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Church leaders reach out to congregations

Pastor George Mann’s Full Gospel Family Fellowship Church hosted the ADF vaccination clinic in Bourke this week. Pastor Mann is pictured here with Captain Rachel Williams. Inset – Father Ravi Muvvala says he is available to speak to anyone struggling in lockdown. Photos TWH

Bourke’s church leaders are encouraging people to stay connected, despite not being able to hold services during the lockdown.

The town’s churches have had to close their doors to members and instead rely on phones and digital platforms to support their congregations.

Father Ravi Muvvala from Bourke’s Catholic Parish said there were many people in his congregation who were unable to use social media and he feared they were being isolated without face-to-face contact with their fellow parishioners.

Father Ravi said he was still able to minister to members of his congregation however, under exemptions within the public health orders.

“The rising number of COVID-19 cases is very depressing, and it is disheartening that we can’t come together at this time,” Father Ravi said.

“The majority of my faithful are elderly and don’t have contact through You Tube or Facebook, so even though I don’t have face to face contact with them I am praying for them every day.

“I call people and see how they are getting on and I’m encouraging them through these difficulties.

“As a minister of religion, I am available for blessings, communion, anointing or last rites.

“I am allowed under the health guidelines to do that, so I am reaching out to anyone who may need me.

“I have been in touch with the hospital and others to let them know I am available and I am also reaching out through the church Facebook page, that if anyone needs spiritual service I am there for them.

“I think on the other side of this, people are going to need one another. This a time when we need to connect faith to God and spiritual care is very important.

“I worry about elderly people, and I know it is not easy, but I want people to know that Father Ravi is available, even if it’s just for a little chat, anything. I am praying for them every day. I know they are feeling vulnerable, and I know how difficult it can be,” he said.

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