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Hello Countryside Members and Friends,
Since the onset of the pandemic, our clergy, staff, and lay leadership have been working diligently to wisely manage our resources, ensuring we retain as much staff as possible while adjusting to meet the needs and priorities of our congregation in these unusual times.

To help, we applied for and received the Payment Protection Plan Loan (PPP) provided by the Cares Act. The PPP funds are restricted to payroll and other unanticipated expenses directly associated with COVID19 and have strict accounting and reporting requirements. As the CARES Act allows, we are seeking loan forgiveness, which, if approved, would convert the PPP Loan to a grant and alleviate repayment.

2019 was a significant year for Countryside. We relocated to the Tri-Faith Commons to be in relationship with our faith partners, Temple Israel and the American Muslim Institute; and we opened a beautiful new church. With these initiatives, we anticipated our reach in 2020 would increase along with our attendance and membership. And we were well on our way when the pandemic arrived, and our world changed.

In the face of theses extraordinary circumstances, Countrysiders came together, stood up, and went to work. From streaming worship services to creating text prayer groups and calling networks to establishing a safe plan for re-opening, we put our faith into action to meet the physical, financial, and spiritual needs of our members, friends, and people throughout the Omaha community.

This global event has changed our circumstances, just as it has for so many of us, creating new opportunities and new challenges, including adding financial stress. As we look forward to 2021, the Board of Trustees and the budget committee is approaching the 2021 budget conservatively and with great fiscal constraint. Even with our best effort, the Board of Trustees anticipates a 10 to 15% increase in giving is needed to help balance our budget in uncertain times.

It is in this spirit that Countryside’s Stewardship Committee announces the 2021 Stewardship Campaign, Together We Make a Difference—Rise Up 2021. We believe our theme is as relevant as it is timely; designed to reflect these unprecedented times in which we find ourselves and inspire us to right action that aligns with our commitment to work together to promote peace and justice in our conflicted world.

Even though we can’t meet in person, our ministries are more relevant and necessary today than ever before. Your continued participation, service, and support ensures our programs rise up to meet the needs of our congregation and community now and into the future. We humbly ask you to make or renew your financial pledge to Countryside Community Church for the 2021 calendar year.

If this is your first time making a pledge to support Countryside’s ministries, we offer this guidance. Spend time in prayer. Reflect on what Countryside means to you and your family. Contribute what is possible for you and your family.

Just like last year, Countryside has a grant which matches all new pledges and any increases over existing pledges up to $125,000, making your gift even more impactful.

Remember, your pledge ensures our ministries rise up and continue to make a difference. A response by October 31, 2020 is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time, talent, and treasure.

Your Stewardship Committee,
Trisha Hoffman-Ahrens, Tim Kerrigan, Dave Lundblad, Diane Poots, Pat Rainbolt, and Ed Schwartz