Wednesday April 1, 2020
Dear SBFN Family,
Before I share an update, let me thank you for your faithful support during this time. So many of you have shared with me personally or the other pastors that you are praying for us, our church, and our world. That means so much to us. You have also been so incredibly faithful to continue supporting the church as you are able through tithes and offerings. This is enabling us to stay current on all of our financial obligations, and for that we are so very thankful.
I want to share several things with you.
1) This morning, I was greatly saddened by, and want to share with you, that Joanne Pruett went home to meet Jesus. She passed away peacefully at home with her husband Arden, daughter Joy, and 5 grandkids surrounding her bedside. I was deeply moved by their strong faith in the Lord as they said goodbye to their loved one. I know you’ll continue to lift up Arden, Joy, and the family during this difficult time. The family is planning a small service for immediate family only. Please especially pray for Joy and her kids’ return to South Korea where her husband is in the Air Force. The Coronavirus and international quarantines are making the return trip very difficult.
2) Last night, your Stewardship and Finance Team met for 3 hours to examine closely the current church budget and make projections about giving amounts. We also looked into what assistance might be available from our bank and the federal government. We want you to know that we trimmed the current budget by nearly 25%. The only things which are remaining funded are essential expenses–e.g., mortgage, utilities, giving to support the missional work of our denomination. We hope and pray that this will not need to be trimmed further, but we will be watching closely to see if deeper, more painful cuts are necessary.
We then submitted this revised budget to the SBFN board, which you recently elected, for a vote. It was given unanimous approval.
Although these cuts are painful and will affect the ministries of the church immediately, we believe and are praying they will only be temporary.
I want you to know how proud I am of our incredible team of leaders. Sadly, not every church has such dedicated, competent, and deeply Christian leaders. Every single one of them expressed a deep abiding trust and faith in God–that He is going to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20)
3) Finally, I wanted to share some updates from our SBFN Security Team leader, Chuck Lambert.
- Be sure to check and lock all doors, windows, and garage doors–both during the day and before bedtime. Property crimes are on the rise. Also, be careful about leaving garage door openers in cars parked outside as someone could break a window, take the opener, and then have access to your house. Lock your door to the garage if you have an attached garage.
- Be extra vigilant about people approaching you for assistance whether at home or in public. Not saying you shouldn’t help, but most people have cell phones these days and usually call family or friends for help. Just be extra cautious.
- As we shared last week, be aware of scammers calling you on the phone wanting your Social Security number so they can send you the government’s stimulus check. The government will NOT contact you this way.
- Finally, there are too many iterations of this to share them all, but be extra careful with e-mail and text messages asking you to click on a link to confirm something–a purchase, your identity, a credit card, your government id, a delivery, etc. Once you click on a link, it gives them access to your computer and potentially your personal information. If you don’t know the person or aren’t expecting a message, don’t click on it.
That’s all for now. Please again be reminded of the daily devotionals, weekly sermons, and electronic giving available on our website: www.sbfnaz.org
We are working on some exciting things for passion week (Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter). We look forward to seeing you all there.
Following Jesus with you,