Michael’s Missive August 30

First Pres Community –

 

Nature.  Wonder and devastation.  Praise and prayer.  Exaltation and intercession.

 

First, the eclipse.  Awe.  A jaw-dropping sight and experience that I will never forget.  The entire vacation was wonderful.  Beach time, time together, Portland time, time with friends, Timbers games, Central Oregon time, time with our son; it was all a wonderful time, but the eclipse eclipsed them all.

 

Second, Harvey.  Concern.  It has been heartbreaking to see and hear of the devastation of this hurricane (and now tropical storm).  How do we respond?  First, pray.  First and foremost, pray. Second, give.  Give as you are able and led by God to do.  Give to the American Red Cross who works with FEMA as first responders.  Give to the Disaster Fund here at First Pres (just mark your check or envelope so we know).  Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) who works with our churches and ministries there now…and especially after the Red Cross is gone.  I like giving to Red Cross because they can buy more effectively than we can shipping supplies down at this point…or anyone else can.  I like giving to PDA because I have seen their continued efforts long after Katrina.  Third, act.  This one may occur over time but one way you can right now is to donate blood.  The Red Cross has numerous donation sites in the coming weeks including here October 3rd.

 

As Christians, we don’t worship nature.  We worship the God of Creation…who is also the God who cares.  We adore God and we care for people as followers of Christ Jesus.

 

THIS SUNDAY, we will celebrate Communion at both services and the sermon will be a message looking ahead to our Fall.  Between services, the final summer Adult Sunday School class.

 

TONIGHT, Bells at 6:30pm and CHOIR RESUMES at 7:30pm.  All are welcome.  If your mother loved hearing you sing, I know we will too!

 

Looking ahead:  Sunday, September 10 will be our KICKOFF SUNDAY!  Between services, you can learn about the many opportunities here at First Pres, get your name into some drawings, and have your picture taken with KC Wolf.  It should be fun and a great start to the new year here.

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Michael’s Missive August 9

First Pres Community –

 

Red ink.  Someone placed a copy of my sermons notes in my mail slot that corrected my grammatical mistakes with red ink.  Part of me appreciates the help.  But my first response was “really???”  Most of what I write is a flow of thought.  I run spell and grammar check…but I ain’t purfect.  Thankfully, we are a community of grace.

 

Red ink in budgets bother me also.

 

Why red?  I love red tomatoes and strawberries and wine.  We wear red for Pentecost…and the Chiefs…though it represents some other teams.  Rednecks can make me chuckle or make me…see red.  In China, I saw a bride in a red wedding dress. There are red: roses, herrings, faces, flags, hair, lights, skies, carpets.  Red hot, red blood, red handed, and the red planet.

 

Red pops up a lot of other places too…but I reckon you have red enough.

 

TONIGHT, summer Mission Speaker Kirk Perucca will be with us.  Rev. Perucca pastors Covenant Presbyterian Church in KC, a multiethnic congregation.  He chairs the Committee on Mission and Social Justice of Heartland Presbytery.  Dinner at 6:30pm, Presentation from 7-8pm, in our Fellowship Hall.  All are welcome.

 

THIS SUNDAY, at 9am and 11am, the sermon will be “Jesus Genes”.  This will conclude the summer series on “Characters” as we consider Christlikeness.   THIS SUNDAY, an Adult Class, will continue downstairs in the Resource Room during the Faith and Fellowship Hour.

 

THIS SUNDAY, all are invited to the CHURCH PICNIC at Harris Park beginning at 4pm.  Bring your own picnic, but come to enjoy some fun and conversation with all ages.  This is a great opportunity to get to know each other.

 

THIS SATURDAY, August 12, Men’s Breakfast will hear more about the mission trips from both kids and leaders at the men’s first gathering of the year.  7:30am in our Fellowship Hall.  All guys welcome.

 

Looking ahead:  Thursday, August 17, Keenagers will gather at Noon for a barbeque at the Haines.  Sunday, August 20, Rev. Amgad Megally preaches here.

 

Have a red letter day!

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

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Michael’s Missive August 2

First Pres Community –

 

Happy August!  It is a pleasant 86 here.  Meanwhile back in Oregon it is 106 plus smoke from fires…nothing close but send cool, wet prayers their way.

 

Last Sunday was wonderful.  Some of you said it was my best sermon of the Summer!  (Thanks

a lot.)  Actually, our Youth led the service and shared about their experiences at camps and mission trips.  A special shout out to the adult and youth leaders who took time off to drive and work side-by-side with our youth on their mission trips and with day camp!!  It was also great to welcome back into membership Les & Courtney Ng and their children Jack and Emery.

 

I love begin part of a church that is intergenerational…and we are at both services.  Faith is formed in families as well as churches.  I love seeing grandparents with children and grandchildren.  I love seeing all ages here being part of the Family of God.

 

The Family of God…that is who we are.  THIS SUNDAY we will have a family gathering at 9am and 11am.  At 9am, we will share in the Baptism of Theodore Williams, child of Josh and Courtney.  At both services, we will share in Communion (our family meal) and we will hear a sermon on Peter called “The Peter Principles.”  (Did you know Peter had a mother in law (Mt.8:14-15)?  Which means Simon Peter had a wife?)  We will consider some lessons Peter learned on a fishing trip with Jesus.  THIS SUNDAY, an Adult Class, will continue downstairs in the Resource Room.

 

This weekend, there will be 3 life celebrations.  Dorothy Logan will be this Friday evening at 6pm at Langsfords (visitation, 4-6).  Larry Gieringer will be this Sunday afternoon at 3pm in our Fellowship Hall.  Tish Blakely will be a memorial visitation this Monday evening, 5-7pm, at Park Lawn Funeral Home.

 

Next Wednesday, Kirk Perucca from Covenant Pres. will be our final summer Mission Speaker.  Dinner at 6:30pm, presentation 7-8pm.  All are welcome.

 

Saturday, August 12, Men’s Breakfast will hear more about the mission trips at their fist gathering of the year.

 

Sunday, August 13, all are invited to the CHURCH PICNIC at Harris Park beginning at 4pm.  Bring your own picnic, but come to enjoy some fun and conversation with all ages.

 

Thursday, August 17, Keenagers will gather at Noon for a barbeque at the Haines.

 

Lastly, great time with the grandkids last week.  Major props to you parents and grandparents who are with little ones all the time.  Three days did me in!

 

Stay cool.

 

See you Sunday, children of God!

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

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Michael’s Missive July 26

First Pres Community –

 

Rest.  As I write this, the church facility is perfectly quiet.  It is restful.  I know it is the calm before the storm of Fall and everything that will be happening here.  It is a time to pray, to study, to plan ahead, and to visit people.  Later today the grandchildren come to town, so I need to rest up!

 

Rest definition, the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep: a good night’s rest.  Last week, I read an article about the serious health dangers of sleep deprivation.  It cited a study stating 45% of the people in the world are sleep deprived (less than 7 hours a night.)  In addition, 50-70 million Americans suffer sleep disorders.  I believe it…and it causes me concern, not only for myself, but for you.  Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)  We usually think of that as rest for our souls…but maybe Jesus is more wholistic.  Maybe Jesus is concerned about our selfcare and that we need rest…in body, mind, and spirit.  My prayer for you each is that you get the rest that you need.

 

The Young and the Restless.  THIS SUNDAY our Youth (some are sleep pros) will be sharing about their Summer.  Right now, our Junior High kids are in Memphis on their Mission Trip (home Saturday evening).  They and our Senior Highs will talk about their Mission Trips, Heartland Camp, and Day Camp as well as what God was showing them this Summer.  They will be getting up early and coming to share in both services. Come show your support and share in their joy.

 

Rest in Peace.  Larry Geiringer, part of our church community died this past week.  I failed to mention it Sunday morning, so I am doing so here.  Some of you know his daughters, Elizabeth and Bella, who are members here.  Prayers for them, his wife Loraine, and his family and friends.  A service for Larry will be held at our church at 4pm on Sunday, August 6.

 

All the rest.  KEENAGERS, sign up now for the Potluck Barbeque onThursday, August 17, Noon, at the home of the Haines. All are invited to the CHURCH PICNIC on Sunday, August 13, at Harris Park beginning at 4pm.

 

See you Sunday…the Day of Rest!

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

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Michael’s Missive July 19

First Pres Community –

 

“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.  Red, brown, yellow, black, and white; they are precious in His sight.  Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

 

Love them like Jesus.  Keep them all in your prayers.  And come learn about another part of the world that is in a world of need.

 

Join us THIS EVENING (Wednesday) to fellowship with and to hear from David Nzioka with our Kenyan Presbyterian Church called Neema Fellowship along with some of his parishioners.  Dinner at 6:30pm, presentation at 7pm. All are welcome.

 

Our youth are back from the Senior High Mission Trip to New Orleans, safe and sound, and full of wonderful stories to share.  This Sunday (early) our Junior High students and leaders will be leaving on their Mission Trip to Memphis.  Please keep them in your prayers.  On Sunday July 30, we will hear from both groups about their trips at both services.

 

THIS SUNDAY, the sermon will be on Ruth, a woman from a foreign country, remembered for her goodness and godliness (pretty much the exact opposite of Samson!)  We will consider her and how to build healthy relationships in “Ruth(less) People”.

 

This Sunday (and throughout the summer), an Adult Class led by Carol Phillips will be held in the Church Library at 10am.  All are welcome…with more coming every week!

 

Stay cool.

 

See you tonight or Sunday or soon.

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

,

Michael’s Missive July 12

First Pres Community –

 

Happy Palindrome Week!   A palindrome is a sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards…like “dad” or “mom”.  Some famous ones are:  “Able was I ere I saw Elba“, “A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!”, “Madam, I’m Adam”.  A palindrome can also be numerical.  Today is 7.12.17…or 71217.  It is this way all week.  7.10.17, 7.11.17, 7.12.17, 7.13.17, 7.14.17, 7.15.17, 7.16.17, 7.17.17, 7.18.17, 7.19.17.  So this is Palindrome Week.  Pretty cool…huh?

 

Unlike the number 99…which is pretty hot.  If your home is too hot, consider hanging out in your church home.  We have AC here, an ice machine, and water.  It is like an oasis here in God’s house and you should always feel welcome.  We do not have tv to watch, but we do have indoor walking and soft chairs to sit and read in…or do puzzles.

 

I like puzzles.  I like numbers…always have.  I attempt a Sudoku most mornings.  What I like about numbers is that they are logical…puzzles to be figured out (literally).  What I dislike about Sudoku is that a person can almost have it all done and then realize they made a mistake.

 

Mistakes.  Samson, a judge in the Bible made a big mistake and it cost him dearly (hard to not hear Tom Jones singing “Delilah” in my head).  We will consider Samson in this Sunday’s sermon – “Samson & His Bad Hair Day.”

 

This Sunday (and throughout the summer), an Adult Class led by Carol Phillips will be held in the Church Library at 10am.  All are welcome.

 

Also, this Sunday, we will dedicate our Junior High students and leaders who will be leaving on their Mission Trip to Memphis at daybreak on the following Sunday July 23rd.  Currently our Senior High youth and leaders are outside working on homes in New Orleans on a Mission Trip (return Monday the 17th).  Please keep them in your prayers as it is hot outside.  They are working with RHINO (Rebuilding Hope In New Orleans) out of St. Charles Presbyterian Church and learning about our Presbyterian Disaster Assistance ministries there.

 

Tomorrow, Thursday, July 13, Keenagers will have their next sack lunch, color, play games, talk, laugh, and eat dessert time together.  Starts at Noon, bring your own lunch.

 

Next Wednesday, David Nzioka with our Kenyan Presbyterian Church called Neema Fellowship will be with us along with some of his parishioners.  Dinner at 6:30pm, presentation at 7pm.

 

See you Sunday…7.16.17.

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

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Michael’s Missive July 6

First Pres Community –

 

Happy the day after the day after July 4th!!!

 

Notice this isn’t coming to you the day after the 4th.  Most Americans seem tired and cranky on the 5th.  It seemed the fireworks were louder and more numerous this year.  And the began on Saturday…and again on Sunday…and of course on Monday July 3rd…all leading up to the 4th.

I felt sorry for the dogs…and grateful for earplugs.  Had a house full of company and a great time together, but boy do we enjoy the peace and quiet after everyone leaves…and we are done cleaning up.

 

Peace…inner peace will be our topic in this Sunday’s sermon as we learn from “Wholly Moses”.

 

This Sunday (and throughout the summer), an Adult Class led by Carol Phillips will be held in the Church Library at 10am.  All are welcome.

 

Also, this Sunday, our Senior High youth drive off to New Orleans on a Mission Trip (Sunday the 9th to Monday the 17th).  Please keep them in your prayers as they help people recovering from flooding and learn of the work of our Presbyterian Disaster Assistance there.

 

Next Thursday, July 13, Keenagers will have their next sack lunch, color, play games, talk, laugh, and eat dessert time together.  Starts at Noon, bring your own lunch.

 

Looking ahead to Wednesday July 19, David Nzioka with our Kenyan Presbyterian Church called Neema Fellowship will be with us.  Dinner at6:30pm, presentation at 7pm.

 

See you Sunday…when everyone is not so cranky.

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

,

Michael’s Missive June 20

First Pres Community –

 

A missive on Tuesday…what is going on?  I is going on vacation.

 

Actually, we are going to a family gathering.  My oldest sister was married 50 years ago (I was in the wedding…and yes, an embarrassing photo exists.)  With siblings that you are close to, no embarrassing stories are forgotten or untold.  Thank goodness, I grew up before the Internet!!

 

So…my 2 sisters and I will gather everyone alive from our families…for the first time ever.  We have Camp McCall every few years but this is the first time all of our children and their children will be there.

 

All under one roof with 6 children, 8 and under…including 2 toddlers.  I expect there will be lots of relaxing and play and sleep deprivation.  We have cousins, aunts, and uncles who have never met.  But we are family…and we know we are blessed.

 

We are blessed here at First Pres as the Family of God also.  It is wonderful to see the children and youth and helpers and leaders having so much fun at Travelling Day Camp (keep your prayers and children coming!)  Each of them are a blessing…and as God’s family it is great to be together.

 

THIS SUNDAY you will be blessed as well.  The Rev. Charles Spencer, whose family has been part of our church family, will be preaching at both the 9am and 11am services.  Charles serves as Executive Presbyter of Heartland Presbytery, a calling he has filled for 11 years and that will conclude at the end of this month.  We have been blessed by Charles, Malinda, Bruce, and Evan…and we bless them in the coming months as Charles discerns God’s next call.

 

Also, this Sunday (and throughout the summer), an Adult Class led by Carol Phillips will be held in the Church Library at 10am.  All are welcome.

 

This Saturday afternoon watch the Royals play as we will have close to 100 people there.  (Our folks will be ones in blue!)  The first 10,000 fans will receive a Royals apron!  So get there earlier if going on your own.  10 of you can go in the church van (gather at 11:15, leave at 11:30) with Curt Likins (first come).

 

Since many of you asked: Oliver Williams is home and doing well.  Courtney and Josh appreciate your prayers and the support of their church family.

 

Lastly, today is World Refugee Day.  Please keep in your thoughts and prayers, the over 65 million refugees in the world today…both they and their families.  Their being away from their homes is anything but a vacation.

 

See you July 2nd.

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

Ps – If you have a pastoral need in my absence, please contact Stephen Leader Sharon Pyburn.

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

,

Michael’s Missive June 14

First Pres Community –

 

Tonight.  Sunday.  Next week.  Today.

 

TONIGHT (Wednesday) – The first of our Summer Mission Nights will be with Pastor Amgad Megally and several parishioners from our Presbyterian Arab Fellowship here in Kansas City.  This will be a great opportunity to learn about their ministries, experiences, and concerns. In our Fellowship Hall.  Dinner (provided) at 6:30pm, presentation 7-8pm.  All are invited.

 

SUNDAY – Snack n Yak #2 will occur between services, to further discuss dreams for our church and possible next steps.  10:10-10:40am, in the Fellowship Hall, everyone is invited.

TONIGHT.

 

SUNDAY, at both our 9am and our 11am services, I will preach on Jabez and his Audacious Prayer.  Fathers will be acknowledged for Father’s Day.  And at the 11am service, we will celebrate the Baptism of Stacey, child of Scott & Joyce Ball.

 

SUNDAYS this Summer, an Adult Class in being offered in the Church Library at 10am on

 

THIS SUNDAY, you may also still buy your tickets to the June 24th Royals game (it is a Saturday afternoon game that people of all ages can enjoy…guests are welcome).  Cost $20.

About 80 people have bought tickets thus far..

 

NEXT WEEK – DAY CAMP AT OUR CHURCH for children K-6th.  M-F, 9am-5pm, only $90. You may still sign up Sunday morning on the computer set-up at church or anytime through Heartland Camp athttps://heartland.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App. Or at the door (though there will still be paperwork as well as a medical release needed).  EVERYONE, PLEASE PRAY FOR GOD’S BLESSING UPON EVERY PART OF THIS ENDEAVOR!!!

 

NEXT WEEK – On Tuesday, June 20, from 10am-2pm, a reception will be held for Charles Spencer.  Charles stepped down from his position as Executive Presbyter at our June 10 meeting of Heartland Presbytery after serving 11 years.  Charles now enters a time of discerning what god has for him next.  He and his family have been regular attenders and active members of our church.  We thank God for his service and lift him (and them) up in our prayers.  Charles will be preaching here at First Pres Lee’s Summit on Sunday, June 25.

 

TODAY – Enjoy!  It is God’s gift to you.  Thank God for every today.

 

In the Name of the One who “is the same yesterday and today and forever.”(Hebrews 13:8)

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love

,

Michael’s Missive June 7

First Pres Community –

 

Dreams.  I know I have them but I don’t remember them…unless I take Nyquill…then they are really odd.

 

Do you have dreams for our church?  Not Nyquill dreams, but dreams of the types of ministries and things that should be going on here.  At the very first Pentecost, Peter preached quoting Joel 2:28  “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh…your old (people) shall dream dreams,  and your young (people) shall see visions.”  God’s Spirit helps us dream.  Do you have a dream or vision for your church?

 

Snack n Yaks between services, this Sunday and next, June 11 & 18, will be held to hear from you.  10:10-10:40am, in the Fellowship Hall, everyone is invited.

 

3 groups are being formed right now.  The first will look into how we could develop our yard, possibly including a playground structure, that will better utilize that space and make our church more inviting.  The second will look into how we could renovate our Narthex, possibly including a covered entry, that will improve and update our gathering space and entry.  Both of these have been talked about but we need proposals including costs involved and how they will benefit our ministry here.  The third group is a Revitalization Task Force which will review the work of last year’s Vision Task Force as well as ideas from the past, the demographics of our area, our ministries, our history, our people, our dreams, and anything else that helps us discern the future for this church.

 

All 3 groups will report to Session.  If you want to serve in any of these areas let me or the Church Office know.  Thank you.

 

THIS SUNDAY, at both our 9am and our 11am services, I will preach on Joseph who both had dreams and could interpret dreams.  We will consider his character, the difficulties he faced, and his “mojo”.  Again, between services there will be a “Snack n Yak” to talk about our church.

 

THIS SUNDAY – You may sign children (K-6th) up for DAY CAMP AT OUR CHURCH, JUNE 19-23.  M-F, 9am-5pm, only $90. Sign up Sunday morning on the computer set-up at church or through Heartland Camp athttps://heartland.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/camper/App

 

THIS SUNDAY, you may also buy your tickets to the June 24th Royals game (it is a Saturday afternoon game that people of all ages can enjoy…guests are welcome).  Cost $20.

 

TOMORROW (Thursday) Keenagers Coloring Time.  Bring a sack lunch atNoon.  Dessert provided.

THIS FRIDAY Men’s Group Fish Fry at the Beavers.  RSVP to 816-812-8979, bring your spouse/significant other, and bring a dish to share.

THIS SATURDAY Heartland Presbytery Meeting in Atchison

 

NEXT WEDNESDAY (June 14) Mission Night with Presbyterian Pastor Amgad Megally from Arab Fellowship.  Dinner at 6:30pm, presentation 7-8pm.  All are invited.

 

Dream on…dream until your dreams come true (name the band)

 

Your pastor and friend  Michael

 

Building Faith…..Bringing Hope…..Sharing Love