In anxious times, I long for the church. Usually, at a time like this, I would gather with church friends, sing familiar hymns, and pray together. Church calms my soul.
But now, when I most want to join in prayer inside the church building, I cant.
In this season, when we can't physically go to church, I've decided I want to BE the Church.
We know that phrase from its use around the United Church of Christ these last years. Now that phrase rings in my heart in new ways. We can BE church for one another. Not physically, but emotionally, spiritually, and generously.
This pandemic will directly impact many of our fellow Christians across the UCC. Congregations may find themselves financially strapped.
Congregations will also be on the very front lines of helping people deal with the stresses and dislocations caused by the pandemic. We can help each other through this time.
The Wisconsin Conference created the Emergency Response Fund to pool resources as congregations deal with critical needs. The Conference will award grants to organizations experiencing financial hardship and those meeting crucial needs in their community. Every dollar the Conference receives for this fund will go out to help congregations during this pandemic.
Some of us carry the burden of this pandemic intimately as we help church members diagnosed with Covid 19 or concerned about their high vulnerability. If we join together, we can help each other lift those burdens together.
We do not know how much we can raise together for an Emergency Response Fund. $10,000? $100,000?
But what we do know is that our fellow pastors, leaders, and churches across this Conference will need help. Can you join me in making a gift to the Wisconsin Conferences Emergency Response Fund? Please know that a gift in any amount will make a difference for those impacted by this pandemic.
Together, we can BE Church for another.
Yours in Faith, Rev. Franz Rigert, Wisconsin Conference Minister