By Joe Reavis
With no church building to maintain, Christ United Methodist Church of Princeton can concentrate its efforts on being a good neighbor and serving the community.
CUMC, founded almost a year ago as a daughter church of Christ United Methodist Church of Plano, has been selected as Business of the Month for August by Princeton Chamber of Commerce.
Services are conducted at 11 a.m. Sunday at Clark Junior High School cafeteria, 301 Panther Parkway, under the watchful eye of the Rev. Cathy Partridge.
The church has attracted about 70 worshipers to day and fills a void created when First United Methodist Church of Princeton closed in December 2012.
“We’ve come back in with a new church start,” Partridge said. “We are here for good.”
CUMC features an acoustic contemporary worship format that is about 50 percent based on music, contemporary and traditional selections.
“The music appeals to people of all ages,” the pastor pointed out.
Because the church does not have a traditional home, it takes a bit of work to set up for the Sunday service. Partridge explained that everything needed for the service, supplies, nursery fixtures, sound equipment and coffee makers for example, are unloaded each week from a pair of 24-foot trailers. Setup takes about two and one-half hours and breakdown takes about an hour.
Cafeteria tables and benches provide seating for attendees.
Partridge explained that an advantage of not having a brick-and-morter home, is that the church can expend its efforts in the community instead of on building upkeep and payments.
“We can do things to make a difference,” she said.
For the second year, the church is sponsoring a back-to-school bash, providing school supplies, backpacks, haircuts, immunizations and vision testing to students in need. Last year, the event served more than 500 children. The bash will be held on Aug. 8 at Clark.
In late June, church members dispensed with their regular Sunday service and spent the day working at POW Camp/Community Park to get the grounds ready for the Fourth of July celebration. The day concluded with a cookout.
CUMC, however, is establishing a permanent presence in Princeton and recently leased a downtown building to conduct programs during the week.
In addition to Partridge, the church has three other paid staff, directors for children’s programs, music worship and community relations.
“I’m having fun,” the pastor says.