Zoom Logo

Carrington Moore's Personal Meeting Room - Shared screen with speaker view
Theresa O'Keefe
Theresa O'Keefe here from Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry.
I”m the Director of Religious Education for the Greek Orthodox Church of America and an Associate Professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline MA
Ashley Popperson (she/her)
Hello friends, I’m Ashley Popperson, Associate pastor at UCC Norwell. I lead our Family Ministries, among other duties.
Hi everyone, I'm the director of religious education at St. Bartholomew in Needham, MA
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
Arpi Kouzouian, Director of Youth Ministries, Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Cambridge, MA
Stephanie Jones
Good Evening Family, I'm Stephanie Jones from Morning Star Baptist Church. I serve as the Asst. Superintendent of the Sunday School and on the Ministerial Staff.
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Invite folks, to include their names, where you serve and the community under your care. Welcome to this conversation from the Massachusetts Council of Churches. We are so grateful for your ministry.
Maria Derderian- St. James Armenian Watertown
Maria Derderian - Youth Minister at St. James Armenian Church in Watertown, MA
Breylon Smith
Breylon Smith - Director of High School Placement & Alumni Programs at Higher Achievement in Washington, DC.
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Here are Fr. Tony’s “Religious Ed at Home” https://www.goarch.org/departments/religioused
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Here’s Bethel AME’s MOPS group: http://www.bethelame.org/mops
Breylon Smith
I think the vulnerability piece is powerful. It's an opportunity for us to demonstrate this with them to teach them how they can be transparent in that way.
Yes. While we want to be “good leaders,” we have to admit that we are all trying to figure this out.
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Thanks Breylon- great observation. We welcome additional observations and questions in the chat function here:
Patrick Reed
I miss personal interactions. Hugs, handshakes and high fives! Are those interactions things of the past?
Breylon Smith
Regarding the use of the online platforms, I think we have an opportunity to meet them where they are. Zoom is a new function for them. However, if we meet them where they are, we have to consider platforms like GoogleHangouts, Instagram, or YouTube. These have become their digital playgrounds. I'm definitely not ruling Zoom out, but expanding to those others as well.
None of us know for sure, or at least for how long we’ll be maintaining our physical distance.
Yes, we are going to expand our toolkit of platforms.
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
I keep wondering about kids and online platforms- my wife is a middle school teacher and said, I think wisely, “google classroom” was not designed for children. They’re making it work, but the design wasn’t for kids. I appreciate the platforms, but they really weren’t designed for most children with solid safety protocols. Do we have yet chat norms that make sure we don’t have online harassment or create the possibility for an unsafe environment?
I think we have to admit that what we are doing educationally is not really on-line learning. What schools have done is offered a band-aid for the moment.
Tamarra Todd
Around the point of sustainability, I will say that many of our parents are now saying that they can now attend and participate in Bible Study in this new virtual format with Zoom. (Bible Study typically occurred during a time most parents/young families were unavailable (on a weeknight evening)). With the new format that occurs virtually, I am hearing that parents find this accessible and are hopeful that we will continue virtual Bible Studies with Zoom and other platforms even after COVID-19.
Rev. Aileen DiBenedetto
That's a great point about safety. I like how Jaronzie mentioned the whole family gathered around a zoom. I know I am anxious when my preschooler is on zoom.
Ashley Popperson (she/her)
I think cultivating and supporting family-based faith practices is so good and a foundationfor our work. And, I’m curious how we support our kids and youth who have difficult relationships with their parents or whose homes are not safe. I’m struggling with how to minister well to them in particular. Also, my youth are pretty tired of Zoom already…
Tamarra Todd
I should have said that our virtual children’s church occurs with parents in the room. Our Q&A includes asking parents about how they feel. (They are all sitting together and worshipping together on the Zoom call):) It’s been an opportunity for our parents to connect with their families and each other too.
Our Church now requires all zoom meetings to require a password.
Gretchen Baker-Smith NE Quakers
We are having good experiences with elementary and middle school zoom groups of kids who know each other. Zoom links are not published -- parents/kids have to get the link from the leader. Groups of up to about 18... though best are more 10-12.... can use the breakout rooms for smaller conversations.
Stephanie Jones
@Jaronzie the inter-generational connection we are experiencing in the church is profound. I loved how you mentioned that.
Jen Foster
The Catholic churches in Boston require 2 background checked adults who have completed a child protection training to be on every zoom/video chat with minors.
Carrington Moore
Welcome Minister Stephanie
Carrington Moore
Thank you for being with us
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Thanks Jen, that’s really helpful. I’m starting to see churches develop “online norms” now too. If anyone has “community norms” especially around children and families, I’d love to see and share them!
Breylon Smith
The culture and safety norms definitely need to be further developed.
Rev. Aileen DiBenedetto
Thank you all. I need to attend to bedtimes. I appreciate this time together.
Thanks for being here Aileen
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Re; Fun at Church! West Concord Union Church’s youth pastor is doing Weds Bingo with kids. This is part of a broad ministry with folks with developmental disabilities. https://www.facebook.com/145439925520348/photos/rpp.145439925520348/3111976632199981/?type=3&theater
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Yes, in conversation with public health officials, we’re hearing of increase stress thus increase domestic abuse and child abuse in homes- and decreased places where children and vulnerable folks especially can report. So how can we as youth ministers keep an eye out and invite our youth to share if the home has become unsafe?
Katy Denning
I’ve got to sign off to go finish family stuff for the evening, but thanks to all who’ve shared and I’ll connect with the recording later! Thank you!
Sherry Clark
I have had luck setting up a monthly schedule of fun Zoom games (Mafia, scavenger hunt, a version of Pictionary etc) and also creating challenges that don't involve the computer. Celebrating Easter with dry erase on windows or doors to create art or chalk on sidewalks.....now they have a monthly Earth challenge with 22 activities they then send me a pic or confirmation of. Intergenerationally we have our youth being pen pals with our shut ins and those in nursing homes
Jaronzie Harris
The Boston Black Church Vitality Project (BBCVP) is working on an oral history project!
Patrick Reed
That's beautiful Jaronzie!
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
I love this. I’ve been asking this question on Facebook: what are you learning about yourself or God?
Stephanie Jones
Sherry, that all sounds awesome.
Daryn Stylianopoulos
Thank you all so much. Thank you for allowing me to listen in on this rich call and offering.
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
Thank you everyone! This was both affirming and enlightening. I know we are doing a lot right, but we have so much more we can be doing. Thank you all for sharing your insight. I am wondering Rev. Laura if there will be any guidance from the MCC for Church schools in light of today's announcement about schools being cancelled through the end of the year?
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Thank you Yn. Arpi, we’re so grateful for all you are doing at Holy Trinity- we haven’t thought yet about school....
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
Would welcome the opportunity to talk this through at some point. It's too new to have an answer, but looking for guidance as we move forward.
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Highly Recommend Princeton Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry: http://iym.ptsem.edu/?fbclid=IwAR2OqC_gZ-tPDuMTDq4m0FjO_p1hD4FeKGWVeR5NCZd3WDH4S4sYxetIg4Y
Sherry Clark
Thank you Tamarra!
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Whoops, sorry. http://iym.ptsem.edu/
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Tamarra Todd
MOPS virtual meetings: https://www.facebook.com/MOPS.Int?PHPSESSID=52uj0hfhbfc4fr803ujkjaih51
Jen Foster
Ashley Popperson (she/her)
I’ve appreciated the free resources from Illustrated Ministry: https://www.illustratedministry.com/ They’ll also be producing a reasonably priced VBS program that folks can either do at church or dispatch to families to do at home
Sherry Clark
love the Fri night lock in idea! I find my youth desperately craving interaction
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
Happy to share resources - I can send to Rev. Laura and she can disseminate later
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
Wonderful- emails carrington@masscouncilofchurches.org and Laura@masscouncilofchurches.org
Stephanie Jones
A Fri night lock in sounds amazing!
Ashley Popperson (she/her)
Carrington, that’s such a good word. Thank you.
Patrick Reed
Rev. Laura Everett- MCC
“Building a people who can withstand” thank you, Min. Jaronzie
It’s a little long but I’ve always loved this...
Oscar Romero: No program accomplishes the Church’s mission. We cannot do everything… We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.
Stephanie Jones
I forgot to add that we are starting a podcast with our teens and young adults. 🙌🏽🙌🏽
Carrington Moore
Thank you all so much for sharing. So many rich and thoughtful things that are happening in ministry in the midst of Covid-19
Which means Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Carrington Moore
Mass Council will be working to put resources together to post online that address the many questions, thoughts and concerns