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2nd Easter Sunday, April 19, 2020, 10:45 A.M. and other updates

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, members and friends of Calvary. Happy Easter once again as we celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Easter tomorrow, April 19, 2020 and broadcast our Online Worship Service via Facebook Live. I trust you are well and are keeping yourself safe by staying at home as much as possible and following the precautionary guidelines or measures by the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier today before the setting of the sun, I drove around the town of West Orange - where I reside - together with my wife Miriam - just to have a break from being home-bound or home-isolated. It looked surreal to see the streets with very few cars and the parking lots of most stores and business establishments almost empty. We passed by one of the town's parks beside the Orange Reservoir - home to boat rides and a big Children's Playground where usually there are a lot of people walking and jogging in the area but this time there's nobody around. As we started our worship services online via Facebook Live about two Sundays ago, this brought about a lot of uncertainty and insecurity on my part. Not so techno savvy and familiar in this postmodern era's world of technology, I begin to doubt whether we would be able to continue to worship, fellowship and do our church ministry and mission on the Lord's behalf. Praise the Lord, I believe that since the lock-down, we have conducted two online Sunday Worship Services and two online mid-week worship Services during the Holy Week. I can say that we have had a pretty good number of people in attendance judging on the reactions and comments registered. In the near future, I am considering on holding a mid-week Prayer Meeting online - perhaps through a different medium which would be interactive. Please watch-out for announcements. Calvary Baptist Church has a Facebook Page - and we also have a website that you could check for announcements or news. It may not be remote to also consider doing an Online Bible Study in the near future. A blessing of our Facebook Live broadcast is that this reaches even family, loved-ones and friends in other parts of the state of New Jersey, other states or parts of the country like - Alabama, Texas, Florida and California - and even globally - as my mother in the Philippines has watched three of our online worship services. I just received a call from her asking for the time of our online worship service tomorrow. This week, the Trustees Board just held its second video conference or meeting through the "Microsoft Teams" medium or app. I hope the other boards could follow suit. The internet is now the way to go and hold meetings, planning and doing ministry. The other week, I just conducted my first online Homecoming or Funeral Service. With the current pandemic, my pastoral care has also taken on a different approach or other forms of expressions like: greeting cards, phone calls, email, texting, Face-Timing and other creative ways to be present. In the context of social or physical distancing, the ministry of prayer has now become even more important. For the church members, and especially the officers and various boards, let me just remind you that our Church Annual Business Meeting is still scheduled for Sunday, May 17, 2020 which is exactly a month from today. We will still try to come up with our usual annual reports and deal with our usual business proposals. The Finance Committee is scheduled to meet supposedly tomorrow, Sunday, April 19, and the Church Council is supposed to meet the following Sunday, April 26. This is all for now and I hope we could all be together virtually to worship the Lord tomorrow morning, Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 10:45 A.M. You could either stay on for chats or David Merkooloff might host another online fellowship through Zoom. My prayers and best wishes. Affectionately yours in Christ, Pastor Manuel de la Fuente Calvary Baptist Church of Clifton - International P.S. Birthday greetings to:

Jestira Mladenovic; Keith Francis; Nicole Telfort; Walter Wojtowicz; Tanya Mladenovic; Lily Marie Seda; Florence Hofmann; Gene Luna; Judy Jonason; Dragan Mladenovic; Dory Mendoza; Roser Petinglay

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