The effects of COVID-19 on our communities, our economy, and our congregations continue. We have come to accept that this pandemic will be with us for a long period of time, perhaps well into 2021. While we pray for a vaccine and for the development of an effective course of treatment for COVID-19, we also must prepare and plan to maintain our ministries, our fellowship in Christ, our witness to the Gospel, and the care and stewardship of our resources for ministry.
Though the church buildings in much of the Diocese remain closed, nevertheless, expenses continue. And while I am deeply grateful for the creative ways congregations have adapted to new forms of worship using technology, these, too, have additional expenses.
We are grateful that many people have been able to continue their offerings to individual parishes, and some have been able to maintain their support at the same level of giving despite not having weekly in-person worship services. Nevertheless, with the Standing Committee, I recognize that our congregations may be struggling with finances or maybe worrying about their budget if the course of the pandemic continues as it is expected.
Therefore, The Diocese of Alaska has issued a blanket waiver to all congregations for the payment of Diocesan Apportionment for 2020. You do not need to apply–the waiver applies to every congregation. This is a full waiver; you will not be asked or required to make-up any amount not paid to the Diocese in 2020.
However, if your congregation is in a financial position to continue to make your Diocesan Apportionment, in whole or in part, or, if you discover at the end of the year, that your budget allows for some payment of your Apportionment, we ask that you contribute as your congregation is able.
We pray that this waiver will free our congregations to focus resources on the important work of ministry.