Praise Update - April 8, 4 p.m.
We just wanted to report that after we posted the update below, we finished recording the offering totals for the week of March 30-April 5 -- and the weekly total was just above $115,000! This represents a significant increase from prior weeks. Pastor Tony Donato reported that most of this amount came from increased giving from our faithful members and regular givers. By the way, because of this tremendous blessing, that means we are only 5% off of our expected giving totals so far in 2020.
Thank you, Creek family, for your generosity and love, and please continue to be faithful!
In this time of uncertainty, we have much to be thankful for as a church. First and foremost, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is as true today as ever — our Lord is alive and He holds the future is in His hand. He has given us opportunities to connect in virtual environments, even while we look forward to gathering together again soon.
While we rejoice in God’s blessings and walk in faith in His provision, we also realize that the challenges of this time must be met with wisdom and prudence. One of the biggest challenges facing Richland Creek, and every church, at present is financial. While many of you are still faithfully giving in various ways, the reality is that Richland Creek is not currently receiving as much in weekly giving as we normally would. The purpose of this update is let you know where we stand financially, and what the Elder Body is doing to address these challenges. First, our current situation. Since we stopped holding on-campus services in mid-March, our weekly giving has averaged a bit under $50,000, which is about 60% of budget. We still need faithful church members and regular attenders to support the ministry of the church financially. You can give online by going to richlandcreek.com/give, text to give from your smartphone by texting the word CREEK and any dollar amount to 73256, or mail a check to our church office (3229 Burlington Mills Road in Wake Forest). The good news is that as of the end of March, we were able to reduce costs to offset the drop in giving, so there was no impact on our bottom line for the first quarter of 2020. Moving forward, though, if giving remains at only about 60% of budget, cost reductions alone will not be enough to keep us from dipping into our cash reserves. So that leads us to what we are doing. The Elder Body has approved, at the recommendation of the Finance Team, for the church to pursue relief through a grant from the Payroll Protection Program, which was part of the recent CARES Act passed by Congress. If we are approved for this, it will help with payroll expenses over the next few months. Pastor Tony Donato is in the process of applying for this grant. The Elder Body has also approved several other recommendations made by the Finance Team:
All non-personnel related spending is suspended until further notice, with certain exceptions like benevolence and contractual obligations (debt payments, insurance payments, construction contractor payments). Other future ministry spending will require pre-approval prior to incurring the cost.
All ministry leaders will be asked to immediately revisit their budgets for the rest of 2020 to determine which expenses are ministry critical, recognizing that every dollar spent could mean one less dollar paid to someone on our staff.
We will investigate with our staff if there are those who would go on voluntary furlough -- especially those whose income from the church is not critical to their financial situation.
All uncommitted, miscellaneous construction and building upfit projects are suspended.
We are examining ongoing construction of the Family Life Office Suite to determine the feasibility of continuing. We will report more as we know it. By way of update, the lower level of Legacy is complete and the parking lot project is wrapping up, with final landscaping occurring soon.
The Elder Body is having discussions to appoint a COVID-19 working group, which would include members of the Elder Body as well as the Finance Team, to examine some of these financial and personnel-related issues moving forward. As you can probably tell, our desire is to avoid layoffs that would negatively impact members of our church staff. You may have questions related to this, or other issues. Our Elder Body is putting together a "Video Family Update" to be released on Sunday, April 19 to provide the church body with updates across ministry areas, as well as our transition planning. If you have questions you would like to see answered, e-mail them to email@example.com. We will do our best to get as many answers as possible into that video. We love you all. We hope you're enjoying and making use of the resources which are coming from the church on a daily basis. Remember that Richland Creek is in the grip of God's grace, and everything that happens to us comes from the Father and is for His glory. We love you all, and are praying for you. Your Elder Body