Gravel Hill Update 4.1.2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dear Members of Gravel Hill United Methodist Church:

We are currently living through an unprecedented time. Not only are we being impacted by a serious and pervasive virus, the attempt to stop its destructive path has led to a serious economic downturn, the likes of which has the potential to drive the world into a deep recession if not a depression. In an attempt to stop the economy from skidding out of control the United States Congress worked together to pass what is called the CARES Act. This act of Congress offers loans to business and Charity Organizations to cover salaries, loss of income, and other expenses incurred due to an organization’s response to the virus pandemic.

The Lead Team made the decision to close the Gravel Hill Day Care. Unfortunately, people who work for Church Organizations are not entitled to unemployment. The CARES Act will fund such salaries, at least until the middle of May if necessary. The Act will also cover salaries of Church staff, and other expenses, should the church suffer a significant decrease in giving through an extended period of time.

If the salaries and expenses related to the virus total the amount the church borrows through the CARES Act, the loan in its entirety may be forgiven. What portion of the loan that is not used for these expenses will be repaid to the CARES Act at a 4% rate of interest over a period of approximately 10 years.

The Lead Team has made the decision to apply for the CARES Act Loan in an amount (yet to be determined) that will cover the salaries of Day Care Teachers and all Church Staff, as well as expenses related directly to our response to the COVID-19 virus.

In order to borrow funds from the CARES Act, Gravel Hill must call for a Charge Conference for an official vote. The Charge Conference is an official (legal) entity of the United Methodist Church. It is made up of Members of the official Administrative Team of the local Church. In our case Gravel Hill Lead Team becomes the voting Members of the Charge Conference.

This correspondence serves as the official notice that I, as the Elder of Gravel Hill, am calling a Charge Conference to be held on April 10, 2020 for the specific and sole purpose of voting to borrow funds from the CARES Act to cover the estimated cost of salaries and other expenses incurred due to the virus induced economic downturn (exact amount is currently being researched). As Elder of Gravel Hill UMC, I have been given permission by Bishop Johnson to call the Charge Conference and I have been given permission to preside at said Charge Conference.  I ask for your prayers and support as we continue to serve Christ in these difficult days.

Rev. Douglas E. Smith