Executive Team & COVID-19 Response Team