EARLY SUMMER 2021
Meet MacKenzie Mailander
The Sumner Center recently named its first director, MacKenzie Mailander. MacKenzie is no stranger to NorthField Church, having been a member for the past three years and actively involved in many of our ministries.
Originally from Iowa, MacKenzie is a graduate of MTSU with a degree in Special Education. “As a kid in elementary and high school, I volunteered in the different buddy programs. As a high school senior, I was a teacher’s assistant in a life skills class and really found my calling. I especially love working with inner city kids.” Although she never experienced homelessness personally, she empathizes greatly with the issues faced by unhoused people.
When she and her family, including parents and two younger siblings, first visited NorthField, they immediately felt welcomed and at home. MacKenzie knew she was at the right place when she quickly found volunteer opportunities that appealed to her.
The Sumner Center “really meshes my interests in ministry and education,” she explained. “It just feels right, when you leave work knowing you did what you were meant to do.
“In my eyes, we need to realize the ‘why,’ that we are giving what we have and doing for others what Jesus did for us. We need to make sure we show people what Jesus’ love looks like in our community, by doing what He would do if He were here.”
While construction on the building proceeds, MacKenzie is busy supporting Sumner Center programs that are already in full swing, like the food pantry, as well as our existing partnerships such as the Special Needs Sports Foundation. In addition, there are numerous programs making plans and gearing up while waiting on the physical space to be completed. These include the dental clinics, job skills assistance and so many more.
“What I love about NorthField,” MacKenzie explained, “is that there is no lack of volunteer help. It is so cool to see the volunteers way outnumber those seeking help, at least at this point. Soon we will have a lot more volunteer opportunities that I think will really excite our members.”
NorthField Receives Annual Award from Gigi’s Playhouse
In May, the Nashville area Gigi’s Playhouse honored NorthField Church at its annual “I Have a Voice” gala. NorthField was recognized as the Community Partner of the Year for Gigi’s. “The first year getting this satellite location of Gigi’s off the ground has been very successful,” commented Sumner Center Director MacKenzie Mailander.
Gigi’s Playhouse is an achievement center for persons with Down Syndrome. All services are offered free of charge to participants. Here is a link to our Gigi’s page.
THE SUMNER CENTER
The Sumner Center construction is underway! As you circle around the building, you will see a number of construction projects outside the building. We are clearing the way to make a new entrance for The Sumner Center. Trenches are dug, pipes are laid and we are excited for what is coming next!
THE SUMNER CENTER PROGRAMS
Teams are continuing to meet to make sure that we have as many programs up and running as soon as possible. We are always looking for more volunteers to join all of our teams. Please feel free to reach out if you are wanting to join one of these groups.
DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD BOX GIVEAWAY
Northfield continues to provide food to those in need. Recently we were able to go into the community and deliver free food boxes to families who lack transportation to come to our campus. We hope to continue using a mobile food pantry as well as helping people who attend our on-site food giveaways.
John and Jackie Pasquarella continue to lead this team with such amazing grace! They pack boxes on Mondays and are always looking for others to join the team. Whether you would like to be a part of planning, packing or distributing food, we would love for you to join them and see the difference food stability can make in a person's life.
STAY WARM SHELTER
The Stay Warm Shelter director, Deborah Alston, coordinates with NorthField and other churches to brainstorm ways we can be of service for the "off-season." Preparing for the colder months is already underway as well. Miss Alston is also working with Northfield staff to create videos that will make the issue of unhoused families more understandable to our students.
GiGi's Playhouse summer session will begin June 15th. We are excited to offer a very physical summer for our growing group of participants. GiGi's Playhouse also provides tutoring in literature and math throughout the week. The summer Tuesday night sessions are always open to newcomers. Soon tutoring sign-ups will be available for the fall session. If you are interested, please feel free to reach out.
EMBRACED WORSHIP SERVICE
Our next Embraced worship service will be held on June 6th at 1pm in the Student Center at Northfield Church. This service is open to anyone. We encourage people to come as they are and do what makes them feel most comfortable. We want to create a space where all feel welcomed and Embraced.