E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 3, 2020

Immigrant Relief Fund, Good News Gardens, Mission & Outreach Zoom Conversation and more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 3, 2020 – Available in full online here.

Haga clic aquí para ver el mensaje de esta semana en español de nuestro misionero latino, Luis Valencia. 

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
Dear *|FNAME|*
You all did a pretty cool thing last week.

In the space of just a few days, and with our partners in the community, you raised over $15,000 for the new Immigrant Relief Fund at St. John's. If you haven't seen it yet, here is a link to the video introducing the new project:

Whether you donated through our Facebook Fundraiser, through our Realm Giving Portal, or through sending a check, you have helped our congregation begin to make a difference in the lives of area immigrants, especially the undocumented population.

And your energy has not gone unnoticed. Thanks to the networking of Children & Youth Coordinator Reyna Masko's group "Lakeshore Latinas," Herman Miller Cares has kicked in $5,000. Similarly, the Emergency Human Needs Fund, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, and the Greater Ottawa County United Way, has given us an additional $5,000 with the hope that more will be on the way.

As of Monday, we have received 32 applications for assistance with everything from groceries to utilities to rent. Our Latinx Missioner, Luis Valencia, and Reyna are hard at work contacting applicants and working with the parish office to get funds out as expeditiously as possible.

Thank you.

The need will continue, so we'll continue reaching out to the community for more support and every dollar you put in will help an immigrant in our area stay in their home and keep their family's bellies full. 

As I often say on Facebook, this is #ChurchBeingChurch. Nice job, SJE.

Through Grace,

PS – Just today we have finally confirmed that we have indeed not only been approved for a Small Business Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES act, but that the funds have arrived in our consolidated checking account. The Vestry made the decision apply for this loan so that, even with decreasing revenues, we would be able to keep all off our staff employed. The funds we received will only be used for payroll and payroll related expenses and will cover those expenses for an eight-week period. After submitting documentation of use, the loan will be forgiven in its entirety—a tremendous weight of the shoulders of the Vestry and I know many of you.
    Given this infusion of resources, I want to be sure that you know that if you are experiencing financial hardship due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, please feel free to contact the Bookkeeper to suspend your pledge until further notice. We know that several of our members are indeed in a difficult space and we want to be sure you know the church has received this funding so you don't have to worry if you need to cut back your giving. And I do still have resources available to help members with utilities, if things are tight. Just contact me
     The Vestry and I also want to express our deep gratitude to the many members of our parish whose finances have thus far been unaffected, many of whom have actually increased their giving. We have no idea knowing how long this pandemic will last and what the long-term impact upon our financials for 2020 and beyond will be. Each and every gift, no matter the size, will help us continue our ministry and will enable the Vestry to do their best to shore up our finances and ensure that SJE continues to do what it has always done—equip people to follow Jesus, offer inspiring experiences of timeless worship, and boldly love ALL in word and indeed.
    I want to give a special note of gratitude to the tremendous amount of work Treasurer Rick Slater, the Finance Commission, Bookkeeper Sarah Witte, and Parish Administrator Cindi Sanders put into this application. As you may have heard, they are difficult and complex and our reception of this grant is a tribute to their hard work on behalf of this church. Thank you. 
     If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Sr. Warden Debbie Wakerley

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 3, 2020 online here

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