Finances in Communities of Faith During COVID-19 – Some Step-by- Step Process Tips

Finances in Communities of Faith During COVID-19
Some Step-by- Step Process Tips
March 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 odyssey on which we have all embarked, Pacific Mountain Regional Council wants to work with your community of faith to keep ministry vital and active. We want to continue to be there for one another, to remain connected to our participants and our communities. We want to minimize loss and distress to our congregational staff and ensure that ministry can unfold without placing our congregational finances under undue strain. 

In order to help out, Chinook Winds Regional Council leaders (and have given us permission to share with PMRC) have put together the following step-by-step approach to think through your situation. 

Work through some of these steps and be in touch with us because there are resources that can be shared when the need is great.

  1. Take a look ahead:
    Inventory local revenues, expenditures, and reserves: how much do you have available to address a 30-day/ 60-day/90-day operating situation? Consider also a six month planning horizon. Run the numbers, let us know what you find out. You can be in touch with your Regional Minister to share what the numbers are telling you, so that we can all be aware of where the needs might be.
  2. Don’t hesitate to communicate about stewardship and financial support to your congregation.
    For sure, we are engaged in difficult days and there are many sources of worry from a health and economic perspective. However, experience with past crises has proven that many are willing to offer their support if they see their congregation taking positive action to care for one another and the community. This holds true even if Sunday morning worship is not happening in the usual way.
  3. General Council Office has authorized local communities of faith to look at utilizing restricted assets to offset emergency shortfalls
    Identify which restricted funds should be first on the list, discuss with us at Pacific Mountain Regional Council before taking action. In some cases, for example, manse sale reserve funds may be available for support- a discussion with your Pastoral Relations Minister can help identify the right approach.
  4. After reviewing the numbers together, we can develop a plan.
    Pacific Mountain Region has access to some resources that can help communities of faith bridge emerging gaps, without having to cut back staff at a time when many are already facing hardship. Federal Government resources are also becoming available and information about how to access these will be available in the coming days.
  5. You may wish to contact financial service providers, to explore finance agreements for local communities of faith. If approvals are required or other supports, Pacific Mountain Regional Council is ready to work with you to ensure we can keep ministry in motion at a time when our communities need care.
  6. Further resources are under consideration, ready to be delivered as the situation unfolds, so keep in touch with us.

This step-by-step approach to thinking about financial realities before us in our local communities of faith, is simply a first step in the discussion. As your governing body thinks about alternatives, be in touch with your Pastoral Relations Minister for support.

This document is also available as a PDF Download here.

Pacific Mountain Regional Council
March 2020

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