COVID-19 & OUR PLAN
Update 3/20/20 - 11:00am
UCC's Sunday morning services are going to be all online for the foreseeable future. We would encourage all students to engage with these worship services at 8:00, 9:20, or 11:00am online with their families or however their context best fits. You can find these services in one of two places:
If you want to see UCC's latest updates and information about our overall ministry plans during this time, go to https://university.church/covid19.
In the same vein, our youth ministries are shifting to all online youth groups. Our High School Youth Group will meet online on Sunday nights at 6pm. Click here to find out more info about Online Youth Group!
Update 3/13/20 - 5:02pm
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
Maybe feeling the latter as opposed to the former right now.
I've read so much over the last week about the Coronavirus. We're seeing its effects and we've all heard about cancellations, including sports we love, K-State's extending spring break and moving to all remote learning for the time being, and today USD 383 (Manhattan district) has announced it is closing all schools until March 30.
There has literally never been a time like this.
With all the unknowns, there's one thing I'm sure of: How we as adults show up during this time can help bring peace and hope to our students instead of fear and panic.
As of now, UCC has decided to still meet for Sunday services, with special preparations and strategies in place. We spent an inordinate amount of time, discussion, and prayer in order to come to our conclusions. If you haven't seen the letter/email we sent out, you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/uccmhk/posts/2911493748872907?__tn__=K-R
As the letter says, if you want to worship with your family online versus in person, please do so! If you or anyone in your family feels ill, stay home! In fact, I can think of some outstanding results taking place because of family interaction in worshiping together in the home.
For the time being, our Sunday morning children's and youth programs will still happen. Similarly to what is detailed in the letter, we will be taking extra steps to ensure clean and sanitary conditions for your kids/students.
However, due to schools closing, I feel it prudent in order to love our community and honor the example of our community leaders to cancel this weekend's scheduled Game Night and no longer gather on Sunday nights for the remainder of March.
HOWEVER, WE WILL STILL HAVE YOUTH GROUP!
"Huh?" you might ask. I've been doing some work this week to give Online Youth Group a shot! (In fact, this is something I've been thinking about a lot anyway as an extension of our normal youth groups as a way to try to engage students not able to be present on site.)
We are going to attempt an online/social media experience on the weekends of March 22nd & 29th during our normal HSYG timeframe (6-8pm). There will be fun, there will be time for students to spend time in God's Word, and I will still give a message/teaching time. (Maybe you as parents could tune in as well!) We will also facilitate a way (technology willing) for your student and his/her small group to meet digitally (Facetime, Google Hangouts, etc.) to catch up on life and even discuss what's going on in the world and the lesson topic for the night.
In addition, I have encouraged our volunteer Youth Leaders to take this opportunity to connect with students. Certainly, students will have all kinds of free time on their hands for the next few weeks. (I'm wondering how I will get my kids to do anything but binge-watch YouTube all day!) Leaders may try to get together with your student one-on-one. (By the way, one-on-one get-togethers will always be PUBLIC with our Leaders. Other than the potential of giving them a ride to and/or from a venue, our Leaders will never be alone with your student.) I have even encouraged our Small Group Leaders to create fun get-togethers for their small groups (with parent permission, of course!). So your student may have a little something to do! By the way, some of our Leaders are college students who are stuck outside of Manhattan due to K-State's closing. So face-to-face interactions will be unlikely to impossible for them!
FYI, here is a list of all our Small Group Leaders:
Senior Girls - Hannah Coates, Devra Harden
Senior Guys - Cole Wilson, Joshua Trost
Junior Girls - Jenna Wilson, Ali Delort
Junior Guys - Jared Rogers, Nathan Harden
Sophomore Girls - Holli Woodyard, Lexi Cannizzo
Sophomore Guys - Ben Bartlett, Tommy Brotton
Freshman Girls - Ellie Nicholson, Emily Ramsey
Freshman Guys - Andy Cassel, Matthias Brouk
If you want more info on your son or daughter's Small Group Leader including contact info, please let me know!
Regardless of whatever else happens in the world, this is the perfect time for the church to be the church. To shine its light. To bring hope. This as an opportunity, not a disaster.
If you have any thoughts, ideas, or questions, please let me know!
For His Glory,