As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Christian Reformed Church in North America wants to ensure that we are all able to continue ministering to the world. We are especially concerned with equipping local CRC s so that their ministry can continue.
For many congregations, this has been a challenge, but one that they have been able to manage. They have been able to shift their systems to set up weekly worship through a virtual gathering of our congregation, online giving options, and other means of continuing their essential services. At least one minister has stated it very well, “we have not cancelled church, we have simply found a new way to gather together to be the church of Christ.”
For other churches, the situation is different. Many of our smaller and less fortunate Christian Reformed congregations are struggling in the face of COVID-19. We have heard from a number of leaders who indicate that they have not been able to provide any kind of worship service. They may not have online giving capabilities, or their members are so impacted by COVID19 that they cannot give. Others are struggling with overwhelming needs for pastoral and congregational care to impacted members.
The CRCNA’s Financial Shalom program seeks to alleviate some of the key financial challenges facing CRC pastors by offering support for immediate financial needs as well as long-term training for financial management.
In response to COVID-19, Financial Shalom has launched the COVID-19 Church Engagement Fund to help ensure that all CRC churches – especially smaller, rural, or ethnic minority churches with limited capacity – feel well supported and can continue to minister in their local communities well.
The CRCNA’s COVID-19 Church Engagement Fund is sponsored by Financial Shalom with generous gifts from, Resonate Global Mission, Back to God Ministries International, specific CRC congregations, and individual members.
The intent is to provide grants to Christian Reformed congregations in need to help see them through this difficult time. Acceptable applicants may seek funds for bivocational pastor support, mortgage support, benevolence funds, community engagement, replenishing the food pantry, utility payments, video/media equipment, or anything else that could help a congregation continue to carry out their ministry during this time of pandemic. Grant requests will be considered as they come in, and funds will be distributed according to perceived need.
In addition to the COVID-19 Church Engagement Fund, the ministries of the CRCNA have also curated many resources and tools to assist congregations in their work. Visit crcna.org/covid19 regularly to see the latest posts.