Mcc Updates on coronavirus

(4/3/20)

Easter Update


Church family,


I hope you are doing ok this week as you settle into your new routine. We look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday on Facebook and our website. We will be reminded from Exodus 17:8-16 that God has won and that in Christ we have victory. If you are interested, we also posted a few devotionals here on our website.


We are also excited to celebrate Easter next weekend, even if our circumstances are not ideal. Just think about the first Easter weekend and the roller coaster of emotions the disciples would have experienced! Yet, we will find unspeakable and unshakable joy in the empty tomb even when things are different.


Here are a few things to keep in mind for the week ahead:


We will have a live-streamed Good Friday service starting at 6pm. If you want to watch the service later Friday night or even Saturday, feel free to do that. We are planning on partaking in Communion. There are several options for your family in celebrating this. If you are making a trip to the grocery store and want to pick up some crackers and grape juice, that would be great. If that can't happen, feel free to choose any bread/cracker you already have with any type of drink. Don't feel bad doing this! Remember, these are merely symbols and are not inherently holy in themselves. We can give symbolic meaning to anything, too!


We are planning to live stream our Easter Sunday service at 10:15am as we have been doing on Facebook and our website. I'd like to include an element where we have a chance to see some familiar faces through a video I am making. So here is what I am looking for, if you'd like to participate:

  • Record a short (5-7 sec) video of your family saying "Happy Easter from the Watson family,  You won't say Watson though, but you already knew that, of course! Then tell us what you are praising God for as a family this Easter.
  • Add your video to my shared Google Album - https://photos.app.goo.gl/VaZ1Kb6C1jFgmUuw8 or send it to me in an email by end of day Thursday, April 9.

Plans may change and traditions may have to shift, but our Lord God never changes. May that be our hope this week!


Pastor Matt





(3/27/20)

Devotions and Resources


Church family,


I'm looking forward to our time Sunday morning, even if it's not face-to-face. We will be live streaming at 10:15am on Facebook and on our website. I thought I'd send a quick email to point you towards some of the resources we have put together that can hopefully encourage you and your family:


  • We plan on posting devotions done by staff members here on our website every week on Monday and Thursday by 9am. Take a look!
  • We have a church subscription to RightNow Media which provides access to a huge library of Bible studies, devotions, and kids shows. Request for access here on our website.
  • Parents, make sure you check out the kid's ministry page and student ministry page on our website every Friday for resources to use for the weekend worship service. Melissa just posted a great video for the kids!
  • Ladies, if you want to be able to connect with one another and are on Facebook, join the closed Facebook Group for MCC Women’s Ministries. You’ll find daily posts designed to help encourage one another and our Tuesday morning Bible study will be live-streamed at 9:30am. Click here to request to join the group.
  • Lifegroups, here is a link with some ideas about how you can continue to meet virtually!


Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt





(3/20/20)

Ways to serve and give (3/20/20)


Church family,


Many have asked how they can be giving, helping, and serving both our church family and those in our community who have needs. I love our MCC body! As things change with the virus, so will the needs. If you aren't in a position to do any of these right now, that is ok! For those who can, here are some thoughts about how you can help now.


Serve and Give

A group of Elizabethtown churches are banding together to help provide bagged lunches for families in the EASD who need food assistance. It looks like most help is already accounted for at this point, but they could use bananas on a few days or donations. If more weeks open up, I will send out the link. To learn more or to sign up, you can do that here. (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050448aaad2eab9-2020)


Our local food bank, the Community Cupboard, is more than likely going to be overwhelmed with families that have needs. Here are some specific donations that can be dropped off at their food bin at 61 E. Washington St:

Canned fruit, canned vegetables, instant potatoes, pasta sauce, spam, baked beans, canned soup (not chicken noodle or tomato), Chef Boyardee products, crackers, cereal, oatmeal, snacks, beverages like bottled water, juice, coffee, or tea, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes


Several have asked about giving their regular tithes and offerings to Mount Calvary Church. This is important for us as we support missionaries, ministries, staff, and benevolence. Here are a few ways you can give -


We've also added a COVID-19 Benevolence Fund that you can give to if you'd like to give specifically to those in need in light of the coronavirus. Since we expect more financial needs from our families and our community, this fund would go directly to helping them. You can give towards that here. If you want to give your regular tithe and offering and to the COVID-19 Benevolence Fund you can do that at the same time by clicking the "+ ADD DONATION" button.


As needs come up, I will be in touch. 


Keep your eyes focused on Christ today. Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt


(3/18/20)

Devotional & MCC Service Update (3/18/20)


Church family,


It has been another week of the unexpected, exhausting, and often disappointing twists and turns of this situation we are in. Many people are discouraged that this has altered what they had hoped for this Spring. High school seniors can't take their senior trip. Vacations and conference are canceled. School and work has changed. This discouragement is legitimate and fair; there is a certain pain that should come when things we love are taken away from us. But in your discouragement, I want you to know this and let this frame wherever you find yourself today: God is using and will continue to use this virus and its havoc for good and for His glory.


I've already seen hints of this here at Mount Calvary Church. One friend made a long overdue phone call to another friend who would be at risk for the virus to share the Gospel. I was told that it was a good and hopeful conversation. We had over 2,000 views of our service from Sunday, many of which don't attend Mount Calvary or any other church. A group of Elizabethtown churches are providing lunches for EASD kids who need help.


Just like God took Joseph's extreme hardship--the pain, betrayal, and isolation--and used it for the good of saved lives, so we must  have hope for God to do the same today. We pray and hold on to Joseph's declaration in Genesis 50:20, As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.


With this firmly in our mind and hearts, here is the plan through Sunday, March 29.  For the next two Sundays (March 22 & 29) we will meet online through live stream both on Facebook and on our website. The elders have decided that it's prudent and wise to follow the recommendations made by the CDC and local health officials regarding public gatherings.


In following those recommendations, life groups, Bible studies, and other gatherings larger than 10 people will not be meeting as usual. Our ministry leaders have some great ideas on how we can use technology to continue to encourage one another, so expect to hear from them soon.


Groups less than 10, with no kids, elderly, sick, or people who have traveled out of the country, can still meet, at their discretion. We would be happy to coordinate our lobby as a clean place to meet for the group, just let us know you'd like to use it! Whether you use the lobby, meet in homes, or outside, we are still recommending that you avoid physical contact, maintain at least 3 feet between family groups, and regularly wash hands and surfaces (including doorknobs).


Remember, God is using and will continue to use this virus and its havoc for good and for His glory. He has this! Trust his grip and his plan!


As always, if you have questions or a need that we can meet, send me an email! You'll hear from me soon with some practical ways that we can care for our community, but until then, continue to care for those around you!


Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt


(3/13/20)

Church family,


What a week it has been! We are in a situation none of us have been in before and things are changing day by day, hour by hour. It's confusing to know what to believe, who to listen to, and how to react. People are skeptical, unsure, worried, afraid. As I was praying through this confusion, God encouraged me with Philippians 4:5-7:

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


In crisis and confusion, God calls His Church to model a hope, peace, and love that transcends any circumstance.


What does this mean for us going forward?


Healthcare officials believe the coronavirus (COVID-19) should be taken seriously. Governor Wolf recommends churches and large gatherings postpone meeting. The safety and health of everyone, especially those who are vulnerable, is incredibly important to us. To that end, the Elders have decided that we will not meet in person this Sunday, March 15 for Bible classes, worship service, or student ministry.  Instead, we will have an online only service starting at 10:15am available on our website and through Facebook. We will be canceling all meetings and activities this week, including our Women's Weekend scheduled for next weekend. Mount Calvary Christian School has also decided to extend Spring Break for one more week. We hope to meet together at MCC as soon as possible. The elders will monitor the situation and email out any other changes.


Commit to praying over the worldwide impact of the coronavirus. Pray for the many families impacted by the virus and pray that many would put their faith in Christ.


As God was encouraging me with Philippians 4, I felt compelled to change my sermon to reflect on this passage. Join us on Sunday at 10:15am with the live stream to think more how the Gospel calls us to respond to a virus like this. You can watch here on our website or here on Facebook.


Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt

(3/18/20)

Church family,


It has been another week of the unexpected, exhausting, and often disappointing twists and turns of this situation we are in. Many people are discouraged that this has altered what they had hoped for this Spring. High school seniors can't take their senior trip. Vacations and conference are canceled. School and work has changed. This discouragement is legitimate and fair; there is a certain pain that should come when things we love are taken away from us. But in your discouragement, I want you to know this and let this frame wherever you find yourself today: God is using and will continue to use this virus and it's havoc for good and for His glory.


I've already seen hints of this here at Mount Calvary Church. One friend made a long overdue phone call to another friend who would be at risk for the virus to share the Gospel. I was told that it was a good and hopeful conversation. We had over 2,000 views of our service from Sunday, many of which don't attend Mount Calvary or any other church. A group of Elizabethtown churches are providing lunches for EASD kids who need help.


Just like God took Joseph's extreme hardship--the pain, betrayal, and isolation--and used it for the good of saved lives, so we must  have hope for God to do the same today. We pray and hold on to Joseph's declaration in Genesis 50:20, As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.


With this firmly in our mind and hearts, here is the plan through Sunday, March 29.  For the next two Sundays (March 22 & 29) we will meet online through live stream both on Facebook and on our website. The elders have decided that it's prudent and wise to follow the recommendations made by the CDC and local health officials regarding public gatherings.


In following those recommendations, life groups, Bible studies, and other gatherings larger than 10 people will not be meeting as usual. Our ministry leaders have some great ideas on how we can use technology to continue to encourage one another, so expect to hear from them soon.


Groups less than 10, with no kids, elderly, sick, or people who have traveled out of the country, can still meet at their discretion. We would be happy to coordinate our lobby as a clean place to meet for the group, just let us know you'd like to use it! Whether you use the lobby, meet in homes, or outside, we are still recommending that you avoid physical contact, maintain at least 3 feet between family groups, and regularly wash hands and surfaces (including doorknobs).


Remember, God is using and will continue to use this virus and it's havoc for good and for His glory. He has this! Trust His grip and His plan!


As always, if you have questions or a need that we can meet, let us know! You'll hear from me soon with some practical ways that we can care for our community, but until then, continue to care for those around you!


Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt




(3/13/20)

Church family,


What a week it has been! We are in a situation none of us have been in before and things are changing day by day, hour by hour. It's confusing to know what to believe, who to listen to, and how to react. People are skeptical, unsure, worried, afraid. As I was praying through this confusion, God encouraged me with Philippians 4:5-7:

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


In crisis and confusion, God calls His Church to model a hope, peace, and love that transcends any circumstance.


What does this mean for us going forward?


Healthcare officials believe the coronavirus (COVID-19) should be taken seriously. Governor Wolf recommends churches and large gatherings postpone meeting. The safety and health of everyone, especially those who are vulnerable, is incredibly important to us. To that end, the Elders have decided that we will not meet in person this Sunday, March 15 for Bible classes, worship service, or student ministry.  Instead, we will have an online only service starting at 10:15am available on our website and through Facebook. We will be canceling all meetings and activities this week, including our Women's Weekend scheduled for next weekend. Mount Calvary Christian School has also decided to extend Spring Break for one more week. We hope to meet together at MCC as soon as possible. The elders will monitor the situation and email out any other changes.


Commit to praying over the worldwide impact of the coronavirus. Pray for the many families impacted by the virus and pray that many would put their faith in Christ.


As God was encouraging me with Philippians 4, I felt compelled to change my sermon to reflect on this passage. Join us on Sunday at 10:15am with the live stream to think more how the Gospel calls us to respond to a virus like this. You can watch here on our website or here on Facebook.


Prayerfully,

Pastor Matt

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