|Here's a photo from a fundraiser we had before break. I was teasing these boys for eating apples. |
Hey guys! I imagine you have already received many corona updates from many different businesses, possibly some you had forgotten you were even subscribed to. I'm not here to update on how I am sanitizing my establishment, but to update you on campus ministry in this new season.
These changes to the ministry are unprecedented just like much of what’s happening around us. I ask that you can join me in praying for our campuses and the students. Many of our students are beginning to process the changes that are happening to their college experience. For many, FOCUS is their main spiritual community. The rhythms of their normal schedules that involved christian community are going to look different. Pray for God to use his followers to be creative in reaching out to each other.
I personally have been struggling with what ministry will look like over these next weeks, months. Anyone who knows me knows I am social. I am going to miss having students on campus. UTA has moved completely to online classes for the rest of the semester. Students are moving out of the dorms to live back at home. While I have experienced some anxiety over these new circumstances, I have more recently been encouraged by the technology God has blessed us with. I am thankful for the time we are in where I can call and FaceTime. My small group had a virtual hang out last night and it was sweet. We were able to process some of our angst with the changes we are facing. There was a sweet sense of comradery on that video chat last night.
|Here's a picture I took during our video chat. We had 9 girls show up to talk!|
I want to assure those of you that financially support my ministry that I am hard at work to fulfill my calling as a campus pastor. I am continuing to reach out to students through FaceTime and phone calls. I am trying to be creative on how to engage students in their faith. We have been hosting daily prayer times over Facebook and are looking into doing our weekly meeting online too. I am committing myself to read and study to be a better minister of the word. I know campus is closed, but campus ministry is still happening as it should be. We need each other to get through this time of uncertainty because we have hope in Christ.
I believe Christians have a cool opportunity to enter into ministry at this time. We know the hope we have and can point people to the peace that is found in Christ. Pray for the boldness to love on your neighbors, friends and family; especially your family since you’ll probably be with them a lot.
I am praying for you. Please pray for me too. Thank you for your support and partnership.
To close, here is a letter that was written by the director of FOCUS, Brandon Worsham addressing the coronavirus.
To the FOCUS Community:
I want to update you on how FOCUS is responding to COVID-19, especially in light of so many of
our campuses extending spring break and moving to online instruction only afterward. As a
community, we need to be praying diligently for our world during this concerning time. We
don’t need to panic, because we know our hope is secure in Christ, but we do need to take
action in order to love our neighbors well. Those actions may be personally inconvenient,
uncomfortable, and/or expensive. The situation is evolving daily, and spring break has disrupted
our normal schedules and access to one another, so we will hopefully have more definite plansin the coming 2 weeks, but here are the actions we are currently taking/considering:
- The 3 SSI trips from Washington State that were scheduled to arrive on March 22 are
- Pizza Theology will not happen in its normal format on March 29, but we are
considering our options for livestreaming a special teaching time, so stay tuned!
- We are cancelling our weekly large group fellowships (TNF, TNT, FNF) on
our various campuses. We will be following the various policies on each campus to
determine how long that will be in effect. We are also considering livestreamed weekly
services to replace these.
- One-on-ones and FOJ studies will continue as planned, moving to phone or video calls
depending on the health and comfort levels of the students and pastors involved.
- For cores and other small groups, we are working with student life offices to determine
what policies may affect those. We will not stop small groups of adults from gathering
together, but we are also working on developing a video conferencing option. We will
certainly encourage all sick or exposed students to stay away from others.
- Leader development meetings on Monday nights will move to small groups led by a
pastor, whether in-person or virtual.
- We are waiting to make a final determination on SICM plans. We haven’t spent any
money yet and it’s not urgent for a few more weeks. We will continue to monitor the
situation for now.
Thanks for being gracious and flexible. We as a team of pastors are committed to providing
pastoral care to the students in our community and beyond.
For the kingdom,