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Roots campus ministry embraces online connections during restrictions

Life and ministry have changed significantly for our team members as a result of COVID-19, but CMF’s Globalscope Roots team in Edinburgh, Scotland, took quick steps last week to go digital to support and connect with their students.

“In order to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we decided to cancel all Roots events and close the Roots house until further notice,” said campus minister Kate Owens. “But always on our mind are the members of the Roots community who are now stranded alone in Edinburgh.”

Some of the students chose not to travel and many others are from countries whose borders are already closed.

“So much of our purpose here is to be a community that supports students in whatever way we can and now is no different,” said Kate. “So, we decided to try and create spaces for community in different ways.”

For example, Kate explains, the Roots house attracts a big crown during Monday afternoon house hours to hang out and eat lunch with friends. So, her husband and teammate Andrew Owens is hosting a lunch online for anyone who wants to eat “together” and chat.

In addition, the usual Tuesday night of food, fun and something meaningful has been updated to a Facebook event of questions, games and talk for over an hour. And the regular Friday afternoon board games won’t come to an end, either.

“There are plenty of games you can play with friends as long as you have some kind of device connected to the internet, and we are going to find them,” said Kate.

After a week of trying different things, Kate said the team was excited about the different things they had tried and is learning how to do better going forward.

“It is so new for us to be fully dependent on the online platform; we are always looking to learn how to make it more accessible, varied and beneficial for our students,” she said. “We are incredibly grateful that this is even a possibility! There are so many incredibly interesting and valuable resources; we will just keep exploring to find out what works best for where our community is right now.”

Andrew, campus ministry, Globlascope, Kate, Owens, Roots, Scotland