April 02, 2020
Calvary’s COVID-19/Coronavirus Response
Eblast for Friday, April 3, 2020
Hello Calvary family,
As we live in this uncertain and somber season of what it means to be a people enduring a pandemic, we continue to be together, while apart. Know that I am picturing your faces and smiles and quirks as I write this letter. Thank you for your emails, calls, and notes of love and support for our staff. We feel your love! And we return that love in equal measure.
As the number of people who are suffering and dying around the world, in our own country, and here in Colorado rises, may our daily prayers of lament and grief join with the cries and tears of those who are suffering - whether from COVID-19 or any illness or trial. As one of our beloved hymns The Servant Song says, “I will weep when you are weeping, when you laugh I’ll laugh with you; I will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through.” This is true not just for our Calvary community, but for our worldwide community. As people of faith, we see the world through the lens of how we “love our neighbor” and loving our neighbor also means grieving with our neighbor too - and celebrating as well.
I do have some good news of celebration to share with you. On Wednesday, for the first time in 15 days, our Director of Music David Farwig, did not have a fever. He is still coughing and suffering from a bad headache, but the relief from the fever is giving David hope that he might be in his last week of symptoms of COVID-19. Please continue to pray for David and for his husband Greg.
Another celebration for our church family: the first half of Pastor Morgan’s parental leave is complete, which means we’ll be seeing her “virtually” in our worship services and she’ll begin to work from home (as all staff are doing now). As she eases back into our life together, I know it will be good for all of us to hear her “voice” and to be able to celebrate with Morgan and Ian the gift that Julian is in their lives.
In addition, we have celebrated two staff anniversaries in the last few weeks: Lori Grohskopf - 4 years (March 21) and Alice Horner-Nelson - 2 years (April 1). I am so grateful for the ministry they provide our congregation and for their personal friendship too. Calvary would not be the place it is today without both of their gifts - and we are lucky to have them! This has become especially evident as we’ve navigated the last few weeks together; their encouragement, wisdom, creativity, and flexibility have been invaluable. I hope you’ll join me in dropping them a note of appreciation and thanks.
Well Calvary, we are now headed into Holy Week, the last week of Jesus’ life, a journey where time seems suspended and the days a bit longer and a bit darker. As we journey with Jesus through this week of unknowns, uncertainty, and suffering, may we strive to “stay awake” with him on his journey - remembering that it led to the cross, yes, but beyond it…to the empty tomb.
A colleague of mine shared with me a social media post that read, “This is the Lentiest Lent I’ve ever Lented.” His words match my sentiments exactly:
“For many people, Lent is not their favorite season of the year, given its unyielding focus on mortality, repentance, and the surrender of the ego. But this Lent seems particularly harsh. Weeks ago, none of us could have imagined that we would be giving up so much for Lent. All of us have given up our familiar routines, our social freedoms, our physical connections, our communal life. But many have given up so much more, including their jobs, their health, their financial security, and their peace of mind.
I know that this season is wearing on you. The uncompromising isolation; the chaos of managing kids and online education while working from home; the challenges of staying safe; the concern for loved ones near and far. The news only amplifies our fears and anxieties. We’re all doing our best to get through this, but if it helps at all, remember that the season of Lent is an invitation to be intentional about leaning into our reality, feeling the ache and awe of the world, and calling on God’s grace and mercy. Practice grace and patience with yourself. Find ways every day to be kind to the people around you. Reframe how you do community. Make space for God.”
And as you journey through this Holy Week, I offer to you a series of spiritual practices from our friends Joyce and David Reed, who are the Global Coordinators for Spiritual Care for all of our International Ministries Global Servants (missionaries), as they encourage us all to stay centered with God, with others, and with yourself:
Community - Connect with 1 person each day via phone/text/video chat
Gratitude - Begin or end each day by writing down 3 things you're thankful for
Awareness - Spend time at a window, on a porch, or in your backyard noticing 5 signs of life around you
Prayer/Silence - Practice 7 minutes of quiet space for prayer or silence
And, of course, I encourage you to participate in our daily Holy Week offerings, whether that be a worship service or a devotional. Watch for an email in your inbox each day from April 5-April 12 as we journey with Jesus to the cross, watch and wait during Holy Saturday, and celebrate the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday. It will be a Holy Week like no other, but then again, it always is…
With you on the journey,