As I write this message, October is starting with a beautiful morning, and hope is in the air as we pray that our efforts to work through the pandemic are fruitful. The church has resumed in-person worship at both of our campuses—what fantastic news. The live stream services continue with such success for those of us still wary about attending in-person. Most importantly, we are connecting in Christ.
This week’s meeting of the Board of Stewards continued its efforts to navigate these surreal circumstances. I feel like we are developing a new norm. Valerie Slade gave a comprehensive presentation on the current financial status and the 2021 budget. The support of the Foundation continues to be a blessing to us. With fewer in-person services, our financial giving is below that of previous years and, therefore, below budget projections. Even with the various cost reductions and the Foundation’s support, your continued gifts sustain the church.
The fall is our traditional time to reach out to you regarding your financial commitment to the church’s ministry in the coming year. Pastor Holly and the staff will be sending you information on how you can support the church’s mission and operations. I ask that you prayerfully consider your response. These are trying times, and each of you has been impacted in a variety of ways. This church is you, and you are the church.
We have been so blessed by the talents of Jason Smith. He has worked with Ryan Kuecks and the staff on so many of the communications materials we receive. Jason has accepted another position and will be leaving the church staff. The marvelous news is that Jason and his family will still be with us as part of our church family. As you see him, thank Jason and offer well-wishes.
Another highlight is the celebration of 40 years of service that we have been blessed to receive from Pastor Donna Strieb. She has led us through so many different learning opportunities. Her talents and voice have raised spirits in the Taizé services while her prayers reach the soul. Please extend her the thanks she so richly deserves.
The Building Reopening Task Force’s report continued to show the care and concern of balancing the dynamics of the virus, the concerns of the congregation, and the functionality of the church facilities. The church’s Trustees approved approximately $200,000 to be invested in new technology, primarily in the Sanctuary. For those who have attended in-person, you’ve navigated the roped paths that weave around the cables and video equipment. The vendor has been picked for the upgrade project. Work will begin soon with the goal of completing the project by Advent.
Clarification from 9/10: The Sanctuary technology upgrade has been made possible with funds from the AHUMC Capital Expenditures Designated account, individual gifts, and a gift from the Memorial Fund. Through these gifts and funding, AHUMC can bring the word of Christ beyond the walls of Basse Road to people all across our country.
Another move forward is the re-opening of the Sunday worship nursery care for the “itty-bitties”. News will be coming soon for the date and reservation process. The nursery will be for those families with the smallest who need care during worship services. The “bigger” kids are invited to participate in worship and are happily welcomed.
Finally, this Saturday is the virtual October special session of the Rio Texas Annual Conference. Several of us are attending. This is a special session due to the pandemic. We will keep you informed of the proceedings.
Prayers for each of you. Please remember that you are not alone. The virtual connections are posted on the website, and church facilities are beginning to open. We are a family. Do No Harm, Do Good, Stay in Love with God!
Kathryn “Kitty” Meyers