One of three Community Leaders, Anna shepherds a group of folks who are growing in friendship at Reality Ministries. Each CL leads a weekly gathering of 80-90 men and women of all abilities that we call Evening Group (we’re really good at naming things). This regular get- together, along with all our daily programming and special events, has been suspended indefinitely, and our staff is designing a variety of ways to stay in touch. Here’s Anna’s story:

Last week, my Evening Group tried our first Zoom call. We had about 10 or 12 faces on the screen, a handful of whom were our staff. It was a great to see the folks show up who could, but I was really eager to get more of our group engaged.

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon calling people in my group, encouraging them to get the Zoom app, walking them through getting set up to join our second call. Last night we had over 35 people! Two whole screens of the faces of our friends spread across living rooms all over the Triangle. The call was pure chaos in the BEST way: everyone greeting each other, waving and giving thumbs up and greeting people’s parents who were in the backgrounds. Each new face gave me a little jolt of joy and reminded me of the beauty that exists in the people and relationships of our community.

Eventually I muted everyone so that we could take turns talking one by one. Towards the very end, our friend Thomas Beckmann popped up on the screen, and the joy and surprise on his face at entering into this call with 35 of his friends was SO FUNNNNN to watch! The first word out of his mouth was “PALS!!!!” Then I unmuted everyone all at once and we all greeted Thomas like a long-lost friend.

Can’t wait to have another family reunion next week with everyone!