Nurturing a faith community that is intentionally inclusive starts with developing a deep understanding of your people's unique needs, and then finds a way to address those needs with your programs and technology.
These resources include frameworks, starting points, tips and tools to help your congregation serve its mission in today's environment of virtual and in-person connection.
A Word About Language
“Hybrid” is a commonly used term for a mix of online and in-person components. It is considered problematic from a cultural perspective. In addition, it connotes combining the characteristics of two things (consider hybrid fruit and cars), which isn’t always quite what we mean. New terminology is emerging and we expect that it will continue to evolve. Lately we are using “multi-platform” to describe a combination of in-person and online options.
Words of Wisdom
- Take Your Time: When COVID-19 struck in March of 2020, congregations quickly adapted their activities to be 100% online. We don't need to be in a hurry this time!
- Listen Deeply to One Another: There will be no one-size-fits-all answer to how to be inclusive in programming going forward. The work on justice, diversity, equity and inclusion we've been doing will serve us well as we center voices at the margins to make sure we don't exclude anyone from congregational life.
- Online is not “less than.” Online programming is likely to continue to be primary for quite some time. Online and in-person are equally real; each has its blessings.
- Be realistic. Don't feel compelled to do everything as a "both/and." Find a reasonable path forward, based on your resources and the capacity of your staff and volunteers.