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I generally describe myself as a person who enjoys change. I like to try new restaurants, explore new ideas, change the process of how to get a project completed to see if it could better. Yet the rate of change in my life, my kids' lives, my church communities' life, and my team members' lives at work is simply overwhelming. 

Thankfully, we are not alone as part of Christ's body, and I know the coming weeks will make that truth echo even more in my heart. Last week the deacons at my church, Neland Ave CRC, met to discuss next steps in our ministry being the hands of feet of Christ with our church community, now that we are not gathering in person. The outcome, in part, is this letter that highlights how members and visitors can continue to support each other, to pray for each other, and to financially support the ministries of the church, the denomination, and various ministries our church supports.

I'm sharing it here in case it could be helpful to you. 

Also, our church hasn't set up online giving just yet. The coronavirus shut downs are moving that process up in urgency as we work to make supporting ministry as easy as possible for our members. If your church has already been through the online giving set up process and have suggestions of platforms or process tips to share, please leave your ideas in the comments. 

Blessings to all deacons as you help lead the Church through this challenging time.

Rebecca Combs

Neland Ave CRC deacon

Dear [church name] Congregation,

Grace and peace to you all in these unsettled times. The deacons are called to serve by leading and equipping the church to awaken compassion, demonstrate mercy, and seek justice. We are further directed to promote stewardship and hospitality and develop programs of assistance. I write this letter to help fulfill those callings.

First, please practice hospitality as you are able in these times of physical social distancing. Hospitality often takes the form of gatherings. But that is not an option right now. Reach out to one another in your household via all the ways are your disposal: phone, text, Skype, Zoom, social media platforms, etc.

Second, consider how you might continue to give to the [General Fund, Christian Education Fund, and Mission Fund]. All these areas directly support crucial ministry in these times. You can mail checks to [church name & address] or you can contact [name and email address] about ongoing Automatic Withdrawal Authorization (donation form attached). You can either adjust the amount that is withdrawn or begin the process. Additionally, we are working to accept online donations. More information will follow.

Third, we anticipate needs for Benevolence assistance may increase. We ask that you prayerfully consider how you might support the Benevolence fund the deacons use to meet immediate needs of our members and neighbors. Donations are accepted via mail or automatic withdrawal. If you are in need of this assistance, please contact your household deacon, elder, or the pastors.

Fourth, our congregation has partnered with local organizations in the past to do ministry together. The deacons recommend these organizations that are providing programs of assistance.

  1. [Local foodbank and website donation form]
  2. [Local nonprofit providing food for children and their families, and web donation form]
  3. [Family Promise/nonprofit sheltering homeless families, website]

Finally, we will continue to highlight our regularly scheduled special causes in the weekly bulletin. We will include a link to their online giving site. You may also send those donations to church and we will get them to that organization.

We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. We encourage you to reach out to one another and work together to show Christ’s love to each other and your neighbors.

In service,

[Church name] Deacons

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