(In response to the COVID-19 season)
There are many ways that a group can move through this study both in the midst and subsequent to the COVID-19 season in our world. How you, as a group, choose to move through it largely depends on the level of comfortability and health of your group members. The technology of software applications that are available to us ensures that meeting online is a real and feasible option. Such online meeting platforms include, but are not limited to:
- Google Hangouts
- Amazon Chime
- FaceTime (iOS)
- RightNow Media Groups
Why you might consider meeting in-person: While the interactive conversation is possible via online platforms, there are aspects of in-person fellowship that cannot be replicated on an online platform. Meeting in-person would be a decision made for the sake of mental and spiritual health. There is, indeed, a science and theology around presence. Some may find that they are experiencing a sufficient amount of connection from an online platform, but it is likely that there are members of your group that would greatly benefit from an in-person meeting, and having a conversation around this option would be wise.
You can also think about an alternating in-person and online schedule.
If your group decides to meet in-person, here are some helpful guidelines you can consider as you try to keep things safe for those in the group while still reaping the benefits of personal connection. (This list is not exhaustive, nor are any of the items mandatory)
- If you have a large group (>10 people), subgroups are an option. Subgrouping means breaking into two smaller (<10 people) groups meeting in separate locations or in two different areas of the same location.
- Maintain the same location for all meetings. At the agreed-upon location of the meeting, be sure to adequately disinfect surfaces and door handles before and after the meeting.
- During the meeting, maintain the social distancing recommendation of 6 feet of separation.
- Bring your own water bottles, coffee, pens, bibles, etc.
- Sanitize/wash your hands upon entering.
- If you happen to cough or sneeze, be sure to cover your mouth with your arm.
- Bring and wear a mask; especially if there are those that are uncomfortable or immunocompromised.
- NOTE: If some in your group do not feel comfortable meeting in-person, be sure to warmly welcome them to join the meeting via an online platform