Small Groups starting in September
As we approach the 2020-2021 fall/spring calendar year, the question we have been trying to figure out is, “How do we do Small Groups?” With so much uncertainty, it is hard to know how to plan.
So, here’s what we are going to do.
For this year, we are modifying Small Groups to fit COVID restrictions. This means smaller groups for easier social distancing together, non-centralized meeting places like homes or outside patios, and the ability to pick a group that agrees on the level of safety measures you prefer. A group could coordinate with Steve to meet at church, but when we do not have other activities. Such as following the late worship service.
What is also unique about this year (that we are excited about) is that each group will be going through the book 7 Days of Prayer with Jesus by John F. Smed. This is the first time we have asked all Small Groups to go through the same material together. With this book as our focus for the Small Group, a shift in group size, place, and makeup will make the experience richer and allow us to continue meeting throughout the year if there is a resurgence of COVID.
Schedule for the fall: Each group finds a way to get through the book in 8 meetings before Christmas.
What we need from you:
First, if you and your original group want to stick together no matter what, you got it! We prefer groups split in half for size when it comes to social distancing, etc. With smaller groups, we will have more leaders. Groups can decide where and when they will be meeting.
Second, what type of group would you prefer to attend? We are grouping according to three categories for the coming year.
- A “Mask optional” group: “Mask optional” groups will gather those who wish to be laxer with restrictions. While social distancing is always strongly encouraged, the group can agree on which measures it wishes to take up as they meet. Anyone in a high-risk category, according to the CDC, would not want to select this group.
- A “mask” Group: Groups designated “mask” do not mean you have to wear a mask in the group (you certainly can). It merely means that this group will hold to fairly strict COVID guidelines. If you are not only concerned, personally, about following CDC guidelines but care that those you are around are doing that as well, this is the group for you!
- Zoom only: This group will meet via Zoom format as all of the groups did in the spring. With many options available with the Zoom format, meetings can be more personal and interactive. Zoom groups do not meet in person and offer connectivity options for those who need or want safer distancing.
Finally, children and youth: Right now, we are working with Phillip to develop a fall plan for Jr and Sr high kids. Ada and Ryan are also working on a plan for GAP kids (5th & 6th grade). Beyond that, we think each group should decide what works best for their children. There are some funds that Small Groups could use for various things like arranging their child care, if groups are 4-5 family units, tops, leaving it to each group to figure out a solution that works best for them seems the wisest of all options. Also, since groups meet when they want during the week, no one is tied to Sunday night only.
While we are excited about the ways God will be at work in his people over the next year, we realize all of this will require more effort, patience, and flexibility. To that end, let’s pray and ask God to give us those things as we attempt to meet as his people in new ways this fall. And let us move into the fall with the highest expectations of what his grace and mercy might do in and around us, for Fort Worth!