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.