United Church Emergency Support

Denominational ways to bridge the financial strain on communities of faith.

Visit United in Learning for upcoming COVID-related finance webinars and recordings and PowerPoints from previous webinars on ways to manage the financial impact of the pandemic on our communities of faith.

United Church Pandemic Bridging Loans during COVID-19

This is a short-term emergency loan program for congregations during the pandemic.

Emergency loans of up to $10,000 are available to communities of faith that need a short-term top-up after they have accessed the government programs available or are transitioning out of the government benefits.

Please fill out the application form, then press Submit.

The form will be sent automatically to your regional council. Your eligibility will be determined in consultation with the regional council. Repayment terms will be negotiated, and loans must be repaid by September 30, 2024.

  • Loans are interest-free if repaid by September 30, 2021.
  • After that date, the interest rate will be 2% per annum.
  • Those who pay before September 30, 2021, will only need to repay $9,500.

This is the first time in living memory that emergency loans on this scale are available to communities of faith nationally. This program is made possible by a $3 million grant from The United Church of Canada Foundation. The money comes from the generous bequests of members over the years. Their gifts are ensuring the future of the church. Visit the Foundation website for a full picture of its work.

For more information, e-mail Maria Pimpinella at , and check for free weekly webinars on church finances every Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. ET. You can also watch recordings of past webinars.

Capital Assistance Loans and Grants

For the moment, the regular United Church capital assistance loan and grant programs are on hold pending ongoing evaluation of our financial capacity to respond. We suggest not initiating any new applications at this time. Any applications in the pipeline will be reviewed, but please note larger loans are likely to be unavailable.

Deferring Assessments

Defer paying the denominational assessment until further notice. If paying by monthly debit, ask to have that suspended by e-mailing assessments [at] united-church.ca .

Are deferred assessments still to be paid eventually?

Yes. Assessments are essential to regional and denominational viability. Deferral is a form of cashflow bridging. The duration of deferral will be determined as the overall crisis evolves. Assessment could potentially be funded by either of the federal or denominational loan programs.

What revenues do I include or exclude for the subsidy calculation, and what is the impact on assessment going forward?

  • For comparison purposes, revenue means gross revenue from arm’s-length sources calculated using the employer’s normal accounting method, and excludes revenues from extraordinary items or amounts on account of capital.
  • Any loans and grants related to COVID-19 will not be counted in future assessment calculations.
  • Federal wage subsidy grants will be considered extraordinary items and not count against future subsidy calculations.
  • A loan is not revenue in any case and will not count in any calculation.
  • HST rebates are not revenue for these purposes.
  • Regular general fund, building fund, memorial fund, Mission & Service contributions will all count as revenue for gauging year-over-year changes.
  • Capital campaign monies should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. These could be considered an extraordinary items in church settings, but a consistent approach should be used for 2019 versus 2020. All applications should be in utmost good faith.

For More Information

Contact your regional council or

united