URGENT MESSAGE ABOUT LCI’S FINANCES
March 25, 2020
Friends in Christ,
The LCI Council hopes this letter finds you and your loved ones in good spirits as we navigate this challenging moment together. Although we are currently unable to meet in person, we remain connected through our support of one another and in our mission to Share Christ’s Light Daily. You can view Sunday worship and Pastor Dan’s daily devotion on LCI’s YouTube page by following the link on the LCI homepage https://www.lcidavis.org/.
We are writing to provide an update on the financial challenges LCI currently faces, which were mentioned in the Stewardship Follow-up Letter you recently received. The Council held an emergency session on March 17th and determined that it is imperative we share these important financial details now and begin working together on a solution immediately to ensure both the short and long-term health of our congregation.
LCI’s 2019 budget was $375,888 and its 2020 budget is $361,358, for an average of ~$30,000/month. Congregational giving typically peaks during the Easter and Christmas holidays and is lower during the rest of the year, especially summer. In 2019, LCI received $325,972 in monetary support—beginning 2020 at a deficit.
Additionally, even before the full impact of the Covid-19 virus was felt, annual pledges for 2020 dropped to $177,192 (37 commitments to date) versus $257,052 (61 commitments) for 2019. This is reflected in a 32% decrease in January/February giving compared to the same period in 2019. Unfortunately, the current giving projection based on January-March is insufficient to maintain LCI’s daily operations, even in the coming months; requiring significant budgetary cuts, including staff (who have been apprised of the situation). We are trying to limit further impact on our general reserves as we consider expense reductions, and want to affirm that we will only use the Columbarium, Endowment and Sanctuary Renovation funds as designated. In addition, we are applying to Thrivent for short-term mortgage payment relief which can help relieve some stress, but it alone will be insufficient.
This is where ALL OF US, the congregation, can be part of the solution. The foundation of this church, and what truly makes it a living embodiment of God’s Word, is the people. Through generous giving, we all make it possible to maintain our facility (mortgage, insurance, and utilities), employ dedicated staff, and provide music, youth and adult ministries, plus much more. To continue to Share Christ’s Light daily, LCI needs our help. Simple ways to help:
· Use online giving with Credit or Debit Card or PayPal at https://www.lcidavis.org/give.
· Mail checks directly to LCI, 1701 Russell Blvd, Davis CA 95616
· Set up recurring payments between LCI and your bank
· Need help setting up your online giving: Jeff de Ropp, Congregation Vice President at firstname.lastname@example.org
· Increase monthly giving: Damian Genetos at email@example.com, please include the dollar amount.
The Council is scheduled to meet again on March 31st. At that time, we will continue discussions and take necessary action to remedy LCI’s current gap between income and expenses to ensure the health of the church. We hope to hear from you before then.
Thank you for your continued support.
Peace be with you,
LCI Congregation Council
For additional questions, feel free to contact Carol Huegli at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-304-5942 or Jeff de Ropp at email@example.com or 530-761-3284. We are also exploring how we can use Zoom to hold a Congregation forum.
A Word from Pastor Dan
God’s people have always faced challenges. The New Testament documents all kinds of persecutions and difficulties that those in the early church had to endure. However, for the church in every age, they knew that their prize lay elsewhere than in the suffering of the present moment. Whether it was persecution or imprisonment or even death, their security always lay in the promise of God to them in baptism. Because Christ has died and rose again, there was nothing to fear.
Our congregation is facing a serious challenge, along with the wider church. Our financial picture is less than ideal. No one knows what the future will hold, but God is always full of surprises. Finances in the life of the church ultimately are about our faith – our capacity to trust in God for our wellbeing, and to let go of the small stuff. We must be honest and responsible in our stewardship, and at the same time trust in God’s providence – that no matter what, the Lord will provide. We are entrusted with a mission and we will weather this storm, as God’s people always have, even if there is short-term pain that we have to bear together.
A wise teacher once told me that congregational conflict can be the “chaos of the Spirit doing something new”. Let us hope and pray the Spirit is at work in our midst, bringing about something new. I pledge to walk with you through this as your pastor, as best I can. Let’s keep each other in prayer.
Yours in Christ,
Davis Lutheran Church of the Incarnation
March 19, 2020 Update
Sunday Services: Sunday services are available online. Pastor Dan, Jeff Schultz, and Lindsey Burns will be recording services with video help from Abajh Singh. They will have it available for you to view by 8:30 am each Sunday on the LCI Web Page.
Daily Devotions: Pastor Dan is recording a daily devotion. You may view this also on the LCI Web Page.
Pastoral Care: Pastor Dan is available. Please call him at 530-219-3735 (cell).
Office: The LCI Office is closed until further notice. Please use the office e-mail for communication at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pastor Dan email@example.com, Lindsey Burns firstname.lastname@example.org, and Jeff Schultz email@example.com are also checking their e-mails.
Please note that phone messages to the LCI office are not being reviewed. The safety of our staff and congregation is our primary concern as we take appropriate precautions as recommended by Yolo County Health & Human Services and the California Department of Public Health. LCI staff is reviewing their e-mail regularly while working limited hours off-site.
Activities: all LCI on-site activities cancelled until further notice
Giving: Please keep giving. Our church is your church and sustained through our giving. You may mail checks to LCI (1701 Russell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616) or give electronically through a PayPal account or using a Debit or Credit Card at Give to LCI
LCI WORSHIP AND ACTIVITIES CANCELLED
March 14, 2020 Update
Dear LCI Members & Friends,
Due to the coronavirus pandemic worship and church activities are cancelled through March. As shared in the Wednesday Update, we are taking steps to ensure safe church services in light of the coronavirus outbreak. We plan to provide an email solely for this purpose on a weekly basis until we feel it’s appropriate to incorporate into the Wednesday Updates.
Thank you for those who met with us between services on Sunday, March 8, 2020. Our original plan was to summarize that discussion, but given the more urgent directives from public health experts, we are now focusing on how worship will continue.
Keeping that in mind, we all are responsible to keep our church healthy and disciplined during this time. You have provided immense support to Pastor Dan, Jeff de Ropp and me to provide leadership for LCI. Given this responsibility and following the decisions of other Davis community churches, we are canceling the Sunday 8:30 and 10:30 services through March.
We understand that this is a larger step than discussed on March 8, but it is one based upon prayer and current information; specifically, that in the past week cases of infection continue to rise rapidly, WHO has declared a pandemic, the Governor has declared a state of emergency, and locally all schools were closed as of Friday afternoon. In addition, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance that included the following: "Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines."
Other Davis churches closing tomorrow include Davis Lutheran Church, University Covenant, First Baptist, Discovery Church, Bayside Davis, Davis Chinese Christian Church, Davis United Methodist, St. Martin’s, Davis Community, and Christ Church.
What will be available?
Recorded Worship Services: A recorded service will be available after noon Sunday on the LCI YouTube Channel found here.
Pastoral Care: Yes, Pastor Dan is available by phone, Face Time, e-mail, or in person by appointment.
In closing, canceling an “open” service was a very difficult decision. It is complicated by the critical need for weekly offerings to ensure bills are paid. Even though we will not see each other, this is your church. Please continue your offering in some way:
LCI online giving: Click here
Giving by Mail: LCI, 1701 Russell Blvd. Davis, CA 95616
(We do not currently have a way to drop envelopes when church is closed).
As a reminder, check regularly for up-to-date information at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov, stay home if you have a virus or the flu; and lastly, pray for those responsible for leading our country and the world, those responding to the needy, and those suffering from anxiety and loneliness during this time.
Pastor Dan, Carol Huegli & Jeff de Ropp