The Global Association of Christian Hospitality Professionals (GACHP)
The 17th Annual Food Service & Hospitality Ministry Conference being held June at First Baptist Hendersonville has been cancelled.
A decision by our Board to authorize the cancellation of the June 2020 GACHP Hospitality Conference was on April 23. The leadership team has prayed over this decision and looked at multiple options to keep the Conference in 2020 but there are just too many unknowns at this time and everyone’s safety is our top priority.
We realize you all will have questions about this decision. So, allow us to address some of those here:
Why is GACHP cancelling instead of rescheduling? As we’ve been clarifying the focus of CORD & GACHP mission, we’ve been asking whether it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep maintaining a conference during COVID the wisest way forward in terms of safety and stewardship. We believe our focus must be on the overall safety of those who would attend and the sustainability as a small non-profit. Our goal every year is to Inspire & Equip you in your ministry role and though we need that more than ever we must be realistic.
Was the coronavirus crisis a factor in this decision? The simple answer is yes, especially as it relates to timing. In mid-March, Buncombe and Hendersonville Counties, N.C., authorities ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19. FBC Hendersonville has temporarily ceased hosting services and groups until local authorities ease restrictions. To many unknown factors are in play and we do not know what June, July or August are going to look like, not only for FBC Hendersonville, but for you and your ministries too.
If I have already registered to attend 2020 what do I do now? We want to first say Thank you for registering and planning on joining us. It truly breaks our hearts that we are not able to be together this year. As far as what to do next you have options. You can contact Jenee at TheGACHP@gmail.com or 407-504-2247 and she can fully refund your conference registration or you can confirm with your church leadership and apply it to 2021. We are planning on staying in Western North Carolina and your fee would stay in the conference budgets and you would be all set. You could also donate your fees to the scholarship fund. Just let us know what you would prefer, and we will do as you request. You will need to cancel any accommodations you made with the Conference hotel or airlines and we are truly sorry for that inconvenience.
Is it possible to stay engaged without an annual conference? Yes, we are already talking through and planning some digital meetings so we can all stay connected. These last 2 months and the coming months are all new to us and we are going to need each other’s support like never before. Look for information in the coming days for zoom meetings that will cover topics like: How to reopen during and after a pandemic, Box-lunches, Catering in COVID-19, Cleaning, and more. We will also be partnering with some of our 2020 Break-out Teachers and they will teach their classes through zoom sessions as well. We will send out a link and time and anyone available will be able to get on and listen, engage and be encouraged. We are hoping to launch our first meeting Thursday, May 7th at 3pm eastern standard time. Details will be coming.
What will happen to CORD and GACHP for future events. Due to the coronavirus “shelter at home” orders in North Carolina and across the nation, churches, schools, camps and conference centers have suspended hosting events until the end of May or Early June. We will adjust that date as appropriate based on guidance from government and health authorities. We know conferences and events will look different due to COVID-19, both in the short and long terms. The CORD & GACHP team is developing plans and making adjustments to enable us to host events safely and effectively once restrictions are eased, and we see what our new normal looks like. Our goal is to be back hosting state chapter meetings in the fall and our annual conference in the summer of 2021.