By Seth Spire
With COVID-19 concerns still looming large, we are not able to meet on the Bridgewater (Va.) College campus as usual for Roundtable 2021–the annual regional youth conference hosted by the Interdistrict Youth Cabinet at Bridgewater College. We have had to pivot to a new idea for Roundtable in order to reach the most youth and still provide a fun, meaningful experience in person and online.
Instead, there will be three Roundtables in 2021, held at Brethren camps: March 6 at Brethren Woods near Keezletown, Va.; March 27 at Shepherd’s Spring near Sharpsburg, Md.; and April 10 at Camp Bethel near Fincastle, Va. These three camps seem best situated to give everyone a close location to attend in order to limit travel and spread people out to keep the numbers of people at each event at a safe level.
On March 6, we also will offer an online option for those who wish not to attend in person.
Each of these will be a single Saturday instead of a full weekend. This means a more condensed schedule, but we will still have a ton of fun, have some great worship, and get to explore nature at the same time. Exact schedules may differ between locations, but in general there will be small group sessions, workshops, worships, vespers, a variety show, lunch and dinner, and–of course–everyone’s favorite: free time.
COVID-19 protocols for social distancing, mask wearing, and anything else will be followed at the in-person events to make Roundtable as safe as it can be. This likely also means taking advantage of being at camps and spending much of the day outside, but there will be back-up plans for inclement weather.
Now on to the fun part. Our theme for Roundtable 2021 is “Hope Ahead: Plans for Peace,” based on Jeremiah 29:11. With everything that has happened in the past year, this feels like a very timely message. Our speaker is the amazing Jenn West. She may not be able to be in-person for each of the three Roundtables, but we will work through that in order to give everyone a great experience at worship. Regardless, we are quite blessed to have her wisdom and knowledge working alongside us this year.
We are working very hard to make this all work out and are trying to move forward with plans in this very uncertain time. Everything is very much subject to change and to be adapted, so be prepared that things may have to change. We certainly hope to see everyone this Spring!
— Seth Spire is a member of the Interdistrict Youth Cabinet at Bridgewater (Va.) College.
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