While COVID-19 continues to organically dominate many of the conversations, we continue to do God’s work and serve others. It’s been just over a month since our last congregational update so as we begin the third quarter of our fiscal year, another update is timely to share what the governance board, staff, and volunteers are actively working to accomplish.
Worship Opportunities for near term
Outdoor worship in the courtyard will continue at 9:00 am, with Holy Communion offered. This has been a great alternative to worshiping in the Sanctuary. See the Olive Branch for additional details.
Online worship will continue at 10:00 am (Facebook Live or MtOliveAustin.org/live/ ) if you are unable or not ready to worship in person. The online service may be viewed at any time throughout the week.
Plans are currently being implemented to make online services a continued practice moving forward, in addition to worshiping in person. If you would like to contribute toward this fund, please contact the church or you may make your donation online and noting funds should be used for service equipment.
Worshiping in the Sanctuary
The preschool remains in full operation. There are a few openings currently available for the summer and fall sessions. For more information, please contact Karen Keswick.
We would like to encourage anyone who is or knows someone in need of assistance, to please reach out to the Connects Team. We have a number of volunteers who are ready to serve and assist.
As provided in the Olive Branch, we have gradually moved in a positive direction with our budget. This is what many have been praying for since our last congregational meeting in December. We could not have done this without your continued support. Pastor Meyer recently sent a letter out to the congregation and we all want to echo his sentiments. Our financial stability is a combination of many factors over the fiscal year, but we certainly want to highlight your contributions. For the last quarter, giving was up by 27% over this same time last year. We are very thankful for your continuous giving.
We have been having ongoing meetings to discuss updating our strategic plan. We feel this is best accomplished through the collective input of the governance board, church and preschool staff, elders, and the congregation. We will soon be distributing highlights of our current plan and will be seeking volunteers to be a part of the committee that leads discussions to align our mission and vision with our priorities. This will be inclusive of both short- and long-term ways we can best accomplish and demonstrate our mission and vision. We will also be taking lessons learned throughout the pandemic and how those translate to our ministry and serving others in the most efficient manner. We pray some of you feel called to help in this process. In the next month or so, we will be disseminating a survey to help gather ideas on areas you would like to see our church moving toward in the coming years.
Updated Church reopen status (7/17/20)
Good afternoon! Last week, we shared our news that we were tentatively planning to reopen the Sanctuary on August 2. We have discussed and planned for numerous new protocols that would allow us to reopen as safely as possible while keeping our staff, volunteers, and congregation members healthy. This decision was based on a collective review of information, including:
- Guidance and recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control;
- Guidance and requirements set forth by state and local officials;
- Current data provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services; and
- Responses received from the congregational survey sent back in late April.
We continue to see COVID-19 cases increase in Travis and Hays counties, as well as seeing a continuous trend upward in the statewide infection rate. For these reasons and the recent feedback we have received from congregational members, we have decided to postpone our August 2 reopen date and continue with outdoor and online services only until we are certain our congregation members are ready to reopen.
We have created a short survey to gauge your comfort level in reopening. We anticipate that this should take no more than five minutes of your time but would greatly appreciate your feedback. Once we receive this additional feedback, we will continue our discussions on how best to approach the safe reopening of the Sanctuary.
You may access the survey here.
We respectfully ask that you complete the survey by next Wednesday, July 22. We will send another update shortly thereafter to share the results and ways we will best meet the needs of our members.
In Christ Together,
Kristy Almager – Congregational President, the Elders, Jason, and Pastor Meyer