As you know, we have all been navigating new waters with COVID-19 as things change moment by moment. Calvary Church is no exception to these challenges and changes. Because of this, my plan is to update you here every Friday so that we can all move forward together.
Two weeks ago today, we made the decision to not host in-person church services with the congregation. We had no idea that this was the beginning of some unique days to come. Our last weekend as a church family on campus was March 7/8, and what a great weekend it was! We celebrated water baptisms, worshiped together, and prayed for miracles!
Just ponder for a moment that the last time we prayed over you at a weekend service at Calvary was for a miracle!
As part of this week's update, here are two specific prayer needs. First, I want to make you aware that Pastor Angel Escamilla tested positive for COVID-19 and pneumonia on March 24. Below is a portion of an email that his wife, Becky, sent to the staff this past Tuesday. Pastor Angel and his family are in need of a miracle right now. Please join with me in earnest prayer for a miracle!
Please also pray for our entire staff as a member of our staff who does not typically have contact with the congregation tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. We have reached out to everyone who had contact with this person and encouraged them to self-quarantine. Thankfully, this individual was not around the congregation due to the decision to move services online only (as we have not met in person since March 8). I ask that you continue to pray for all those around us and in our world who have been affected by COVID-19.
Also, we want you to know that we are following the Illinois Department of Health guidelines and safety protocols to help us (and you) stay safe during this season. Know that we're thinking of you constantly and praying for God's protection to be over you and your household!
Be encouraged that God's got this ... and us!
Pastor Marty Sloan
A Message from the Escamilla Family:
Our prayers are with all of you during this time of uncertainty.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (I Corinthians 4:17,18)
We the Escamilla family are privileged to serve God and his church by being part of the Calvary staff. We feel as part of the staff that it is important to inform you that Pastor Angel Escamilla has tested positive for pneumonia and the COVID-19 virus. At the moment, he is seriously ill. We covet your prayers and are confident that God is in control, and we trust him for healing.
We are concerned about your health and wellbeing. Becky and Michael have had symptoms but are improving. We have self quarantined the whole family to our home.
Thank you for your continued prayers.
The Escamilla Family
Church is not a building; church is a body—a family! For the next couple of weeks, join your church family online for all of our regular worship services:
We are streaming services at these times:
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Saturday, 5 p.m.
Sunday, 9 & 11 a.m.
In addition, any activities or events that were scheduled during this time have been cancelled. Our church office is closed to the public at this time; however, we have a secure receptacle inside door 28 for those who want to leave a prayer request or give in person. Our staff is working from home as much as possible, but if you need to speak with a pastor in the event of an emergency, call 630-851-7000 and leave a message for the pastor on call.
Know that we care about you, we're praying for you, and we can't wait to be together again! In the meantime, we hope you'll take advantage of the many ways to connect with us online—whether through our live services, our social media accounts, or even direct messages.
This week, don't just be home; be #homewithcalvary
Pastor Marty is calling Calvary Church to three days of prayer and fasting this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
3 Days of Prayer & Fasting
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” II Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
From this verse, join us in praying for:
Please note that any fast should be considerate of one’s medical condition. There are various ways to fast if you have health concerns.
We also invite you to join us on Facebook for live prayer on each of these days at 7 p.m.
I wanted to connect with you about this coming weekend and our plans as a church as we endeavor to be people of faith, understand the times, and use wisdom. First, your personal health and safety are the utmost priorities, and we have labored to make the best decision we can as a collective body of staff and deacons.
After much prayer, consideration and consultation, we have decided that we will do online ONLY this weekend for our services (Saturday at 5 & 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9 & 11 a.m.).
I know that this decision has varying thoughts and opinions, yet it's where we have landed after much, much deliberation. I thank you in advance for your grace in this matter and request your full participation in covering our church with your prayers and understanding—nothing more and nothing less. I remind you that the church is a body of believers centered on the Kingdom of God and not a building alone. We are still THE CHURCH, and we will move forward!
Lastly, remember this … We launched this year with a theme “God’s Got This” (#GGT). In this very moment, I can tell you that “THIS” includes this: trust Him, pray, use wisdom, and never forget that He is Jehovah Shalom—our peace. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Love and peace to all, and I love being your pastor!
Pastor Marty Sloan
After much counsel, we have decided that the wisest decision for this weekend is to offer ONLINE ONLY worship services. Our desire is to keep you safe while still growing in the Lord together.
We are streaming services at these times:
We invite you to pick a service and view it at home this weekend as Pastor Marty shares from his heart. We have also decided to reschedule the Calvary Family Meeting for a future date (TBD).
Thank you for understanding that this difficult decision was made with YOU in mind.
In response to the growing concern regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to answer a few questions and offer some information for our church family.
While we will not live in fear, we must also practice godly wisdom.
It’s important that we take certain measures to help reduce the spread of this illness and to protect those around us who are most vulnerable—specifically the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
At this time, our campuses will remain open. In response to Governor Pritzker's announcement limiting the size of public gatherings in Illinois, we are offering an additional service to help spread out the attendance in smaller numbers and still be able to worship together.
Join us during one of these times this weekend:
Saturday, Mar. 14 — 5 p.m.
Saturday, Mar. 14 — 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 15 — 9 a.m.
Sunday, Mar. 15 — 11 a.m.
If you typically attend Sunday at 11 a.m. (our most attended service), please consider attending on Saturday evening. If you live toward the west, you could also consider our Sugar Grove campus that offers a smaller venue.
If you are in a high risk group (elderly or have a compromised immune system), we encourage you to consider staying home. We also understand that some may not feel comfortable attending in person. We offer multiple options for viewing our services online:
Kids’ Areas — Safety and security are the top priorities for NXT Kids.
General Areas — We will have a special team on campus (beginning this weekend) to continuously wipe down all public surfaces and help reduce the spread of any germs.
We can trust God and PRAY! Pray for the families of those who have already been affected by this illness. Pray for the medical personnel who are on the front lines every day. Pray that God would suppress the enemy’s schemes and bring healing in Jesus’ name. Pray that we would have discernment in regard to our own actions and decisions. Pray that we would find new ways to love our neighbors.
We leave you with Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”