As states and counties begin to ease restrictions and open businesses, we want you to know that we are praying for all leaders as they make decisions about if, when, and how to possibly begin meeting again with their groups in person. We have gathered several national and regional leaders to discuss the best way to assist you in making decisions. First and foremost, please follow the rules and guidelines prescribed by you local officials. We have created a flow chart to assist you in making decisions based on what we believe to be the top criteria. Please know this is a guide, and each group’s Planning Team must make the best decision possible for their groups.
More than anything, we want to help you continue the mission of Stonecroft, which is to see women reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. We have developed best practices for digital outreach. You can also read this article featuring groups across the country who are learning and growing through this new way of life.
The No. 1 way to support Stonecroft AND extend your witness for Jesus Christ is through the giving community at The Stonecroft Experience. Find out more and learn how you can continue to share the love of Jesus right where you are.
Here is what we previously advised at the start of quarantine:
The purpose of this document is to help you maneuver through questions you might face, as well as discover new Gospel-sharing opportunities that Stonecroft is making easy for you during this time of uncertainty.
Q: How is Stonecroft responding to this situation?
A: Coronavirus and its implications have prompted many questions related to how we respond to this widespread health and safety concern. Dr. Naomi Cramer Overton, Stonecroft President and CEO, first addressed this concern with an email to all of our volunteers. You can read it HERE.
We have been amazed by the way Stonecroft women are courageously responding to this news. You are looking to find new ways to share the love of Jesus. We can’t imagine a more important time than now to seek God’s wisdom for new opportunities to share the Gospel!
Q: Should I hold my event? Should I attend a Stonecroft event?
A: While only you can make this decision, we want to point you to the health experts. The Centers for Disease Control is advising that organizers cancel events of 10+ people through Mother’s Day but also that even smaller events should only be held if people can keep 6 feet away from each other (social distancing), and consider vulnerable populations (over 60 and/or with chronic health conditions) all while providing excellent hand hygiene.
Given the nature of Stonecroft in-person events (small groups, outreach groups), it is unlikely you could offer the same experience with people sitting or standing 6 feet apart, and these events typically do draw vulnerable populations.
Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. (This means distances of 6+ feet kept between persons.)
Q: How can we still advance the Gospel and love women toward Jesus, maybe even MORE SO, during this outbreak, when some women might be anxious and more open to faith?
- Let us keep coming alongside you during this time. The best way to let us help you is to stay connected. To stay connected, make sure you are getting information from Stonecroft:
- Invite women to join you (and us) for weekly experiences you can do from your home.
- Wednesdays – Prayer: This is a chance for anyone to be prayed with and loved toward Jesus. Information available at https://www.stonecroft.org/conference-call-archives/
- Rest Bible study – Starting Monday, March 23, this is a chance to be guided through a Bible-based conversation about peace during an anxious time. And you’ll know your friend will hear the Gospel as every Stonecroft study presents the Good News. Sign up at https://www.stonecroft.org/we-are-stonecroft/, get your free download HERE of the first chapter and send it to your friend, and if you want to purchase the book go HERE. The study will take place over a Zoom conference call. Please sign up to keep updated and for call information.
Q: How can I gather with others to find the support I need to share Jesus, even when our Planning Team is not meeting?
A: We will be inviting you to weekly prayer calls each Wednesday. For more information, visit https://www.stonecroft.org/conference-call-archives and please invite others to join.
Q: Our event venue location closed due to the national health concerns. What options do we have to meet?
A: There are options for your group in small numbers and through social media, such as:
- We encourage you to connect with us through social media. Please regularly check Stonecroft Facebook page for messages from our President and CEO, Dr. Naomi Cramer Overton. https://www.facebook.com/wearestonecroft/
- This is an important time to be seeking God’s wisdom and peace. Please consider bringing women together to join our weekly nationwide prayer call or online Stonecroft Bible study on Rest.
- If you prefer to lead your own study, here is a place to choose from several great ones: https://stonecroft.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/home?p=1187023
Q: If our event has been cancelled by the event venue, how should we handle reservations and deposits?
A: If the event venue closes due to the national health concerns, the venue should refund any deposits to your group. If they do not, please contact the Stonecroft Accounting Department: Accounting email: [email protected] Accounting phone number: 913-766-9100 x8861
Your group should refund ticket purchases to participants. If you have questions about this, please contact Accounting.
Q: Our group is not meeting, but we want to continue to give a donation to Stonecroft. How should we do that now?
A: We are grateful for donors! You can advance the reach of the Gospel in this unique time with your continued financial support. Here are the ways you and your groups can give:
- Online through the Stonecroft’s secure website https://www.stonecroft.org/donate/
- By check, mailed to Stonecroft Ministries, P.O. Box 8900, Kansas City, MO 64114
- Text to Give: 913-827-0019
- This is the number for text to give. For a general donation to the ministry, the donor must include the word ‘courage’ in their text with the amount of donation they wish to give. Only a number amount should be included, no dollar sign. For example, if a donor wanted to donate $13.00 to the ministry, they would text “courage 13” to the number above. (Do not use quotation marks in your text. Also, if this is your first time using text to give, you will be prompted to set up your account. Please choose Rally Courage.)
Q: If your Planning Team chooses to cancel the event, how should you handle it?
A: We suggest that you contact your event venue to work through this. Ask for a refund of any deposits due to the national health concerns. If they do not offer a refund, see if you can work out a later date for the event or some other concession, preferably after the CDC’s Mother’s Day timeframe or most current recommendation. Regularly check the CDC’s website (cdc.gov) for timing and latest recommendations. The Planning Team may want to consider offering full refunds to participants from their local bank account.
Q: When we do start back to meeting, we might have fewer women. How can we reduce the number of guaranteed meals we pay for during our first times back together?
A: Contact the venue manager to see what you can renegotiate during these trying times. Many venues are glad to have any business, rather than no business, when they are facing cancellations from so many others. You might ask, “We would still like to meet as soon as possible again, when the time is right, but are unsure how many women might come. So that we can start up our meetings again and work with you again at the first opportunity, how might we eliminate the minimum meals required during this time?”