Finances in Communities of Faith during COVID19

4 More Process Tips from Chinook Winds Region 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinook Winds Region and The United Church of Canada want to work with your community of faith to keep ministry vital and active. We will continue to be there for one another, to remain connected to our participants and communities. We want to ensure ministry can unfold without placing congregational staff and finances under undue strain.

Earlier, it was thought that Communities of Faith could access the $40,000 Federal government-guaranteed loan available to businesses and some non-profits. While some churches have been approved by their bank, unfortunately, it seems faith communities are being excluded. If that should change, we will let you know. Meanwhile, below you will find a link to a United Church resource, the Pandemic Response Bridging Loan, that can help.

We invite you to work through these steps and be in touch with us. We’d like you to know there are resources available when the need is great.

1. Take a look ahead: look at 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 in light of the criteria on The United Church’s Pandemic Response Bridging Loan application.  You can email Community of Faith Strategy Consultant Joel Den Haan or Property Working Group Chair Sue Brodrick to discuss further.

2. Communicate to your congregation and community about stewardship and financial support. Experience with past crises (the Floods of 2013, the Fort McMurray and Slave Lake fires) has proven that many community members are willing to offer their support if they see churches taking positive action. The Bridging Loan application identifies a range of proven, online stewardship tools that can offer our donors the chance to support their communities of faith.  Chinook Winds Region can help you get set up.  We have also curated a variety of stewardship messages from across the Region to help inspire your communication skills:
          • McKillop United Church
          • Okotoks United Church
          • Pioneer Pastoral Charge
3. Your community of faith may have its own restricted reserve financial resources that can be put to use at this time.  Discuss with us at Chinook Winds Region- we can help with planning.  In some cases, for example, manse sale reserve funds may be available for support.

4. Keep in touch with Chinook Winds Region as you develop your plan.  We are working with the General Council Office and other resources to expedite finance agreements for local communities of faith. Chinook Winds Region is ready to work with you to ensure we can keep the ministry in motion at a time when our communities need care.

The four-step approach to thinking about financial realities before us in our local communities of faith, is one way to navigate a pathway to mission sustainability amidst these unprecedented times.  

Please be in touch with Joel Den Haan at Chinook Winds Region, 403-317-0593, or with Sue Brodrick for more information or to seek answers to your questions.  We’re here to work with you.