By Caleb Hennington
Digital Content Editor
Equip is an annual event that brings together youth workers from across the Conference to learn and grow in ministry with youth.
This year’s Equip, however, has changed significantly from the previous in-person gathering planned for mid-September, due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
The rebranded option this year will be Equip: Sabbath in September, a month-long workshop that participants will engage in entirely from their homes.
“Originally, Equip was scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12 at Ferncliff camp. This year the focus was on sabbath time for youth workers and our main program was going to be learning deep listening skills,” said Michelle Moore, Youth and Young Adult Coordinator and Developer of Clergy Recruitment for the Arkansas Conference. “Since the practice of deep listening requires face to face interaction and an intimate setting, continuing with this plan was not feasible with the safety guidelines in place.”
Starting on Sept. 1, registrants will use their time apart to reflect and meditate on what sabbath means to them.
Moore said that the Arkansas Conference Youth Ministry Resource Team agreed that although they wouldn’t be able to have Equip: Sabbath like they had originally planned, it was still important to encourage youth workers to take a time of sabbath.
Registrants will receive a “How to Sabbath” guidebook that includes a checklist for planning, resources, activities, studies, meditations and more. The guidebook is intended to help design a Sabbath time specific to the participants’ schedule, needs and interests, and can take place anytime in the month of September.
The checklist includes questions like “Pick a date for your Sabbath: How long is it? All Day? Morning? Afternoon? Evening?” and “Identify what activities you will avoid during your Sabbath. What drains your spirit? What do you need a physical, mental or emotional break from in order to find renewal?”
Other changes from previous years are no keynote speaker and no workshops focused on youth ministry. However, Moore said by opening up the event to at-home participation, anyone can join in and participate in their own Sabbath.
There is also an online group that has been set up for participants to share pictures, ideas and experiences from their own sabbath time in a community discussion environment.
“I think being online this year will allow more people to participate and expand the reach from youth workers to anyone who is looking for a respite and time of renewal,” Moore said.
To register for Equip: Sabbath in September, visit bit.ly/sabbath-in-september and be sure to register before Sept. 1 to ensure that your information is received in time to participate. You can also visit the Facebook Event Page to view updates throughout the month.
For more information, contact Michelle Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.