Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Dear Calvary family,
I miss seeing you in person! I can’t help but dream about that great day when we will all be back together to worship, pray and serve—face to face! But until that day, I am still so excited about what God is doing in and through our church. The church is alive and on the move, and as Jesus reminds us, nothing will ever be able to overcome it! (Matthew 16:18)
I couldn’t help but think about the Apostle Paul today. After planting churches, the primary way Paul stayed connected to them was through writing letters. While my letters are nothing at all compared to anything Paul wrote, I consider it a great honor and privilege to keep you updated and encouraged. I want you to know that we are praying for you. We are thankful for you.
In these confusing and uncertain times, I am more convinced than ever that God is up to something big! More people than ever are searching for hope and meaning. More people than ever are being reminded firsthand of the value and necessity of community and belonging. And more people than ever are discovering that the church is not a building—it is the people, just like you and me! I firmly believe God is going to use this crisis to further His kingdom in amazing ways!
We have some big things to celebrate as a church. We have had more people connecting with us in the past weeks than ever before. Literally, thousands of people are watching our worship services and connecting with us on social media. People from seven different countries tuned into our live stream on Sunday! Every day hundreds of people watch our morning devotions. And many people in our community have experienced the love of Jesus through your creative serving of neighbors and others. This is what it means to BE the church!
But what we need to celebrate the most is that, this past Sunday, we had 24 people say yes to following Jesus! This is our mission being lived out in real time. Calvary’s mission is to “lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus.” I am praying and believing that God is going to use us during this time to reach more people with the Gospel than we can even imagine. Let’s pray together for this to happen!
The reality is, for us to keep on living out our mission, we all need to continue to give generously. Sometimes our tendency during difficult times is to hold back and to hold on tightly to our money. Money is often one of our biggest barriers to trusting fully in God. Remember everything we have is a gift from God. The question is, will we trust in Him more than things of this world? God has always provided and will continue to do so.
Right now, our community needs the church more than ever. We still need to honor our commitments to our mission partners, who are also doing very important ministry during this crisis. We need to continue to reach out to the needs of our community. And we need to keep our operations going strong. Please, if you are able, join me in keeping up your faithful and sacrificial giving—to support the mission of Calvary. Thank you! Give now>>
Update on Calvary Early Childhood
Because of the outbreak and standards that the federal and state governments have asked us to follow but we could not reasonably attain, we had no choice but to close Calvary Early Childhood (Calvary Childcare Center, Pre-Kindergarten and Hourly Childcare) as it would not be safe for children and staff. This action however comes with consequences. Last Thursday, we made the painful and saddening decision to lay off indefinitely our early childhood staff staff (not including directors) until we can reopen safely. We now have an opportunity as a church to walk alongside them and pray for them during this time. Please join me in doing so.
Coming Up This Week
Daily encouragement on Facebook
Every morning, Monday through Saturday, at 9 a.m., join us on Facebook Live for a daily word of encouragement and prayer. This is a great way to build community and start your day on the right foot! Follow us on Facebook>>
Live online Bible study: Bible 101
For the next six weeks, every Tuesday at 7 p.m., join Pastor Jason for a live online class. This is another great way for us to connect and to grow in our faith. Online Bible study>>
Lent Livestream: “#believe”
This Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., we will live streaming our Lenten experience. There will be a great acoustic worship set, an interview with our Guest Experience Director Greg Stephenson, and a short message. Invite your friends! More about Lent>>
Drive-by Food Drive
We continue to collect food and hygiene items with our Drive-By Food Drive. There are many people who need our help in our community. Let’s step up and show the love of Christ. Learn more>>
Sunday worship online
Join us again on Sunday for our two livestreamed services at 9 and 10:30 a.m., or view our prerecorded traditional service. Who will you invite this week? Imagine if every one of us invited at least one person to watch online with us! Watch online>>
We will continue to do our best to keep you updated and connected the best we can. As of now, we don’t have any idea when we will be able to open the building and return to normal. So, until that changes, let’s continue to find ways to grow in our faith. Continue to make worship, community and serving a priority!
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have needs we might be able to help out with or requests we can be praying for. We are here for you. We are grateful for you. We believe that God is at work and that the best is yet to come! Request prayer or help>>
Grace and Peace,