Day 6 - It's a rocky one so far...
With Dolly Parton singing in my ear, “Here you come again,” happy new year! We won’t repeat 2020. You, dear reader, will assure me that 2021 is not going be another “Groundhog Day,” right? OK! We’re off to an awesome start.
And…happy Epiphany! I can really get behind all that gold, frankincense, and myrrh (still not sure what those last two are) and all the gifts being given to the babe. I particularly love how the Wise Ones listened to that still small voice of God and outwitted that evil Herod. Chalk one up for the Wise Ones. May we be as attuned to the Spirit’s calling.
Now it’s back to the reality of the new year.
Here’s something that’s a little Groundhog-ish. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is back. Charlaine Apsel, Executive Director of PRC: Practical Resources for Churches, gave a quick and easy summary:
Organizations that received a loan under the original CARES Act may apply for a second PPP loan. Those organizations must:
- Have fewer than 300 employees
- Have used the full amount of their original PPP loan, and
- Be able to show that their revenues have declined by 25% or more in any of the first 3 calendar quarters of 2020. (After January 1, 2021, applicants may also use the 4th quarter of 2020 to prove their eligibility under this standard.)
Horizons Stewardship has a more comprehensive review of the new PPP loans. You can find that information here.
This is what we know now. Undoubtedly, new details will be released in the next few days and weeks. According to the National Law Review, the Small Business Administration is to release further guidance today (Jan. 6). Keep your eyes open and I will attempt to keep you updated as well.
The PPP loans in 2020 were a life-line to many congregations. They may well be that lifeline again in 2021.
Second Stewardship Campaign:
Last year (Remember last year? I’ve forgotten it already.) there were two posts about doing a second stewardship campaign at the beginning of the new year. Two (or More) Annual Pledge Campiagns? and 2 More Reasons to Consider a Second Pledge Drive in the New Year generated a lot of interest and inspired a webinar (with Julia Frisbie) for Practical Resources for Congregations (you can register to see a recording of it here).
During the webinar, someone (and you know who you are) requested a sample letter for such a campaign. Ask, and ye shall receive! There are not one, but two letters. One is for people who may have forgotten to pledge in the fall. You can find that letter here.
The second letter is also for people who may have forgotten to pledge in the fall and who you think might be 70 and half years old who need to take a minimum distribution on their IRA. You can find that letter here. Both the letters reference Epiphany so the time is ripe to use them.
I’ve been “certified” (and believe me, when my kids were teenagers, they fully believed it). I found out over the holidays that my project on increasing legacy giving was accepted and I now hold an Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising from the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving through the Lily Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University (that, my friends, is a mouthful).
One more thing, I have a new website! My talented son completely revamped my old one and thank goodness he did. Take a look – CesieScheuermann.com
2021 is here. As I write this the US Capitol has been breached and chaos is reigning. It’s terrifying. As we remember those Wise Ones of old on this January 6th, please pray for wisdom in our own country. Pray for peace. On a sad day like this in our history, remember these words from Matthew 5:14-16:
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven (The Message).
Be the light.