COVID-19 UPDATES

Resources regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

Local - www.fcdph.org/COVID19
State - www.cdph.ca.gov/covid19
Federal - www.cdc.gov/covid19
World Health - www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
CARES Act Summary by Nick Allen (Board Treasurer) - March 28, 2020
 
Good morning Campus Bible Church Family,

As your Board Treasurer and on behalf of the entire Pastoral Staff and Elder Board, we’d like to keep you updated with timely information that may help you and/or your business in the coming weeks. On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed into law a third emergency measure in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act builds on the two previous tax relief and cash payments for individuals, as well as more robust support for businesses. This bill also includes aid for hospitals and affected individuals and emergency loans for impacted industries. Below you’ll find a condensed summary of the key provisions from the nearly 900-page bill. We have additional information on the small business interruption loans that are available if you need it. Feel free to share this summary with loved ones, neighbors and friends. God Bless!

Summary of key provisions in the CARES Act
[https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3548/text]

Direct cash payments for consumers
The bill provides “recovery rebates” of up to $1,200 for individuals earning an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $75,000, or $2,400 for joint filers earning less than $150,000. The amount increases by $500 for each child. The rebate is phased out above those AGI limits.

Small business interruption loans
Businesses with less than 500 employees can receive fee-free loans of up to $10 million to help cover payroll, employee salaries, paid sick leave, mortgages, rent and other debts. Loans that are used to cover payroll could be forgiven if businesses retain employees and salary levels [https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance].

Expanded unemployment insurance
The bill increases and extends unemployment benefits, including access to health insurance, for four months for Americans who have lost jobs or been furloughed. Self-employed and contract workers, who are typically ineligible, can now qualify.

Relief for retirement plans and IRAs
The legislation permits employers to give retirement plan participants who have been impacted by COVID-19 the ability to withdraw retirement plan funds up to $100,000 and increase access to plan loans. Such COVID-19-related distributions can be taken from IRAs as well. The bill waives the 10% premature withdrawal penalty and provides the option for such distributions to be taxed ratably over three years. These COVID-19-related distributions can be rolled back into a retirement plan or IRA within three years. The bill also temporarily suspends Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) for 401(k)s and IRAs in 2020. This would include an RMD normally due by April 1 for individuals who turned 70½ in 2019, but only if the individual did not take their RMD in 2019.

Suspended remittance of employer Social Security tax
Employers and self-employed individuals are allowed to defer payment of the employer share of Social Security tax for the remainder of 2020. Half of that amount is due on Dec. 31, 2021, and the remainder on Dec. 31, 2022.

Student loan payments suspended
The bill allows individuals to defer payments on federal student loan payments, principal and interest through Sept. 30, 2020. It also allows students whose universities have canceled classes to keep Pell Grants. Employers can also provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis.

Expansion of charitable contribution deduction 
Certain cash charitable contributions up to $300 can now be treated as above-the-line deductions for non-itemizers and the 60% of AGI limitation for cash contributions is waived for itemizers.

Nick Allen, Board Treasurer
A Special Announcement from Pastor Jim - March 17, 2020
 
In over forty-five years of pastoral ministry I have helped shepherd God’s people through a number of emergencies from mudslides that buried people alive, earthquakes that devastated people’s homes, 9/11 that brought our country to its knees, Y2K, and now the global coronavirus pandemic. In each of these situations I have been compelled by the words of Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear…” We have chosen to pursue prudence; not fear and loving our neighbor over selfish desires.
           
Recently, we stood before our congregations and committed to do what it takes to protect this flock. We assured you we would comply with the developing guidelines issued by the federal, state and local health departments and disease control agencies. As recently as yesterday the guidelines have changed. You are, I’m sure, familiar with the call for disinfecting hard surfaces (for which supplies are rapidly becoming unavailable) and asking people who are sick and any folks over 65 to stay home. The newest guideline is to not allow groups of more than ten to gather, and if they do, to encourage them to engage in “social distancing” of six feet. We are well aware of school shutdowns and community event cancellations. We honestly do not know what will come next, but we do know that a number of counties are in “lock down” and people are simply asked to stay home, except to gather essentials.

The Elders and pastoral staff held an emergency meeting and made the difficult but important decision to cancel or postpone all physical gatherings of Campus Bible Church on or off-site until further notice. There will be no official meetings of any ministry at any of our sites, off-site, at homes or otherwise. With the exception of what is needed to run church business and to produce a quality online worship experience, no events under Campus Bible Church’s name will be happening anywhere.

Let me do my best to answer a few of your questions.

Where will I go for Worship?
We are moving our worship services from onsite to online. Whether you are a Maple Campus or Palm Campus worship service attender, we invite you to join us on Sunday mornings as we gather online to view the complete service (music included) on our website (www.campusbiblechurch.com/watch-live).

On the Watch Live page, you will find a Worship Packet which we encourage you to use throughout the service. It will contain Sermon Notes, Song Lyrics and other helpful information. We encourage you to download or view the Worship Packet and print it out for your family members and a small group of friends.

You will also find links to Submit a Prayer Request, fill out a Connection Card, and Give Online.

The entire service will be live streamed at 8:30 am, 10 am, and 11:30 am. Invite your friends and neighbors to watch online in their homes or join them if you do not have internet access yourself.

Our staff is available mid-week to help anyone access the online services (livestream or recorded). Speaking of recordings, the entire worship service will be recorded and available on demand by 1pm on Sunday afternoon. (www.campusbiblechurch.com/services).

What does ‘Until further notice’ mean?
It means that we will be paying strict attention to the guidelines and recommendations. We are hoping that new discoveries will reveal that we are safe to gather sooner than expected and are hoping to resume in person services and activities the week after Easter. We will certainly get the word out when that decision is made and give updates along the way.

Can our group meet off-site?
Any such meeting will NOT be an official Campus Bible Church sponsored event. We do, however, hope you will meet on your own with family and friends. We will be providing you a number of “connecting points” and suggestions as to how you can minister to others during these trying times.

Will the church offices be open? 
Yes, our administrative and ministry staff will be keeping regular office hours at our Maple Campus and limited office hours at our Palm Campus.  Some of the pastoral and ministry staff (especially those over 65 years old) will be working from home.

Feel free to call the church office with questions (559) 291-9116. You may contact our pastoral or ministry staff at any time. You may send emails through the Leadership page on the church website (www.campusiblechurch.com/our-leaders).

What groups will be authorized to be at the church?
The Elders will be allowing the worship and tech teams, pastors, Elders, and selected worship service participants to attend on Sunday mornings at the Maple Campus in order to provide a quality online worship experience for all of us. In order to comply with the guidelines concerning gathering size, we will not be allowing others to attend at this time.
 
What about our seniors and the needy in our church?
We are taking active steps to assess the needs of all of our seniors and ministering to those who are needy and especially vulnerable. Let us know if you learn of needs, but also stay tuned as to how you and your group can help if needed. We are in this together!

How will I stay connected and informed?
We are engaged in a series of meetings in which we will use whatever resources are available to provide you with opportunities to encourage one another, pray for one another and support one another.

In the meantime, set up a text thread or email chain for your small group and church friends. We also ask you to look regularly at the church website for updates, announcements, pastoral encouragements, prayer requests and ministry opportunities.

We especially encourage you to download the Campus Bible Church App on your mobile device from the Apple App Store or Google Play store (www.campusbiblechurch.com/app). On the church app you will be able to find quick links to updates, watch the service online, watch recorded services, and watch or listen to hundreds of past messages.

How will I give my offerings?
Thank you for asking! You may bring your offering to the church during office hours or give online (www.campusbiblechurch.com/give). You could also give through your banks Bill Pay feature. Let the office staff know if you have any questions. We are praying we will all realize that the operating and local and global ministry expenses of the church will remain the same and our giving is vital. Thank you, in advance, for your faithfulness.

How will I submit my prayer requests?
We encourage you to use the online prayer request form (www.campusbiblechurch.com/prayer-request). When completing the online prayer form, you can designate your prayer request to go to the prayer chain or to just Elders/Staff.
 
What if I need pastoral counseling?
We are here for you. Contact the church office or any of our Pastors (www.campusbiblechurch.com/our-leaders).
 
What if I have more questions?
Again, contact the church office or any of your leaders by phone, text or email. We will do our best to answer you quickly.
 
What can I do today?
P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens. We are expecting God to show us greater ways to love and serve one another at home, in our neighborhoods and in the community.

Also, during this season many around the country are engaged in a 21 Days of National Prayer with nightly live streams (7:14pm ET / 4:14 pm PT), standing on 2 Chronicles 7:14. More info may be found at https://facebook.com/AmericaPrays247/. We encourage you all to participate.

Together, we are holding on to the timeless words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
 
To God be the glory!
Pastor Jim
Campus Bible Church's Health Notice Announcement - March 13, 2020
 
We are well aware of the ongoing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, especially as it affects the more vulnerable in our midst.
 
We are attempting to stay accurately informed with current updates and guidelines from our local, state and federal disease control agencies.
 
Our position is to strive to be prudent, without engaging in panic.
 
With your safety in mind, we have initiated a more rigorous program of disinfecting all hard surfaces before and after group gatherings.
 
We have placed Health Notices around our facilities and online that contain important guidelines. Please take the time to read these and we urge you to comply.
 
We encourage you to wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly and frequently. And, of course, cover your coughs and sneezes.
 
If you are sick, please stay home, especially if you have had a fever in the last 24 hours.
 
If you are unable to be here, we encourage you to participate in the service from the comfort of your home by watching the live-stream of the entire service, worship music included (www.campusbiblechurch.com/watch-live).
 
You can also give your offerings on our church website (www.campusbiblechurch.com/give).
 
You will notice that we will not be doing a stand and greet time in our worship services.
 
We encourage you to greet one another with a kind word; not a handshake or a hug (or an elbow bump, if you so desire).
 
For now, none of our large gatherings are over the recommendation of no more than 250 people. Therefore, at this time, our Easter services will remain as scheduled, as well as the Easter Brunch.
 
However, we have postponed our 50th anniversary celebration, scheduled for May 3, until later this Fall.
 
We encourage you to visit our church website for further announcements and updates.
 
In all of this, we are especially calling us, as the people of God, to keep a heavenly perspective during these trying times.
 
We are asking you to join us in praying for the sick and weak, as well as to pray for the peace of God.
 
We encourage you to reflect often on the timely words of Psalm 91:1-4:  
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

-- Pastor Jim Cecy and the Elder Board