Letter from Fr. Erik
May 14, 2020
Dear CTK parishioner,
I am writing today to update everyone on the financial effect of COVID-19 on Christ the King Parish. Let me say from the outset that this letter is not an appeal. Our conversation all along has considered the reality of financial strains on many people because of this crisis. I am grateful to the people who have continued contributing by signing up for online giving and dropping off collection envelopes at the church office. I am also grateful to some who have recognized the financial need and increased their giving. Of course, the parish continues to depend on contributions for basic operations and look forward to the time when people are able to give in a greater capacity. Hopefully the return to public Masses will help us move in a positive direction.
This letter is also to give public recognition to the staff and various workers in the parish. Despite the challenges and the additional responsibilities at home, our parish staff has been proactive in trying to serve the needs of our parishioners. They have often made extra sacrifices and have worked to reduce expenses where possible. They are a testament to the desire to serve that is a hallmark of Christ the King Parish.
In particular, I am grateful to Jackie Kaufman, our CFO, for quickly recognizing the opportunity provided by the Small Business Administration. She applied for and we received the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan. She remains diligent in accounting for that loan in the hopes that it will eventually be forgiven. Because payroll is the largest expense for our parish and our school, this loan has been an enormous benefit. This has allowed us to maintain all of our parish staff and support the work they continue to do.
In addition, we have had conversations with the parish finance council to discuss the financial effects of no public masses. We explored the effects for the end of this fiscal year and how to budget for the new year beginning in July. During the weeks without public masses, the contributions ranged from 10% to 40% of normal collections. These numbers highlight just how important the PPP loan is for us to supplement the significant decrease in our cash flow.
As we now return to public Masses, I am happy to say that the parish has weathered the storm financially. With the combination of the PPP loan, the contributions received, a reduction of expenditures, and our savings, we are still on stable footing.
I can also report that during this time of shut down, people on our staff and parish council have continued discussions about the mission of Christ the King Parish. We have discussed a new mission statement to best articulate what God calls us to as a Catholic parish. While that effort is still in draft phase, it is clear that generosity and service are values that will persevere. For example, we have been able to maintain our financial support for charitable organizations in the area and have resources to help parish families with specific monetary needs. We still have some funds reserved for providing short term emergency support for individuals and families negatively affected by the current crisis. If you or someone you know is in financial need they can contact me at the parish office. The goal is to remain outward looking in the support we offer as Catholics.
So, our prayers continue for everyone struggling with the challenges of COVID-19. We anticipate with great joy the joining of those prayers again as a community, a family of faith. As you are able to contribute financially with our return to public Masses, know that your sacrificial giving will carry on the mission of Christ the King Parish and serve everyone God places within our reach.
Fr. Erik Pohlmeier