The Pre-Holiday Blog Post: The 2020 Edition
Everyone and their great-aunt Erma seem to be posting articles on "how to get ready for socially distanced Thanksgiving," and here at Grow+Small Church Consulting, we want to say a few words, too.
First, let's get real. We're going to have Thanksgiving during a pandemic. I would be utterly shocked if we don't have a socially distant Christmas and New Years. And I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if we have another socially distant Easter.
We will likely have an entire year or more of being socially distant. Everyone will likely celebrate at least one birthday in a time of pandemic. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, but here we are. Like everyone else, I'm hoping we have a wide-spread vaccine tomorrow. But I'm a realist.
So, since there's not much we can do about all this right now (unless you happen to be working on a vaccine, in which case - get back to work!), let's share some ideas about how to have the best socially distanced holidays we can.
I read an article recently that was perfectly delightful. There are some terrific ideas, so check out the article. One of my favorites ideas from the article is a Zoom family cooking session. What a grand idea to record "how-to"recipes for future generations!
My family has a tradition of getting dressed in costume and putting on a Nativity pageant. When we started, one of the youngest family members was Baby Jesus. Now she's all grown up and ready to play the part of Mary. This year I'm hoping two of our more imaginative family members will create a Zoom pageant.
As you know from online church services, there are a few things to keep in mind when hosting an online gathering:
Have a plan.
Keep it simple.
Have a Plan B.
Allow everyone to be involved.
Open a chat room for those who want to speak privately to each other.
Keep speaking portions short.
Try to be concise when speaking and listen more. This is more important in video conferencing than in face-to-face visits.
Have a defined endpoint, but feel free to hang out and visit. This will help people feel welcome to leave when they're "zoomed out."
There are lots of other suggestions, and I want to hear them all. Share yours here!
While we hope and pray we may meet for Christmas, it's a good idea to try out socially distanced ideas over Thanksgiving so our Christmas may be as wonderful as possible.
What are your plans? What are you going to try? What other ideas can you share with the rest of us?