I have been watching the various memorials to Rep. John Lewis, who passed away earlier this July. Throughout his life he worked for justice, for voting rights, and for equality for all Americans. One of his many quotes that I found particularly moving: "When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something." Good advice for we Congregationalists. Our building remains closed, but the Church has been active. Hopefully you have been following Rev. Biedron’s Facebook Live messages on Sundays and Wednesdays (if you miss one they are on our website). Our Boards and Committees have continued meeting and doing the work of the Church. Several weeks ago the Executive Council formed a Reopening Task Team to consider when and how we might return to activities in our building. The Team has laid out a staged approach. They have developed procedures for ushers and attendees when we do resume worship in our building. The Team also made recommendations to Executive Council on when we might reopen the building. You can find these in the Members’ Corner of our website. Basically, the Team recommends a conservative approach, not opening until we can be as sure as possible that it is safe to do so. I hope you will all enjoy the waning days of July and the warm August days ahead. Executive Council Notes Executive Council met on July 27 via ‘Zoom’. Council considered the following:
Annual Meeting. Our Annual Meeting will be September 13. It will be via ‘Zoom’, with friends and members attending via the internet or by phone in. We will be sending out information on the meeting and on items that will require voting (including new Board Members and Officers) over the next few weeks. Please mark your calendars!
Financial Status. Our Treasurer, Trustees, and Business Manager continue to monitor Church finances closely. Our endowment continued to recover somewhat as markets improved in July, but is still down from February. Through June, normal Church income was down about $6,300; expenses were down about $11,900 (primarily reduced building expenses) for a net positive impact of $5600 versus last year. As noted earlier, the Church received a $43,700 Payroll Protection loan. We have continued with all our staff, so we expect this loan to be forgiven. So, we are in relatively good financial shape, but will need to keep an eye on income and expenses in the months ahead. Note: please continue your pledge donations; you can do so in the Members’ Corner on our website or by mailed check to the office (Danny will get it).
Virtual Church. It is clear that our worship services will continue to be online for some time. Rev. Biedron noted that she plans to continue some form of this even after we return to worship in our building. The Church’s social media and online presence is important for our future. To that end, Council approved Rev. Biedron’s exploration of engaging a consultant to help us ‘up our game’ in this regard.
Voting. The Church is a polling location. There are elections August 4 and of course November. The City will be using Fellowship Hall. They have shared their plans for safety and for cleaning / disinfecting afterwards. We have also updated our 'hold harmless' agreement with the City to cover Covid-19.
“You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near." (James 5:8)