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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:
• Available now: Charge Conference packet and registration
• Message from Pastor Lora
• Worship this week
• Coffee & Reflections this Sunday
• Join a small group
• Read the Bible Daily
• Attend Dialogue Institute Friendship Gathering
• Donate Warm Clothing and Food this Sunday
• Cross-Lines Christmas & Food Kitchen
• Request a Black Lives Matter sign
• Serve by Singing

• New Youth small group schedule
• Kids' Connection programs

Charge Conference 2020 Update

The Conference has authorized the Church Council to act as an executive committee of the charge conference to conduct official church business for the local churches this year. Our Church Council met on Thursday, October 29 for our charge conference work. On Wednesday, November 18, 6:30-8pm, everyone is invited to a district-wide webinar for the charge conference work of all the district churches to be affirmed. Bishop Saenz will be preaching and our very own Jesi Lipp will be the liturgist. We'd love for you to attend.

If you’d like to see the work approved by Church Council leading up to this meeting, you may view the packet here.

Register now and you'll receive an email that will give you a link to join the webinar on November 18. 

Message from Pastor Lora

November 13, 2020

As of today, I’ve been pastoring at St. Paul’s in a pandemic longer than not.

It was eight months ago that clergy received a message from Bishop Saenz asking us to suspend in-person worship. We received another email from him on Thursday asking those churches who had returned to in-person indoor worship and were in counties that are critical or dangerous to suspend gatherings. As you know, St. Paul’s had already made this decision a few weeks ago now.

But it still made me sad.

The numbers of COVID cases are scary right now. We all are navigating choices about what to do for the holidays. I think Carter and I have decided to stay home—it is a daily conversation. We pray for each of you making hard choices too.

I can tell you that we have been planning for Advent and Christmas around here at St. Paul’s, and it has me cranking Jingle Bells and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing like a champ. There is something pulling me toward the season of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. I know we are supposed to hit Thanksgiving first, but I keep finding myself wanting desperately the feeling of Christmas.

The familiar scripture as we prepare for Christmas talks about preparing the way for the Lord. I think my prolonged Advent season I’m giving myself this year is just a cracked-open heart that knows I need to prepare the way for the Lord, because I can’t keep going without God right now.

Maybe you feel like that too?

Christmas music helps 🙂. So does intentional prayer and discipline and making habits of faith formation a part of our routine. I hope that you’ve felt that in this sermon series—this look into the equipping ministry of God’s church—for all of us to Love, Seek, and Serve. What a gift it is to have a method to this thing called faith. It’s a good season to be a “Method”ist.

If you find yourself pulling away, if your mental health is struggling in this time, if you are grieving the holidays that might not be normal, I just want to say today that I see you—we see you—God sees you. Spend some time preparing the way for the Lord today. Crack open your heart—breath by breath.

If you haven’t heard it in a while, your church is here for you. The Spirit is present in you. The face of Christ is all around you—sometimes the distance is what it looks like to offer the love of Christ to those we love right now.

I hope you’ll join in worship this week as we keep preparing the way for the Lord to keep us going. Stay safe. Wear a mask.

“See” you Sunday,

Pastor Lora

Worship this Week

Worship this Week

Sunday, November 15

10:00am Livestream on Facebook

In preparation for this week, we're reading Luke 13:1-9 to learn how practicing justice will bring us closer to Jesus. Find a related daily scripture reading and reflection here on our website. We'll also begin worship with Kid's Time, so be sure they're tuned in for that!

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 online worship guide to find the bulletin and suggestions on how to feel more connected in worship while we're apart.
Online Worship Guide
Coffee & Reflections

Starts this Sunday!

We'll meet right after worship via Zoom to connect, reflect on the morning's sermon, share what resonated within us, and discuss any thoughts or questions that came up. Can't wait to "see" you then!

Zoom link
Contact: Pam Draper

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.

Share the Lord's Prayer

Would you like to lead the congregation in prayer? You can do it from home! Find instructions and submit your video here. We can't wait to see and hear your prayer.

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.

Join 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 one, this is your time! Check out all the possibilities on our website and sign up. Contact Pastor Sandra if you have questions. 
Learn more & join us!
Contact Pastor Sandra

Read the Bible Daily

Prepare during the week for worship with daily readings and questions for reflection here on our website. Join (or begin!) a discussion in the comments below the readings. We’d love to hear from you about how reading the Bible daily is bringing you closer to God and one another.
Read the Bible Daily

Dialogue Institute 15th Annual Friendship Gathering

Wednesday, November 18, 7pm

Please join us! St. Paul’s will be hosting a table at the Dialogue Institute’s 15th Annual Friendship Gathering. The Gathering will feature speaker John Pahl talking about the Hizmet Movement and community service.

Learn more and contact Pat Cooper,, with questions.

Upper Room Devotionals

Find the current issue of the Upper Room devotional in the black mailbox by the church front entrance. As a constituent of St. Paul's, you also may download a digital copy at no charge here.
Get your copy of the Upper Room devotional

Winter Coats & Clothes Collection

this Sunday, November 15, 11am-1pm

Our first snow came early this year and with it a burst of cold air. With that in mind, Serve Council is coordinating the collection of new and gently used winter coats and clothing. We are especially in need of coats for children and youth. The items collected will be distributed to the Ushindi community currently meeting in the former Metropolitan Ave UMC (now the Hub) and to the Catholic Charities Refugees program. Both are in need of winter coats, hats, gloves, etc., for children and adults. Our next collection will be on Sunday, November 15, 11am-1pm.

The Hub Argentine Food Drive

this Sunday, November 15, 11am-1pm

The Hub Argentine is in need of the following food items to help stock their food pantry.
  • 15 oz. cans of beans (black, pinto, garbanzo, chili, cannellini, and kidney)
  • 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 10-15 oz. cans of tomato sauce, Rotel, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, etc.
You can drop these off at the same time you drop off warm winter wear on November 15!

Cross-Lines Christmas Store

These are such busy times at Cross-Lines. The Christmas Store has been cancelled this year due to COVID restrictions, limited volunteers, and the current workload of staff. Cross-Lines is stretched beyond belief right now to serve food in the Kitchen, provide showers for the homeless, bring commodity food boxes to the elderly, and provide rent/utility assistance so people can remain in their homes. Many of these tasks were performed with the help of volunteers before the pandemic. Now the staff is bearing much of the load on their own.

To help with the ongoing needs of clients, Cross-Lines is providing $20 Walmart gift certificates to those currently receiving assistance at their offices. This year, St. Paul's is stepping up to help provide these gift certificates instead of collecting clothing donations. Cross-Lines will use the money we donate to purchase the Walmart gift certificates. Families can use these to purchase clothing, food and a few gifts for their families. Please donate online or by check to St. Paul’s special collection for the Christmas store.

Cross-Lines Food Kitchen

Friday, November 20

Interested in volunteering at Cross-Lines? Check 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. 

Red Team will serve this month at the Cross-Lines Food Kitchen on Friday, November 20. If you’re interested in providing food or serving, please contact Janet Podoll for more information.
Black Lives Matter
Over 80 St. Paul's families are expressing their commitment to antiracism and loving our neighbors with Black Lives Matter signs in their yards. Join us!
Request a Black Lives Matter sign
Give to the Antiracism fund

Sing with Us!

We would love for you to participate in our virtual choir! Contact Jackson to get started.

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
Sundays, 11–12pm via Zoom
Topic: Faith & Justice
 Open to all youth grade levels.  

Small Groups
Sundays, 3-4pm via Zoom 
Who Am I? A look into our identities as God each uniquely created us. Open to all youth grade levels.  

Sundays, 6-7pm via Zoom
Relationships and the Bible. Open to all youth grade levels.

Youth groups and activities
Youth Facebook Group
Contact Allison Marcus

Kids' Connection: PreK - Grade 6

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

We begin worship this Sunday with Kid's Time! so be sure and gather round for that, 10am on Facebook Live.

Kids' Connection & KIDS456 weekly meetups
• Wednesdays, 6:45pm
via Zoom
• Sundays, 11:15am in St. Paul's parking lot

Follow the links below to learn more and join us!
Learn more and get this week's Parent Guide
Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk
Great Plains Gratitude Menugratitude menu
Check out the interactive Great Plains Gratitude Menu for fun and meaningful activities to do with your family this season!
Share photos and tell us what you’re writing on your pumpkin or doing from your gratitude menu on our website or on social media, #spumcgratitude
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