The times they are a changin'...
For 23 years we have had a vision for Eastgate to be a safe place for the broken, the hurting, and the spiritually abused. We have never wanted to burden or pressure anyone in any way, including financially. Eastgate was formed out of our own experience of hurt and brokenness at the hands of religion. Our goals have been to provide a safe place for community and to encourage growth through the teaching of God’s Word without any religious baggage. We have tried to remain faithful to that vision through our efforts of forming authentic community.
There once was a time, several years ago, when Eastgate had a church bus, medical insurance for the staff and a hundred thousand dollars in the savings account. The economic crisis the nation faced put an end to all those things, and we have made the adjustments as necessary, and as we should. However, we have now entered a new territory where more creativity is needed to keep up with the decreased offerings from last year and this year. We want you to be informed and aware of these changes.
What we’ve done so far: We’ve cut many expenses already, such as pest control, Right Now Media, youth expenses, staff pay, some benevolence, some missions and more. Unfortunately, our cuts have not been able to keep up with the pace of the decrease in offerings, which are on average, $5,000 short of our needs every month.
What we’re looking at now: We are investigating the possibility of getting out of our lease for the Eastgate office and/or the youth room. Not only would we save the rent, but the electric, water and cable that goes along with that. Our current lease for all units is up in July of 2019.
If this is not enough of a cut to continue our operations, we will have to look at staff changes. Every staff member works other jobs outside of Eastgate, some part time and some full-time jobs, but Eastgate would have to become a part time only position for everyone, including me (Rob). All staff have been incredibly gracious during these tight financial times and they currently are doing the work of 2-3 people and pay for many supplies out of their own pocket.
What this means to you: If closed, the middle and high school youth room will be moved to the much smaller action room and they may possibly need to meet on different nights of the week (mostly due to the noise). If the office closes, the weekly bulletins and monthly printed calendars will be provided online only.
Just to be clear: For those of you who give already and have given, THANK YOU! This in no way is meant to diminish from your generosity! On average however, we receive about 20 donations every week, so for whatever reason, many do not (or cannot) give. While a reminder like this often brings a temporary surge of cash in to the church, and we appreciate that, what we really need iregular, recurring weekly or monthly giving. Thank you in advance to those who are willing and able to rise to this challenge.
Caring for people’s spiritual needs has been Eastgate’s ongoing mission. We will continue to attend to that calling, no matter what. On a religious landscape where learning what the Bible says has almost become ancillary, we will continue to dig deeply into God’s Word. Set in the midst of a broken world, where abuses come so easily, we set our stake to be a haven of God’s grace and a place of true peace.
Throughout our journey, one of our sayings has always been “As long as the rent is paid, we’ll continue as we have!” This is becoming less and less viable, so maybe God is telling us something. Time will tell. We care about this community deeply and will follow as God directs us. We love you, you children of God.
Rob and Robbie Woodrum