We’re grateful for the many ways our members and wider community support our presence and work not only by gift, but also by purchasing wreaths, attending lunches and church suppers, adding names to memorial light and bell-ringing projects and more….most of which were not possible during this pandemic-plagued year of 2020.
The text of our Stewardship Letter, mailed direct to our address list, follows. There is also a link to a form you may download to use and make a gift if you are moved to do so. Thanks!
November 15, 2020
With November well underway, and the holiday season on the horizon, we’re also looking to the end of what has seemed like a very long year. Covid-19 has not only impacted what we do, but how we do it: in our homes, at work, in our communities.
And in our church. It was March when we – and likely you – began to appreciate the serious nature of what quickly grew to be a world-wide pandemic. As advised, we halted indoor worship and meeting for 14 days while we began exploring how to be together and yet apart.
We set up a drive-by opportunity on Sundays at worship time when folks could collect take-along complete services, with readings, prayers, and even the sermon text; and Rev. Lyn filmed and edited a weekly service compilation video on YouTube, including hymns that were played and self-recorded by organist Tom Andross. As the weeks went by, those who lingered read prayers together outdoors, and we conducted Easter and other shortened services outdoors as people sat in vehicles or stood apart. And, eventually, when we were allowed to gather in reduced numbers, we added protocols that enabled a return to worship in the Sanctuary for those who were comfortable doing so. Masks, sanitizer stations, sealed single serve communion, and seated singing became the ‘new normal.’
We were, in the words of Hebrews 10 “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” All of the isolation we’ve been experiencing in all facets of our lives together and apart has not been without cost, the greatest of which has been the lack of personal connection. We’re hopeful, and planning on being able to resume many aspects of ministry and mission in 2021 – and we will need your help to be ready. Because along with the curtailed worship time and limited activities, the cost has been felt in real dollars and resources.
With reduced service time, offerings from March to now are running at least $1,000 behind 2019. Community Lunch donations and our Strawberry Supper – all cancelled – represent about a $2,000 contribution to expenses. And while we’re planning on a wreath project this year, we’ve reduced the scope because of Covid and will likely see a $1,500 or more reduction in that fundraising. Other gifts, fees for church use, and the lack of other activities will also add to what will be a substantial shortfall. In short, and like so many other enterprises, the effect of reduced activity is reduced resources for what we hope will be a full return in the coming year.
And so we’re writing in this traditional season of Stewardship and Thanksgiving to ask for your continued support. We continue to explore the ways and means of providing the spiritual support of the worshipping Christian community, and please know that we will continue to be here for you and our wider community. In new ways, and in new traditions, we pray that we can continue to serve God by serving one another in faith.
On behalf of the Church Council,
Jim Elliott, treasurer