From Pastor Bill: Calvary's Plans for the Immediate Future
Amidst the general health concern we are facing today, Calvary is canceling all large and small group gatherings for the next two weeks. This includes children, youth, college, and adults. This has not been an easy decision to make, but I feel that this is our way that we can do our part to help minimize the potential virus spread and particularly to help protect the most vulnerable in our community.
Let me encourage you to…
• Be connected.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25).
How do we meet today?
Our plan is to live stream our worship and sermon for the next two Sundays so that you can watch it in the safety of your own home. We considered the possibility of Life Groups gathering in homes to enhance the worship experience, but I am concerned that if just one person attends who unknowingly is contagious, every person in that home would potentially be exposed and then perhaps inadvertently expose other people in the days after the gathering. We will send you a link later in the week that will connect you directly to our live broadcast on Sunday morning.
We are also planning to provide a short video and activity sheet for our children to be able to use on Sunday mornings. You will get more information on that later in the week.
I am also encouraging our Life Groups to stay connected to each other through phone, email, or social media. Check on each other regularly to see how everyone is doing. Ask: “How can I help you?” and “How can I pray for you?”
• Be loving.
The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Galatians 5:14).
Be mindful that there are a number of hurting people within your sphere of influence. Examples: a medical professional who is really stressed by the additional work load and hours; a single mother whose children are not able to attend school; an elderly person who does not have family caring for them; a husband and wife who are struggling in their marriage; and many others.
Pray for them. Take food to them. Volunteer to provide childcare. Give them a gift certificate for groceries.
• Be Gospel-centered
Paul wrote: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14). Paul was passionate about sharing the Gospel with everyone.
Prayerfully bring Christ into as many conversations as you can. Speak to peoples’ fears and unknowns. Remind others that God is sovereign and in control. Share how Christ has changed your life. Talk about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Easter is just over 4 weeks away.
• Be faithful.
Stay faithful to reading the Bible. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Don’t let the change in your routine take you out of your commitment to stay in the Word. You will be blessed and encouraged by your faithfulness in the Word.
Stay faithful to giving to the Lord. And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). You cannot separate that promise from the context of which Paul wrote it: faithful giving. When we remain faithful in our giving to the Lord, He has promised to meet all our needs. Even though we may not be meeting in person, you can give online or through the Calvary App. You will be blessed and a blessing to others by your faithfulness to give.
While we need to be careful not to share our germs, we must be responsible to share our hope in Christ. We live by faith, not by fear. We are sacrificial – not selfish. We shine the light – not hide it!
Your staff and I love you and truly consider it an honor and blessing to serve you and the Lord in our ministries. You are a tremendous encouragement to us and we look forward to being together again soon.
God is good ALL the time!
Bill and Staff