• Church Finances in an Uncertain Time – A Note from your Treasurer

    finance reportAs we continue to collectively live through the COVID-19 pandemic, and daily headlines focus on the impact to our economy, you may be wondering how the church is holding up financially these days. The short answer is that we are in reasonably good financial shape. Here are three particular points that I would emphasize to our members:
    •  After four years on the job I should not be surprised at the generosity of our congregation, but I am! We have seen both a strong pledge response in the form of early pledge payments which has created a solid cash flow cushion for the near term, and we are seeing an incredibly generous outpouring of support for our Easter offering COVID-19 Financial Response fund. As of this writing, over $45,000 has been received for the fund.
    •  We are the beneficiaries of numerous resources intended to help churches navigate the financial uncertainty associated with the pandemic. Our Southern New England Conference of the UCC, as well as our church insurer (the Insurance Board), and other non-UCC national groups have been offering both updates on legislation which affects churches and free webinars on everything from moving collection plate offerings on-line to how local churches can apply for Payroll Protection Program loans. FCCW is grateful for and taking advantage of many of these resources.
    • Speaking of the Payroll Protection Program, which was rolled out as part of the recent $2.2 trillion government CARES act, the UCC strongly recommended that local churches consider applying for loans under this program. Our Financial Resources Ministry carefully and thoughtfully considered whether it makes sense for our church and they recommended to our Leadership Team that we apply to protect our employees. Based upon that recommendation, the Leadership Team voted to approve going forward with an application. Last week I filed the paperwork with our local banker, Winchester Cooperative Bank. There is no guarantee that we will receive a loan, but there is a strong feeling among our church’s finance leaders that the uncertainties we face in the coming months relative to our planned income streams warrants the effort. I will keep everyone informed as this process plays out in the days to come.
    Meanwhile, please understand that if the pandemic has affected, or starts to affect, your own financial situation the church is here to help.
    Stay safe and well. And, as always, feel free to contact me at brucelauterwasser@gmail.com if you have questions about today’s note or any other church financial issue.
    Bruce Lauterwasser,
    Treasurer

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