November Board of Stewards Meeting

Greetings from the Board of Stewards. The BOS November meeting, the last meeting of the year, was held on November 19. As we reflected, I thought of Pastor Robert’s thoughts – “words cannot begin to describe the uniqueness of 2020.” We had a variety of topics to discuss.

Valerie Slade and her team deserve many thanks and blessings. They have navigated us through the many twists and turns of the year. When the church requested federal assistance under the Payroll Protection Act, we prayed that the loan would be forgiven when Frost Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration finally reviewed the paperwork at the end of the loan period this fall. We received notification this month that the loan has been forgiven. This means that the $419,000 covering salaries and other maintenance costs and will not require repayment.

In the summer, the AHUMC Foundation supported the church operations financially for this year. The church reached out to them again for support for next year. The Foundation Board approved a $370,000 distribution for 2021. Thank you, Foundation Board.

The church’s financial position continues to be monitored very closely. Decisions are made strategically as the year progresses. Positions are reevaluated and redesigned to reflect the needs of the church better. Full-time staff vacancies are replaced with part-time where feasible resulting in a reduction in benefits costs. The stewardship campaign is still ongoing. We have yet to reach the goal and continue to pray for support. Please support your church.

The Building Reopening Task Force report provided a review of the status of activities. Dr. John Jernigan’s input continues to be very valuable as we follow the changes in the conditions of our community. We are continuing for the present time with the current levels of worship, the combination of in-person and live stream services, maintaining the limitations on attendance. There will be some additions to the children’s and student ministry, and the Board approved the plans for the coming Advent season and Christmas Eve services. We continue to follow the news bulletins on COVID-19 updates and will adjust as necessary for the safety of all.

One responsibility of the Board is to approve a request for a candidate for ministry. We were honored to approve and forward the request by Chris Estus to seek licensing as a local pastor on our staff. This will now go to the Rio Texas Conference for approval.

The task at the meeting was the approval of the final packet of materials to be sent forward to the Las Missiones District for the cluster Charge Conference that will take place in December. The Charge Conference will be virtual as have so many activities due to the pandemic. Information regarding the Charge Conference and how to observe online will be printed in the bulletin during the first two Sundays in December.

At the end of a year, we congratulate and thank those whose terms are ending in 2020. The Board term for most leadership positions is three years. This last year has been so demanding as we met virtually and with increased frequency to be nimble and strategic when dealing with the variety of issues that arose. Thanks to all on the 2020 board. It has been an honor to serve with you. A special thanks to Roger Lind, Jamie Patterson, and Craig Darilek. Each has dedicated their time, energies, and expertise so faithfully. We extend blessings to each. 

As we enter into the most holy Advent season, I thank everyone for their support and prayers. The Board has worked diligently for you and has been blessed by your support. Please have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving followed by Advent and a merry Christmas. It’s prudent to say to all to remember the various safety precautions as the pandemic continues to hold us in these times. Prayers for new hope in 2021 and the promising vaccine. 

Many blessings to all.

Kathryn “Kitty” Meyers