July Newsletter

Pastor Bryan Wendling

Dear New McKendree Family,

The many updates and renovations made possible through your MOVE capital campaign generosity were not just a financial investment but a testament to your belief in our future generation’s discipleship. As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I believe our next big kingdom-building opportunity is to make our children, youth, and adult discipleship vision a reality. In the same way that together we reinvested in our facilities, it’s time to reinvest in our growth as God’s kingdom-building disciples. But, as with any worthwhile endeavor, our reinvestment in our church family’s growth as disciples will entail some changes, sacrifices, and patience.


After months of prayerful study and data gathering, your church ministry staff developed a proposed plan to take our church family’s discipleship development to the next level. Starting with our Church Council in January of this year, over 160 of our church family members have attended one or more of our nine “Vision of Discipleship” presentations. Although our vision requires bold changes to our Sunday morning routine, your feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Therefore, between our two Sunday morning worship services, beginning Sunday, August 25 (“MOVING DAY”), all adult, youth, and children Sunday school classes (South Campus and High Street) will be held in our newly refurbished High Street Education Building. Our Sunday High Street worship will begin at 8:30 am to accommodate fellowship time and Sunday school, and South Campus worship will move to 11:00 am. Now that our MOVE renovations are complete, this change to our Sunday morning structure will: 1) allow us to leverage our adult children and youth ministry volunteers more efficiently, 2) increase parent and young adult engagement, 3) encourage Christ-centered relationships across both campuses and 4) utilize our newly refurbished spaces more efficiently.

At the risk of coming off as overly dramatic, this necessary Sunday morning ministry programming change may be our boldest move together yet. And that’s saying something! In the past few years, we’ve launched an addiction recovery ministry during a global pandemic and pulled off a $1.2 million capital campaign while navigating the United Methodist Church’s treacherous disaffiliation waters. Through it all, God blessed us with growth, and we have shown time and again our ability to adapt and thrive in the face of change. Now it’s time to take the next bold, kingdom-building step…a step that involves changing our Sunday morning worship, fellowship, and Sunday school routine. To lead us in planning and executing our Sunday morning transition, we’ve assembled a team of ten church family members: children, youth, adult teachers, youth and children’s ministry parents, Church Council members, and ministry staff members. The team’s objectives include mapping efficient space utilization in our Education Building, structuring classes and volunteers, and managing communication in preparation for our August 25 “MOVING DAY.” 

Although a bold step, this is a necessary step if we’re to continue to thrive as a growing, vibrant, fruit-bearing church family. I have no doubt that we’ll navigate through this challenge the same way we’ve navigated our way through what’s come before. Keeping our focus on our God, who began a good work in and through us, we’ll stick together, care for one another, and obediently participate in God’s kingdom-building work.

Your brother in Christ,

Bryan Wendling

PS: As I write this, our South Campus is filled with 75 summer day campers, 19 Eagle Lake camp counselors, five NMUMC teen volunteers, a group of United Women in Faith saints/lunchroom ladies, three rotating volunteer registered nurses, four check-in/check-out volunteers, and Lynn Cotner. Thank you, camp volunteers, for giving your week to our Summer Day Camp Ministry. Thank you, host families, for opening your homes to our Eagle Lake Counselors. Not only is our annual Summer Day Camp a fun and spiritually enriching time for our NMUMC kids, but it's also an excellent outreach ministry, given that most campers aren’t New McKendree family members. Thank you, church family, for your generous financial support of our Next Gen ministries!