State of the Church : May

Thank You to West Denmark’s Members and Supporters!

In mid-March,  Pastor Linda and the Church Council posted information here about the effect COVID-19 distancing was having on worship services and the church’s financial situation.  

The news was daunting.  In-person worship services are cancelled until a future unknown date.  Our sources of summer revenue have been cancelled. Portico sent a letter threatening to cancel Pastor Linda’s health care coverage if the 2 over-due monthly bills were not paid within two weeks.

Regular obligations are about $7,800 a month and there was also a back bill from Northwestern WI Electrical for $1,400 due to an oversight on their part when we converted to Solar.  But West Denmark’s checking account only had $700 to cover these incurred debts.  

In order to keep West Denmark financially afloat into April, Pastor Linda and the Council decided to borrow $7,750 from the Park/Dane Fund to pay the March bills, and posted the State of the Church letter under a new COVID-19 tab on our website.

In the next two weeks, members sent in regular offerings just as though you were attending in-church worship services!  Several members were able to make extra contributions to the church’s General Fund, and one couple paid forward to cover the outstanding electric bill.  The Family Camp Board voted to pay their usual ‘rent’ of $1,500 to help the church sustain the loss of Family Camp revenue. So the month was saved!

Thank you to everyone who has been able to donate to West Denmark!  

Your quick response and extremely generous contributions made the church’s immediate cash-flow situation secure.  And your enthusiastic support and involvement in West Denmark’s on-line worship services and resources has helped sustain some sense of community.

Wonderful News Arrives

In early April, the Synod and ELCA posted information about the Payroll Protection Plan and encouraged churches to apply for it.  The federal Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program was set up to provide forgivable loans to small businesses or non-profit applicants to help pay for a maximum of 8 weeks of salary and benefit costs for their employees. 

Pastor Linda brought the information she had received from the Synod to the Church Council and we decided to apply for the program.  Then she quickly worked with West Denmark’s bank, Frandsen Bank and Trust, to fill out and submit the application.  

This week we were excited to learn that West Denmark was awarded a Payroll Protection loan for $15,800.  The money can only be used to help cover the costs of our Pastor’s salary and benefits for up to 8 weeks.  

In order to have the loan fully forgiven by the federal government, West Denmark will need to carefully document how the money is spent.  Thank You to Chris Tou, who has volunteered to work with Pastor Linda to ensure that use of this forgivable loan is managed and reported as required by the terms of the loan program. 

Receiving this loan is truly wonderful news and something to be celebrated!!  

However, the closure of church for worship services, the loan of $7,750 from the Park/Dane Fund to West Denmark’s General Fund and the cancellation or delay of spring, summer and (perhaps) fall money raising events means that our finances will need to be carefully monitored and additional contributions from members and supporters solicited and gratefully accepted. 

To give you a better sense of the church’s financial situation, a summary overview can be found at the end of this edition of the State of the Church letter.

We will continue to update you about the status of church finances and changes in worship service plans as the weeks proceed.  At present, worship resources can be found on the website ( New Posts ), and by Zoom for those who have a computer or smart phone. Email Pastor Linda if you would like to join us:

Please contact Pastor Linda, Council President Nikki Strandskov, or Council Vice President Mike Miles with your questions or comments.

Thank You again for your strong support of West Denmark. 

Financial Summary and Overview

West Denmark Lutheran Church 5-1-2020

Average amount of money needed each month to fund West Denmark’s ministry and mission: $7,800 

  • This does not include large one-time bills such as propane and insurance.

While we are not meeting in the building for Worship, Sunday School, choir rehearsal, AA, and other groupings, we realize some savings –  heat/AC; musician stipend; copier costs per page for bulletins, choir music; coffee, paper products, etc. This amounts to about: $400/month

Repayment of the loan from the Park/Dane Fund for coverage of March bills: $7,750

  • March and April obligations have been paid in full. General Fund balance on 5-1-20: $1,796
  • Park/Dane Fund balance (includes deposit of $15,800 fully forgivable loan received from federal Payroll Protection Program): $22,713

Estimated amounts of lost income for the remainder of 2020 (the majority of this money would ordinarily be deposited in the General Fund and used to operate West Denmark, including salary and benefit costs):

  • Cancellation of Fiddle School:   $1500
  • Cancellation of Family Camp:  $1500 (FC Board has donated this to the church)
  • Lost rental income from church, Hall, Dane School:  $6660 in 2019
  • Cancellation of Æbelskiver:      $3000