This year is the 250th anniversary of New Church (the beginning of the New Church was the 19th of June 1770) and it would be sad to pass that milestone without observing it. So we will have a New Church Day Banquet at Home on Saturday, the 20th June. (The date has been changed from my first message about it.)
Here’s what we have in mind.
We will have a group Zoom call with everyone who is attending the banquet BUT don’t worry it won’t be a frustrating free-for-all; we have plans.
- 5:30-6:00pm – Getting Connected – People connect to the Zoom call and chat if they want to. If you know what you’re doing, you can just connect, mute yourself, and turn off your video until the formalities begin.
Also during this time (or before), please send us a picture of you/your family celebrating New Church Day. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy (see Food and Decor below). We will try to put together a little slideshow of the photos that people send in and share that with people on the call at some point.
- 6:00pm – Welcome – Malcolm will welcome people, make a few introductory comments, lead a toast to the church, say an opening prayer, etc.
- 6:15pm – 6:45pm – Connecting in Breakout Rooms – Those that want to will be divided up into breakout rooms on Zoom to connect with a manageable group of other church people. We’re going to cap the rooms at 6 people in each one (because much larger than that gets unmanageable and there will likely be more than one person on each computer). You can then catch up with those people for about half an hour, like sitting around a table at the banquet. And then we will bring you back to the main “room” for the rest of the time. We will do the dividing up of the rooms for you, using our knowledge of who knows whom, etc.
For this to work smoothly we will need to know if you’re planning on attending and if you would like to participate in one of the breakout room chats. Some people may have enough people that they’re with in person that they would rather just connect with the people in the room with them. This is also why it would be helpful for us if you could connect at 5:30pm so that we can start dividing you into rooms behind the scenes to be ready to split you up at 6:15ish.
- 7:00pm – Speeches – We will then watch the speeches together on the Zoom call, with everyone muted to avoid distractions. We will also make the videos of the speeches available from the beginning of the banquet so that, if you need to leave the Zoom call to put kids to bed, for example, you can still watch the speeches on a schedule that works for you.
- After Speech Hanging Out – For those that stick around after the speeches we will again divide up those that are still on the call into breakout groups. These groups will be created randomly by Zoom. You can stick around or leave as you’d like.
Food and Decor
We encourage you to plan some sort of special meal to have that evening – even if it’s just food from your favourite takeaway. We would recommend something that doesn’t require someone to be in the kitchen doing food prep during at certain parts of the banquet.
You could also decorate your home and/or get dressed up if that would be fun. If not, don’t do any of that stuff. You are also welcome to attend the banquet in your baggies, eating beans on toast. Either way, please send us a picture of what you end up doing.
We’re excited about this way of celebrating New Church Day (and to have an event to look forward to). Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you’re coming and if you’d like to be part of the breakout rooms. You can also RSVP by WhatsApping Carey – whichever is easier for you.
Please also let us know if you have any other thoughts about how to make this evening special and run smoothly.
Also, non-Westville people are very welcome to attend! Whether you’re in Jo’burg, Cape Town, the UK, the USA, New Zealand, or wherever, you are invited.
Banquet Zoom Meeting Details
Click to connect on Zoom or use Meeting ID: 836 2596 7217