Dear Cottage Grove friends,
As you have heard, many changes are being made as we move forward in light of COVID-19. In response to today’s reality and the uncertainty of tomorrow, the Board of Elder and Directional Leadership Team decided to cut next year’s budget by 10% (a reduction of $400,000). To get to that number, 15 of our 42 staff members were affected, and the CG Campus will be the last campus to re-open. With loss comes pain. And many questions. Please take 12 minutes to watch this update and open the document that is attached. We have tried to answer most of the questions that have been asked. We ask for your grace and understanding in these challenging days. Thank you,
A: Not at all. We are planning to fully reopen the campus.
A: It will be months before the campus reopens. Laying off staff gave them the opportunity to apply for unemployment help (not normally offered for church staff but is currently because of the CARES ACT). Plus, Connor was not laid off (he resigned months ago effective at the end of the school year) and Jake was not laid off (he was offered another position effective immediately).
A: Proximity. No buildings will open for months. When restrictions are lifted, we will open in stages (because of survey results plus we’re moving into summer months). Since CG is close to Woodbury and Hastings, it made sense…between a 6-minute to 15-minute drive.
A: We didn’t. Jake was offered another position with CR and declined it.
A: They will personally be invited to attend any/all gatherings that are planned in the future (wherever they are held). Jonathan and Josh are putting a plan together to reach out to leaders and students.
A: When the demand is there. It will be the last campus to open. NOTE: no campuses are opening until restrictions are lessened. The current restrictions do not allow us to put on a “Crossroads-like” experience (one singer in a mask…no kids ministry…no coffee or community…and 25% isn’t worth the hassle).
A: We will have to hire a new CP. Staffing will be his/her responsibility, but all will be welcome to reapply for their jobs.
A: We will continue to do our best to care, grieve the loss, and plan with the CG campus in mind. We need to communicate and care well in this season.
A: We could’ve tried to raise the $300,000 instead of cutting staff but we had just finished a million-dollar campaign and a giving series. We felt like the timing was off to try to raise additional funds.
A: We wanted to give the CG campus more info. In retrospect, we should’ve sent the same detailed email to everyone. Our communication was unfortunately not robust enough.
A: We have had bad past experiences with word leaking out whenever communication is given in advance of decisions. We were afraid that staff or others would hear of the decisions before action was taken.
A: First, we record the weekend experiences 2 weeks in advance—many of the decisions were still being debated. Second, we didn’t feel that people in other campuses needed to know what was happening in Cottage Grove. In retrospect, we will not assume that in the future. Third, the weekend is very guest driven, and talking about “internal decisions” isn’t the right venue. A better plan would’ve been to have a video recorded that would’ve gone out with much more information.