Dear Calvary Family,
I've never seen anything like it.
Most of us are healthy and yet we are much constrained in our movements.
The Covid-19 virus transmits easily, it appears. So, for the sake of vulnerable populations like the elderly and our health care professionals who could rapidly become overwhelmed, we practice constraint. We need to take seriously the needs of others as we limit our own choices and prerogatives. As Paul put it in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look, not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” This discipline can feel hard, but it is right.
Right now we have decided to cancel all church events so that we as a local Body of Christ can be a good example of social responsibility. We will certainly reverse this decision as soon as possible. It would be great if we knew now when that time will be. Unfortunately, we do not. Here are the consequences of this decision:
- Our church building is unavailable. Our custodian has been doing extra sanitizing for a couple of weeks already. It would be too much to ask of one person regularly to sanitize again after multiple events, even if they involve small numbers in attendance.
- Our Sunday services are canceled until further notice. In the meantime, we will be putting together online services each week that will consist of worship, prayer, and a sermon from God's word. This will be available to view live at 10am each Sunday either from our Calvary website or from our YouTube channel.
- Our Church finances rely heavily on people contributing through the Sunday morning offering plate. Thank you. But this will not be possible during this time of crisis. Therefore, if you are a Calvary member, I would encourage you to click on "Giving" on this website and you will find a number of different options with clear directions on how you can continue to contribute to the ongoing ministry and mission of the church. Thank you for your continued support.
- Staff will be available but with reduced office hours (9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday). We will also be monitoring our emails and the church office phones, and desire to respond to any needs that exist within our church community. The elders will also initiate contact with each of you to provide encouragement and whatever else may be required. I also urge you to contact one another in your various groups and ministries to laugh and pray with each other.
One day this will pass and we will be together again face-to-face!
- Brenda Van Hemmen, our Children and Families Pastor will be in touch with all the parents under her care. Currently, the Sunday school curriculum is being emailed, posted on the website and on the Calvary Kids Facebook page to help parents teach Jesus at home. Brenda will keep you updated as we move ahead. Just remember that children who turn out to become passionate followers of Jesus usually grow up in homes where the Christian faith is caught as well as taught.
- As your Pastor I'm available for any emergency or Pastoral needs.
We deeply appreciate each of you. I pray daily that God might surround us with a profound sense of His loving presence, that He will calm your fears and give you the patience and grace to live graciously within the restricted boundaries which this season demands. Being socially isolated from our friends and living with the uncertainties of what this will look like long term can be unnerving. I feel it myself. My prayer is that we might take time each day and be still before our God, knowing that He is our safe place of refuge. You are passionately loved by the Father and He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. May we look back on this time and be able to see the hand of God at work in our lives, "making all things beautiful in its time."