Hospitality in an Inhospitable Season

As our community begins making changes and watching how those changes unfold, there will be many reactions and opinions and agendas that want to take hold.  Here’s the thing, though, for us. We are the Church.  We are the ones for whom Jesus said “even the gates of hell cannot overpower” us.  While we live in a strange and scary time, we have no need to let the strangeness or the fear abide in us.  Our strength is in our desire to be the church to one another.  We let none of our brothers and sisters wander in loneliness or despair.  We walk alongside each other in love and encourage and challenge with truth and grace. This has always been integral to us as a church is community. 

To that end we want to give some direction on the why and the how of what our gatherings will like for the month of June. We will be wise in our methods, but we will be continue to be bold in our message.

So….you’re with us.  You want to love and grow the church through groups, but you’re wondering what this will look like.  Here’s a few things to guide you as you host and/or lead a watch party:

  • Always handle the comfortability of others within social situations with grace. Lots of grace.
  • Know that the priority in these gatherings is connection and relationship.  If you have to step away from the sermon so that you can be available to someone, do not worry.  You’ve made relationship a priority.
  • Have hand sanitizer and a place to wash hands with soap and water readily available.
  • Practice social distancing as best as possible (refrain from hugs, handshakes, etc.) 
  • Those who are experiencing any COVID like symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) should refrain from gathering in person.
  • Those 65 and older or those with underlying health risks should follow local and state health recommendations.

We know that hosting families with kids presents challenges.  We want each group and host to decide what is best for them. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Children not yet walking encouraged to stay with parents for the duration
  • If the weather permits and you have a safe space, maybe kids can play outdoors during worship.
  • You could encourage kids to stay with parents for worship through singing time and then dismiss to a different space during the teaching time.
  • If you have a teenager (or teenagers) attending, he/she could play with the kids in another room or outside.
  • You could ask parents to send a snack and an activity for their child(ren) if they’d like them to stay in the room with the adults during worship.
  • You can reach out to us and we can provide coloring sheets and worship notes.
  • You can show the Redemption Kids lesson in a different room and have a snack (that parents provide for their child) and easy activity after they watch the video.

The coming months are a chance for the church to shine the light of Christ on a far more searching world than we were four months ago.  Our community wants to know the reason for the hope that is within us.  Let’s open our doors and our lives to them.  Let’s be wise in our methods, but bold in our message.