Wednesday Evening

YOUTH @ 6PM

Sunday Morning

9AM + 11AM

Important Updates from Pastor Sandy

WEEK OF JUNE 7TH - FULL REOPENING UPDATE

Full Reopening Update for Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain from Pastor Sandy:

The last few months have been a long road. Having closed our in-person services in March, in May we began reopening incrementally, to different segments of our church family. On May 3rd adults without kids were invited back. On May 17th our Middle Schoolers rejoined us. On May 31st we provided Sunday School for our grade school children. Each time we opened wider we were ready with volunteers and new precautions. And then this past week we saw our small groups meet here at the church in a disinfected building and with social distanced seating. So far, no one that we know of has attended one of these church gatherings, and then tested positive for Covid-19.

Recently, Governor Kemp extended his Public Health State of Emergency for “the elderly and the medically fragile” another thirty days until July 12th. Covid-19 has certainly attacked greater numbers of this demographic than anyone else, and the governor’s caution is understood. But we trust the senior members of our fellowship to know how to make proper decisions for themselves, so beginning next Sunday, June 14th, we’ll open the Calvary Chapel doors to everyone in our fellowship who wants to attend – all ages. We’re excited to be reunited with friends we’ve sorely missed.

For the foreseeable future, we’ll maintain the same practices we’ve had throughout our reopening. Our sanctuary seating will be arranged for social distancing, we’ll greet each other with waves not hugs or handshakes, face masks and sanitizer will be available to everyone, ushers and children’s ministry workers will be required to wear face masks, we’ll disinfect common surfaces between services, the restrooms will be limited to one person at a time, and other precautions will be taken in the building. Our grade school children’s ministry will be held outside under the pavilion. While the preschool and nursery will be spread out over several classrooms to keep the children in smaller clusters.

Although we’ll continue to have two services on Sunday at 9:00 and 11:00, for the time being children’s ministry and preschool will be offered at the 11:00 service only. This allows our senior members a service to attend, where they can avoid exposure to children. And since social distancing in all our services has limited our seating, you’ll need to reserve a spot for you and your family. This is for your convenience. We don’t want anyone to come to church and not have a seat. Go to our website, calvarycsm.com, and click the green “welcome back” button to reserve your spot.

As we fully reopen our Sunday services and mid-week small groups let me discuss a real possibility. At some point, a Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain worshipper may test positive for the Covid-19 virus. If that happens we hope the person will immediately contact the church and let us know. Even if asymptomatic, they will be required to quarantine for fourteen days, and will not be allowed to return to church until their quarantine is over. In the meantime we will fog with disinfectant the areas of the building where the person was present (we have purchased a CDC approved fogger). The building will be deep cleaned before the next service.

Throughout this crisis we have maintained our belief that the Bible puts a high priority on in-person worship. We felt the pandemic in March and April warranted a temporary quarantine, but under current conditions we now believe the benefit of in-person worship outweighs the risks. You may not agree. We understand. When to return to in-person church is a choice each of us must prayerfully consider. To avoid leaving anyone out we will continue to broadcast a quality livestream of our Sunday services on all the social media platforms. If you don’t feel comfortable attending, we want you to enjoy worshipping with us online.

Thank you for your prayers, patience, and financial support during this unprecedented time. The people of Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain have shown their commitment to the Lord and their love for one another. We love you and are praying for you and your family.

– Pastor Sandy Adams

 

If you live in Gwinnett County and need to be tested for the virus here’s where you can go… https://www.gnrhealth.com/covid-19-info/

If you are sick or running a fever or have been around anyone who has had the coronavirus, please stay home and worship with us online.

WEEK OF MAY 17TH - FULL REOPENING ANNOUNCEMENT

Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain Family,

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on March 15, Calvary CSM flipped the off-switch on our in-person services and were online-only for the next six weeks. On May 3, we reopened using a dimmer switch. We closed abruptly, while opening slowly and incrementally.

Calvary CSM was streaming its services online prior to this crisis, and we will continue to provide a great livestream indefinitely. We also plan to continue our online Sunday School each week, as well as online ministry to High School and Middle School. Online ministry has its place in church life and is a great tool especially for a community that is sheltering-in-place. But online streaming is not a permanent substitute to in-person fellowship and worship for adults or children.

Looking people eye to eye – feeding off the sincerity and enthusiasm of each other’s faith – face to face exchanges such as sharing testimonies, unloading burdens, spontaneously-prompted prayers – the laying on of hands and prayers for the sick – just the act of physically making my presence count for Christ by coming to the church building – all these benefits only take place in-person. Computer to computer is not the same as heart to heart. There is a healthy accountability that comes with a weekly reunion of a spiritual family, and to be without it for long is bound to have unhealthy consequences. As a pastor entrusted by our Lord with the care of His church, I am responsible not only to protect our physical health, but to promote our spiritual health as well.

There will always be risks involved in coming to church, and there is no way for us to eliminate the risk of contracting the coronavirus now or eight weeks from now. We are treating this matter seriously and are taking deliberate steps to provide a safe environment – we have reduced our capacity and rearranged our chairs to practice recommended social distancing, we’ve set up hand sanitizing stations, we’ve increased the regularity of disinfecting surfaces and restrooms, we’ve required key volunteers to wear face masks, we’ve replaced handshakes and hugs with waves and elbow bumps, we’ve limited the number of people in the restroom at any one time, and we are providing face masks and gloves for all who want to wear them – but can we eliminate any chance of you coming down with Covid-19? The answer is no!

The question becomes at what point does the benefit of attending church make it worth the risk? A drive through our community would suggest that for many people a trip to the big box store, or taking their kids to the park is an acceptable risk. Why then isn’t in-person church worth that same risk? What message do we send if non-essential shopping and recreational play is worth the risk, but not church?

For a month-and-a-half, I agreed that the possibility of contracting coronavirus wasn’t a risk worth taking to attend in-person church services. But over the past two weeks, I have concluded that the risk of the negative spiritual consequences for some folks not meeting in-person is greater than the physical health risk of the coronavirus. This is why we are reopening our church.

And although we closed with a flip of the switch, we’re reopening with a dimmer, slowly and incrementally. On May 3, we opened the doors to the least vulnerable adults including our High Schoolers. This constituted about a third of our congregation. But everyone is valued and has a place at Calvary CSM. We want all our members back, so here’s our plan to fully open our doors…

On Sunday, May 17, we’re inviting back Middle Schoolers to our 9:30 service. They will sit with their family and be dismissed to the Brook after the music. Pastor Matt will share a lesson. The seating will be arranged to observe social distancing, and all the adults working with the kids will be required to wear a face mask. We realize many of our Middle Schoolers have younger siblings. We encourage parents to leave the younger children at home with another parent or trusted caregiver. Both the service and Sunday School will still be provided online. The younger children will be welcomed back later. As with everyone who attends, you’ll need to go to the calvarycsm.com website and reserve a seat for you and your Middle Schooler. Click on the green “Welcome Back” button for instructions. We consider Middle School a critical age in the development of our children, and we want to bring them back to church first. And parents, this includes any graduated fifth graders, ready or not they are now Middle Schoolers.

Then on May 31 we’ll be adding to our 9:30 service an 11:15 service, and inviting back our Grade School children (grades 1-5). We’re planning a Vacation Bible School style program outside under the pavilion. The children will be organized in small groups and physically distanced from other small groups, but they are children and it will be more difficult to keep them physically separated from one another. Being outside will provide extra ventilation, and all the adults working with the children will be required to wear a mask. In the beginning, we plan to offer ministry to our Grade School children during the 11:15 service only. Again, you’ll need to reserve a seat for you, and a place for your children in Sunday School. Go to our calvarycsm.com website, click the green “Welcome Back” button and follow instructions.

Finally, if the spread of the coronavirus in our county continues to decline, on June 14, we’ll provide nursery and pre-school childcare, as well as  encourage our senior members to rejoin our in-person worship. At that point, we’ll evaluate how many services are needed and what times they will be held. Reserving a seat will be necessary as long as we are social distancing and our sanctuary seating is at a reduced capacity. This is for your convenience, and the only way we can insure ample seating for everyone who attends.

As for small groups such as The After, Free Indeed, Time Out, Men’s Prayer Meeting, OFC, and Ladies Bible Study, meetings will resume at the church beginning in June. The church building provides the best social distancing set-up, and sanitizing procedures are being followed daily. These groups will begin to meet at the church, and transition back into people’s homes when it is appropriate. If you attend any of these groups you’ll be contacted by your group leader with details soon.

Despite our church’s plan, we know that when you and your family return to in-person worship it will be a personal decision based on your own assessment of the risk. I have resisted pointing to statistics, since statistics have been used for both closing and opening our society. When the time comes, you’ll need to use what data you trust and make as wise a decision as possible. Every family’s situation is different, and everyone must do what they think is best. I can assure you, your pastor will respect your decision, and hopefully, you will respect the decisions we make. We all are trying to navigate difficult and unfamiliar circumstances.

One goal is certain, at some point, we all need to return to church. When the time comes, we want to be safe, but we need to return. We might be using a dimmer switch to get there, but eventually we want to be back to full brightness.

Hope to see you soon,

Pastor Sandy

 

If you live in Gwinnett County and need to be tested for the virus here’s where you can go… https://www.gnrhealth.com/covid-19-info/

If you are sick or running a fever or have been around anyone who has had the coronavirus, please stay home and worship with us online.

A SPECIAL REMINDER

WEEK OF APRIL 26TH

This past week Governor Kemp gave churches the green light to host in-person worship services. At Calvary Chapel we think the best way to insure a safe reopening is to do it in stages. At the moment it is too uncertain for our older or high risk members to return. It’s also too early to insure a safe operation for our nursery and children’s ministry. We trust our families and older members will continue to enjoy our services on our three online platforms: Livestream, Facebook Live, and You Tube.

We can though, manage a responsible environment for a limited number of adults (High Schoolers and above). We’ve reconfigured the chairs in our sanctuary to comply with the proper six feet social distancing. This means we now have a quarter of our normal seating, so if you want to attend the recording of our 9:30 Sunday morning service you can reserve a seat. Go to our website, calvarycsm.com, click on the “Welcome Back” button, and follow the instructions. Rather than record our worship in an empty sanctuary, a limited number of our church family will be able to join us. This opportunity will start Sunday, May 3rd, at the 9:30 service.

Of course, please remember the lessons we’ve learned in this quarantine. If you’re sick or have a fever please stay home. We won’t be hugging or handshaking, a simple wave will do. Feel free to wear a face mask. Sheep look good in masks. And we’ll have hand sanitizing stations scattered around the sanctuary.

Just to be sure you understand, we’re not yet prepared to host a safe environment for children. For now, if children are with you, your family will need to join us online.

Thank you so much for the support you’ve given us during the quarantine. Your notes and comments from week to week are encouraging, and your financial support has been a blessing.

We need two more things from you now… your prayers and patience. First, we need your prayers that God will give us wisdom. No one has navigated these waters before. We need God’s help. Second, we need your patience. I believe God will make it clear when the time is right to fully open. We won’t regret waiting a week or two later than we could have, but we would deeply regret opening too early and someone get sick.

We will continue to take it week by week. Thanks for your prayers and patience. If you want to join us for the Sunday recording, we will see you at 9:30 AM on May 3rd. Make sure you reserve a seat in advance.

WEEK OF MARCH 22ND

Greetings Calvary Chapel! Welcome to Week Two of online church.
 
As the coronavirus continues to spread in America, our church is cooperating with the CDC and other government officials by limiting our gatherings to ten people or less. “Social distancing” is what’s required to mitigate the spread of the virus and its potential lethal consequences on our elderly and vulnerable.
 
Last week, I taught from Psalm 46, which begins, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” And I hope we all can say a hearty “Amen.” I don’t fear this virus. I plan to do my part – wash my hands and stay vigilant, but ultimately God is in control. He oversees my exposure and my resistance. And if I were to contract the virus, Jesus remains the Great Physician and the healer of my heart and body. In the words of Psalm 46, come what may; the Lord of hosts is our refuge!
 
I don’t fear the virus, but I do fear becoming a carrier of the disease and passing it on to my elderly parents or some other vulnerable member of society. That’s why I’m making social distancing a priority – that’s why I think we all should.
 
And of course this has necessitated a shutdown, not only of our public worship gatherings, but of schools, and sporting events, and business enterprises. And the longer this goes on the more hardship it will bring on our neighbors and friends.
 
Here’s what Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain plans to do moving forward. Until we can meet again, get used to church online. On Sundays at 9:30, 11:15, and 7:00 we’ll be airing a worship time live on three online platforms – Livestream, Facebook, and YouTube. They all can be accessed from our website, calvarycsm.com.
 
We’ll also be broadcasting our Wednesday night service at 7:00 PM. Currently, our Shortcut Bible College is in session, and we’re in a fascinating study of God’s Covenants. You should check it out.
 
And we’re extending online content to our High School, Middle School, and Children’s Ministry, as well. High Schoolers should check out our Instagram page. Middle Schoolers, check us out on YouTube. And parents, look for Stacy’s posts on our Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain CCSM Unshaken Kids Facebook page.
 
In addition, beginning Monday morning, March 23, each day we’ll post on our Facebook page a short summary of a succeeding chapter in the New Testament. It’s called Chapter By Chapter, and after listening to the summary we encourage you to read that chapter in your Bible. Each of us needs to stay in God’s Word through these difficult days.
 
We also hope you’ll continue to give your tithes and offerings in the coming days. Church expenses will remain the same, but we don’t just want to cover expenses. In these trying times we pray for a surplus that will enable us to help out members of our church family and community with needed assistance. In fact, if you would like to join us and give to the “Coronavirus Benevolence Fund” we’ll see to it those monies go to people effected adversely by the current crisis.
 
I want to make one more comment today. I believe behind every dark cloud is a silver lining, and that includes the current shutdown… Suddenly, we have a lot more family time. School is out. There’s no Little League. We’re working from home. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity we have to draw closer to the people we love and to reach out to our neighbors… And let’s utilize the downtime. Read a good book, or better yet study your Bible. You can access a wealth of Bible teaching at sandyadams.org. Now is a great time to dig in…

WEEK OF MARCH 15TH

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