Can we safely be WITH each other?
For the first time in over 20 months, I met with other state faith leaders in-person (outside in my role as a board member of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. I can’t quite describe how meaningful it was to be in the same space with others as we shared deeply about what was happening in our lives and communities of faith. I didn’t realize until that moment how exhausted I have become of zoom meetings and lack of being WITH people.
The conveners of the meeting had considered moving it to zoom once again but went forward with planning an outdoor meeting where social distance, masking, and vaccines were required of all participants. All who gathered that day were extremely grateful for the decision to move forward with an in-person meeting.
As I drove home from that powerful day, I thought about our upcoming in-person regional [RE]START MESSY trainings that are scheduled for October 23rd. When we first made plans for this day of training way back in January, we thought that we would be at a much different place in the pandemic. However, here we are and we realize that there are risks we face when we meet in-person. We are committed to safely bring people together.
Safe AND Together Messy Church Plan
- Strict COVID Precautions
We have established a list of COVID precautions that will be in place at each of our six in-person gatherings. In addition, some locations have additional precautions that are needed due to their local health departments or church guidelines. Please contact us if you have any specific concerns about joining us in person on October 23rd.
- Small in-person Gatherings
Our in-person gatherings will be small. These smaller gatherings will lead to more interaction and engagement for each of the participants. There will be opportunity to plan and dream together as local teams while asking our experienced trainers for their suggestions. In addition, through sharing challenges we have faced we have faced over the past 20 months, we learn from one another.
- Celebrate our Messy Church Community
The past 20 months have been difficult for us all. In the church, the focus has been on adapting and surviving which has led to exhaustion for many. Messy Church USA has always been a virtual community and that has served us well as we support one another. However, as I learned from my experience of meeting in person with other faith leaders, being with others who share common interests can bring renewal and inspiration.
Time to Celebrate!
I am thankful that, in spite of COVID, we are still here and there is an amazing amount of interest in Messy Church! We celebrate all who plan to join us in person or online on October 23rd. There is still room at each of the trainings so if you have been debating attending, we would love to have you join us. We want to celebrate YOU!
Grace and Peace, Roberta