March 12, 2020
Dear members and friends of Calvary:
Together with our pastors, the Session sends this update about Calvary’s response to recent COVID-19/“coronavirus” developments. While there is still much that is unknown about COVID-19, we’re slowly learning ways to help slow the spread and avoid overtaxing our healthcare services. Therefore, after prayerful discernment, with deep concern for the health and well-being of the Calvary community, and in compliance with the Governor’s Guidance for Gatherings, Calvary’s Sunday worship service will be online only, live streamed via Facebook, for the remainder of March. The full text of the Governor’s Guidance for Gatherings offers helpful definitions and rationale, and you may see it here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/Gathering_Guidance_03.11.20.pdf
In addition to offering our worship online only, we’re reporting several other schedule changes:
This community will adjust and care for one another. We are committed to making sure that people can still connect with one another be it by video, phone, text messages, etc. It might even be an opportunity to learn how to use some of these technological means of connection. If you are unfamiliar with how to participate in worship by way of Facebook, one of the pastors would be delighted to walk you through it. While some of these shifts from in-person to online may take a bit of getting used to, we also know that there are others who may find and connect with us for the first time. While there is certainly a feeling of loss, we are excited about how we may discover some new life during this time. It may be an opportunity for a “Sabbath,” a time of Lenten reflection or contemplation. To be clear, we are not canceling our community gatherings, but rather finding new ways to gather as a community.
It was difficult to make these decisions, but it ultimately came down to expressing a deep and abiding love for the community by not taking a chance with one another’s well-being.
We continue to encourage common sense precautions by individuals:
We don’t know what will emerge in the coming weeks, and we’re committed to being flexible. Through this time of caution and concern, we hold each person, our congregation, and the world in prayer. We lift up in particular the health care workers, and those with the least means to weather the coming storm.
Lois Dress, Clerk of Session
Cal Chinn, Pastor and Head of Staff