Building Reopening Task Force Decision-Making Process

Dear AHUMC Family,

As we continue to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to share with the congregation the process we use to make decisions regarding church gatherings and building use. Our Senior Pastor, Rev. Holly Gotelli, assembled a Task Force made up of Board, lay, and staff leaders with expertise and roles in relevant areas to meet regularly and develop recommendations for the Board and the staff regarding our response to the risk from COVID-19.

The Task Force meets as needed throughout this time to review situations and make recommendations to the Board of Stewards. The Task Force is made up of:

  • Rev. Holly Gotelli, Senior Pastor
  • Kitty Meyers, Board of Stewards Chair
  • Roger Lind, Board of Trustees Chair
  • Dr. John Jernigan, Doctor of Preventative Medicine
  • Rev. Matt Scott, Executive Pastor
  • Rev. Dinah Shelly, CLC Teaching Pastor
  • Rev. Dr. Darrell Smith, Pastor of Adult Discipleship
  • Rev. Luis Perez, Asbury Pastor
  • Kacey Brewer, Director of Facilities
  • Ryan Kuecks, Director of Communications

The Task Force is guided by several factors that help our decision-making and keep us true to our AHUMC beliefs and values. First, we look at the recommendations of our Bishop, Rev. Robert Schnase, and the Rio Texas Annual Conference. Second, we keep as a guide the Wesleyan General Rules—Do No Harm, Do Good, and Stay in Love with God. Third, we seek to always love our neighbor as ourselves, as Jesus commands us. Fourth, we want to follow the recommendations of local, state, and national officials. Finally, we review local medical data to be aware of how the virus is responding locally. This medical information includes trends of daily case rates, trends of hospitalizations, trends of ICU beds available, and other relevant medical data.

Taking into account these factors and the best judgment of our Task Force, we review the ministries of our church and discuss factors around meeting size for worship, Sunday School classes and small groups, weddings, funerals, and grief and recovery groups. We discuss how we will protect volunteers, the Weekday School, staff, maintenance and facilities, and the impact on the overall use of the church campus. The Task Force then makes recommendations to the Board of Stewards and staff leadership.

This season has been challenging to us all, but we are grateful to serve such a wonderful church family. We thank you for your patience and support as we seek to love God and each other well in responding to this unusual time. We look forward to a time when we can all be together again safely. Thank you for your continued flexibility and willingness to connect in creative ways. We are the Body of Christ to one another and the world, and you have responded in love and faithfulness. Thank you and may God continue to bless our church, the wider community, and our world.

In Christ,

AHUMC Building Reopening Task Force