By Shelby Barner, DiscoveryBound Young Adult Manager
What a year 2020 was! Although, like many others, the DiscoveryBound Outreach team was thrown a few curve balls, we also experienced blessings and triumphs.
The 20s/30s group was off to a wonderful start with in-person events. Once the global pandemic hit, the DB Outreach team decided to take programming virtual. It pushed us to try new things, become more creative and reach our constituents in different, innovative ways.
The events offered in 2020 brought people together who usually wouldn’t be able to gather consistently because they live in different parts of the country. This created a broader sense of community when it felt like there wasn’t one.
Jake Elmore, a 20s/30s participant, shared this with us: “I love the strong community that DiscoveryBound has worked to create. That community has become very prevalent during this pandemic and time when we are all having to social distance ourselves from large group gatherings. It is nice to know that we have a strong community who wants to come together for game nights and other fun activities.”
The more we offered new events and programs, the more our community grew. We recognized that this was laying a foundation of meaningful connections for future events.
Some of our most popular virtual events were weekly game nights, book clubs, cooking classes, Friendsgiving and discussions with a Christian Science practitioner. Also, the DB 20s/30s Facebook group now has more than 520 members!
Participant Kristin Manker also appreciated in particular what September’s in-person picnic in Queeny Park brought to her (the St. Louis, Missouri, event followed local regulations for distancing). “I so enjoyed catching up with friends and old classmates at the DB 20s/30s event,” she wrote. “In these strange times where we all feel isolated, I was so grateful for this bubble of joy and laughter, where we could come together and express the dominion of Love.”
As we move forward, we plan to continue virtual programming, and as things open up we will again offer in-person events. Like Mary Baker Eddy wrote in the first sentence of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, we are “leaning on the sustaining infinite,” God, trusting that we’ll be led to know what our next steps should be, and realizing a day “big with blessings” and triumphs.