You can help bring this vision into reality through your donations to ‘MUMC Building Fund’, click here to donate: http://www.melissaumc.com/giving/
God speaks to Abraham under a night sky full of stars and makes this promise: “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them… so shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5). This was the beginning of the dream that people across the world would come to know God and love each other more fully, drawing the kingdom of God closer. Just far enough out into the country to see the stars each evening, people gathered in Melissa, Texas, and a part of God’s dream came to be a reality. Members of First United Methodist Church of McKinney and friends from across Melissa came together to start a new church, which came to be known as Melissa United Methodist Church. The journey was filled with spirit-led moments of celebration as people began to gather to worship. We walked in Fourth of July and Christmas Parades, started small groups, and reached out to the children of our community through Vacation Bible School. The journey was not easy and there was a time when people wondered if God’s dream would ever become a reality, but the stars were still shining and God’s promise of faithfulness held steadfast. God was growing a United Methodist Church where all people would find a place of welcome, a spirit of encouragement, and a way to serve others.
God’s people had a dream. In 2014, this dream began to grow. Rev. Stacey Piyakhun was appointed to serve as pastor of the young church and, once again, the church began to grow. You began to reach out to our community, and God used those moments of service and generosity to begin to transform lives. By welcoming all people for who they were and where they were on their faith journey, God transformed our hearts to listen and to love more deeply. By supplying snacks for students who had no food to bring from home, providing peanut butter and jelly for Melissa Community Outreach (our local food pantry), adopting over 50 Christmas angels, and working on a Habitat for Humanity home, God raised a level of curiosity in a group of people who had a dream that together we can allow God to use us to transform the world.
God’s people had a dream of a place where the community could gather to build and foster stronger relationships with one another, and a place where there would be sacred space for worship. The first step was to put a team together that would pray about the vision for where God’s dream would be located. Like Abraham looked out over Promised Land, we had to look out across Melissa and determine where God needed Melissa UMC to be. For several months, a team of people from both Melissa UMC and FUMC McKinney met to discuss this very question. The faithfulness of God and the response of God’s people opened a pathway for an acre of donated land and a lease on additional acreage on which the first home of Melissa UMC will be built. In 2015, the Master Planning team of Melissa UMC went to work with Shanks Architects to put the dream on paper. The dream is more than a building, but the dream includes a building as a place for God’s people to gather.
Today, nearly 200 people gather each week to worship God at Melissa UMC, and our dream is still growing. Underneath the sign that reads ‘Future Home of Melissa UMC’ that stands in a field just north of city hall, there lies a small pile of stones that have been anointed with oil. The stones have been prayed over and are set there as a reminder as we follow God’s dream. God has been and will always be faithful. God has called us to reach out to welcome, encourage, and serve those we know and many whom we have never even met. That small pile of stones may seem rather unimpressive, yet they are the marker on which God will build our dream.
Part of this dream is to construct a building on this space that is both a sign of God’s faithfulness in our lives and a place where God’s faithfulness will be displayed for others. Melissa UMC has been gifted six acres of property along Highway 5 and will be gifted six additional acres for future expansion within the next five years. The phase one plans for building includes community gathering spaces and sacred space. While all the spaces are designed with certain purposes in mind, they will also be constructed in a manner that allows them to dynamically serve others in unique ways. Here are just a few examples:
- Sacred space is designed as a place where we worship, where students are transformed by community, and where God forms foundations for preschool families gathered to celebrate pre-kindergarten graduation or a Christmas musical.
- Gathering space offers a welcome environment, including a fully functional coffee shop which will be used for worship guests, stay at home parents looking for a place to talk, and professionals who work from home and are searching for a change in atmosphere.
Your Master Planning team, in cooperation with Shanks Architects, has designed a space that will transform generations of people. All who enter will be accepted and given a place to discover the very presence of God, worship in His name, and gather in fellowship with other believers.
God says… “I am with you now, I will protect you everywhere you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done everything that I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15
The estimated cost of this project based on concept drawings is $3-4 million. Before we move forward with final building plans and prepare to break ground, the people of Melissa UMC will invest significant funds to provide us with a solid base. This is an act of generosity and a sign of our response to what God has already been doing through the life of our church. Our vision is to break ground as soon as possible and serve God through this space to build personal and spiritual relationships.
Since Melissa UMC is committed to following God’s dream to build a place for God’s people, we must step out in faith and follow. Like Abraham, we have to walk into uncharted territory in the middle of a field and look up. We must remember that the only way to reach that many stars in the sky is to reach out, farther than we think we can, and watch God work. People you have never even met will come to Melissa UMC to seek the God who offers them eternal life. Children and teenagers will come to learn about the God who gave them life, gives them dreams, and never leaves their side. Just like the stars in the night sky, you will never see most of the people who will impacted by your generosity through Melissa UMC, but nonetheless God has placed you here at this time so that God might reach them.
God’s people HAVE a dream and God will use ALL of us to bring that dream to life.
For current worship times and locations, click here: http://www.melissaumc.com/services/