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Thriving as a Church During the Pandemic: Four Takeaways from the Town Hall

By Father Bill Danaher, Rector

 

Thanks be to our God, despite the pandemic, we are thriving as a congregation:

We are continuing to meet together for worship, study, and prayer.

We are attracting new members and growing.

We are serving others in new and powerful ways. 

We are financially sound and fiscally responsible.

We are fearlessly, faithfully preparing for Advent and Christmas.

 

Last weekend, we held a town hall meeting, which you can view online. Here, I will trace some important takeaways:

Online and In-Person Worship – UPDATED as of 9/30/20

  • Since the Town Hall this past weekend, the Bishop has issued a NEW advisory, effective October 10, allowing us to move back indoors for worship with appropriate safety precautions. In short, we will continue to offer outdoor, in-person worship at 5 pm Saturday and 11 am Sunday, that will only move indoors due to rain or other inclement weather.  If you need to know when outdoor services are moved indoors, check the front page of the website for up to date status of our outdoor/indoor options.  
  • The 9 AM Sunday Online service will remain as our primary worship service. Many of you continue to join us and find our online services compelling and transformative.

 

We are making Steady Progress on our Campus Renewal Project

The following milestones are being reached:

  • Our Capital Campaign pledges are being fulfilled ahead of schedule. 
  • We are pleased to share that the City Planning Commission has approved our site plan.
  • Our architectural plans are being finalized for bidding, which will happen in early November. 
  • Bridge financing is being finalized with two strong proposals from reputable banks. 
  • We have also been blessed to secure our transitional space at Temple Beth El. They have been our partner for many years, and we are excited to see our relationship deepen in new ways during this time.  

 

We are Generous, Fiscally Stable, and Growing

In response to the pandemic, your generosity has helped us to provide more than $200,000 to address those directly affected by COVID-19 (christchurchcranbrook.org/covid19fund). We have also devoted an additional $200,000 to projects in Pontiac and Detroit that seek to address long-standing issues in economic inequity. This generosity is a hallmark of the work we have done as a church since our founding. 

  • During the Pandemic I have been working tirelessly with our Wardens and Gina Morgan, our Director of Finance and Administration, and we have been reviewing our operating budget and expenses weekly
  • We have also continuously monitored our contributions and pledge trends, and noticed fewer pledges due to a truncated annual appeal, and focusing financial efforts around our COVID-19 Response Fund as we continue lifting up the church’s mission. 
  • In the midst of this pandemic, we have received 41 new or renewed pledges so far, which shows that our community is continuing to grow! 
  •  As you can see in the accompanying graphs, we are at $855,037 in pledge payments received, which isn’t too far away from where we were last year at this time ($867,421). 

Thank you to everyone for your generosity!  If you would like to make or renew your pledge to Christ Church Cranbrook for 2021, you can do so online here.  If you would like to make a gift or pledge payment, you can do so here.

Finally, we have successfully acquired a Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) Loan to not only help provide economic stability for our employees, but to help the church overall meet any shortfalls that may arise in pledges and revenue.

 

For Advent and Christmas, we have several fun activities in the works – stay tuned for a memorable Advent and Christmas season at CCC!

 

Again, for all this good news in challenging times, I give thanks to God. I am also grateful to all of you who have continued to gather, connect and serve so that we might be the Christian community that God has called us to be. Finally, I am grateful to my fellow clergy and staff, who have all worked incredibly hard during this time to keep this church not only running, but moving forward.