Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.


The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Tech Gaps Make it Harder for Smaller Churches to Survive Crisis


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

An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)


Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …

Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …

Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …


Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Social Issues

After the calendar flips to December, South Dakota will see the return of colder temperatures during a period of higher natural-gas costs. Fire …


By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …


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