February 4, 2021
New McKendree Family,
Welcome to February! With one-twelfth of the year behind us, it’s
looking like 2021 is off to a great start.
In spite of all the tragedy, hardship, and weirdness 2020 threw at us,
our NMUMC family remained faithful, weathered the storm, and actually finished
the year quite well. And, even though
last year’s pandemic is still a thing in 2021, and even though our nation’s
cultural divisiveness rages on, I thank God that here at New McKendree we’re
staying true to our disciple-making mission.
Rather than letting the noisy darkness distract and derail us, we’ve
adapted and found new ways to reflect God’s light into our world’s
darkness. We responded to the pandemic
by offering worship online while at the same time finding ways to responsibly
and safely gather for in-person worship.
And, just this month, we launched Breaking Bonds; a ministry that’s all
about shining the light of God’s love into the dark, dark world of
addiction. God has blessed us with
amazing opportunities to offer love and hope to our world that’s starving for
both. Thanks to your love, faith, and
generous support of our church family’s ministry, we’re blessed with the
resources to seize these God-given opportunities.
And speaking of seizing God-given
opportunities, myself and our Church Council leadership are zeroing in on two
major initiatives that will carry us through 2021, into the following year, and
beyond. The first is nurturing and
growing our newly launched Breaking Bonds Ministry. We’re off to a great start; God’s blessed us
with a passionate, qualified, and experienced staff; a beautiful ministry
facility; and the overwhelming support of our church family. Even still, we’ve only just begun to realize
the full potential and overwhelming need for this ministry.
The second initiative involves the
maintenance, repair, and capital improvement of our beautiful High Street
sanctuary and education buildings. We
began the early stages of this work in the fall of 2019, but it unfortunately took
a back seat when we were all blindsided by COVID in early 2020. Although we were blessed with a new roof in
the Spring of last year, much work remains; both inside and outside. Based on an architectural and structural
engineering survey completed in 2019, we have a good feel for what needs to be
done on the exterior to maintain and water seal the masonry. We’re now in the process of determining the
interior repair needs and protentional improvement opportunities. At present, our High Street Improvement Team
is collecting and prioritizing the tasks to be done and their associated
costs. Once completed, myself and the
team will present the plan to the congregation and solicit feedback. We’ll do this through a series of “town hall”
meetings that will include an assessment of our church’s financial position
overall as well as estimated costs of High Street’s prioritized repairs and
improvements. Although this will no
doubt be an expensive endeavor, thanks to your generosity, along with a
generous bequest left by Geneva Godwin, we’re blessed with the financial
resources to at least get started.
There’s no doubt that our church
family is blessed with great facilities; two worship facilities that
accommodate our diverse styles of worship and Cox Hall for our administrative
and youth activity needs. Even though
there’s much “heavy lifting” work to be done at our High Street facility, I’m
grateful for the way our Church Council leadership and Trustees used the COVID
downtime to maintain and improve each of our facilities. Their work over the
past year includes:
capabilities at South Campus and video recording capability at High Street.
of the four air handler units at South Campus.
lighting in the South Campus parking lot.
roof on both the High Street sanctuary and education buildings.
- Replacing the outdated electrical
panel at Cox Hall.
These are just a few of the large
ticket items. What I’m most grateful for
is the constant support of our church family. Whether faced with the unexpected expense of
replacing an air handler unit at South Campus or investing in live streaming
audio/visual equipment, your generous support has provided the resources
necessary to maintain and continuously improve our great ministry
I look forward to what lies ahead in
2021. Whatever comes our way, challenges
or otherwise, we’re in it together. Just
remember, God’s got this so keep on looking up, and keep on loving and caring
for one another.
Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Bryan Wendling