These are unprecedented and trying times for our world, our country, our community, and for Northview Community Church. The COVID-19 pandemic is being felt by our church in how we worship together and how discipleship happens. In all of this our goal as pastors and elders has been to follow the timeless truth found in Proverbs 3. We choose to trust in the Lord, leaning not on our own understanding and acknowledging that He is sovereign.
We’ve changed how ministry happens significantly in light of this. Our services are going online only, and our ministries are going digital as well with resources, times of prayer, and daily devotionals/blogs being provided. Many of our community groups are meeting on Zoom calls now, some even increasing the amount of times they’re meeting in light of the need for community during a season of physical distancing.
We are also helping smaller churches by resourcing them with video content and online ministry ideas so they can continue to carry out effective discipleship in their own congregations.
Unfortunately, we are also feeling the effects of COVID-19 on the financial end. From looking at the giving from the past three weekends, we have experienced roughly a 40% drop. After much prayer and consultation we have taken four significant steps:
Leadership has chosen to reduce their own salaries.
We are eliminating all non-essential expenses.
We have made the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily lay off a number of staff. Thankfully there are several government programs in place to help people who have been laid off due to COVID 19 and the church is doing what we can to supplement these programs so that our staff feel as little financial impact as possible.
We have temporarily suspended the building plans that were recently approved.
These four steps allow us to operate a balanced budget in what we project will be a season of ongoing budget challenges. As giving improves and life returns to a new normal, our desire is to bring back as many people as possible, but only the Lord knows the future and what the coming months and years will look like. We trust Him with our staff and with our church as a whole. We ask for your continued prayers for those impacted who are facing an uncertain future.
Many of you are likely wondering what this current reality does to the building plans. On March 10th at a Special General Meeting, the congregation overwhelmingly approved a plan to build a new worship centre. Our world changed dramatically in the days following and we have made the obvious decision to delay this fundraising and building project. Our Development Committee is continuing to work on our building permit with the City of Abbotsford but the project will be deferred for the time being, until we have a better sense of our future. As this pandemic progresses, we will reassess and bring more information.
We ask for your prayers for all of us at Northview in this trying season. If you have questions you can reach out to Jeff Gamache, our Personnel Committee chair at [email protected] or Darryl Kropp, the Council of Elders moderator, at [email protected].