Virtual mission trips
Virtual Mission Trips
Sacred Stones Ministres leads mission trips every year for one primary reason; to form community through relationship building with one another, those with whom we lend a helping hand, and God. 2020 began with several trips planned and ready to move deeper into community tending, but that came to an abrupt halt. Our response to the pandemic was not to quit any plans we had, but to use the time for education and experience in a virtual world.
Virtual Mission Trips 2020 began with t-shirts - there’s nothing like t-shirts to make an experience real! In reality, we began by reaching out to the non-profits in the Denver Metro Area that we had relationships with in person in the past years. We scheduled each non-profit for an hour and gave them each an honorarium.
We scheduled 4 weekdays for ½ the day beginning each day with an activity to get to know each other and a prayer. The scriptures we used were connected with the day’s activity. Feeding the hungry, repairing homes, learning about immigration, people with disabilities, and houselessness. Each speaker had an opportunity to engage with their deepest passions of marginalized communities. After each speaker, we engaged in a discussion that focused on the topic at hand. Awareness of the mission group and their interests guided that discussion as it usually does with mission teams.
The mission teams still had hands on work to do each day - go for a prayer walk around the neighborhood, pick up trash, sweep sidewalks, design a tiny home, collect food, wash a pet etc. The conversations the following mornings about what they had or had not done set the pace for the morning’s next conversation. As usual, those who were engaged with afternoon activities were more engaged with the learning sessions each morning.
The week concludes with an afternoon of processing the week through art work - poems, drawings, collages etc. The teams are encouraged to think deeply about the things they saw through the presentations and their response. After an hour of processing, communion service engaged all the experiences. Each communion service’s liturgy was focused on the group and extemporaneous.
Each week was productive and we reached our goals of education and engagement with those on the margins. We are a progressive company whose values are to delight in the sacred - the sacred being here and now.
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I am an Ordained Clergy in The United Methodist Church - I am eager to connect with those in ministry which focuses on small to medium size churches and their programatic ministries.