If you missed the special email announcement about the revised key policies for Oak Hill UMC, click here. If you have any questions about the new policies, please send your questions here and someone from the Key Subcommittee will get back with you. Below is a FAQ from the questions we have received:
Q: The tradition of issuing keys has been in effect since the beginning of the church. Why change it now?
A: Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in security risks that have been troublesome – people sleeping on pews, non-members accessing the church late at night, etc. With the increased activity around our campus, such as the extensive changes to Hwy 290 and the addition of HEB next door, we can expect an increased risk of intrusion and property damage. Additionally, there is a concern about continued insurance coverage by our insurance vendor. Ultimately, the subcommittee established to review the key policy and the Trustees agreed that for the security of our members and Church property, changes must be made to the policy.
Q: Is the tradition going away?
A: No. The subcommittee felt it was extremely important to maintain this tradition in some form, as it is an important step in welcoming new members. All members will continue to receive working keys, but those keys will only access the Hejtmanek Building, where an intimate chapel will be established, and the Missions Building for the purpose of dropping off donations for our community service partners.
Q: How was this decision made?
A: After church leadership brought to the attention of the Trustees their growing concerns, the trustees formed a subcommittee to review the policy. The subcommittee consisted of church members ranging from some who had recently joined and have children in the church to some who had originally founded the church. These discussions, first within the Trustees and then within the subcommittee, have taken place for a year. These decisions were given much thought, prayer, and debate. Ultimately, after months of deliberation and discussions, the subcommittee recommended changes to make the Church safer and more secure. After the Trustees approved the recommendations, they were then presented to the Church Council and approved as well.
Q: Who is allowed to have keys to other areas?
A: Anyone who regularly needs a key to a certain area can request a key and will be asked to sign an agreement to the policies prior to key issuance. For example, the leader of any committees that meet regularly in the Adult Education building can be issued a key to that building and the leader of the Hospitality Team can have a key to Fellowship Hall. Aside from that, anyone who has a one-time need for a key can stop by the Church Office to pick one up, or if someone needs access after office hours, arrangements can be made by contacting the church office for someone to stay late or come early. There will also be a contact to gain entry in an after-hours emergency.
It’s important to note that this policy was not put in place to keep any Church Members from using our facilities. It is still your Church Home. The Trustees estimate that more than 1000 keys have been issued since the Church’s inception. The sole purpose of these changes was to keep the campus secure and the congregation and members safe. Unfortunately the price of security and safety is a little inconvenience.
Q: I need to drop off food for Supper Club in the refrigerator in Fellowship Hall. How do I get in there?
A: During Church office hours, you may visit the main office, and you will be able to check out a key temporarily to get into Fellowship Hall or any building you may need to access for a short period.
Q: When will lock changes begin?
A: Though we are still locking in the date with our vendor, we anticipate the work will begin around the beginning of May. The lock changes will occur in stages, as will the transformation of the Hejtmanek Building into a chapel.
Q: Will I be asked to turn in my church key if I don’t want to use the Hejtmanek Building (chapel) or the Missions Building?
A: No, the gifted key is yours. You may either keep your key or return it to the Church Office.