“You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14)
A Letter from the Governing Board – April 1, 2020
Dear People of God,
In these uncertain times, as Moderator and Governing Board, we want to thank you for all the many ways that you are being a light shining out, offering hope and comfort to the communities that you serve. We know that you are continuing your ministries in new ways, to ensure that you stay safe and yet support those who are struggling at this time. Here are just some of the stories that we have heard so far:
- Members of God’s Acre MCC (Ocala, USA) will all receive a palm cross in the post, so that they have them ready for the Palm Sunday online service
- More people are worshipping online using Facebook LIVE with MCC Brisbane (Brisbane, Australia) than previously attended face to face worship, and they are inviting guest preachers from around the world to engage with them
- ICM Rio (Rio de Janeiro) is using messages recorded on WhatsApp to include many different voices in their online worship
- Elävä vesi MCC (Helsinki, Finland) is hosting a weekly tea and social time on Zoom, so people can chat together and be sociable
- Wichita Falls MCC (Wichita Falls, USA) is delivering food parcels to people’s homes, knocking on the door and leaving before the person answers. Over 280 people received a parcel last week.
We know that these are just a small example of the thoughtful, meaningful things that you are doing to make a difference around the world. We appreciate the ways that you are offering worship, however you are able to do it, with the resources available to you. Giving folk time to be together as church and keeping everyone safe, including our ministry leaders and pastors, is so important just now. Let’s utilize the power of online technologies that let us avoid as many risks as possible. Many countries are now allowing a maximum of 2 people to meet outside a household to really limit the risk of infection. We urge every church to refrain from meeting in groups, even to prepare and record worship.
Prayer and time are two of the greatest gifts that we can share with one another. Some of you reading this letter may already be personally experiencing the financial impact of current events and may not be able to give financially to your church at the moment. However, your prayers and willingness to serve will make all the difference to those who are lonely or struggling at this time. Thank you for your faithfulness.
We know that many of you are finding ways of supporting your local congregation financially, whilst it is not possible to gather physically for worship. Some of you have even increased your regular giving, as you are able, which is a real blessing.Thank you for your generosity. If your church does not currently have a system for online/electronic giving, there are links at the end of this email, which may help you to get started.
A good friend of MCC, Tom Melzoni, will be leading a webinar on church giving during this time of crisis. It is open to anyone, but will be particularly useful to pastors and church Boards. If you are not able to participate, it will also be recorded, so that you may watch it at a later date. Monday, April 6th at 4pm EDT (UTC-4). http://mccchurch.adobeconnect.com/mccwebinar/
As well as giving towards their own local ministry, many MCC congregations give a second offering on Easter Sunday to support the ministry of MCC around the world. We, the Governing Board and Moderator, understand that this may be a challenge for churches this year and have no desire to add to the financial pressures that congregations may be facing at the moment. If you are able to give such an offering, that will enable MCC to continue to support and resource our congregations and church leaders during this most extraordinary time. You may prefer to give such an offering later in the year, once face-to-face worship has resumed. We know that God is good and MCCers are generous. We trust pastors and Boards to make a wise decision on this matter.
Thank you again for all the different ways that you are being a shining light of hope and connection at this time. The Governing Board, Moderator, Council of Elders and MCC staff are all here to serve you.
Keeping you all in prayer,
Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Clerk of the Governing Board
Mark Godette, Vice Chair
Chad Hobbs, Treasurer
Rev. Alberto Nájera
Rev. Paul Whiting
Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey
Here’s a link to reviews of 5 of the Best Church Online Giving Platforms, according to Outreach magazine (USA). https://outreach.com/blog/best-church-online-giving-platforms/
Here’s a link to reviews of the top 10 text-to-give Services, from Double the Donation. https://doublethedonation.com/tips/nonprofit-software-and-resources/text-to-give-tools-for-nonprofits/
Many online giving platforms have a text-to-give option for an additional fee so check with your online giving provider first.