Many thank you’s to our Cluster Facilitators, who have helped us to connect and support one another as we transitioned into the new normal of pandemic world. We set up these clusters as an emergency measure to hold the community and focus on care, and they have been serving their purpose. Now we are in a place of needing to set ourselves up for a long haul. Our journey ahead has many unknowns.
Given the generally good place we are in now with the health and well-being of most of our congregants, our care needs are actually more about social connection. Also, Zoom overload is a real thing! To alleviate this, we suggest that a weekly Zoom cluster meeting is not necessary at this point (unless a cluster wants to continue in that way). It has been very heartening to hear of people volunteering to help a fellow congregant when they needed help. We want to maintain clusters for this exact purpose, as a structure to maintain contact and to be prepared for emergent needs — a mutual aid model rather than a covenant group model (a learning from Rev. Deanna). For this purpose, we have asked cluster facilitators to connect with their clusters monthly (at least) through whatever format works best for their cluster (Zoom meeting, email, phone chain, etc.).
As our care needs transition to tending to our social connections many good ideas are bubbling up, including game nights, a trivia night, playing music together, and themed discussions where a question would be posed to the group before the meeting. Watch for more information about these opportunities in the weeks ahead!
Going forward, Thomas Terence will be the board point person for our clusters, and he is planning to meet with facilitators monthly. If you have any questions or if you need to be placed in a cluster, please contact Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.