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We made the difficult decision to move our worship hour to an online format starting Sunday, March 15. This means we will not gather in our physical worship space at the corner of 8th and H NW until the declared health emergency ends. We will continue to monitor and evaluate based on best advice from trusted sources about what to do beyond that. As you well know, responses involve hour by hour changes. Please plan to join us via Calvary’s Facebook page each week.
How we came to this decision: With Washington, D.C. declaring a state of emergency, a number of churches making similar choices citywide, the World Health Organization officially designating COVID-19 a pandemic, and our continued concerns about how congregating in larger groups affects the most vulnerable among us and creates a rising challenge for hospitals to meet the need, we believe we have a moral responsibility to respond this way. Though it may feel counterintuitive to not be physically together during a challenge or crisis, we know full well how often a life of faith is mixed with all kinds of ironies.
Staying healthy: We know you have been reading closely about best practices for how to stay healthy in the midst of COVID-19 continuing to spread. We sent you the best advice we’ve gathered in recent days in our pastoral letter March 11. Though we do not consider ourselves healthcare professionals(!), we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Know that we’re here for you, even if that means digitally for now.
Staying connected: Our deacons are also developing plans to do digital/phone “check-ins” because we want you to know that we love you and that we care about how you are doing and feeling at a time like this. Also, we encourage you to check in with each other via text, messenger, phone call, video chat, email, greeting cards, and so on. You might even consider calling someone you don’t know that well just to say hello and that you’re glad that community at Calvary connects you both, even in the midst of quarantine! These can be small, consistent ways of reminding each other that we are connected, loved, and valued. If you need a church directory to make that more possible, contact Paul Rosstead. Finally, if there are particular ways your church family can be serving you with financial support, access to groceries and/or supplies, etc., please let your pastors know.
Staying in the struggle: So much to say about the deep and complex reminder this is to us about our vulnerability as humans, and about the moral challenges we face together. Our prayer is that this season of urgency may remind us of the litany of urgencies we face as people of faith: the pandemic of economic inequity, the pandemic of climate change, the pandemic of militarism, the pandemic of xenophobia. We must continue praying that God would incite our institutions and systems to treat these crises with equal intention and urgency.
There are lots of ways to say this, but the long and short of it is, we will miss you terribly these next weeks. Please take good care of yourselves and each other.
All our love,
Pastor Sally and Pastor Maria