Update from Rev. Cayer: April 9, 2020

It’s felt to me as though we’ve been living the mythic story of Passover, when the ancient Israelites saw their chance in the midst of horror, grabbed everything they could carry, and left Egypt so fast their bread didn’t have a chance to rise. Now we know how that could happen. We left public life so quickly we only had time to grab what we thought we’d need in order to work and study at home for a short while. It’s looking much longer now. How long? To be determined.

ERUUF’s Finances
In a special meeting on April 2, the ERUUF Board met in emergency session to learn about an emergency federally backed loan program from the Small Business Administration (SBA 7a) that allows all small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits, including religious institutions, to borrow money to keep all their employees on payroll for two months. If these conditions are met the loan becomes a federal grant. The Board voted to apply for a loan because this is a national effort to keep all sectors of the economy afloat. The program essentially will enable everyone to “press pause” for a couple of months, and then get back to speed more quickly than if we sink into worldwide financial depression. (Large American corporations also are receiving assistance.) ERUUF’s application is being processed and we’ll share results as soon as we know what they are.

As we expected, ERUUF’s income was down for the month of March. Our renters all left in a hurry just like we did, so that part of our income has dried up for now. In the middle of great uncertainty, before the CARES act and other legislation was passed, many of our members also paused their discretionary giving and waited to see what would happen with the economy. As we all sort ourselves out, we’ll see what that means for the fellowship’s income in April. We’ll be able to report actual numbers later this month. But at this time, if you are fortunate and your job and income are secure and steady, it would help ERUUF tremendously if you would keep to your regular giving schedule, even perhaps accelerate or increase it through the end of June (the end of our fiscal year).

It’s normal and even wise in the midst of such upheaval to press pause if we’re uncertain about what the near future holds. I want to remind you that if you find yourself unexpectedly facing a gap in your income, ERUUF has a Ministers Discretionary Fund. Our members have given when times are good so that if any of us ever are in need ERUUF can be a source of financial support. Support is here, waiting to do some good if and when it’s needed. This is part of what we do as a beloved community. Contact any of the ministers to learn more.

There will be ONE SUNDAY SERVICE At 10:30 am on EASTER Sunday. (Recording will be available later, but not all the music can be included.) In the spirit of Stay at Home Orders, we’re shifting from live streaming Sunday worship from the Sanctuary to producing worship out of our own homes. We’re using a combination of Zoom and YouTube live streaming to do this. This is how we’ve been gathering for Wednesday Vespers at 7:00 pm as well.

I’ll see you online and look forward to the time when we’re all able to be back on campus together again.