Posted September 1, 2020
We are excited to be launching our new season of SERVE with hope for the future. However, having hope does not give us an excuse to not be prepared. Below you will find some adjustments we have made, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the SERVE 2021 season.
SERVE “within borders”
We love being a bi-national organization. We have seen great value in students and churches from both sides of the border come together during our SERVE weeks. However, the reality is the Canada/US border remains closed. We don’t know when this will change or what restrictions will be in place when it does. When registering for SERVE 2021, US churches will only be allowed to register for US SERVE sites and Canadian churches will only be allowed to register for Canadian SERVE sites. We believe it would be irresponsible to allow churches to register for sites that we don’t anticipate them being able to attend. It would only unrealistically inflate your numbers, and cause undue stress, for everyone.
This is a temporary change. We are playing the long-game here. Last year we had to cancel all SERVE trips. This year, we are playing it ultra-safe. Next year, Lord willing, we want to be back to business as usual, and allow churches to go where-ever they’d like!
US and Canadian Pricing
Because SERVE is “within borders” we are going to accept both USD and CAD this year. For a Canadian church heading to a Canadian site, they will be able to pay in CAD.
SERVE@Home is being updated and improved for next summer and churches will be able to register for this (COVID safe) SERVE option next summer starting November 1st. They will also be able to pay for SERVE@Home in the currency of their home county.
Refund and Cancellation Policies
Are being re-written to include COVID related cancellations. You will find these updates, on October 1st, on the FAQ page.
COVID Preparedness Training
This spring we will be adding additional training requirements for our Host Teams to make sure they are well-informed as they plan for their SERVE week.
Posted April 9, 2020
Dear Friends of ThereforeGo Ministries,
In light of the current realities of this global pandemic, we, the staff and board of ThereforeGo Ministries, have determined that SERVE will not be able to happen this summer in the traditional way. However, we have a new plan.
Our decision to cancel the SERVE plans we had in place, and readjust our expectations for the summer are strongly guided by travel restrictions without a firm end date. If we are serious about the statement that your safety is our number one priority, then we could not, in good conscience, continue to encourage anyone to make plans to travel across state and province lines, let alone across the Canada/US border.
There is a lot we don’t know right now. We don’t know when these travel bans will be lifted. We don’t know how long we will be working from home. We don’t know when it will be safe to hold gatherings of any size again.
Here is what we do know. We do know that psalm 100:5, “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations”, is as true when it was first written as it is today. We know that maybe now more than ever people need hope. Finally, we know that we can stay at home.
So, we want to suggest a new way to do SERVE. SERVE@Home, if you will. For those of you who were registered to attend a SERVE trip this summer and still want to partner with us, we will be putting together boxes with spiritual life guides, t-shirts, string backpacks and letter-to-self materials. In addition, we will be developing an online resource center with recordings of some of our favorite SERVE speakers walking your group through each session of the curriculum, resources on how to come up with worksites, and other materials for you to use for an at-home version of SERVE.
If you sign up for this option we anticipate being able to deliver supplies to you by June 15th. However, you do not have to “host” your SERVE experience at that time or even when you were originally planning to attend SERVE. You will have the freedom to wait until it is safe to be out and about in your community.
We hope this new plan will do two things. First, we are releasing you from the commitment you made to us for the summer. (We will explain how the money works below). You no longer have to make the hard decision about if it is a good idea to travel with a group of teenagers this summer, we have decided for you. Second, we hope that SERVE@Home will still allow you to have something to look forward to with your youth group. This could be a wonderful opportunity to show your church and community what teenagers are capable of.
Thank you for your understanding.
Friends, this is a hard time in the world and we have not made the above decisions lightly. We have explored all the options that we had for this summer and truly believe this is what is best and safest for all involved. We want to thank you for trusting us through this process.