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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:
• Job opportunities: tell your friends!

• Message from Pastor Lora
• Worship this week
• Coffee & Connections
• Star Words reflection
• New & ongoing small groups
• Youth & Kids' Connection
• Sept/Oct Upper Room Devotionals now available
• Black Lives Matter signs
• Blood Drive this Sunday at St. Paul's
• Serve by Singing!

We're Hiring!

We’re excited to see what God has in store for us and the individuals who will soon be part of our Worship Team!

Check out the open positions listed below and contact us if you feel like one of them might be a good fit for you or someone you know. We’d love to connect with you and hear about how your gifts and our openings match up.

Contemporary Music Director
Our Contemporary Music Director plans and leads music for worship services and other special events. This part-time person conducts weekly rehearsals, inspires congregational singing, and serves as a member of the Worship Team.

Technical Arts Director
This part-time position oversees the technical audio and visual systems associated with worship and other events; records and streams worship services; provides tech support for the video system throughout the church building; supervises the Technical Arts Assistant and volunteers; and serves as a member of the Worship Team. 
Find out more and apply now

Message from Pastor Lora

August 28, 2020

Remember how a month ago it felt like fall outside? It was gorgeous. Chilly even!

That week, Carter and I booked a short camping trip for this weekend with some of our closest friends. We haven’t seen them since January because of COVID, and we have been so looking forward to it. When we booked it, we imagined that it might be that blissful, chilly weather like it was a month ago.


As I write this Thursday afternoon, it is 91 degrees with a heat index of 99 in Council Grove. Tomorrow’s high is 96 and I refuse to look at what that heat index prediction might be.

So much for the breezy, fall weather!

Isn’t that classic 2020 circumstances? We get our hopes up for something and then they are crushed…again. Whether it’s those life events, family plans, school, or activities, it seems like none of them are going as planned.

I can assure you that we will still have fun camping—laughing, playing, swimming, hammocking, and staying safely distanced. But it seems like the only guarantee in 2020 is that our plans won’t be what we think they will be.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m a little tired of the “adventure!” Give me a normal day, a predictable trip, and a routine week. I’m over the continuous need for adaptation.

And yet, when I’m at my best, I also give thanks to God for it. There is some sort of gratitude that has grown in me for the connections I do get—even when they are simple waves hello to someone I see walking in my neighborhood or driving to drop off their compost at the St. Paul’s garden. I don’t think I used to be grateful for those little surprise hellos as much as I am now.

The unrest in our lives has also helped us to see those changes more clearly, because it is harder to sync back into normal. Again last night, I laid in bed reading about protests, white supremacy, and racism in our country. 

When I see my friends this evening (Thursday), I know that we will laugh and play and enjoy our time together. But I also know that we will talk about how hard COVID has been, how messed up our country’s white supremacy is, our hope for the future, and our gratitude for our churches. And I’m glad that relationships like that are pretty predictable.

This weekend, we continue learning from Joel with his call to gather the people in lament. When there was devastation, one of the tools of hope he found was in community. Join us on Sunday as we unpack the two short verses this week and explore the gift of being together…even in a pandemic.

“See” you Sunday,

Pastor Lora

P.S. – This might be a good time to go check out those small groups.

Worship this Week

Worship this week

Sunday, August 30

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 make the experience more meaningful. 
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.
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.
Star Word Reflection

Who have you shared your star word with? What have you shared? Have they given you any outside insight into how you interact with your star word?

Reflect and then join the discussion on Facebook or Instagram.

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! Scroll down to check out all the possibilities (also available on our website) and sign up. Contact Pastor Sandra if you have questions. 
Join a small group now
Sandra Cox
Sundays 8:45-9:45am
Micah Class
Contact: Sandra Cox

Join the Micah Class for conversation about contemporary topics of faith.
Lora Andrews and Carter Ellis
Sundays 4-5:30pm
The Trails
Hosts: Lora Andrews & Carter Ellis

Beginning September 13, this group will meet Sundays in-person socially distanced and masked at Shawnee Mission Park from 4-5:30pm. We will gather, pray, divide into small walking groups for guided conversation, and return to share all together. We will listen to a relevant podcast each week before meeting to guide our time. Join us for faith community, good conversation, and a beautiful hike. First up: Krista Tippett’s OnBeing interview with John Lewis.
Linda Stoner
Mondays 10am
Monday Study Group
Contact: Linda Stoner

This group of women meets for one hour on Zoom to learn about and discuss a variety of topics together. They will begin September 14 with a study of Torah.
Mondays 8pm
Monday Men's Small Group
Host: Luke Miltz

Starting September 14, this group will initially view and discuss the documentary, The Mask You Live In. The documentary is about the impact of toxic masculinity, but conversation will be oriented towards Christian "manhood," and how God calls us to deconstruct the parts of masculinity that are harmful.
Sandy Finney
Tuesdays 2-3:30pm
Tuesday Women’s Small Group
Host: Sandy Finney

Beginning September 8, this group will meet weekly on Tuesdays via Zoom and/or possibly in-person in an outdoor setting following socially distanced recommendations. This group welcomes women who have not yet found a home in a small group at St. Paul’s, but are interested in building supportive relationships within our church community. This group will start off reading Citizens of Hope: Basics of Christian Identity by Clayton Oliphint.
Scott Groth
Wednesdays 6:30-7:30am
Men's Study Group
Host: Scott Groth

Discussing contemporary topics of faith. Beginning September 9, join us for conversation about G. S. Griffin’s book, Racism in Kansas City: A Short HistoryThis book takes a look at some of Kansas City’s darkest moments—slavery, the border war, the Civil War, bombings of black homes, lynchings, the segregation of neighborhoods and schools, the civil rights struggle, the Black Panther movement, the 1968 race riot, assassinations in the 1970s, the infamous Missouri v. Jenkins U.S. Supreme Court case, and the racial inequities that still plague Kansas City today. Threaded throughout Racism in Kansas City are stories of those who fought ardently against racist policies—and won.

Sandra Cox
Wednesdays 1-2:30pm
Women’s Study Group
Host: Sandra Cox

If you love to read and discuss what you’ve learned, this is the group for you! During the course of a year, this group will incorporate Bible study, current events, spiritual practices, and seasonal studies into their studies. On September 8 they will begin a three-week study of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me, an emotional letter written to the author’s son about what he has experienced as a Black man in this country. Following that, the group will delve into the Book of Genesis with J. Ellsworth Kallas’ offering through the Immersion Bible Studies series.

Mike Marcus
Wednesdays 3-4pm
Scripture Study
Host: Mike Marcus

Each week this group will explore the scripture that will be the basis for the following Sunday’s sermon. It’s a good way to prepare for worship and see how the scriptures can come alive in the context we live in.

Jamie Turk
Wednesdays 8-9pm
Evening Women’s Group
Host: Jamie Turk

Are you over-scheduled due to stress we put on ourselves from work and mothering? Beginning September 9th, this group for adult women will meet weekly via Zoom on Wednesdays at 8pm for laughter, friendship, and conversation. We’ll kick off the group with a look at the book Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist.
Thursdays 6:30-8pm
The Seekers
Host: Sharry Lockhart

This group is currently meeting in the church parking lot (as long as the weather is good!) social distancing by bringing lawn chairs for sitting in a large circle! They are currently reading together Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, exploring  the most basic concepts and tackling some visionary possibilities, with the goal of helping see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. 

Charlotte Millard and Angela Thornton-Millard
Thursdays 7-8pm
Next Generation Anti-Racism Study
Hosts: Angela Thornton-Millard & Charlotte Millard

Beginning September 10, this group will meet weekly via Zoom on Thursdays from 7 to 8 pm.  Kids and/or youth are invited to participate with a parent and/or adult. The group will read and discuss the book Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson. Please note, there is a young adult version available. This group will also work together to think of actionable items kids and/or youth and families can take to promote anti-racism in our community.
Mel Gard
2nd Thursdays of the Month 8:30-9:30pm
That One Small Group
Host: Mel Gard

This is a group of folks who are intentional about examining issues from a social justice perspective. Recent discussions have centered on: a break down of this session's supreme Court decisions; a video highlighting White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and a discussion with Pastor Lora. Folks in this group rotate leadership each month selecting a topic of interest. 

Neighborhood Small Groups
Sign up for a neighborhood small group
Join a small group now
Visit the website to learn more
Contact Sandra Cox, Pastor of Faith Formation Contact Sandra Cox, Pastor of Faith Formation

Youth: Middle School/High School

Check out the schedule for youth and join us any time! Contact Allison for Zoom links.

Get the schedule of classes, small groups, and activities
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! Check out what's new and get involved, we love seeing you!
Kids’ Connection & KIDS 456
Join us for story time and our weekly Bible lesson on Wednesday evenings at 6:45 pm! This setting will be ideal for our younger kiddos. KIDS456 will be right after that, using the same Zoom link, at 7 pm. If your child will be in 4th grade in the fall, they are welcome to start participating in KIDS456.
Let's get together on Zoom!
Get your Parent Guide, All Hands on Deck, & Video
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
Upper Room devotionals


The September/October issue of the Upper Room devotional is now 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.
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.
Blood Drive

St. Paul's is hosting a Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive this Sunday, August 30, 8:30am - 2:30pm in the lower parking lot adjacent to the bridge, using the bloodmobile. This is an important ministry that takes little time and effort but yields so many benefits. Please plan to donate and encourage your friends to donate as well! All blood types are needed.

The drive is being held in the bloodmobile in order to maintain the security and public health protocols necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Both the CBC and St. Paul's have carefully considered the actions necessary to protect all persons involved.
  • Only four donors maximum will be allowed in the bus, two in the interview area and two in the donation area.
  • All persons will be required to wear a mask
  • In the church building, only the hallway and restrooms adjacent to the bridge doorway will be accessible
  • Access to all other building areas will be restricted and all persons inside the building must wear masks and follow proper social distancing etiquette
  • It is important that any donors who are not feeling well do not attend the drive
Requirements for donation are simple.
  • A donor must be at least 16 years of age 
  • Must weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Donors younger than 18 years of age must provide a parental consent form
Since the church building will be generally closed, there will be no physical signup sheet. You may register directly on the CBC website using the group code KC4A. For assistance in making an appointment, contact Bob Casey (913.645.0192) or Meredith Christian (913.907.9176).

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you August 30!
Meredith Christian
Bob Casey

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.
St. Paul's Around Town
Are you involved in a community activity you'd like your St. Paul's friends to know about? Tell us about it!
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