Since shelter-in-place restrictions caused by COVID-19 took effect, David Lee (DL) Hulsey said the FPC Youth Ministry has held ZBS (Zoom Bible Study) every Wednesday and a few outdoor, in-person gatherings while social distancing. After finishing a “Fruits of the Spirit” Zoom study started at the beginning of the spring semester, the youth went to a shorter devotional-type study mixed in with a few games.
”But most of our time on Zoom consisted of checking in with each other to see how everyone is fairing during the pandemic, as well as sharing prayer requests,” the Youth Director said. ”We took a two-week break at the end of May because, frankly, the youth, their families and Sarah and I were kind of worn out juggling Zoom meetings for school, church and meetings.” He added that he and Sarah, his Youth Director partner, wanted some time to think about how Youth Ministry could support and spiritually encourage FPC youth and their families during the summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
”We are waiting for the ODTAP committee’s recommendations for FPC groups so we can come up with a plan for how we can meet in a safe manner in the Youth continue Bible study via Zoom. We envision in-person gatherings of youth on Wednesdays in people’s backyards while practicing social distancing and wearing masks. We also want to offer some spiritual opportunities for all youth and make provisions for those who might not be ready to return to in-person gatherings just yet.”
The Hulseys started 20- to 30-minute “Spiritual Encouragement” video conferencing sessions on three Thursdays (two in June and one remaining session on July 2). These focus on helping youth learn about a spiritual discipline practice (such as lectio divina (divine reading), breath prayer and others, DL said.
Having had to cancel the youth’s summer mission trip to Alaska, the Hulseys are going to keep their eyes open for possible weekend mission options in the fall. Since no mission trip involving manual labor is planned for the summer, as many of those trips do, David Lee is offering to teach interested youth about construction if they want to help him with a small project.
“That’s not mission but just an opportunity for us to enjoy seeing youth learn and grow while many other activities and events are not happening,” Sarah said.