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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
• St. Paul's masks are here!
• Share the Lord's Prayer
• New small groups in October
• Read the Bible Daily
• Tend the Food Pantry Garden
• Engage voters
• Request a Black Lives Matter sign
• Serve by Singing

• Love, Seek, Serve with St. Paul's Youth
• Celebrate Wonder in Kids' Connection

• Jackson Thomas & OCTETOBERFEST

Message from Pastor Lora

October 2, 2020

It is Friday morning, and I’m still feeling sad after watching the presidential debate this week. Those of you I’ve talked to this week have helped me remember my disappointment does not stand in isolation.

Watching the interruptions, the name calling, the disregard each had for the other—it was painful.

After a summer of diving into antiracism reading, the collective conversation around racial justice was so incomplete. To be clear, white supremacy is sin. Hearing that sin up for debate feels scary, or at least unbelievable.

I found myself feeling deep grief for the people of color that night who heard our president say “stand by” to white supremacists. I found myself wincing at the COVID-19 conversation imagining how callous it might sound to the family of someone who has lost a loved one to this horrible virus.

And then I woke up today and saw the news that our President and First Lady have tested positive and have begun their isolation period.

Y’all. It’s too much some days, isn’t it?

Turn with me toward scripture today. It will take about a minute to read Galatians 5 with me.

Christ has set us free. There is no law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I just want to remind us again and again that while it is absolutely our calling as Christians to vote, to engage voters (don’t forget the opportunity Sunday to phone bank voters of color in Johnson County to help make sure votes are more representative of our county), and to impact policy change as people of faith, that at the end of the day there is freedom in Christ that no other institution will ever give us.

That doesn’t mean we close our eyes to the world. It means when the world is so hard that we look away, numb ourselves, and want to disengage, that there is a persistently faithful God there even when everything else is stripped away. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.

Rest in God’s Word today. May it sustain you. May it lead your prayers toward the love that will not allow the dignity of our siblings of color to be up for debate—the peace that will allow us to sleep at night—the kindness that will pray each day for our President and his family and the thousands of others who are experiencing coronavirus right now—the generosity to continue to give back to God when our civic leaders try to prize the practice of self-interest—the self-control to not fall into our worst selves for the next month of the election.

This is hard work. But it is liberating work. Christ sets us free. Breathe that good news in today, St. Paul’s. Because we all need to hear it.

I’m excited for this weekend’s worship, because it helps us remember this call to share our faith story with others. How might the freedom we have in Christ be generative? There is no law against such things! Luke Miltz will be preaching his first sermon at St. Paul’s. Tune in and hear a new voice God has called to ministry.

“See” you Sunday,
Pastor Lora

Worship this Week

Worship this week

Sunday, October 4

10:00am Livestream on Facebook

This week Luke Miltz will be preaching his first sermon at St. Paul’s! We'll be looking at what it means to share our faith story with others. 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 worship guide (link below) for suggestions on how to feel more connected in worship while we're apart.
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.

St. Paul’s Masks Are Here!

One way to share your faith with others is to make sure they know about St. Paul’s. We have a supply of Love Seek Serve masks available to help spark conversation with friends, coworkers, shoppers, and neighbors. You’ll have six options this week for driving through the parking lot at church and picking up a mask:
  • Sunday: 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Monday: 5:00-6:00pm
  • Tuesday: 5:00-6:00pm
  • Wednesday: 5:00-6:00pm
  • Thursday: 5:00-6:00pm
  • Sunday: 11:00am-12:30pm
Make plans to drive through, say hello to one of the staff, and share your faith with others while keeping safe with your new mask.

Share the Lord's Prayer

Would you like to lead the congregation in prayer? You can do it from home!

Submit a video file of yourself/your group introducing yourselves, saying "Please join me/us in praying The Lord's Prayer," and praying this version:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever.

Feel free to be creative about your setting! Landscape orientation is best for the video. We can't wait to see and hear your prayer.
Submit a Lord's Prayer Video

Coffee and Connections

Do you miss seeing faces and chatting in the lobby with your church community before worship on Sundays at St. Paul's? Join us 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 Connections 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.

Adult & Intergenerational Small Groups

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. 

New in October

Bible 101
starts Monday, October 19, 7pm

Host: Marilyn Gregory

The Bible is a collection of books, written by many different people over nearly two thousand years for vastly different purposes. We believe it to be our sacred text, a text that can bring us into God’s presence and purpose.

But it is hard to understand. Good people come to different conclusions about what it means for us today. This six-week study will not answer all your questions. But it will give you some tools for becoming a student of the Bible.

We will learn how to find a passage of scripture. We will explore some of the history of the Bible and what that history means for how we read the Bible today. We will acquaint ourselves with resources that can help us understand the Bible. We will practice digging into the rich meanings of a few Bible stories. It is my hope that participants will leave Bible 101 wanting to go deeper into the books of the Bible and feeling confident to do so.
Tuesday Evening Small Group
starts October 6 @ 6:30pm

Host: rotating leadership

Assuming the weather cooperates, we'll meet on the church parking lot near the garden (westernmost part of the lot). Bring your chair, mask, drink, book and your unique personality. We will be distanced and masked, in keeping with church policy. You will need to get a copy of See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur and read the Introduction and Chapter 1 before our first meeting.
Learn more & join us!
Contact Pastor Sandra

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

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

Tend the Food Pantry Garden


Meet up with other St. Paul’s volunteers in the garden on Saturday, October 3, 9am to dig up sweet potatoes, pull and bag other plants, and put our hard working garden beds to rest.

If you have any extra lawn bags, please bring them. No experience needed, we’ll be happy to have you! Remember to practice social distancing guidelines. Contact Kurt Hookstra for more info, and be sure to join our Facebook garden group to stay in the loop.

Engage Voters

Get involved in the work of anti-racism at St. Paul’s by doing phone banking for voter engagement. Our next phone bank, in partnership with MORE2, will be Sunday, October 4, 1-3pm via Zoom. Join us!

Learn more and sign up for phone banking
Black Lives Matter
Over 50 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 fall schedule for youth and join us any time! Programs are open to all youth grades 7-12. Contact Allison for Zoom links.

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.
Learn more and get this week's Parent Guide
Kids' Connection Facebook Group
Contact Jamie Turk
Beyond St. Paul's heading
Join Jackson Thomas and select KC VITAs singers on the terrace of Simpson House for OCTETOBERFEST on Sunday, October 4 at 4pm. $50 tickets include your own socially-distanced space in the garden allowing for up to 5 attendees, live music by 8 members of KC VITAs, a pretzel from KC Pretzel Boys, and, for guests of age, your choice of local Oktoberfest beer or pumpkin ale! Mask-wearing and the latest CDC guidelines will be enforced. In order to ensure the safety of guests and maintain proper social distancing, we have very limited seating available. Reserve your space today! 
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