Message from Pastor John

Dear friends,

What a bizarre time we live in! When all of this started, we were hopeful that our time of physical distancing would be over by now. Or, if not, then we would be in the process of working toward reopening our buildings and planning on a happy reunion. But now, we are facing several more weeks of this “stay-at-home” time and, unfortunately, we are not entirely sure when we will be able to return back to normal, whatever that may turn out to be. But, even in this time of uncertainty, there are some things we want to share with you.

First of all, I want to thank all of your for your patience and understanding. I’ve shared this before, but this is not a situation they covered at the seminary. How to lead a congregation through a pandemic and the resultant stay-at-home orders is new territory for all of us. We have had some stumbles along the way and we’ve had to reevaluate some of what we were doing. But I truly do appreciate the way that all of you have continued to support Timothy through all of this.

Second, I want to thank the many volunteers who have stepped up to help with our online worship services. We shared their names in a previous eNote. We wouldn’t be able to continue to share the Good News during this time as effectively as we have without their help.

Third, I want to talk about Holy Communion. This has been one of the hardest parts of this time of separation. I think we are all hungering for the grace that we find in the Sacrament. And I know that there may be questions about why we aren’t doing this or that or some other thing like other congregations do (whether those congregations share our Lutheran understanding of communion or not). But while we may want to take communion together, we also want to be good neighbors. We remember what Jesus shared in Matthew 25, namely, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” [Matthew 25:40] We stay at home during this time and we are limiting our contact with each other as an act of service to our brothers and sisters and, in doing so, we are serving our Lord.

But here’s the thing we should also remember: while we may not be able to join together in Holy Communion, that is not the only Means of Grace that we have access to. We are still the baptized children of God and we can daily remember how God named and claimed us in those blessed waters. We are still able to be fed by and through God’s Word, either when we gather together virtually in worship or with our family in personal devotions.

We are not cut off from God’s grace during this time. Yes, we miss communion. We miss the opportunity to see each other face-to-face in our weekly worship services and in person Bible studies. But God is still with us. He continues to lavish His love and grace upon us. And His grace won’t fail us, even now. We are still His forgiven children and no pandemic or physical separation can change that.

As of now, we’re not entirely sure how or when this will end. We are monitoring the situation and having discussions about what our return to in-person worship and gatherings will look like. We continue to ask for your patience and prayers as we work together to continue to touch lives for Christ in such extremely unusual times!

Under the Mercy,
Pastor John

LWML Touching Lives Through Mites

Timothy’s LWML Society President, Susan Ready, learned this week that the KC South Zone LWML societies shared generous mite gifts over the past few months. Even though the Spring Zone Rally was canceled due COVID-19, the area churches’ LWML ladies collected a total of $10,704.00 plus $1,500 added from the Zone Operating Fund and $115 from memorials. Timothy’s LWML ladies contributed $2,315.95 of that total! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Just think how many lives this will touch for Christ through mission grants. Thanks to our Timothy ladies and to our various projects that helped contribute toward spreading His love to so many people! Those “little mite boxes” have a powerful impact!

Timothy Approved for Payroll Payment Program Through Small Business Association

Previously, Timothy’s leadership shared with the congregation that, due to the COVID-19 crisis and government requirements limiting gatherings to no more than ten people, Timothy was required to close ECC, transition Timothy Lutheran School to online learning, and conduct online worship services, resulting in the furlough of all part-time ECC teachers and other part-time personnel associated with worship services.

Timothy’s treasurer, Gary Flandermeyer, immediately conducted a cost impact projection which showed severe operating cost impacts to Timothy over the coming months. In an effort to respond to these future cost impacts to Timothy and many of its employees, Timothy’s Executive Board directed an investigation of the federal Small Business Association (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans, recently made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This loan is forgiven, at no cost to Timothy, if all employees return to work by June 30, 2020, subject to certain conditions. SBA offered a very narrow window of opportunity to qualify for these funds.

Timothy’s leadership extends a tremendous amount of thanks to Timothy’s Financial Services Chris Krenz and Treasurer Gary Flandermeyer for persistently and urgently working many long hours during the first week of April to ready an application for this PPP loan, which was submitted to Timothy’s bank, Commerce Bank, on Sunday, April 5. Last week, after submitting several addendums required by SBA, Timothy’s PPP loan in the amount of $242,700.00 was approved! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! (This loan carries a low interest cost of 1% annual rate on the unforgiven portion, if any, with a maturity date of April 20, 2022.)

Upon approval of the Executive Board, this loan was closed yesterday, April 20th, and funds were disbursed to Timothy today, April 21st, into a separate account at Commerce Bank to track disbursements according to SBA requirements.

Thanks be to God for this fortunate event to allow Timothy to soften the burden of the COVID-19 cost impact to the church and its employees. It is noteworthy to include that Timothy benefitted from an extremely helpful Commerce staff, as its loan department worked around the clock to create over 500 loan documentation papers daily. Timothy’s Commerce Bank rep, Trevor Westcott, personally worked with Chris to complete all paperwork and move the loan through very expeditiously. Trevor, in turn, was very intentional in thanking Chris “for all your help throughout this process. I appreciate your responsiveness and you’ve been a pleasure to work with.” Thank you to all involved!