Dear Friends in Christ (May 28, 2020),
As we have engaged with many NWC churches over the past few months, we have heard stories of how they are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on congregational life.
Many churches have been pleasantly surprised that giving and online attendance have been stable. In other conversations, we have heard that giving is actually increasing and online participation remains strong. We are also hearing of people committing their lives to Jesus Christ. Further, many of our NWC churches have not found it necessary to tap whatever reserves they might have. For all these things we give glory to God, and we pray that these churches may continue to experience fruitful ministry.
However, we have also been hearing stories from some NWC churches that are more discouraging, particularly among those led by bi-vocational pastors and/or many of our ethnic congregations.
For some there is an increased challenge as the pastor is dependent on another job for his/her primary income. Some of these pastors are now unemployed or unable to work, leaving families with little coming in. In fact, we have heard stories of some clergy who are struggling to simply purchase groceries and provide the basic necessities for their families or members of their congregations. We have heard stories of families unable to pay rent, utilities and medical bills. We continue to pray for these churches and pastors, as well.
Yet, we have wanted to do more, so the NWC has already come alongside some of these pastors and churches with financial assistance from a variety of sources. However, while we have been able to provide some help to meet these urgent needs, in many cases, it is simply not enough. This is especially true as the needs will continue for the foreseeable future.
How can you help?
If your congregation is doing well, would you be willing to provide some direct assistance to a pastor and congregation that is in need? We hope that those blessed with many “loaves of bread” would be willing to share with a church that does not even have one.
Our role at the NWC office would simply be to match your church with another church and pastor that are struggling. While it would involve providing financial help, your church may also be able to assist in lending a helping hand in some other tangible way.
If your church would be willing to partner with a church in need, please contact the Northwest Conference office and we will connect you with a ministry and pastor that could really use your help.
Mark R. Stromberg,
Director of Church Planting
The Department of Labor is increasing the minimum salary requirement for exempt workers from $455 to $684 per week effective January 1, 2020. This means that if you currently pay an employee a flat (salary) amount less than $35,568 per year, overtime pay rules will apply effective January 1, 2020.
See page 4 of the Hiring Guide in the Downloads tab below for all the requirements that must be met for an employee to be considered exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws.