|Cedar Hills Community Church family,
We hope this finds you safe and healthy. And for anyone who is sick or in need, we send our prayers and ask that you let us know so we can provide spiritual, physical, and community support. As a part of the leadership team, and as members of our congregation, caring for each other is our highest priority.
A bit of context and history…
The last couple of weeks have been challenging, confusing, and possibly even a little frightening. Certainly, this COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most unusual world events most of us have witnessed in our lifetimes. If the doctors and scientists are correct, then we have not seen the likes of it since the flu pandemic of 1918, and a quick Google search reveals that there may be a total of three Iowans alive today who would have been old enough to remember 1918. It was just a few decades prior to 1918 that God granted us the gift of modern medicine, and the knowledge that disease is caused by bacteria and viruses. Since then, He has continued to bless us with lifesaving knowledge and technology that will help us through the situation we are in today.
Why the history lesson? Well, because of that horrific pandemic in 1918, we now know what we should do to avoid the same experience our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents faced back then. We know from over a century of modern medical experience and study that public health measures are the key to beating back epidemic and pandemic disease. It started with clean water to eliminate cholera in the late 1800s and progressed to social distancing in 1918 to push back influenza. Social distancing is difficult because of the social and economic side effects. We’re social beings that are now being asked to self-isolate and we live in a consumer economy that is slowly being closed.
Our current response…
The church leadership is responding to the pandemic in a number of ways. As this letter is being written, one of our members who has fallen ill with COVID-19 has a prayer team outside the family’s home (staying safely distanced in their vehicles) to provide spiritual support. A team is working to find ways for members to share any needs they have with leaders and fellow members so that you can be connected to church or community resources that can help. We have many tech-savvy members in the church that would be happy to help you connect to your loved ones using one of the many technology tools available. The food pantry is open and still providing to any family in need, adjusting to the situation by providing drive-through service.
Additionally, one of the Deacon’s key responsibilities is financial stewardship of Cedar Hills Community Church. We are optimistic that our members will continue to give gifts and offerings to ensure that impact to the church and our mission is minimized so that we can continue to serve our members, our community, and our missionaries.
At this time we have committed to:
- ensuring that our staff will continue to receive their salary and benefits
- continuing to pay our bills as received
- extending regular payments to missionaries
In other words, the lights will stay on and we, Cedar Hills Community Church, will be there to help those in need!
Though we believe the objective above can be met, we also felt it was important to bolster our financial footing by reviewing expenses. For now, our response is very measured. Essentially, we want to “Stop and Listen.” Stop and listen to what God is telling us, stop and listen to see what direction He is taking us, and stop and listen for the needs of our community.
At this time we are temporarily:
- stopping additional principal payments on our mortgage
- closely monitoring/adjusting energy usage
- stopping in-church program spending since public services are halted
- pausing large Grow the Good expenditures
The goal is to ensure we have enough cash available to pay salaries, bills, and missionaries, and to serve our members and community as long as possible through a difficult time. It is due to this commitment, we encourage those who are able to continue giving to our church regularly via check or our online giving app. We are grateful for what you can still give to maintain our ministries right now.
The most important message we want you to take away today is that you ALL are in our thoughts and prayers and as a leadership team we are doing the best we can right now to maintain our outreach. We serve a great and loving God who has this situation under control and who is walking with each of us every step of the way.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the any of the Church staff or consistory.
Alan Brockette, Bruce Boldt, Melissa Dahm, John Davidson, Allison Johnson, Nancy Josifek, Andrew Moen, and Josh Oberembt
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11