April 9/2020

Staff Layoffs & Finance Update 

During these tumultuous and unpredictable days, our Sr Leaders have been working very hard to monitor our church finances and make adjustments to our expenses. We have implemented a ‘spending freeze’ on all expenses deemed ‘non-essential or discretionary’. We have also implemented some staff layoffs. 

PHASE 1 - Layoff our weekend / part-time staff who work 13 hours or less. This involved 9 people.

PHASE 2 - Layoff consenting regular staff based on work-shortage or personal situations. Seven staff allowed us to lay them off for either 4 or 8 weeks. The roles impacted by these layoffs are: Creative/Service Planning, Video Production, Graphic Design, Reception/Asst, Community Asst, Sr Hi Uprising & Ascent and Connections & Special Events.

PHASE 3 - Allow staff to voluntarily reduce hours. Three staff reduced their hours, totalling 23 hours per week.

The total impact of Phases 1-3 were a 35% decrease in Staff-Team-Work-Hours per week, from 884 to 574 hours per week.

This is a reduction of payroll by $10,602 for every 2 week pay period.

When it comes to church finances and giving, we were surprised by the numbers coming out of March. With no physical gathering we anticipated a very significant decrease in giving. However, it would seem that Riverwooders who were used to giving via the offering basket, Welcome Centre or POS machines / Giving Stations worked hard to transition to online giving platforms! (e-Transfer, PayPal, Subsplash…App, Website)

The first couple of weeks of online-only services saw a decrease in giving, but by the end of the month we were back on track! However, we are very aware that the impact of the financial turmoil our world is experiencing has yet to set in for many people, so we will continue to diligently manage and steward the church finances in such a way as to position us for a strong return to normal operations! 

Thanks for your part in the Riverwood Church family!

We can’t wait to worship with you…and over 600 other devices connected through the wonder of technology, this Good Friday and Easter Sunday!

- t

Dear Riverwood Church Family!


You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers!


With the Province of Manitoba issuing an official ‘state of emergency’ today, the church building and program closures are quite obvious.  


All church buildings are closed to programs and gatherings until further notice.


While the rule seems to be that gatherings of less than 50 are allowed, we are facilitating and encouraging NO gatherings at all, regardless of size.


We strongly recommend that people stay home and connect electronically rather than in person!


In place of our regular gatherings and ministry groups, we have been working hard to create new avenues for people to connect that don’t involve being in the same room.


Here is a list of our initiatives and spiritual supports.  They are all available via the Riverwood App:


1. CHURCH LIVE ONLINE - each weekend we are hosting a 1 hour live worship gathering with music, prayer, sharing and Bible teaching! This will happen 10:15 am every Sunday morning!


2. CHURCH LIVE ARCHIVE - if you can’t be part of the live, 10:15 am live-stream, the service in it’s entirety will be available via YouTube immediately after and via our Sermon Archives page on Tuesday.


3. PRAYER REQUESTS & PRAYER CALLS - our staff and prayer team are available to pray for specific prayer requests as well as provide check-ins and personal calls upon request.


4. 7:14 PRAYER MEETING via ZOOM - our Wednesday, 7:14 am Prayer Gathering is moving to the Zoom video conferencing platform.  All are welcome to participate or just watch and listen in. You can sign up via the App!


5. ‘2 or 3 @ 6:20’ - DAILY VIDEO ENCOURAGEMENT - everyday at 6:20 pm one of our church staff will be posting a 2-3 minute encouragement, teaching or inspiration.  It will always involve opening the Bible together and pointing people to Jesus!  This will be available via Instagram, Facebook and an archive on the App.


6. COMMUNITY FOOD BANK - the only program that involves people coming to a building is the Food Bank.  With many food banks closing in the city we have actually doubled our capacity to respond to the growing need.  Social distancing protocols are in place with a limited number of people allowed into The Garage for food pick up at any one time.


7. WEEKLY FOOD DRIVE - with the need for food becoming more critical for the vulnerable of our community, we are starting a once-a-week Food Drive!  Item can be dropped off at The Garage, 274 Talbot Ave on Tuesdays from 4 - 6 pm.  


DONATION LIST:  (only these items please)


- Peanut Butter and Jam

- Canned Vegetables

- Canned Meat

- Pasta and Pasta Sauce

- Plain Cherrios or Rice Krispies

- Bagged Apples or Oranges

- Hand Soap

- Feminine Pads


8. HELLO NEIGHBOUR - Hello Neighbour is a new initiative to care for and connect with our neighbours during a season of social distance. We know that for many that don’t have strong supports or connections, the removal of face-to-face connection and programming will become difficult in this time ahead. This initiative will provide a consistent and friendly phone call every couple of days to check in with those that need it.


9. FINDING FREEDOM - Finding Freedom will continue via a live stream every Friday at 6:30pm. You can watch live or catch up anytime after in the online archive. Available on YouTube -


10. SMALL GROUP BY ZOOM - Our Small Group Leaders and Coaches have been gathering this week via Zoom video conferencing.  We are also encouraging Small Group Leaders to gather their Small Groups via Zoom! 


11. DAILY CHAPTER-A-DAY BLOG - although we’re on day 415 of the 1000 day Bible reading and blog, this daily connecting point continues, often with comments and connections to our current reality!


12. MINISTRY CHECK-INS - many of our staff and ministry leaders are reaching out to those who serve with them or are part of their ministry groups to check in, encourage and support.  Because Riverwood is a very large church-family with over 3000 people, we encourage everyone to take the initiative to check-in with someone they know and provide support! 


We know that the COVID-19 crisis is going to have many long-term effects on people as well as the church, financially, spiritually, emotionally and socially!  It is far too early to project what life on the the other side of COVID-19 will look like, however, we have Jesus’ clear words to guide us:  "So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.”  


We, as a church family, will do everything we can, to dial back our worry and turn up our faithful, daily living!


- Pastor Todd & the Riverwood Sr Leaders

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