The Rocky Mountain American Baptist
A Newsletter of the American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains
It's Not Too Late
Reviewing the Gathering 2020
What's in this bimonthly issue?
Our region's first “virtual Gathering” was purposefully extended throughout the months of September and October. By doing so, this first-ever, purely online event provided a number of wonderful online workshops, a number of updates from regional and national staff members, a number of videos and conversations with ABC missionaries, along with an uplifting worship service and an information-packed Gathering Book.
Individuals who registered online for the event received a package in the mail that contained their copy of the Gathering Book, an ABCRM facemask, hand sanitizer, a small tool to help open doors and use keypads without getting your hands full of germs, and a communion kit to set up a special place to experience communion at home.
Upon reflection, we admit that our staff was hesitant about holding an online Gathering. Earlier in the year, we were unsure about what an online conference of this nature would "look like," and we repeatedly discussed the question of "connectivity." How could we still provide a sense of fellowship while "gathering" in a remote manner.
The experience, however, demonstrated that such a new format could provide some positive opportunities.
Tutorials to build community online
Simple ways to move from online audience to online community
5 disruptive church trends from 2019
5 disruptive church trends from 2020
How to do online church without losing that sense of community
Facebook's faith expert offers tips for social media ministry
What does the future look like?
Some of those new opportunities included:
Ability to secure exceptional workshop leaders from around the nation. Normally, the workshop leaders would need to travel to the Gathering location. This year, the leaders saved the time and the expense of travel and this made it possible for ABCRM to secure the top speakers for each topic.
Participants could view all or specific sessions working around their schedules. We know it is difficult to take at least two days off to travel to the Gathering. This year, individuals could "tune in" for the sessions they were interested in from their computers which saved the participants both time and money.
Missionary Mondays provided updates from missionaries in five parts of the world. Missions have always been an integral part of being an American Baptist. During the online Gathering, we were able to connect with five different missionary fields to hear about their struggles during COVID-19, impacts of their efforts and how we can help support their efforts.
Everyone was safe. We missed the in-person interaction with people throughout the Region. However, it was important to protect people from venturing out and potentially being exposed to the virus.
THE BEST PART – it is not too late to view many parts of this year’s Gathering. On our website (abcrm.org), you can access recordings of the workshops, updates with the missionaries, and all the video reports. A copy of the Gathering Book can also be viewed online.
Here is a listing and links to what is available through the website:
Creating Engagement in Worship with Brad Berglund
Can Prayer Be Silent? with David & Joyce Reed
Manuscript Bible Study with Stan Slade
Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19 with Margaret Marcuson
I Can’t Breathe: Racism & the Church’s Response with Dr. Zina Jacque & Eugene Downing
Mission Bolivia with JD & Rhonda Reed
Mission Mexico with Juan & Denise Aragon
Mission Dominican Republic with Vital & Ketley Pierre
Mission Lebanon with Dan and Sarah Chetti, and Melanie Baggao *E-mail to view this session.
Mission Global with David & Joyce Reed
Christmas Might Not be "the same" this year.
But, Christ IS the same.
Find the time to safely enjoy those special moments this Christmas with your loved ones and recognize how far we have traveled during this difficult season of the pandemic.
From your ABCRM staff, to our regional family members, friends, and countless others, we wish you a