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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: New series begins
  • Did you get your star word?

SEEK

  • 5th Sunday Forum with MORE2
  • Offer your favorite Bible Verse to our Third Graders
  • New Small Groups forming now 

SERVE

  • Fourth Quarter Serve by Giving
  • First Sunday Food Drive
  • Kids & Youth Service Opportunity
  • Thank you for serving as Leaders!

KIDS & YOUTH

  • New Youth Programming
  • Kids' Connection & Third Grade Bibles


Message from Pastor Lora


I made the choice this week to take down the ornaments on our live Christmas tree. I told you on Sunday that those needles are fragile—you just look at them and they fall off the tree. Well, I decided that I wanted the ornaments off and wanted to just leave the lights on a little bit longer.

It meant that I had to pull those ornaments off one by one. I started out slow—watching the needles fall one by one. I tried different ways of pulling them off, hoping for a different outcome.

Turns out, it didn’t matter if I pulled the ornaments off slowly or if I ripped them off like a bandaid—the needles still fell.

Maybe that image can teach us something about the grief work we are doing right now. Some of us are slowly having an epiphany of our realities—the way relationships have frayed and are full-on ripped now, the way we are seeing our country change piece by piece, the way it seems like each day adds to the grief.

Some of us have had acute grief for all kinds of reasons—the endings have been abrupt around us, the country broke our hearts, we have lost loved ones suddenly, or we have lost jobs.

Not all of our grief and enduring is the same, and that is important to name. But I do think the needles are falling for a lot of us right now. We are missing each other—missing how life was before the epiphanies we have had—we have our own stuff going on—and we are well aware we are entering into a COVID winter.

With those needles falling for all of us—we are about to start a series that is going to help us find some meaning as we make it through. We are going to look at the story of the Exodus, what they learned in their wilderness, and work together to be faithful this next month.

I know there is fear and apprehension about what this winter will be like in pandemic. Will the numbers rise? Will we be stuck inside forever?

I can promise you this: there will be some good news on Sunday mornings in this series and some insight into the lessons we are learning during this wilderness we are facing. Up first: Jethro and Moses and a lesson in how sometimes the wilderness is where we learn that it’s okay to ask for help.

Speaking of which, one way you can help me is to always know that you can reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I’ve had some wonderful conversations this week that have both taught me more about God’s love and also helped me hear fresh perspectives. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! It truly helps to have connection during a time of distance like this.

“See” You Sunday!

Pastor Lora
 


Worship this Week


This week we will transition toward a new series - “Making It Through: Lessons from the Wilderness.” We know we need strength to make it through a covid winter and also now to make it through these next few weeks in America. In Exodus 18:13-27, Jethro tells Moses that he is going to burn out if he doesn't get any help and let some things go. The pandemic has helped us realize what help we had before, what help we need, and the vulnerability in asking. How are we continuing to ask for help as God calls us to be knit together in community that shares the burden?

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


Did you get your star word?


It's not too late! This new year tradition gives each of us a unique reflection for the coming year to help point us toward Christ. If you haven't been able to get your star word yet, no worries, we can fix you right up! Contact Pam Draper and she'll be happy to coordinate with you.

5th Sunday Forums Return 

Sunday, January 31  11:30am

In 2021 we'll be using our 5th Sunday Forums as a chance to continue our discipleship pathway and SEEK Justice! For the month of January, Marcus Winn of More2 (Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity) will be hosting a webinar presentation followed by a Q&A forum. Questions you'd like to send in advance? Send them to us here! Zoom link available here. We hope to see you on January 31st at 11:30!

Offer your favorite Bible Verse


On Sunday, January 24, our 3rd grade students will be presented with their very own Bibles! Please submit your favorite verse to jamie@stpaulslenexa.org by Wednesday, January 20. When our students receive their Bibles, your name and the verse you have chosen will be included on a notecard inside their Bible. The insert will accompany a prayer from their church family, marking this memorable occasion. Please know that your participation will undoubtedly impact the spiritual growth and well-being of each of our students!

New Small Groups Forming Now


Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent
Mondays  (2/1, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1) from 7:00-8:30pm

Pastor Lora will lead a zoom book study on Isabel Wilkerson's Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent on Mondays  (2/1, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1) from 7:00-8:30pm. This book examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. Wilkerson then points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Fair warning: this study will include 100+ pages of reading each week. It's a long one! Additionally, Wilkerson is doing a Zoom book conversation (2/17) through the KCK Public Library that you will be invited to register for as well. Contact Pastor Lora with questions or to sign up for our meetings and she will give you the reading assignments to begin. 

Prayer 101
Tuesdays (1/19, 1/26, 2/2) at 7 pm

Why do we pray? How do we pray? What happens when we pray? Join Rev. Karen Lampe for 3 weeks as she shares the basics of prayer and some foundational techniques. Prayer 101 is for anyone who wants to connect more fully with God…no matter where or how long you have been on your faith journey. During this pandemic we have the “opportunity” to seek a greater connection with God.  

Join us for Prayer 101 and a chance to address our theology of God and our previous experiences with prayer as we decide how to best reignite our connection with the spirit. What do you aspire to in your spiritual life?  
  • Greater grace
  • Peace
  • Comfort
  • Joy 
  • Hope
  • Love 
  • Forgiveness 
How can prayer help you become your best courageous self? Join Rev. Karen Lampe, via Zoom, for this 3 week exploration of prayer at its most basic and most powerful level. Sessions begin Tuesday, January 19, at 7 pm for 3 weeks. Sign up by contacting Pastor Sandra.


Your Generosity at Work


Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
~ 2 Corinthians 9:7

The last three months of 2020 were no exception to your ongoing, generous financial giving to our community. We were able to support the ministries of Cross-Lines Community Outreach, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Reconciling Ministries Network, Shawnee Community Services, Sunflower House, and UMCOR Hurricane Relief. Our Christmas Eve offering, which will be disbursed to MORE2 and Shawnee Community Services, will be included in an upcoming report.

In these troubled times, your undaunted commitment to serve God by serving others has helped provide basic needs for food, shelter, and hope to those who need it most. Thank you for your faithfulness.

First Sunday Food Drive

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

Thank you to everyone who brought food for the January First Sunday Food Drive! We filled the entryway and teams took the food to The Hub and to Johnson County North Central Multi-Service Center.

Our next First Sunday Food Drive is February 7, 11:30am - 12:30pm. The Hub is asking for 15 oz. cans of tomatoes (diced, crushed, sauce stewed, rotel). Johnson County Multi-Service Center will accept food of all kinds in similar sized cans. Thanks again for your commitment to Serve God by Serving Others.
Kids & Youth Service
Sign up now
Contact Jamie

Thank You for Serving as Leaders!


With a new year comes a transition in leadership. A portion of our team members transition off in order to welcome new leadership, including three of our team chairs this year.

Roger Williams completed his term as Church Council chair. Under Roger’s leadership 2017-2020, we have made it through General Conference, a pastoral transition, and we are working on getting through a pandemic! Roger’s clarity, commitment to our mission, grace for the team, and countless hours are so appreciated. Thank you, Roger, for all you’ve done to keep St. Paul’s “St. Paul’s” in such pivotal times in the life of our church! Pam Overman is the new Church Council Chair.

Kimberly Goff completed her term as Staff Parish Relations chair. She served for 2020 and although it was one year, we’d say that 2020 was a big task in this role! SPR did an extensive view of the preschool viability, a staff re-design, and we hired FIVE new staff people in 2020. Thank you, Kimberly, for all you did to lead us forward strategically and missionally in such an unprecedented year! Shannon Tefft is the new SPR Chair.

Sandy Finney completed her three-year term as SEEK Team Chair. Sandy braved the role of the first chair of this team under the new structure. Sandy helped lead us forward with initiatives in children’s ministry, youth ministry, adult small groups, and most recently studies in racial justice and development with our discipleship pathway. Thank you, Sandy, for leading forward with grace, compassion, and a willingness to adapt as we go! Patricia Marcus is the new SEEK Team chair.

So many people serve within the church all year round. We extend our thanks to all of you who donate food, volunteer with kids and youth, knit, serve on teams, take care of the building and grounds, care for our staff, and more. Without all of our gifts coming together, we would not be able to fulfill God’s mission for us. Thanks, St. Paul’s! If you’d like to find your way into serving at St. Paul’s, contact Pam Draper and she can help you get plugged in.
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 11–12pm
Topic: Faith & Justice 
 Open to all youth grade levels.  

The Gospel According to Harry Potter
Meets Sundays 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. 
Open to all youth grade levels  

Confirmation Class 
Meets Thursdays 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
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
Third Grade Bibles
Parents of 3rd Graders, here at St. Paul's, it is our tradition that we present a Bible to each third grade student as a statement of their growing faith and development. Studying scripture is one of the most important ways we can learn about God. We recognize that as a 3rd grader, your child is old enough to study scripture on their own. This Bible is a gift from the St. Paul's congregation, their church family. It is our prayer and hope that this gift will be a starting point for a deeper relationship with God. We also have a student guide titled "Learning to Use My Bible" for your family to utilize at home. If you have a 3rd grader who'd like to receive a Bible, please let us know by Wednesday, January 20, by emailing jamie@stpaulslenexa.org.  
 
Learn more & get this week's Parent Guide
Join Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk
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