The Board of Stewards met last week on August 19. This is always a busy time as we work on the current issues and start the planning for next year. The first order of business was the approval for a “love offering” for Ruth Ann Lind. It was such a joy to confirm. Ruth Ann has blessed us with years of dedication to the church and to the music ministry. The sounds of music have filled the sanctuary, halls, and every corner of the building. Even at the Zoom conference events, the AHUMC music blessed the listeners. Prayers of love and thanks to Ruth Ann, Roger, and family as they plan the next chapters.
Valerie Slade provided an in-depth discussion of the July and 2021 year-to-date financial picture. July is historically a slow month, and this July was not an exception. Offerings and tithes were lower than budgeted. Expenses were closely managed to minimize the impact on the overall budget projections.
Andy Ahrens, Finance Chair, presented the 2022 preliminary budget. The Finance committee, finance department, and staff continue to budget very conservatively due to the continued uncertainty of the times. They continue to produce creative ministries and spiritual experiences for us with a watchful eye on expenses.
One specific area of the budget was a focus of concern that is being addressed by staff as well as by both the finance and trustee committees. The facilities operations at the Asbury campus ranging from routine maintenance to significant problems such as the foundation, have reached a critical point. The BOS has met on several occasions to determine the path forward. We have authorized the Trustees committee to explore the possibility of selling the Asbury property and investing the funds in a new ministry facility and model that better serves the San Pedro neighborhood. This will be an ongoing topic as we move through the Fall. Please follow the progress.
Bill Balthrope of the Foundation Board provided an introduction to the communications campaign that they have designed to inform the congregation about the purpose and workings of the Foundation. The first videos are now available on the church’s website. Pastor Holly Gotelli gave a “back to school” update. We continue to be blessed with a strong weekday school program.
I provided an update from the Building Reopening Task Force. The COVID-19 situation continues to be at the forefront of everyone’s concerns as the Delta variant dominates. We will continue to stress the importance of “Do No Harm.” All people entering the campus facilities will be highly encouraged to wear a mask when in the buildings. During the school day, the East wing is of particular concern because of the vulnerable children in our Weekday School, so masks will be required during that time in that area of our campus. Your continued support will help our community to continue in a safe environment.
Fall is always a lively time in our community. Fall 2021 will not be an exception. We look forward to meeting the challenges and growing in faith the time passes. Blessings to y’all.