Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Calvary gathers online and in homes
This blog was originally published on 03-18-20 and has been updated on 03-19-20 after Governor Greg Abbott and Mayor Jim Darling announced further restrictions. Revised text is in italics.
The church of Jesus is a people on the move. The people of God strive to be a people on mission. That is what we have always said about Calvary. We exist to make disciple-makers for the glory of God among the nations.
We are incredibly thankful for the many times when we get to gather as a church body on our campus to study the Bible in groups, to teach our adults, students and children and to worship together in English and Spanish as we preach God's Word. When we do that we encourage and equip God's people gathered so that we can be God's people on mission scattered.
Over the next two weeks (March 22 through April 1st) we will be the church scattered. Throughout the area the church will be the church in hundreds of homes and places in our community.
We will live stream our services on Sundays March 22 and March 29 at 11:00 AM in English and 12:30 PM in Spanish. We will use our Vimeo channel (Vimeo.com/calvarymcallen) to live stream and upload our service videos. We will also publish the link on our website and Facebook page.
We encourage individuals and families to watch the live stream and then have a time of discussion, prayer and fellowship. Our Texas governor and our McAllen Mayor have banned meetings of 10 people or more. We encourage those gathering to watch livestream to in order to follow their leadership.
We will also live stream the student worship experience on Wednesday nights called Remedy. And we will encourage EQUIP, WIT and ICC classes to hold virtual classes online Wednesdays at their regular times whenever possible.
Since our campus will be closed, several events have been cancelled and/or postponed including the Spring Choir Concert, April's Feature lunch, Holy Week Communion Service, WIT en español conference, ESL classes, Latina Hope, Zumba, Mother's Day Out, among others.
We are monitoring, seeking the best information available, and making decisions two weeks at a time. We will communicate as we make new decisions or when we are ready to return to our normal schedules.
We are doing this because we love and care for everyone in our congregation, because we want to do our part to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, protecting our community, because we want to be a good testimony to the world, because we want to submit to the authorities that God has put in place, and because we believe the church is the people of God on mission wherever we are.
In fact, we believe that this is an opportunity for the church to thrive and shine with hope. That as we meet in our homes, we can be a witness to our neighbors, that we can serve our community as we identify needs, that we can pray more fervently than ever, and that we can continue to make disciple-makers for the glory of God among the nations. As we trust in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be a stronger and more effective church after we go through this.
Our pastoral staff and our office staff will continue to be available to serve our entire church body along with our deacon body and our fellowship leaders. Most of our staff will be working remotely. So our church office will be closed beginning on Friday, March 20 through at least March 27.
Lastly, we encourage you to continue to support the ministry of Calvary with your tithes and offerings. These are difficult times but the ministries, commitments and missions support continue. If you have not registered for online giving, we encourage you to do so. You can register on our website or you can download the Generosity app for your mobile device from Lifeway and select our church from it. You'll have the option of using a debit card or linking your bank account. You'll even have the option of covering the bank fees. If you choose not to give on line you can mail your tithes and offerings to our church office.
Above all, we ask you to pray. Pray for healing. Pray for wisdom for our leaders. Pray for medical professionals. Pray for people to come to Christ. Pray for opportunities to minister. Pray for God's kingdom to advance. Pray for peace for people around us. Pray for a cure and/or a vaccine. Pray that God's glory would be manifested.
This week I had the opportunity to pray with pastors from BT McAllen, First Baptist Church Edinburg, First Baptist Church Pharr and First Baptist Church McAllen. We are believing God for great things!
956 Pastors from Calvary Baptist Church on Vimeo.