May 1, 2020
LifeSpring Church partners,
The elders and staff of LifeSpring want to thank you for your prayers, your presence and your efforts that have helped the ministry of LifeSpring thrive and grow. It’s hard to remember that our launch day was just three months ago. We wanted to update everyone on the financial state of the church and Cresset Christian Academy now six weeks into the stay-at-home shutdown from the coronavirus. The coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown that has come with it has affected both the church and the school financially.
Before this shutdown struck, we were on track to finish the 2020 fiscal year for the school and church in solid shape. Having gone through a successful launch, LifeSpring Church was seeing a steady uptick in both attendance and giving, and we were expectant of further growth come Easter when we moved into the Worship Center. Cresset Academy was on pace to close out the year at right around break even financially, which is a significant improvement over recent years.
With the state’s stay-at-home order, the Academy’s preschool shut down for well over a month, which means that the tuition income expected from the preschool stopped as well. The Academy’s expense remained relatively the same as we committed to paying all staff. The income immediately took a significant hit. Immediately the Academy’s best financial year in years was quickly derailed.
For the church, giving has declined since we went from in-person gatherings to online services. As well as, Cresset Academy has not paid its portion of the shared expense for February through April. That will leave a $50,000 shortfall in the church budget. With the expectation that the same will be true in May, the school and the church are on the way to a cash crunch.
So, What Are We Doing?
Please pray. Prayer is powerful. Throughout this we want to be resolute in our reliance on God. God provides for us. God guides us. As elders and a staff, we are praying for God’s provision and also His guidance.
Secondly, we do ask for our partners and supporters of LifeSpring to be faithful in giving. We understand that there are those who have been significantly financially affected by the coronavirus, and if there are needs, we want to know about them so we can help. But we also do believe as elders that our giving to the ministry of God’s church should not diminish simply because we are unable to gather together in person.
Thirdly, we are preparing for an infusion of cash over the next two months.
The federal government has set up the Payment Protection Program (PPP), by which companies around the country including churches and schools, can receive forgivable loans to cover payroll and other expenses. We are asking the partners to give the elders authority to take on such a loan. The loan is forgivable if LifeSpring and Cresset keep the same number of employees for the next two years. If that happens, this would effectively become a grant that never has to be repaid. A PPP loan/grant would solve the church and school’s current financial shortfalls.
We are confident that the church and school are eligible for the PPP program. If there were employee reductions, only that percentage of the loan becomes repayable (over a 10-year term). The biggest hurdle is getting our PPP loan approved before the money funded runs out. The money in the PPP fund has already run out one time and the federal government has restocked the fund. There is a possibility that if it runs out again it will once again be restocked, but there are no guarantees.
In the case that we do not receive a PPP loan before the funding runs out, we are also asking for the authorization to take on a $100,000 loan to cover the expected shortfall in the short- term. If the PPP loan were to come in afterwards, we would pay off the line of credit immediately and use the PPP monies going forward.
So, we are asking to hold a vote. Normally we would gather together in person to hold an informational meeting and then vote after we gather together on Sunday for church. Because of the coronavirus we have to meet online instead. We will hold an informational online Zoom meeting next Thursday at 7 p.m. to answer questions. You can access this Zoom meeting HERE. Or to dial in by phone call 646-558-8656 and enter the meeting ID 8219627785 followed by # when prompted. In this information meeting, we will answer as many questions as possible.
Next Sunday, May 10 we will hold the vote online after the Sunday morning online church service.
Thank you LifeSpring partners. We look forward to hopefully soon being able to gather together in person, but until then, we look forward to gathering together virtually.
In His Service,