We get a lot of questions about how we’re doing at Forward Movement these days. The short answer is that we’re well. So far, none of us has been ill due to the coronavirus.
Starting in early March, we scattered from our office, and our staff has been working in their homes since then. Working remotely brings challenges because we can’t pop up over a cubicle wall or walk down the hall for a quick answer to a question. Just moving checks and other pieces of paper around can be complicated. And we miss seeing one another in person.
However, this time also brings blessings. We are learning to work in new ways. Some churches have called us to increase their Forward Day by Day orders, telling us that delivering daily devotions to people’s homes is one of the critical ways they are keeping their church together in a time that looks dispersed. Your donations are exceptionally generous, and for that, we are profoundly grateful. We are surrounded by the prayers and love of people worldwide, and we pray for you.
Because most churches are not meeting in person, we’ve seen our revenue decline sharply. Some churches have canceled Forward Day by Day, and without classes and book groups, our book sales are down. To stay financially sound, we were forced to reduce our staff by about 20%. It was tough to say farewell to beloved colleagues.
Despite these challenges, we have worked hard to meet the immediate needs of the pandemic. We launched This is NOT Sunday School to support Christian learning at home. We reduced our ebook prices to make digital resources more accessible and affordable. We’ve created several other free resources to meet the needs of the church. We continue to say yes to free material requests from prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and military bases.
We are optimistic about our future, long term. We have a stable reserve fund, and our board of directors is working hard to ensure we stay focused on what we need to do for our organizational health and the good of the church. We will be here for you during the pandemic and long after it ends.
If you are inclined to pray for our staff and our work, we’d be grateful. If your income is unaffected by the pandemic and you are able, we very much appreciate your donation in support of our ministry. Your support of our ministry means that we can be ready to support you and the whole church.
Your letters, phone calls, and emails mean the world to us. Do let us know if we can help you, or if you have suggestions for our ministry.
This article in an excerpt from Odyssey. Read the full issue of Odyssey here.