Current Guidelines as of August 4, 2021

Good Afternoon Calvary Church Family and Friends,

As of Monday, Allegheny County (and many surrounding counties) has moved into a substantial transmission level according to the CDC and local health officials. The CDC has recommended that all people, even those fully vaccinated, wear masks indoors in areas with substantial and high transmission rates. By now you've seen some local businesses change their mask mandates and as local cases of Covid continue to rise, I suspect we'll see more. The Delta variant has shown to be twice as transmissible as the original virus and fully vaccinated people can catch and spread it, which poses a greater risk to all.

As a church our priority must be the safety and health of all, especially those most vulnerable among us. Due to the ongoing rise of Covid cases in our area, the mask recommendations of the CDC, and the advice of medical experts, we have decided that all must resume wearing masks during worship on Sunday mornings. Because we are singing each week, it increases the chance we could spread the virus even if we are spaced out, so the best way to keep everyone safe is by wearing masks.

The single most effective way of containing this virus is vaccination. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about the virus and the vaccine. Below is a list of medical information shared earlier in the summer by our United Methodist Conference. In addition to the written information, there is a link to an informative video with Dr. Jessica Price. Dr. Price is the Medical Director of the Northside Christian Clinic as well as the head of our Conference Health Team. In this video she shares accurate information about the vaccine- why it's important and necessary. For those who are hesitant to get a vaccine or don't think it's necessary, I URGE you to take the time and watch.

I know the need for masks may come as an annoyance to some (myself included), it is important to follow the guidelines and take every precaution necessary to stop the spread of this disease.


Rev. Kelly

Current Guidelines as of June 20, 2021

  1. ARE YOU FULLY VACCINATED? - People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer required to wear masks during service. Please wear your masks in/out of worship (like at restaurants). If you are comfortable, once in your seats, you can remove your mask.

  2. ARE YOU NOT VACCINATED? - Masks or cloth face coverings are to be worn at all times inside the Church buildings if you are not vaccinated. Mask or face covering must be covering both your mouth and nose.

  3. We are continuing to space out. Every other pew is available for seating. Please space out seating to ensure individuals or families are at least 6 feet apart from anyone outside of their household.

  4. Your offering can be placed in the collection baskets located in the front and middle of the sanctuary. We will not pass a basket around during worship.

April 15, 2021

Dear Calvary Family,

We’ve got some great news for you- we will be re-opening our church for live, in person worship on Sunday April 25th.

We know it’s been a difficult year for so many and we are proud that we were able to keep us connected virtually by broadcasting our worship service every Sunday morning. To that end, we are eternally grateful to Juan Martinez for helping us offer that valuable tool.

But we know there’s nothing like being together in this beautiful sanctuary.

We will comply will all CDC and county recommendations:

  1. Masks must be worn

  2. We ask that you remain 6 feet apart from people outside your families

  3. We will only be using the front Allegheny Ave entrance

  4. We encourage you to use the hand sanitizer as you come in

  5. And we will not be singing as a congregation

Of course we will continue to stream our services on the church’s YouTube and FaceBook pages for those who prefer to join us remotely.

To be ready, our church building needs some cleaning done. Steel City Cleaning has generously offered to clean our entire sanctuary, narthex and bathrooms as a donation to the church but they need some help. So if you are willing and able, we need some volunteers next Thursday, April 22nd, from 9am-12pm. Please let us know if you can help.

In the meantime we hope you join us online for this Sunday’s worship service and remember, we are always here if you need anything.

Thanks and be blessed,
Rev. Larry Homitsky & Rev. Kelly Smith

October 30, 2020

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.

God's Blessings,
Rev. Larry Homitsky & Rev. Kelly Smith

March 19, 2020

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!

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.

-Colossians 3: 12-17

God's Blessings,
Rev. Larry Homitsky