After listening to the news tonight and every night, we long for inspiring stories. Stories that will shed a bright spot on this virus and what people all over the world are experiencing. As we walk around our neighborhoods, we notice that people - while staying at the appropriate social distance - are friendlier and more aware of what and who are around them. Families were out walking. People were no longer rushing by without truly smelling the roses.
But we know that, beyond being a health crisis of proportions none of us can recall, this is also an economic crisis. People are out of work. Those without a safety net aren’t sure where their next meal or rent payment will come from. Shelters are more restrictive to maintain proper “social distancing.” And whether or not we are directly impacted on a personal level, uncertainty and anxiety are certainly affecting us all.
So it is more important than ever for our church to stay engaged through our ministries and our members. We are using alternate methods of delivering worship services in unique ways that allow us to stay connected. Ministry team discussions, Executive Committee conferences, and less formal gatherings are happening in virtual space. Georgette, our Minister for Children and Youth, held an online get-together to assure our kids that the people in their lives are still okay and still supporting each other. And our Helping Hand fund might be a lifeline as the economic fallout worsens. Even during these challenging times--especially during these challenging times—the work of our church must continue.
First, let us offer a word of reassurance. It is true that our church has experienced many of the same financial stresses that have impacted most churches in recent years, and our endowment fund has experienced a significant decline in value in the past month. Fortunately, we have prudently maintained sufficient cash reserves to enable us to manage our way through the current scenario. Our continued existence is not under imminent threat.
There are many ways that we can help our neighbors near and far, but these endeavors require a stream of ongoing income. As we have been prevented from gathering in the sanctuary on Sundays, and as our attention has understandably been diverted to our most pressing individual needs, the primary income received by our church during this crisis has come from those who have already set up automatic recurring giving.
We have been heartened in the past week to already see additional people signing up for online automatic givingfor the first time. While automatic giving might have made them uncomfortable before, they decided that our church and ministries need to continue. If you feel the same way, we ask you to please consider signing up for automatic recurring giving as well. Instructions are provided at the end of this letter.
Stabilizing our flow of income will allow us to continue to:
Meet needs that are increasing because of the coronavirus pandemic, including feeding those who are hungry in partnership with members of Center Church in Hartford
Hold Sunday Services in unique ways, providing spiritual enrichment to all of those who can join in
Reach out to our homebound members to make sure they are receiving the care and compassion they need
And, most importantly, continue to join together for fellowship and service, even if it is mostly “virtual”
In the words of Gloria Gaynor, We Will Survive, but not without your continued financial and spiritual support. We are being called to have 2020 Vision – a vision that sees us existing together in more and different ways than we have before.
Yours in Christ,
Sue Chatfield, Deb Copes, Jarod Taylor, Rev. Nada Sellers
Options for setting up recurring giving
You can set up your own recurring giving by visiting https://www.rockyhillucc.org/donate-methods and select “Bank Account”. This will take you to a page where you can set up and manage an account with Vanco Payment Solutions.
Or, if you have access to online banking, you can set up your bank account to mail checks to the church on a recurring frequency.
For more ways to donate on line or with your bank’s bill pay program, see https://www.rockyhillucc.org/faq where a number of options for payment are described.
You can also call any of us and we will walk you through the best process for you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number to set up a time to talk.