Due to rising concern, increased quarantines, and positive cases affecting both our office staff and our children's ministry volunteers, I have decided to go online-only for both services tomorrow, November 22. Obviously, no childcare or children's church.
We will be live-streaming on the website and Facebook Live at 11AM and 6PM.
Information on how we are handling the Angel Tree outreach will be shared tomorrow as well as a forthcoming Realm post from Chris.
The evening service was supposed to be a wonderful time of praise and thanksgiving where folks shared testimonies of their gratitude and God's goodness. Here is what we are going to try instead. Email me a short paragraph or 2 about what you are thankful for, how God has sustained you this year, ways that God has shown Himself strong and gracious in your life, or whatever is on your heart, etc., and we will share them during the livestream tomorrow night. If for some reason, you don't want your name shared, please make that clear. You may also comment on this Realm post but email is preferred. We need many to do this! My email is email@example.com.
Additionally, we are going to still attempt to incorporate Zoom into the service but it may not work. I would love for many to share themselves through Zoom live during the service time your testimony of praise. Zoom details were sent in a previous Realm post.
I know it won't be the same as previous years, but what's normal anymore!? If it all works out, it could still be a very special service. So email me or get on Zoom tomorrow night ready to testify and don't be shy!
Thank you for your gracious flexibility and good attitude.
This week, we have become aware of several more active, positive cases of Covid within our church. Everyone who was a close contact of those who are infected has been notified. While I don't believe it is starting at church, people are catching the virus other places and then bringing it unknowingly to a service or a Life Group. At the same time, cases are rising quickly across the county, schools are very near deciding to go to online learning, and several families in our church are quarantining because they are infected or because they were near someone at school or work that was infected. Many are choosing to isolate to prepare for travel and time with family for Thanksgiving. With this in mind, we are making the following changes this week:
1. All midweek programs and Life Groups will go virtual-only for this Wednesday, November 18. We are in the process of coordinating with the adult Life Group leaders so they will be in communication with you about your class. Kairos Teens will be live video or pre-recorded, and our elementary director, Sam Melton, will teach ALL the Calvary Kids Life Groups via video. Details will be given to you before 7:00PM tomorrow!
2. There will be only one morning service this Sunday, November 22 and it will be at 11AM. Calvary Kids Church will still meet at that time and nursery/preschool care will be available then as well. If the sanctuary gets full, we will use Room 101 for an overflow. Obviously, the livestream will be at 11 only.
3. The Thanks and Giving Service will be in the sanctuary at 6PM Sunday night. We will have opportunities for people to give a testimony or word of praise and thanks to God. As you leave, we will have pie in to-go containers for each person that wants one.
4. The Angel Tree Christmas outreach kicks off this Sunday. (Christmas gifts for needy children are written on paper angels and hung on a tree for people to choose and purchase.) Chris may pass along more details later but the tree will be available ALL DAY for you to stop buy and choose an angel.
Masks-in-motion are strongly recommended for the two services on Sunday.
By not meeting physically this Wednesday, we are trying to be helpful for those who are going out of town for Thanksgiving and are extra cautious about being around others and create a buffer of exposure.
To those who view this as an under-reaction, I love you! To those who view this as an over-reaction, I love you too! Aren't we blessed that we get to love each other and have a church family to walk through this together?
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3)
9AM Sunday - Masks-in-Motion....please wear a face-covering when entering and exiting, but feel free to remove it once seated. There will also be a section for those who want to continue to wear a mask the entire time. This section will be on the main floor in front of the sound booth. Still practicing physical distancing.
11AM and 6PM Sunday - Masks Recommended....Continue to be mindful of distance and personal space and please continue with our entering and exiting procedures, but masks are completely optional for these services. Feel free to wear them and feel free not to wear them. Still practicing physical distancing. There will also be a section for those who want to continue to wear a mask the entire time at the 6PM service.
Life Groups will start with the baseline standard of masks recommended but each Life Group will have freedom to decide as a class what their procedure will be for the comfort and concern level of its members. Life Group classes will be physically distanced.
Calvary Kids...masks are no longer required for children in K through 5th grade attending Calvary Kids. Still practicing physical distancing. Preregistration required.
Volunteers....those serving as ushers, greeters, cleaners, or serving in preschool or Calvary Kids are asked to wear masks while serving.
(1) We need to still be careful and mindful of our entering and exiting plans to keep our distance until we are outside.
(2) Kindly respect the choices of those in your church family as some will continue to wear masks and others will not.
(3) Do not come if you have fever, symptoms of Covid, or have been exposed to someone who tested positive.
(4) Inform us immediately if you or your family test positive.
(5) Wearing a mask while moving is still strongly suggested, so consider that, but feel free to make your own personal choices and manage your own health risk.
Here's just a handful of announcements and reminders about what's happening and details for this Sunday!
● I am so excited for the re-launch of our nursery and preschool area. Childcare will be available for the 11AM service only.
● Please be mindful of increased people in the preschool entrance and avoid the area unless you have a reason to be there.
● We ask that everyone still enter through the main church lobby, unless you are a parent dropping off your child(ren). Only parents dropping off their child(ren) may use the Resource Center doors to enter the building.
● Still doing masks for the 9AM service, and masks-in-motion for the the 11AM and 6PM services.
● The plan is to modify to a masks-in-motion guideline for 9AM and back to masks-recommended across other services in the next couple weeks.
● With attendance nearing capacity (last Sunday night was VERY full!), please note that once we reach 225-250 in the sanctuary, we will direct people to overflow in the choir loft and/or Room 101. If you are willing to sit in these locations voluntarily, please let an usher know.
● This Sunday evening, I have asked Pastor Chris to share his heart on lessons we can learn from this season of our lives, similar to what I did last week. Pastor Aaron will present his thoughts on the evening of August 30.
● Remember, Life Groups will begin on Wednesday, September 9. More details will be given in Sunday's services.
● You can find this Sunday's digital sermon notes here or at sermons.church and then search for "Calvary Baptist Church Red Bank."
Church, you ought to know my heart by now. If you didn't come last Sunday night, you can find the audio of "Lessons from a Pandemic" here on our podcast. Proceeding with carefulness, I am incredibly eager to get things back to as "normal" as we can very soon. I continue to be available to you for questions and clarifications about decisions being made. I assure you there are made with much thought and prayer. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Besides all this, there is a WONDERFUL Sunday planned with stirring music and a sermon from Galatians which will address some principles concerning racism and prejudice. Don't let anything cause you to miss what God may have for you this week in church.
I love you and I am praying for our body of believers. I will see you in person or online!
Below are the updated guidelines effective this Sunday, August 2nd. Please make a note of all the changes:
For help with anything or for more information, click here to send us a message.
Hope everyone is doing well! If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that plans change and we have to be flexible. We can consider things to be obstacles or opportunities.
I received news yesterday that our guest speaker Adrian Burden will be unable to join us this coming Sunday. While preaching in Nebraska, he developed a fever for several days. He was tested for Covid earlier this week and even though he is still waiting for results, we all feel the safest thing to do is to cancel his time with us. He may or may not be positive, but depending on the news he receives, he needs to be back home in North Carolina if he is required to quarantine.
I quickly considered some other possibilities and speakers to keep our theme of racial unity for Sunday, but nothing materialized, nor did I have complete peace about the options.
So, you will have to listen to the normal preacher this Sunday! I'm sorry....I know all of us were looking forward to hearing him address the topic of racism. He and I are trying to match up on a Sunday in the near future, but his schedule is very full. At the very least, I have tentatively scheduled him for a half-week revival in January of 2021.
I want to encourage you to invite others, especially non-believers, to listen and watch this Sunday at 9 and 11am as we unpack one of the most important gospel passages in the entire New Testament. I can't wait!
Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. We trust that God's purposes will continue to be established in our lives and in our church.
Several have had recent surgeries so keep your church family in prayer. Reach out if there is a need we can meet in your family. Look to Jesus!
This is the Bible study video for Sunday evening, July 19.
This is the Bible study video for Sunday evening, July 12.
Please watch the video to hear about some procedure changes starting Sunday, July 12 as well as some good news about plans to add children's church and additional services soon.
Please keep praying for our church and our community.
This is the Bible study video for Sunday evening, July 5.
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