In the midst of these challenging times, I want to call us to faith, hope, and love. May we have faith in our God as he is at work advancing his kingdom even in the midst of a pandemic and racial unrest. May we continue to hope in the Lord, for our God has a plan and future for us and for this world. And, may we continue to love God and love others well. In the face of the demonic enemies of fear and hate, may we seek to be a people who embody and intercede for faith and love.
On Thursday, July 2, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order for wearing masks in the state of Texas. In light of that mandate, here is what we are doing at Calvary starting on Sunday, July 5.
- We are asking everyone to wear a mask while at Calvary for the protection of your brothers and sisters. We will follow this policy as long as Gov. Abbott’s Executive order is in effect.
- Please put on your mask before you enter the building.
- Here are the exceptions to wearing a mask at Calvary, per the Governor’s order:
- Anyone who is on stage at Calvary.
- Any person younger than 10 years of age.
- Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
You staff team will wear masks on Sundays as an example to the body. We are all in this together.
What can you do to help slow the spread of COVID-19?
COVID-19 continues to spread. Greater Houston is seeing a rise in the number of cases. It is important that we remain vigilant and practice these steps as a part of the effort to reduce the chance of contracting COVID-19.
You can lower your risk of getting sick by:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Putting at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Avoid or reduce close contact with others and large groups of people.
- Wearing a face covering. When you enter a building or when you are in public places outdoors and are not able to social distance, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover.
- Avoiding touching your face – this includes your eyes, nose, and mouth.
It is important that these steps be taken at home, work, and other activities.
This virus is still spreading. Let’s work together to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities.
And, let’s continue to pray for the Lord to be a wall of fire and a hedge of protection about us. We want to stand in the gap that this virus will be defeated in the name of Jesus. And, we pray for those who have afflicted by the virus to experience wholeness, healing, and complete restoration.
In addition to wearing a mask, I want to remind you what we are doing at Calvary to promote safety and health in this season.
- We are continuing to meet on Sundays in-person, and we continue to live stream our services.
- We are asking everyone to wear a face mask, with the exceptions mentioned above.
- We continue to observe social distancing guidelines before, during, and after each service. Everyone is asked to observe the 6-ft rule.
- People are being seated as they arrive and are dismissed in an orderly fashion by sections.
- Family members are being seated together. In accordance with the directives, we ask that family units put 2 chairs between each grouping of people or individuals. Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats empty on either side.
- We have put more space between our rows of seats.
- We have placed offering baskets at the doors, rather than passing the baskets during worship. In addition to giving during worship, we encourage you to keep giving online or mailing in your tithes and offerings.
- There are connection cards and giving envelopes in the seats for you to use. You can place those in the offering baskets as you leave after the service.
- There is also a connection card online for you to use to connect and share prayer requests. And, you can email your prayer requests to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are still not laying hands on people during ministry time. That will change when the physical distancing directive is lessened.
- Remember that you get to choose whether or not you will attend in person. Each person is responsible to do what you are comfortable doing in this COVID-19 crisis. Some of you will choose to stay home for various reasons, and that is understandable. Please feel free to do what you need to do.
- If you’re sick, we ask that you please stay home and participate online.
- If you’re in the high-risk category due to age, physical, medical, or autoimmunity issues, please use your own discretion, knowing that you have the option of worshipping online.
- If you need prayer, please email us at email@example.com or use the connection card.
- Our ushers and greeters continue to wear masks.
- Also, hand sanitizer is available at every entrance. Please use the hand sanitizer as you enter the building.
As you can see, we are working to create a safe environment. And, we encourage everyone to take personal responsibility to follow guidelines, to love others well, and be gracious in this season. Following these precautions helps us to protect others and to continue to meet in person.
Our church also wants to help you in any way that we can. If you have a need—physical, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise– please let someone know, like your small group leader, a staff member, or a friend. Feel free also to call the church office at 281-550-4323, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help; communicating well makes that possible.
As always, if you have questions or comments about any of the issues in this blog, please communicate with me. You can reach me via email or cell (281-686-5291). For regular updates, please check the Calvary website and blog.
Pastor Jeff McGee