First, the council received a report from the finance team that was very encouraging. We have seen an uptick in giving over the last few weeks both of normal giving but also from several folks in the congregation who have given “ahead” to help with cash flow. Thank you!!!!!! We also are grateful to share that we did receive a PPP grant/loan from the government of $46,000 and that will be used in assisting with payroll costs over the next 8 weeks. We have also seen people using the online giving options and we are grateful that is working for you! Overall very good news on the financial front. Thank you!
Second, the council heard the report of the initial meetings of the re-forming task force. This group is creating reopening guidelines that will be given to all groups that will be using the church. These guidelines are based on what we have received from the state of Kentucky, denominational resources, and other organizations. As we are working on creating these guidelines, The task force is creating the guidelines and determining how we will implement them in congregational life, (worship, small groups, meetings, outside organizations, varying ages, even ordering of necessary supplies, etc). As a result, the council has decided that the earliest that Christ Church can safely re-open will be the beginning of July. That means that we will continue with our worship services, bible studies etc… as we have been conducting them until the end of June.
While we know that other congregations may be setting up different timelines, the council and the re-forming task force were unanimous in taking a cautious approach moving forward. We have taken many things into consideration, but especially the most vulnerable among us. See this story as to why this is so important.
Some might be relieved to hear this and others may be disappointed to hear this. That is why I chose the picture above for this email. We are on a path right now that is not straight and clear. There are a lot of zigs and zags that we have to be working with as individuals and as a community. In some ways, it feels like the story of the Exodus. In the story of the Exodus, the Hebrews were brought out of Egypt and were in a place where they wandered for a long period of time. There were lots of zigs and zags for them in that journey. At times they were content in that journey and at others they were restless. There were times they felt assured of God’s presence and times they sought out comfort in other sources (see Calf, Golden). But here’s the thing about the Exodus. Throughout it, they were together. There wasn’t a point where one group of the Hebrews went off and the rest were left behind. And through it all the tabernacle, the presence of the Lord went with them. And the pillar of fire guided them in the darkest of night and the pillar of cloud during the heat of the day. As I shared in my sermon on Sunday, I keep going back to that “note” that was shared on line from a pastor as we entered this period…(slightly modified for our purposes today)
Dear Everybody – Since we’ve not gone through a pandemic before as a congregation, we don’t know ALL the answers. But we’re paying attention to science and praying for wisdom. Together, we’ll take courage, be patient, consider the least of these, and press onward while loving our neighbors. Love, your church.
PS – Wash your hands. 🙂
If you have any questions about this, about the plans we are looking at, or anything else, please feel free to reach out to me or to members of the council.
Grace, Peace, and Love,