Josh Jacobs
Slideshow image

Dear Students and Parents,

I'll start by acknowledging that there are many opinions and feelings regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. I want to assure both parents and students that I am here to listen to you if there are concerns or frustrations about the way the RIOT program is run. DAC has put a plan in place that is designed to provide a reasonably safe and accessible ministry environment that complies with provincial guidelines. If you have concerns or would like to ask questions, please contact me at [email protected] - I would be more than happy to set up a time to get together.

It also needs to be said that although there is a plan in place, that plan needs to remain flexible. If we end up with more students than we can safely host, discover better ways to do things or if new guidelines are published, the structure of our program may need to change. Our goal is to be as consistent as possible, but I also want to be honest about what may happen.

Here is the current plan for doing RIOT during Covid:

Program: 

  • Depending on numbers, we may do away with the grade split this year. This will eliminate the need to clean between groups. 
  • For the time being, we will not be using the gym. Too many of the activities in there require shared equipment or result in contact. This will be evaluated as the year progresses and new information is published. If it becomes safe to do activities in the gym, we will go back.
  • Games for now will be non-contact activities. In the large group we'll do upfront spectator events with either disposable items or items that can be disinfected. We'll also have activities planned for the small groups. 
  • The large group teaching portion of the program will happen with distancing in place. 
  • Small groups will be operated with distancing in place.
  • If there is a desire for it, an online small group or resource suite will be established. Please let me know if this is something that you want. 

Safety:

  • We will adhere to physical distancing during programming.
  • Due to the nature of student ministry and small groups, I'm asking that volunteers and students wear masks while at RIOT.
  • I'll be communicating the drop-off and pick-up time with parents and asking students to be diligent about having a ride from the program. 
  • We will not be selling or serving food at RIOT until it is safe to do so. 
  • Online safety is also of great concern. In order to maintain safety and accountability, any online programs will require a second screened adult to be present during meetings.

The plan right now is to have a typical night lined up like this:

7:00 Sign-in and distance hang out for a bit.

7:15 Icebreaker for the night. Minute to win it games, costume contests, relays and other spectator events where we can keep track of the items used. 

7:45 Large group. This time may change as we discover what works best, but right now I’m picturing a group lesson much like we did at the beginning of last year where someone speaks for a bit and then dismisses everyone to small groups.

8:15ish Break into consistent small groups. This is where the bulk of the night will be spent. I’d like it to be a time of activities like games, challenges and team building exercises at the front end, a discussion time in the middle and a time to let off a bit of steam at the end. There may even be weeks where we take a night to just do an activity like a board games night or something outside, ideally to give time for relationship building.

9:30 Head home

This is completely flexible right now and will likely change when we see who all is showing up and what the engagement is. I’ll do my best to communicate with you if things change.

In the event that we are asked to take the ministry online again for a while, this is the plan I’ve got:

  • On Tuesday nights I would host an evening Bible Study on Google Meets along with any youth leaders who are able to participate. The invitation code would be posted on the Facebook page to keep it private and safe.
  • Friday nights I would host an online event much like we had in the spring where students and leaders can connect through games and activities. Again this would be hosted over Google Meets and the invitation would be shared only to our Facebook page to keep things private and safe. 

We appreciate your patience as we work out the details of doing youth ministry during the pandemic.

Pastor Josh
Sept. 23, 2020