How to Gather: In-Person & Online

wwilliams / March 18, 2020

With the recent CDC recommendations surrounding the Coronavirus we wanted to provide with the latest plan going forward regarding the meeting of your Redemption Communities.

Some still want to meet together in person as RCs, expressing a hunger for personal connection at this time and a commitment to abide by the CDCs best-practice protocols; others are uncomfortable meeting in-person, given the potential risks alongside a concern for those in their RC who are elderly, immuno-compromised, or otherwise unable to join.

We want to encourage you that both of these are legitimate postures to take, and that we trust your discernment as you know the unique dynamics of your RC. We do want to resource you in either direction. So, these are some resources for either gathering online, or gathering in-person.

GATHERING ONLINE 

We have been researching different online platforms that RC’s could utilize during this time to gather online instead of in-person. Our top recommendation is Google Hangouts – Meet

Google Hangouts is free; they’ve made even the Premium version of this service free through July 1st, in response to COVID-19. The only requirement for using it is that whoever hosts the hangout needs a gmail account. Most people have a gmail account, but if you do not, there are two options. First, you can sign up for a free gmail account. Second, if someone in your RC already has a gmail account they can host the Google Hangout for the RC. Google Hangout can accommodate your entire RC in one Hangout, and you will be able to facilitate your RC gatherings through video conversations. 

To create the Hangout: 1) create a Calendar Event (in your Google Calendar); 2) invite people from your RC to the Calendar Event (by entering their e-mail addresses in the “Add Guests” box); and 3) select the “Add Conferencing” option on the Calendar Event (choose “Hangouts” from the drop-down list that appears under Add Conferencing). This will automatically send your RC members an e-mail invite to the hangout, and create a link to the hangout that everyone can access from the Calendar Event.

Another option is Zoom.

Zoom is a popular service for gathering via video online. Many of you may already have Zoom accounts for business or work. The only downside to Zoom is the free version only allows a 40-minute gathering. The $15/mo plan allows you to meet longer, but if you don’t already have an account Google Hangouts – Meet is free and would suffice for an RC gathering online.  


GATHERING IN PERSON  

The CDC Guidelines currently say gatherings of 10 people or less are still fine. In my email on Monday, I shared ways that RC’s with more than 10 people could divide and meet in smaller gatherings during this time. If you gather in person, please continue to abide by the protocol guidelines below.

  • The White House and CDC now advise not gathering in groups larger than 10 people.
  • If you are over 60 years-old or have a weak or compromised immune system, medical professionals strongly recommend you stay home.
  • No one is sick or has any reason to think they have been exposed to COVID-19. If anyone is sick or has reason to think they have been exposed, they should not attend your group.
  • The host of where you meet disinfects surfaces before and after meeting together.
  • Everyone washes their hands thoroughly (for more than 20 seconds) upon arrival at your community and upon returning home.
  • If your community is eating together, food and beverages are served individually.
  • Social Distancing: Maintain as much distance as possible between members of your community. This means spread out the seating arrangements.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding Google Hangout or anything else regarding your RC. I am praying for you all and I’m here to support you during this time.

Pastor of Communities
John Crawford