2020 Mid-Year Report

Jesus is with us.  Jesus is in charge.

This is the two-fold message we find in the Gospel of Matthew (28:19-21):

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Over the past three months, the power and presence of Christ have been with us as we shifted our pastoral care, ministry, and programming online and over the phone.

Jesus led us through Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost.

In the face of death, we proclaimed, “Christ is Risen!”

In the face of despair, we replied, “Jesus has ascended and is praying for us!”

In the face of compounding reminders of racism and inequity, we responded, “The Spirit of God leads us into all truth!”

And now, as we turn to the summer, we are proud to send you this mid-year update on the incredible work we are doing together. Thanks to our talented and hard-working clergy, staff, and lay leaders, and to your steadfast financial support, the current pandemic and season of protest has been a time in which we are deepening our faith and growing spiritually as we continue to be a church that gathers, embraces, and serves faithfully in a fluid and changing context.

I. Serving and Making a Difference in our Community

One of the most powerful signs of resurrection we have seen is your steadfast generosity at a time of pandemic. Serving and loving our neighbors is the surest indicator that we have not lost our moral compass during this time.  Your giving has helped us respond quickly to meet the critical needs in our community in the ever-changing landscape of this public health crisis. Not only have we helped agencies with their volunteer needs while keeping social distancing protocols, we created the COVID-19 Response Fund with four objectives: (1) to care for front-line workers; (2) to combat food insecurity; (3) to help the homeless shelter-in-place; and (4) to assist those experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic.  So far we have devoted over

$180,000 and hundreds of volunteer hours to help with relief efforts, including:

  • Organized ‘snack bags’ for health care workers and provided an Easter meal to over 2,700 doctors and nurses. We have also assisted with PPE equipment for non-profit workers.  Amount: $20,000
  • Sponsored a mobile pop-up pantry in Pontiac helping to feed over 500 families.  Amount: $15,000
  • Provided a leadership gift to the Episcopal Bishop’s Relief Fund that will help local food banks.  Amount: $25,000
  • Supported our six Community Partners in Pontiac who have had to shift their workflow and incurred costs with the loss of volunteers.  Amount: $30,000
  • Funded emergency shelter for over two hundred twelve homeless people for a week in Pontiac and Detroit. Amount: $30,000
  • And we rolled up our sleeves making masks and hygiene kits, planting gardens, distributing food boxes, writing cards of encouragement and offering ceaseless prayers for those in need and for those working to help them.

Click Here to find more ways to serve from home or in the community.

II. Gathering to Worship, Learn and Pray Together

Thanks to your faithful financial support, we were able to upgrade our church’s sound system, internet, and live-stream capabilities over the past few years. This early investment in new technologies to stay connected digitally through our “Church at Home” initiative has resulted in all kinds of signs of new and renewed life together:

  • Over the Easter Weekend, more than 1,300 people watched our Live Worship Broadcasts – including people from 34 states and 5 countries as far off as South Africa and Italy, where American families in quarantine watch our services and send their prayers;
  • Our Morning Prayer, Bible Studies, and other prayer and learning groups have exploded in growth and participation with the shift to online – averaging more than 300 attendees each week!
  • Our Wednesday Night Webinars with prominent guests that have gained a national audience and more than 1,000 attendees;
  • Our Children and Youth gather more than 12 times each week for storytime, confirmation classes, parent support meetings, and more;  Parents tell us our Zoom calls are “the highlight of my kids day!”
  • We created a new Facebook Group with more than 250 members so we can share what’s going on in our lives and support one another. Click to join our Facebook Group here.
  • Our Music Program has re-invented itself in “virtual” ways – creating entire music ensembles, gathering for prayer and fellowship, providing music for worship, and expanding our reach with a new webinar series, When in Our Music.

And we continue to add ways to connect both virtually and now in-person such as coffee hours, movie nights, porch gatherings, walking groups, and more! Click here to view and bookmark our program schedule, updated weekly.

III. Embracing those with – and without – technology

Your clergy and trained parishioners have also embarked on a massive, parish-wide phone canvas, making literally thousands of calls in an effort to reach every parishioner, regardless of their technical skills or abilities to access our digital programing to offer prayer, pastoral support, or just a friendly ear to listen.  Through these calls, we’ve learned that:

  • Some of us are doing quite well and are finding ourselves unexpectedly busy, while others are quite lonely and feeling disconnected;
  • Some of us are energetic and hopeful, while others are anxious about the future;
  • Some of us are enjoying the solitude, while others struggle with a house full of restless kids;
  • Many of us have gained a renewed sense of gratitude for what we once took for granted, while others have become creative with ways to show God’s love to our neighbors;
  • And all of us look forward to the chance to gather once more, to celebrate and worship the God who fills us with a love that binds us together.
IV. Caring for our church and our staff

We have been meeting weekly with our wardens and Gina Morgan, our Director of Finance & Administration, to monitor our revenues and minimize our expenses. Because we have been good financial stewards over the past five years, we came into this crisis well-positioned to ride through these difficult times without losing the precious investments we have made in the relationships that our clergy and staff have built. In addition, planning for our campus renovation project, From Our Founding to Our Future, continues to move forward with the pre-construction planning so that we can continue this vital project when things return to normal. Click here to read the latest update on our blog.

How to support our work

Your faithful financial support is helping our own staff and clergy do the work God has called us to do.  Because we cannot worship physically together, we have missed out on our in-worship weekly offerings. Therefore your pledges and regular contributions are more important than ever.

  • You can continue to make your pledge payments or one-time gifts by mail to the church address: 470 Church Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
  • Make a gift or set up a weekly or monthly reoccurring gift or pledge payment here: christchurchcranbrook.org/give 

Questions? Email Gina Morgan, Director of Finance.

Thank you!

All of what we have been able to achieve depends on your ongoing, week-in, and week-out support.  Thanks to you, we have been able to be the beacon and healing light that God shines on this world through his Risen Son, Jesus. Please help us keep that light shining. We truly are in this together and we have no doubt that when we all do our part, Christ Church Cranbrook and its people will emerge from this crisis, with a deeper faith and deeper love for one another than ever before!