Dear GNJ Leaders and our congregations,
This month we celebrate women—from the trailblazers who paved the way for others, to the women who follow their lead today. The following are essential actions and information for this week. We encourage you to read this information carefully as it impacts your congregations and your communities.
1. GNJ Staff Renewal Time – All Clergy and Laity
GNJ staff has stayed committed to the mission and worked hard through pandemic, loss, furloughs and lay-offs. To give the staff a time for rest and renewal, the MRC will be closed from Monday, March 29 through Monday, April 5. We ask that you respect this time off and know that staff will return any phone call or email as soon as possible after they return on April 6. In the event of an emergency, please contact Director of Human Resources and Superintending Support Team Jay Kim.
2. Possible Extension for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairpersons
The Federal Reserve will extend by three months the liquidity facility bolstering the PPP, meaning that PPP lenders can sell their PPP loans to the Fed until June 30. Also, many are urging the SBA to extend the deadline for PPP loans until June 30, 2021, to give applicants and lenders more time to adapt to the recent changes from SBA so that all loans can be finalized. For additional resources, including a list of FAQs, please visit our website here.
3. Updated Reopening Guidelines – All Clergy and Laity
During this Lenten season, although many churches are planning to stay online, some of our churches who have remained closed throughout the pandemic, are considering reopening now that some restrictions have been lifted (50% capacity in New Jersey) and the distribution of three vaccinations is underway. GNJ leadership is continuing to work with all our congregations as they consider what plan of action works best for them. Many congregations are working toward continuing a hybrid worship experience even after all restrictions have been lifted. New resources to help you plan with your church council can be found here.
4. New Vaccine Updates – All Clergy and Laity
In New Jersey, where more than 2.5 million people have been vaccinated, the NJ Department of Health has created a dedicated call center line (856-249-7007) so seniors aged 75+ can call to schedule vaccine appointments. In Pennsylvania, regional vaccination sites are expected to offer the vaccine to educators beginning March 10-13. In New York, vaccine options are expanding to feature alternate distribution like mobile sites as the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine rolls out nationwide. For additional educational resources for your congregations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, click here.