Given these unusual times the Pastoral Team have created Daily Connect Groups and have invited all those who regularly attend our Sunday morning worship (and some other friends) to be in a small group, each facilitated by one or two people from our congregation.
The primary purpose of these groups is to enable everyone the opportunity to be included in regular, daily contact with the church community during this time of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to help facilitate a joined-up method of pastoral care, particularly for those who may be feeling socially isolated or vulnerable, not just physically isolated. Your group facilitator will usually message once a day via WhatsApp just to say ‘hello’ and the group can decide how much other interaction takes place – each group will find its own rhythms. Of course people are free to opt-out of the groups as we recognise that some people are already a part of other networks where pastoral care takes place. For others, you may not want another WhatsApp group pinging in your pocket!
We do, however, hope that these groups will provide a space for people to connect socially, spiritually, and to facilitate an initial response to any needs they may have at this time. This will not be the only way of pastorally caring for one another, but it does mean that everyone has some form of daily contact if they would like this. And, it should go without saying, please do continue to care for one another, to write notes, phone one another as many of you do week-to-week when life is ‘normal’. Again, to reassure you, we have already been ministering and caring for people who cannot use digital media and group facilitators are aware of this:-)
Children and Young People: Children are included in the Connect Groups by name with the anticipation that parents/carers will communicate to their children that they are part of this and are being prayed for. Young People (high school-18s) are also included in the general Connect Groups by name but not contact details(!). Hannah and the youth team have consent for specific ways to connect with young people and are managing this within our Safeguarding Policy and advice from youth work professionals.
If you’re not sure whether you’re in a group please contact Steve, Nicole, or Louise.
To opt out of a group simply exit the WhatsApp group or contact Steve, Nicole, or Louise.