We are excited about the possibility of meeting in person again. But with our variety of groups, it's going to be impossible to move forward with a one-size-fits-all approach. There are many factors involved, like children, group size, and risk tolerance. We will ask each Small Group Leader to assess all of those factors for your group and then work toward taking the best next steps for your group. Returning is going to be more challenging than leaving!
CONSIDER THESE FACTORS
- WHEN - Our hope is for small groups, all age-group ministries, and mid-week activities to resume on campus following completion of our Campus Development Project in September. We ask every individual and family to make decisions in line with their individual circumstances. We recognize that a few groups, particularly senior adults, may not start back this early.
- JUNE/JULY: Adults will be able to gather weeks before children, so groups without kids will have an earlier and easier path to meeting together in person, subject to current guidelines.
- SUMMER BREAK: We normally take summer break from July 1 until the start of school. Although we still encourage that, if adult groups choose to meet on-campus this year during that time, we will accommodate that.
- LOCAL GUIDELINES - We will follow the recommended state and local guidelines to love our neighbor well. Also, while on campus, we are also subject to City of Birmingham guidelines.
- BE CREATIVE: Consider various nights, rotating men's and women's meeting nights to accommodate children at home, rotating live and virtual meetings, and even meeting outdoors.
- SPACE AT CHURCH: The church facilities will be available for use in June after consultation with Jay to assure that the room size allows social distancing and other needs of the group. Rooms on campus will have a less-than-normal capacity to enable social distancing.
- COMMUNICATE: In deciding when to return, please help people know what to expect. Those with concerns about virus exposure will want to know what safety measures (masks, social distancing, etc.) the group will take. Those with little concern need to know the expectations of them. Following current guidelines closely will communicate our love and care for each other. (Philippians 2:3-4)
- HYBRID LIVE-VIRTUAL MODEL: Once your group returns to meeting in person, consider continuing to offer a virtual component for those who haven't returned.
- SUNDAY ON-CAMPUS - As the church will limit worship space at first, think carefully about scheduling on-campus Sunday morning meetings as everyone in the group may not be able to attend worship.
- MULTI-GEN MEETINGS - In that interim period, children should not be included in adult meetings as social distancing will be compromised.
- HOSPITALITY - Let's practice hospitality, the point of which is to make others feel comfortable. Doing so will show our love for one another during this transition. (John 13:34-35)