Dear Calvin Family,
On Friday, June 5th, Butler County moved into the GREEN phase of the Pennsylvania Government re-opening plan. We know that this has been a difficult time for many and imagine many of us feel some relief as our counties re-open. We are exceptionally fortunate to have such a meaningful online ministry. Still, we miss being physically together at Calvin and have been anticipating that day when we once again can safely meet, grow, worship and serve together at 415 East Grandview Avenue. We also recognize that the green phase still has limitations and requires caution. This caution is necessary as demonstrated by the recent national increases in COVID-19 cases in 38 of our 50 states.
Although we cannot wait until we are together again, it is very important to keep in mind that we will be living into a new future. Calvin's leadership, which includes Staff, Session and Calvin’s COVID Task Force (CCTF), has been working diligently to put a plan into place that follows the appropriate CDC, PA, and PC(USA) guidelines. Besides our current plan, there simply is not a plan at this point that can guarantee someone will not contract COVID-19. That being the case, we have not yet discerned a re-opening date. We originally planned on sharing these guidelines with you but considering their length will be making drafts of these guidelines available by request. Simply stated, the guidelines are so rigorous that if we were to return to in-person ministry it would not feel like or be what we all love and call Calvin. For example, could you imagine returning to worship in Calvin’s sanctuary after making reservations only to show up Sunday morning to wait in a socially distanced line, then escorted at staggered times to your socially distanced pew, and worshipping with only 25 other people, without singing, only to be escorted out of the sanctuary at staggered, socially distanced times without being able to tell Connie how her prayers touched you, Bruce how the music moved you, or me how the sermon challenged you? That is why we will continue to provide online meetings, small groups, service opportunities and worship so that we can safely and comfortably continue to grow in our faith and as a community.
One of Calvin’s strengths is her community and to be healthy and vital community must be nourished. So, we are encouraging small groups to continue to meet online and only occasionally meet in person, outside, with masks and socially distanced, without common drink or snacks/food. We also plan to provide a new Worship opportunity that we’re calling, “Calvin Unplugged” which will be outdoors with masks and social distancing, starting with one event in July and one in August (details to follow).
GUIDELINES FOR “CALVIN UNPLUGGED”:
Please bring your own chair!
Please DO NOT bring food or drink to share!
Please bring your masks!
Please DO NOT bring that book you need to return…!
Please keep socially distant!
Please DO NOT give into the urge to go hug a friend!
Please come on time!
Please DO NOT stay to talk to anyone afterwards, staff included!
Please come filled with love!
Please DO NOT come with a full bladder (no bathrooms)!
There are so many unknowns relating to COVID-19. CCTF will continue to meet regularly to plan and discern what is to come. Please watch for email, website, social media, and mail updates for the most up to date information.
Please know that Calvin is here for you. If you or your family have any needs at all; whether you are having trouble paying the bills, putting food on the table, are feeling overwhelmed, or need a listening ear or prayerful call, please contact us! This pandemic has changed all of our lives in many ways, but the love and care that the Calvin family shows for each other, our community and our world has not and will not change. Quite the contrary, we know that through this and with God, we will get stronger,
3 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, 4 and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 5 In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! – Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)
If you have any questions or would like clarification regarding the following guidelines, please don't hesitate to contact me. Calvin will do her best to listen, respond and meet your needs.
Godspeed (on behalf of CCTF)!
Rev. A. David Paul, M.S., M.Div.
Calvin Coronavirus Task Force
Sandy Beahm, MSW
Dr. David English, MD
Vicky English, PT
Donna Galbraith, ER RN
Rev. A. David Paul, MS, MDiv
Jennifer Paul, NICU RN
Dr. Peter Sylves, DO