Dear New McKendree Church Family,
Last month I mentioned how I was so looking forward to finally having the opportunity to worship together under the same roof. Well, thanks be to God, that became a reality…we’ve been gathering on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings for four weeks and it’s been great…different to be sure, but great.
Nonetheless, like many of you, I mourn the death of the way things used to be…the weekly gatherings in the High Street Fellowship Hall after 9:00 am service, South Campus worshipers chatting over a cup of coffee before the 10:30 service, and the intimate, comfortable feel of our Saturday service. And yet, as much as I miss all that, I’m also reminded that change, as difficult and challenging as it may be, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it's disorienting when you’re in the middle of it and it's natural to wonder why all these changes are happening or even what’s happening at times. Although we’re dazed and confused by all the changes, God’s not. And, if we’ll get out of the way of ourselves and let him, he’ll lead us through our ever-changing struggles...protect us, sustain us, and draw us closer to himself...and, when we emerge from this challenging season we’ll be all the stronger and better equipped to serve. As I’ve reflected on the first half of this wild and crazy year, I know that’s been the case for me personally and I believe that it’s true for our New McKendree family as well. So we keep moving forward with our eyes focused not on our situation or ever-changing circumstances, but on God. If we do that, he’ll lead us through the gauntlet of changes and take us to where he needs us to be.
God’s led us through our first month of worshipping together at our South Campus facility and in the same way will bring us to the day when we’re back to gathering in our beautiful High Street sanctuary. And folks, that day, God willing, is rapidly approaching. I can’t give you the specific date yet, but myself, our church staff, and our leadership team have begun putting the processes and precautions in place to make that happen sooner rather than later. Again, we haven’t set a specific date but, barring a COVID up-tick in the area, our first Sunday back will be weeks away…not months away.
Having said that, although worshipping once again in our beautiful High Street Sanctuary is a priority, it’s not my top priority. The safety and security of each and every member of our church family is mine and our leadership teams #1 priority. Therefore, we’re not going to rush into it. When we do open up High Street, I want you to be confident that every precaution has been taken so that you’ll be free to worship rather than worry.
And one more thing about opening stuff up. The same team that’s working on getting us back to safely worshipping at High Street is also working on getting our children and youth activities going again as well as our adult Sunday school and Bible studies. In fact,
Pastor Jimmie’s Wednesday morning Bible study is already set to resume on Wednesday, August 5th at 9:00 am. All are welcomed, but in order to maintain social distancing the class will meet in Fellowship Hall, not Cox Hall. Also, please wear a mask.
Folks, these are challenging times. Changes are coming at us from all directions; changes at home, at work, at school, and certainly at church. But we’re not alone. Our God’s brought us this far and like Paul wrote to his Philippian church friends long ago, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within us, will continue his work until it’s finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” In other words, God’s got this so keep on looking up and keep on loving and caring for one another.
Your brother in Christ,