I gather that some people are hoarding items. My stash of frozen Mrs. Callendar’s Chicken Pot Pies is down to just a couple (my wife says they are inedible anyway, so they are mine! All mine! I like the KFC chicken pie, heavy on bread, fat, and salt but I’m not all that keen on their food handling.). Looks to me like the supply chain is working well where I am.
It’s all anecdotal but I’m seeing churches and others be incredibly generous in these times. To wit:
- I’ve heard of at least one megachurch that has recalibrated their budget so that they can help smaller churches that cannot meet and are hurting financially, as in giving them money. That’s unheard of. God bless them.
- When I retired eight years ago, I had declined to set up any online giving system. Since then it is much more common and all of my former, average sized SBC churches have an online giving option. Those that don’t are receiving free advice and assistance from our entities and other churches. It wasn’t unusual as pastor for me to get a call from an older member asking if I could stop by to pick up their tithe check. I always found time. “Just put it on the front porch,” is what I’d say today.
- My church went to a “Coronavirus Budget” earlier this month. Only essential items were kept. All else frozen. Lots of extra funds freed up for local needs, primarily food, so far as I am aware. We give away tons of food every week and will do so until schools are open. Several tons each week.
- In a tight situation, it’s a tough choice whether or not to keep the Cooperative Program at the same level. I would prefer to do that but if the choice is between a staff member I see (or talk to) every day, or a denominational staffer in Duluth or Nashville or somewhere, I’ll choose our guy every day. Maybe the enormous stimulus will avoid such choices. Either the local church is king or the CP is king. Can’t have both. If if comes to a vote and I hope such is avoided, I vote for the former.
- All denominational workers I have come in contact with (excepting only a couple) are keenly interested in serving churches. Unfortunately, we have several layers of such workers not all of whom are essential.
- Speaking of which…I hear (didn’t get into the details) that self-employed people are eligible for unemployment benefits. Does this include church clergy staff? I don’t have an answer.
- Our church’s mortgage holder has given us a sixty-day waiver on making payments. Those bills will come due eventually but it does provide some breathing room.
- All kinds of businesses are offering delays in payment deadlines.
- Media paywalls have dropped in many outlets.
- Denominational politics has taken a breather, although I confess to a slight tweak of the CBN yesterday. Got tweaked back, so we’re even.
- Imagine this: we’ve got about fifteen months to organize, blog, tweet, gripe and grumble, fuss and fume about SBC denominational stuff between now and June 2021. Once we’re past this crisis, it’s going to be a long year.
- IMB and NAMB, our two most important entities are in solid shape, thank the Lord.
Like someone famous is want to say, “We’ll see where this goes.” But, I like what I’m seeing in the short term here.