Pastoral Letter: Longing to Regather, and Our Tentative Plans

Dear Calvary Church Family,

As you know, this season has been wrought with difficulty, including the necessity of worshiping apart.  Jesus has saved us into a community and has made us for corporate worship, and our collective hearts have cried out for the community into which the Lord has placed us.

Throughout this season, Psalm 42 has been the chorus of my soul, speaking hope to my own weary heart and longing to once again be with God’s people in God’s presence, worshiping Him together.  I have been reminded often of the words of the Psalmist, whose spiritual angst seems to be a product of a time of separation from the gathered people of God.  “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  My soul pants for God, for the living God.  When shall I come and appear before God?…These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts of praise, a multitude keeping festival” (Psalm 42:1, 4).

In His good providence, God has chosen this time as a season of exile – a time where He is glorified through the scattering of his people among our neighbors and friends and a time of gathering in digital ways that satisfy for a moment, while leaving us longing for the real thing.  Like David in Psalm 27:4, our hearts cry out to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives and to gaze upon his beauty and inquire in his temple, which in Christ, is to be among the people of God.  At the same time, we hear David’s call to “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

For nearly the past three months, I have daily monitored the news reports, read countless articles from multiple perspectives on what it means to re-gather in a way that demonstrates both love for God and love for neighbor, participated in about ½-dozen webinars of pastors and church leaders across the country on the various approaches to ministry and re-gathering in this season, conferred regularly with about 10 other local and national pastors to glean wisdom from a multitude of counselors, and worked closely with the Session to prayerfully consider the when and how of re-gathering at Calvary.  Throughout this time, I have been humbled into the reality that none of us is adequate for these things on our own, and we need to operate in grace and patience with one another.

As a Session, our guiding principle throughout this process is the two-fold Great Commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

With this in mind, we are operating under the umbrella of three practical, guiding questions that serve as benchmarks for re-gathering for in-person worship: 1. Is it Safe?  2. Is it Supplied?  3. Is it Staffed?  In other words, to love our neighbor well means we must institute safety protocols that require adequate supplies and that also require the equipping and participation of volunteers to enable us to re-gather for in-person worship.

As of now, we are planning our own special, 45-minute, outdoor worship gathering on the lawn at Calvary on Sunday, June 7 at 6:30 PM, weather-permitting. This will be a bring-your-own chair event.  This will be a time to re-connect with appropriate social-distancing measures in place, sing together in worship, and meditate on the LORD’s goodness and grace, even as we wait.

In addition, we are tentatively targeting Sunday, June 28 for our first in-person corporate worship gatherings with what will likely include two services in addition to continued online worship.  More details will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.  As we work with the deacons, COVID-19 Advisory Team, and others on the details of re-gathering, we ask that you would join us in praying for God’s wisdom and grace for us all in this season.

I love and miss being with you, brothers and sisters, and we look forward with eager anticipation to the day we are able to gather again.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Nate on behalf of the Session of Calvary PCA


  • June 7 @ 10:30 AM – Online Worship:
    (End of Acts Series)
  • June 7@ 6:30 PM – Evening Outdoor Worship Gathering on the lawn at Calvary – details to come!
  • June 14 @ 10:30 AM – Online Worship with Guest Preacher, Eddie Brown
  • June 21 @ 10:30 AM – Online Worship with Guest Preacher, Russell McCutcheon
  • June 28, Times TBD – Tentative Gathered Worship and Online Worship