COVID-19/CoronaVirus Update

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 calvary@cbckalkaska.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.

God Bless,
Pastor Willis


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.

With the extension of the Governor’s restrictions we may not be able to have in house worship for an extended period.  We will continue to live stream Sunday morning services and Pastor Dan plans to continue devotionals during the week.  We will use REMIND to notify you of on-line events so that you don’t miss out.  And we will excitedly tell you when we are once again able to worship together.

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 pastordan@cbckalkaska.com.  

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.”

Sincerely,
Pastor Dan Willis


Update as of 3/14/20 | 12:30pm

As promised in our prior post, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and prayerfully considering the best interests of the congregation and the community.  Due to significant new developments, we have decided to suspend all in person church events until further notice.  This includes, but is not limited to, Sunday morning worship service, Wednesday prayer meeting, AWANA and Growth Groups.
Worship service will be live-streamed this coming Sunday on YouTube, but in person attendance will be limited to the Pastor, the praise team and the technology team.  A link to the live-stream can be found on the home page of the church website, http://cbckalkaska.com.  We encourage you all to conduct family worship services during the usual time beginning at 10:45 am on Sunday morning, whether you watch the livestream or not.
We regret that these drastic actions are necessary and we pray for wisdom in this difficult time.  We do not know how long these suspensions will remain in effect.  We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed.

 

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.

  1. Encourage staff and members to stay home when sick and to notify the organization of illness.
  2. Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
  3. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.
  4. Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily accessible.
  5. Implement social distancing measures as feasible.
  6. Reduce in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness. Consider offering video or audio of events.
  7. Determine ways to continue providing support services to individuals at risk of severe illness while limiting group settings and exposures.
  8. Avoid large gatherings (e.g., greater than 100 people in a shared space) or move to smaller and staggered gatherings.
  9. 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.

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