April 2, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For such a time as this, while uncertainty abounds around us, we pray that you are finding peace at this time and that it is found in the Word and Promises of our God that remains resolute as the uncertainty of this life surrounds us!

Due to the intense and abrupt economic distress COVID-19 has caused, the federal government last week stepped in to offer emergency monetary relief with the CARES Act.

The Missouri District along with our Synod partners (LCMS Synod, LCEF, CPS) highly encourage you to take advantage of the Payment Protection Program Loan provided under this bill.  In a letter released yesterday, LCMS President Matthew Harrison, along with other Synod officials, wrote, “The matter that follows is urgent and deserves your immediate consideration…It is expected that demand for these loans will be high and that organizations interested in obtaining PPP loans should be prepared to act quickly before the funds allocated to PPP loans under the CARES Act run out.”  This is a forgivable loan and time is of the essence as funds will be limited to a first come first served basis and demand is expected to be high.

To apply for this program, we provide the following recommendations:

  • First, contact your local depository Bank TODAY, these loans will be provided by SBA preferred Lenders. Ask if they are participating in program and what their process will be to apply.
    • LCEF is not a preferred SBA lender and will not be able to provide funds under the PPP Loan program.
    • If they are not participating, seek out preferred SBA Lenders in your area by going to the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans website
  • Educate yourself on the PPP Loan; click here download the Payment Protection Program for Borrowers fact sheet
    • Additional Questions or clarifications contact your Banker, or reach out to MO District VP Casey Carlson, carlson@lcef.org
  • Download a sample application to see the information that will be requested from you.  Your Bank’s process might be slightly different, and the application might change slightly
  • To start gathering potential required information, download the following: PPP Loan Needs List
  • Apply as soon as you can, it is expected application can start April 3rd. Demand for these loans will be high. The process will take time, so if you need financial relief now, look for other sources in the meantime.

Ultimately, this is a congregational decision and should be determined according to your congregation’s governing documents.  Considering the unique circumstances, some congregations are having to make decisions by church councils or governing boards and have the Voters Assembly ratify or affirm the action taken at a future date when a Voters Assembly can meet.

We are waiting to hear the guidance SBA gives in light of the CARES Act. Until then, a lot of unanswered questions remain. For example, religious organizations are not specifically excluded from the Act, but the final SBA guidance might exclude religious organizations. The situation remains very fluid at this time. Follow the guidance of the Small Business Administration closely on this matter. It will be your best resource.

We will continue to monitor events and provide updates as necessary.

Please know that you are not alone. We are here for you.

­­­­­­­­Yours in Christ—

Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan

President, Missouri District, LCMS


Casey Carlson

Assistant to the President – LCEF


Concordia Plan Services CARES Act/SBA Loan Link: https://www.concordiaplans.org/hub/covid-19-what-you-need-to-know.html

LCEF Statement on SBA Loan: https://lcef.org/business-continuity-statement/