American Rescue Plan Act
On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package designed to facilitate the United States’ recovery from the devastating economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is some information from Suttle & Stalnaker about how the provisions of the act may benefit you and your church.
NOTE: Though the SBA is no longer accepting PPP loan applications, there is still assistance for employers available through the Employee Retention Credit. This credit was established under the CARES Act and encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Church Law & Tax has an article with detailed information, and they recently held a free webinar on the topic, a recording of which is available here. I have the handout from the webinar available.
Board of Pensions News for Employers
The most recent Board of Pensions employer’s newsletter highlights the Employee Assistance Plan: Now more than ever, we need to combat the stigma that often surrounds mental health issues. During Mental Health Awareness Month (May), use the materials in the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) toolkit to promote usage of this benefit so employees know they are not alone when they need help or someone to talk to. With the EAP, 24/7 support is just a call or click away. More information is available on the Board of Pensions website.
Tips for a Reshaped Reality
While hope is on the horizon, there is still much uncertainty about how this year will unfold. Church Mutual Insurance has some resources to help us “find comfort by focusing on the important things you can control right now, including ways to safely gather, stay connected, and care for yourself.”
Ecumenical Stewardship Center closing
The Ecumenical Stewardship Center (ESC) Board of Directors voted to dissolve the corporation and cease operation in 2021. However, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving is stepping into the void left by the absence of the ESC. More information about this change can be found here; visit the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving to see its work/resources.
The time of emphasis for the Pentecost offering concluded on Sunday, May 23. If your church received this offering, please don’t forget that the local church may keep up to 40% of the donations received from the congregation directed to Pentecost. The portion retained by the church is to be used for the local church’s ministry and mission impacting the lives of young people within their own community, especially at-risk youth.
2021 Special Offerings Calendar
Here is the calendar for the four churchwide Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), of which two remain:
PEACE & GLOBAL WITNESS: Sept. 5 to Oct. 3
CHRISTMAS JOY: Nov. 28 to Dec. 19