In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and how some things have changed in our regular practice of gathering together as the body of Christ in this season, we are encouraging all who are able and wiling to gather in small home groups for fellowship and Christian community. We are especially encouraging groups to gather at the times that we would normally gather on Sundays, and to stream a worship service together (we stream at 8am and 11am every Sunday. We recognize the importance of maintaining the good habits we have established, including the habit of committing our Sunday mornings to intentional discipleship and worshiping the Lord. We encourage you, instead of seeing this season as an obstacle, to see it as an opportunity for some closer Christian fellowship with friends and neighbors. Certainly, we look forward to being able to all gather together again under one roof, but let us use this time as an opportunity to grow closer to one another in the context of small groups and closer to the Lord in intentional times of devotion and worship
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25
A few helpful guides as you consider gathering together.
- Consider opening your own home to some friends and neighbors on Sunday mornings to gather and stream worship together. If you are uncomfortable opening your own home, talk with friends and see if anyone else is willing to host.
- Be invitational but not forceful as you seek to gather with friends and neighbors. Some neighbors and friends might have reasons that they are being especially cautious in this season, so let's keep that in mind and respect that.
- Limit the number of persons to approximately 10 persons to be safe.
- Communicate with one another clearly that if anyone is feeling sick, has a fever, or is displaying any symptoms that it would be wise for them not to come. If another person in their family is displaying symptoms it also would be wise for the whole family not to come. Be kind as you see to communicate this clearly. Similarly, emphasize that if anyone feels especially vulnerable to this disease (over 60, immunodeficient, history of respiratory illness, etc) that it really is okay not to come.
- If you are hosting and someone in your own home gets sick, do not hesitate to cancel and inform your guests.
- If you are hosting, be intentional about maintaining your gathering space(s) as clean and sterilized as you can. There are tips online if you would like to know how to best go about this. If possible have soap and hand sanitizer readily available. Communicate this to those who join you.
- In order to stream you will need a decent internet connection. You can stream online HERE, on Facebook HERE, or Boxcast if you prefer to stream from Roku/Firestick, just download the app to your device and search for Garber Church. If you need help with this, please call the church office at 252-637-4022.
- If you have children, encourage them to join you for most of or all of your gathering. In the stream each week there will be a special children's time (just like on a normal Sunday).
- If you are planning to gather in a small home group, we would love to know so we can support you and pray for your gathering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you are gathering.
- We are compiling various resources to aid groups as they gather, you will be able to find links to those below as they become available.
Resources for Home Groups