Here is the latest information from Calvary that you need to know regarding our services, gatherings, and responses to dealing with the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Join us online for our worship service this Sunday
Instead of physically gathering for the next 2 Sundays, March 22 and 29, we will live stream these services with worship and a message. The live stream will take place at 10:00am on Sunday mornings. Also, we will post the audio of the sermon on our website as soon as possible.
Our Sunday services will be available to view live online at 10:00am through the following channels:
YouTube: Calvary Community Church
In addition to the live stream of our worship services, I will upload the notes of the messages on our sermon page. I want to encourage you to watch the live stream and to talk about it with others through texts, social media, email, or over the phone. Or, you might want to get together with less than 10 others to worship with us via the live stream.
Upcoming schedule and plans for Calvary
As you know, dealing with the Coronavirus by government officials and the CDC is fluid and ever-changing.
At this time, government officials (see below for more details) have asked us to avoid meetings of 10 or more people. That directive was given by the President from March 16 – 31. Gov. Abbott extended that date through April 3.
Here are the actions we are taking in light of these directives. By the way, all of these plans are subject to change. Please continue to check our website for official updates and our current thinking. Or, feel free to call the church office at 281-550-4323.
- Worship Services:
- Journey Groups:
- We are letting each Journey Group Leader decide if they want to have meetings of 10 or less.
- As you know, our Journey Groups are our first line of pastoral care. Please keep in touch with your Journey Guides and let them know how you are doing and how we can help you.
- If you haven’t heard from your Journey Guide, please contact your leader and check in. Or, connect with Margaret Petry, our Small Group Pastor.
- Children’s Ministry:
- Bible Study for children will resume on April 5 at 9:00am.
- Kids Church resumes on April 5.
- Kid’s Club plans to start back on Wednesday, April 8.
- Youth Ministry:
- Jane Winne, our Youth Ministry Coordinator, and the SMC plan to get the youth together in groups of 10 or less in this season.
- Please connect with Jane via email or phone (281-381-9931) for further details, or contact the church office.
- Youth Bible Study begins again on Sunday, April 5.
- Regular youth activities will get back on track the week of April 5.
- The Prayer Room:
- Groups of 10 or less are welcome to meet in the Prayer Room starting on Monday, March 23.
- We will follow our regular schedule as per the website.
- If more than 10 people show up, we will turn on the live stream from IHOPKC in other rooms at the church and have someone facilitate prayer from those other rooms.
Responding to COVID-19
For us, this season is unprecedented. Past generations have dealt with plagues, world wars, and other events that have shaped their cultures and way of life. Dealing with a pandemic is new territory for us.
Thankfully, this pandemic does not surprise the Lord who still rules and reigns (Isaiah 52:7). That is good news. Our God makes a table for us in the midst of our enemies (like disease, darkness, and demons) (Psalm 23:5), and he rules in the midst of his enemies (Psalm 110:2). Our God never leaves us nor forsakes us (Hebrew 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6; Matthew 28:20). We can count on our God (Psalm 46; Psalm 91). Jesus spoke to his followers about what they would face in the coming days. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 (NIV). Even in the face of incredible shakings and turmoil, Jesus says, “Yet through it all, this joyful assurance of the realm of heaven’s kingdom will be proclaimed all over the world, providing every nation with a demonstration of the reality of God. And after this the end of this age will arrive” (Matthew 24:14 TPT). This is an occasion for our testimony and for the church to arise and shine (Isaiah 60:1-3).
This week, President Donald Trump, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Gov. Greg Abbott, and the CDC issued the directives concerning COVID-19. Here is a summary of what Gov. Abbott said and declared in summarizing directives from the President and CDC:
I… do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective 11:59 p.m. on March 20, 2020, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC:
Order No. 1 – In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
Order No. 2 – In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
Order No. 3 – In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Order No. 4 – In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.
This, executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services. For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.
Being Reflective and Thoughtful vs. Fearful, Anxious, or Reactive
In this time, we are seeking to honor our governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7) and to love our neighbors well (Matthew 22:37-39). We are not making changes to our schedule and worship services out of fear; rather, we are seeking to hear from the Lord, to hear from one another through the spiritual practice of dialogue, and to follow godly counsel and wisdom.
And, we are looking for new ways to be on mission with Jesus in our neighborhoods and communities. As I shared in the past two sermons, we were made for such a time as this. And, this is an occasion for our testimony. This season gives us an opportunity to join Jesus who is on mission doing good around us.
Remember Your Giving This Week
And, I want to encourage you to be faithful in the giving of your tithes and offerings. When you give to Calvary, those funds to go to ministry and missions. We continue to minister locally and globally. Please consider giving by mailing a check to Calvary or by giving online at https://calvaryhouston.com/give. If you mail a check, please send it to Calvary Community Church, 7550 Cherry Park Drive, Houston, TX, 77095. Or, you can call the office (281-550-4323) during regular office hours and give over the phone using a credit card.
In light of what is happening, I want to suggest praying through the Scriptures like Psalm 23, Psalm 46, Psalm 91, or any number of other passages. The Lord speaks to us through his Word and brings comfort to us through his Holy Spirit. Through regular spiritual practices, we become aware of Immanuel, the God who is with us.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 281-550-4323.
I am so grateful for you. And, I am praying with you for our church, city, and nation.
On journey with you and the Lord Jesus Christ,
Senior Pastor, Calvary Community