Last spring when the world seemed to come to a frightening halt with the spread of the coronavirus, we focused on three parts of our core mission and values: worship, service & connection. Our incredible technical team began streaming worship immediately; you gave generously of both time and financial resources so we could continue the feeding ministry; and we created a massive spread sheet to trace contacts so that we could make sure everyone had what they needed in the early days of the quarantine. Since then, we have expanded and adapted in all kinds of ways across ministry areas.
It has not been easy, but we have tried to remain faithful. As we enter this next season and the uncertainties of winter and spring, the Session and Diaconate have begun to think about multiple ways to keep us connected. The Session has implemented a plan to call West Raleigh’s more isolated homebound members that coordinates with Communion, and the Deacons have developed small, geographically-based groups of church members to form Community Groups. These pods, or neighborhood groups are, by design, intergenerational and their purpose is both fellowship and support. Our vision, hope and prayer is that these Community Groups will grow into clusters of fellowship and fun, care and community, little pockets of West Raleigh dotted all over Wake County!
Deacons Anne Bromby, Judy Colby, Bruce Fawcett, and Terry Lamb developed fourteen Community Groups using zip code data originally compiled by Susan Baucom. Then they identified and recruited two leaders for each group and developed a set of best practices and guidance on how to get started. All of these parts, pieces and people came together for a leadership training last Thursday night! It was a beautiful Zoom gathering of folks committed to keeping us connected as the Body of Christ in ways that are rich in fellowship and support and safe for this season.
Over the next couple of weeks, Community Group Leaders will be reaching out to their Community Group to discern when and where to meet in person (outdoors and masked, following West Raleigh’s Outdoor Safety Protocols) for those who are able to do so and how to stay connected with those who need to stay further apart. Each group will make different decisions based on the needs of the members, giving everyone gracious room to tend to physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me or members of the Coordinating Team with questions or concerns. And, thank you, West Raleigh, for the many ways that you remain committed to worship, service and staying connected as the Body of Christ.
Katherine Rick-Miller Anne Bromby, Judy Colby, Bruce Fawcett & Terry Lamb
Pastor Coordinating Team