There is unusually good news for April 15th! Your federal income taxes aren’t due until July 15th so that is happy news for those who put off doing their taxes. Also, many of us will receive a stimulus check in our bank account this week. The C-virus while very serious, even deadly, and still requiring appropriate distancing, hand washing, and masks seems to be mitigating – – we are flattening the curve” in most of the US.
A grade school friend of mine, Neal Ardman, was kind enough to place our Easter Worship Service on national TV, reaching a potential of up to 48 million people. While we doubt all of them tuned in, we know that many did and the guesstimate is that at least a half a million people saw or heard our Easter Service. And it did not cost us one penny to air it on TV. My friend, who is Jewish, provided that coverage to us as a gift! Yeah God! Bless Neal.
I feel led to add that Neal’s oldest son, Austin was killed by a texting driver, so in Austin’s honor could we please stop texting when we drive? Please join me in seeing his face every time you are tempted to reach for your phone while driving. To hear Austin’s story, click here.
Other great news is that you, our church members have been exceptionally faithful and generous in your giving. Currently our income is providing enough funds to pay our staff and missionaries and to do good ministry. Thank you!
I am not sure if you are aware that the vestry and I decided to take $100,000 of the “Rainy Day Fund” church reserves to help those most affected by a loss of income during this time of shutdown.
Our church just wired $20,0000 to Archbishop Mbanda to disburse to the hungriest in Gasabo, Cyangugu and Kigali. He has negotiated a great buy on beans, rice, maize flour and oil.
Locally, we are making up to $80,000 available to church members who have experienced a dramatic decrease in their total income. The form is online here or folks can apply by emailing our missions Coordinator Shannon Nunnally at Shannon@chsroanoke.com.
Obviously, our highest priority is the most vulnerable in our church, but we will also consider helping family and friends of CHS members provided their need is exceptional and they apply through a CHS member.
In addition, our vestry would like to make themselves available to pray with the economically disadvantaged at their meeting on April 21st. If you contact Kim Worrell at email@example.com by Friday afternoon, she will send you the information needed to participate in that zoom call.
As an extrovert, I do not like this time of sheltering, but I have to admit that I see God at work. People are reaching out to one another and caring. People are reconsidering their priorities and are seeking the Lord. People are rediscovering how important spiritual community is. Finally, we are learning not only about generosity but also about why the Lord tells us not to hoard but to save. In Scripture, the Lord contrasts the greedy fool in Luke 12:16-21 (who was not rich towards God but hoarded into bigger barns) with the “ant” in Proverbs 6:6-8 (who wisely laid up adequate provisions for the winter!)
May the Lord encourage each of you,