Critical Financial Resources for “Such A Time as This”
This email announces important sources of financial support for congregations which are severely impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first, in particular, is unprecedented and may be a vital resource for congregations’ ongoing wellbeing as we seek to be faithful to our call to be a people of Gospel hope in this world. We strongly encourage you to consider these possibilities for supporting the ministries you serve.
Two New Presbytery Financial Support Programs
These new Presbytery programs can be used to provide support (serving as a ‘financial’ bridge) to a church’s Operating Costs during this period of prolonged ‘shelter-at-home’ directives and uncertainty. These two programs include:
- Emergency grants to churches: The Presbytery has set aside $500,000 to provide one-time grants (up-to $10,000) to allow our worshiping communities the ability to maintain their faithful witness during the disruption caused by our inability to worship face-to-face.
- Emergency loans at low interest rates (current rate 0.84%)
Churches can apply to the Presbytery by the following:
Federal Assistance: C.A.R.E.S. Act
The US Congress just approved a $2 trillion stimulus bill, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“the CARES Act” ), available to churches and not-for-profits to maintain payroll of employees and related taxes and to pay rent, mortgages, and utility costs. These funds are available through (forgivable) loans In addition, if your church rents space to a for-profit small business, such as a nursery school, that business may be able to receive (forgivable) loans from the Small Business Association.
Please note: This is brand new legislation. Jean Hemphill, a member of the Church Alliance and an advisor to the Board of Pensions, was asked by the Executives of the six agencies of the General Assembly and the President of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation to provide a resource to congregations and mid councils on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Click below for a resource from the Church Alliance which summarizes the CARES Act and how financial resources authorized under the Act might be accessed.
Act now to participate. If you need assistance, contact Chandler Stokes, Transitional Business Administrator: [email protected]
Ongoing Presbytery Ministry Grants and Capital Funding Opportunities:
- Great Ends Grants -These grant dollars of the Presbytery of Philadelphia provide ministry funds to empower congregations, worshiping communities, and affiliated ministries in the areas of care and compassion, peacemaking and advocacy, youth leadership, and ministry and leadership development. These grants have funding programs to respond to local hunger and homelessness, leveraging of digital media platforms and storytelling, ministry equipping events and trainings, etc. Information and applications are available here. Applications are rolling and should be submitted by the last Tuesday of each month.
- Covenant Fund Grants – These funds support new and the expansion of already-existing ministries that demonstrate creative approaches to embody the gospel in light of the changing church and world. These initiatives imagine and risk doing ministry in a relevant way and encourage collaboration and partnership. Information and applications are available here. Deadline to submit an application is June 5.
The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church – The Board continues to work with congregations and presbyteries as we walk through this season. Please contact Martha H. Reisner, our regional Church Consultant at 215-587-7049 or [email protected]
The Presbyterian Foundation – The Foundation continues to offer support regarding stewardship and ways of giving, including online giving as a way of continuing church contributions. Please contact Ellie Johns-Kelley, our Ministry Relations Officer at 412-694-3226, 855-251-8212 toll free, or [email protected]
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is offering the opportunity to apply for emergency short term grants. Emergency relief grants up to $7,500 can be granted to presbyteries and presbyteries will be responsible for disseminating funds to the congregation(s) affected. The filing deadline for applications is April 30, 2020. More information here. In addition, Click here to download a document on the PDA’s role in supporting the church during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Application and guideline links: Guidance for COVID-19 Grants, Short/Long Term COVID-19 Grant Request Form
Other Grant Opportunities: We have a rolling document that includes possibilities for financial support through the Synod of the Trinity, Self-Development of People, Presbyterian Women, local churches, and more. Click here for more information.
Churches should contact the Presbytery for more information or questions.