January newsletter

Dear New McKendree Family,

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2023! 2023…it feels strange to say and even more bizarre to write. I say that because, although you’re reading my words in 2023, I’m writing these words several days before Christmas. Such is the nature of our 21st Century world and the fast-paced lives we lead. If we’re not working two weeks ahead, we’re behind!

Even though I’m writing this New Year’s greeting ten days into the future, I get the sense that before launching into 2023 at a full sprint, we should first pause to reflect and thank God for his many 2022 blessings. After all, God has blessed our New McKendree family with a challenging but fruitful, blessing-filled year. We started the year with a MOVE campaign and ended with a renovated, modernized, beautiful High Street sanctuary. Although challenging, we not only endured the “home remodeling inconvenience” but thrived despite it. Why? Because we chose not to view it as an inconvenience but rather as a long-term investment in our disciple-making ministries and a short-term opportunity to worship as a united church family at our South Campus facility. And, while all that was happening inside our church family, God blessed us with opportunities to reflect his loving light beyond our church walls. In the past year, our Breaking Bonds Ministry outreach has doubled. God called us to serve amid the dark world of addiction; we said “yes,” and now we’re blessed with the miracle of changed lives occurring before our very eyes. And that’s just a couple of examples of what God has done in and through our family over the past year. I pray that before diving headlong into the New Year, you will pause to reflect on your journey with God over the past year and, in the process, come up with a list of your own.

Because we serve a God who is constantly on the move, there’s no doubt that 2023 will be filled with opportunities, challenges, and blessings. But I’m convinced that the best way to begin the 2023 New Year together is to stop and thank God for blessing and sustaining us through 2022. And whatever our journey takes us in the year ahead, I thank God for the opportunity to travel it with you, my New McKendree family. Happy New Year!

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Bryan