by Gail Nishinaka, Treasurer
& Robert Nishinaka, Lay Leader
This question was raised by a church member. Was this hypothetically or as a matter of grave concern? How important is Centenary to your faith in God?
The numbers continue to grow every day: Persons who have been infected by the Covid-19 virus and those who have died as a result of the global pandemic; Millions who have lost their jobs or been exiled to stay at home for the safety of us all; Others who have seen their life savings reduced to levels that threaten not only the daily need for food and shelter, but make retirement goals a pipedream; And let us not forget the children and the young adults who may have their dreams deferred; Consider as well the elderly who will endure yet another hardship.
As each day goes by during the coronavirus pandemic, the people of Centenary UMC pray for all to be safe and have good health to survive this crisis. Centenary also needs our membership to keep the church in your prayers as well. Financial support from all who care about Centenary is critical in order sustain the mission of the church. Otherwise we are in danger of having to close our doors, leaving behind a beautiful place of worship and a historic legacy of Christian faith.
Centenary has not held a regular Sunday worship service for many weeks now. As a direct result, our general fund pledges and weekly plate offerings have dropped dramatically. We were unable to send a pastoral letter for Lent and Easter. This year’s Easter giving has also been less than we hoped. The Arigato Bazaar, our longest running fundraiser, was cancelled this year. Please, we are asking everyone to consider giving as a special offering the amount of what you would have spent at the Arigato Bazaar.
We have further suffered the loss of income from the use of our church facilities. There are no outside groups using the church because of the lock down status. The parking lot is no longer in operation by our partner, Perfect Parking because of the closure of so many businesses in Little Tokyo and the Arts District. This anticipated revenue will be much less this year as we struggle to meet our annual budget of nearly $400,000. If the financial situation does not improve significantly, the deficit could very well approach $120,000.
Thanks to technology, many of you have started making contributions via our CentenaryDTLA.org website through Vanco. There are specific listed funds for your gifts and we accept either credit cards or bank accounts to transfer monetary donations. Your continued financial support may also be sent by mail. The church building may be closed, but some of the staff and volunteers have been coming in periodically to take care of essential business.
We are profoundly aware that everyone has been impacted by the Covid-19 virus pandemic. We will meet and survive this challenge:
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Centenary UMC needs your financial support more than ever. Go to the “GIVING” drop down box on our website: CentenaryDTLA.org. If you still want to give by check, that’s encouraged, too. Thank you…stay safe and well.
Gail Nishinaka, Centenary UMC Treasurer
Robert Nishinaka, Centenary UMC Lay Leader