To download a printer-friendly version of this week’s news, please click Remote Ministry Communication 20200507
Holy Trinity friends,
We trust you continue to be well amid all the disruptions to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. And if you have any need, you’ll let us know.
We are pleased to share that Carolyn Cramer’s extended family couple is on the mend from their COVID diagnosis. So too, we continue to pray for Nathan Poling’s EMT girlfriend and coworker Casey Novak who has now tested positive for the virus as well, suffering with fever, cough, lost sense of smell and taste, hoping there are no further complications. Dan Balboni, Susan Poling’s cousin’s son awaits the results of his test having a fever for 8 days now. Remember as well the increasing number of people whose employment and financial security is impacted by sheltering orders.
Congregational Meeting to Approve Use of Payroll Protection Plan Funds
In congregational ministry news, Holy Trinity’s Church Council is announcing a remote congregational meeting to be conducted from Sunday, May 17 through Saturday, May 23 to vote on the congregation’s use of funds from the national Payroll Protection Plan for which we have been approved. Council decided to apply for those funds as a resource provided by the US Government for small non-profit organizations like Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, given financial losses with the Child Development Center cancelling its final six weeks of school due to the pandemic and general overall economic uncertainty. Understanding that only the congregation has authority to enter into such financial arrangements, we are not spending any of the money without congregational approval and will return the money without penalty if the congregation decides to decline the funding.
Holy Trinity is eligible for and has received 2.5 times our monthly salary expense for a total of $113,008. Any portion of those funds can be forgiven when reported as paying for salary expenses. Up to 25% of those funds can be forgiven when spent on mortgage interest and utilities. Any portion of the funds not used for those purchases will be converted to a 2-year loan at 1% interest.
Council is seeking congregational authority to use the funds only for purposes that are forgivable and return any funds that would result in repayment with interest. This is the remote meeting process Council has devised to conduct that vote within the constitutional requirement for a 10-day notice before all congregational meetings in a manner that gives all members equal access to participate, while presenting an opportunity to orally present the proposal, answer people’s questions and hear people’s impressions.
- Next week the office will mail pre-stamped postcard ballots to each household with the WEEKLY newsletter.
- Council will conduct a Zoom conference call (audio only) at 11:30am (normal congregational meeting time) on Sunday, May 17, to explain the loan, answer questions and hear opinions on the topic.
- On Monday, May 18, the office will send minutes of the Sunday conversation to all households via email or US mail.
- Households may return ballots postmarked between Monday, May 18 and Saturday, May 23.
- Council will tally and announce votes after receiving the mail at church on Tuesday, May 26.
To be sure, a remote congregational meeting while sheltering is a bit complicated. Using contact information below, please reach out to President Mike Christman, Pastor Steve Wachtman and Vicar Sara Wunsch with questions or suggestions.
Plans for Gathering Anew
The Parish Health Team continues its preparation for the congregation to gather anew once it is safe to do so. They have directed the acquisition of face masks for use in the building, are currently working on plans for the placement and acquisition of hand-sanitizing units throughout the church, and guiding plans for the best ways we can use our meeting spaces, including the sanctuary for worship. Watch for additional details as they are available.
Here is the weekend worship schedule which you can reach at engagedbygrace.org/livestream.
4:00pm Saturday, Live Backstage Webinar Worship
8:30 and 10:30am Sunday, Live Recorded Worship, available all day as well
Yours in Christ,
Mike Christman, President (firstname.lastname@example.org; 419-356-9565)
Pastor Steve (email@example.com; 614-579-8128)
Vicar Sara (firstname.lastname@example.org; 513-581-6006)