Thursday, September 29, 2022

Play

Flooding and power outages are concerns as Ian ravages Florida, advocates urge remembering those with disabilities amid the hurricane, and there may be a link between flood risk and abandoned mine land.

Play

Floridians are urged to stay put as Hurricane Ian ravages the Gulf Coast, the U.S. suspects the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged, and the White House pledges to end hunger by 2030.

Play

Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Tech Gaps Make it Harder for Smaller Churches to Survive Crisis

Play

Wednesday, April 29, 2020   

MINNEAPOLIS -- Churches across Minnesota are feeling the impact of the economic downturn created by the pandemic. Smaller parishes with no online presence face an even greater challenge in weathering the storm.

In states with stay-at-home orders, churches can't pass the collection plate on Sunday. However, they still can receive online donations.

Chasma Dixon, office leader at New Salem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, said that church doesn't have a large congregation that easily can shift to the digital world.

"Right now, we're just using Facebook," she said. "We should be on, like, a Zoom or on maybe a YouTube channel. We're not there yet. We're a small church; we don't have the funds."

Dixon said the already small staff has been reduced to a handful of people. During a normal week, she said, the church gets between $5,000 and $10,000 in donations, but the pandemic has dropped weekly tithing to around $1,000. The church staff now is scrambling to secure grant money, and looking at ways to increase its technological reach.

Pastor Curtiss DeYoung, who heads the Minnesota Council of Churches, said New Salem isn't alone; donations are down for parishes across the region. For smaller ones that serve lower-income and minority communities, he said, it's a devastating blow.

"Any wealth disparity that we see based on race is going to impact, then, the local church," he said. "African-American congregations have less resources, and so in a situation like this, it's more difficult to sustain their work."

At the New Salem church, Dixon said they're still able to press forward with some services, such as providing meals to seniors. However, she added that it's heartbreaking, because they're also limited at a time when community needs are growing larger.

"We used to get calls for people to help, but now we're getting all the calls for us to help people," she said. "So, we have to turn people away."

Dixon said her church is able to make ends meet for now, but she worries about its ability to survive if things don't improve. She's also hopeful, however, since church leadership is engaging with elected leaders about ways to open up other resources for parishes such as New Salem.


get more stories like this via email

The State of Florida encourages the public, especially citizens with disabilities and other special needs, to plan ahead for an emergency situation and know what to do in the event of an emergency. (Pixabay)

Health and Wellness

In an appeal to the public as Hurricane Ian barreled toward Florida, an advocate for persons with disabilities urged everyone to consider checking in …


Social Issues

The average cost of keeping a roof over your head in Utah's metro areas is a lot more than it used to be - if you're renting. A recent University …

Environment

Washington state is considering a cleaner future for its buildings. The Washington State Building Code Council is holding public hearings, including …


According to a new poll, 90% of voters 50 and older in Wisconsin say they're extremely motivated to vote in the November election, with issues such as inflation on the top of their minds. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Those 50 and older make up more than half of Wisconsin's registered voters, and a new statewide poll shows they want candidates to hear their …

Health and Wellness

A popular fishing site on the Columbia River for members of the Yakama Nation has been listed as Superfund site by the federal government. Now comes …

Food insecurity among adults ages 65 and older living alone reached the highest rates in 20 years between 2020 and 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Some 35 million people in Wyoming and across the U.S. struggle to put food on the table, and older adults experiencing food insecurity face numerous …

Social Issues

A Texas human-rights advocacy and immigration-reform group opened two new community centers this week to help residents better understand their freedo…

Health and Wellness

A pilot program launched by the Todd County School District and the county's local health department offers free mental-health case-management service…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021