Connecting Safely During COVID-19
As our province slowly re-opens and physical-distancing guidelines are relaxed, we are thrilled about the possibility of being able to gather together in person once again. At this point in time, our leadership team has decided against opening up our in-person Sunday morning gatherings at Evergreen Heights. This decision is rooted in a desire to exercise wisdom with respect to the risks involved in re-opening, a recognition that the current guidelines would limit much of what we do when we gather together (singing, connecting, children's programs), as well as a belief that God is doing something new and unique in the church in the midst of all of this.
One of the opportunities we see God opening up in this season is for the development of Home Churches. Home Churches will allow us to connect in small groups as we engage with our weekly service. They will allow us to worship, connect, pray, and grow with one another in a more casual and personal format.
How to Lead a Home Church
Are you interested in leading a Home Church? Check out the information below for guidance on how to get started! We would love to connect with you and offer to support throughout this process. Feel free to contact us by clicking here.
Home Church Format Options
We are encouraging Home Group Hosts to implement one of these two models of connecting with their group:
1) Gather together at 10:00 am on Sunday mornings to watch the online teaching and connect afterwards through conversation and praying together.
2) Have group members watch the service in their own homes on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am, and meet later in the week with your group to connect, discuss the teaching, and pray.
We believe that there is something special about having the entire community gather together at the same time, so even if groups choose to meet later in the week, we are encouraging everyone to participate in the Sunday Morning Service at 10:00 am.
Developing Your Home Church
During the summer months, we are encouraging people to connect with one another to form Home Church gatherings organically. Who is God encouraging you to invite to be a part of your group? Perhaps some people will come to mind that you connect well with and would like to see more regularly. Go ahead and invite them! But don't stop there - who might God be leading you to invite that you don't know as well? Who might God be prompting you to invite that might be lonely and looking for a place to connect? Think outside the box and ask the Spirit to lead you as you put together your group!
Please let us know if you have some extra room in your group for folks from Evergreen who are looking for a place to get connected!
Resources for Facilitating Conversation
When you gather with your group, we are encouraging you to spend some time connecting, discussing the teaching, and in prayer.
Each week, we provide a series of questions designed to help you dig deeper into the teaching. These questions are a great tool for you to use with your Home Church as a launching pad into great conversation. You can find the Talk It Over questions under the "Teaching" section of our website, or by clicking below:
Health and Safety Practices for Gathering
Please ensure that your Home Church is following the most current guidelines for gathering that have been provided by our provincial government. Social-distancing practices are required for anybody who is not in your "social bubble".
- Until Norfolk County enters Phase Three, Home Church groups are limited to ten participants including children.
- Consider meeting with your group outside. If this is not possible, choose a space with lots of ventilation.
- Ensure that you have enough space for participants to spread out with 2 metres/6 feet between each person or family unit. Set up chairs in such a way that this guideline is being adhered to.
- Be diligent about sanitization and hygiene practices. Sanitize surfaces in the spaces you are gathering. Make sure participants have access to soap and water or hand sanitizer.
- If at any point social-distancing becomes a challenge, participants are encouraged to wear non-medical masks. For information and guidelines on masks, click here. If you or somebody in your group does not have access to a mask, please contact us.
- Always err on the side of caution when you or somebody in your group is not feeling well. Do not hesitate to cancel your group meeting, and encourage participants to stay home if they are sick. Everyone should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. You can find a self-assessment tool to assist you in this process by clicking here.
- Those who are older than 70 years of age or more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to health conditions should increase protective measures.
For a detailed outline of gathering recommendations as compiled by a doctor in our church family, click below.
Let Us Know about your Home Church
If you are gathering together with others for Home Church, we would love to know about it! Let us know about your group and we will keep you in the loop with any updates and resources as they become available.