As you will know, COvid-19 (coronavirus) is causing a great deal of uncertainly around many planned events this year.
For PYM we have been wrestling with the safety concerns around running our Connect conference in June. We have engaged with other organisations running conferences, and we have seen some organisations opt to postpone their conferences and others continue to plan to meet if they are permitted to do so.
We have decided to not run Connect as a physical gathering this year, but rather deliver a shorter, free online offering of youth ministry training instead. We will communicate more on this in due course.
We believe that this year, there is an unnecessary health risk to Presbyterian communities in gathering people from every corner of our country and then for them to return home. We are also aware that there is a reasonable risk that Connect could be required to be cancelled by the Ministry of Health with little notice right up to the event happening. Therefore, we are making this decision sooner rather than later, as we are aware many participants fly to Connect and we want to avoid unnecessary flight purchases.
We know Connect is a highlight in the calendar for many youth workers, and so this has been a hard decision to make. We are deeply disappointed to not be able to meet for Connect this year. We are mindful this crisis will pass and while PYM will be delivering quality online training this year, we look forward to when we can again gather as a community of people who are passionate about youth ministry.