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This Week at St. Paul's
St. Paul's United Methodist Church  •  7740 Lackman, Lenexa KS  66217  •  913-268-9551
In this issue:
• Called Church Conference
• New job opening: Connections Ministry Coordinator 

• Message from Pastor Lora
• Worship this week
• Encourage our neighbors
• Coffee & Connections
• Join a small group
• Sept/Oct Upper Room Devotionals
• Engage voters
• Help navigate back-to-school
• Share brunch with the Dialogue Institute
• Support Cross-Lines: Food Kitchen and/or Virtual Gala (watch the video invitation!)
• Request a Black Lives Matter sign
• Serve by Singing!

• New fall schedule for Youth
• Kids' Connection: new curriculum & fall schedule

Called Church Conference

All members of St. Paul's are invited to a Called Church Conference via Zoom on Thursday, September 24 at 6pm for the purpose of recommending Luke Miltz and Andrea Murdock to the District Committee on Ministry for their next step in candidacy for ministry. There will be two separate votes and they require a written ballot. You will private message your vote for it to be counted.

Register in advance for the conference. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom.
Register in advance

New opening: Connections Ministry Coordinator

Do you have a passion for helping people grow in their faith? The Connections Ministry Coordinator works to invite, engage, and care for congregation and guests in a changing context (online, in-person, hybrid). This part-time person works closely with volunteers and systems for engaging folks more deeply on the discipleship pathway.

Visit our website if you feel like this might be a good fit for you or someone you know! We’d love to connect with you.
Find out more and apply now

Message from Pastor Lora

September 11, 2020

We close on a house tomorrow (Friday) in Argentine close to Carter’s ministry at the former Metropolitan Ave. UMC. It’s an exciting new adventure in our lives. It’s both of our first times buying a home, so we are learning as we go. We’ve also learned that paint colors have weird names (WHY is my favorite green called “privilege green”?!?!?!).

With the upcoming move, I’ve noticed that our townhouse here in Lenexa is starting to feel less and less like home. It’s more of a landing place, because I know it is going to be temporary. I’m more excited about the life that is to come in our new home together—the dreamy front porch and the cool old hardwood floors and the conversations that will happen in the kitchen—than I am about the place where I have been this last year. I can’t wait to get started with all of that future goodness—that future settledness we have been longing for.

I think that is also the feeling of anticipation I have at St. Paul’s right now. Pandemic Church is a landing place, because I know it is going to be temporary. I’m excited about what God is doing now, but I’m more excited about what it will look like a year from now.

Part of that excitement includes some good news: this Sunday you are going to get to meet our new Technical Arts Director and Contemporary Music Director. Previously, that position was one unified job. Staff Parish Relations Committee decided to separate them when we posted the positions, and we are so glad that we did. Tune into worship on Sunday and meet these two individuals who we are THRILLED to introduce you to. They will both be featured in next week’s newsletter.

St. Paul’s, the way life is difficult right now (school or work or grief or relationships or church) is not forever. We are in a landing place. Should we work to be present? Absolutely. But hear me when I say that it is absolutely okay to be excited for a day when things look different. This weekend I’m letting my heart extend into happiness about new possibilities in a new home and new leadership at St. Paul’s that feeds the longing I have for at least something to be settled in pandemic times.

What is your landing place right now? What future excitement are you anticipating?

Exodus 33:14 says, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

This week, whether you are in a landing place or excited about the future, may you feel God’s presence and the gift of rest.

“See” you Sunday (and don’t forget you get to meet TWO new staff!!!!),

Pastor Lora

Worship this Week


Sunday, September 13

10:00am Livestream on Facebook

Participate in the livestream on Facebook or watch later on St. Paul's YouTube channel! Here's a link to last week's service in case you missed it. Check out the worship guide (link below) for suggestions on how to feel more connected in worship while we're apart.
Online Worship Guide

Presence Worship

Presence is a neurodiverse worship community. We welcome and celebrate the different ways in which we all interact with God, each other, and our environment.

Presence small group worship meets on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m., currently on Zoom; contact Mike Marcus for the link. Advance notice of the discussion question for the week is available by request. Contact Pastor Mike Marcus for more information.

Encourage our Neighbors

Administration at Mill Creek Elementary School is welcoming notes of encouragement from the congregation at St. Paul's, and we need your help! Mill Creek Elementary has taught many of our St. Paul's kids over the years, and even served as our home-base in our infancy as a new church start. If you're interested in volunteering with Love Council for this outreach ministry to our scholastic neighbors, please fill out this form by Sunday, September 20.
Coffee & Connections

Do you miss seeing faces and chatting in the lobby with your church community before worship on Sundays at St. Paul's? Join Love Council for Coffee and Connections - a virtual, come-and-go opportunity to gather together, even though we're apart. Invite a friend and join us any time after 9am this Sunday via Zoom!

Coffee and Connection Zoom link
Meeting ID: 893 3022 6401
Password: SPUMC


Pastoral Care

If you have need of pastoral care (going to the hospital, a death or injury in your family, a prayer request) please email Pastor Sandra. For emergencies, you can reach Pastor Sandra by phone at 913-579-1298.

Adult & Intergenerational Small Groups

Being part of a small group working through questions about faith and life is an important part of spiritual growth. If you aren’t already part of one, this is your time! Check out all the possibilities on our website and sign up. Contact Pastor Sandra if you have questions. 
Learn more & join us!
Contact Sandra Cox, Pastor of Faith Formation Contact Sandra Cox, Pastor of Faith Formation

Upper Room Devotionals

The September/October issue of the Upper Room devotional is available in the black mailbox by the church front entrance. As a constituent of St. Paul's, you also may download the issue at no charge here.

Engage Voters

Get involved in the work of anti-racism at St. Paul’s through the work of voter engagement. Phone banking gives us a chance to connect with and equip those in our community with the power to make their voices heard on election day. St. Paul’s and MORE2 are partnering to offer two opportunities to get trained and engage in phone banking.

Phone Bank #1: September 20, 1-3pm. MORE2 will provide training on how to phone bank. This phone bank will target people who are not regular voters in the community around our church.  

Phone Bank #2: Date & Time TBD. We will join with other churches for this phone bank, which will focus on calling people of color in Johnson County.

Sign up for voter engagement training

Serve in a Learning Pod

Looking for a way to help parents and students navigate back-to-school 2020?!! Join St. Paul's as we partner with The Hub @ Metropolitan Ave UMC & YouthFront to provide Learning Pods for students in KCK. The Hub is located in the former Metropolitan Ave UMC building in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, KS. We are looking for adults who are able to commit to working with students for 2 hours, once a week for one semester of virtual learning (Tuesday or Thursday afternoons). Training will be provided by YouthFront the week of September 21 and the Learning Pods will begin the following week. If you are interested in participating please fill out this form. Additional information can be found here.

For any other questions about this volunteering opportunity, please contact Carter Ellis or Scott Groth.

Please note that all volunteers must be Safe Gatherings certified through the UMC. Contact Allison Marcus for information on how to start Safe Gatherings certification.


Women's Virtual Brunch

St. Paul's Peace & Justice team invites you to join women from St. Paul's and the Dialogue Institute for a traditional Turkish women's brunch - taking place virtually! - on Friday, September 18, 10-11am. Let us know you're interested by filling out this form.

Our discussion topic will be Sharing with our Neighbors: Noah's Pudding (the traditional Turkish dessert given to friends) and other similar traditions in American culture.
Noah's pudding

Our friends at The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City are hosting the brunch. The Dialogue Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes peace, dialogue, mutual understanding and respect by bringing together people of different faiths and cultures. Turkish-Americans and their friends established the organization in 2002 to answer the question, "How can citizens of the world live in peace and harmony?"

Let us know you'll be joining us! We look forward to "seeing" you on the 18th. 

Support Cross-Lines - Virually and In-person!

Cross-Lines Virtual Gala
Make plans to serve from home at the Cross-Lines Community Outreach virtual gala on Saturday, September 19 at 7pm. Typically an elegant in-person affair, their major fundraiser for the year has gone virtual. Find out more and register to participate in both the silent and live auctions! Watch the video invitation and make your plans today!
serving at cross-lines
Cross-Lines Food Kitchen
Our monthly Cross-Lines Food Kitchen serving date is coming up Friday, September 18. It is Blue Team's turn to provide the meal. We need food providers (tortilla wraps, fruit, brownies), donations for food, and servers to pack sack lunches at the kitchen. Servers will travel to Cross-Lines at 9:30am and spend 3 hours filling lunch bags and passing them out to people through a plexiglass shielded door space. There is no inside dining, and mask-wearing volunteers will social distance while packing lunches and handing the sacks out at the window. Call or text Judi Derks 913-593-3772 to volunteer or find out more.

Cross-Lines has ongoing need for helpers at the food kitchen, food pantry, and commodities area. Cross-Lines staff is stretched very thin, and older volunteers are stepping away. Everyone who helps is welcome! All volunteers should wear masks, and there is always social distancing. We are happy to link you with another person or two from St. Paul's to work with. Go to the Cross-Lines Signup Genius to check out the service opportunities. Contact Janet Podoll if you have questions! 
Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

We're planting Black Lives Matter signs in our yards to express our commitment to antiracism and loving our neighbors. You have requested (and we have delivered!) over 55 signs so far!

Let us know if you'd like to receive your own sign by filling out this form. You can also contribute to the purchase of signs by entering your gift amount in the Antiracism Action Fund category here.

Sing with Us!

We would love for you to participate in our virtual choir, forming now! Check out the video and contact Jackson to get started.

Youth: Middle School/High School

Check out our new fall schedule for youth outlined below and join us any time! Programs are open to all youth grades 7-12. Contact Allison for Zoom links.

Youth Fellowship Activities 
Once a month on Sundays 4:30-6pm 
We will gather either outside social distanced or on zoom in a fellowship activity. September 27: Social Distanced Youth Parking Lot Party OR Jackbox Game Party on Zoom.

Sunday School 
Sundays 11-12pm (year-round)
Topic: Faith & Justice 

Activity Based Small Group 
Sundays 3-4pm 
Topic: Engaging in new and fun Spiritual Practices together (Sept. 13 - Oct. 25)

Discussion Based Small Group 
Sundays 6:30-7:30pm 
Topic: “Allyship” Reading the book How to Be an Antiracist together and discussing how to be an ally in racial justice (Sept. 13 - Oct. 25)

Youth Council Meetings
Last Sundays of the month 12-1:30pm 
Open to Youth Council members
St. Paul's Youth online
St. Paul's Youth Facebook Group St. Paul's Youth Facebook Group
Contact Allison Marcus, Director of Student Ministries Contact Allison Marcus, Director of Student Ministries

Kids' Connection: PreK - Grade 6

Our children’s ministry program is designed to connect families to the church, so that together we can partner to build a foundation of faith for our children. We want your child to know that God loves them no matter what and that Jesus will be their best friend forever. We also want your child to know that kids are important at St. Paul’s and that their church family cares about them and is praying for them.

We use Celebrate Wonder, a Cokesbury curriculum, that engages children’s natural sense of curiosity to help them understand God’s love. It creates a safe environment for kids to ask big questions — helping them explore the Bible in ways that feed their imagination and encourages creativity. Through carefully-selected Bible stories, songs, videos, and hands-on activities, Celebrate Wonder gives children the tools to explore their faith while incorporating it into their daily lives.

Celebrate Wonder
Kids’ Connection & KIDS 456
Join us for story time and our weekly Bible lesson on Wednesday evenings at 6:45! This setting is ideal for our younger kiddos. KIDS456 will be right after that, using the same Zoom link, at 7pm. 

Virtual Classroom
For more fun and games check out the Great Plains Kids Bible Journey! This virtual classroom was created by Rev. Melissa Collier Gepford, Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator of the UMC's Great Plains Conference.

Anti-racism resources for parents and kids
We're committed to supporting and practicing social justice. The conversations we have with our children matter. Find a list of anti-racism resources for both parents and kids here. We'll continue updating the list on an ongoing basis.
Get this week's Parent Guide with activity sheets
Kids' Connection Facebook Group Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk, Director of Family & Children's Ministries Contact Jamie Turk, Director of Family & Children's Ministries
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