Details regarding the recommencement of public worship on 7 June 2020

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters of RCSS,

The church Council would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed on the latest developments with respect to recommencing public worship thanks to the latest level 3 government lockdown regulations. Lord willing, we will congregate at the Rondebosch Scout Hall this coming Sunday, 7 June, at 9.30am.

We would like to stress up front that we understand that some of you will not be attending due to your age and/ or underlying health conditions, which puts you at higher risk for complications from COVID-19. Despite your absence from public worship, we believe that God will continue to uphold you in your faith under these less than ideal circumstances. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

As indicated before, we will continue to live-stream the 9.30am (no second service for the time-being due to government restrictions) service via YouTube. Liturgies for both services will continue to be posted on the church website. More details are forthcoming closer to the time.

For those that are healthy and able-bodied we encourage you to attend corporate worship this Sunday and going forward. Yes, there is risk of infection from COVID-19 by attending a public assembly. However, if our understanding of the scientific data both worldwide and locally is correct, then it would seem the risk if very low. We remember that our lives, down to the finest details, are in God’s capable hands (Matt. 6:25-34). Furthermore, we will be taking the following precautions to further ensure your safety. Please read them carefully so that where you have a responsibility you can be adequately prepared for Sunday:

  1. Please fill out a “symptoms” checklist via Google Forms (to be sent to you) or by hand prior to the service;
  2. No person with COVID-19 related symptoms will be allowed to enter the Scout Hall;
  3. If possible, please bring your own Bible and Psalter-hymnal. Otherwise, the relevant liturgy, Bible passages and Psalms will be sent to your phone. The purpose is to avoid the handling of books as far as possible;
  4. The Scout Hall will be thoroughly cleansed prior to the service using a sanitising “fog bomb”;
  5. Please wear your own mask at all times;
  6. Please bring your own hand sanitiser;
  7. All hands must be sanitised upon entering the Scout Hall with a church-provided sanitiser bottle;
  8. Social distancing of 1.5m from each other will apply;
  9. Chairs will be separated from each other by a distance of at least 1.5m;
  10. The pulpit will be at least 2.5m from the closest chair;
  11. Singing will unfortunately not be allowed. We encourage you to speak or whisper the words as your Pastor leads you in song;
  12. The giving of money and envelopes during the worship service will be allowed. But, we encourage you to consider doing an EFT to either the ministry and/ or deaconal funds instead (just in case, banking details are here);
  13. Fellowship after the service is not allowed. So, please make your way as soon as possible. However, Pastoral visits are permissible and will take place as arranged with you by your Pastor after the service.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself or an elder or deacon should you have any questions or concerns regarding the above. We continue to pray for you.

Grace, peace and strength,

 

Pastor Simon on behalf of the RCSS Council 

Is it ethical for a Christian to treat depression with anti-depressants?

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Christians suffer in this life, not only because they live in a fallen world, but also because of their cross-bearing identity with Jesus Christ. Depression is one way that disciples of Christ suffer. With the advancement of medical technology, there is an ever-increasing range of psychotropic drugs available for treating the symptoms of depression. Arguably the most advanced are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), of which Prozac is the most well known (and will be used as representative of this class of drug for the purposes of this essay). Since its release in 1986, Prozac has become the “most widely prescribed antidepressant in medical history.”  It has been known to elevate mood and even make some feel more than well. The medical community has been divided over biochemical changes in the brain relative to depression and Prozac. These facts have led many to raise concerns over whether laws, knowledge, and ethical practices are lagging behind in this new medical technology.

Is it ethical for a Christian to take Prozac for depression? In this essay I argue that, in specific circumstances, it is appropriate to incorporate Prozac into a holistic approach to treating depression, provided that sacred means inform the secular. In navigating the ethical path that advocates a cautious use of antidepressants in treating depression, this essay is divided into four parts. In the first place, depression is contextualized in light of the Fall. Secondly, the Christian is called to and benefits from a life of suffering. Thirdly, the Christian must guard against the therapeutic narcissism of our age. Finally, it is argued that godly wisdom for restoration can draw upon both sacred and secular means.

For the rest of the essay, go here.