Ash wednesday worship Canceled

February 15, 2021

New McKendree Family,

In the interest of safety, our February 17th Ash Wednesday worship service is canceled. We fully intended to resume our in-person worship at the regularly scheduled times on February 20 and 21. God’s got this. Stay warm and safe.

Pastor Bryan

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:

  • ž   Live streaming capabilities at South Campus and video recording capability at High Street.
  • ž   Replacing three of the four air handler units at South Campus.
  • ž   Installing LED lighting in the South Campus parking lot.
  • ž   Replacing the roof on both the High Street sanctuary and education buildings.
  • ž   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 facilities. 

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