COVID-19 INFORMATION

CONGREGATIONS OFFERING DIGITAL WORSHIP

If you would like to be on the list, email your congregation name, city, time of worship and the link to Kathye Hamm.

Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Walnut Creek – 9 am PDT
Bethel Cupertino – 10:45amPDT
Calvary, Eureka –  10:00am PDT
St. Mark’s, San Francisco – 10:00am PDT Facebook
St Mark’s San Francisco – 10:00 am PDT Website
Advent, Morgan Hill – 9:30am PDT
First Lutheran, Orland – 9:00am PDT
Grace, Palo Alto – 10:00am PDT
Unity, South San Francisco – 10:30am PDT
St. Paul / San Paulo, Lodi 10am English / 12:30pm Spanish
Christ the King, Orangevale – 9:30 am PDT Sunday
Christ, El Cerrito
Hope El Sobrante – 10:00 am PDT
Grace, San Francisco – 10:30 am PDT
Trinity, Fresno – 10:30 am PDT
Advent Lutheran Church, Citrus Heights – 9:30am PDT
Davis Lutheran Church
First Lutheran, Orland Live – 9:30 am PDT or First Lutheran, Orland YouTube
Prince of Peace Saratoga – 10:00 am PDT
Ascension, Citrus Heights – Sundays 10:00am
Prince of Peace, Saratoga – 10:00 am PDT Sunday and 7:30 pm PDT Wednesday
Christ, Visalia – 10:00 am PDT
Christ, El Cerrito – 10:00 am PDT
St James, Redding – 8:00 am Live or St James, Redding YouTube
Faith Lutheran, Chico – 9:30am PDT
Resurrection, Oakland – 10:30 am PDT
Lutheran Church of the Cross, Sacramento, 11:00am PDT, teleconference
University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley – 10:30 am PDT Sunday Zoom Liturgy: Email for more information
Good Shepherd, Freemont – 10:00 am PDT – multi-language with hymns in Telugu and English
PLTS Virtual Worship and Lunch – 10:45 am PDT every Wednesday until May 20, 2020
Christ the Good Shepherd, San Jose – 10:00 am PDT
St. Timothy, Monterey – 10:00 am PDT
Our Saviour’s, Ferndale – 10:00 am PDT
Faith, Santa Rosa – 9:00 am PDT
Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, Davis – 8:00 am PDT
Lord of Mercy, Sparks, NV – 10:00 am PDT
First Lutheran, Palo Alto – 9:30 am PDT
St John’s, Sacramento
St. Mark’s, Fairfield – 9:45 am PDT
Christ the Good Shepherd, San Jose – 10:00 am
Coastside Lutheran, Half Moon Bay – 10:00 am and Thursday – 7:30 pm PDT
Our Savior’s, Lafayette, CA – 9:30 am PDT
St. Matthew’s, San Francisco – 10:00 am PDT
First United & Resurrection, Oakland – 10:30 am PDT
St Paul’s Family, Carson City – 9:00 am PDT
St Paul, Oakland – 10:00 am PDT
Grace, San Jose Online Worship Video
Epiphany Lutheran & Episcopal, Marina, CA – 10 am PDT
Truckee Lutheran Presbyterian Church – recorded service available Saturday evenings
Good Shepherd, Reno – recorded service available 5:00 pm PDT Saturdays 
St. Andrews, San Mateo – recorded services available under Worship on website
Davis Lutheran Church, Davis –  podcast uploaded on Saturdays
St Luke’s, Sacramento / Elk Grove – 9:30 am PDT
All Saint’s Novato – 9:30 am PDT on Zoom
St Lukes, Walnut Creek – 9:00 AM PDT
St. John’s, Antioch – available on website
Mt Zion, Yreka – 10:00 am PDT
Hope Lutheran, Fresno – available on website
Immanuel, Saratoga – available on website
St. Francis, San Francisco – 11:00  a.m. PDT – zoom liturgy, check website on how to connect
Christ the King, Fremont – 10:15 am PDT
Holy Shepherd, Orinda – 9:30 am PDT
Bethany Lutheran Church, Kerman – 10:00 am on Zoom, email for connection information
Emanuel, Modesto  – 9:30 am PDT
Holy Cross, Reno – 10:30 am PDT
Galilee, Kelseyville- available on YouTube starting at 12:01 am PDT
Good Shepherd, Novato – available on website on Sunday mornings
Shepherd of the Hills, Berkeley, 10:00 am PDT – request Zoom link or View recording on YouTube
Hope, San Mateo recorded services available Sunday mornings
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Burlingame – 10:00 am PDT
PLTS PrayerSpace Thursdays from 4:00 – 5:00 PDT Facebook Event or Join Zoom Meeting
Holy Trinity, Weaverville – 10:30 am PDT
St. James Lutheran Church – email for Zoom information
Holy Trinity, Fremont
Hope, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek – recorded service available Saturday night
Bethel, Cupertino

 

 

 

FINANCIAL/ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION FOR CONGREGATIONS

If you are still working on ways to have your congregation give remotely or preparing for another possible round of quarantine, here are some ideas beyond mailing a check to church:

  • Have your congregant check with their bank or financial institution on the option of an electronic check – the financial institution can send a check to your church either as a true check or a deposit into the congregation’s bank account via electronic funds transfer.
  • Third-Party processing agent:
  • If financially possible, ask if there are those in your congregation who can give more than their one month tithe – see if the idea of “pay it forward” will work – this could cover a few months or the whole year.

PPP

Have you been successful in securing a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and wondering what are the next steps?  Please view this presentation developed by Diana Barrios, Director of Finance, Systems and Administration in our Synod office.

April 3, 2020

Below are resources for you to upload and view – the current information is primarily about the Paycheck Protection Program and as other events/issues arise regarding financial/payroll/administrative matters, we will post them here:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – which was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020 – is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history.  It allocates $2.2 trillion in support to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic and economic downturn.   Importantly, this includes “any small business with less than 500 employees … including any private non-profit organization affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.”  That means our congregations are potential applicants for relief under this government program.

The ELCA resources available addressing Paycheck Protection Program loans for churches.
An FAQ document and a video to explain the process are available at www.elca.org/publichealth.
You can also download the resources: FAQs
Video: Watch or Download

ELCA information on the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Overview

A Practical Conversation about Churches, the CARES Act, and Payroll Protection Loan Program

Navigating Ministry Staff Options during COVID-19 YouTube Presentation

Navigating Ministry Staff Options during COVID-19 Slide Deck

US Treasury Fact Sheet for Borrowers

CliffsNotes of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Updates as of April 8th

New & Clarified Rules of the PPP Loan:

  • Organizations do not qualify for the PPP if they have:
    • A net worth of above $15 million
    • Net income over the last 2 fiscal years of $5 million
  • They are allowing more flexibility for organizations to separate their church and schools in regards to applying for a PPP loan
    • You can decide if you will bring preschool and church together or apply separately
    • You will need to include an attachment to your PPP application that indicates this

Wage Calculation

  • Take the gross amount of wages from w-2’s and use that gross amount for calculations
    • Only thing you are going to exclude is the employer taxes
  • Time period clarification:  2 options (use what benefits you the most)
    • Average payroll cost for the preceding 12 months
    • Or the average payroll cost for the calendar year 2019
  • The $100,000 cap in wages applies only to cash compensation,
    • Benefits such as health insurance, retirement contributions, etc. do not count towards the $100,000 employee cap
  • 1099 Contractors are not included in payroll costs as
    • They can apply for their own PPP loan starting April 10th
The Questions You Are Asking… 
  1. We are struggling to find a lender – help?
    • The SBA is taking on some loans from banks to give them more room to begin accepting applications again (such as Wells Fargo or B of A)
    • More credit unions are getting in the game, check with them
  1. When will the original $349 billion funded for the PPP run out?
    • Already allocated around $100 billion
    • In the next day or two we might see another $100-$250 billion be added in as well to keep the program open longer
  1. We have a seasonal organization and we were not fully ramped up on February 15, 2020. Am I still eligible?
    • The bank has flexibility to consider whether a seasonal borrower was in operation on February 15, 2020 or for an 8-week period between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019
  1. Forgiveness of a PPP loan depends on our payroll costs over an eight-week period; when does that eight-week period begin?
    • From the date you receive the funds
    • Your forgiveness amount will be determined at the end of those 8 weeks
  1. What is the time period range that have to spend the funds?
    • Officially Written – Over the 8 weeks from when you get the funds
    • Interpreted – Between February 15 to June 30
    • Answer:  Double check what your bank will be looking at
  1. Do PPP loans cover paid sick leave?
    • Yes, regular sick leave & vacation but not the expanded sick time or FMLA leave that you receive payroll tax credit for

Information Source:

  1. The SBA and US Treasury Department have released another FAQ document regarding the Paycheck Protection Program Loan with some clarifications and updates:https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequenty-Asked-Questions.pdf
  2. Vanderbloemen hosted a Facebook Live event today where they interviewed Senator Tim Scott, the co-creator of the PPP.  The full length interview can be found here:  https://www.vanderbloemen.com/blog/details-of-care-act

SERVING IN GENEROSITY

Is your congregation choosing to serve the community in this time of need? Send your stories to Kathye Hamm and they will be posted here.

Advent Lutheran, Citrus Heights

Coronavirus: local nonprofit launches new efforts to help homeless

In addition to the food closet (now serving upwards of 150 families a day, 5 days a week!) there now also is a food truck on campus on Fridays with free hot lunch (via vouchers given out by different local non-profits).

St Mark’s Lutheran, Fairfield

Helping the Hungry during Lockdown

On the weekend of May 2-3 St. Mark’s in Fairfield gave a double boost to hungry people.  During Facebook Live worship Pastor Karen Stetins dedicated letters asking Congress to increase Food Stamps (CalFresh, SNAP) by 15%.  The day before the congregation hosted a drive-by donation for its food pantry, one of the largest in the area, which has been curtailed due to the pandemic.

At least 47 letters went out to Senators and Representatives, coordinated through Bread for the World.  Members and friends wrote from their homes.  CalFresh is the quickest, cheapest, most efficient way to feed hungry people, whose numbers are ballooning in the crisis.  The Associated Press estimates that people struggling to find food will increase from 1 in 8/9 of the population to 1 in 4.

Click here to learn how host a Virtual Offering of Letters at your church. 

American Lutheran, Woodland

We continue to provide dinner the 4th Friday every month for St John’s Shelter which we started doing the first 4th Friday ever at the church and we haven’t missed a month in all these years!!

We are sending money and needed things to the Lutheran Church Mission in Rock Point, Arizona. Every July members and friends go to Rock Point for a week to  provide and help them give the shots to their sheep.  See pictures of pastors and friends in action on our social hall walls.  We help them with other things as we can during the year.

 

NEVADA ADVOCATES RESPOND TO COVID-19 NEED

Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN) recently received a wonderful  surprise gift.  A very large donation came through the Sierra Pacific Synod from St. John’s Lutheran Church of Sunnyvale, California.  This blessing arrived the first week of April, in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown, and just as the state unemployment offices were being overwhelmed with claims.  LEAN  was aware that food pantries throughout Nevada were likewise being overwhelmed.  Although LEAN’s mission is advocacy to address the root causes of hunger and poverty, the board recognized that a direct response to the emergency was appropriate, and also wanted to make a tithe in gratitude for the gift.

Northern Nevada is in the Sierra Pacific Synod, and Southern Nevada is in Grand Canyon Synod.  LEAN’s board decided to contribute to feeding programs in both Synods.  A gift of $5,000 went to Food Bank of Northern Nevada.  The Food Bank is an industrial-scale operation that supplies food pantries throughout Northern Nevada, including Elko, Winnemucca, and other locations in what we refer to as “the rurals.”   “The Food Bank is so grateful to partners like LEAN,” said Nicole Lamboley, President and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. “We are seeing significant increases in families who need our help during this crisis and we wouldn’t be able to meet that need without partners who share our passion for helping our neighbors.”  The photos below are of a one-day event in Reno which served 900 families.

Southern Nevada has multiple food assistance programs, but LEAN is especially close to Lutheran Social Services of Nevada.  LSSN offers many types of services, and among them is a food bank.  This food bank is unique in Nevada, having pioneered “Digi-Mart.”  This is an online shopping application.  Pre-approved clients can order the items desired, and LSSN workers assemble the orders for client pickup.  This has been particularly beneficial during the Covid-19 crisis because contact between client and LSSN staff is reduced.  LSSN people simply drop the order in the trunk of the client’s  car.  The ability to choose enhances client dignity and autonomy and reduces waste of unwanted products.  Digi-Mart has experienced a huge increase in demand.  On one recent morning, LSSN delivered food equal to 60% of what would normally be distributed in a month.  LSSN leadership posted on its Facebook page the following comment:  “Thank you to our partners at Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN) for your gift of $5,400 to help with our Covid-19 Emergency Distribution in the Digi-Mart!  Your support will help us continue to combat hunger at a critical time in our community and in our world.  We are so grateful!”

A different agency serves Nye, Esmeralda, and Lincoln Counties, so a tithe of the gift allocated to Southern Nevada went to Nye Communities Coalition.  This is an “umbrella” organization that assists other service agencies by providing resources and coordination.  Tammi Odegard, Chief Operating Officer of Nye Communities Coalition said “Your donation has allowed us to ‘fill the gaps’ where grant funds won’t allow or don’t exist.  With the new (and ever-changing)CDC guidelines, the food banks are being saddled with additional expenses for personal protective equipment for their volunteers/staff.  To date, your donation has allowed us to purchase masks and gloves for the local food banks.  They have been so appreciative, as the donations they receive are usually restricted to food only.”

Ms. Odegard added, “Thank you again for your generosity, we are hopeful we can continue to partner together to benefit the communities in Nye, Esmeralda, and Lincoln counties.”  LEAN shares that hope.

Shepherd of the Hills, Berkeley

We have long supported the YEAH shelter for homeless youth in Berkeley by preparing dinners in their kitchen. Hearing that YEAH had lost all their volunteers because of Shelter in Place we thought that we might hire a local small restaurant who had served us in the past to work with us in providing meals for YEAH. At the end of March we reached out to our members for contributions to cover either partial meals or full meals for the shelter guests at from $40 to $125.  In short order we had enough pledged to cover two meals a week for the month of April. Volunteers from the church pick up the prepared food from the restaurant and deliver it to the YEAH shelter. Near the end of April we reached out again to our congregation and to the community and received enough contributions to continue providing meals through May and June. We call this effort YEAH Win-Win because it helps both the YEAH residents and provides revenue for a local business.  Recently University Lutheran Chapel here in Berkeley heard of our effort and has done their own drive and are providing a meal a week to the YEAH shelter for June, July, and August so the generosity is growing.

Christ the Good Shepherd, San Jose

Christ the Good Shepherd is hosting the Silicon Valley Safe Park (SVSP) during the month of June. SVSP is an organization that allows guests a place to park their vehicles and sleep overnight in a safe environment. CGS joins an existing group of other churches and organizations in the South Bay that rotate hosting SVSP on a monthly basis.

Host sites provide a variety of hospitality services, which we have adapted for COVID-19 recommendations, such as checking in on guests to make sure they have what they need (while maintaining social distancing); providing individually packaged snacks, drinks, and meals; and regularly cleaning/disinfecting restroom facilities available for the guests. Guests have access to parts of our facilities, like restrooms and our garden, and have access to WiFi and charging stations for phones, etc.

The volunteer response from our members was amazing. Over 35 individuals/families signed up to do check-ins (2x per day for the month) and provide one or two individually packaged meals each day. Other members donated snacks, toiletries, and facemasks for the guests.

While housing will remain a critical macro issue for our community, SVSP makes a big difference for the individual guests. Hosting SVSP is a tangible way for CGS to help these individuals in need.

OTHER ONLINE OFFERINGS

Would your congregation like to share a Bible study, prayer service or other online gathering? Send your congregation name, city, type of study, class or service and a link to access to Kathye Hamm and they will be posted here.

St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (El Dorado Hills) will be beginning the Gather Bible Study “Just Love” on Wednesday, July 1 at 12pm.   Each Wednesday at 12pm (through August 5) we will gather via Zoom.  Anyone can attend!  Just RSVP to (st-steph@sslcedh.org) and we will put you on the list to receive the Zoom link.  Zoom is available by phone even if you do not have a computer.  You can still follow along with the study and participate via telephone!  This is a great opportunity to meet new friends from around the Synod.