Respected Sir, The Central as well as State Governments prohibited gatherings at workplaces that would undoubtedly include our Churches due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Hence , I sent a circular in tune with the prohibitory orders of the Central and TN Government.
You suggested to raise funds to pay salary for two months to the Pastors, staff of CBO and IELC Trust Association, through IELC Trust Association, CWC at Malappuram, International School at Kodaikanal, Otten Memorial School at Wandoor, and Lutheran Hour Ministries at USA.
In Ambur Synod, the only income when I assumed charge was the rent paid by the tenants in the shopping complex at Ambur. One Pastor used to collect rent from the tenants and remitted around Rupees fifteen thousands per month after adjusting the expenses for collection charges.
I instructed the tenants to directly remit the rent to the IELC-TA account through
Bank. Now, thus there is some improvement and about Rupees thirty five thousand are now remitted every month.
One lay man ,claiming as a Manager appointed by Rev. J. Samuel , former President of IELC , to the shopping complex, was collecting rent from the shopping complex at Krishnagiri and appropriated the entire rent towards his salary as Manager.
I terminated his service as no such post is necessary to collect rent. I instructed the tenants to remit to the IELC-TA account through bank. Now, the remittances are made by the tenants through bank and about Rupees fourteen thousand is remitted in total every month by the tenants.
While so, the property tax to the said properties were not paid for a long period.
Further, the property tax payable for the Bethastha Hospital and the houses occupied by many personalities were also not paid for a long time.
The total liability accumulated was about Rupees eight lakhs.
I took efforts to pay the property tax liabilities.
The same is the position in other Synods.
Hence, there is no scope for any funds being raised through IELC-TA
Secondly, you mentioned about CWC, Malappuram.
They are paying every month Rupees one lakh ,and the same is used for payment of salary to the Deaconess at the time when I assumed charge. The same is continued.
Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the private hospitals have come to standstill and the private hospitals are virtually not functioning.Hence, their survival itself is in question,at this juncture .
Thirdly, you mentioned about the International School at Kodaikanal. They are our tenant. They pay every month Rupees one lakh fifty thousand after adjusting income tax . At the time, when I assumed charge, the said rent was used to pay pension to the retired Pastors. The same practice is continued. When I assumed charge, there was arrears of pension payable to retired Pastors and I cleared the arrears.
Further, more retired Pastors are paid pension now and the allocated amount of the rent from the International School is not enough to meet the pension of the retired Pastors.
Fourthly, you mentioned about seeking help from LCMS, USA. In this regard, I like to bring to your notice that the worst affected are the people of USA as of now. Hence, it may not be the appropriate time to seek help from them. In any event, I requested the representative of LCMS in India to try to get some help. I have not received any reply so far.
One more relevant fact that I like to bring to your notice is the non payment of PF dues to the retired Pastors from 2013 onwards. I settled the PF dues from the surplus created out of the assessment after I assumed charge. You were the Pastor retired in January 2020 and you were also paid PF dues. Also, I arranged for the payment of Christmas Gift to the serving as well as retired Pastors and the staff in 2019 . Hence, all the resources are almost utilised and no one expected this Pandemic.
Besides the salary payable to me , Secretary ( IELC), Secretary ( Legal) IELC, we require every month around two lakhs towards the salary of the staff of CBO and IELC-TA. Even if no assessment is paid they have to be paid salary.
As far as the assessment for the month of March is concerned, a sizeable number of Pastorates in Trivandrum and Nagercoil Synod paid the assessment and there is very poor remittance only from Ambur Synod as on today.
You were one of the former Presidents of IELC. Please suggest me a way out to tide over the crisis.
Myself, the Secretaries mentioned above will not take salary until there is an improvement in the financial conditions.
Thanks and Regards