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Reply to "2021 Zoom Coffee Chat Links, Topics, Announcements, and Summaries"

Recap of our Renew, Rebuild - back to school Coffee Chat Zoom gathering

Many thanks to the thirty-some people who attended our first-ever community gathering on Zoom earlier this week! It was good to finally meet some of you "face-to-face" (sort of, in a virtual way).   This is a wonderfully creative and generous community and I thank you for your ideas and for your encouragement of one another.

I know some people were unable to attend, and I also know that those who were there wanted a summary of all that we talked about on Monday. So here it is. (I have also attached a more detailed transcript of our discussion.)

The big ideas and themes that seemed to run through our conversation:

  • Family ministry 
    • A great way to rebuild relationships between families to renew one of the big reasons families come to church.
    • Involving/equipping parents in their children's Christian education is a goal for many.
    • Parents modeling to parents how to nurture their children in the faith.
    • Churches are finding it to be a way to solve the volunteer problem (you need fewer volunteers if parents are in the room working as helpers with their children).
    • It is a way to honor our baptism vows to help parents raise their children in the faith.
  • Relationship development - most churches spent more time reaching out to their families during the shutdown and spent time developing relationships, and many participants indicated that "personal outreach" is a habit they want to carry into their future plans.
  • We need to consider the present time to be an Era of Experimentation: try something new and if it doesn't work, tweak it or try something else. Renewal will not happen fast, and it isn't just about numbers.
  • All of us are facing similar challenges, and it is good to talk, brainstorm and to encourage one another.

The biggest question that came up regularly in our conversation was about hybrid ministries, serving the needs of those attending in-person and those still at-home.  See the detailed transcript for discussion by some of our participants about what they are trying now. Reply below with what you have tried and problems and suggestions that you have.

I invite you to join the conversation by replying to this topic (or by posting questions in our Teachers Lounge or in other topics at this site).

  • What was your biggest takeaway from our conversation Monday?
  • Are you doing hybrid Sunday school? Have you tried it? What is and is not working?
  • Tell us about your plans for fall to re-attract and renew.
  • What would you like to talk about at our next Coffee Chat?

We would love to hear your questions and see your ideas and resources!

Below is a screenshot from our chat. (We couldn't fit everyone in one screen.) I look forward to "seeing" you all again soon, both in conversation here at the site and in our next Coffee Chat. Stay tuned for details!

Blessings on your ministry,

Amy Crane Board President 



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