April 15, 2020
Dear Foothills Family,
A few weeks ago, our teaching series in church was called “Desperate Measures.” We had no idea what was coming - a deadly coronavirus that has sent us spiralling into social isolation, economic uncertainty and a deep concern for what the future will look like. Amidst all the uncertainty though, we follow and trust Jesus, who is the Lord of all creation. In him, we find peace and hope about what tomorrow will hold. Yes, we will lament, and yes, we will grieve. But we will not let fear and uncertainty win the day. We are a people of faith and courage.
We are the people of God! We are people who know who holds the future. So we live with hope and courage amid concern and separation. We will get through this pandemic, and like the first believers that first Passion Week: we will not allow the sadness of Friday, or the silence of Saturday, keep us from the hope and wonder that Easter Sunday brings!
I want to update you briefly on some of the decisions our leadership community has made, as well as some considerations were taking in response to COVID-19. Our first priority is and will always be:
- Many of our services, groups and ministries continue to meet online. We are grateful for the technologies that exist, and for those who know how to use them, enabling us to continue connecting in a world where social distancing is mandated by our government officials.
- People are phoning, texting, Facetiming, even resorting the ancient practice of sending cards and notes to each other! It’s beautiful to see!
- Using Social Media and Zoom, our youth meet for devotions in the morning, our young adults connect in the afternoons, Life Groups meet many evenings, and Sunday School is happening online.
- We are grateful for the continued financial support of Foothills in these recent weeks. When we switched our weekend services to online-only, we were uncertain what online giving might mean for us. I will end this email with a summary of our giving over the past four weeks. Here are some decisions we have made, and are prepared to make, moving forward:
· Early into the COVID crisis, we laid off six part-time facility personnel, since our building is closed outside of regular work hours. We have also laid off six other individuals this week, largely due to our closed facility and our online-only programming.
· We are prepared to cut the wages and/or hours of our remaining staff should that become necessary. These cuts would be in the 10 to 20 percent range in most cases and could involve four-day work weeks for some staff. We will only do this if our giving levels require it to be done. At this point, because of your faithful giving, we do not need to make this step. We will monitor this closely and carefully.
· Our Alliance District, which holds our mortgage, is allowing us to pay “interest-only” on our mortgage from now until August, and we have accepted that invitation. This gives us relief from our $30,000 a month principal payment.
- We will continue to provide the best online experiences for you and your family each week. We do not want you to “watch church” – we want you to participate in church!
- We will engage in the hard work of figuring out what the “new normal” will be for us after the initial crisis of the COVID storm. We believe we will face many opportunities to engage in meaningful Kingdom work, and we are excited about that.
- We will continue to call our church to prayer and authentic expressions of biblical community.
- We will lead the church with vision and faith but also with financial integrity.
- We will continue to pray for and honour our government leaders as they make decisions about what we should and should not be doing at this time.
- We will believe that God is still at work, and we will seek to impact and influence friends and neighbours for Jesus.
It is a very different day and age to live in. We will deal with the crisis before us today and prepare for the opportunities that will continue to arise. This is a very unique season of life, but we serve and trust in a God who prepares and enables us for “such times like this.” We will act boldly and compassionately and continue to do the best we can – all for the love of neighbour and for the glory of our God.
This weekend, we begin a new teaching series that will take us through May titled, “Promises, Promises.” Together, we will remember and claim the amazing promises Scripture gives us along the journey of life. Thanks for your prayers, your faithfulness and your courage. You are loved. You are missed. You are valued. You are prayed for.
Our Weekend Giving Summaries for the past three weekend services:
We have four different funds (Ministry / Building / Missions and Compassion Fund) that people routinely give to, and you are welcome to continue doing that. We are suggesting people give primarily to the General (or Ministry) Fund, as it is easier for us to move funds from there to fulfill our other commitments. Here is a summary of what has happened during our first four weekends of online services. (This includes all four funds)
Budgeted Donations: $272,223
Funds Received: $231,338
This means we are currently receiving 85% of our budgeted giving over the past four weeks, and for this we are deeply grateful!
Here is a reminder of ways to give financially:
- The “Snail Mail - Pony Express Method” - Mail your offering to the church
- The “Steady as She Goes Way” - Set up pre-authorized debit giving – contact the church for details
- The “Anti-Canada Post Strategy” - Drop off your gift at the church during Monday to Friday work hours
- The “Save Foothills the 2% that Credit Cards take from Us” - Drop by the church and use our debit machine
- The “Cool Way Kids Give” – AKA “Text to Give style” – Text Foothills and amount of gift to 73256
- The “Still Somewhat Mysterious World of Giving via Realm” – Contact Church or click on the give button during weekend services