During this season of social distancing, we’ve canceled all of our in-person groups and gatherings, including all of our community groups. With this in mind, we’ve put together some resources to help navigate the distance between us so that we stay engaged in community with one another during this time.

The church has never been limited by the size of gatherings or buildings or funds, so even if we’re expected for a season to keep entirely to ourselves, we can still find ways to be established in the Good News of Jesus, engaged in community with one another, and equipped for mission and ministry in our neighborhoods and workplaces.

To that end, we have put together some resources that we hope you can use to continue growing in your relationship with God and your relationships with others both in-person and virtually. We’re calling it a Home Church Kit because we believe that the home is a hub for ministry no matter what stage of life you’re in! As mentioned, the Good News of Jesus has no boundaries, and the people of God can minister right where they’re at! The blessing and benefits of being able to gather in larger groups will return in time, but in the next several weeks, we’ll get to see the blessing and benefits of embodying the corporate worship practices in our homes.

Each week, you’ll find a PDF that serves as a guide for personal/family use or for online small group gatherings throughout the week, along with some activities for children. We’ll also be sharing various resources below in hopes of empowering you to have meaningful conversations at home and with friends and neighbors.

This kit is not only for small group leaders but for you and me, married or single, younger or older. We encourage each of you to find a few friends or your community group or maybe your family – and take part in growing deeper in relationship with Christ and with one another in any way you can. Maybe that looks like phone conversations, FaceTiming friends, google hangouts with your community group – the great part about this is there are so many ways we can still keep in contact with those around us even while being physically apart. Physical separation does not mean spiritual or emotional detachment.

Feel free to reach out to us with any specific questions you have and especially with any prayer requests. You can email Melanie Rivera at melanie@anchorchurchonline.org, and she’ll pass your questions or prayer requests along to our leadership team. We’d love to serve or pray for you!

Below you’ll find weekly Home Church Guides and additional resources. We intend to update this page regularly with any additional information and resources as we become aware of them. To see the content, simply click on the Show/Hide buttons on the right side of each block.

Sunday, March 22

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download.

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

Email melanie@anchorchurchonline.org for more information or to join a group.

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Sunday, March 29

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download.

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, April 5

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

 

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Easter Sunday, April 12th

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

 

Join us Easter Sunday for a zoom call with Pastor Kris at 9:30am, then join us over on YouTube as we stream an Easter message and special worship at 10am!

 

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, April 19th

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

 

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Sunday, April 26th

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, May 3rd

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, May 10th

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, May 17th

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, May 24th

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, May 31

This Sunday’s Home Church Guide PDF is live! Click here to download!

In each Guide, you’ll find sections for music, a weekly message, a discussion guide with questions, children’s lessons and activities, a prayer guide, and a communion guide. We anticipate that many of you will use this guide in online group settings, but anyone can watch the videos and work through the questions on their own, as well. If you’d like to be part of an online group in your area, would you please let us know? We’d love to include you!

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Sunday, June 7th

Another Home Church Guide is coming and will launch on Sunday, June 7th at 9:00 am.

In the meantime, take advantage of the May 31st guide to see additional resources to keep you engaged.

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How to Host a (Virtual) Group

Much like a community group, we encourage organic in-person and virtual groups to meet together, share a meal (could be as simple as snacks, coffee, and desert), discuss the content in the week’s guide, share burdens with one another, and pray. Anyone can host and lead using the Home Church Kit.

When organizing a group, decide how you plan to meet and communicate. Maybe it’s over google hangout once a week, maybe you’ll keep in touch throughout the week with a group text, or maybe FaceTiming is the best option. If you will be watching any videos together, make sure your internet is fast enough to handle the needs. Be creative during this time, and be committed to real relational connection. Encourage each group member to have watched the videos provided in the weekly Guides (above), so that you can work through the questions together.

At this point, we have canceled all of our in-person groups and gatherings, including community groups and bible studies.

Optional video chat platforms: https://www.skype.com/en/, https://www.marcopolo.me, https://zoom.us, https://hangouts.google.com

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How to Lead or Facilitate a Discussion

Prepare by listening to the message and reading through the discussion questions ahead of time. Prepare a few extra questions based on your own personal reflections to keep the dialogue going. It’s always helpful to have some thoughts ready to share to open up the discussion and create a safe space for sharing and questions. Allow some time for reflection after each question – be comfortable with silence as people think.

 

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How to Facilitate Communion

Anyone can facilitate communion with other believers. The beauty of communion is that it was shared over a meal using items Jesus and the disciples had: bread and wine. Wherever you are, use what is available at your home. We prefer and encourage the use of bread and wine/juice, but crackers or chips along with any kind of water or juice may be substituted in times where bread and grape juice are not available.

Communion is a time for followers of Jesus to reflect upon, receive, and celebrate all that Jesus has done for us. It’s a time for us to look back – at how Jesus died for us on the cross. How his blood was given for the forgiveness of our sins and how his body was broken so that we could have new life. It’s also a time for us to look within – to reflect on what He is doing in our lives on a daily basis and how he is continually filling our lives with His love, grace, and mercy. It’s also a time for self-reflection – to consider if I’m living in a way that reflects his love for me and my love for Him. If not, we can encourage each other to repent or turn from sin and ways of not loving God or others. Finally, it’s a time to look forward – we look forward to the day when he returns, and we look forward with hope to the restoration and renewal of all things!

Give your group the opportunity to reflect on the above points in solitude, read the week’s designated scripture together, and instruct your group to take the bread and wine/juice when they’re ready. Pray a prayer of thanks together when all have finished taking communion.

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Outreach Initiatives

At this point in our church, we do not have the infrastructure to organize community service endeavors that would adequately support the complex and ever-changing needs during this season of social distancing, and our philosophy has usually been to participate in and support local organizations who are equipped and informed on best practices and who already have inroads to various communities of need. We are going to use this space to do our best to keep you posted with ways that you can get involved around Hampton Roads.

If you would like to assist in donating or distributing resources, please the below link for a list of local initiatives.

COVID-19 Outreach

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How You Can Help from Home

Many of us are eager to lend a helping hand, but it may not be safe to serve alongside tens of other volunteers. Some of the most impactful work you can do is to pray for others, to send texts or emails to check on each other, and to give family and friends a phone call to show that you care. Who knows? God may provide an opportunity for you to pray with someone who needs encouragement or to share Good News with someone who might be getting overwhelmed by the flood of new information.

In times like these, where we find ourselves a little more isolated than usual, we need to be aware of the added temptation to believe familiar lies from our enemy or to escape into sinful and unhealthy patterns of behavior. Isolation isn’t the worst thing we do, but it’s the way we do the worst things! Check on each other; talk to someone who knows your story; and, reach out to us if you need someone to talk with.

Our church, like many other churches and organizations, may be facing a downward trend of giving during this season of hardship, understandably.  If for any reason you encounter financial hardship, we do not want to add a burden to you by asking you to give. We want the chance to try and assist you! The ongoing generosity of the people of our church makes it possible to serve people in need as we are able. However, if you are able, continue to faithfully give financial offerings online or by mail to the church office address so that the ministry of Anchor Church can continue to happen while we’re unable to meet in-person. Approximately 30% of our offerings are received during our weekly worship services, so we’re encouraging those who usually give on Sundays during the service to give online if you’re able.

Additionally, we have several people within our church who are already facing significant financial setbacks, so if you’re looking for a way to give specifically to those needs, we’ve activated a COVID-19 Assistance fund on all of our giving platforms. If you have additional funds beyond your regular offerings that keep our ministry and staff operating, would you consider giving toward the COVID-19 Assistance fund? We are doing what we can as a church to help those within our church who have lost hours or lost their jobs completely as we discover the needs. As we usually do, we encourage community groups to support those within their groups who have a short-term, one-time need as a first response to needs. From there, we will use the funds we receive through the COVID-19 Assistance fund to offer additional assistance. Beyond that, we are redirecting people with long-term needs to local relief organizations and shelters. Thank you for your consideration of our ministry and of the growing number of people within our church family who will have needs.

Give directly here – https://onrealm.org/AnchorChurch/-/give/COVID19 

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Mental Health Resources

During this time, we know it can cause many to struggle with anxiety, fear, or lead to isolation and depression. We are sensitive to those dealing with such things and are here to offer prayer and support at all times.

Do not hesitate to reach out for prayer or if you need support. Click the link below for a few local resources and tips to support your mental health during this time.

COVID-19 Mental Health Support

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Prayer Request or Need Assistance

Our leadership team and elders would love to pray for you and assist with any needs you may have during this time. Please fill out the below form, and we will get back to you shortly.

Prayer & Assistance

We'd love to pray and assist you! Let us know how we can support you.
  • The elders and the leadership team would love to pray for you. Let us know how we can support you!
  • Do you have a need during this time? Please let us know if we can assist you.
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How to Talk with Your Children about COVID-19

As the current climate is constantly changing, so too will daily routines with your children. As schools remain closed and learning is now happening at home and online, more questions will arise and routines will need to change. While this is new territory for us all, we will continue to provide support, resources, and activities you can do with your children through the weekly Home Church Kit. 

The Austin Stone church in Texas has provided a well-written document with a few suggestions on how to begin to approach talking about COVID-19 and addressing fears your children may be facing. Click the link below to view. 

COVID-19 Talking with Children

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