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Approaching a New Normal

Most students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools are back to in-person class full time as of either this week or next (depending on the age). Our Remote Learning Center is down to less than a handful of students.

Meanwhile, as of today over 121,000 people in Forsyth County have been at least partially vaccinated (with a total population just under 400,000 for the county, that's roughly 1/3 of the county that has been at least partially vaccinated). We have not reached enough for "herd immunity" yet, and youth and children will be the last to get vaccinated (since those under the age of 16 are not currently eligible due to lack of testing). However, restrictions are starting to loosen and, with warmer weather, more and more opportunities to gather are beginning to open up.

Most of our programs are still on hold. Our traditional tutoring and reading programs will not resume until school starts again next fall. Our Adult Bible Study is still being offered on Facebook every Wednesday by Comunidad de Gracia/Marvin UMC.

However, Open Arms is preparing to offer a new program, in person, designed specifically for youth in middle and high school. We received some grant funding from the Royce and Jane Reynolds Foundation to help us start a new Youth Group. The group will meet once a month (to start). They will have time to study God's word

and pray together, but they will also have

time to talk about life and the challenges of growing up in today's complicated world.

We are currently looking for mentors who are interested in partnering with our teens. If you are willing to meet (virtually or in person) with a teen once or twice a month and attend some of our youth events, please be in contact. Bilingual mentors are great, but not a requirement. Training will be provided for all mentors and Safe Sanctuaries procedures will be mandatory.

If you are interested in learning more about our new Youth Group, please contact

Rev. Julie at the Open Arms office.

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