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St. Paul's United Methodist Church  •  7740 Lackman, Lenexa KS  66217  •  913-268-9551
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In this issue:


LOVE

  • Message from Pastor Lora
  • Worship this Week including 3rd Grade Bible presentation
  • Care Notes

SEEK

  • Last week's brunch with Dialogue Institute
  • 5th Sunday Forum with MORE2
  • New Small Group & Topics
  • Read the Bible Daily 

SERVE

  • First Sunday Food Drive
  • Kids & Youth Service Opportunity

KIDS & YOUTH

  • Youth Programs - Join us any time!
  • Kids' Connection & Third Grade Bibles


Message from Pastor Lora


You all know I’m going to quote National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, in this newsletter, right? I mean, how could I not?

A Renaissance Poetry & Religion class I took at K-State in my undergrad work helped me see God through words like I never had before. Poetry has since been a gift to my faith—I often hear God through the words of poets.

But I need to tell you that Amanda Gorman made me cry at least three times on Wednesday. Her words captured who we are as a country, the unique time we are in, and she sent us forward with a charge that felt sermonic (except better than any sermons I’ve heard! I’ll let you keep your opinions to yourself about that comparison! ☺)

A couple Sundays ago our team swerved and moved us into a worship service we called “Bearing the Light.” Did you hear Gorman’s finale? Did you hear the call resound?
 
There is always light

if only we are brave enough to see it

if only we are brave enough to be it.

Since I can’t retroactively quote her in my sermon from two weeks ago, you all have to put up with the addition today. Those words are what faith looks like in this season of Epiphany—the courage to see and be light—but even more so, the courage to believe that there is ALWAYS light.

There is light through a pandemic, through your depression, through our country’s division.

There is light in your loneliness, in your kids’ classrooms, in your work-from-home routine.

You all keep walking this journey of pandemic courageously. I am grateful for a gifted poet who helped me have some time with Jesus this week. I’d encourage you to spend some time studying her poem. Our Program Staff did so this week. We asked ourselves:
  • What emotions arise for you when reading this poem?
  • What lines stand out to you?
  • How might this poem be a prayer?
  • How might someone different from you hear this poem?
  • Having reflected on it, do you hear God calling you into faithfulness in a specific way today?
Take some time today and meet God in the light of poetry today, St. Paul’s. (And if poetry is not your thing, you’re not off the hook that easily! Spend some time reflecting on how you will see and be light today too.)

“See” You Sunday,
Pastor Lora
 
Worship this Week


Worship this Week


Join us this Sunday as we explore Seeking > Having all the Answers in our series, "Making it Through: Lessons from the Wilderness."

Exodus 19:1-8; Exodus 20:1-20
There was something about hitting rock bottom that opened the Israelites for new directions and a whole lot of law to learn. Are we more open to learning when we are at a low point in life? Why is that? How does the lesson of receiving the law apply to us today? How are we receiving God's law in our desperation, humility, fragility...?

Participate in the livestream on Facebook, Sundays at 10am. If you miss out you can always watch later on Facebook or YouTube.
 
Bible Presentation

As we do each year at St. Paul's, we'll be blessing our 3rd Grade Bibles and their recipients this Sunday, January 24. Don't miss it! Participate in the livestream on Facebook or watch later on YouTube.
 
Facebook
YouTube
Online Worship Guide & Bulletin

Writing Care Notes


In a time when safe community outreach is logistically difficult and at the same time desperately needed, volunteers through Love Council at St. Paul’s have used Care Notes to reach folks in our community in need of support.

In September, a team of volunteers encouraged administration, teachers, and staff at Mill Creek Elementary School as they started their school year, and in December we thanked our firefighters and first responders at the Lenexa Fire Department for going above and beyond in their work amid COVID-9. Altogether, 15 volunteers reached over 150 of our neighbors and their families with blessings from St. Paul’s.

If you’re interested in volunteering with this ministry in the future, reach out to Luke Miltz, our Community Engagement Coordinator, for more information.
Dialogue Institute Brunch


Brunch with the Dialogue Institute


On Friday, January 15, seven St. Paul's women met with five ladies from the Dialogue Institute for our regular "virtual brunch." It was a wonderful, heartwarming discussion. We spoke of our mothers, how some of them met their husbands, how they worked hard to raise families and cook special things for them, how they taught us crafts and to be positive and happy. One of the Turkish women talked about how her mother excelled in hand made rugs. Another spoke of living on a farm with fruit trees and watching her mother make jams. They were all grateful for technical miracles that let them "see" the mothers they miss because they live so live far away. The morning was a wonderful way to celebrate our friendship. Our next meeting will be on March 12. Mark it on your calendar to join us! ~ Pat Cooper

5th Sunday Forums Return 

Sunday, January 31  11:30am

In 2021 we'll be using our 5th Sunday Forums as a chance to continue our discipleship pathway and SEEK Justice! For the month of January, Marcus Winn of More2 (Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity) will be hosting a webinar presentation followed by a Q&A forum. Questions you'd like to send in advance? Send them to us here! Zoom link available here. We hope to see you on January 31st at 11:30!

Participate in a Small Group


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 a small group, this is your time! Our small groups are currently meeting via Zoom.

See below for a new group forming now and new topics for a couple of existing groups. All are open and ready to welcome you in your faith journey. If you have questions about getting started, contact Pastor Sandra Cox

New group starts February 1
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent
Mondays  (2/1, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1) from 7:00-8:30pm

Pastor Lora will lead a zoom book study on Isabel Wilkerson's Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent on Mondays  (2/1, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1) from 7:00-8:30pm. This book examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. Wilkerson then points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Fair warning: this study will include 100+ pages of reading each week. It's a long one! Additionally, Wilkerson is doing a Zoom book conversation (2/17) through the KCK Public Library that you will be invited to register for as well. Contact Pastor Lora with questions or to sign up for our meetings and she will give you the reading assignments to begin.
Updates for existing groups
Micah Class | Sundays 8:45-9:45am
Five Means of Grace: Experience God’s Love the Wesleyan Way by Elaine A. Heath
Hosts: Matt and Barbara Campbell; Sandy Finney
This study explores the five means of grace that John Wesley called “instituted,” meaning these are spiritual practices in which Jesus himself participated and which he encouraged his followers to do. They are: Prayer; Searching Scripture; Receiving the Lord’s Supper; Fasting; and Conferencing (communion, fellowship).  We will consider how each of the five means of grace help us as communities of faith to pray more deeply and live more missionally as followers of Jesus Christ. Contact Sandy Finney to join.
 
 

The Seekers | Thursdays 6pm

For the next several weeks, this group will read and reflect on articles from Sojourners, an online resource of faith based explorations of current events. The mission of Sojourners is to “ inspire hope and build a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world.”  Explore faith based responses to the events in our world. Contact Sharry Lockhart to join.
Find a small group and sign up today!
Check the website on Monday, January 25, for a new week of daily Bible readings, questions for reflection, and discussion.

First Sunday Food Drive

February 7, 11:30am - 12:30pm

Thank you to everyone who brought food for the January First Sunday Food Drive! We filled the entryway and teams took the food to The Hub and to Johnson County North Central Multi-Service Center.

Our next First Sunday Food Drive is February 7, 11:30am - 12:30pm. The Hub is asking for 15 oz. cans of tomatoes (diced, crushed, sauce stewed, rotel). Johnson County Multi-Service Center will accept food of all kinds in similar sized cans. Thanks again for your commitment to Serve God by Serving Others.
Kids & Youth Service
Sign up now
Contact Jamie
Kids & Youth


Youth: Middle School/High School


Check out our activities for youth and join us any time! Programs are open to all youth grades 7-12. Contact Allison for Zoom links, and be sure to join our Facebook group for updates.

Sunday School
Meets Sundays 11–12pm
Topic: Faith & Justice 
 Open to all youth grade levels.  

The Gospel According to Harry Potter
Meets Sundays 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. 
Open to all youth grade levels  

Confirmation Class 
Meets Thursdays 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Open to Freshmen in High School 
 

Youth Groups and Activities
Youth Facebook Group
Contact Allison Marcus

Kids' Connection: PreK - Grade 6

 

Check out our multimedia opportunities for kids to connect with God and each other! There's a place for you here.

Kids' Connection & KIDS456 weekly meetups
Join us! Contact Jamie for the Zoom links.
  • Kids' Connection: 11am Sundays
  • KIDS456: 6pm Sundays
Bible Presentation

As we do each year at St. Paul's, we'll be blessing our 3rd Grade Bibles and their recipients this Sunday, January 24. Don't miss it! Participate in the livestream on Facebook or watch later on YouTube.
 
Learn more & get this week's Parent Guide
Join Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk
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