Caring for You, Our Family of Churches During the Pandemic

COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for our family of churches. CBOQ is making every effort to keep you informed about how this evolving situation will impact your church. To that end, we will be posting updated resources for you as we develop them.
As you read through the resources below, if you don’t find what you need assistance with, please email Melody Currier with your question or concern. Be sure to include your church name and role at your church.

Resources for your Church during COVID-19

Government Resources

The Public Guardian Trustee (Ontario) has developed temporary guidelines to allow charities that are in danger of closing to access the income and capital of restricted purpose trust funds when necessary to enable them to continue their day-to-day operations. You can read the full statement here.

The Prime Minister has announced that businesses, including charities, regardless of size will be able to access this subsidy retroactive to March 15. To be eligible, your revenues must have been reduced by at least 30% due to COVID-19. The subsidy will equal 75% of wages on the first $58,700 dollars the employee earns. This means up to $847 per week.

You can read further details on this program here. More information is forthcoming in the coming weeks from the Minister of Finance to help employers with the technical details on this measure and how to implement it. We will post more as we have further information.

On March 19, the Ontario legislature passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Diseases Emergencies), 2020 to provide job-protected leave for employees in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A page with a list of ways the Canadian government is supporting businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

As part of government actions taken in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Charities are encouraged to register for online services. You will find more information here.

The government is allowing small businesses to remit 10% lower on employer income tax remittance for a period up to June 20. The maximum amount allowed is $1,375 per employee to a maximum organizational amount of $25,000. You can find more information on the government website.

Church Resources

During the pandemic, your church will need to do two things when it comes to finances:

  1. Maintain income
  2. Reduce expenses

 

Maintain Income

    1. Make it easy to give
      We have three giving suggestions to help your church continue to receive offerings during the pandemic:

      1. Tithe.ly
        CBOQ has partnered with Tithe.ly to facilitate your church’s online giving abilities.Read more>>
      2. CanadaHelps
        Another option for your church to receive online donations is through canadahelps.org.
      3. Interac e-Transfer
        Many financial institutions now allow for Interac e-transfers to a church’s email address.

        1. Talk with your bank to see if that is an option for your church. Some accounts that require two signatures may not have that option.
        2. You may need to set up a new email account that is secure and dedicated for those purposes.
        3. You will still need to keep accurate records for tax receipts.

        Want more ideas? Here is a helpful article with many suggestions.

    2. Give them a reason why (Church leadership teams—you may want to contact Dallas Friesen to guide you through this part.)
        1. Formulate an action plan
          • For your congregation
          • For you community
        2. Cast the vision for involvement
          • By volunteering
          • By giving

Reduce Expenses

  1. Mothball your facilities
  2. Reduce program costs
  3. Develop a staffing contingency plan
    1. Access government programs (highlighted above on this page)
    2. Determine income thresholds
    3. Create a staff triage order
    4. Abandon tenure and hierarchy
    5. Prioritize tech and ability to connect
    6. If you feel you need to layoff staff, you may want to contact Melody Currier for guidance

Watch the video below for tips on how to help your church through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you need suggestions regarding tools to help your church get online, the following have free options that may help you plan video or phone conferencing opportunities.

Pastors
CBOQ Pastors are invited to join us via Zoom for an online prayer experience. We gather each Tuesday and Thursday at 11 am for about a 25 minute prayer experience. The format will depend on the number of participants. To join, please email Carol Gouveia.

Next Generation Leaders
Join us on March 18-April 9, Mondays & Wednesdays, 7pm, Fridays, 10:30am for prayer with Next Generation Leaders. To connect, go to cboqyouth.ca/conferenceprayer.

For assistance with your church’s next generation ministry, CBOQ recommends the following resources:
Youth Ministry
Parent Resources

Ontario & Quebec Government Decisions that Affect Churches

Ontario has now extended the declaration of emergency until April 14. Additionally, Quebec has extended its public health emergency as of March 29.

You may read the extended declarations here:

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