Frequently Asked Questions for Pastor Chad (April 29th Update)
Q: What is happening at our building, and is the office open?
A: Right now, not a lot is happening at our building. Our office is closed, and the staff is working from home. Even though the office is closed, we are still getting our mail (though the post office had a small glitch this week), and we check voicemail left at the office regularly. We greatly appreciate your patience during this time. Email remains the best way to reach a staff member (check our profiles at kckirk.org/about/staff for addresses), or contact me for a staff member’s cell (mine is 913.908.7302).
We have authorized volunteers on site daily, checking the building, helping on the grounds, ensuring everything is safe. Alpha Montessori, which has also been closed since mid-March, is an “essential business” and is working to re-open their operations in early May, so that parents who are working can have safe, dependable child care. But for all other Kirk activities, the building is closed.
Q: How are we doing with online worship?
A: The worship team is incredibly grateful that so many people are participating in online worship, either through Zoom, Facebook Live, calling in on the phone, or watching later on the website. It is not possible to know exactly how many people are participating, because the data is not precise, but we know that we are having 200-300 “unique viewers” for each of our worship gatherings. That number may overcount some viewers (who may not stay for the whole service), but it also undercounts others (because it counts connections, not the number of people watching via each connection). Either way, we know that worship participation is actually higher now than it was, in person, before the pandemic required us to go online. And our services continue to be authentic, faithful, meaningful gatherings, even as they’ve been adapted for an online context.
Q: How are we doing financially?
A: The exact answer to this is unclear, but we are heartened that many of our pledging units, as well as many who do not pledge but who give regularly, are working to be up-to-date on their gifts. We entered this pandemic with decent financial reserves, prudent budgeting, and wise guidance by our treasurer and Operations Team. We are thankful for your support of our budget during this time.
Please note that, even with a small glitch this week, we are receiving mail to the church as one way you can send in your financial support. This is the most cost-effective way to give. We do have an online giving option (currently PayPal, and we are exploring alternatives) on the footer of our website. This may be more convenient for many members and guests. Please note that most online giving options have a cost associated with them (a bit over 2%), so that if you choose to give online, consider adding a bit extra to help defray that cost. If you use PayPal, donate through a bank account, and uncheck the blue box marked ‘paying for goods or a service,’ we will receive your full donation without the administrative fee. This does not work with credit card donations.
Some have asked Pastor Chad about re-directing their stimulus checks to a ministry of the church, to the angel fund (for medical needs of Kirk members) or for Kirk members in financial difficulties, or to a Kirk mission partner. If you would like more info about this, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the same time, some of our church members may be experiencing acute financial difficulty right now, and may need to delay or forgo gifts to the church. Please know that we understand and want you to do what you need to do to help weather these uncertain times. If you have other ways of participating (through prayer, participating in our activities, and so on), please stay connected, and contact Pastor Chad for encouragement. Other people may be in a more stable financial position, and will choose to give more to help cover those who are not able to give during this time. Everyone will be in a unique situation. We thank you, each and every one of you, for your generous support of our ministry, our service, and our work together.
Q: Is there a way I can get involved and help out?
A: Yes, several. In addition to your ongoing support of our session and staff, your prayers, encouragement, and donations, here are key ways you can be part of what we are doing these days: Service Team: Keep an eye out for communication about our plans for the months ahead. We will be hosting collection drives for non-perishable items, recommendations for how to support our mission partners, and more. Deacons: Social activities through Zoom are being planned, as well as opportunities to check in with other Kirk members and friends through calls, cards, prayers, and encouragement. Classes and Christian Formation: Pastor Chad offers weekly bible study on Friday mornings, and an evening Bible Study is in development. Mich is gathering youth together for Zoom scavenger hunts and devotionals. The weekly worship update includes a packet for kids and the young at heart. Worship and Evangelism: Join us regularly on Sunday mornings for worship, and help us connect to others. Start a watch party on Facebook. Like and share our Facebook events. Invite people you know who might be nurtured by our worship hour to join us.
The particulars will be shared on social media, our website, and/or our church email list, or please contact the office (email@example.com) or Pastor Chad (913.908.7302) for details.
Q: How can I offer a suggestion to the C19 Adaptation Task Force about how/when/in what way we should get back together again?
A: Pastor Chad is delighted to talk with you about all of our work together, including the challenging question of re-starting. Send him a note by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or cell (913.908.7302).
Q: What has been the most challenging thing for you during this time, Pastor Chad?
A: Not seeing all of you is the hardest thing, and not being able to offer in-person pastoral care. Even as we consider gentle ways of restarting our time together, some activities will remain unavailable at first (perhaps including worship, funerals, weddings, large classes, meals together), and we will have to show patience and care and grace with each other as we manage all of this together.
I have been grateful that our Deacons and Kirk Connectors are working so hard, and so well, at checking in on everyone and helping offer pastoral care at a distance. We are choosing not to call this time “social distancing.” We are “Physically Distant” but “Community Strong.”
Q: What has been the most inspiring thing for you during this time, Pastor Chad?
A: Oh, so many things. The easy smiles and generous gifts of volunteers willing to try new things. The creative ideas of our wonderful staff. The beautiful music in our worship services. The people asking how me and my family are doing during this time. The people from around the country who are watching our worship services, attending bible study, or connecting with us electronically. Church members who make lunches and supply hand sanitizer for Cherith Brook, wave palms on a selfie for the pastor’s silly project, share prayer during bible study, send supportive chats to each other during worship. The hope we have of being Christ’s hands and feet, even during a time such as this. It is a truly inspiring, awe-some time to be The Kirk.