CALVARY CHURCH CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
Saturday, November 21, 2020
As good citizens and loving neighbors, the leadership team at Calvary Church has submitted to and voluntarily cooperated with our state government’s public health orders. In fact, we have gone to extensive lengths and great expense to honor, respect, and implement what they have required. Services at our three campuses are contactless and include the use of face coverings and social distancing in all indoor and outdoor spaces. At our Osuna campus, our service is broadcast outside in order to adhere to the state’s indoor seating capacity limit. We’ve increased cleaning and sanitization before, between, and after services and provide hand sanitizer stations throughout our campuses. Our website and mobile app have become a hub for resources like our weekly bulletin for a touchless experience. We even developed a new app for classes and ministries that need people to check in, again, to decrease contact with laptops, tablets, and other surfaces. We have implemented COVID-safe practices in our on-campus coffee shop and bookstore, including social distancing, capacity management, and in-store traffic flow.
Scripture makes it clear that a good Christian is a good citizen. The current public health order’s restriction on in-person attendance at our weekly worship services allows a certain number of individuals and families who believe that they have an essential need to gather together with other believers as a matter of preserving their spiritual, mental, and emotional health to do so. For these congregants, the risks of a complete lockdown to their spiritual, mental, and emotional health are equal to or greater than the risk of COVID-19 to their physical health. It is for this reason and the others listed below that we believe a healthy local church is an essential operation of a healthy community. Therefore, we plan to resume weekly in-person services at our Osuna campus on Wednesday, December 2, and at all three campuses the weekend of December 5-6. We realize that more than the maximum number of people allowed per the current order might arrive to our in-person services, and while we will continue to urge them to maintain social distance, wear face coverings, and properly sanitize, we do not foresee breaking fellowship with them by requiring them to leave the presence of the body of Christ gathered. We respect the needs of the people of our community who believe gathering for worship is essential to their overall wellbeing. At the same time, our faith allows us to love and respect all individuals and families who choose to shelter in place as we broadcast our four weekly services online.
I and the Calvary Church leadership team have demonstrated our willingness to make every effort to implement public health guidelines and COVID-safe practices to ensure the health and safety of the congregation. For those who cannot presume to risk their health and the health of their loved ones by worshiping in person, we continue to labor to serve them as best as we can by producing the most engaging online worship experience possible. In addition, our staff has resumed making regular prayer calls to our congregation and collecting and distributing food and other essential goods as we continue our Kindness Campaign. For those who believe they must gather in person on campus to pray, worship, and receive biblical teaching, our three campuses are open for regularly scheduled weekly services. We commit to keeping our doors open to our congregation and community as we continue to honor and implement the precautions required by the current public health order.
The following is a list of some of the reasons it is essential for the local church to responsibly remain open to serve both churchgoers and our surrounding community:
- To families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, we offer prayer, loving support, and godly care and counsel, even if they’ve never attended our church.
- Even as COVID-19 has a 99 percent survival rate, we recognize that it disproportionately affects the elderly and those with comorbidities. We have staff and volunteers devoted to collecting and delivering food, paper goods, and other essentials to people who need to shelter in place.
- Some of the most vulnerable among us—abused women and children—now suffer in quarantine with their abusers, and they desperately need prayer, support, and encouragement.
- Lockdowns have caused measurable increases in depression, anxiety, and suicide. Individuals and their families who are suffering in this way need prayer, support, and encouragement.
- Many special needs children cannot receive their therapies, and they and their families need prayer, support, and encouragement.
- Many people with cancer and other diseases must delay or forego lifesaving treatments and surgeries, and they and their families need prayer, support, and encouragement.
- Many people are food insecure due to unemployment, reduced hours and wages, and forced furloughs, and they and their families need prayer, support, and encouragement.
- Many people have been forced to close their businesses and forfeit their livelihoods, either temporarily or permanently. A high percentage of our community’s businesses that have closed will never reopen, and these people and their families need prayer, support, and encouragement.
- Many of our neighbors now work from home while homeschooling their children and are still having to pay taxes from their depleted incomes. These families need prayer, support, and encouragement.
In summary, we believe a loving, servant-hearted, and active local church is an essential operation for our community. I want to assure the Calvary Church congregation, the community of Christians throughout New Mexico, and everyone to whom God has given civic authority over us that I will continue to diligently pray for the public health officials and policymakers who are ushering us through the COVID-19 pandemic. In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he wrote, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NIV).
In His strong love,
We gather together for weekly worship services at our three campuses. At our Osuna campus, we have four on-campus services: Saturday at 6:30 pm, Sunday at 9 & 11 am, and Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Our Westside and Santa Fe campuses have on-campus services on Sunday at 9 & 11 am. Below find all the ways we’ve prepared our campuses to welcome you and your family.
A Touchless Experience
In an effort to make our campuses touchless, all entry doors will remain open, weather permitting, for the entire time you are on campus. We will wipe clean all door handles and high-touch surfaces with hospital-grade solution as much as possible before, during, and after services. Additionally, all HVAC units at all campuses will continuously run prior to and during all services to maximize indoor air quality.
Each person in our church family falls somewhere along the spectrum of attitudes toward social distancing guidelines, from very cautious to not worried at all. According to the Christian virtues of selflessness, respect, and kindness laid out in Romans 14, we desire to accommodate those who are most cautious. We want them to feel welcomed and experience services with us in person. Therefore, we are asking our church family to refrain from any physical contact with others outside of immediate family. This includes but is not limited to handshakes, hugging, and fist or elbow bumping. We will very kindly and graciously inform anyone who is unaware of this understanding to refrain from physical contact. We know this is difficult, but we must sacrifice a preference for the good of our most cautious brethren.
We also strongly encourage those in the high-risk, vulnerable population to stay home and tune in online at live.calvarynm.church.
Hand sanitizer stations are strategically placed throughout each campus. A staff or Welcome Team member wearing gloves will be available to pump sanitizer if requested. We also encourage you to bring hand sanitizer that you can keep in your pocket or bag.
We are placing signs at the sanctuary entrance with a QR code for you to scan so you can access the worship folder on your mobile device. A staff or Welcome Team member wearing gloves will hand out single-use worship folders if you prefer a printed copy.
All seats in the sanctuary will be sanitized multiple times throughout the week. As you arrive on campus, we will direct you while practicing social distancing. Capacity in seating areas is determined by the social distancing that can be maintained in any one area/room. Please responsibly and reasonably practice social distancing as you choose your seat(s). While family groups can sit together in public seating areas, we encourage you to sit at least six feet apart from other individuals or families. We’re also providing several family-friendly seating choices in the Hub and amphitheater and in the family room adjacent to the sanctuary.
We’ve installed a large LED screen in the amphitheater at our Osuna campus to give you a live church experience in this area.
We encourage you to wear a mask when joining us, but it is not required. We will provide free single-use masks at the entrance of the sanctuary and family room. We will also have Calvary Church custom masks available for purchase (in Parchments at the Osuna campus, at SoPo at the Westside campus, and at the front desk at the Santa Fe campus).
Calvary Kids will be open for kindergarten through fifth grade. Find additional details in the following Q & A section.
Q & A
Q: When will we meet at 100 percent capacity?
A: When we receive approval from our leaders. Please pray for them to have wisdom and discernment as they make decisions.
Q: Can we sing during worship?
A: While our worship leaders will not ask you to sing along with them, they will also not discourage you from doing so. If you prefer not to sit near anyone singing, you may change seats to best accommodate your preference.
Q: Will you offer Calvary Kids?
A: Yes, Calvary Kids is open for nursery through fifth grade at 25 percent capacity during all regularly scheduled services. Calvary Kids staff and servants follow COVID-safe guidelines, including but not limited to practicing social distancing, completing a COVID-19 health screening questionnaire, taking each child’s temperature at check-in, and employing single-use supplies and materials for all crafts and activities.
You must check in your children in advance through our Calvary Church Check-In mobile app, available in Google Play and the iOS App Store. Mobile check-in opens Saturdays at noon for weekend services and Wednesdays at noon for the midweek service. When you arrive for service and after your child has been screened, print your child’s ID tag and your parent pickup tag using your Fast Pass QR code from the app. We will then escort your child to their classroom.
Q: If I leave the sanctuary after service begins, can I return to my seat?
A: You may if you return during worship and announcements. Once the teaching begins, you cannot reenter the sanctuary. You may join us in the foyers or other seating areas.
Q: What if I need counsel or prayer from a leader or pastor?
A: Pastors and leaders are available for counsel or prayer and will maintain social distancing. Additionally, you can also submit your prayer request in one of the black wooden boxes on campus or online at calvarynm.church/prayer.
Q: Will restrooms be cleaned and will they be open to a maximum capacity?
A: Yes. They will be cleaned prior to services, while closed for five to ten minutes during each service, and after the last service. A Welcome Team member will monitor capacity to help ensure social distancing guidelines are met.
Q: Is Life Track happening?
A: Yes. Life Track happens in person at our three campuses. Visit the events page for Life Track times and locations at your campus.
Q: How can I join a Connect Group?
A: Visit calvarynm.church/connectgroups to join a group. Contact the leader and find out how they are meeting. All groups are strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines. We are currently working on developing online Connect Groups. Stay tuned to our social media and website for details.
Q: Will you continue to offer worship services online?
A: Yes. All regularly scheduled worship services stream online at live.calvarynm.church and on Facebook, YouTube, Roku, and Apple TV. When you join us at live.calvarynm.church or on Facebook, our worship service feature live chat and live prayer with Calvary Church pastors and moderators.
Your Calvary Church Leadership