Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,
The following are the essential actions and information for this week:
Please note that the NJ governor has reversed current opening plans because the virus is spiking. Our congregations, while having some latitude from for religious services, should recognize that virus cases and deaths are increasing across the country including in GNJ. The church works best when it models for our communities responsible engagement in following the latest order by Governor Murphy.
1. Reopening Guidance with an Uptick in COVID-19 Cases – All Clergy, Trustee Chairpersons
On Monday, Governor Murphy tightened the restrictions on indoor gatherings to 25 people because of the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in New Jersey. Although religious services were exempt, please keep in mind the growing concern about cases this fall as you plan your reopening. Our goal is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and ensure zero transmission through United Methodist activity. Before opening church buildings, all congregations in GNJ are to continue to follow the guidelines established by their governors and create a plan according to GNJ guidelines that can be found below.
2. Hurricane Preparedness – All Clergy, Trustee Chairpersons
With tropical storm Isaias moving through our area today, all are reminded to consult the hurricane preparedness information on our website provided by Church Mutual, A Future With Hope and our Disaster Response team. Should your church property receive damage or flooding as a result of tropical storm Isaias, you can find information for filing a claim here.
3. PPP Funding Final Deadline August 8 – Clergy, Treasurers and Finance Chairpersons
GNJ churches have received more than $6.5 million in CARES Act funding as a part of the Payroll Protection Program. If you have not yet applied, you are urged to apply this week. If you have a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Families First Coronavirus Response Act – All
All private and public employers with fewer than 500 employees qualify for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides support for those impacted by the virus through the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. For information.
5. Shared Ministry Apportionment Holiday – All
July ended the four months of shared ministry holiday for our churches. We have been blessed by a number of congregations that have indicated that they will be paying the full 12 months or some indicated they will give 10 months of shared ministry which is helping all of us through the COVID-19 pandemic. If congregations are able to pay 100% of your shared ministry, your giving will help us to repay the money we will borrow to meet the mission and ministry of GNJ. For information on shared ministry.
Thank you for your ministry and leadership.
Quick links to items in this email:
GNJ Reopening Guidelines
Hurricane Damage Claim Information
CARES Act funding
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Shared Ministry Information