Update on our response to the Corona virus

March 26, 2020

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:1-2

 

Greetings church family,

 

First, let us say that we miss you and we look forward to the time when we can come together again to worship the Lord in the same building. By now, each of you should have received a call from one of us. If you have not, please let the office know so we can touch base with you. As your Elders, we want you to know that we are available at any time if you have any needs at all, prayer or otherwise.

 

As you well know by now, the governor has put in place a Safer at Home measure, designed to curb the spread of the disease and flatten the curve. This mandate is in place until April 24, 2020, which means we will not be having any gatherings in the church until that date. This means that Holy Week will look much different than ever before. Please pray as the staff seeks the Lord for the best way to bring services into your home that weekend. We know that God was aware of this long, long ago and so we are confident he has a plan in all this.

 

Albert Mohler, in his briefing on March 24th said this:


The category of quarantine, of this kind of isolation, is actually found in the five books of Moses. In the book of Leviticus, chapters 13 and 14, dealing with leprosy, the children of Israel are given specific quarantine instructions. And as you look at those instructions in Leviticus 13 and 14, they are not exactly what we are hearing right now from health authorities in the United States, but they are hauntingly similar. The point is the stop of a contagion, the stop of a spread of an epidemic or a pandemic like COVID-19. And Israel had a responsibility, in obedience to God, to do what God had mandated in an effort to try to isolate those who are infected and also to try to protect the children of Israel from this larger threat. This has obvious application to our situation today, where the very same logic is in play. The same logic we find in the book of Leviticus is the logic that is now coming from the White House; it's coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; it's coming from the World Health Organization. But we do need to note, and at this point Christians should find this a matter of reassurance, that it is believed by many medical authorities that Leviticus 13 and 14 are the very first records in human history of the category of quarantine.

https://albertmohler.com/2020/03/24/briefing-3-24-20

 

It is interesting to ponder that this has a biblical precedent. We have determined that we will comply with Emergency Order #12, the Safer at Home order. This is the right thing to do.

 

The order allows us to gather as a team to produce our worship services so that they can be seen online. We will be practicing social distancing as we record these services. Further, we are allowed to keep the church open and will do so from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm each day, Monday through Friday. We will let you know if that changes.

 

We encourage you to check out our website and especially the Thrival Kit tab, which allows us to see how we can do more than survive this pandemic; rather, we can thrive! There are links to all the special teachings that are available for every age group. Please keep an eye on that page for updates and changes. There are special places where you can let us know if you have any need at all and you can let us know if you are able to help with any need. This is being monitored carefully so that those who have needs are being helped as they make it known. Please let us know!

 

We realize that this is impacting each of us differently, but we want to make sure that we are encouraging each other not to lose heart. The more isolated this makes you feel, the more important it is for you to have contact with others, however you can. Let’s continue to grow in our understanding of Jesus so that we can make him known. Let’s continue to spur one another on in this unprecedented time. Let us continue to walk together, however we can.

 

Please remember that as elders we are fasting every Wednesday and praying for an end to the pandemic, for a revival of the Church, and that many would come to know Jesus because of these events. We invite you to consider joining us.

 

We encourage you to read Psalm 91 and remember that it is safer at home and that home is beneath his wing, the safest place there is.

 

Amen.

 

Pray as we seek to lead wisely.

 

The Elders

Update on our response to the Corona virus

March 17, 2020

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm 33:20-22


These are interesting and exciting times in which we live. Things in this world are changing around us day by day, if not moment by moment. It is a unique time that we have been entrusted with. We are seeking the Lord for the best way to steward these times that we live in, remembering along with the psalmist that our hope is in the Lord and we wait in him, rejoicing as we trust in his holy name! Prayer is key as we continue to seek the Lord’s leading. God is still in control, Jesus still has authority, and we are still to go and make disciples. Our mission has not changed. It just will look different.


In some situations, we are free to make decisions; in other situations, those decisions have been made for us. At the time of this writing, Governor Evers has banned all meetings of more than 50 people for a period of two weeks. President Trump has suggested that groups of 10 or more not meet for a period of 15 days. We will abide by these recommendations, by not having any gatherings at church through April 3, 2020. This means that all scheduled activities at church will be cancelled. This does not, however, mean that we will cease to function as a church!


Our mission, simply stated, is that we come together to know Christ so that we can go out and make him known. We are now in a time that allows us to focus differently in both of these areas.


We will come together to know Christ by having regular communication with you electronically.

  • First, and foremost, the plan is to continue the services online each week. These will be ready for viewing no later than our normal Saturday service time of 5:00 pm. Get together with your family or if you are comfortable with having others over, consider having a small group meeting at your home to watch together.
  • Second, our staff is working now on virtual teaching, devotions and reminders that will allow us to know Christ more in these times that seem uncertain. We will continue to learn what it means to live by faith. Details of these opportunities will be coming out in the next day or two. Watch our web page and Facebook page for updates.
  • Third, as elders, we will be fasting on Wednesdays during this time and we would like to invite you to fast with us. This is one other way in which we can be together in seeking the Lord even as we cannot meet together. If you are new to fasting or would like some clarification as to why and how to fast, please read an excellent article at https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fasting-for-beginners . We are asking you to consider praying, fasting and seeking God for his wisdom in these days and to plead with him for mercy and healing. Also, that as we join together in prayer and fasting that it will allow us to consider how we are joined together even as we are unable to meet together at this time.
  • The church will be open for prayer from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm each day. There will not be official prayer meetings, but if you would like to come and pray in the sanctuary it will be open.
  • We will not be able to visit those in the hospitals and nursing homes or even shut-ins in the same way that we have in the past. But we are committed to staying in communication the best we can.

We will go make him known by being in our community differently and reaching out in different ways. You will be receiving ideas of how you can make Christ known in the communications that you receive from the staff. We ask that you put those ideas into practice as you are able. Please share your stories of how God is using this pandemic to allow you to share your faith in Jesus! Send them to the church office so that we can celebrate with you.


One more item to consider is that this means we will not be having the special meeting to vote on the parking lot resurfacing. At this point, we have not rescheduled that meeting. We will put that on a temporary hold and will give an update when we are able.


We ask that you prayerfully consider how you may be able to continue to support the ministry at Calvary financially. We are so thankful for the generosity of this family. Our expenses will continue, although we will be taking steps to tighten our spending wherever possible. You may click here give online at CalvaryCommunity.net/give or you may simply send your donation to the church office (P.O. Box 1200, Williams Bay, WI 53191).


As elders, we will be following the situation and will keep you updated, as we are committed to leading well. We ask for your continued prayer for us, even as we are praying for you. We will be reaching out to you by phone to see if you have special needs or questions during this time. If you do not receive a call in the next week from one of us, please contact the office.


Finally, we encourage you to remember the amazing truth of Philippians 4:6-8:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Remember what to focus on. Focus on that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about such things. Amen.


Pray as we seek to lead wisely.


The Elders

A note about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

and our steps at this time at Calvary

March 13, 2020

We realize that the outbreak of this virus has caused anxiety and concern among many people and that governments and businesses are making decisions based on their understanding of their situations. We also realize that the decisions these businesses and governments are making are impacting most lives more than the virus itself. Most recently, that was seen in the Kellers needing to return home from Mongolia.


At this point, there has not been a case of the virus reported in our immediate area. While it is very possible that some cases might present themselves here, at this time there are none. Still, it is important to be aware. We would urge you to take the steps of caution that you would normally take during the influenza season. Our greeters will not be shaking hands as you enter the church and we will have, as usual, hand sanitizer at the welcome center.


We will not be taking any steps other than the above, immediately, but will be monitoring the information as it comes in to make future decisions for our collective health safety.


Please use this time as a reminder to praise God and to pray. Praise him that he is not surprised by COVID-19. Praise him that it appears the disease is not as fatal as was first suspected. Praise him that many people have experienced healing from the disease and that the death rate has been small. Pray that God will use this in our lives to remember that we have not been given a spirit of fear. Pray that God will keep us from discrimination against certain people groups. Pray that God will use his global Church to bring peace and the promise of hope at this point in time. Pray that truth would be expressed in the news reports and coverage.


We will keep the Calvary fellowship informed if this situation rises to the point where we need to take a more aggressive stance.


Pray as we seek to lead wisely.


The Elders