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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:
• Message from Pastor Lora
• Worship this week
• Showering Ronelle
• Coffee & Connections
• Season of Transition: SPR updates
• Welcome to what's NEXT!
• Small groups for all ages
• Attention Kids! The Tiny Tot Triathlon is coming!
• Upper Room Devotionals
• Love your neighbors with a Black Lives Matter sign
• Cross-Lines Food Kitchen serve opportunity
• Donations benefit Veronica's Voice
• August Blood Drive at St. Paul's
• Serve by Singing!
• Serve from Home

Message from Pastor Lora

August 7, 2020
I voted at St. Paul’s this week.

That’s the first time I’ve voted in the same room where I worship and preach and sing and pray. St. Paul’s isn’t my voting site, but I dropped my mail-in ballot there. It was weird to be greeted by strangers and welcomed into that space by people who weren’t ushers or familiar faces. I was walked with smiling eyes (and a masked mouth) over to the place for mail-in ballots. The woman double checked that I’d signed it and it was sealed correctly. She encouraged me and thanked me for coming.

It was weird to be a guest in a space that I know well.

It was weird to have strangers in and out of the building that has been empty for five months.

But it was also somehow right and good and holy to have our space be offered so freely to be a part of the process to create just and equitable laws. Our act of voting as Christians is such a clear way that we live out our faith as Christians. If we want a more just and loving world, policies need to change and people need fairly represented. Knowing that we could welcome guests to our church who feel at home enough to welcome me as a guest in the sanctuary is an unsettling concept for me to wrap my head around, but it’s one I am grateful for.

Of course, I also got to welcome those poll workers right back. Our Black Lives Matter sign (if you haven’t read about what happened to it on election day, you can read about it here) prompted great conversation with the poll workers who wanted to know more about the church. That post has been shared 27 times and reached almost 4,000 people.

I know that a sign does not change policy. But conversation that happens when we do not shy away from offering the hospitality and welcome of Christ offer gateways to change. We have 60 Black Lives Matter signs that have been distributed. You can sign up to receive your own sign here and you can contribute financially to the Anti-Racism Fund that is funding those signs here so we can keep the ministry alive.

Maybe you can join me in my prayerful reflections as this week comes to a close:
  • How does voting serve as a way to share our faith with others? How did my votes on Tuesday demonstrate a commitment to “Love God and All Others Unconditionally?”
  • Who is showing me hospitality well? Where can I improve my welcome of others?
  • How is God calling me to turn the commitment of a Black Lives Matter sign into a commitment to change policy to make the message those signs proclaim real in our communities?
Don’t forget to join Ronelle at coffee hour zoom to wish her well and get those cards in the mail to honor her. We can’t believe it’s her last Sunday with us on staff, but we thank God for all that she has given us!

Pastor Lora
Worship this week

Sunday, August 9

10:00am Livestream on Facebook
“When Change is Overlooked: Creation of the Suburbs”

We know things happen and you can't always participate in the livestream. But you can watch later on St. Paul's YouTube channel! Here's a link to last week's service in case you missed it.
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.
Ronelle Neperud

Showering Ronelle

As most of you in our St. Paul's community know, Ronelle Neperud will be retiring from her staff position on August 14.

One of the ways we want to express our love and gratitude is with a card shower. Because of Ronelle's passion for connecting people, serving others, and social justice, we suggest you dedicate a service project or action to her and include a note in your card telling her about it!

We are so grateful for Ronelle's joy, grace, spirit and leadership. Let's shower her with cards and notes of blessing for the journey ahead.

Send cards and notes to:
Ronelle Neperud
c/o St. Paul’s UMC
7740 Lackman Rd.
Lenexa, KS 66217
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.

Season of Transition

Staff Parish Relations (SPR) and Pastors want to keep you all in the loop through the staffing transitions. We know there has been a lot of change, but we can assure you that we are listening to God’s Spirit lead us forward during this time. Change brings with it loss and we grieve the staffing transitions that have happened. We also trust that God will continue to lead us forward. We want to be sure that you all know what is happening in this season. We have formed SPR sub-teams to discern our directions with Connections (opening of Connections Ministry Coordinator) and Worship (openings of Contemporary Worship Director/AV Director and AV Assistant) moving forward so that we can continue these vibrant ministries. We want to be sure that we have evaluated job descriptions, needs, and the gifts we bring as a church to these roles. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Pastor Lora or SPR Chair, Kimberly Goff, if you have specific thoughts and would like to share them.
In the interim time, Luke Miltz, our Community Engagement Coordinator, will be taking on the interim role of Connections Ministry Coordinator. Church of the Resurrection has generously loaned us one of their AV staff, Frank Gentile, who is their Director of Production, to help us continue worship until we can hire a new person.
We look forward to the new staff that we anticipate hiring in this season of transition, and we give God thanks for the people who have served in these roles so far. We are especially grateful for the gift of the United Methodist connection and Church of the Resurrection’s generosity to help us out during this vacancy. We ask for your prayers for SPR, the staff, and the people God might call to these roles in the future. When we have solidified positions and job descriptions, we will be asking you to help share them widely! Thank you for your grace.
NEXT steps in faith

Welcome to what's NEXT!

You’ve decided that you belong at St. Paul’s UMC, that this is the church for you. (Awesome!) What do you do next?

You come to NEXT, our Zoom meeting in two parts that 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.

When is the next NEXT? Sunday, August 23 & 30, 11:30am-1pm. To attend, contact Luke Miltz.

We're excited for you to become a member of our congregation!

Adults: Small Groups & Resources

Stay tuned as we add new small groups in the coming weeks! The current schedule of antiracism and other small groups is here. If you don't see something that works for you, contact Pastor Sandra and we'll dream up something new! You can also check out our list of anti-racism resources here, and request a Black Lives Matter yard sign here.
Find a small group and join us!
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.

Tiny Tot Triathlon
St. Paul's is an official sponsor of the Lenexa Tiny Tot Triathlon happening on Saturday, August 22! We hope to see lots of St. Paul's friends there that day. We'll be wearing our masks and practicing social distancing. Look for folks in their St. Paul's Love Seek Serve t-shirts! 

The event is for ages 3-9. If you're interested in volunteering with us the day of the event, email our Community Engagement Coordinator, Luke Miltz.

Get more info and register your child now!
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

Upper Room Devotionals

The Upper Room is providing the July/August 2020 issue of The Upper Room magazine for download at no cost to their standing order partners and subscribers. As a constituent of St. Paul's, you may download the issue at this link.
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.

Cross-Lines Food Kitchen Serve Opportunity

Cross-Lines Food Kitchen serving date is coming up Friday, August 21. It is Red Team's turn to provide the meal. Food providers (tortilla wraps, fruit, brownies), donations for food, and servers to pack sack lunches at the kitchen are needed. Servers will travel to Cross-Lines at 9:30 am on Friday the 21st and will 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. If you are able to help in any way, please email Janet Podoll to volunteer or get more information.
Veronica's Voice fundraiser

St. Paul's Peace & Justice Committee has a great opportunity for you to help Veronica's Voice by cleaning out your closets, garage, basement - wherever you store your stuff! Savers Thrift Store has an upcoming one-day charity event with proceeds going to Veronica’s Voice. Find info on what they can and cannot accept here under Current News.

All items must be clean in good, sellable condition and in tied off trash bags or boxes. You have two options for dropping off donations:
  • Bring to Suzette Mack's garage, 7614 Bradshaw St, Shawnee 66216, between August 1 and 10. Please call Suzette prior to dropping off items at 720-556-8956. Or...
  • Bring your bags/boxes to the Savers at 95th & Nall between 4-5 pm only on August 12.
Blood Drive

St. Paul's is hosting a Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive on 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.
Serve from home projects
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