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Beloved CHS family,

If you will read this Enews, I promise not to mention the “C-virus” word, (you know the word you have heard 10,000 times and that generates either fear or frustration?!)

A few quick things to share:

  1. Ministering Creatively: Church of the Holy Spirit is alive and well.  We are working hard to minister to our members and regular attendees in creative ways. Our staff are actively calling and reaching out to our people and to Life group, CR and Alpha leaders.

  2. Worship Online: We are having Sunday worship at 8:57am and Sunday through Thursday night Fireside Chat/Devotions online at 7:57PM on the Church of the Holy Spirit Facebook Live.  You can see those by going here. Amazingly, we have had over 12,000 total views from around the city, US and world and many of those views represent groups or families, so our reach has been huge, exceeding 20,000. Way to adapt team! Thank you, Lord, for using these to minister to so many.

  3. We Care: We are aware that many of our members are experiencing confusion, anxiety and some are experiencing loss of a job or beginning to at least see a decrease in income. Our staff cares and is praying for you. Seriously praying for you. I hope and trust you are feeling our prayers?

  4. Red Ink: Our church income was down over 50% the last two weeks which is surprising because most our folks had not experienced any decreased pay in early March.

  5. Proactive: Our staff spent hours today going over every line item of our budget and pending vestry approval, we are significantly tightening our belts and volunteering to take pay cuts.  Pay cuts will be equal across the board (no favoritism) and if we recover and our income goes up, then staffers could get paid back the income they lost.  Missions will have the same percentage pay cut as our staff. Likely 10%. The Rector is offering to postpone his retirement payment to help.

  6. Sensible Reductions:  Under our administrator’s wise guidance and with consultation with staff, we are proposing decreasing program and administrative costs anywhere from 25% to 77% depending on the line item. Thankfully, we have a “Rainy Day Fund” that will help ease our burden at least for a few months.

  7. God is Our Provider: The good news is that God alone is our provider.  He really is and He is using this present economic challenge to remind us of this truth.  We definitely do NOT want to let fear drive us from open handed generosity toward fear and a clinched fist.

  8. According to your means: What I tell people is to follow scriptural principles and do what Annette and I are doing. Give at least 10% of whatever the Lord puts in your hand. Be faithful and generous with everything you have, since all we have comes from His hand. You are not responsible to tithe or give generously on the resources you DON’T have. Our missionaries and staff definitely need our people to give according to our means.

  9. Call Us: If you have a spiritual need, please, please let us know. We are here to serve you and one another.  Here is my cell number in case you need pastoral help or a prayer.  540-529-2282.   Also feel free to call the pastor or staff person you are closest to or minister alongside.

  10. Serve:   I learned from a very wise neurosurgeon that the best thing we can do when we are in pain or anxious is to serve others.  I would broaden that and say the best thing we can do is spend time with the Lord praying and reading God’s Word and serving each other.

Every Grace,