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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
  • New Online Worship schedule starts 2/21
  • Praying for our Nation
  • NEXT Discipleship Sessions

SEEK

  • Antiracism Opportunities this Month
  • Lenten Study Groups forming now
  • Upper Room Devotionals coming soon 

SERVE

  • "America's Original Sin" series starts 2/16
  • Super Bowl Sunday Food Drive this Sunday!
  • Serving Cross-Lines Food Kitchen

KIDS & YOUTH

  • Youth Programs: New Sunday School time
  • Kids' Connection: Family Discipleship Kits


Message from Pastor Lora


Our current worship series has offered biblical examples of “Making It Through” the difficulty of the wilderness. I keep giving thanks for the things that make it a little bit easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel or the other side of the rainbow these days. (Next week’s forecast is not one of them!)

Sometimes those good things look like our city getting excited for the Super Bowl—an excitement that can be realized because of the fullness and novelty of last year’s celebration. We are rekindling last year’s communal celebrations and joy.

Sometimes the spark looks like welcoming a puppy into your family who was born in your basement on Christmas Eve (yes, there is a picture at the end of this newsletter).

Sometimes that goodness looks like a special Sunday service we will have on Valentine’s Day called “Reconciling Sunday.” We will celebrate our Welcome Statement and the way it has helped our church Love, Seek, and Serve more faithfully.

Sometimes it looks like getting to make an exciting announcement about our next step toward the other side of this pandemic:

Beginning 2/21 we will be offering TWO DIFFERENT ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICES!

That’s right. You heard it here first. Thanks to Church Council and Re-Entry Team, we have discerned it is the right time to return to our two different styles of unique and creative worship.

Online Contemporary Worship (9am) - the band, modern music, prayer, and message.

Online Traditional Worship (11am) and feature hymns, small ensembles, shared liturgy, and a message.

We are making this transition for several reasons.
  1. We want to do everything we can to re-engage those who have found online worship more difficult. You all have been SO gracious and patient and willing to adapt. Before pandemic, we would often hear folks lament not knowing people from the other services. This time together has been a GIFT. We trust that we will not lose those of you who have faithfully been coming through this time of blended worship. This is now our chance to help welcome some folks back.
  2. We have an opportunity to reach new people. We will need your help as we launch these services. Invite your friends, check in, share the service on social media, and even remind your St. Paul’s friends of the time change. ☺ Your participation will help us to continue to build momentum and be prepared for in-person worship again.
  3. We’d love to give our new staff the experience of something closer to our normal Sunday morning. This will help us learn, grow, be creative, prepare for hospitality and connections, and continue to improve our technical arts.
  4. We believe the Holy Spirit is leading us toward it! There is an energy among your staff and leaders as we begin dreaming about this new opportunity. God’s grace goes before us and will await our arrival.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the new worship times or even just to check-in! Kids, Youth, and Adult Education will be in communication in the next week about any time changes this will mean for those ministries.

THANK YOU so much for all you’ve done to make blended worship such a beautiful gift during this time.

Lean into the bright spots, St. Paul’s. With God’s help, we are going to make it through.

Peace,

Pastor Lora
 
Worship this Sunday


Worship this Week


Join us this Sunday, February 7, as we explore Calling > No Purpose in our series, Making it Through: Lessons from the Wilderness. We'll also celebrate the sacrament of Communion together during online worship. Prepare by having some sort of bread or cracker and juice or water available in your home worship space.

Isaiah 49:6; Luke 2:29-32
For the Israelites, it isn't just about making it through. It is a witness, light, and blessing for the world. They are transformed to then transform others. Wanting God to change us versus actually being changed by God are two different things. 

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

After worship, come to church between 11:30am - 12:30pm for our Super Bowl Sunday Food Drive! Scroll down to the Serve section of this newsletter for details.
 
Facebook
YouTube
Online Worship Guide & Bulletin
New online worship schedule

Starting Sunday, February 21 (first Sunday of Lent), we'll stream two services every Sunday on Facebook! 
  • 9am: Contemporary
  • 11am: Traditional
Stay tuned!

Praying for our Nation


Bishop Ruben Saenz of the Great Plains UMC Conference is calling for us to set apart a sacred and regular time each day from now until Easter, 4/4/2021, to pray for our nation using a prayer from our own United Methodist Book of Worship, “A Prayer in a Time of National Crisis” (United Methodist Book of Worship, #517):
God of all the ages, in your sight nations rise and fall and pass through times of peril. Now when our land is troubled, be near to judge and save. May leaders be led by your wisdom; may they search your will and see it clearly. If we have turned from your way, reverse our ways and help us to repent. Give us your light and your truth, let them guide us; through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of this world, and our Savior. Amen.
St. Paul’s, let’s join Bishop Saenz in prayer for the healing and the wholeness of our nation.


NEXT Steps in Faith

Sundays, February 21 & 28  • 1:30-3:30pm

When you’ve decided that you belong at St. Paul’s UMC, what do you do next? 

You come to NEXT! This Zoom meeting in two parts gives you an overview of our mission and how we invite you to live that out every day. The second session concludes with you taking the vows of membership (to uphold St. Paul’s with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness) making you a full member of St. Paul’s UMC.

Contact Pam Draper to learn more, or go ahead and sign up now at the link below. We’re excited for you to become a member of our congregation!
 
Sign up now for what's NEXT!


Antiracism Opportunities this Month


The Kansas City District of the Great Plains UMC is fortunate to have the leadership of the District Antiracism Team (which includes our own Pastor Lora Andrews!). In their most recent newsletter, they have assembled for us opportunities for worship and education here in Kansas City to continue in our antiracism journey. There will also be opportunities for you to debrief with other St. Paul’s folks after some of these events. 
  • Monday, February 15 @ 6pm
    • UMKC Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture with Ibram X. Kendi
  • Tuesdays, February 16 - March 23 @ 7pm
    • Kansas Interfaith Action Network (KIFA) - "America's Original Sin: A Program on Racism and Antiracism for People of Faith in Kansas"
    Thursday, February 18 @ 7pm
    • KCK Public Library Author Talk with Isabel Wilkerson
  • Sunday, February 28 @ 9am
    • Worship online with St. James UMC, led by Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Cleaver III
  • On Demand (previously held online on January 18)
    • KC SCLC Martin Luther King Day Virtual Mass Celebration
Find details for all of the events here, and see the SERVE section of this newsletter for more info on participating with St. Paul's folks in the KIFA program, "America's Original Sin," beginning Tuesday, February 16.
 


New Small Groups starting for Lent


Lent is the season that leads us into Easter and traditionally it is a time to spend some time working on our spiritual life. One great way to do that is to join a small group where you can read and reflect and grow with other people.

We are excited to offer several new small groups that will explore a variety of resources and topics to enhance your spiritual life during this season. If you aren’t already part of a small group, we invite you to join one now! Take a look at these offerings and see what might be calling to you right now.
 

The Lord’s Prayer: Jesus Teaches Us How to Pray by Mary Lou Redding
“Give us this day our daily bread.” We say it almost without thinking about it. But what does it mean to ask God for what we need each day? How does bread nourish our body? How does prayer nourish our souls? In this small group we will explore the Lord’s Prayer and many other ways of praying.

Pastor Sandra will lead these six sessions on Sundays at 5pm beginning 2/21. You can purchase the book here.
 

Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season by Kara Oliver
A small group especially for parents who want to set a spiritual foundation for their children. Each session will give you a symbol for the Lenten/Easter season and model for you a conversation about its importance with your child.

Amy Rhodes will lead these six sessions on Tuesdays at 8:30pm beginning 2/23. You can purchase the book here.
 

A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent by Sarah Parsons
It’s time for spring cleaning of the soul! This study throughout the Lenten season will draw you closer to God through spiritual practices, personal reflection and individual exercises.

Kim Romary will lead this six session study on Wednesday evenings at 7pm beginning February 24. You can purchase the book here.
 

Take this Bread by Sara Miles
Sara Miles tells her story of being raised an atheist until wandering into a church one day and taking communion for the first time. This changed her life and she found herself embracing a religion she never thought she would. Her faith began to center on hunger, real food and real bodies which led to the formation of almost a dozen food pantries. Her story comes alive in the pages of her memoir, take this bread.

Patricia Marcus will lead these six sessions on Thursday evenings at 7pm beginning February 25. You can purchase the book here.
 
Find a small group and sign up today!

Shipment delay for Upper Room devotionals


Upper Room publications have experienced delays in their shipments of the Upper Room devotionals. They are re-shipping our issues of Jan/Feb and they should arrive in the next few days. Thank you for your patience!
 

Kansas Inter Faith Action (KIFA) presents


“America’s Original Sin:
A program on racism and antiracism
for people of faith in Kansas”


Tuesdays, February 16 - March 23 7-8:30pm

White people of faith in Kansas may be concerned about racial injustice, especially after dramatic events or periods of social unrest. But the moment passes. And it’s hard to know what to do -- what actions to take -- to help address the issue. They may also never have been taught the historical background and cultural issues surrounding America’s racial history. This six-session series will give Kansans of faith both historical knowledge of the racial history of the US and of Kansas, as well as specific tools and strategies that can be used to further this conversation, both within their faith community and in the public square. Each session will include opportunities for discussion in breakout rooms, as well as supplemental materials to shape self-awareness as participants confront deeply-embedded and -embodied racialized bias.

Registration
Contact Janet Podoll to sign up. Cost: $35/person or $20/person if 5 in one church sign up; registration will be paid by St. Paul's upon request.
 
Super Bowl Food Drive


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

February’s First Sunday Food Drive lands on Super Bowl Sunday! Accordingly, you are invited to parade through the parking lot in your car wearing your Chiefs Red in a pre-emptive championship parade.

The UM of Kansas City District is also participating in a little friendly competition with the UM of Gulf Central District to see who can collect the most food! Each district has until game day to gather food and monetary donations for their local pantries. Both districts will add the total and announce who gathered the most food. Who wins? The food pantries!

Drive through St. Paul's parking lot and drop off your items on February 7, 11:30-12:30, before you settle in to watch the big game. During the Food Drive, you’ll also have the opportunity to pick up a St. Paul’s face mask from our Love Council volunteers if you don’t already have one.

The Hub Argentine is asking for 15 oz. cans of tomatoes (diced, crushed, sauce stewed, rotel).

Update on needs for JoCo Multi-Service Center: the Center has an immediate need for laundry soap, liquid dish soap, and personal hygiene items such as deodorant, toothpaste, liquid hand soap, shampoo, and conditioner. Other items that are appreciated: flour, sugar, cake mixes, pancake mix, ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing. 

Thanks for your commitment to Serve God by Serving Others!
Serving at Cross-Lines


Serving Cross-Lines Food Kitchen


Would you like to join one of the St. Paul’s teams that serve monthly at Cross-Lines Food Kitchen? If you’re interested in providing food or serving, please contact Janet Podoll for more information.

You can also heck out their online sign up form to view weekly opportunities to help pack food boxes, assist in the food pantry, or help to make and serve meals. If you’d like to partner with another person from St. Paul’s, please contact Janet Podoll and we’ll put you in touch with a person or group!
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 10–11am
Topic: Faith & Justice 
 Open to all youth grade levels.  

The Gospel According to Harry Potter
Meets Sundays 3-4pm 
Open to all youth grade levels  

Confirmation Class 
Meets Thursdays 6:30-8pm
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
Family Discipleship Kits
We're trying something new this month in Kids' Connection! Sign up to pick up a Family Discipleship Kit. The kits will be available on Sunday, February 7, 11:30-12:30, during our drive-through Super Bowl Sunday Food Drive (and Chiefs parade :)

The kit will include a Parent Guide with our weekly Bible lesson, activity sheets, spiritual practices, crafts, recipes and even a science experiment! It will also include materials for Ash Wednesday and Lent. Wait...there's more!!! There's also a Valentine in there for our St. Paul's kiddos!

Can't wait to see you on the 7th in your Chiefs gear!
 
Learn more & get this week's Parent Guide
Join Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk
Navi
Meet Pastor Lora and Carter's new puppy, Navidad! Little Navi is one of the ones born in their basement on Christmas Eve. Cuteness overload! Four of his brothers and sisters are still available if you're looking for a friend! Contact Pastor Lora for more information.
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