Calvary Community COVID-19 Update | March 31, 2020

To our dear Calvary Community family,

We pray that daily you are finding grace, peace and hope in our amazing Lord and Saviour and His wonderful promises.

During this pandemic time, it’s important that our focus isn’t just on the latest numbers and how much worse the situation appears to be getting but rather we must make an effort and take the time to “change the channel” and focus on the goodness of God towards each and every one of us and especially towards his people throughout history.

We can’t help but see the encouraging parallels between the time of Moses and the children of Israel and the protection God provided for His people as the plagues “passed over” them and similarities today. Each family was gathered together in their homes and applied the blood of an innocent lamb to their doorways so that disease, death and destruction did not touch them. Let us today remember the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for our redemption and protection as well. Until we resume our regular gatherings, we encourage families to take communion together to remind themselves of the power of our Savior’s sacrifice. There are many great resources online that you can follow along with.

We have all seen how rapidly society is reacting in regards to the COVID-19 virus and we encourage everyone to, be aware of, and follow the published and announced recommendations so that we can slow the spread and help return everyone back to a state of normality.

As a ministry, we have diligently endeavoured to lower costs and save money by shortening hours, taking wage cutbacks, and reducing spending however we are also encouraged that many have made it a priority to continue to give and be generous. Although we are not gathering on Sundays and during the week, we still have costs and overhead associated with facilities to heat and maintain, staff to run the ministries and continuing to generously help those in need.

We’d like to especially recognize our technology and digital production members who have worked tirelessly to help us move to online connections to enable us to connect with each of you on Sundays and through the week.

Our Community Care Network is reaching out by phone to make sure everyone is being prayed for and cared for. Should you be aware of a neighbour or relative or friend that is in need of assistance, please contact us if you are not able to help them yourselves. We also want to express our appreciation to you, Calvary Community Church, for the ways we see you stepping up to help others, with offers of assistance to individuals and communities in need.

All ministries will continue to take a pause from public gatherings until such a time that societal laws and restrictions allow us to do so.

We continue to encourage small groups to meet and connect online using creative solutions, such as Skype or Zoom meetings, Right Now Media with Facebook interaction, etc. Please contact us if we can be of assistance in setting these up.

We remain in prayer for our ministry and small group leaders, as well as our congregation as we continue to discern how best to move forward and serve our communities. We want you to know that our pastors and leadership team are fully available and committed to helping anyone who may require assistance. Please contact our office at 780-462-8444 if you are in need.

Always trusting in our heavenly Father,

Your Calvary Community Pastoral Team

 

 


Calvary Community COVID-19 New Update | March 16, 2020

To our dear Calvary Community family,

 

As mentioned in our previous communications, this is a time of ongoing evaluation and discussion.

 

Let us first state that our faith and trust are completely in God and we have been seeking His wisdom as we consider these difficult decisions.

 

As you may have heard during yesterday’s COVID-19 update, the Alberta government has made the difficult decision to close all Alberta schools and places of worship are no longer exempt from the AHS social distancing restrictions. As a result of this change, we want to take action quickly to ensure we do not unnecessarily put vulnerable members of our congregation and communities at risk. We also want to do our part to slow the spread.

 

Effective immediately, the leadership of Calvary Community Church has decided that all ministries will take a pause from public gatherings until March 31, 2020, at which time a re-evaluation will take place. This pause applies to all ministries and church gatherings.

Wherever possible we encourage small groups to instead use creative online solutions, such as Skype or Zoom meetings, telephone shepherding, Right Now Media with Facebook interaction, etc. rather than meeting together at public gatherings.  Individuals and smaller groups may use these and other creative ways to safely interact; praying for, encouraging and blessing one another and our communities during this time.

 

We were very pleased with the participation in yesterday’s online service. On Facebook alone, over 1000 homes participated, with over 800 of the homes “interacting” in some way. Note that these numbers do not include those families who watched the online service via the church website.

 

Should the small groups decide to continue to fellowship in homes in small numbers, we urge them to apply wisdom and proper precautions as per the AHS recommendation for social distancing. You will find a complete list of these guidelines here:  https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-mass-gatherings.pdf

 

Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw stated during yesterday’s address:

"Religious communities are a source of strength and comfort, especially in difficult times such as these. I encourage religious leaders to work with their faith communities to determine how they can continue to support each other, but in ways that reduce the risk of infection spreading. We all have a role to play in the days ahead.”

 

Our leadership wishes to express our appreciation to you, Calvary Community Church, for the ways we see you stepping up to help others, with offers of assistance to individuals and communities in need.

 

We remain in prayer for our ministry and small group leaders, as well as our congregation as we continue to discern how best to move forward and serve our communities. We want you to know that our pastors and leadership team are fully available and committed to helping anyone who may require assistance. Please contact our office at 780-462-8444 if you are in need.

 

Always trusting in our heavenly Father,

Your Calvary Community Pastoral Team

 

 


Calvary Community Church COVID-19 New Update | March 14, 2020

 

To our dear Calvary Community family,

As we mentioned in our previous communication, this would be an ongoing evaluation and discussion. Because worship services were exempted from  the Alberta Health Services release Thursday afternoon regarding limiting public gatherings, our announced intent was to go forward this weekend with our service with considerable preparations and precautions in place.
 
However, we are now NO LONGER having a public service.
Even though our faith and trust are completely in God, we are making this difficult decision not out of fear but rather out of love. In light of the latest Alberta government's Covid 19 update this afternoon, we do not want to unnecessarily put vulnerable members of our congregation at risk by continuing with a gathering tomorrow.
As 30 - 40 percent of our congregation falls into this category, and since the 2 cases in intensive care in the province are over 60 years of age, we feel this is the wisest and most prudent approach to this situation.
We still invite you to join us in worship and prayer by watching the service live on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/calvarycommunitychurchedmonton/ or through our website web address https://www.calvarycommunity.ca/live/. We are joining with the majority of churches in our city in worshiping this way. We also want you to know that our pastors and leadership team are still fully available and committed throughout the week for helping anyone who needs assistance.

We will continue to pray and discern a further direction forward and keep you updated. We look forward to you joining us online in worship and prayer tomorrow morning at 10 am.

 

Always trusting in our heavenly father,

Your Calvary Community Pastoral Team