Read update below, or watch pastor's explanation (video at bottom).
Since our last update just this past Friday, a lot has changed. The Covid-19 numbers have gone up significantly and official recommendations and restrictions have come, shrinking opportunities for us to gather.
Before we get to the changes and cancellations, we want to communicate that we believe our posture-- as a church, and as individual Christians-- should be to get behind and support these recommendations for the good of our community at large and specifically for those most vulnerable.
And while the situation may continue to develop, we have a temporary plan for the next 30 days.
We must plan for no public meetings of our church.
In place of our regular Sunday ministries, we are working towards providing livestreamed worship services for the next 4 Sundays. These will happen at 10:30 Sunday morning, like our normal worship services.
Understanding that to gathering together is an essential part of being a church, meeting virtually is not a full (nor, hopefully, long-term) replacement for that. But, we will have the opportunity to still be fed regularly with the Word, and we trust you will be encouraged. Specific details about how you can access the livestream Sunday morning will be forthcoming this Friday (see below). Bulletins and other print material will be sent to you digitally, also Friday (also below). Recordings will continue to be available on Youtube and our website after the service (normally the following Tuesday).
If everything continues as planned, this will mean we will not be able to meet during the week of Easter. We certainly would not wish that, but we will adjust our Easter plans so that, whenever our first Sunday back occurs, we will celebrate it as Easter Sunday. He is Risen! Every Sunday!
We are also working towards providing online giving. We want for you to be able to continue your faithful giving to Calvary Baptist Church even through this time. You can stop by the office to leave a check, or mail it in, or setup automatic payments from your bank similar to an automatic bill payment. But, in addition, we will have details for you by the end of the week about how you can use an app to simply and securely give to CBC.
In addition to Sunday mornings, we are aiming to provide something for you mid-week, during what would normally be our Wednesday night Calvary Kids/Youth Team/Adult Discipleship Classes. We are working with an online platform, Zoom, to make some of our classes available to you digitally. These will be available at our normal 6:30 time, at the below links (also, recordings will be available after):
Timothy Building Study (not live tomorrow, 3/18)
We will keep the office open but limited.
We will still be in the office week to week taking care of normal, essential operations of the church. We also know that there are unique needs and challenges that will arise, so we will continue to be available to serve you. However, understanding the need to limit human interactions to help limit the potential for this virus to spread, we ask that you help us by limiting your visits to the office to essential needs only.
We understand that this type of shutdown-- not just of our normal church functions, but also the broader world-- will affect many of us differently. The schools closing may present a childcare crisis for you, or a welcome time of having the kids home more-- or no change at all. Businesses shutting down may mean you are temporarily out of work, or it might mean you are busier than ever. You may join the large crowd of people at home with many extra hours, deciding what to stream, or you may feel like you are just surviving your day.
We want to step up in this time of challenges and mandated isolation to try to keep in contact with individuals as much as is wise and possible. Along with our deacons, we pastors intend to take more time than normal in reaching out to individuals to understand the various and unique needs you may be facing. Please let us know if your health is affected, if you are struggling to balance work with childcare, if your paycheck has been affected, if you have need of groceries or an errand to run but you don't want to risk exposure. And we hope many of you will also be intent to keep communicating, while we keep our physical distance.
While we are making these plans to adjust what is normal and essential to us, as a church, we also believe we should have eyes for those outside ourselves-- people who might need extra help during this time, or even those outside our church-- and how we can show love to them. As Galatians 6:10 says, “as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” And we have some great opportunities to do that.
We would like to form a Covid-19 Response Team. We don't have polished ideas about what all we could do, or how, but we believe we should be thinking about it. Please let us know if you would want to be a part of that: if you would like to think about how you could help others, or if you are willing to do whatever we can come up with.
Because this has proven to be a quickly evolving situation, we plan to stay in regular communication with you. We want for you to be able to find out everything you need at calvarymp.org/covid. All information we communicate will be there.
We plan to send out bi-weekly updates
We will post updates on the website each Tuesday and Friday. We want to make sure you know what is happening and what might be changing throughout the week. The Friday updates will also include our Sunday bulletins and other print material.
These updates will also be emailed and linked on Facebook.
We plan to provide urgent/time-sensitive updates
If something comes up between our regular updates that you need to know, we will notify you via our emergency communication channels (mass text, automated calls) as well as the above channels.
We plan to provide daily encouragements
Because these are unique times, we want to make short encouragements available to you daily. These 3-5 minute videos will be posted regularly on our website and Facebook page.