The Building is Closed ...
Not the Church!
Chapel Hill's Response to Coronavirus ... Discipleship Zooms
Keeping Connections Open
Our lives seem to be changing, dramatically, minute by minute. It has never been more clear that the Church is not a building. The building has been closed. But the church has been operating at full speed all week. So many people are helping, here are a few updates from the disciples who have charged up.
Susan Waite, the Chair of the Discipleship Team, said her group has been working in close contact with Care Connection to offer support and help keep people connected.
"It's neat the way we all are kicking in and doing online meetings and services to support the connections between the congregations," Waite said. "The guidelines are shifting all the time, so we are taking Pastor Mark's suggestion to just reach out to 5 people every day."
Volunteers are calling to help let people know the church is here and we miss you. Callers are checking in to see if people need any help, and also to see if they need technology assistance to be able to fully participate in new online opportunities that are springing up within our congregation. Waite said that right now people are mostly fine. "But this way they'll know that if they do need help ... we're here."
The technology component is a challenge for some. However the Disicpleship team held their first "zoom" online meeting this week and it went well. Pastor Jonathon's Discipleship Bible Study also zoomed their first online class this week. "It's gone really well," Clinesmith said. "Ninety percent were able to connect through their systems. We hope to get more discipleship study opportunities online in the near future."
"Tech is an education that builds every week," Waite said. "Last week I was able to find the livestream service and figured out how to see the songs. Then I tackled zoom. This week I'll see about chat."
Mobile Meals has adapted. Coordinator Marilyn Henderson said that everything went fine on Thursday, March 26. The kitchens could not be used at Chapel Hill so the clients received "take-out." "Everyone was real receptive and appreciative," said Henderson. "We normally work in teams of 2 and yesterday one person drove in one car so they could call the client and let them know the delivery was being made. Then the second person, in a separate car, dropped the meal at the door."
Henderson said that many of the normal drivers are older and Chapel Hill's Mobile Meals is looking for volunteers to register in case they are needed. Couples or roomies living in the same space are ideal as they would be able to drive in the same vehicle. People who are out of work or financially challenged during this time will be provided gas money to drive the routes.
Mobile Meals practices physical distancing as they train to deliver meals in a new way.
Family ministries is providing near daily opportunities for students, children and parents to participate in online study and discussion and overview of resources including parent cues and videos. Thanks to the help of Loyce Gandy, Sandy Clapp, Karen Dowler, Julie Raney, Mason & Lindsey and Amy Albro Family Ministries has made "Family Night Kits" that are being distributed through our network of children that participate in church, Whiz Kid and A.C.T.S. 4 Kids activities.
The bags include a code for a free redbox movie, popcorn, candy, card games, mad libs and various other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity supplies. Amanda Walz, Minister of Children, said, "We hope that the new ways we are connecting with families reminds them that they are loved and cared for, even from a distance! We are also hopeful that these new ways reinforce our goal of equipping parents to help their children learn, explore and develop their faith."
This is an opportunity for all of us to explore our discipleship in new ways. To see a summary of opportunities please click HERE.