Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thessalonians 16-18
This simple verse is one of the most challenging to live out - rejoice, pray and give thanks. This is the way we stay connected to our creator, this is the way we stay grounded, this is the way we find hope. And yet in the midst of our burdens and this stress of the world, it can be difficult to remember this way.
This year has been ROUGH! I mean come on, as if our lives weren’t overwhelming to begin with, we are facing a global pandemic that has killed over 5 million people worldwide and strained our economies. In America we’ve been confronted with the original sin of racism and wrestled with our own privileges. Political divisiveness has broken relationships, fueled resentment, and enabled hostilities. We’ve seen natural disasters destroy homes and lives and we’ve seen our ecological environment threatened by our own overconsumption and lack of care. And yet in the midst of all of this, we’re supposed to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances?
As your pastoral staff here at Calvary Church we have been working hard to find new ways to connect with one another and with those who are facing these growing and overwhelming challenges. We continue to benefit from broadcasting our weekly services, our kids have virtual Sunday School as well as Advent worship videos, and we have increased our use of social media, emails, and a new voice messaging system. Nevertheless we also long to be together with you to celebrate the birth of our Savior. However it is our priority to keep everyone safe by following the recommendations and mitigation efforts presented by all our experts. We know how truly magical the Christmas season can be here at Calvary, but the good news of Christmas reminds us that despite being apart, we can still celebrate! Therefore we invite you to join us for a special Christmas Eve worship service on our Facebook or YouTube pages. Our special music will begin at 7:00pm with the worship at 7:30pm. Please join us on Facebook live streaming or YouTube once the recorded service has been posted. We hope that our church family will join together from our own homes and find meaning and inspiration in this service. After the initial broadcast, the service will continue to be available and you are encouraged to share it with others.
This season is a time to recognize God’s constant presence, God’s never-ending love, and God’s faithfulness to us. The birth of the Christ Child is a demonstration to the world that God is with us and we are never alone. This is the good news that will bring you comfort and give you the courage to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances.
Christmas Eve Box Contents
Rev. Larry Homitsky and Rev. Kelly Smith
Dear Calvary Family,
Your pastoral staff and church leadership have been prayerfully considering what our next steps as a church should be in light of Covid and its impact on our lives. We wanted to give you IMPORTANT UPDATES about what we've decided so far.
1) Due to the increase in Covid cases and in order to keep everyone safe, we have decided, for the time being, we will remain closed on Sunday mornings. We know everyone longs to be together for worship once again but it would not be a wise decision to re-open right now when the virus continues to get worse. So we will be closed for at least the month of November and we will reevaluate at the end of the month. PLEASE keep yourselves safe.
2) We want to be sensitive to the spiritual and mental needs to our church family so we will offer "Spiritual Sanctuary" times on Sundays from 12-1pm (after worship has finished recording) and Wednesdays from 6-7pm. During these times the sanctuary will be open for private prayer/meditation and one of the pastors will be present to talk or pray with anyone who needs it.
3) We will be hosting an outdoor Thanksgiving Eve service where we can gather safely and reflect on our blessings. Details about this service will be coming next week.
4) Finally, we'd like to gather a group of church volunteers together and create a plan to engage our church and community while we are apart. The Covid situation has gone on so much longer than we ever would have imagined back in March or April and we need to be more intentional about reaching our church members and keeping us connected as a family. But your staff can't do this alone! We need help! If you'd like to be a part of these ongoing discussions and plans, please let me (Pastor Kelly) know.
We thank you for your continued prayers and support! We truly believe we can continue to be the church even while we are apart. Please know that your pastors are here if there is anything you need- don't hesitate to reach out.
Rev. Larry Homitsky and Rev. Kelly Smith
Dear Calvary Family,
In the midst of one of the greatest challenges our entire world is now facing; the present COVID-19 Pandemic has already presented devastating effects on so many - not only those who have been diagnosed with the disease but everyone else! Medical personal who are desperately trying to care for those infected as well as officials working to stop the spread of this new virus. We are in “Uncharted Waters” and everything seems to be constantly changing. Therefore, I wanted to share Calvary’s present responses to the situations we are now facing;
1) I am encouraging all of us to increase our contacts via phone, email, facetime, etc. with family and others, and increase our facetime with God. As I said last Sunday, “’Social Distancing’ does not mean ‘Spiritual Distancing’”. Increasing our prayers and our prayer actions is a must! Isolation can quickly lead to depression and other concerns therefore our not-in-person contacts are very powerful and can make a positive difference.
2) Our worship time will continue, but in a different format. We will not be able to have our regular in person worship service for at least the next two weeks. Instead we will be providing a “service” remotely during the same time on Sunday mornings at 11:00am. Please join us on Facebook live streaming or YouTube once the recorded service has been posted. Of course, our financial gifts and offerings are still needed and therefore can be shared through the regular mail or via online giving with PayPal.
3) I am putting a team together that will attempt to call all of our members and friends just to check in and offer times of prayer. We are very blessed here at Calvary to have so many clergy as part of our faith family!
4) All of our regular activities and programs are being suspended until further notice. This includes our Sunday School, Adult Studies, Choir, Children’s Church, Sleeping Bag Ministry and all others.
5) We are attempting to keep our office open but on “Lock Down”. No tours or outside groups are permitted in the building and we are minimalizing any other personal contact; however, phones and emails are active. We are doing our very best to respond to all the requests and concerns that we have received!
6) The Tiffany Concert for this Sunday has been cancelled and we are hoping to reschedule when the current concerns subside.
One of my favorite scriptures was written by Apostle Paul to those called Colossians and it contains the best advice for us even today!
Colossians 3: 12-17
Put on then, as God’s Family holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these things put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual Songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do. In word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.
Rev. Larry Homitsky
Sunday Morning Worship - 11:00am
Also offered during the year:
Sunday School - 10:00-10:45am
Adult Bible Study - 9:30-10:45am
Small groups engage like-minded peers who have a variety of needs and interests.
At Calvary, our small groups form naturally out of the interests and needs of our community. There is always a new small group popping up as our congregation is growing. Explore our groups and how to get involved.
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Your wedding ceremony is one of the most special and unforgettable moments of your entire life—so it is only natural that you want it to be personal and unique. The right location can make all the difference in making your wedding day perfect for you, your friends, and family. The beautiful and historic Calvary United Methodist Church stands majestically, waiting to be the distinctive venue for your Pittsburgh wedding.More Info
Calvary now offers a convenient way to give/donate through PayPal! You can send your gifts to Calvary online with a debit card, credit card or PayPal account. This method gives you the peace of mind that your contribution is going to Calvary safely and securely.
In the spring of 1892, the congregants hired a young, up-and-coming artist named Luis Comfort Tiffany to design the windows. They contracted him for $15,770 to create 189 windows. The windows were the largest and most expensive commissions to Louis Comfort Tiffany at the time. When the windows were installed in 1895, Calvary then had three of the largest Tiffany windows in the world. These three windows are still in the top 10 largest Tiffany windows in the world to this day. People travel from all over the world to look at them. To this day, we are not aware of any other facility in the world with this many Tiffany windows.More Info
Want to explore Calvary first hand? Take a 360 degree virtual tour of our church to view the interior and exterior of Calvary and see the breath-taking Tiffany windows!Take A Virtual Tour of Calvary!