Dear Saints of Cherokee Presbytery and Friends,
Thank you for being the church of Jesus Christ in these times. You don''''t need me to tell you what the difficulties and challenges are. Yet as I speak to people, receive emails from churches, and watch the social media streams, I see and hear of your faithful testimony to God''''s love and grace through you.
Today I will share three resources with you. Two are about faith formation and the third is about the CARES Act.
Yesterday, we shared Faith Formation and Christian Education resources that had been compiled by Billie Sutter, a Certified Christian Educator and member of the Heritage Presbyterian Church. This resource emerged from an email conversation that I had with her and the Rev. Cassie Waits, associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church - Marietta. It provides many resources for connecting with others about sharing our faith. Thanks to Billie for making this resource happen!
Another resource I have discovered is a prayer exercise suggested by the Rev. Sam Henderson, interim pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church - Rome. It is Three Questions:
1. What’s one thing you are particularly thankful for today?
2. What’s one person or circumstance much on your mind today?
3. If you could ask one gift from God for yourself or someone else (your child, your neighbor, your congregation, community or anyone) right now, what would that gift be?
Sam developed these when working with a Stephen Ministry in another church. Elders or others church leaders and care givers could use these in calls to check with members and friends of your congregation. They can also be used for personal reflection as part of your individual spiritual discipline.
The last resource to share is some information about the CARES Act. Last week the Corona-virus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act passed Congress. This is a 900+ page law that is designed to provide all sorts of economic stimulus. Part of it is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the Small Business Administration (SBA).Information about the program and a link to the application can be found
This program provides the ability for small businesses and non-profits including churches to apply for funds that can be used for covering payroll and expenses such as rent, mortgage, insurance, and utilities, as well as several other items. This is structured as a loan but may be converted to a grant under certain circumstances. One resource to find out some more information about this new program is
For your church to participate, first the Session must approve participation. Second find the
at the SBA site and contact your local bank. It will require some effort by your church;s financial team to collect the information and prepare the appropriate forms.
There are several factors to consider about this program. Some may have questions about a church receiving a loan (or grant) like this. The intention of the CARES Act is very clear that this was to apply to a whole host of non-profits, churches just being one of these. The Session will need to evaluate this for the church.
In addition, the funds for this part of the CARES Act are limited. News reports indicate it will be very popular and many small businesses and non-profits will apply. If you do want to apply, the Session needs to act as quickly as possible.
The life of faith has always required a variety of resources. Living our faith requires knowledge about our faith, the practice of our faith and the assembling appropriate financial resources to make it possible to share this witness. May we find the things we need in this season to continue on in the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ through our churches and the witness of Cherokee Presbytery.