Update as of 12/07/20 | 11:00am
The elders and deacons have conferred and have decided to renew our regular Wednesday program of Youth, Kids4Truth, and Prayer meeting on December 9. We will also renew Sunday School and Adult Bible Class on December 12. We suspended those activities for three weeks to cooperate with the spirit of the MDHHS emergency order designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 around the Thanksgiving holiday — even though religious activities have special exemptions in this order. We believe our church program can be run safely and we believe in the essentiality of teaching and training from the Word of God. However, we are asking our Growth Groups to suspend home gatherings for now as those involve multiple families in a more confined space and therefore entail more risk.
Update as of 11/18/20 | 4:00pm
The deacon and elders are very concerned with the health and safety of our church members. Credible information from local medical personnel confirms the rate of Covid-19 cases to be 4 times that of last spring. Hospitalizations are also much greater. Therefore in an attempt to do our part in seeking to slow the spread of the virus in our community, we have made the following decisions.
From Nov 19 thru Dec 8th, 2020 Calvary Baptist church will be suspending the following activities:
- Sunday School and the Adult Bible Class
- Wednesday night programs: youth group, Kids4Truth, and prayer meeting.
- Growth Groups
We will still meet for Sunday services at 10:45. We strongly encourage the wearing of masks when up and moving around and making use of hand sanitizer available at the entry to the auditorium. If you have a cough, fever, or feel bad please be considerate of others and stay home. If you do not feel at ease and safe during these days, please join us online.
We will continue with our annual congregational meeting Sunday November 22 at 5 p.m. We believe we can do that safely with the number who generally attend as we have ample room in the auditorium for proper social distancing.
We also want to encourage our members and attenders to spend time at home instead of attending other church and parachurch activities during this time.
Update as of 10/28/20 | 6:30pm
Calvary Baptist Church weekly programming is now as follows:
Sunday School 9:45am
Adult Bible Class 9:45am
Morning Worship 10:45am
Nursery is provided for Sunday morning activities.
Kids 4 Truth (September – April) 6:30-7:30pm
Element 26 Youth Ministries (7th-12th grades) 6:30-7:30pm
Adult Bible Study & Prayer Meeting 6:30-7:30pm
Mask wearing is strongly encouraged when interacting with others. When seated or standing for singing during morning worship, a mask is not necessary. For those who prefer to be in a more protected environment during morning worship, we have a separate entrance and section of the sanctuary that is “mask only”. Feel free to wear a mask in the “mask encouraged” section, but do not enter the “mask only” section without wearing a mask. We are striving to keep this a safe haven for those who feel at risk.
Update as of 6/22/20 | 7:00pm
After requesting and receiving input from the congregation the elders and deacons have decided to make a change to our public programs beginning July 5. Please join us in prayer as we seek to implement the following:
- Return to one Sunday morning service at the former time of 10:45. We continue to encourage wearing masks for the whole congregation, especially when arriving, leaving, interacting, and going to the rest room. Chairs will be appropriately spaced for social distancing and there will be a facemask only section and a facemask optional section.
- Resume Sunday School at 9:45 for those classes for which we have teachers. Presently the Adult Bible Class (ABC) will be taught by Doug Anger with chairs spread out appropriately. Craig and Cheryl O’Brien will continue teaching the Jr/Sr High age. Please contact Dave Southwell if you are willing to teach one of the following classes which still need to be staffed.
o 2-3 years
o 4 years-K
o Grades 1-3
o Grades 4-6
- Nursery/Childcare services will be provided for the Sunday morning service only unless we are able to enlist nursery staff for Sunday School. Please contact Lisa Hartzell if you are willing to serve in a nursery ministry.
- Jr. Church will be held if there are workers available. Please contact Cheri Williams if you are willing to work in that ministry.
- If you are willing to help with the music/praise team, please contact Pastor Dan.
- Wednesday evening prayer meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. with Terry Williams leading.
- The youth will be meeting every other week under the direction of Pastor Dan.
- Ladies’ Book Club resumes with a meeting Saturday, July 11, 9:30-11:00 at the church.
Update as of 5/20/20 | 6:30pm
Governor Whitmer’s executive order 2020-92 allows social gatherings of up to ten people in our region of the state. Therefore, Calvary Baptist Church has decide to allow Growth Groups to meet if leaders and host families are comfortable doing so as long as the gathering doesn’t exceed ten people.
Update as of 5/18/20 | 1:30pm
We are pleased to announce that Sunday, May 31, we will begin the first phase of reinstating in-person worship services at Calvary Baptist Church. We believe that worshiping together is essential to the spiritual life of our church and the spiritual health of its people. We further believe that we can conduct services in a way that protects our people and our community, even as we assemble in one location exercising our rights of religious freedom.
We believe the protocols we intend to use are consistent with and provide protection at least equal to the phased reopening of businesses in our state, even those not deemed essential. An integral part of this reinstatement is encouraging those who are not comfortable, either due to health concerns or interpretations of government mandates, to stay home and join us via live stream. We do not want any to attend who feel they are risking their health or violating their conscience. We also ask all who attend to cooperate fully with social distancing and other protocol outlined below so we can continue to hold in-person worship services. Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you May 31!
Information and protocol for reopening in-person services at Calvary Baptist Church
Services: We will have 2 services. The first service from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. is reserved for higher-risk attendees and those 60 years of age and up. The second service from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. is open to whomever desires to attend. Entry to the facilities will begin 15 minutes prior to the start of the service. We will not reopen Sunday School, Wednesday programs, and growth groups at this time.
Social Distancing: Chairs will be placed throughout the auditorium for family units to sit together. Parents should keep their children with them at all times. We are sorry, but the nursery and children’s church will not be reopened yet. Physical contact is strongly discouraged between different households, as per social distancing guidelines. We all appreciate the fellowship of believers in our church, but please enjoy one another’s company at a proper distance for now.
Illnesses: The facility will be sanitized before each Sunday service. Any person who has had any contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 case or has flu symptoms, a fever, or a cough should not attend the in-person service but view the service online.
Safety: We strongly encourage everyone to wear a mask inside the building for the protection of others and maintain a testimony in the community. Masks will be provided at the door in case someone does not have one. Hand sanitizer will be available at the door, which we encourage attenders to use upon arrival and departure. Doors will be propped open or held open by ushers to prevent the need for congregants to touch doors while entering and exiting.
Communion and Giving: Until further notice we will not be celebrating communion. Offering plates will be set up at both auditorium regular exits for your use, however online giving and mailing checks will continue to be encouraged.
We would like to ask you to not broadcast this information publicly as we are not purposely trying to attract attention by renewing in-person worship. We have selected Don Southwell to be our spokesperson. Should the press, TV, or other media want statements or information about our reopening, a good response would be, “Thank you for asking, but the church has asked Don Southwell to answer questions from the public at large. He can be reached for comment by emailing email@example.com.”
Update as of 5/6/20 | 11:00am
Pandemic Prayer Time
The elders are proposing a weekly period of mutual prayer for one another in our church body during this pandemic. We are asking those who desire to participate in a unified prayer time to pray specifically for our church between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evenings. You may not spend 30 minutes; that is okay. You may spend only 5-10 minutes.
This will not be an internet meeting or anything formal. We want to encourage you to gather your family together and pray, knowing that others from Calvary Baptist will be praying for our church at this same time. In this way we can pray “together” each week for fellow members and attenders, our church leadership, those who teach regularly, our missionaries, and any specific prayer items that come over our prayer chain. You can access a list of our members and attenders from the online directory, or simply use the older printed directory. Please consider joining us in this effort.
Update as of 4/24/20 | 10:00am
On March 15, we cancelled our in-house worship until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In hindsight we believe that was a good and right decision, not only for protecting individuals from the virus, but also by way of testimony in the community.
Recently we have been discussing as elders and deacons what reopening worship at our facilities might look like in the future. While pleasing God and the safety of our congregation are first and foremost on our minds, we believe the guidelines of the CDC and the state regulations issued should play a role in our decisions. We have been discussing multiple services if maximum gathering size is limited, how to protect our “at-greater-risk” attendees, what would and should children’s classes look like, wearing masks, and similar things.
We continue to keep our eyes on new developments with the hope of returning to on-site services as soon as possible.
However, at this time we do not believe we should begin gathering together for church services, but follow the guidelines and mandates laid down by our federal and state governments. We all desire to be back worshiping together in person, but we can and are continuing to minister to people in a variety of different ways so we are not prohibited from practicing our faith.
We want to encourage each of you to reach out to those you are closest to in the church via phone or text, thus fulfilling our Biblical mandate to mutually encourage one another. Please continue to pray for us as elders and deacons as we wrestle with the difficult decisions that have such a great impact on our local church.
Update as of 4/3/20 | 10:00am
Thank you for your prayers and financial support in these trying times. It is hard on everyone to maintain the required distancing and we all miss worshiping together in person. In addition many are challenged with job loss and financial uncertainties. Please continue to pray for each other.
Again thanks for your prayer and financial support during the state shelter in place order.
Update as of 3/20/20 | 7:40pm
We are continuing our policy of no in-person meetings for CBC Kalkaska, including, but not limited to, Sunday morning meetings, AWANA, prayer meeting, and Growth Groups. Governor Whitmer has used her emergency powers to ban all meetings of more than 50 people. The CDC has recommended no meetings of more than 10. Our actions are consistent with these orders and recommendations.
Sunday morning worship will be live streamed at 10:45 a.m. and we encourage you to participate online with your family from home. Please read the note below from Pastor:
Dear Congregation and Community:
These are difficult and trying times! So much seems uncertain. I personally am greatly comforted by the privilege of prayer. We are all in this together and I want you to be assured of the love and care of the CBC family and our leaders as well as my personal pastoral care for you all.
Although we can’t be together in person, I would love to be available to you in other ways. If you have prayer concerns or feel overwhelmed by worry, or even just want to talk with me, please email, text or call. My cell number is 231-384-7266 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of now, we will be having a worship service each Sunday morning via live stream. I am also working on the details in the hopes of being able to post periodic short devotionals on the website.
I would like to share 3 helpful passages from God’s precious word: Matthew 6, Philippians 4:4-9 and I Peter 5:6-7.
May God bless you and keep you,
Pastor Dan Willis
Update as of 3/18/20
Dear Congregation and Community:
I just spoke with Dr. Jeremy Holmes and I believe we need his insights at this moment. Dr. Holmes said, “This is a time of crisis. It isn’t really here yet and it is only going to get worse. It is very serious.” He said that he and a
colleague of his who has 40 years’ experience in the medical field, both say, “I’ve never seen anything like this in terms of concern level and steps being taken to be prepared!” Dr. Holmes met with other hospital officials for 6 hours today working through strategies regarding how to get through this and for dealing with some of the challenges they are and will be facing such as: The issue of insufficient supplies to protect the medical workers who are serving those in need, not enough medical supplies in general and the real potential of overcrowded hospitals. The elderly are obviously the most vulnerable and they are the ones who will need hospitalization.
From his perspective, we all need to take very seriously the restrictions President Trump and our governor are stating. He said that the degree of success we have in slowing the spread of this virus (delaying the peak) and getting it to level out instead of spike will in large part be tied to how seriously the American people take to heart and follow the recommendations coming from the CDC and government officials. He concluded by saying, “We don’t want another Italy or China on our hands.”
After composing this, I sent it first to Dr. Holmes to be sure I have accurately represented his words. His response was, “It looks good to me.”
Pastor Dan Willis
Update as of 3/14/20 | 12:30pm
Update as of 3/13/20 | 7:30pm
The global pandemic and it’s impact on communities in Michigan and our local community raise concerns for Calvary Baptist Church Kalkaska. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has posted Interim Recommendations for COVID-19 Community Mitigation Strategies, specifically for Community and faith-based organizations.
Here are the 10 recommendations for Community & Faith-Based Organizations:
Identify safe ways to serve those who are at high risk or vulnerable through outreach and assistance.
- Encourage staff and members to stay home when sick and to notify the organization of illness.
- Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.
- Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily accessible.
- Implement social distancing measures as feasible.
- Reduce in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness. Consider offering video or audio of events.
- Determine ways to continue providing support services to individuals at risk of severe illness while limiting group settings and exposures.
- Avoid large gatherings (e.g., greater than 100 people in a shared space) or move to smaller and staggered gatherings.
- For organizations that serve high-risk communities, cancel gatherings of more than 10 people.
Church Leadership–Deacons and Elders, including our Pastor–have prayerfully considered and discussed these recommendations.
We have implemented extra cleaning and disinfection procedures already. We would like to encourage all attendees to stay home when sick, including those with sick children. We also encourage those who are high risk, such as the elderly or those with health problems, to stay home for the time being. For at least this Sunday we plan to hold services despite expectations that attendance will exceed 100 people. It is our understanding that Governor Whitmer has ordered the cancellation of all meetings with over 250 in attendance. Services can be watched via live streaming on YouTube, accessed via our website.
We also plan to hold AWANA even though schools are closed.
We will continue to monitor the situation and consider the best interests of the congregation and the community. We pray that our decisions will be wise and God honoring. We will let you know of any changes to these plans.