Friday, May 29th, 2020

 

Dear Calvary Church Family,

 

Wow! What a ride we have been on with the COVID-19 world concern. Regardless of how we each perceive and think about the issue, it certainly has been significantly affecting our lives. We each have been limited in one fashion or the other. Yet, by God’s grace, we have not lost anyone in our church family and we can all be very grateful for His mercy. Personally, I hope you have taken the opportunity to utilize your “shutdown” to grow closer to the Lord and to learn better how to rest in Him. Our prayer ministry has grown. Seeing some of those answered prayers, I praise God for your faithfulness in prayer. I further worship the Lord for your faithfulness in giving. We have been able to help many homeless and other citizens of our local area over the last few months of this time. We have also been able to assist many other churches and church plants with their ministries/finances through our Cooperative Fund giving. Thank you for being there for one another and for other bodies of believers around the state and world. Ministry is happening! As your pastor, I am very pleased and thankful by how faithful we have been as a church to getting the Gospel to others everywhere.

 

However, the main reason I write to you is to discuss what the elders have decided regarding our regathering together at our church building site. This letter is rather lengthy, so please be patient. To ensure you have a full understanding of what we are doing as we regather, please read this letter in its entirety.  To begin with, I wish to address some areas of concern. First, for those concerned with the governing authorities’ interaction with the church, Delta County has been granted a variance for houses of worship. Therefore, the state has finally seen the necessity for regular, face-to-face assembling of God’s people regardless of infection threat. I (Greg) was part of a group of state SBC leaders that formally lobbied hard with our Governor for reopening our churches based on spiritual and mental health reasons. Second, we as elders recognize that each of you have differing opinions and beliefs about the COVID-19 issue. Some do not think it is important and have no fear or concern. Others are very concerned and have legitimate fears for their health. Between these two poles are most of us. Yet, we all have in common a desire to regather together and encourage one another. Therefore, regardless of our personal viewpoints or persuasions, we ask that you seek the good of others over yourself. This is in keeping with the biblical principle of putting others before yourself. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value the interests of others above yourself, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4). Therefore, as a church family, we humbly ask that no one judge another for their views or practices regarding the COVID-19 issue. “11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12). Please refrain from discussing political views of the issue: we are here to worship the Lord and encourage one another. Our personal agendas should be left at the door when we are in the presence of the Lord. Third, we wanted to provide a space and setting that was capable of having many best practices for everyone’s safety, for example social distancing, minimized contact points, etc., and have been working hard to get those spaces ready for the return of us all to regather for live, in person worship. 

 

The elders have decided to resume live, in person worship regathering at our church site beginning on Saturday, June 6th at 6pm and Sunday, June 7th morning at 10am. That is correct: two services each weekend for hopefully only a month. They will be nearly identical. All family units and those who already live together in the same dwelling will be seated together without social distancing. The sanctuary will only hold 60 persons per service. We will also have the service live streamed to the youth room for additional seating. This room can roughly hold another 30 people (with social distancing). Therefore, we will have a total of 90 seats per service. Therefore, I will need each of you to reply to this email stating which service you and your family desire to attend and the number of your family members (including babies, children, and youth).  Overall, for this to work we will need the cooperation of the entire church family to temporarily do the following until further notice:

 

  1. The Delta Health Department guidelines ask you to stay home if you have any of the following symptoms: 

    1. Temperature of 100 degrees or higher Fahrenheit. 

    2. Coughing or sneezing, shortness of breath, or any recent changes in taste or smell. 

    3. If you have health conditions that place you at greater risk, especially if you are 65 or older with such conditions. 

  2. Between families that reside together, we respectfully require all of us to maintain six (6) feet of social distancing. You will notice the chair spacing reflects this practice.

  3. We respectfully ask that you please wear a mask or bandana to church. We understand that this is uncomfortable and even undesirable. This is not for you; it is to protect the vulnerable among us that are at high risk from you if you are a carrier. If you are a carrier, you would not even know it for weeks. 

  4. We humbly ask that if you so desire please bring your own hand sanitizer for your family.The only research supported CDC recommended hand sanitizer is alcohol based 60% or greater, not other kinds. Since hand sanitizer is in short supply, ours is coming in June.

  5. We will have you enter the double door main entrance only on the west side of the building. You will exit through the middle hallway exiting to the south side of the building past the nursery. We are seeking to minimize contact points that could potentially spread the disease. Those with handicapped parking will still use the south exit on the west side of the building up front. All entrances and exits will be clearly marked. 

  6. There will be no food fellowship (including coffee) until further notice. This includes potlucks. Small groups of people will still meet and eat together outside of the church. 

  7. We respectfully ask that before and after the services that we do not linger in the building. We do encourage you to go and meet together over a meal at one of our local dining small businesses and enjoy fellowship with one another! It's a great way to encourage spiritual friendships and our local businesses. Please make sure you are gathering in one of our church small groups. See an elder if you need help with joining a group. 

  8. We will thoroughly clean the building between services and weekends. The drinking fountain will be unavailable for use. 

  9. Please keep your children and youth with your family. We ask that you do not allow your kids to go to their regular rooms or playground, nor “roam the halls”. They need to be with you.

  10. No Sunday School or child care will be offered at this time. We encourage you to spend more time with others in your small group. If you do not have a small group, please contact an elder about joining one. 

  11. Children’s ministry will occur starting on Sunday, June 7th at 8:30am. You will have more information sent by email about this Zoom interactive children’s ministry soon. Mrs. Kolman will lead this initiative as she has the Children’s Church. The kids will love seeing her again. 

  12. Youth Group  will begin again on Wednesday nights at 6pm at the church in the Fellowship Hal starting Wednesday June 10th. Nikki will discuss with the kids the best practices for their safety during youth activities. 

  13. Restrooms will be available and set up for your safe use. Hand soap and washing is highly advised after use. Toilets will have chlorinated tablets that will treat each flush to prevent disease. Please limit the restroom to two occupants at a time. 

  14. During our time together we encourage you to wave and speak love to one another, refraining from hugging or handshakes. Lessening contact points and potential transmission that would harm those most at risk is why the health guidelines are established.

  15. Offering will not take place at the end of the service. Please mail in your giving to “Calvary Baptist Church, PO BOX 725, Delta CO 81416” , give online at our website, or place your gifts to the Lord in one of the Tithe/Offering boxes as you enter/exit the sanctuary. 

 

Finally, the elders wish to thank you for your cooperation. We are so grateful for you as our church family! Our putting others before ourselves, seeking peace and unity in the fellowship, and not being divisive over debatable issues glorifies God and strengthens the body of Christ. Our utilizing best practices ensures that we have the best opportunity to keep one another safe and fulfill the law of love: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39). Thank you again for your attention and care in these matters. We pray these conditions are only temporary. We love and look forward to seeing you all soon! 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email Pastor Greg at (719) 287-3633 and/or greg@calvarydelta.org or any of the other elders. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Pastor Greg & the Elders Brad, Chip, and Steve

1290 A Street, delta, co, 81416
970-874-9497
office@calvarydelta.org

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