The Diocesan Joint Finance Panel and members of your diocesan staff have put together the following set of financial recommendations and resources for all of our congregations during this extremely difficult and anxiety-inducing time. Please read the following carefully as there are important webinars, application deadlines, and other actions that the JFP are recommending that churches take to help ensure that you can continue your ministry in your communities.
Financial Actions Recommended for immediate Consideration
- Cancel all non-essential spending.
- Cancel service contracts where possible. Do not do so if these are safety items or if penalties are greater than the savings which will result.
- Reduce utility expenses: turn down heat, turn off non-essential lighting, and check for water/sewer leaks.
- Encourage multiple modes of giving: online, mailed, credit card, and early fulfillment of pledges
- Congregations that rent space to others must determine if renters will receive rental forgiveness.
- If your congregation is launching or contemplating a capital campaign, review the status of future year pledges and make any adjustments that might be necessary.
- Prepare a set of financial statements from 2019 showing all salaries and benefits, payroll taxes, rent/mortgage payments, utilities, and interest on existing debt.
- These documents will be necessary for possible federal relief.
- Review any restrictions on the use of endowment funds (if you have such funds).
- Determine what resources are available to you to manage your operating budget under reduced revenues.
The deadline for Audit submission has been extended to September 1, 2020
Financial Resources: Diocese of Olympia
- Grants to Congregations: At this time, it is our intent to support all grants in process for 2020 at the full committed level. This includes congregation grants, curacies, college programs, multicultural support, as well as other smaller grants.
- Assessments: The Joint Finance Panel and the Office of Bishop are seriously considering assessment relief and how that might look. Consideration of fairness across the system is important as we are cognizant that this shut down may last longer than any of us thought, or that we might experience yet another cycle in this same year. We believe the decision to move to “real time” assessments several years ago positions us well to be fair in this event; if a congregation’s revenue is lower, the amount of paid assessment will be lower. In addition, we are considering what percentage of our asking to The Episcopal Church we will be sending, with a firm commitment that we will send something. We believe the right action at this very early moment is to attempt to pay these across the board, while encouraging our people to continue giving and assess together what we really see happening to income in our congregations over the coming weeks.
- Diocesan Loans: The Board of Directors has approved the option for congregations to defer loan payments to the Building Loan Fund (BLF) for 90 days, with the maturity of the loan extended for 90 days. Borrowers will receive a form to be completed and returned if they would like to take advantage of this option.
For more information on any of the above, contact the Rev. Canon Arienne Davison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Financial Resources: Church Pension Group (CPG)
The Church Pension Group (CPG) has taken various actions over the past few weeks and there may be more to come. The best way to stay up to date is to bookmark the Announcements page on the CPG website. The Office of the Bishop will also keep you apprised of major announcements. Information affecting your employees should be shared with them.
- There is an option to apply for a waiver of clergy pension payments for up to two months. To apply, the three criteria below must be met, and the Waiver Application must be completed and emailed to Canon Dede Moore (email@example.com). The bishop must approve and, if approved, the waiver application will be submitted to our CPG regional representative. Please do not submit it directly to CPG.
- A disaster has been declared by the governing authority (in our case the governor).
- As a direct result of a declared disaster, the ability of the congregation to function has been severely impaired.
- There are inadequate resources (including endowments) within the affected congregation and diocese to pay pension assessments and continue to function.
- 90-Day Extension on Benefits & Insurance Payments. Until June 30, 2020, CPG will not cancel any group benefits or property & casualty insurance coverages or charge interest for failure to make timely payments. Congregations, dioceses, individuals, and institutions can make pension and other benefits and insurance payments up to 90 days after the date of invoice without disruption of coverage or accrued interest. Applies only to programs offered through CPG.
- Through the end of the year, CPG will allow claims for virtual provider appointments and waive member costs for healthcare plan telehealth services.
- All co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance for CPG members for healthcare services relating to the evaluation, testing, or treatment for COVID-19 have also been waived. Summary of Benefits & Coverage are being updated at cpg.org.
- CPG is offering a series of webinars (with recorded replays availble), as well as other resources on Wellness Amid Uncertainty.
- For retirees enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan with United Healthcare, Medicare has announced that there will be no out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 lab tests. For more visit https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.
If you are considering furloughs or reduction in hours for any of your employees, please contact Canon Dede Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss options to provide healthcare benefits continuation through CPG.
Financial Resources: Federal Government
Our diocesan chancellor and vice chancellor are spending many hours assisting us in understanding and taking action on these complex pieces of legislation. We have listed the current understanding and brief details below and encourage you to attend the two webinars that they are hosting next week.
For the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Disaster Loans, missions, mission stations, and ministries not separately incorporated will be included in and covered as part of actions taken by the Diocese of Olympia through the Office of the Bishop. A separate communication is being sent about this. Parishes and ministries/organizations that are separately incorporated will need to complete the application process for this relief on their own. Again, plan to attend the webinars next week to learn more.
If you have questions on Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded Unemployment Benefits, contact Canon Dede Moore (email@example.com).
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave for those that can’t work or telework due to quarantine or isolation order; advice to self-quarantine; or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
- 10 weeks of Emergency Family & Medical Leave to care for a child if the child’s school or childcare center is closed due to coronavirus.
- Effective April 1-December 31, 2020.
- Employee Rights Poster [English] [Spanish]
- FFCRA Q&A
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
- Paycheck Protection Program provides loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a direct incentive for businesses to keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Employers with 500 or fewer employees, including non-profits, independent contractors, and self-employed persons.
- Loan amount is 2.5 x average monthly payroll for the one-year period preceding the date of the loan.
- Application through local banks.
- Available April 3-June 30.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Includes loan forgiveness in whole or part if employer maintains employment for the 8 weeks after loan origination.
- Expanded Unemployment Benefits
- Waives waiting period.
- Provides $600 per week in addition to state benefit.
- Extends benefit 13 additional weeks.
- Expands eligibility to include formerly uninsured workers from churches, religious organizations, and small nonprofits.
- Paid by state unemployment agencies as Disaster Unemployment Benefits. [See State section below.]
- COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- Provides small businesses with working capital loans through the SBA of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- Loan advance provides economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.
- Private non-profits are eligible to apply for loans up to $2 million.
- Available through December 31, 2020.
- Loan application.
Join our Diocesan Chancellor Judy Andrews & Vice Chancellor Bryan Krislock.
Monday, April 6, 3:00-4:00pm
Paycheck Protection Program (CARES Act)
Thursday, April 9, 3:00-4:00pm
Emergency Paid Sick Leave & Emergency Unemployment Insurance
Registration Link (You Must Register Prior to Each Webinar at the Link Below):
Financial Resources: Washington State
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
- Eligibility for unemployment benefits expanded to include many currently not eligible, including many self-employed and those that don’t have the typically required 680 hours.
- Additional $600 week from March 29-July 31, 2020.
- Benefits extended 13 weeks for maximum of 39 weeks (about 9 months).
- ESD is evaluating details and waiting additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- COVID-19 Information Page [English] [Spanish]
- Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)
- May be available for those who need to miss work due to their own or a family member’s illness related to Covid-19, when employer-paid sick leave is not available.
- Paid Family Medical Leave