Thursday, July 16|Resources

Updated Small Group Gathering Guidelines

Flood Family,

As we continue to monitor state and county health guidelines, we have updated our small group gathering recommendations. We recognize this will be a process as we navigate with wisdom and discernment, and have created a helpful resource to help navigate a safe and healthy small group gathering.


  • San Diego County Health Order (7.15.20)
    • “15. Religious services and cultural ceremonial activities (including wedding ceremonies but not receptions) may be conducted in conformance with the State Guidance pursuant to sections 11 and 12, above. Given the high risk of this activity, vulnerable members of the population (over 65 years old, compromised immune system or underlying condition) are strongly encouraged to participate through streaming or some other form of remote technology. Outdoor services and cultural ceremonial activities may be conducted provided all persons practice social distancing as defined in section 22e, below.
    • (21.e. “Social distancing” is maintaining a six-foot separation from all persons except for household members, first responders and medical providers or employees conducting temperature screenings.)
    • Flood Groups would fall under these guidelines.
  • San Diego County COVID-19 Webpage
  • Face mask requirements
  • State of CA: Places of Worship Guidelines


In-Person Meeting Guidelines:
(these are the current San Diego County guidelines and will need to adjust over time)

  • Meeting outside only (small groups).
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet.
  • Face masks if within 6 feet of another.
  • Wiping down of commonly used surfaces before and after group.
  • Do not attend in-person meetings if exhibiting any symptoms.

Seek to accommodate various comfort levels, such as:

  • Initially having a hybrid approach allowing some to meet in-person, while others join in via video.
  • Meet outdoors only, distanced.
  • Not serving/providing food or drinks.

Seeking to practice love and non-judgment: 

  • Asking questions to the Group: What are your expectations for physical distancing? 
    • Agreeing as a Group to the expectations.
    • Revisiting the expectations as restrictions loosen.
  • Re-engaging with members each month, especially those less comfortable with meeting in-person
    • Many may disengage from Groups for a season … we need to have a posture of consistent welcome and invitation, as some may feel unwelcome after being away for several months.

Seeking the unity of the Church:

  • Be wary of divisive political or public health conversations, avoid or redirect conversations when necessary to the official county links above.
  • Don’t assume everyone is on the same page as you are.
    • Everyone has a unique perspective and comfort level. Even married couples may hold different perspectives from one spouse to the other.
  • Don’t assume business as usual. 
    • The format or content of your Group may need to change for a season.
      Hold loosely to plans and expectations. 
  • Stay focused on Jesus.
    • He is the source of life and center of our community.
      Regardless of everyone’s unique circumstances and perspectives on COVID, we can find peace and comfort in Jesus’ presence. 

Seeking the mission of the Church

  • We desire to be a movement of hope and healing. 
  • How can our Group members experience that right now and share Christ with others through word and deed? 
  • What ways can we spur one another towards love and good deeds in and through this challenging season? 


How will we meet in person if our space can’t provide proper social distancing?

You will need to get creative! Can someone else in the group host? Is there an outdoor space you could meet at temporarily? Could you group split into smaller groups for a season? While social distancing does create unique challenges, we hope that you seek to maintain a safe environment for all participating. 

How do we navigate if not everyone in our group is comfortable meeting in person?

  • You could try and have a computer with a Zoom in option. Each group will need to decide for themselves if this is effective.
  • You could also maintain the formal group times over Zoom, but offer extracurricular in-person meetings that are voluntary. And, the summer season could be a great time to experiment with this.

How do we communicate the restrictions required for in-person meetings?

You could share this document with your group members, or copy and paste the county links in an email.