By Cindy Solomon

Glencliff United Methodist Church in Nashville received a $10,000 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, a ministry of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. The grant funds a variety of retrofitting projects.

“While our congregation is faithful and giving, many members are also aging and vulnerable,” said the Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, pastor of Glencliff UMC and executive director at The Village at Glencliff, a "tiny home" community for people in need.

“Not only do we have members who need extra care because of their age, we have people who are more vulnerable because of their life experience with homelessness—either in the past or currently. Because of these vulnerabilities and the fact that many members are on fixed, low, or no incomes, we applied for a grant to help provide a more hospitable environment.”

Grant money, along with other matching funds and donations, will be applied to a variety of retrofitting projects. Among them:

  • New doors in the fellowship hall
  • Well-stocked first aid kits
  • An automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Reconfigured internal and external ramps
  • Updated AV system and sound board
  • Restroom upgrades
  • New seating in the narthex and fellowship hall
  • Round tables for the fellowship hall
  • Front door interior push bar

When complete, these retrofitting projects will make Glencliff UMC more welcoming and accessible for members and visitors.

“We appreciate Golden Cross making these funds available,” said Glencliff member Valerie Stringer. “Many of our members have physical challenges that make getting around the building difficult. The upgrades will help them see just how important and loved they are!”

Throughout the retrofitting process McIntyre has seen God at work in and through the projects.

“When people struggle less to simply live, we see God's hand at work,” said McIntyre. “When others make it possible for community members with different resources to thrive, God is at work. When people with low or insufficient income have the same experience in their faith community as folks for whom monetary resources are not an issue . . . God's justice rains down!”

Indeed, one of the values Glencliff members hold close is living out of the abundance of God’s love for all people.

“It's sometimes hard to see and feel that when you don't have your necessities met,” said McIntyre. “Thanks in part to the grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, these retrofits will help us meet the needs of folks in our community. It's hard to preach about abundance when people living in poverty, or close to it, get a watered-down version of Jesus.”