Calvary's Response to the Coronavirus and Reopening the Church

Step's We're Taking.

It's our goal to keep you as safe as we can, while still pursuing our God-given mission of connecting with people and telling them about Him.

Thursday, October 29th

Important News for the Annual Business Meeting

For this year's meeting, due to the ongoing pandemic, we are making an exception and WILL allow absentee ballots for the business meeting this year. There is a short summary below of very important details you need to know, but I encourage that you watch the video to hear the full message.

1. If you can attend the meeting in person please do so! Please do not let the convenience of absentee ballot be the reason you do not attend the meeting.

2. To receive a ballot, you will need to contact the church secretary, Rae Jacklin by phone (607) 334-6698, email (, or in person in order to receive your absentee ballot. You can pick the ballot up during office hours and return it right away or return it at a later time during office hours. You can request that it be mailed to you and then return it by mail or bring it back to the church office during office hours. All absentee ballots must be returned before the start of the meeting on November 15th or they will not be counted.

3. Absentee ballots can only go to those who are members of our church and at least 18 years old. If you are an adult member, you can request your ballot as well as a ballot for any other voting members (18 yrs. or older) that are in YOUR household. Sorry, we cannot allow for anyone to request ballots for other families or households.

4. The ballot will contain the options to vote on our nominees for open Board Member and Officer positions. The ballot will not contain a way to vote on the constitution revision proposal or the budget because these proposals are still in the form of a motion (and second) from the Boards. These motions are still subject to discussion and/or potential modification at the will of those present at the meeting. Since we have no way of knowing what the final form of these proposals could or would be before we take the final vote, we cannot include them on the ballot.

5. If you cannot attend the meeting in the gymnasium but would still like to be present, you can attend the meeting from your car in the lower parking lot if you would so desire. All members 18 years and older that are in their cars in that lot during the meeting will be counted towards the quorum and can vote on the business items during the meeting. We are working on a plan to bring sound from the meeting out to the parking lot and to offer an online stream of the meeting that people in their car can watch (if they have a capable device on hand).

Again we stress the importance of meeting our 75 person quorum - so if you can attend the meeting in person, please do so! But if you can't, we understand and wanted to make an alternative available.

thursday, August 27th

Phase 4 - Tot-Time and Nursery Will Be Starting Soon!!!

We are looking to relaunch our Nursery (infant-toddler) and Tot-Time (toddler-4 yr/old) ministry on Sunday, September 13, 2020 for both services. This has proven to be a hard ministry to figure out good procedures for since kids at this age generally don't social distance well. However, with local schools and daycares opening we've been able to see what kind of guidelines are being observed and feel that we can mimic those and open this ministry in a way that we feel is appropriately safe. Here are the bullet points of our reopening plan:

  • We will only be using our Tot-Time room for these ministries. Though this will limit our space, it will allow for better supervision from our volunteers.
  • We will be doing a basic health screening upon entrance. There will a temperature check and a few questions. We'll be asking that any kids who have a temperature of 100 degrees or higher or are showing signs of illness to join us at a later date when they are feeling better.
  • All of our staff will be wearing masks at high traffic moments throughout the morning, such as during drop-off and pick-up times, and will have further personal protective equipment available for cleaning up other messes that may need their attention. Children do not need to wear a mask while in the nursery.
  • We will have a limited number of toys available for each service. After the first service, the toys will be swapped out with other toys for the second service. At the end of the second service, all of the toys will be sanitized.
  • The room itself will be wiped down in-between services and thoroughly cleaned after the second.
  • Children will need to wash their hands as they enter and exit the room.
  • Please make sure that your child(ren) have had a good breakfast or snack before coming. We don't want to be handing our a snacks during the nursery time. We will have some individually packaged snacks just in case, but it would help us greatly if kids didn't need them.
  • Parents, please stay in the hallway while dropping off your kids. We want to keep the number of people in the room limited to keep it as clean as possible.

Sunday, August 9th

Life Groups for the Fall Semester 2020

Normally this time of year we'd be gearing up for the next semester of Life Groups. Our Life Groups are a vital part of fellowshipping around God's word and building relationships with each other. However, as we continue to adapt to the new standards being set by the government, we've come up with a different way to get us all interacting with the truth found in God's word.

Beginning in October we will be launching a 6-week, church-wide video study from Right Now Media. If you don't have access to Right Now Media, please use the contact us page on this website and let us know. We'd be happy to help you get complete access to this amazing resource at no charge to you as part of our church-wide membership.

Here's what it'll look like practically. During these six weeks, Pastor Joel will be doing a sermon series that will be complementary to the video study. The sermon will highlight a topic and the video study will talk about a complementary idea or approach that topic from a different angle. However, these two are not dependent on one another. If you "miss" a week of the study, you won't be lost on Sundays. And conversely, if you miss the sermon on Sunday, you can pick up right where you left off in the study. That being said, if you're able to participate in both, you'll have that much richer of an experience.

One of the best parts is that there's no prep. work! When it comes time, we will make the questions publicly available. So you'll be able to watch the video and work your way through the discussion questions whenever you want during the week. You could go through this content and answer the questions by yourself; however, we'd encourage you to find a way to interact with others about this study. You might do the discussion as a family. Maybe you can coordinate with several families, have a video watch party, and then participate in a group chat afterward around the questions. Or perhaps you could host a video conference call with your friends.

In short, we hope that you'll take advantage of this opportunity to engage with others around the truth of God's word, so that you might more fully know His love and plan for you!

Wednesday, July 1st

PHASE 3 is just about to begin!

Here are the notes:

  1. Sunday Morning Kids Ministry (4 year olds-6th grade) will be starting July 12th.
  2. Parents/Guardians let your kids know what’s coming. Please talk with them multiple times about what is expected so they can be ready.
  3. Masks are encouraged to be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained. We have made efforts to encourage social distancing by selecting rooms and spaces with enough area to stay apart.
  4. Drop your kids off in the gym, personally. Please don’t send them off to their class. We need you present for the sign in process. If you’re not sure where to go, ask a member of our First Impressions Team. They’re the ones wearing the blue name badges, and they’ll be happy to walk you to the room.
  5. We will be utilizing contactless thermometers to do temperature checks. We are asking that if your child feels ill or has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher to stay home and join us at a later time.
  6. We are planning a time of worship as well as a time of interactive teaching.
  7. We are doing our best to keep activities touch-free. This means, unfortunately, there will be no contact games or snacks.
  8. Please be prompt to pickup your children after the service. We want to be able to wipe down and sanitize all of the ministry areas used in between services. This initial cleaning will be followed up by our custodians later in the week.
  9. We are considering everyone to have “moved up” when we start. If you completed 3rd Grade this past year, jump into the 4-6 grade class. Etc.
  10. Unfortunately, our Infant Nursery and Tot-Time rooms will not be open until a later phase.

DISCLAIMER: These are the standards we feel can be maintained and are in accordance with current governmental statutes; however, if you don’t feel comfortable bringing your kids into this setting, that’s okay. We promise to do our best to uphold these procedures, but we know when working with kids, there are always slip ups. There will be no hard feelings if you choose to continue to enjoy our services from home.

Monday, June 8th

Commence PHASE 2!

The executive order to allow churches to meet again has been signed!

We will be opening our doors to the public this Sunday, June 14th. We would like all who are interested in attending a live service to be able to. That being said we are still at diminished (25%) capacity for now. What that means is that we will be having two services, one at 9 a.m. and one at 10:45 a.m. And in order to attempt a smooth transition and to accommodate as many as possible we'd ask that you signup ahead of time and let us know you're coming. We want to make sure that we have a seat for you.

Signing up is as simple as contacting our church secretary, Rae Jacklin, and letting her know you're coming. There are two ways to do this. The easiest and preferred way is by emailing her at and you'll want to include 3 things in that email: full name, number of people your going to have with you, and which service you'd like to be in. The second way is to call the church office when she'll be there. Her schedule at this time is Tuesday 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

You will receive a confirmation email once your name, number of seats, and time have been recorded. If you haven't received it within a day or two, please reach out through the contact us page here or contact Pastor Joel or Pastor Jason, and we'll do our best to help you. We will stop receiving requests by phone on Friday at 3 p.m. and by email on Saturday at 5 p.m., but don't worry, if you forget to signup ahead of time you can still come to the church and see if there is space in the auditorium (think flying standby). If there isn't enough room there, we are planning on having an overflow room available where the service will be displayed on a monitor.

What will it look like Sunday morning when you show up? I'm glad you asked. You may park in any of our three parking lots and enter the lobby through either the main church entrance (western entrance, double doors from our middle lot) or eastern entrance (up the stairs from the lower lot and alley). In the lobby, we will have a team member checking people into the service based on your signup name. Once in the auditorium, you'll notice our seating rows have been spaced 6 feet apart. Feel free to select any open row. If you have 6 or fewer in your group please sit at either end of the row so that we can potentially fit another family at the opposite end, remembering to keep for open chairs in-between for proper distancing.

We are looking forward to meeting with you again!

Monday, June 1st


We want to tell you what to expect when we reopen the building for our worship services.

This date for this is to be determined. In short, we don't know when this will happen because information from the government concerning churches and how they can open in this area is still very vague. We'll let you know as soon as we can. Please like and follow our Facebook page for the latest updates or check in regularly here.

Things you should know:

1) We do not want anyone who feels uncomfortable coming to a public gathering or senses they are too "high risk" for the virus to feel pressured into attending. We will continue to stream our services online.

2) We will only be opening for our worship services at first. There will be no child care, classes, or other organized ministry when this phase is instituted.

3) We will be hosting two identical services each Sunday. The first will go from 9-10 a.m. and the second from 10:45-11:45 a.m. There will be a signup process for each service. (The details on this will be released in the near future.)

4) Each family will need to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from other people. In the auditorium itself, remember four chairs. Families of six or fewer will be asked to sit on the end of a row. There needs to be at least four chairs in-between you and the family that is sitting on the other end of the row. The rows have already been spaced 6 feet apart from teach other front-to-back and side-to-side.

For Example: The family on the left has 3 chairs followed by 4 empty chairs with a family of 5 on the opposite end.

5) We are encouraging people to wear masks or facial coverings into the church building and where social distancing cannot be maintained.

6) We have removed items that can be shared between hands. There will be no coffee pots, Bibles in chairs, pens, communication cards, paper bulletins, and no formal greeting time. For offering we will ask that people simply drop their offering in the plates that will be available at the back of the auditorium as you are on your way out after the service has concluded. You may bring your own coffee/water/drink into the auditorium, but please do bring it in a spill-proof container.

7) Please stay in the auditorium, foyer, or closest bathroom. Please do not use the entrance that is down the hall from the foyer (North Entrance). We would like everyone to use the two entrances on either side of the foyer (East and West Entrances). Limiting ourselves this way will really help out our cleaning team.

8) If you attend the 9 a.m. service, please don't linger after the service. This will allow our cleaning team to prepare for the second service. We appreciate your sensitivity to this need and thank you for showing preference to others in this way.

Pastor Joel's Phase 2 Announcment

Monday, June 1st


THE REOPENING PROCESS HAS BEGUN!!! We are excited to let you know what steps are happening to open our building. This phase covers guidelines for opening the office and group meetings of 10 or fewer people.

Part 1--Opening the Church Office

The doors to the building are remaining locked to help us keep track of where people are/have been in order to clean appropriately. However, we are, effective immediately, available at the church according to the schedule below. We'd ask that you keep in mind that these are the target hours; we may still be out of the office on a call or out to lunch.

Office Hours 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Staff Days:

Pastor Jason: Monday

Pastor Joel: Tuesday & Thursday

Secretary Rae: Wednesday & Friday

Part 2--Guidelines for Gathering in Groups of 10 or Fewer People

1) Any group of 10 or fewer must contact the church office and put in a request so it can be entered into the church calendar. Requests are subject to approval from the pastoral staff due to the fact that certain kinds of gatherings would still not be allowed at this time (e.g. Basket Ball games, luncheons, etc.).

2) Social distancing of at least 6 feet should be maintained between the attendees.

3) If the group meets inside the building, we'd like them to stay in a "common area," like the gym, cafeteria, foyer, or auditorium. This will make it easier to spread out and maintain social distancing. Along with this we'd ask that they'd use the closest bathrooms only.

4) Wearing a mask into the building is encouraged, or wherever social distancing cannot be maintained.

5) We ask that no items be shared (e.g. passing a book around, using coffee makers, etc.). Instead attendees should bring their own coffee/drink/snack/tissues/etc.

6) At least one person will need to take responsibility to do general cleanup and disinfecting, including areas that have been touched (door handles, tables, counters, etc.). This person will also need to contact Paul or Karolyn Beltz, our custodians, to let them know what common area and bathrooms were used so they can do a more thorough process of cleaning and disinfecting those areas.

7) A group greater than 10 people can only meet if that group is split into smaller groups and they meet in multiple common areas. All of this will need to be communicated through the church office and planned for accordingly.

8) Groups cannot reserve times for Sunday morning. That time will be reserved for worship services only until we are allowed to add more ministries in a later phase.

Pastor Joel's Phase 1 Announcement

Thursday, April 30


We are excited for the possibility of reopening the church. Our state has stated that we will begin "unpausing" as of May 15th. However, we don't think that means that we will be allowed to gather as normal. We want to continue to honor those in authority over us, and we don't want to move rashly and open too soon. That being said, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Let's be patient and be thankful for what God is doing right now!

Pastor Joel's Facebook Announcement

Wednesday, March 18


This is an updated announcement in conjunction with the earlier video and written announcement that was released on Tuesday. We are especially looking for ways that we can stay connected even though we are physically separated by distance for a little while. There are lots of NEW things to share, so please read carefully. 

1. SUNDAY MORNING LIVE STREAM NOW ALSO ON YOUTUBE - We DO believe that we will be able to stream our service LIVE on YouTube at the same time that we will be streaming on Facebook. If you cannot watch us on Facebook, you can go to and search for “Calvary Norwich” you will then find our youtube channel that will have the live stream. We will also have a link to the live stream from our church website at Please be patient with us if there are any glitches/bugs to work out in our first attempt to stream this in both locations. 

2. CHAT HOSTS ON OUR FACEBOOK LIVE STREAM - For those that are joining us on Facebook for the live stream, we will have 4 dedicated “hosts” for the comment section directly underneath the video where you can join into discussion, if you’d so desire. Those hosts will be there to welcome you, interact with you, take any prayer requests if anyone has any they want to share, and to just share words of hope and encouragement in this time! These hosts will only be available for the Facebook stream, and not for any other live stream service, at least at this time. Please be sure to join in the discussion if you watch us on Facebook!

3. DVD OF OUR SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE - We can make DVDs for those that cannot watch the service online. Perhaps you have a relative or know of a friend that would not be able to watch the live stream. We can mail the DVD out, but we would just need to know the person’s physical address. You can send that address to either or call the church office at 607-334-6698.

4. OFFERING AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT GIVE ONLINE - We believe that we were able to come up with a safe and effective way that people can send us their offering if they’re not able to online. If you or someone you know of cannot give their offering online, offerings can be mailed to: 

Calvary Baptist Church 

P.O. Box 431 

Norwich, NY 13815

For any that would send their offering to this address, we would ask that they NOT SEND CASH. We ask that they would send a CHECK ONLY and it can be written out to Calvary Baptist Church.

Please spread this information to anyone that you know of that could benefit from it (especially those who are not online). Please email us at or call us at 607-334-6698 with any names of people that would need to know this and we can call and/or send a letter to them.

5. FACEBOOK PRAYER GROUP - We are going to be opening up a Facebook group that will be dedicated to prayer requests and praises only. This will be a closed group, and people can be added to it by requesting to join. Only those who are active or current members/attendees will be allowed to join this group. We would want this to be a safe group where people can share requests or struggles and know what they are saying is not going to be carried outside of our church family. We will also have guidelines in place to keep the page to communication that is uplifting, encouraging, safe, and focused ONLY on those prayer requests and praises! I was one of the administrators for a Facebook group like this at my former church for many years and we were amazed how much this page helped to draw people together more and increase their care and sensitivity for each other!

6. FOOD DISTRIBUTION - We are set to have our food distribution tomorrow! Everyone who comes will need to stay in their cars. We will have parking lot attendants that will help to form a line with the cars. We will be giving pre-packed boxes out to each car. Due to the gathering restrictions put into place, no one is to leave their car or enter the building. We will bring the box directly to you. Please understand that those who come will not be able to pick and choose what they get, they just get what they get. This is the only way that we are able to still continue this ministry as we follow the guidelines that have been set in place. Thanks everyone for understanding! 

7. CHURCH BULLETIN - Our weekly church bulletin can be found online after Friday! Please go to where you can get a PDF of our current week’s bulletin. Please print and send an extra copy to anyone that you can think of that may not be able to get this bulletin from online. Let’s help each other out as Jesus’ church in this time!

8. ALL SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES POSTPONED BUT MANY OTHER SMALL GROUPS CONTINUE TO MEET- All Sunday school classes have been postponed until after the restrictions from the coronavirus have been lifted. Our other Life Groups are still highly encouraged to meet! Find ways to connect with others in this time. It’s very important that we do not isolate ourselves from each other!

Tuesday, March 17

IMPORTANT UPDATE in response to the Coronavirus and efforts our church is taking following the new announcements from Governor Cuomo and President Trump. 

I apologize for how this video is a bit broken up and even for the sound quality.  As I was working on the announcement throughout the day a lot kept changing. I wanted to get this posted as soon as I could. Thanks everyone for understanding!

Video Announcement Synopsis

1. Governor Cuomo has mandated that there will be no social gatherings above 50 people. That does affect some things for our church that will be addressed in the video or below in this list.

2. President Trump has issued guidelines to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus including his recommendation to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, which we should also seek to comply with.

3. Our Sunday morning services are going to go to an ONLINE STATUS ONLY at this time. We ask that the only ones who are present in the church building at this time would be the worship team, tech team, whomever is preaching, and their families (if they so choose). Please do join us each Sunday online until we can meet together again in our facilities. Remember what we saw from God's Word a few weeks ago from our sermon series... the church is more than a building, we are a family!

4. You will be able to join us online by watching the live stream on our church Facebook page. The service in its entirety will be posted to our church website as soon as possible following the conclusion of the service. This week we will look into if there are any other options for Live Streaming for those who may not have Facebook.

5. We will be switching all of our offering over to online giving at this time. Select the "Give" tab at the top of the page to get more information or set up your online contribution.

6. Our church bulletin for the week will be posted online. We will provide a copy of the bulletin on our church webpage (we will explain how to get to that soon), or a copy will be linked to the Facebook live stream on Sunday morning).

7. As has already been announced, Awana is cancelled for the next few weeks, please keep watching for any further updates for Awana.

8. Our food distribution is not yet cancelled and we are trying to continue this ministry. We are looking into how we can offer this ministry with these new guidelines. If we do, it will most likely be a "pick up/ to go" kind of process, probably involving pre-boxed food. Please be patient as we work out the details for this and we will give more information as soon as we can.

9. All other gatherings above 10 people for our church (I accidentally said 50 in the video) must be cancelled or postponed (that includes private weddings, parties, etc.)

10. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to not give up or forsake meeting together. Even though we cannot meet in larger groups, I am highly encouraging that our Small Groups continue to meet. Meeting in smaller groups is even more important in this time. If your smaller group has more than 10 people, we encourage that you split into smaller groups - but DO strive to continue meeting if you can! We encourage that our Life Groups, Youth Group, Bible studies, prayer group, Board meetings, etc. all strive to continue to meet, but still strive to follow the "10 or people or less" guideline.

Let's continue to meet together in any way we can in these small group settings!

11. We also encourage a few other ideas, but we do this with care and present these as ideas only - nothing that we would be pressuring anyone to do if they would not be comfortable. On the one hand the CDC is advocating that we should all try and practice social distancing, that includes the idea of avoiding other people's homes, etc. On the other hand this is not a legal requirement... yet... and we still do have the option of getting together in a few others ways. So again, these are just ideas, but you will need to use your judgment in following through with these or not (Numbers 12-14 below).

12. Even though we cannot meet as a large group on Sunday mornings, perhaps you could invite a family or some individuals over with you and you could watch the service together.  Perhaps you could even have coffee or breakfast together. I would also ask that you that you especially pray about inviting someone over that doesn't go to any church right now. There are many who may be grateful for the invitation to be able to meet with other people in a time of isolation, and to hear a message of hope in a time of fear and uncertainty. This is an idea I am especially excited about, and I hope that many of you will strongly pray about and consider! 

13. Consider joining a small group that is currently meeting, or start your own. Please contact me at if you'd like to seek to join a Life Group or other kind of Small Group that is meeting.

14. Consider inviting people over to your home for fellowship and do some things like play some board games or watch a movie together (10 people or less).

15. Consider following some of the social distance guidelines even as you meet in small groups. Spread out so that there is space between all the people.

16. Once again, if you are sick, please see a doctor and seek a diagnosis. We ask that you please refrain from attending even these small group settings until you are well again.

17. Please help spread the word by sharing this Facebook post or directing people to our church webpage.

18. There will most likely be another update coming this week with more information concerning some of the changes that were mentioned in this announcement... stay tuned!

Psalm 9:1-2, 7-10

     1 I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;

        I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

     2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;

        I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

     7 The LORD reigns forever;

        he has established his throne for judgment.

     8 He rules the world in righteousness

        and judges the peoples with equity.

     9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,

        a stronghold in times of trouble.

     10 Those who know your name trust in you,

        for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.