How will churches survive without passing the plate?

Covid restrictions have made changes on many institutions - and that includes churches. Keelan Cook of the Union Baptist Association says December is normally their biggest donation month. Probably not this year! He sees different churches are seeing different results. "There's only a slim number of churches that have seen an increase because of the situation. Probably most churches have taken a dip. And then there are another slim group that hare taking a pretty substantial, severe financial loss."

Cooks says with limiting the number of congregants per service means there are fewer people to pass the plate. Because most churches are receiving less income from their members they are having a hard time meeting their own financial obligations to area nonprofits. Some with bylaws that allow it are having fund-raisers and fellow churches are helping each other. Cook is optimistic. "I have talked to some churches that have actually seen an increase in visitors because the unrest that 2020 has caused has some people thinking about some deeper things!"

Cook says 2020 Christmas services will be different. "Some are trying to maintain normalcy. Some say, "this is a different year, so let's do something different - but try to do it in person. Then the third group says, 'let's celebrate - but let's do something online."

Inexpensive Zoom Christmas pageants are popular this week..

Catholic parishes, in particular, have already seen an average 15% drop in collections from last year.

Photo: Getty

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