Dear Minnesota Ministers,
What an exciting week this has been! Last Thursday, we restarted our Sectional Prayer & Fasting Tour in Crookston, way up in the NW Section. It was a joy for the twenty of us to gather together for an “in person” day of prayer. Then on Friday, two hundred ministers from around the state gathered at NCU for a morning of prayer together. General Supt Doug Clay lead us in a beautiful time of agreement in prayer. For many, it was the first “in person” large gathering they’d experienced in weeks. It was truly a special morning! If you were unable to attend, you can watch the video here.
A positive outcome from the racial tension that has surfaced in Minneapolis is a greater attentiveness from rural & suburban churches to our Pastors and Churches within the Central Twin Cities Section (formerly Inner Urban Section). As I shared in a previous update, my prayer has been that each pastor/church within the Central Twin Cities would experience significant support from churches all across the state. Perhaps a partnership that could supply on-going prayer support, along with finances, resources, and whatever else might be needed. It’s beginning to happen! Just yesterday I talked with another Pastor who requested information regarding a Twin Cities church they could come alongside in a long-term relationship. Please let us know if we can help facilitate such a relationship for you.
Another exciting part of the past week is that churches are reopening! It was a joy to preach this past Sunday at New Beginnings Church in St Paul. It was an incredible day as we celebrated the burning of their mortgage on their reopening Sunday. Churches across the state are in the process of opening their doors. Some are under tents, some in cars, some meeting in parks, and many in their buildings. We are praying for God’s continued wisdom and direction for pastors as churches across the state continue to reopen their doors.
Other good news for churches came from the Governor’s office this past week. The percentage for seating within our sanctuaries was raised from 25% to 50%. The new numbers are contained in Executive Order 20-74, and specifically say:
“Weddings, funerals, and services. Places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gather space for weddings, funerals, or planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, or scripture studies, may host…
In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 50% of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space.”
More good news for churches came for those who recently received a “Payroll Protection Program” loan from the government. On Friday, President Trump signed into law the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. This Act provided several positive revisions, including extending the covered period (at the option of the borrower) during which expenses eligible for loan forgiveness are paid and incurred from 8 weeks to the earlier of 24 weeks, or Dec 31, 2020. This provides an extra 16 weeks to apply the borrowed funds. Mark Ericson has recapped all the revisions and you can see them at here.
Thanks again, Ministers, for the extra weight you have carried through this season. Take time to enjoy the breeze of the Holy Spirit this summer, and also the summer breeze God has gifted us with here in Minnesota. We will miss seeing you at Family Camp or any of the age-graded camps, but we invite you to be part of one of the “Friends & Family Retreats” at Lake Geneva all through the month of July. You can check out dates and availability at here.
Hope to see you soon!
With love and appreciation,