Thought For The Week 19 April 2020
I wonder how the lockdown is going for you? As I write we are in the third week of this isolation and many predicted this would be the most challenging week. The first two weeks had a novelty factor as we came to grips with a new normal. Week four will be spent anticipating liberation. But week three is in the depths of it. I’ve noticed news stories expressing impatience with the government’s approach to this pandemic. “When can we get back to normal?” Why can’t my business operate?” “Did we have to go this hard?” These frustrations are natural and we are being primed for a slow return to some kind of normality as we descend the response levels. I hope you are managing to stay positive and hopeful. Remember, God’s got this and so do we.
Rory and I have been greatly encouraged by the response to our video services and the feedback we are receiving. Over the past 4 services (which includes Good Friday) we have averaged 80 views, which will include more than one person watching. We are also reaching people beyond our congregation so that’s encouraging. I’ve also been enjoying our Zoom fellowship times (Thursday night 7:30 and Sunday morning 10:30). This is an opportunity to connect and share our experiences, pray together and support one another. We have seen significant growth in those attending these online meetings and I encourage you to join in if you can.
You may be wondering what impact the lockdown has had on the church finances. This has naturally taken a hit for a number of reasons: income from interest is significantly lower; income from hiring out our facilities has mostly dried up; offerings through the weekly collection are about 40% lower than normal. On the positive side, we applied and received the wage subsidy which covers 80% of our wage bill for 12 weeks which is a tremendous help.
We are very grateful to our regular donors who use automatic payments (62% are done this way) and would encourage you if you had been considering doing this, now would be a good time. For help with that please contact Ngaire, 686 1834. If you usually bring your offering to church can I encourage you to put the amount aside and save this up until we can meet again.
Grace and peace,