Covid Recovery Plan
It goes without saying that we have all been affected by Covid-19. For some of us, it has meant a loss of family, friends, and/or coworkers. Some are dealing with long-term side effects of having had Covid-19 that could impact them for the rest of their lives. All of us have been impacted in our family gatherings, workplaces, sporting events, social activities, how we do day-to-day things like shop or visit a medical professional, and how we gather as a church family. We know that Covid-19 has brought out diverse opinions on how to manage this disease (e.g., wearing masks vs. no masks, getting vaccinated vs. not vaccinated) that has led to conflict. These are all challenging issues that we, as a society, continue to grapple with.
Before Covid-19, churches had been dealing with a loss of membership and attendance in faith-sponsored activities because of many causes that ranged from busy schedules to a lack of relevance of churches in day-to-day life. Covid-19 exacerbated that loss as society adopted protocols for social distancing, quarantining, and remote engagements. These realities have left our church family with losses of people, talent, relationships, connections, and financial resources.
The CUMC leadership team has been analyzing and discussing this issue and what we as a church family can do to grow and become healthier through community outreach. We want the community to become excited about and engage with faith-based activities provided by our church family that address specific needs of individuals and families. To that end, the team has developed initial plans to engage two large groups of people in our area: teenagers aged 13 – 19 and adults aged 35 – 54. The team has looked at past activities our church has provided or is providing (successful and not), activities offered by other area churches and non-profit organizations, and activities and programs offered outside our area that have had success in growing church communities.
Information sessions were held in February to present the initial findings of the leadership team. You can access the presentation from these sessions below, as well as Insite reports which tell the demographic story of Monticello and its surrounding 15 mile radius.
So, how can you be a part of our journey?
We are seeking two volunteer Advocates for each age group identified. The Advocate will serve as the coordinator/leader for the phase and area of research. He or she will establish meetings, assist volunteers with research & interviews, guide & develop our plan, and attend check-ins with the leadership team to report on progress & challenges. We expect this will take 3-4 hours per week.
We are seeking as many Researchers as we can get. We are hoping for at least twenty people who will perform the research, provide research results, attend any meetings needed. Researcher will conduct interviews, lead focus groups, develop & submit surveys, and provide input on the Plan. We expect this will take 1-2 hours per week.
Watch for Phase One kick off meetings to be held near the end of March. This will be the time to establish teams who will initiate research focusing on our outreach efforts to teenagers aged 13 – 19 and adults aged 35 – 54.
We recognize this process may cause some discomfort as individuals take a step beyond their comfort zone. We believe this is the exact place Jesus has set for us. The gospel does not ask us to be comfortable in our faith. Just the opposite. Our faith thrives and grows when we are uncomfortable. This is exemplified throughout the stories in the bible.
We are asking you to pray, rise up, and get involved with this effort to reach our communities, expand the kingdom, and grow our church family. Imperfect people who feel they have limited skills and/or time are the people who are God’s best volunteers and who we need most.
Please consider being an active participant as we seek to share the gospel message with the generations who follow us.