Almost ten weeks have gone by since we began sheltering in our homes. Life as we experienced it immediately screeched to halt. It affected family, work, education, retail, entertainment, and church. As you know, we are watching online and meeting in our homes for worship. Sometimes different is good. And sometimes it just makes us miss what we once had. We are excited to share with you when we are planning to reopen and some of the new guidelines for meeting. Faith asks us to meet. Wisdom asks we protect ourselves from spreading this virus while we meet.
Our plan is to open our doors for worship on June 14, 2020. We will offer two services at 9:30 and 11:00am.
To remain safe, we are asking people to practice social distancing. We will not offer Kids Ministry classes programming at this time. We are asking families to stay together for worship. Masks are encouraged in the first weeks of our meetings. To be able to spread out enough to allow six feet between families, we are also opening the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) for a more family friendly atmosphere. We will simulcast our services into the MPR and use a table style approach so younger children have a surface to use for quiet activities. We will disinfect all the common areas more often and provide disinfection stations throughout the main areas of the building.
We continue to urge those who are in high risk categories, have been exposed and are possibly contagious, or those showing any symptoms of sickness to stay home. We will live stream our worship services on Sundays as well. It shows great wisdom to worship from home to preserve your health and the health of those at church. It is okay to participate from home.
We will get more details of other changes to our services out to you in the next few weeks. We want you to begin to pray for our re-opening date on June 14. We can’t wait for that day. It has been so long since we have been together. God created something very special in our church. We can’t wait to hear your laughter in our foyer again, your singing in the worship center, witness your response to God’s word, see tears of hope and conviction in the seats, and hear all God’s people say “Amen.”
Until then, we continue to worship God from our homes, meet virtually, and serve him by loving and taking care of people.
The staff is available by e-mail and by phone.
Andy Timm 586.480.6054 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Nugent 586.491.0897 email@example.com
Rebekah Martin 816.419.6292 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Chapman 517.588.1155 email@example.com
Amanda Dodge 586.365.9562
You can email the church at firstname.lastname@example.org and the right person will get back to you.
If you would like to pick up communion, it will be available in the carport:
Thursdays between 10:00am and 12:00pm and on Sunday between 9:00 and 10:30am.
If you plan to physically bring your offering, the Sunday morning time is best. If you are not giving online, the safest option is still to mail it to the church.
For the time being, the church will not be available for meetings. Please contact the leader of your group to discover if video or phone conferencing may be used instead.
We are continuing to offer worship services for to you to participate from home. Stay tuned every Sunday morning at 11:00am for a time of worship. It will be available on our YouTube Channel. Make sure you subscribe and turn on notifications.
We are continuing to offer help and aid to those who in high risk categories who should not get out of their homes. If you need assistance, please contact Mike Nugent
A letter from our elders
On Friday March 27, President Trump made an announcement that the Government of the United States created a program to provide financial assistance to both 501(c)(3) organizations and small businesses. This program, which was signed into law is called the CARES Act, and it includes churches and Christian non-profits. Funds from this program are targeted for what is called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), funding 2½ months of an organization’s average monthly payroll costs (including benefits) as a loan. This loan can be forgiven if the size of the organization’s workforce remains the same in 2020 as it was in 2019.
Our management team, in a joint effort with our trustees, did an outstanding job learning specific information that could benefit our church with funds made available through this law. In sharing this information with the eldership, and through prayer, we decided to approve our management team to follow through with applying for funds made available through this new law. There is a short window to apply, so this process is being expedited since it is time sensitive. Please understand, applying does not guarantee approval of funds.
The Federal Government is not prone to releasing funds or providing assistance to Christian organizations and given the current state of the country, we feel led that this is not only a responsible direction to take for our church, but also it may be a way God is providing for us during this time. We are called to give, and the health crisis we are experiencing does not change this calling. If the government is going to give, we feel led to be gracious receivers of any blessings that become available or come our way.
Let us remain in prayer over this process as a church family. Keep in prayer the countless health professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic. They are in the trenches daily and need our prayers and support. We have many people in our church family who dedicate their lives to help our community with medical needs. Their sacrifice is a constant source of strength and a blessing to us all.
Q & A
Why has the government approved the CARES Act/Paycheck Protection Program?
To help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from failing due to economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What will the loan money be used for?
The funds will be used for salaries, payroll costs, health insurance, mortgage interest and utility payments, following the guidelines within the law.
If we receive a loan, what will the monthly payments be?
Payments will be deferred for the first six months. If the loan proceeds are used for the permitted purposes under the Paycheck Protection Plan during the first eight weeks after the loan is made, the loan will be forgiven. Assuming we meet the requirements, we should not have a monthly payment, as the balance of the loan would be forgiven. Any amount that is not forgiven will have to be repaid, beginning at the end of the six-month deferral period. The monthly payment amount will depend on the amount not forgiven.
What impact has the COVID 19 virus had on the church’s income?
It is too early to tell the impact. In March our offerings were down about 22% from the prior five years March offerings.
Why are giving levels lower?
Some people only give when they are at church. We have families in the church who have lost jobs and others who received income reductions. This can impact people’s ability to give.
With the church building closed, are we saving money?
It is too early to tell the impact. We have taken measures to reduce utilities as the building is currently not being used and should see a reduction in ministry expenses. However, many of our expenses are fixed.
If approved by the Small Business Administration, when should we expect funding?
Applications should be reviewed within three weeks. Part of the funding will be received within five business days after approval and the remaining funds within 30 days.
What can the church do?
Continue to pray. God is bigger than all of this and together we are seeking him with our heart, soul, mind and strength. Continue to support the church.