A special note from Jim Treece, Stewardship Chair, regarding our Holy Week offerings and maintaining a spirit of generosity in a time of quarantine.
We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. — II Corinthians 8:1-2
Despite what you may have heard, Christ Church Detroit is open. Our buildings are closed, but the work of the church goes on. We continue to worship, pray, sing, and minister to the needs of each other and our neighbors. In these difficult times, Christ Church Detroit is taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to being a Beacon of Hope.
We do this because of who we are, and whose we are. Too often, we absorb a mindset of scarcity from the world’s culture. But in our faith, we’re called to be counter-cultural, to have a mindset of abundance and generosity because we have been given grace in abundance.
First, the Vestry has decided to pay all members of our staff their full monthly wages for at least the next 90 days, even if the “stay at home” rules prevent them from carrying out their usual duties. Our core staff is working regular hours, and sometimes more, from home: Sarah is managing our financial life, Beth Ann is creating our communications (which have expanded dramatically in the past weeks!), Calebria is hosting a number of new forums for education and community, KaClarence is tending the grounds beautifully so that the building doesn’t look abandoned, and Ed, Katrina, and Emily are creating worship services online. In the case of those paid on a more limited hourly basis – such as our nursery staff – we will pay them a monthly amount equal to the average of what they received over the prior three months.
Some of those staff people may have lost other sources of income. Our valued paid choir members, for example, have had singing engagements cancelled. This decision, we hope, will give them some measure of certainty in their finances. For some, this will be just a nice gesture. For others, it may be the difference that allows them to pay the rent. We hope that all of them understand just how much we appreciate the work that they do to support our church.
Second, our Holy Week offerings this year will go towards feeding the hungry in Detroit. The Outreach Committee is figuring out how best to do this, but there’s no doubt the need is great.
Traditionally, our Good Friday offering has gone to the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem. But without meeting in church, it’s hard to know which offering or pledge check is tied to the Good Friday service. If you wish your offering to go to Jerusalem, please indicate that on your check and we will direct the funds in accordance with your wishes. Otherwise, all gifts will go to the hungry here.
Easter is traditionally a time when our church receives gifts towards flowers and special music, in addition to regular pledge giving and loose offering from a packed Easter-morning service. We won’t be gathering in one spot this year, so we don’t need flowers. But the hungry, whose ranks have swelled as unemployment has surged, need our support. Please give generously.
Both of these actions are based on a trust that you and other parishioners will continue to support the work of the church. Here’s some guidance about how you can give to the church – even when the offering plate isn’t being passed down the pews.
You can mail in a check. The post office still works, and our mail is being forwarded to our staff at home. Send it to:
Christ Church Detroit
960 E. Jefferson
Detroit, MI 48207
You can go to the church’s website – www.christcd.org – and give there, using PayPal. Go to the “Give” tab, and then click on “online giving.” (We’re exploring some other online-giving options, but those are works in progress.)
You can arrange with your bank to send money to the church.
- Your bank can send a check to the church on your behalf. Contact the bank and ask them to do this.
- If you have an online account with your bank, you can log in, and arrange to have funds transferred to the church electronically. This can either be a one-shot transfer, or a recurring arrangement, much as you might set up a regular, monthly payment of your cable bill. Please contact Office Manager Sarah Tribelhorn at firstname.lastname@example.org for information as to the church’s account, and leave a phone number where she can reach you.
- Using what’s known as ACH or a bank draft, you can give the church permission, by providing your routing and bank account number, to take a certain amount that you choose out of your account. ACH sign-up cards are very simple and easy, and ask for no more information than is printed on a normal paper check. Your bank can help you fill it out. Again, you can do this each time you want to give, or set things up so that it happens regularly, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Finally, I ask you to continue to give to each other as well. Call someone you typically sit near in church. Ask how they’re doing, and if there’s anyone special they’d like you to pray for. Swap tales of what flowers, birds, and other signs of spring you’re seeing. Be honest. Be caring. Be generous with your time. Be Christ in the world for them.
Peace be with you,