Ministry Outdoors in the Pandemic
Pondering your spring and summer for 2021? Restrictions, vaccine limitations (especially for younger people), and comfort levels are still impacting “ministry as usual” even as our lives are emerging from COVID-19 and hope is springing forth. Holding intergenerational ministry outside allows for safe gatherings and more movement after a long winter. You may be planning VBS, stand-alone gatherings, a series of events, or even a retreat. We have resources to help. Contact us for ideas on using our resources in virtual settings.
God's World in Community: Spring/Summer: Interactive devotionals align with the Revised Common Lectionary following Easter through Pentecost (Acts passages, Year B) but can be used at any time. Response activities include taking a walk, toasting marshmallows, chalk drawings, examining a small grassy area closely, taking a “holy pause” outside, observing nature, and watering plants. Use with a single household or with the church community together. For stand-alone, multi-day sessions or use as stations set up for households/pods to visit for a one-day event.
LIFT (Living in Faith Together): Move your hour together (with any LIFT session) from tables inside to clusters of chairs or on blankets outside. Summer Year 1 (Summer Water Stories of Old Testament Scriptures) especially applies to warm-weather gatherings outside with lots of water fun in the Playing Together segment.
All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for Summer: 5 sessions each designed for about 2 hours and include a meal. Each session stands alone and can also be used as a series. Titles include “Faith & Fireworks,” “Let’s Go Camping,” and “Storm Stories.”
All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for a Very Blessed Summer (VBS): 5 sessions intended for 2.5-3 hours each, especially if a meal is included. Take-It-Home Blessings keep the day’s conversation going at home, and ideas are included for Blessing Others for service projects as part of your gatherings. Each unit stands alone but all are part of an overall theme of Summer Blessings.
All God’s Children: The Church Family Gathers for Retreat: 5 sessions to use for multiple mini-retreats over extended time -- one-day, two-day, or a full weekend retreat. Hold your gathering(s) at the church or at a retreat center. All sessions tie to the “Every Day with God’s Word in My Heart” theme. Draw all generations together for everything or hold “parallel learning” for Bible study by broad age groups.Great Fun (and More Great Fun): Recreation for Children and Youth: Though children and youth focused, ideas are non-competitive and seek to be inclusive of all ages with a variety of mobility expectations. Playing together is a pivotal moment in intergenerational ministry—creating significant bonding opportunities.
GenOn Table Games: A collection of fun things to do around the table with a meal or Bible study, building relationships among peers and generations. Take these outside to the picnic table, a circle of chairs, or on a big blanket.