Update on Youth Ministry Activities
What's Going On
We are still figuring out how to go about keeping our faith community strong and active during this time of stay-at-home lock down, though a new normal has started to solidify. As the nation looks to try to reopen as soon as possible, it is still a very uncertain timeline. As far as I understand, the relaxation of restrictions on group size will go much slower than it came. The aim of our ministry is to incorporate the lift in restrictions as they come and as they are recommended. At this time, I am unable to plan any activities far in the future, but we'll take it a day at a time.
A big thank you to everyone who has put in the effort to stay connected and do what it takes to keep ourselves spiritually healthy.
Below, you'll find some information on what we are already doing and some speculation on what might happen in the future.
Zoom Classes | Sunday, 11:00am
Every Sunday, we host a Zoom meeting aimed at keeping us engaged in God's Word, connecting with each other socially, and having a prayer list of our concerns. We begin at 11:00am and typically go to 12:00pm (because we/I get hungry). We are continuing our curriculum on "Core Beliefs," a quarter designed to dig into our most central beliefs as Christians and Church of Christ. We get to see why we believe what we believe and come face to face with why it is so important. Because the format is different from actual class, we aren't able to cover what we normally would in a Sunday, which is totally fine, there's no rush anyway.
Zoom Hangouts | Monday, 4:00pm and Thursday, 4:00pm
On Mondays and Thursdays, both at 4:00pm, we hangout on Zoom, playing various games for fun. The aim of these activities is simply to have fun and get to see other faces. Keeping us social is harder in this time and I for one am getting tired of staying at home.
One-on-One | Canceled
For the first few weeks, Masha and I were continuing to invite people over to our home for dinner as a means of connecting with everyone. We had wanted to make it through the whole youth group, inviting one or two at a time. However, once we realized that the virus was closer to our circle of influence than we had anticipated, we decided to stop doing it, just in case it might lead to more infections. So, we got to invite some, but not all.
We've been trying to call a few people every day or so to check in and see how everyone is doing. We realize most people are doing fine, which is good. We call because we want you to know we have been thinking of you and offer up prayers on your behalf to stay safe and well. Every once in a while, someone has something to share and we want to make sure we can support in any way we can.
Church Camps | TBD
There is still no official word on Ponderosa. A few people have asked about it, hoping no one has canceled it yet. Those who are in charge of various sessions, that I have talked to, have still been planning for camp. According to plans to reopen the country, summer camps for teens would be in the first few waves of things to get the greenlight. Depending on how the government and the governor plans to reopen society, we have a decent shot at having camp this year. Again, we will have to wait and see.
Houston Trip | TBD
My conversations with Caroline and Harrison have resulted in trying to make a decision on the trip by the end of April. Texas has canceled school for the rest of the school year, which we still have yet to see what effect that will have on summer programs. On our end, we need proper time to raise funds and, more importantly, plan out our responsibilities/classes. We may not be cleared to travel to another state by that time either. On Houston's end, they have the same questions as well as how schools will want to address education during the summer. Caroline needs to send out letters explaining a decision by May 1st so that families can make plans accordingly.
ACU Camps | TBD
The ACU website still says they are planning on having camp as if the virus hasn't happened. I suspect that their website has not updated to reflect the COVID-19 issue. I've sent them an email asking if they have any plans and am waiting for a response. I'll let you know what I learn as soon as possible.