Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dear Church Family,

As we approach Independence Day in our country, I am reminded that we all have rights and privileges as Americans that are precious and valuable. We have the freedom of religion and freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to name just a few. I love the fact that we can exercise those freedoms and go to a church building and worship the Lord each week without harassment or danger of imprisonment. Just expressing that truth is a remarkable reality which should not be taken for granted and something for which we give thanks to the Lord.

Let’s celebrate our nation’s birth this weekend and let’s also celebrate our belief in Christ by assembling together to declare His gospel knowing it is a great privilege to do so unhindered and without oppression or persecution. Those realities are not the experience of all Christians worldwide. Since we live in a land that values those freedoms, let’s take full advantage of it and gather to observe the Lord’s table in communion and worship freely praying for those who gather to worship Christ under much more difficult circumstances.

It gives me pause to wonder if I would worship the Lord if it meant endangering my livelihood or my life? Would I stay true to my beliefs under threat? Am I a true Christian with rock solid beliefs or merely a “cultural Christian” drifting through my life with untested faith? It may be that the years ahead may not be nearly as convenient for Christians in our own country. I trust difficult circumstances will only demonstrate our true convictions about Christ not reveal a weak belief unworthy of Him.

We, of all people, should celebrate with a sobriety that these freedoms of ours are a gift from God. Let’s gather in person or online, as the need may be, to worship our Lord faithfully again this week.

I love you all,

David Hixson

Pastor


Friday, June 26, 2020

Dear Church Family,

It’s an odd summer, isn’t it? Everything about our “new normal” seems a little off from our usual expectations and patterns. It is difficult to know how to proceed with the routines of life under the constant threat of a deadly virus and the persistent need to make a living. Conflicting priorities have always been with us but today it seems they loom large over virtually everything we do and say.

As a church, we’re doing our best to provide a spiritually enriching opportunity each week to worship our Lord and do it in a reasonably safe manner. If that works for you, please come. If you feel you must stay home, watch the service online and join all of us “in spirit” as we come together each week.

What we must avoid is the spiritual laziness of ignoring our spiritual well-being and “take a vacation from God” this summer. Every believer must be vigilant about our daily walk with God especially when our “normal” spiritual routines are disrupted and uneven. Our personal time with God in His Word must be a priority we never compromise. Thankfully, this daily discipline can continue no matter how much isolation is needed to “flatten the curve” of the spread of COVID -19.

I’m so thankful for the wonderful dedication of our Tech Team, Worship Team, Green Team and the list goes on of people who make it possible for us to meet in our church house and our church web site each week. Our Deacons continue to oversee the function of our church family and our committees work together to support and manage our efforts to “make disciples” for Christ. I know you are praying and giving and witnessing and I trust God will continue to draw people to Himself in salvation and surrender of life.

Our renovation project continues and is really beginning to take shape. It won’t be long now before it will be finished. Praise the Lord for your faithfulness to advance the gospel in giving and praying. Someday we’ll gather to dedicate that space to the glory of God and the advancement of His church.

I hope to see you Sunday but if not join us online at our web site. Please feel free to call any time or drop us a note. We want to stay connected and be helpful in your “great adventure” of growing in grace and knowledge of God’s Word.

I love you all,

David Hixson

Pastor


June 12, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We’re going on a Great Adventure Sunday morning. Come on out and let’s fellowship around God’s Word. If you still need to isolate, remember to go to our church web site and watch the church service LIVE online at 9:30 am. It would help get the message out if you would “share” or “like” our page.

Also, after the church service, if you can stay, we’ll have our Quarterly Business Meeting that was originally scheduled for May. There are some important things I’d like to bring to our attention in that meeting. It will be possible to participate even if you are out in the FLC so please plan to stay. I’ll update you on everything from our staffing deliberations, our progress on our upstairs renovation and future plans to enhance our facilities and our worship together. We’ll also update you on our church financial status in light of the shut-down. It will be an encouraging but brief meeting.

Let’s pray for our nation, our leaders and our responsibility to shine as a light in these unsettling days. Your Christ-like character and attitude can be a part of the solution. Let’s stand for justice, peace and righteousness in all our conversations and actions.

Exalting Christ in all things,

David Hixson

Pastor


June 9, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Did you watch from home or were you able to attend church services at the church this past Sunday? Either way, we’re a church family and we want to grow in our knowledge of God’s Word and its application to our lives.

It is exciting to see the progress on our upstairs renovation of our classrooms! It won’t be long now and we’ll be able to use that space to teach the Bible and fellowship with God’s people. Thank you for giving generously and consistently to make it possible.

We’ll have another project to start right after we see this one is completed. We’re always pressing forward in our quest to provide opportunities to become more faithful followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you have any questions about the safety of gathering in our public meetings or want to know more details about how to participate, please give us a call. I believe we’re able to provide a reasonably safe gathering place to worship the Lord each week. Please pray for God’s protection and help as we navigate these complex days.

With so much unrest all over our country, let’s determine to be the loving and caring individuals Christ calls us to be and add our sense of understanding and equality and fairness to our experience of our community involvement. Christians should lead the way in treating people with dignity and respect and love given our understanding of the Biblical principles of being made in the image of God and giving account of our lives to a holy God. Justice is best experienced when a nation of people understand that God is the Judge of all and requires justice from all people, especially those who claim to follow Him.

I look forward to seeing you this coming Lord’s Day at 9:30 am here in the church building, if you are able to get out in public. I’d also love it if you’d participate in the Grounded Bible Study tomorrow at 7:00 pm on Facebook.

I love you all,

David Hixson

Pastor


June 5, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Project Goal Reached!

Those are sweet words and true. You did it! We set out to raise $165,000.00 above our regular giving to renovate our upstairs educational space and we’ve reached that goal. That’s big news. I want to praise the Lord with you for this great accomplishment. Actually, as many of you know, we’ve been improving our facilities on a planned program for a few years and we’ve seen major goals achieved through your giving and praying. Some individuals have given great leadership during these projects and we’ve worked together as a team to see this victory.

The actual work on the renovation is coming along nicely. We’re ahead of schedule on the work and under budget in the costs. We have every reason to believe it will stay that way till we get the construction completed. Many thanks to our Construction Project Team: Alan Scroggins – Project Manager; Bob Mitchel – Supervising Manager; Mike Hauenstein – Assistant Supervising Manager. We’re excited to see the final completion by this Fall.

This coming Sunday, June 7, is another opportunity to observe the Lord’s Supper together. Prepare your heart for this worship experience. We’ll examine our lives and obey this important ordinance given to the local church. As you walk in the church lobby, the prepackaged cup with both wafer and juice will be available for you to pick up individually yourself. I’ll let you know when you will need it during our church service. The procedure for taking communion may seem a little different but our meaning and heart of worship will be the same. I hope you will be able to join us for this meaningful event at 9:30 am. The prepackaged cups will be available in all our live streamed locations around our campus.

We will be live streaming our church service at 9:30 am this Sunday as well. If you need to stay home, you can participate in the service as it happens by going to our church website www.calvarysandusky.org and clicking on the tab for the live service. How wonderful to be able to offer this opportunity for those who still need to be especially about the coronavirus.

Please continue to pray for our ministry and let’s ask God to help us make real advances for Him even during this time of national crisis. It has been an extremely trying time for our nation on many levels and we need God’s help more than ever.

I love you and hope to see many of you on Sunday.

Exalting Christ in all things,

David Hixson

Pastor


June 2, 2020

Dear Church Family,

This Sunday morning our church service will be available online LIVE at 9:30 AM through our church website calvarysandusky.org

Last Sunday we recorded the service but it was not available until later in the afternoon. But, this Sunday we’ve upgraded our internet capabilities and we plan to have our service live streamed from the auditorium LIVE at 9:30 AM.

If you still need to stay home due to the coronavirus outbreak you can be a part of the church service LIVE at the same time we are gathered together in the church buildings. Our Tech Team has been working overtime to serve our church family during this crisis. It has taken huge upgrades in our equipment and technology capabilities to provide this service but we want to make every effort to keep our church family connected in spite of this national crisis. Thank you all for giving faithfully to help make these improvements and advances possible. And if you see any of our Tech Team, thank them for their sacrificial work over the last couple of months. They love you and want to serve you the best they can.

We filled our church auditorium and additional classrooms this past Sunday following our social distancing guidelines with real people! We want to continue that trend and want you to know there is still room for more each week. Remember, we reserve the gymnasium for those who desire extra social distancing space and where face masks are required. Only come if you are well and comfortable with public gatherings. But, it is thrilling to once again worship our Lord with others and rejoice in His Truth as it is proclaimed.

If you have any questions about how things are working these days in our gatherings, please give us a call or send a text or email any time. We’re here to help.

We’ve resumed Men’s Prayer Fellowship at a new time – 9:00 am on each Friday morning. We meet at the church lobby so if you’d like to help us pray for our ministries, missionaries, and multitudes join us this Friday at 9:00 am. While our nation is in confusion and crisis, we should be praying hard for God’s intervention and seeking peace and justice in our land. Come pray!

We will observe communion together this coming Sunday, June 7. The process will be a little different but the meaning will be the same. Pick up your prepackaged communion container as you walk in the door and we’ll take it together during the service. Simple but meaningful.

These are exciting days as we adjust to new conditions and situations. Please pray that we would maintain our unity, sincerity, humility and charity during these changing times.

I love you all,

David Hixson

Pastor


May 29, 2020

Want to know more about our plans for the Grand Re-Opening? Please watch Pastor Hixson’s video explanation.

Use either link below:

Calvary’s Facebook page

Calvary’s YouTube channel


May 26, 2020

Dear Church Family,

  1. Drive-Thru Sunday School Party

Saturday, May 30 from 10:00 to 11:00 am in the church parking lot

Goody bags for children Pre-K thru 6th grade

  1. Grand Re-Opening Sunday this coming Sunday – May 31, 2020 at 9:30 am

Click here to see a detailed explanation of process and procedure for gathering together this Sunday.

  1. Senior Night Premiere

May 31 at 6:00 pm on Facebook and YouTube

Hear from our 2020 High School Graduates and the plans they have for the future

I love you all,

David Hixson

Pastor


May 22, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Memorial Day Weekend is important for us as a country to remember those who have given their lives to defend our nation and secure our freedoms. We honor and respect those heroes in a special way this weekend.

We continue to offer our church service online this coming Sunday. You can find it on our church website and Facebook and YouTube. If you have any questions about this, please give us a call.

Exciting news – Grand Re-Opening Sunday – May 31, 2020 at 9:30 am

We will once again meet in person on May 31st with one service at 9:30 am. Click here for a detailed explanation about what our procedures will be for that Sunday. Please, please take the time to read that document.

If you have any questions or concerns about your particular situation, please call us. You could also email or text any time. We want to be available to answer your questions and help you prepare for our Grand Re-Opening Sunday on May 31, 2020 at 9:30 am.

We will continue to offer online church services even when we meet in person. I’m so thankful for many people who have worked so very hard to make these online services available each week. It has taken a ton of work by our volunteers to make it possible and I think they have done a great job. I know you are thankful for their efforts as well.

Please continue to pray that we can position ourselves well for making disciples of Christ in our community. Thank you for continuing to give to help us have the resources needed to sustain this ministry.

Looking forward to seeing each one of you soon! I love you.

David Hixson

Pastor


May 19, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Like a bear coming out of hibernation, the state of Ohio is coming out of isolation. It involves risk yet it is necessary. You can’t live in hibernation permanently. Things must move forward and our church is part of that movement back to “cautious” public meetings.

We will take precautions seriously. We will ask for you to be careful and patient with all the procedure changes. We want to be cooperative with government regulations and recommendations.

This all leads to our determination to have our Grand Re-Opening Sunday on May 31, 2020 at 9:30 am. One service for now with no additional programs. Social distancing measures will be in place and live video streaming will enable us to spread out in multiple rooms in our main building and also in the Family Life Center. So, it will be possible to be as “socially distant” as you are comfortable being. Lots of space, lots of carefulness, lot of options, lots of love and care for one another.

Please help us get the word out to everyone. We want to welcome everyone to our services. Naturally, we’re asking everyone to be careful about venturing out and doing so at their own risk. Stay home if you are sick or have a high degree of risk concerning this virus.

We will welcome the use of protective face coverings in all our facilities. We will require face masks to enter the Family Life Center, which will be our most strictly encouraged area of compliance to all matters of social distancing and offers very generously spacious area that can be individually customized to each family grouping with individual seating available and flexible arrangements according to one’s own needs and desires. If you require or desire the most exacting measures for distance and personal protective measures, this area is for you.

In other words, we’re doing everything we can to provide a safe venue to gather in corporate worship. Safe measures will be taken for everyone and particular expectations will also be available if you so desire in the FLC.

All the details will be available in our Friday update. If you know of someone who is not getting our regular updates, please let us know and we’ll add them to the list or communicate with them in whatever way is helpful for them.

All of our online content will continue even after we begin meeting in person once again. Those who are not able to attend in person, will still be able to watch on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, our church website, etc.

Do you have some questions or concerns? Please feel free to contact us. We’re all in this together. Everyone has an opinion that is valuable. We’re doing our best to accommodate each one.

This is temporary. We don’t know how long these measures will be necessary. We want to offer all the programs we were used to in the past. But, for now, this is a start and we need you to help us get it kicked off right. Spread the word. Be flexible. Pray hard. Keep giving. Invite a friend. “Like” our online content. “Share” our online events.

 

Importantly, our renovation project on the upstairs portion of our building is progressing nicely. It really is coming along well with the walls up and electrical and plumbing roughed-in. It’s going to be beautiful and efficient.

Please continue to pray for God’s mercy to slow the spread of the virus and preserve the lives of those impacted by it. You have been so kind in your remarks to me and encouraging in your support for this ministry. Thank you so much. I can’t hardly put into words my gratitude for so many who are working very hard to help us develop the infrastructure to welcome everyone back and provide the leadership needed for this new phase of ministry. I’m deeply humbled by your cooperative spirit and loving response to our hour of crisis.

I love you all,

David Hixson

Pastor


May 15, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Grand Re-Opening – May 31, 2020

Time – 9:30 am (only one service for now)

Guidelines – Following “social distancing” procedures (more details to follow)

Temporary – This won’t last forever and we’ll be back to normal

Regrettably – No Sunday School or Children’s Ministries (for now)

Intentionally – Meaningful and passionate but a bit shorter than usual (for now)

Location – Every room in our facility (live video feed) to allow for multiple spaces to “distance” appropriately and accommodate family needs

Essential – We need this! If you are healthy and able, please join together.

Many more details are coming but this will get us started thinking about the wonderful opportunity to meet again in person and worship the Lord together.

This will be as safe and healthy as possible. We’ll have great joy in our gathered worship of the Lord.

We’re all in this together and we’ll make whatever adjustments are needed week by week till we can arrive back at our normal procedures and processes. Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thanks for your patience and faithfulness.

Of course, all our online sermons and content will continue even after we begin in person services.

Pray hard. Don’t lose heart. God is at work.

Exalting Christ in this new adventure!

David Hixson

Pastor


May 12, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Our local newspaper announced the re-opening of the Sandusky Mall with these words from the management, “We look forward to welcoming our friends, neighbors, merchants and visitors,” a mall news release states. “They can rest assured that extensive measures are in place to make every visit a safe and healthy one.”

This same sentiment is true of our church. We also look forward to welcoming our friends, neighbors and visitors along with all our members to our re-opening. The Deacon Board met last night and we’ve charted a plan to have in-person church services starting May 31, 2020.

Everyone can rest assured that extensive measures are in place to make every visit a safe and healthy one here at our church as well. You will notice that all public gathering places are opening up but with measures taken to cooperate with our Governor’s guidelines for “social distancing” and hygienic practices and procedures that make it safe for everyone.

So many guidelines are needed that I will communicate these things in a separate document from this one. Suffice it here to say that we plan to have one service initially and make all our facilities available for that one service via video streaming from the auditorium. Seating capacity will be limited to observe “social distancing” guidelines in each space including the auditorium. Some will gather in the auditorium and others will gather in Room 126 or Room 127 or Room 128 or the Family Life Center Gymnasium.

Our service will begin at 9:30 am on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Since virtually everything else is opening, church ought to open as well. We will be careful to observe guidelines consistent with our community standards. All of those details will be communicated in a separate document and they will seem extreme but the big news is that we are gathering together again soon. I’m excited about seeing all of you again and gathering to honor our Lord and worship Him together.

Our online services will continue even after we gather in-person. Some will not feel like they are able to attend just yet. I am so thankful for so many that have worked so hard to make content from our church available in many online formats. We’ll continue that indefinitely.

Share the good news of our “Grand Re-Opening” on May 31st and keep praying for God’s mercy about this coronavirus. The struggle isn’t over. Vigilance will need to be maintained for a long time to come, but we’ll march on in faith and trust the Lord for His provision for His people.

Look for upcoming details of how we can regather soon. I love you all and look forward to seeing you again.

Exalting Christ in all things,

David Hixson

Pastor


May 8, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Yesterday, Governor DeWine referred to our recovery from this global pandemic as a marathon. I can tell you from personal experience that means pain. Marathons are not run without significant effort and even pain. Indeed, many are experiencing the pain of the death of a loved one or the loss of income or the uncertainty of the future. It hurts in many ways.

Yet, when the marathon comes to an end, there is a sense of accomplishment. You’ve made the adjustments, the sacrifices, the work has been endured and you see yourself on the other side, you finally breathe a sigh of relief. We’re not nearly there yet, but we’re praying God will bring us to the finish line and we can thank God for giving us the endurance needed. For this generation, running the race for Christ includes enduring a pandemic. No one wanted this but we’re all “in this together.” Let’s hold each other up and cheer each other on as we keep up the steady pace toward the finish line.

As our state continues to reopen many sectors of the economy and people return to work, we recognize the continued need for caution and carefulness but welcome the anticipation of our “new normal.” We celebrate the “flattening of the curve” by returning to work and maintaining a guarded approach to public gatherings. Church is one of those public gatherings. I anticipate an announcement soon about our plans to return to in-person worship services. Whenever that comes, it will be different. There will be processes and procedures that will be taken to help maintain appropriate distance but we will gather. Pray for the leadership of our church to be wise in our deliberations and plans.

We have good opportunities for continued spiritual growth among our children this summer. Despite not having in-person Sunday School classes for children these days, we’ve been offering lessons online and that will continue into the summer. Please notice the announcement below about a “Drive-thru party” to kick off this effort. Saturday, May 30th will be a fun event to get the kids geared up for our online teaching platform on Facebook and a chance to connect with their teachers. Please make your plans to join us for a parking lot event here at the church.

I love you all and pray for you earnestly. If there is any way I can be of service to you, please contact me directly. Let’s keep up the pace and not grow weary in our race!

Exalting Christ in all things,

David Hixson

Pastor


May 5, 2020

Dear Church Family,

The grass is being mowed.

The church building is being prepared.

One of these days, we’re going to gather together again in the church building and worship our Lord together. I’m not ready to say which Sunday yet, but it is coming!

Till then, we wash our hands, wear our masks, keep our distance, say our prayers and draw our strength from the Lord each and every day. We will not let this get us discouraged or disgruntled. We are more than conquerors in Christ and that should be evident even during a pandemic.

Many of you are being intentional in staying connected to others in our church family. We certainly are better together! By definition, the church is “called out” of the world and that means we’re “called together” in our belief in Christ and our journey as His servants and ambassadors.

I’m praying this national emergency will make us stronger in our commitment to Christ and stronger as a result of learning to lean on Him through the difficulties. Many are impacted by the illness of this virus but many are also impacted by the loss of income and even the missed milestones of seniors in school.

We keep coming back to the opportunities these hardships bring to us. Opportunities to show compassion, to meet needs with generosity, to pray for specific needs and to witness to folks who don’t yet know our Savior and Refuge. Let’s not miss any opportunity to advance the gospel of Christ while enduring this unprecedented time in history.

Please let me know if I can be of service to you in some way. I love you and look forward to being together again soon.

Exalting Christ in all things,

David Hixson

Pastor


Friday, May 1, 2020

Dear Church Family,

When are we going to gather together again as a church family? I don’t have an exact answer but we’re getting ready. I know I want to meet soon, how about you? We want to join our voices in singing and go to our Sunday School classes and have youth group meetings and Primetimers and the whole works. But, we’re still on pause for the moment.

We’re monitoring the information given by our Governor and our President. We’re listening carefully to insurance people and medical people. I’m in Zoom meetings with other pastors in our fellowship and around the state. We want to be prepared to open in a safe environment and worship the Lord together.

We realize much will be different when we do meet. By now, we’ve become accustomed to the warning about hand washing and social distancing and all the rest. We’re going to have a clean facility. We’re going to space out and provide ample room for families to stay together and yet be safely distant from others, especially at first. We’ll have multiple rooms to view the service even outside of the auditorium to facilitate space between us. We certainly have the space to offer certain rooms for certain situations if need be. In other words, we’ll be careful and accommodate all the spectrum about how cautious people want to be. We’re working on the details and we’ll be prepared.

Part of that readiness will be to have a Tech Team that can provide streaming of our service into all parts of our building allowing for ample space as needed. We’ll need to increase the number of volunteers who serve in this capacity. Would you be willing to come to an orientation meeting (perhaps through Zoom) to determine if this is the kind of ministry you have the capability to perform? Gary MacKay would love to hear from you if you would be interested. Please contact him at gary@edisoninfo.com.

The exciting reality is that many new people are hearing the gospel through our online efforts as well as virtually every church in America! Please pray that God would direct people as they surf through all the internet options that they would hear the gospel message and respond. Let’s expect God to do great and marvelous things beyond our imagination!

I love you and appreciate your interest in the ongoing work of our church. Please continue to give and pray and witness and expect God to make His church flourish.

Praying for the stop of the spread of this virus and for the opportunity to meet again,

David Hixson

Pastor


For messages from Pastor Hixson written before May 1, click here.