Our Trustee Chairperson Gary Crawley said, “I can’t believe it. More than 40 people came out to this past Saturday’s workday. The two previous ones we had five to seven people to show up. Even back in the day when we had twice as many people attending as we do now, the most we ever had was maybe 20 people to come. This shows a new, deeper commitment here at New Beginnings UMC that has been missing for a long time.
It began at 8am and everything was finished by about 1:15pm. We had the sound of chainsaws, weed eaters, lawnmowers, hedge-clippers, and pressure-washers outside. Cars were being moved from the front to the back and then back to front as crews of men and women, young and old, were scrapping and painting. They painted direction arrows, red fire curbs, parking space lines, speed bumps, and nine handicap parking spaces. Even the faded, handicap sign poles were hand-painted green and had the appearance being brand new. Even the flame of our Methodist logo on the main building was faded and touched it up with some of the leftover red paint.
There are two rock gardens, one in the front and the other in the back, with a cross in the center. They were overgrown with weeds, but by noon they appeared as brand-new ones with white gravel outlines. There are three wooden crosses on the high hill to the right of the main building. Young trees and weeds were removed and burned and a noticeable difference in visibility of these crosses was the end result. Bushes were trimmed not only in the front but also along the wood line and in the rear of the building. Weeds and vines had overtaken the area just left of our front entrance, but now that territory has been reclaimed. Members with weed eaters and lawnmowers have made sure that our pumpkin patch will be even more visible to motorists on North Cobb Parkway.
Now the refreshing of the inside of the church actually began in July when WINGS (Women in God’s Service) disassembled, steam-cleaned, painted, and reassembled more than 60 classroom chairs. Twenty women (yes, I said twenty!) took on the job, which also involved spot-cleaning the sanctuary chairs. This past Saturday, even more was accomplished. Ceiling tiles and carpets were vacuumed, toys and cribs were bleached, floors were swept and mopped, desks and bookcases dusted, refrigerators and bathrooms scrubbed, burned out light bulbs replaced, and other chores too numerous to mention were done by hard working folks putting in their elbow grease.
The end result was a fresh new church building that grabs the eye. You might even say that New Beginnings UMC has replaced a tired and worn-down facility with one that now possesses pleasing curb appeal and an interior with bling. But what I also see is a newness of spirit and devotion. Workday was indeed a phenomenal day and may be the beginning of something much bigger than we realize. Yes, Gary Crawley is right. There is “a new, deeper commitment to New Beginnings UMC,” but it is of a scale much larger than the inside or outside of the buildings. I believe it is a sense of being “present and accounted for” at those critical times when we really need one another’s help. I pray that it continues and grows contagious!