COVID-19 is what is on our minds. How can it not be? We are trying to find our way hour by hour, day by day. Churches are finding new ways to be church in every aspect. I want to highlight a few points regarding the financial aspect from the article article “10 Ideas for Church Financial Leaders Amid the COVID-19 Crisis”
by Ken Sloane, that was linked in last week’s Sprouts.
If your congregation is not already set up for online giving here are a few options. WDC uses Vanco and has for a number of years. Some others, which I do not have experience with, that appear on a number of top-rated lists seen online are: Tithe.ly, EasyTithe, PayPal, and PushPay.
ENCOURAGE MEMBERS TO LOOK INTO BILLPAY
If members use online banking, “Bill Pay” is often offered at no cost and payments can be set up to be sent regularly.
SCHEDULE GIVING REMINDERS FOR SUNDAY DELIVERY
Consider setting up a scheduled email, perhaps Saturday evening or Sunday morning, to remind your congregation that giving and support are still needed even if worship and activities have been cancelled.
BE CONSCIOUS OF THE INCOME IMPACT ON MEMBERS
The present Coronavirus crisis will affect everyone differently, make sure your church is conveying sensitivity in all its communications.
CONSIDER A CORONAVIRUS ASSISTANCE FUND
Consider giving your congregation the opportunity to provide a designated gift to a Coronavirus Assistance Fund to help assist other members and/or those in the community.
SEND MESSAGES OF HOPE, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND IMPACT
Be a voice of hope and encouragement during this time. The church continues to make an impact, communicate and continue to celebrate that with your congregations.
I’m sure many congregations are already thinking about how they can help their members as well as those in their communities. I hope that as a conference we can support each other during this time financially, spiritually and otherwise.
Another financial assistance resource available is Everence. They have increased the amount of their sharing fund this year. For more information about this, visit their website here.
As our conference ministers reach out to WDC congregations, there have already been positive stories shared of what churches are doing to stay connected during this difficult time of uncertainty. I know at Alexanderwohl, where I worship, meeting with our Sunday school class and then with others in the congregation over Zoom this past Sunday was positive. Seeing each other even if it was over a screen gave a sense of connection and hope. I hope to continue to hear stories from other WDC congregations!
As WDC staff members work to provide support and resources for congregations and leaders in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we invite you to continue to support us through prayer and ongoing contributions as you are able. You can donate online here or mail contributions to Western District Conference, PO Box 306, North Newton, KS 67117.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
1. What does adaptive leadership look like in these uncertain times?
Our monthly Leadership Lunch will be Thursday, March 26 from 12-1:15 pm. This session will be a video-conference meeting only (no in-person attendance) but you are welcome to “bring your lunch” to the zoom meeting! Connect via zoom at https://zoom.us/j/453935368
, Meeting ID: 453 935 368. On Mar 26, Phil Schmidt will lead a session on “Creating a Trustworthy Process.” Each month a leadership competency is presented and we practice teaching it to the group. You are welcome if you have attended a Kansas Leadership Center training or if you are curious to learn more. Questions? contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Holy Week and/or Easter Ideas?
Please send Kathy Neufeld Dunn, WDC Associate Conference Minister (Kansas-Based) via email (email@example.com
) any ideas you have of how you plan to help folks celebrate Holy Week and/or Easter and she will post them to the WDC Facebook page. Let’s pool our creativity! After all, it’s a gift of the Spirit.
3. Former WDC staff member, Marlene Bogard, is hosting a Zoom Story Hour at 11:30am (central time) on Mondays and Thursdays for the next several weeks.
Children are invited! Stories will be geared to ages 3-8. In order to get the Zoom meeting link, please email Marlene at Harderbogard@gmail.com
Camp Mennoscah announcements
1. Watch the Camp Mennoscah website and Facebook page for updates on events and special happenings! There is a COVID-19 link under the Camp Blog section on the website. The Facebook page (no account needed!) can be reached from the Camp Mennoscah webpage.
2. With attention to the safety of all, our Retirees Retreat (scheduled for April 20-22) has been cancelled. It has not been determined if the retreat will be rescheduled for a later date. Take a moment over these next weeks, have a personal coffee break, remember a story about Camp Mennoscah, and know we are thinking of you.
3. Men and Boys Retreat (previously scheduled for April 3-5) at Camp Mennoscah has been rescheduled to September 4-6, 2020!
4. The 2020 Camp Mennoscah tee shirt is up to you! We’re looking for three two word phrases that represent the important parts of Camp Mennoscah to you! The best combination of phrases will become our camp tee! One (generic) example would be River play, Campfire songs, Love all. Be creative! Send all your stunning ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
! (Or send a message to the Camp Mennoscah Facebook page.)
Mennonite church announcements
Looking for a non-traditional pastoral role? Become a unit leader in Service Adventure, a gap-year program for ages 17–20 from Mennonite Mission Network. Unit leaders, at least 24 years of age, serve as mentors to the young adults in the household. An opening is available at the Service Adventure unit in Jackson, Miss. This is a two-year term beginning in July 2020. Learn more by contacting SusanN@MennoniteMission.net.