If camps, journeys and VBS can not proceed – Bible Type

If camps, journeys and VBS can not proceed

SaveSavedRemoved 0
Deal Score0
Deal Score0

In the coming weeks and months, church leaders will have to make difficult decisions about summer programs. Regardless of whether we cancel, move forward, postpone, reverse or go online – we are deliberately not reactive.

During this global pandemic, we take things week after week, and often day after day. With so much uncertainty, it is difficult to know when we will gather in our buildings and what it will look like. As summer approaches, community members ask, "Will VBS be canceled?" "Are we still going on a mission trip?" "Can I still go to camp?"

Each church and organization must answer these questions in a way that is appropriate and appropriate for their context. Here are a few things to consider:

Slow return to "normal" projected

With new cases of COVID-19 declining in the pre-US countries, some blocking restrictions are slowly being lifted. Until there are widespread tests for the virus in our country, some forms of physical distancing are likely to have to remain to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities. Physical distancing from high-risk individuals can continue until a vaccine is available. We don't know exactly what it will look like for faith communities, but it seems certain that the return to “normal” ways of collecting will be slow.

The National Church has postponed the major event planned for July

On April 8, Bronwyn Clark Skov, ministry official for youth ministries at the Episcopal Church, announced that the biennial youth event, scheduled to take place from July 7-11, 2020, will be postponed. You can read the full explanation here. The scale of this event, which brings together thousands of people, is obviously much larger than a summer event that takes place in a single community, but it does show that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is measured in months, not weeks.

A time to concentrate on the essentials

This pandemic has called on us all (really forced us) to concentrate on the essentials. In the first weeks of this global crisis, we had no capacity for anything else. If we find a new normal and new rhythm, we will probably have an increased capacity. And we can deliberately and prayerfully decide what to do with it. Maybe this is a time for it continue Focus on the essentials. A time to do a few things well. A time to produce less and connect more deeply with members of our communities.

And let us remember, our communities are an expression of the body of Christ. We are blessed with various gifts. Could this be a time to invite members of your body, your community, to be creative with you? To pray for and imagine new alternatives when you actually need to cancel what you originally planned?

Church size issues

When you have to make a decision to cancel summer events such as vacation Bible school, pilgrimage, summer camps, and missionary trips may depend on the size of your church. Larger churches may need to plan ahead. Smaller communities are inherently quicker and more flexible. Smaller churches may have to wait a little longer to make a decision.

Nuts and bolts: some tips for breaking off

take your time
Canceling a beloved, annual and / or long-planned event can be emotional. Take your time to make the decision. Do some research. Pray. Get the buy-in from executives. Give people time to adjust to the idea of ​​canceling or postponing. Pay attention to the emotional aspect of the cancellation.

Communicate clearly and directly
When you have made a decision, communicate clearly and directly. Place all the details in one place. Plan to communicate the information multiple times. If this is a big event that means a lot to your community, don't bury the information in the weekly announcements. Send a special email or physical letter. Make calls with those who will be particularly disappointed. Recognize the emotional component – grief and disappointment.

Provide * optional * refunds
If necessary, offer refunds. Millions of people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, so some families may be eligible for a refund. If necessary, you can optionally offer the refund. Some people may want to make a donation to the church if their financial situation is stable. Know where the money will go (general company fund, youth ministry budget, credit for future events, etc.). Be aware that someone who does not accept the refund will no longer be able to offer it later.

Offer an alternative (if applicable)
As part of maintaining the emotional element of cancellation / postponement, consider whether an online alternative could be appropriate in any way. Could the pilgrim group do a monthly summer book study on zoom? Could you set up a FaceBook group for families that will offer activities on your VBS topic all summer long? Could your youth group collaborate on an aid project from home, such as writing letters to older members of your community?

Soundboard: Office hours for lifelong learning

Every Thursday, lifelong learning offers open online office hours via Zoom. This week we offer ourselves as a sounding board for people who are considering what it looks like to cancel or postpone summer events. Register here to join us!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply