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Connecting Virtually

You've probably had to learn the term "connect virtually" very quickly in the last six months.  If you're like some, video chats or virtual meetings are part of your job or something you've learned to do to keep in touch with friends and family far away.  Others might just not even know where to begin.  

If there has ever been a time to keep connected against all odds, it is right now.  It may feel daunting but I promise you it is worth the effort and temporary technological discomfort.  Physical isolation can take a toll on our mental health and physical wellbeing so connecting virtually can go a long way in reminding us that we're not alone and helps us do life together, even if we can't be with each other in person.  

Here are a few suggestions that will help along the way:

Grace & Technology:  It's always best to ask when we just don't know or get frustrated with the technology.  Reach out to a friend, a colleague, a tech savvy grandkid, or even someone here at the church.  It may take just a few steps to get your device (smartphone, tablet, computer) set-up with the right application and you're ready to go.  Be patient with yourselves and with others.  You'll likely use the internal camera and microphone on your device to communicate.  Know how to turn them on and off.  Be aware of any potential noise in your background (kids, dishwasher, tv) that may distract others.  The mute button is your friend!

Make a plan:  Text your people and set-up a time to meet.  Make this your own.  Set up a virtual game night, paint night, or just laugh together and talk.  Being together is the point.  The kinks will work themselves out and pretty soon you'll be an expert.

Join a GROUP! There are all kinds of online social gatherings available for plenty of different hobbies and interests.  One of the ways we do life together here at The Desert Vineyard is through small groups.  I can tell you from experience, this introvert here has never been more blessed and encouraged than when I've stepped out of my comfort zone and into a group.  If that isn't your story, that's ok; come give it a try anyway.

While you're considering it all, it's normal to be hesitant.  There are a variety of group offerings:  Men, women, and co-ed groups.  You'll find different meeting times so you can see what fits in your schedule.  Some groups are studying specific books of the bible, some are addiction and recovery groups, and some are diving deeper into the sermon series.  Like someone once told me, you don't have to know anything or anybody, just be willing to show up.  

I don't know where God might lead you today, but I do know, as Matthew 18:20 says: For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.  I am hopeful and expectant of that promise and I'll be navigating this space along with you.  

Click HERE for more information about Groups offered at The Desert Vineyard!

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