Dear Calvary family and friends,
We have had online worship these past two Sundays via Calvary’s YouTube channel. I hope you have been able to join us. I read a fun Facebook post about online video worship services – reasons to watch online worship:
1. No parking,
2. Refill your coffee anytime,
3. Relax in your pajamas, and
4. You can mute the pastors.
Laughter is good.
It is the little routine things: a daily schedule, regular exercise, routine meal times, practice of prayer, the rhythm of worship to maintain our days with movement and meaning. It is the little things: appreciating loved ones, hearing a human voice, listening to the birds sing, seeing blue skies, noticing the sunrise. Perhaps those are not such little things.
We are finding new ways to stay connected and to do ministry safely. Here are some updates:
- Calvary staff is working remotely, completing their work as best as they can. The church office phone is forwarded to Office Manager Brenda Brock’s home during regular office hours. Church Treasurer Dick Clawson sorts the church mail, deposits checks, pays bills. Sextons Richard Smith and Ken Leasure check on the building on a scheduled basis. Christian Education Director Tracee Denlinger has begun to have a 9:30 a.m. Sunday class via the ZOOM-platform. She delivered care packages to young families. Tracee plans to meet online with parents and children this Sunday to discuss ways to do ministry moving forward. Mission and Outreach Director Becky Becker is formulating plans to respond to practical needs in our faith community and neighborhoods. Music Director Joseph Baunoch and Organist Roberta Jones make musical contributions for Calvary’s online worship. Counselor Christine Butler hopes to share helpful words with you in future email communications. Bookkeeper Kimberly Blackgrove processes payroll remotely.
- As part of the phone-care ministry network, Calvary leaders and volunteers are contacting Calvary members (and a few friends) regularly – a way to be a caring, connected faith community, and check on people’s well-being and needs.
- The Prayers & Squares have organized a sewing ministry for cloth masks, which IRMC will store, in case, they run out of the professional-grade masks. Coordinator Marcia Buriok already has 11 people helping in this effort.
- The Calvary Prayer group continues its vital prayer ministry.
- Webmaster Sue Grimm has developed a congregation-wide email list to communicate with the entire membership. She is behind-the-scenes working on all Calvary’s social-media platforms. Volunteer videographer James Hannais recording, editing, producing Calvary’s online video worship service.
- Parish Associate Richard Cassel and Ruling Elder Barkley Butler are helping to lead worship. Tim Runge is exploring ways to provide a Time with Young Disciples.
During these trying, isolative times, I believe prayer is essential, and I believe practical coping strategies are helpful for our spiritual and emotional fitness.
20th Century New Testament Scholar, William Barclay, wrote this about prayer: “Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that [God] should be able to make use of us.” To this, I say, yes and amen!
Here is a prayer which was written by Jessica Maudlin, Presbyterian Hunger Program:
Creator God, we acknowledge your presence even in these anxious times. We ask that you quiet our hearts and minds as we embrace the opportunity to be strong and courageous enough to return to your intent at Creation and use this time of social distancing to reconnect with sanctifying rest. And as we rest may we be reminded of You, who designed us to pause, who turns an ear toward the prayers of the faint of heart and provides refuge for those overwhelmed in spirit. Amen.
I received some practical coping strategies from Calvary member and graduate from the IUP Counseling Center, Heidi Earhart. With her permission, I would like to share them with you. As you are able, read through these strategies listed below. Do what works for you.
Coping Strategies: 10 Tips for Immediate Use to
Feel Better and More in Control
I miss, even grieve, our being apart physically as a family of faith, but I trust, and I pray you are taking care of yourselves and those around you. We won’t be apart always, and I look forward to the joyous time when we once again gather together in Calvary’s sanctuary to worship God!
With deep care and many blessings,