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


  • Message from Pastor Lora
  • Worship this Week: Reconciling Sunday & Ash Wednesday
  • New Online Worship schedule starts 2/21
  • Praying for our Nation
  • NEXT Discipleship Sessions


  • Antiracism Opportunities this Month
  • Lenten Study Groups forming now 


  • Winning Food Drive
  • "America's Original Sin" series starts 2/16
  • Serving Cross-Lines Food Kitchen


  • Youth Programs
  • Kids' Connection

Message from Pastor Lora

One of the strategic plan hopes that was discerned prior to my arrival in 2019 was that St. Paul’s folks who typically worship in different services would have opportunities to get to know one another.

Never in a million years did any of us think that one way to remedy that worship service divide would be a year of one blended online-only service for a year!

I laugh every time I think about how we achieved that unity.

When things got scary in March and the powers that be urged us to stay home and cancel in-person services, we figured out how few people we could have in the service and still make do. That number was four. I can hardly believe that we scraped by for those first couple months that way, but we did it! Blending the modern sounds of the contemporary service and the rituals and pure sound of the traditional service, we have had a taste of the other side. We now know how other St. Paul’s folks experience God in this church that we love.

If I would have told some of you a year ago that you would have lasted a year singing hymns, I know you would have laughed at me. If I would have told some of you that you endured the repetition of contemporary music choruses for almost a year, I think I would have received some blank stares.

Thank you. Thank you for your grace in togetherness and your willingness to expand your view of what it means for “St. Paul’s will always be St. Paul’s.”

This weekend we will worship for the last time as one blended Sunday service during pandemic. As we shared in last week’s newsletter, we will be moving to two online services beginning February 21.

I continue to be energized as we take this next step closer toward resuming in-person worship. But as we step into something new, I want to be sure to celebrate what God has done among us as we have been together. If nothing else, I hope your prayer life expands to include those names you now recognize in the comments who you didn’t know before. I hope you think of the musicians who sang the song that spoke to you. I hope the next time you are asked to adapt that you find strength in the example of how we persevered and changed things up in order to make it through.

This weekend is going to be BEAUTIFUL. Reconciling Sunday is going to be a gift to us all—testimonies, many voices from the congregation, Carter and I get to lead a baptism renewal together!!!!!, and the music will be a gift to us all. I hope you’ll tune in and invite a friend. So many of you say you came to St. Paul’s because it is Reconciling. Consider sharing that good news with a friend this weekend. For some of us, a church like St. Paul’s will change our lives!

“See” you Sunday!

Pastor Lora
Worship this week

Join us online Sunday morning at 10am for Reconciling Sunday, "Seen. Known. Healed."

St. Paul's is a Reconciling Congregation. We celebrate identity not in labels of sinner or saint but as baptized Christians. Our Welcome Statement mirrors this message: that the gift is that Jesus sees us, knows us, celebrates us, and heals us for who we are. Our scripture passage this week is Luke 7:36-50.

We will also be doing a baptismal renewal ceremony, so please have a bowl of water handy so you can participate from home - or wherever you are!

St. Paul's Welcome Statement: We, the people of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, believe that God’s love is expansive and unconditional and that, through Christ, God calls us to love one another as God loves us. We welcome all people, regardless of gender, race, age, cultural or religious heritage, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic circumstances, family configuration, or difference of ability. We celebrate the worth, dignity, and gifts of every person as a child of God.

Participate in the livestream on Facebook this Sunday at 10am. Can't wait to "see" you! (If you miss out you can always watch later on Facebook or YouTube! :)
Online Worship Guide & Bulletin
Ash Wednesday

2.17.21 | 7pm
Facebook Livestream

Ash Wednesday is an intimate service that begins the 40 days of Lent that lead up to Easter. Lent is a time in the church when we repent of our sins, remember our own mortality, and rely heavily upon the grace of Jesus Christ to change our lives.

Traditionally on Ash Wednesday we hear the words "remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" and "repent and believe the gospel" as ashes are pressed on our foreheads. The tone is somber and earnest. This year, we will not gather in person or have ashes to smear on our foreheads. The ritual to remind us of our mortality should not risk our wellness! Instead, we are going to begin our Lenten "Daily Bread" series with a focus on the dust in a new way. Genesis 3:19 says

"By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

We will write our prayers in flour this year to remind us of God's words in Genesis and to give us the tangible connection to the Lenten season. Prepare for worship by having a candle ready and a dinner plate coated with flour for our use during the traditional "Imposition of Ashes." It's weird and different, we know! But so is pandemic times. Join us at 7pm on Ash Wednesday as we begin Lent together.
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
We're excited about offering these two options and hope to "see" you for one or both!

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  • 1:30-3pm

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 begin this Week

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.


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.

Joining one of these groups is easy! Just click the name of the leader of the group you’d like to join to send an email and let them know you want to join the group!

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.

Lent in Plain Sight by Jill J. Duffield
Each week we'll read and reflect on a biblical story that includes bread and how God communicated a message of grace or abundance through it. There will also be time allowed to explore a prayer practice each week.

Pastor Sandra will lead this six session study on Wednesdays at 1pm beginning 2/24. 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 Wednesdays at 7pm beginning 2/24. 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 Thursdays at 7pm beginning 2/25. You can purchase the book here.
Find a small group and sign up today!

Big Win for Jesus!

The game didn’t end up how we’d hoped, but we collected 2,545 items and $555 on Super Bowl Sunday in our drive to support two of our local food pantries! Our fellow United Methodists at Horizon Church in Tampa collected 1,672 items for a total of 4,217 items between our two churches. Our districts also competed and the Kansas City District won that too! Together we collected 17,224 lbs of food and $258,045 for our food ministries! We call that a win for Jesus!

Thank you for your generosity, St. Paul’s. Our food drive story also made this week's issue of GPConnect newsletter; read it here!

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.

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.
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.
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

Learn more & get this week's Parent Guide
Join Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk
Copyright © 2021 St. Paul's United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp