Dear AHUMC Family,
I’m writing to update you regarding our church’s safety policies and protocols in light of the recent Executive Order regarding face coverings issued by Governor Abbott. As you may know, that order stated that individuals will no longer be required by the State of Texas, and cannot be required by a city or county, to wear a face covering. This order became effective on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
After careful consideration and based upon the recommendation of our Building Reopening Task Force, the AHUMC Board of Stewards voted this week to continue our current protocol regarding face coverings. This means that for the time being, we ask that you continue to wear masks at all services, activities, and events at the church unless you are unable to do so for medical reasons. We believe this is the best course of action to protect those who are at a higher risk for COVID-19 or who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated.
As Wesleyans, our first rule of conduct is “Do no harm,” and our leadership believes that continuing to wear face coverings at this time best aligns with that rule. Jesus calls us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and thus, caring for the vulnerable among us is of the highest priority for our faith community.
It is also important for you to know that in making this decision, our Task Force and Board of Stewards took into account the wording of the Governor’s Order itself, which “strongly encourages” individuals to wear masks when social distancing is not feasible. Additionally, the Task Force and Board considered the position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which continues to recommend three key preventative measures: (1) wearing masks, (2) social distancing, and (3) engaging in enhanced hygiene measures to protect ourselves and others.
We trust that, in the spirit of Christian love and servanthood, you will continue to wear your mask while you are on the church campus. Please join our church leadership in prayer for those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic and for the continued rapid rollout of life-saving vaccines.
Should you have concerns or questions about our safety policies and protocols, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Chair of our Board of Stewards, Kitty Meyers; her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Holly H. Gotelli