We're Moving Some Cheese
We’re Moving Some Cheese
In 1998 Spencer Johnson wrote “Who Moved My Cheese,” which told a story about some mice and how they successfully adapted to changes in their lives. Johnson's message is to see change not as the end of something, but to learn to see it as a new beginning. He says for life not to be wasted, it demands a level of risk and adventure. By now you’re wondering, “OK, what are you doing with my cheese?” Let me tell you about a perplexing ministry dilemma we’ve had for some time.
You see, our campus needs to be wide open on Sunday mornings in order to genuinely welcome all people of all ages to New Hope. A locked gate or door communicates the wrong message as people come to seek a living relationship with Jesus Christ. One of Jesus’ disciples described what it meant for God to become human and enter into our lives: “So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.” (John 1:14a) It’s important for us to be the kind of place that points to a God who is “flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” (The Message)
We have, however, another unique challenge in the midst of this goal of openness and accessibility that we’ve heard about from a number parents- providing for the best possible safety and care for our precious children.
We racked our brains and prayed, for instance, to find solutions about how to get our entire Children’s Ministry into the Wesley Building without negatively impacting our weekday pre-school. Nothing we came up with would work even in the short term. As we looked more closely at the new building and having the children mostly on the second floor as a long term solution, we also realized that we would have to use some space on the first floor for check-in, which meant our Social Hall would be smaller, and we’d still have some struggles with ensuring security. Even though our plan has been for the Children’s Ministry to be in the new building, we didn’t want to move the cheese just to move it…we wanted to do it in a way we believed would help do two things: make children safer and make more and better followers of Jesus Christ.
We committed to staying in the solution, and we came up with a creative idea for the short and long term benefit of making more and better followers of Jesus with children and families that was approved by our New Hope Trustees: our Children’s Ministry will move into our current Office complex, which means the Office will temporarily move to the second floor of the Wesley Building; that is, until our new building is constructed. Then, in all likelihood, we will have our main office on the first floor of the new building with additional offices on the second floor. This means all of Children’s Ministry will be in one building on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings (and any other time of the week) with excellent security and without negatively impacting our pre-school. Not only will we have a secure entrance to Children’s Ministry in one building, but the Children’s Ministry will also be visible from the Sanctuary and Logan Hall. This will be far more welcoming for everyone, but especially for first time guests. With this new plan in place, our children will also be as far away as possible from the construction zone during the one year time frame we anticipate it taking to build the new Social Hall.
What does all of this mean? It will mean some inconvenience for our office staff, a few adult Sunday School classes will need to be relocated during this transition period, and we’ll have to adjust to new parking habits. On Sunday mornings we anticipate families with younger children will park near the building that now houses the Office, check their kids into Children’s Ministry, and then walk across the street (our parking ministry will act as a “crossing guard” at the crosswalk as well) for worship. Other folks will park closer to where their Sunday School class will be meeting on the Moon Ave. side of our campus, but we won’t be losing any parking with this change.
Let me give a huge word of thanks to our Children’s Ministry staff (Shelly Wilson, Director of Family Ministries, Lynn Bruner, Kendrick Dyer, and Mark Burgan), nursery staff (Karen Mears, Coordinator, Annie Barkevich, Emily Benson, Paige Tewes, Cody Wilson, Lydia Pemberton, Katie Franks, Bre Jenkins, Kayla Wilson, Jessica Robaus), and awesome and numerous volunteers (Quinton Almond, Lauren Vincent, Barbara and David Motte, Marj Rainey, Ali Loyd, Emily Miller, Sarah Loyd, Emma Loyd, Kim Santarlas, Beth Young, Ali Payne, Anna Boettger, Katey Coronado, Bella Berger, Kim Norman, Julie Lewis, Dottie Waksman, Marchele Cornish, Jay Cornish, Susanne White, Lisa Prause, Donna Nunley, Bev Miller, Kaye Payne, Madeline Backlinie, Rosalie Donaldson, Pat Watkins, Wendy Yeo, Suzanne Mohammed, Olivia Rodriguez, Jake Turner, Cameron Rodriguez, Emma Klotz, Kiki Jenkins, Emmy Roberts, Noah Polizzi, Jack Yeo, Conor Coronado, Erin Backlinie, Eva Klotz, Cara Klotz, Patricia Gould, Holly Orlando, Alicia Brink, Clayton Smith, Grant Salerno) for being so quick to love and serve the kids that Jesus loves so much here at New Hope.
So the cheese (that is, our Office and Children’s Ministry) will be moving over the summer while the pre-school isn’t in session, so pardon our progress. We’ll keep you posted on the specific dates of when this move is complete and ready to implement. Please feel free to ask any questions or offer your feedback to us at .
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape,”