Look back at 2016, Look forward to 2017!

Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,

As we approach a New Year, McKendree appears to have the greatest opportunity to join Jesus in the neighborhood. Thanks for being a community who trust, believe and are committed to following Jesus into places and associate with people whom most refuse to acknowledge as children of God.  In visiting with one of our newest couples for coffee, they expressed the joy of being in a community that welcomes all people, preaches hope, and extends grace upon grace through missional engagement.

Two primary Scriptures of greatness – the Great Commandment and Great Commission, guide us!  Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. “

And Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you.  Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

Let’s take a quick look back.

  • We celebrated 229 years of mission and ministry.
  • Our children’s ministry continued growing with more young couples joining us with the anticipation of connecting to God’s mission for our community.
  • Mentoring young children at Rose Park, and now at Buena Vista schools.
  • Worshiping Without Walls (W3) was a new initiative that allowed us to worship and then work in the community.
  • Seven men in our Foundry (Men’s transitional housing facility).
  • 9am and 11am worship connects with the heart and head and flows through the hands.
  • Embraced the 72+U initiative that calls us to reach 72+ new people.
  • Launched The Encounter@MetroCenter.
  • Trained Life Group Leaders.
  • Continued building bridges of hope through the love of Jesus Christ by becoming more aware of our assumptions, biases, and perceptions and seeking places of commonality while celebrating our differences through a series of One Table events.

We look forward to 2017 where we will…

  • Ground everything we do in prayer.
  • Expand our mentoring ministry to John Early Elementary School.
  • Explore the potential for Boy’s Prep School.
  • Empower all people at McKendree to love, learn and lead together.
    Continue our 72+U emphasis by connecting with people God puts in our path.
  • Encourage all people to participate in the GIVING 365 campaign where we commit our resources of time, talents, and finances to advancing the gospel of Jesus.
  • Launch another Encounter on Music Row or 12th South.
  • Launch Restoration Pointe, our non-profit for all homeless ministries, as a full-scale ministry.

Please join me in celebrating God’s love and grace in us so that we extend radical hospitality and intentional generosity.  And if you decide to give before the year ends, please click on the donate link.  Thank you God, for loving and leading us!

Happy New Year!

As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!
Pastor Stephen

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