March 05, 2020
I hope you are having a meaningful Lenten season so far, finding moments to “pause” and engage in Sabbath rest and renewal. I hope you’ll join us for our first Lenten Sabbath Supper this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Lounge as we gather to get to know one another better, do a fun craft, and discuss a sabbath-related question. Please RSVP to Pastor Alice if you are planning to attend so we prepare enough soup and salad. You do not have to have engaged with our Sabbath curriculum to attend; in fact, if you have yet to engage with our congregation-wide emphasis on Sabbath – Lent is a great time to begin!
We’ve been getting a few questions about the growing concern of the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as recommendations for how to prevent or minimize the risk of infection and transmission. At Calvary, we take these concerns seriously and want to be responsible in how we practice faith and community together.
Based on the recommendations of infectious disease experts from UC Health and the CDC this week, we will be using individually wrapped communion elements at Common Table, Common Life on March 15 and for the communion elements we offer each week at the back of the sanctuary in our 10:30 a.m. worship services in March. We will evaluate closer to April 5 as to how we will partake of communion on that Sunday. While the science is unclear as to whether any infectious disease has been or might be spread through the method of “intinction” (dipping bread into a common cup), it seems reasonable and responsible at this time to take this precaution in an effort to minimize risk.
It is also recommended that we temporarily forego our customary “greeting” ritual, which sometimes includes handshaking at the beginning of our services. Some congregations have temporarily replaced the “handshake” with an “elbow bump,” so you can give that a try for the next few weeks or simply cross your arms over your chest during the Time of Greeting if you do not wish to be touched at all.
Of course, if you are feeling under the weather, or if you’re at higher risk for serious illness as a result of flu or other infectious disease, please take advantage of our live-streaming service on Sunday morning or Sunday evening (on our home page of our website - center picture under "Watch"). I also hope that, whenever you are unable to be physically present at Calvary for worship, you’ll use our online giving options to ensure that the ministries of Calvary continue to thrive, even in your absence.
We have also placed new signs in the restrooms encouraging you to wash your hands for 20-30 seconds (with fun suggestions of what songs you can hum to yourself as you wash!)
Final reminder: don’t forget to move your clock forward an hour this Sunday for the start of Daylight Saving Time. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday – either at our 10:30 a.m. service or as we celebrate our one-year birthday of The Gathering at 6:30 p.m. – and greeting you with an elbow bump in the name of Christ!