Lansing Church Finances Stay Strong Despite Shutdown
by Rachel Cabose
When it comes to the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on our local church budget, treasurer Jeff Allen has both good news and bad news.
The good news is that so far the church is still in the black. “We were on track before the shutdown happened, and we’re still very much on track,” Jeff reported. “Our offering is down a bit, but our expenses are down too.”
Though some major expenses have stayed the same, such as our subsidy to Greater Lansing Adventist School, other costs have dropped—including utilities, custodial services, and photocopies. Even before the shutdown, the mild winter had lowered our expenses for snow plowing.
All told, combined budget giving is down about $5,000 for the fiscal year (which started last July), while expenses are down even more, about $7,000. That represents a drop in giving of less than 3% from the total yearly budget of $181,000.
Not surprisingly, Jeff has seen a major shift to online giving. He estimates that about 85% of funds are now coming in online, compared to about 45% before the shutdown.
Tougher Times May Lie Ahead
The bad news is that if the economic slowdown continues and church members suffer from extended layoffs and job losses, giving will probably stay down even after we resume our services and events. “The surplus we now see could be chewed up quickly when we all go back to church and our expenses return to normal levels,” Jeff said.
Jeff noted that when the economy heads south, it usually takes a while for the effects to show up in church giving. When the economy recovers, the rebound in offerings also takes longer. With that in mind, he said, “the worst is probably still to come for us.” During these difficult times, Jeff urges church members to remain faithful in their giving as they are able.
Although we can’t attend right now and enjoy the benefits of vibrantly funded church ministries, this season of uncertainty gives us an opportunity to refocus our motivation for giving. Let’s give out of gratitude to God for providing for our needs, knowing that He will use our gifts to bless us and others.
Photo by Tracy Olson from FreeImages
Reopening Committee Proceeds with Caution
|Reopening Committee Proceeds With CautionAlthough the Michigan Conference is allowing Adventist churches across the state to begin reopening as early as May 30, the Lansing Church will not resume in-person services on that date. Our church’s Emergency Response Planning Committee has been meeting to develop a plan for gradual reopening. They expect to have the plan ready to announce in early June. Stay tuned for updates!|
Community Service Center Offers Support to Church Members
|Community Service Center Offers Support to Church MembersThe Community Service Center wishes to thank our church family for their generosity during this pandemic. Because of this generosity we want to share these blessings with our family members who are experiencing difficulties at this time. If you are in need of assistance with food, clothing, or other items, please call the CSC at 517-321-8238 or Snowrene at 517-763-9840.|
by Judy Klein
As lockdown stretches on and people continue to stay home and stay safe, there are plenty of older members in our church who would love getting a phone call. Here are the highlights of two of our very special members.
This is also a reminder to call your older friends and family…it will be much appreciated!
Little Bit About Snow: She always wanted to be a social worker, so when she retired, she began volunteering at the Community Service Center. She loves working there, because she loves talking to and helping the people that come through. “Wednesdays are the highlight of my week!” she says.
Favorite Bible Verse: John 14
Words of Wisdom for the Younger Generation: Trust in God, obey your parents, and whatever you do, always do your very best. In all things, give thanks to God.
What We Can Do to Help: Pray for her and also give her a phone call to let her know that you’re thinking of her.
Mary ShuertWords of Wisdom for the Younger Generation: Never close off your heart to God. Keep going with Him, trusting Him always.
Favorite Bible Verse: John 3:16
What We Can Do to Help: Mary is having back problems and would greatly appreciate your prayers.
Worship, Pray and Study with Your Church Family Online
|Sabbath School: 9:30 AM every Sabbath – Most of our children’s and adult classes are live and interactive via Zoom. Join the class of your choice.|
Worship Service: 10:50 AM every Sabbath – live streamed via YouTube and Facebook.
Prayer Meeting: 6:30 PM every Wednesday – live and interactive via Zoom. We are studying the “Kingdom of Heaven” parables in the book of Matthew.
Access all of our online events under the “LIVE” tab at LansingAdventist.org.
You can return your tithe and offerings online or by mail (see church address at the bottom of this message).
Can the Dead Speak to Us?
This week we’re studying Chapter 34 of The Great Controversy. Go to the Pastor’s Blog to download or listen to the readings for this week’s sermon.
|Prayer RequestsSend your prayer needs to [email protected] and our church prayer team will lift them up to the Lord.|