COVID-19: UPDATE FOR 03.13.2020

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, it’s serious enough that over 5,000 people around the world have already perished. While panicking is not the correct answer, pretending like it’s all hype is actually not helpful either. I think we all know the quoted numbers: over 40,000 people die in the US every year from the flu—the numbers for the coronavirus pale in comparison to that. But we’re only halfway through March, so the numbers aren’t quite there yet. Which is to say this: 1) we just don’t know what to expect, 2) we’re grateful for the reports about a greater percentage of people who have recovered than those who have perished, 3) we’re going to continue to seek to find balance, and 4) I trust this is obvious: we’re going to trust God and seek to be used of Him in a scary time.

We rarely get to rightly use this word, but it seems that it is fitting for our present time: unprecedented. These are unprecedented times for us. We want to remain calm, be examples of those who really do trust God, and we want to also continue to show honor to the value of common sense. No matter the times, no matter the circumstances, God is still God, He’s still good, and He’s still good to His people.

CCO’S TEAM OF LEADERS HAS BEEN ACTIVELY DISCUSSING what will be in the best interest of our fellowship during this season of uncertainty. We’re trying to determine the best things to do (including making decisions about the best ways to even celebrate communion together in the coming weeks). Feel free to pray for us. Here are a few things that we believe are both helpful and important in the days and weeks to come:

CALVARY CHAPEL IN THE OZARKS will not close our doors for our normal services / service times. If our governor deems it necessary to do so, we’ll comply.

WE WILL CONTINUE to keep our facility clean and sanitized, and we’re going to increase our efforts as well. We have anti-bacterial wipes and we’re using them. We have cans of Lysol spray, and we’re using it a bit more than we normally do.

WE DO STRONGLY SUGGEST if you do not feel well, that you would please just go ahead and stay home. We’d always suggest that, of course.

WE WILL BE SKIPPING handshakes during greeting as well as snacks at the coffee counter for a while. We’re an extra friendly church, so this will be a challenge to some of you—this, too, shall pass!

WE ARE WORKING TOWARDS updating our live-streaming capabilities here at CCO. Because of the major renovations to our building, along with moving from one facility to another, we’ve been forced to analyze how we do live-streaming and what’s going to be the best course of action for our fellowship.

I DECIDED TO CANCEL MY TRIP to New Zealand about 12 hours before I was set to leave. I felt it better to be here with our church family as we navigate this current season of life, and as we decide what will be best to do for our church family. It's just too important a time for me to not be here. I'll go in the fall if at all possible.

WE WILL CONTINUE to notify you of any updates for our fellowship.

  • CCO is on Facebook and Twitter—updates and notifications are typically posted there.
  • CCO also has an email service and you’re welcome to subscribe to that if you’ve not done so already (complete a CONNECTION CARD in your bulletin and drop it into the offering box in the sanctuary, or send the office an email and let us know you’d like to be added to the list).
  • CCO also has a free app and we use that to keep people informed of various events, updates, etc, etc. (search for Calvary Chapel Rogers Arkansas on iTunes and the Google Play Store)
  • CCO’s calendar (website and app) will be updated when changes occur.

WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE to attend services here and stay involved (keep in mind that going to church is no different than going to the store or restaurant or to work). At Calvary Chapel we essentially never ask for money—this season is no different. God has taken very good care of us and the leadership team here at CCO is grateful for your consistent generosity. Having said that, we’re going to temporarily halt passing our offering bags for a couple weeks. As always, we have the following options for how you can give of your tithes and gifts and offerings:

  • offering box at the back of the Sanctuary,
  • text-to-give: text an amount to 84321 and follow the directions,
  • mail a check,
  • set up a payment option through your online personal banking system,
  • CCO’s app,
  • CCO’s website

LET’S PLEASE INSIST UPON BEING a fellowship of BELIEVERS. That we’d really—seriously—believe God. Believe His promises, and believe in His promises. Let’s trust Him and let’s resist fear. Isaiah 41:10 says this: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 / COVID-19 virus is simply not going away any time soon. So let’s be extra vigilant with personal hygiene and sanitation. Let’s be aware that there are people around us who are afraid: they believe the worst right now. Let’s shine the light of Jesus to a dark, lost, and frightened world. Let’s be different—let’s show our confidence in our God. Let’s avoid extremes and let’s insist upon—come what may—living for Jesus.

On behalf of CCO’s leadership team,

Tons of blessing,

Pastor Jeremy