THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2020


It’s been a little while since we’ve provided much of an official update here on the website. The last big communication we provided for the CCO church family was that we “strongly suggest” the wearing of masks while in the building here at Calvary Chapel. 


Long story short, with the fairly rapid escalation of cases here in Northwest Arkansas, and with the hopes of  being a blessing to our community, I’m going beyond the “strongly suggesting” category and making the request that you wear a face-covering while you’re here in the building—and, yes, this does include the request to wear a face-covering during service, including while singing.


The number of confirmed cases here in NWA is among the highest in the state. If I’m reading the various charts correctly, the number of confirmed ACTIVE cases in both Benton County and Washington county is roughly 15% of the total number of confirmed active cases in Arkansas. Since still so very little is known, since the obvious is true (different people react in very different ways), and since people are still dying from COVID-19, the best way to be a blessing to our community is to try to avoid catching the coronavirus and then spreading it further into the community. The single biggest concern at the local level is inundating our hospitals with severe cases of COVID.


Since our governor has made the request via guidelines for churches, as the pastor of Calvary Chapel here in Rogers, I am requesting that we follow those guidelines. I’m requesting that you and your family please comply with these things. I will once again add that we live in Arkansas, not California, New York, or Maine. Our governor is working hard to keep everything open. He is NOT telling us we cannot worship in song. If that were the case, this would be a drastically different update. If he were specifically banning churches from meeting while placing zero restrictions on businesses, etc, this would be a drastically different update. If our governor’s stipulations / mandates infringed upon our beliefs, this would be a drastically different update. He’s not. He has set forth guidelines that are intended to keep our community/communities safe, and I feel zero reason to not comply. Not only do I feel zero reason to not comply, I feel strongly that we SHOULD comply. I believe that the loving—and the biblical—thing to do would be to apply what we’ve been learning in Mark’s gospel: that we would pick up our cross. That we would die to self for the benefit of another, even if—and even WHEN—the demand is at great cost to self. That is ever the best representation of true love.


Again, specifically, while you’re here at Calvary Chapel, I’m personally asking you to wear a face covering. I’m asking you to do the best you can to attempt social distancing before, during, and after service. We have GOBS of hand-sanitizer available. Please use it. Please continue to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and—obviously—stay home if you have anything for symptoms of this virus. Parents with children 10 and under, it’s entirely up to you whether or not your children in that age bracket need to wear a face-covering while here at CCO.


Let me also please remind you of what we’ve been saying all along:

  • older? stay home and don’t feel bad about it. Enjoy our online streaming.
  • health not great? stay home and don’t feel bad about it. Enjoy our streamed online services.
  • not ready to be here in person? stay home and don’t feel bad about it. Watch our Sunday and Wednesday evening services online.
  • someone in your household likely more susceptible to disease / illness? stay home and don’t feel bad about it. Tune in to CCO’s live services on Facebook, CCO’s app, and CCO’s website. 


Back in May, just before we reopened after the initial lockdown, I wrote this: 


I do want to mention one thing about all of this and it’s based on an assumption. My assumption is this: you’re probably not an expert on COVID-19. Which is to say, what, exactly? Since we’re collectively not experts—and since THE EXPERTS (the W.H.O., C.D.C.) can’t seem to agree, let’s allow HUMILITY to be our rule of conduct. As the pastor of this beautiful little fellowship, I will be sorely disappointed to see people upset about the “masks / no masks” argument. Maybe I can say it this way: in no uncertain terms, since the experts can’t seem to agree, the terms are uncertain. Since you’re not an expert (again, please humor me with my assumption) and since the experts aren’t clear, leave the discussion at the door…as in, the door of your home. I’ve had those conversations with people, too, but I do not want to see something like this be a dividing issue in our church family. Christi and I have a daughter with a compromised immune system so this issue really does hit home for us.


If you have[n’t] noticed, our world—our NATION—is not in tip-top shape right now. We have the answer, and His name is Jesus. The world needs HIM—it does NOT need a community of churches at odds with one another over a certain set of uncertain opinions. Let’s be about the business in which we’re certainly meant to be occupied: worshiping Him and declaring Him. That should keep us busy for the foreseeable future.


That’s still about right. We’ll revisit this conversation again after the first of the year unless there’s a good reason to get back to it sooner. In the meantime, seriously, thank you for your support, understanding and prayers. Please continue to pray for me personally, our entire leadership team here at CCO, Arkansas’ governor, Asa Hutchinson, as well as our mayor here in Rogers, Greg Hines. We need it. I very much understand that all of these decisions are squarely in the “lose-lose” category. I trust you’ll continue to show grace, mercy, and understanding during this terrible season. And I trust we’ll be the stronger for it. I trust our faith in God will have grown through this and because of this. Let’s look to Him, and let’s love one another. Thanks for complying; thanks for understanding.


Please also scroll down and check out the video connected to this update. If you consider yourself a member of our fellowship here in Rogers, please take a few minutes and view it. Thanks again!




Tons of blessing,


Pastor Jeremy

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TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2020


We’ve been watching since mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across +/-190 nations around the planet. As a church family, we returned to in-person / live worship in mid-May and have been doing the best we can to see to it that precautions are being made, defenses are set, and protocols are followed. Having said that—and in the interest of transparency with our Calvary Chapel family here in NWA—we have arrived at the need to provide another update. This update includes some good news and bad news, followed by some other good news.


Here it is, in short: one of CCO’s families has tested positive for the coronavirus. There’s some good news, bad news, and good news here. Good news: they’re fine—they’re describing it as though they’ve got the flu. Bad news: well, obviously, they’ve tested positive. Good news? They have not been in the building in 10 days, they showed zero signs that they had it when they last attended, they followed protocol while in attendance, and our cleaning team has been diligent all along the way to sanitize our building. We've ALWAYS sought to maintain a high degree of cleanliness in our facilities and we have been working extra hard since the news broke about the virus back in March.


As soon as this family received their positive test results (Monday, July 27), they reached out to me to let me know. The transparency on their part is appreciated. Further good news: they were showing zero symptoms the last time they were in the building (July 19). They’ve spoken with others with whom they would have interacted, and those others are monitoring themselves for symptoms (to my knowledge no one else from our fellowship is showing anything for symptoms).


There’s other good news: there is no reason to believe they contracted this virus while visiting Calvary Chapel; another coworker of theirs has tested positive at their job site. 


What does this mean for us? Several things:


  1. PRAY. Yeah, let’s put this one at the top of the list. Pray for our fellowship’s safety, pray for this particular family, and pray that God will continue to show His good hand of protection over us.


READ MORE

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2020


The last time CCO provided an update for COVID-19 was back on May 30th. The good news: this one isn’t overdue—there simply hasn’t been much more to say in terms of updates. 


It feels silly to say that it’s a “lose-lose situation” when we’re in the middle of an actual pandemic. Decisions need to be made, and many of those decisions are TOUGH. This update pertains to one of those decisions in particular: masks / face coverings.


On Friday (July 3), Governor Hutchinson issued an executive order that individual cities are permitted to decide for themselves whether or not people need to wear masks / face coverings in public places. On Monday (July 6), the city of Rogers held a city council meeting and unanimously passed an ordinance requiring the usage of facial coverings according to the guidance of the Arkansas Department of Health.


That said, CCO’s update will be to ask people to wear a facial covering while here at the church whenever social distancing isn’t possible.


READ MORE

SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2020


Here we go. Starting tomorrow—Sunday, May 31st—we will resume our in-person worship at CCO. Can’t wait!


Here’s what you need to know:


  • new service times: 9:00 & 11:00am
  • social distancing: we’ve removed +/-30% of our seats in the sanctuary so that we can spread out a bit and allow some measure of social distancing; I’d like us to attempt to practice this
  • tithes, gifts, offering: we will not be passing the offering bags for the time being (there are plenty of other giving options in place [and, thanks, once again for being so generous!])
  • masks:
    • you will not be turned away if you do not wear one,
    • you will not be turned away if you do wear one;
    • we have masks available in a station in our entryway—you’re welcome to grab one if you’d like to do so
  • kitchen:
    • our kitchen is CLOSED for the time being
    • we will not have coffee or tea available and we will not be providing snacks before or after service(s)
    • we’re going to restrict access to the kitchen to authorized personnel only

TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020


RETURN-TO-FELLOWSHIP TARGET DATES: WEDNESDAY, MAY 27th, and SUNDAY, MAY 31st. We’re seemingly on track for Sunday the 31st, but we will not be able to accommodate anyone for this week’s Midweek Bible Study for tomorrow evening (May 27). With the work on the building, we’re still just not quite ready to go.


Sunday the 31st is still in our sites—so please stay posted—we’ll get information out to you one way or the other by Saturday the 30th. 


I need to add this as a bit of a disclaimer: the work on the building has been great, but one particular Proverb comes to mind. Proverbs 14:4—“Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox.” In other words, if you want to get work done, you must be willing to accept the reality of a MESS. And, well…we’ve got a bit of a mess that will need some attention.


READ MORE

TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2020


Our last update highlighted our TARGET DATE of May 24th for returning to Sunday Morning Fellowship along with service time changes of 9:00 & 11:00am. We were also shooting for Wednesday, May 20th as the TARGET DATE for our midweek Bible study. We also mentioned that we’re working towards completing the flooring in our building.


Fast forward to today and here’s the answer concerning our TARGET DATES: we won’t be ready to meet on the 24th nor will we be able to connect in person tomorrow evening for our study of Genesis. As with virtually ANY project, this one has taken longer than we had hoped.


READ MORE

FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2020


It was at some point in mid-to-late-March that I came to the realization that there was no Ministering During a Pandemic course when I was a student in Bible College. In many ways, this has been one of the toughest times of ministry for me personally. Hard to see people suffering; tough to hear about so much heartache. But it’s also been difficult because everyone is learning what COVID-19 is and how this coronavirus functions. Because of that, it’s been exactly the type of situation that everyone is saying it is: fluid.


Since we’ve been moving from a day-to-day / service-to-service decision making basis into a month-to-month mode, trying to gauge what to do next has been—again—tough. This will be a longer update than usual and I hope you see why as you continue to read through it. Part of this update will ALSO INCLUDE A SHIFT IN OUR SERVICE TIMES ON SUNDAY MORNINGS.


On Monday afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson provided guidelines / guidances for places of worship. CLICK HERE if you’d like to listen to his update. (By the way, if you just read that very short article, you’ll only see part of the list he outlines in the three minute video.) On Tuesday evening this week, I was able to meet with our board of directors, our elders, and our head deacon to talk through each of these guidances to see how feasible each of these—and all of this as a whole—would be for our fellowship. By the conclusion of our meeting, we realized that though we might be able to return to being in the same building, we wouldn’t really be doing much for “meeting” let alone meeting TOGETHER based on those guidelines.


READ MORE

THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020


It’s been two full weeks since we’ve provided an update. The reason? Not much for further updates. For today? Still not much for news. We’re cautiously optimistic like most everyone else about getting the proverbial band back together and resuming our in-person times of fellowship (what a weird sentence). FOR NOW, we’ll continue our current course of action.


I made a comment about this last night before we started our midweek Bible study. Essentially, when we come to the conclusion that we can and should start meeting again, we want to be clear that those with compromised immune systems / preexisting health issues should feel more than free to wait to return until they feel really comfortable doing so. The same thing would apply for EVERYONE—if you don’t feel comfortable getting back into the mix of public life, stay home for a while longer. As always, if you’re not feeling well, stay home! We love you and you’ll be missed, but we do want to make sure everyone is well. This is still AT LEAST another week away, but I want to make sure we’re clear on that: there’s no pressure.


READ MORE

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2020

Read through our running log of updates (found below) if you’ve missed any of them. In terms of updates, this one honestly doesn’t provide much for that, but it does lay out some information on our current course of action.

GOOD FRIDAY is tomorrow, and what a great day it is. It marks the day that Jesus Christ died upon the cruel cross of Calvary to take our place. His death was VICARIOUS (substitutionary). The substitution was “simple” - He took our sins (and the penalty due to us because of our sins) upon Himself. He bled there, and He died there. The substitutionary part (the TRADE part) has to be twofold: our sin was placed upon Him so that His righteousness could be placed upon us.

Consider Paul the apostle’s words to his friends in Corinth:
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor. 5:21).

READ MORE

THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020

1,000,000

There are now officially more than one MILLION confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of today. Buckle-up, everyone. And, please, hunker-down. We’ll get through this; the time table might be longer than we had initially hoped. This is still NOT a time to panic; not a time for fear. Definitely a time to look up, though!

As you’re aware, we’ve suspended our in-person fellowship times and have gone solely to live-streaming for our weekly services. This isn’t optimal, but having anything available at this point seems to be the new optimal. I don’t remember if I mentioned this verse or not in the past couple weeks, but it keeps coming to mind: 2John 12—“Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full” (see also: 3John 13, 14). That’s how I feel, too. I can’t wait for all of us to be able to see each other again, but that will have to wait.

I wanted to take a minute and do a few things: make sure you’re able to connect with our live-streaming services, make sure you know how you can give if you’d like to do so, provide some online resources, and make sure you know how to download CCO’s app.

So here goes:
LIVE-STREAMING: click THIS LINK.

  • You’ll also find a section on the CCO app called, “watch online.”
  • we started live-streaming our midweek services last night and we were also able to link that to CCO'S FACEBOOK PAGE
  • we’ll continue to live-stream on Wednesday evenings @ 7:00
  • for Sundays, we’re going to shoot for 10:30am, but we’ll keep you posted about that as well


TITHES/GIFTS/OFFERINGS: click THIS LINK to get started.

  • you can also try CCO’s “TEXT-TO-GIVE” option which is very easy to start and use
  • simply text an amount to 84321
  • this will ask you to select the church to which you’d like to give
  • find CCO and follow the instructions from there
  • if you haven’t used the ONLINE OPTION, again, click the link above
  • it will take likely less than 4 minutes for you to get started
  • some folks have decided to MAIL CHECKS directly to Calvary Chapel
  • this is a great option, but you should know that we won’t be able to make deposits on a very consistent basis
  • CCO’s APP also has a link to calvaryozarks.org's giving page


FOR CCO’S APP, simply click THIS LINK on our page to get started.

  • it’s possible that you have our old app which is now defunct
  • if you have a question about it after you’ve visited our link, feel free to SHOOT AN EMAIL TO THE CHURCH OFFICE
  • you’ll find many different studies on the app - dig in


AS FOR OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES, here are a few great ones:

  • CALVARY CHAPEL VINELAND (CCV) - Pastor Jeremy's sending church:
  • CLICK HERE to find CCV on Facebook
  • CLICK HERE for the media portion of CCV's website
  • HARVEST is also loaded with great Bible studies from Pastor Greg Laurie and others:
  • CLICK HERE and start investigating their site
  • HERE'S A LINK for a free digital download of Chuck Smith's book, WHY GRACE CHANGES EVERYTHING
  • this really should be on every Christian's "must read" list
  • and, since it's a free download for KINDLE right now, so you can't go wrong!
  • If you'd like to dig into a fairly massive library of Bible study tools, studies, and sermons, CLICK HERE to get introduced to the fantastic site, BLUE LETTER BIBLE


In other news, CCO’s leadership team is discussing different ways that we can stay connected. READ MORE

FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020

IT’S BEEN SEVERAL DAYS since we’ve posted an update, though I trust you were able to catch THE SHORT VIDEO UPDATE from the other day. Not much new to report at this point—which is a good thing. We’re hunkered down over here but still able to find ways to get work done, plan ahead, share the Word, etc.

The most important update at this point will be concerning what we’re doing with our live-streaming service for this weekend. READ MORE

SATURDAY, MARCH 21, 2020

ON WEDNESDAY OF THIS WEEK, THE DISCUSSION of the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States was around 7,500 people. Today is Saturday. The state of New York alone has nearly 12,000 cases with nearly 26,000 confirmed cases across the country and a total of more than 300,000 around the world*.

That said, we’re going to maintain our course of suspending services through April 5th. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020


LAST WEDNESDAY MORNING, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States hit 1,000. As of today, we’re approaching 7,500. The first case here in Northwest Arkansas was confirmed this morning. We’re still not in fear & panic mode; we are simply seeking to do what is best to keep everyone in our fellowship (and beyond) as safe as possible.


With that said, after much for discussion, research, prayer, and thought, our leadership team has concluded that Calvary Chapel in the Ozarks will be suspending all services for the next three weeks. We will look at returning to actual, face to face, direct fellowship on April 12th (Easter Sunday). All scheduled events in and out of the building are suspended. Please check your email, CCO’s app, etc, for further updates that will be posted here.


We’re expecting that our live-streaming services will...READ MORE

TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020

CCO'S LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN doing our homework, monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and discussing what steps to take next.

We’ve concluded that CANCELLING THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S SERVICE (03.18.2020) would be the most prudent option at this point in time. The upside is that we were planning to show the video, A VENTURE IN FAITH, in two parts for the next two weeks. Where’s the “upside” to that? The video is already on our website - we’ve had it on the “OUR HISTORY” tab of the site for many years.


CCO's YOUTHgroup is also cancelled for this Wednesday (03.18.2020).


READ MORE

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020


WE'RE IN A WORLD OF EXTREMES AND of extreme responses. “It’s not the end of the world—everyone will be fine!”, or: “You must buy at least three months worth of toilet paper!” Here we are, and this is yet another opportunity for our fellowship to show BALANCE. This really is not the end of the world: we just studied Revelation. This isn’t it. COVID-19 might very well be a precursor to many of the events / pestilences mentioned in Matthew 24 and Rev. 6-18, but we’re not in the Great Tribulation.

Having said that...READ MORE

HELPFUL INFORMATION

CLICK HERE FOR A HELPFUL LINK to the folks at Johns Hopkins Medical Center to get accurate information about the coronavirus.


You might want to take a few extra minutes and watch the videos posted below.

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