by Jamie Lynn
PLYMOUTH, MI – The Pandemic Pastor Relief Fund has been able to help many Pastors in Michigan who were struggling during this difficult last year. The 2020 State Mission Offering was generously given by the Michigan churches and 100% was set aside to help pastors.
There were 19 requests received for the fund and a total of $36,000 has been given so far. Here are some of the reasons for the requests:
An up north pastor, his wife and daughter all 3 contracted COVID
A co-vocational pastor’s wife lost her job due to extended quarantine
A pastor’s wife lost her job due to restaurants being closed
A pastor hasn’t been supported in months due to the church not meeting in-person
A pastor’s wife lost her job due to COVID and the church loss of income due to quarantine.
Reduction of income from the church and financial support due to quarantine
Bi-vocational pastor out of work due to shut-down. Family is struggling.
Loss of income from church due to pandemic quarantine. The pastor is now seeking outside work.
A Pastor of an older congregation who hasn’t had in-person church and has difficulty with online services, struggling with chronic health conditions.
A church has been barely making it financially through last year and now the pastor has developed major health issues.
Bi-vocational pastor and wife lost their outside jobs due to quarantine shutdown.
Medical bills and surgery costs with loss of income in the church due to the pandemic.
Pastor wife lost her job that supports her husband and has mounting medical bills.
Loss of income from the church and discovered stage 4 liver cancer.
The pastors and their families that have received these relief help have been so grateful. Many have sent a thank-you note filled with gratefulness and words of thankfulness. They expressed how having a convention of churches surrounding them kept them from feeling alone and overwhelmed in their situation.
Two pastors expressed their gratitude this way:
"I am so humbled by the parts each of you played in thinking of an old grouchy former pastor. The incredibly generous gift from Michigan Southern Baptists went into our checking account a couple of days ago and will help out greatly in medical bills and daily living. I know MOST of this came from small struggling congregations whose pastors were compensated FAR less than have I been during my 17 years at Emmanuel. I can guarantee that Annie Armstrong will be a little more benefited by Laurie and me, as will the other SBC and BSCM mission causes. Thanks again. I am trying to figure out how to write a letter to each and every BSCM congregation who contributed to last year's Frances Brown Missions offering."
"I can’t tell you how much this means to me. The last few months have been a real test. I lost my mom in December to COVID. My wife was diagnosed with lyme disease. In 2021 I have had unexplained pain in all of my major joints. When my wife damaged the car and house backing out of the garage, it was all I could take. I never expected to receive a gift like this. You have been a huge blessing and encouragement to me. Thank you so much. Hopefully I will get an opportunity to repay the blessing. Please let everyone know."
These relief checks would never have happened if it weren’t for Michigan churches generously giving to the Frances Brown State Mission Offering last year. Many of our Michigan churches have done well through the difficult time, but there are others who have struggled. It is a wonderful moment to see how Michigan churches have stepped in to help other their sister churches that needed a little help this year.
This is a huge thank you to all who gave to the State Mission Offering – Pandemic Pastor Relief Fund. You are helping so many Michigan Pastors and their families.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie M. Lynn, I'm married to a God warrior, have 3 wonderful married children and 9 super grandkids. I love working at the BSCM office to help the churches in the Great Lakes area to thrive, serve God by drawing others to Him and to love their communities.