Dear CARAVAN Participants, Parents, & Advisors,

After much discernment and “if then” scenario simulations, we have decided to cancel CARAVAN 2020

When the shelter-in-place order was issued, youth ministry began to plan two CARAVANs: one in Chicago and one alternate plan to hold the trip remotely from SVPC's campus, almost like an extended lock-in. We planned to fly a small number or Chicago organizers into Sunnyvale and continued to be excited about the ways we would learn from and connect with Chicago housing rights groups remotely. It now seems that even this alternate plan is not a safe and available option for us.
 
We are incredibly sad that this is the decision we had to make. Personally, I was so excited to share my old home with so many of my new favorite people. I was excited to integrate my leadership into a long-standing SVPC tradition. This decision sucks! And we know that this is one more thing on a long list of cancellations you have had to go through these past few months.
Here are some ways we hope to reduce the ways it hurts to hear this news:
  • SENIORS: Understanding that this change is a great loss for our seniors, we would like to invite our current 2020 seniors to join us on CARAVAN 2021 as Assistant Adult Advisors (a role somewhere between being a youth participant and a traditional adult advisor). We intend to save a spot for any graduating senior who would like to go on the next CARAVAN in this role.
  • SUMMER-WIDE PRAYER PARTNERS: We are inviting our CARAVAN prayer partners to expand their role this summer to pray for our CARAVAN students throughout the summer, with a focus on prayer amidst so many losses and cancellations.
  • ADJUSTED FAMILY GROUPS: We are working with students to create "Adjusted Family Groups” to meet throughout the summer. At tonight’s meeting, we surveyed students to get their input on how these will take shape. Family groups will be a space for youth to meet during the summer, continue to learn with one another, and process the loss of this year's CARAVAN trip. 
  • DISTANCED SERVICE: Also at tonight’s student meeting, students were asked to imagine ways they could care for our SVPC community during monthly six-feet-apart service events (for example baking bread for communion or delivering masks to church members). Once we get a chance to look through the ideas students imagined together tonight, we will send out more information about dates and plans for these occasional service gatherings.
  • WIDENING THE COMMUNITY: If you have a friend or family member in grades 8-12 who was unable to attend CARAVAN 2020, please invite them to learn along with us this summer. Direct them to contact youth@svpc.us with their interest in joining this uniquely formed community connection this summer.

Parents , understanding that you may have questions regarding the cancellation of CARAVAN 2020 and the alternate plans we've made to stay connected, we have moved the CARAVAN Parent Meeting date sooner and will now meet on Thursday, May 7 from 6–7 p.m. In the meantime, please note the following: 
  • REFUNDS: We will be issuing refunds to those interested in them beginning in mid-June. If you would like to donate some or all of your CARAVAN credits to the CARAVAN fund, please contact youth@svpc.us to let us know.
  • PARENT REQUIREMENTS: Parents, you will be contacted next week about revised parent volunteer requirements. Please be on the look out for that email.

If you have any questions about these changes or ideas of ways we can support one another during this time, you may reach out to us at youth@svpc.us. As a community, we will get through this together! We’re grateful to SVPC’s Program Staff and to session for supporting so much of our programming and adjustments as we seek to do faithful, connected ministry during COVID-19. And a special shoutout to the world’s coolest Youth Admin around, Karyna Brandariz, who communicates all of these transitions with grace and kindness. We're all in this together, and we'll come out of it as stronger, kinder humans.

With peace and hope for what we'll do together,
Addie
Adjusted Calendar of Events
  • Parent Q&A Meeting, rescheduled to May 7, 6–7 p.m. | We'll hold a Q&A for any parents who would like to hear more about our decision to cancel CARAVAN and about our alternate plans to keep connected during the summer. (This event was moved to an earlier date than listed in your CARAVAN flyer.)
  • CARAVAN-themed Immersion Night, Thursday, May 7, 7–8:45 p.m. | Students! Gather with us next week to our CARAVAN-themed Immersion Night online to hear from some Chicago organizers on how to address housing segregation and housing rights from your home, during COVID-19. (These event details remain unchanged from your CARAVAN flyer.)
  • Family Group Online Meet-ups + Monthly Distanced Service Gatherings (with Family Groups) | We'll send info on these as soon as we've considered the feedback from students that we received at tonight's Student Meeting.
  • Summer Reportback: Wine & Cheese & Documentaries
  • This event will be held online on the day we would have had CARAVAN Sunday. We will have students lead small group discussions, help deliver participant hospitality packets for our RSVPed guests, and report back on what we learned during this strange experiment in ministry of trying to stay connected from afar this summer. We're excited to have this as the culmination of our summer together.
  • Rehearsal on August 13, from 7–9 p.m. (This date was formerly listed as CARAVAN Sunday Rehearsal on the CARAVAN flyer.)
  • W+C+D will be held online on August 16, from 6–9 p.m. (This date was formerly listed as CARAVAN Sunday on the CARAVAN flyer.)