Latest COVID-19 Update from the Calvary Pastors
June 22, 2020
It's been many years since Calvary convened a "Steering Team" – the last being our team that guided our process and procedures moving out of the facility on Green Street and into, and eventually out of, our temporary locations back in 2005/2006. But we now have a new Steering Team, which is in process of guiding the congregation back into the building – a process and conversation that will entail our times, procedures, and best practices as we create space and our best methods for caring for each other in these times.
The Steering Team is truly a well-rounded group, and I invite you to pray for us – your pastors, Cindy Lockhart, Marline Breece, Julie Piercefield, Chris Weaver, and Pam Finley – as we do our work.
Please "watch and pray" as we will soon have dates, times, and details for our small groups and classes, gatherings, preschool, and worship. And, while we will certainly be returning to the building in various forms quite soon – please be aware that much will be different, and we will not be returning to the same times, methods, and ministries we left behind back in March. New times and challenges necessitate, as Jesus taught, that we look to enjoy the "new wine" and not try to fit the new into old wineskins (Mark 2:22).
Church will be different as we live in these challenging times and use new practices and forms of community and conversation to keep each other safe – particularly the most vulnerable among us.
Watch and pray for these details as they will be coming forward from the Steering Team. I believe that our Steering Team will arrive at safe and creative solutions that will fit Calvary very well, while also offering a wider array of options for people and how we will gather together in small groups, classes, and worship – both in person and online.
It may not be the same as it once was – but we are still Calvary at heart and our call is still to Seek God, Reach Out, and Love One Another.
God bless....and thanks for praying!
Pastor Todd Outcalt
June 10, 2020
During the past three months all of us have been trying to navigate the pandemic with fortitude, faith and love. And as a church, we have been using our varied gifts in the community and serving others while holding out hope of somehow returning to Calvary for worship. Your Calvary staff has been working hard in these months to create a plan to bring us together in creative, safe and healthy ways.
Toward that end, we now have the opportunity to return to the Calvary property on Sunday mornings at 9:00 am for Outdoor Worship, beginning Sunday, June 21. Please read further for details below:
- When: Beginning, Sunday June 21
- Worship time: 9:00 am (only)
- What each person should bring: A lawn chair, mask, casual attire, your offering
- How: Worship will be provided through loud speakers and also through FM radio (in your car)
Parking attendants will direct you where to park and instructions provided as you enter
We will continue to practice social distancing, masking, and being diligent in cleanliness
What if it is raining?:
Outdoor worship is weather permitting. If it is raining, stay home for Worship Online at our usual times (9 or 11:11 am at calvaryunited.org/worshiponline).
Will online worship continue after June 21?:
Yes! Nothing will change with our current online format. You may always tune in for Worship Online at 9 or 11:11 am.
Do I have to attend outdoor worship at 9:00 am?:
No, it is your choice. If you do not feel comfortable around others, have a health condition, or do not feel well, please stay home and watch worship online.
Can I attend outdoor worship and sit in my car?:
Yes! You will be able to tune into an FM broadcast in your car. Bring a lawn chair if you wish to sit outside your car while practicing social distancing.
I look forward to seeing you and your family, as you are willing and able, after June 21 for this outdoor worship. We will continue to provide other information and updates along the way by letter, here on the Calvary website or by phone.
My prayers and highest hopes.
Blessings, Pastor Todd
May 29, 2020
Hi Friends, most of you have been wondering about the state of Calvary United Methodist Church and how we are navigating the pandemic in a virtual world — socially, spiritually, financially, and other. As of the end of May, here’s how your lead pastor sees the state of Calvary UMC … Q & A style.
When will we be able to worship in the sanctuary again?
For larger congregations like Calvary moving back into the sanctuary is going to be a difficult task (read more about this from Pastor Jennifer here). Social distancing, wearing masks, sanitizing before and after each service, entering and exiting, and caring for our most vulnerable members — these and other realities are likely to push our return later into the summer. Look for letters in the mail every two weeks or so with updates (and visit the Calvary website often). We will also be calling and texting each household with words of encouragement and updates.
How is Calvary doing financially?
In April, Calvary, like many other congregations across the country, received a PPP loan/grant from the federal government which covered staff & preschool salaries and mortgage interest for April & May. We also received a $5,000 grant from the Center for Congregations to purchase and complete installation of hardware necessary for future live sanctuary broadcasts. Overall, Calvary families are continuing to give well through direct deposit, mail, website and the Givelify app. Our General Fund giving has held up well, and I applaud our generosity and fortitude. Our giving to the mortgage, however, is a deep concern. To date (or since we began online worship on March 15), giving toward the mortgage has been $19,310 toward a $40,000 facilities/mortgage budget. Therefore, giving toward the mortgage will need to double — and, of course, special and additional gifts toward the mortgage are always welcomed.
How are people at Calvary staying connected, and how can I connect?
On the Calvary website (calvaryunited.org) click on the “Make a Connection” box and scroll down for a full listing of the dozens of groups (times and methods) that are now being enjoyed. More connections are on the way. If you need help, have a family or personal concern, or simply need a connection with the pastors, you can always begin with an email or call to Todd or Jennifer. We are here for you.
What has been happening through Calvary during the pandemic?
While our building has been closed — Calvary as a church is very alive. We have been
- Feeding people in our community (through pantries and the Blessing Box)
- Visiting our first responders, assisted care facilities, and high school seniors in drive-by parades
- Praying for each other and needs around the world
- Worshipping online
- Zooming Bible studies and small groups for all ages
- Participating in state and national conversations
- Helping local residents in need, and . . . being the church in action.
Thanks for being Calvary and making God’s work possible through your involvement and generosity!
Pastor Todd Outcalt
May 7, 2020
Hello Calvary Friends!
I hope everyone is continuing to navigate the ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic with patience and fortitude. And I know we are all anxious to get back to some sense of “normalcy,” whenever, and even if, that is possible.
Many are also wondering: when we will be able to return to worship in the Calvary building, and what will worship look like in the new realities?
While I do not have specific answers or a start date at this point, I believe it is prudent we take a cautious approach. Our bishop, Julius Trimble, has asked that congregations not consider a return to worship on site until after June 14—and the Calvary staff and I concur that this is a wise and healthy course. Please keep in mind that, while care of souls is our pivotal focus, we will be both safe and responsible when it comes to the elderly, the sick, and the most vulnerable among us, and we do not want to compromise anyone’s health.
When we do return to worship (hopefully in later June at best) we will likely be adhering to our current social distancing guidelines and will plan to return when everyone can feel safe being under one roof.
In the meantime, I encourage you to live in the fruits of the Spirit—especially patience and peace. Resilience and continued prayer will also be required, as well as everyone’s strong support with time, talent and treasure. Please continue to participate in online worship and give your best through the Calvary website (calvaryunited.org) or the Givelify app or the mail (575 W. Northfield Dr, 46112). If you have prayer concerns, or would like to see your pastors, you may drive by and post a prayer concern on the prayer wall under the front canopy of the church, and also drive by for prayer on Thursdays at 7:00 pm Small groups and classes can continue to meet via Zoom and other online mediums
Let us continue to be vigilant. Watch for updates on the Calvary website and the Facebook page, as well as emails and mailings. All things will happen in God’s time and through our best practices as the Body of Christ. In the meantime, I continue to work and pray and let us all press forward in faith until we can once again safely gather for worship in our facility.
Blessings, Pastor Todd
April 17, 2020
I know we are all anxious to see the social distancing guidelines and safety procedures lifted so we can gather for worship--and our governor has recently shared his hope that we may see some of these guidelines being lifted in early May.
Toward that end, please continue to watch for an announcement(s) regarding our return to worship in the Calvary sanctuary. This could take place in early to mid May, but we will want to make sure that our Calvary sanctuary and our entrances/exits and procedures are in place to ensure that everyone can maintain a safe distance throughout the morning, mask appropriately, and otherwise come and go and participate in worship at a safe distance from others. We will get there--but continue to watch for updates! A return date will be named later once we have more clarity on these matters.
In the meantime, don't forget that our worship and other forms of communication and videos are here on our Calvary website and on the Calvary facebook page. New videos, blogs and other communiques will continue to be released throughout the week. And once we return to worship, we will have much to communicate and celebrate!
Please know that I continue to pray for our Calvary family and I continue to thank you for remembering God's ongoing work and our online presence in your prayers and financial gifts. We have done great work in our community through these days with gifts of food, volunteerism, communication and prayer. To God be the glory!
Blessings, Pastor Todd
Worship Online Premieres Each Sunday at 9 & 11:11 am
March 18, 2020
Our world is facing an unprecedented health crisis. And in order to keep everyone informed and up to date, Calvary United Methodist Church has taken the following steps to protect the health of our staff, congregation and community.
In order to reduce the risk of potential exposure, the Calvary facility and offices are now closed until further notice. We are suspending regular office hours and practicing safe physical distancing, as recommended by public health officials, Governor Eric Holcomb, and our church leadership. All of our Calvary staff will now be working remotely from their homes until further notice.
Financial gifts are certainly needed and may be given here on the Calvary website, through the Givelify app, or by mail (Calvary UMC, 575 W Northfield Dr. Brownsburg, 46112).
Worship services will be posted every Sunday on the Calvary website, Worship Online and on the Calvary Facebook page, and there will also be daily and weekly videos from the pastors and staff on the Calvary Facebook page and the pastors' personal Facebook pages. Continued updates may also be provided through all church email, mailings, and here on the Calvary website.