Three Ways to Keep Community When We’re Asked to Keep Apart

“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25

In a season of social distancing, it can feel hard not to feel lonely. You’re not in school, churches aren’t meeting in person, and you’re asked to stay six feet away from your friends; that is hard!

Even though we can’t meet in person, I love the idea in Hebrews of “not giving up meeting together.” So how can you stay connected to your community (especially your community of faith) during this time? Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Start a Digital Small Group. Pick a day or night each week to gather with your friends over Zoom or Google Hangout to read the word, check in with each other, and pray. Pick a book of the Bible to read together (the Gospels or any of Paul’s letters are great places to start) or get a Bible study or devotional to work through and show up for one another.

  2. Start Praying for Your Friends By Name. It’s so easy to say “I’m praying for you” to a friend, but how often are you actually praying for them? Asking your friends “What’s one specific thing I can pray for you?” and writing them down is the perfect place to start. Another thing that helps me is choosing a specific time to pray every day and then setting an alarm on my phone to remind me. Usually, it’s 3 pm for me, and I label the alarm “Pray for _____,” switching the same for each day’s alarm depending on who I’m praying for that week. It is powerful to see God move and answer prayers when we pray for really specific things. Make sure to check in with the person you’re praying for every so often and see how the things you’re praying for are changing in their lives.

  3. Send Some Encouragement Through the Mail. Get some cute stationary and ask your friends for their address. Spend some time praying for your friends and ask God to give you a specific encouragement for each of them. Now, write out that encouragement and mail it! Sure, it’d be easier to just text or snapchat with them, but there’s something so powerful about a tangible, hand-written encouragement when the world feels a bit lonely and scary.

Connection. Prayer. Encouragement. These are the things that can keep us close and connected to one another and to God even when we are physically far apart. Know that we at Camp Greystone are praying for each of you in this time that you would feel the peace and closeness of God and the love of those around you, and that you would be a light to your friends in this time as well!

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