First Pres Community –

First, as we continue to watch the reports surrounding the Corona Virus (COVIS-19), now declared a pandemic, we are having conversations about our church life and ministry. The most important thing we can do is simple practices that we should do every cold and flu season.
·    Hand washing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of any disease. Sing the Doxology (Praise God from whom all blessings flow), say the Lord’s Prayer, or take this opportunity to memorize Psalm 23.
·    Stay home if you are sick.
·    Cover your cough and sneezes.
·    Disinfect frequently used surfaces (phones, doorknobs, etc).
·    Hand sanitizer is available in various places around the church building.

  • All commonly used surfaces are being wiped down on a regular basis by our Sexton.
  • During worship, pass the peace with an elbow bump, smile and nod, or the peace sign.

As we are a community, we are all in this together. If you do not feel well or are worried about being in large gatherings, remember we live stream both the 9am and 11am worship service on the church’s website and Facebook.  Please know that we will continue to monitor this closely and take appropriate precautions.

Now on to this week…

THIS SUNDAY – The sermon will be “Astonished” at both the 9am & 11am services.  We will also Ordain/Install Donna Haines and Michael Murphy as Ruling Elders.  During the 10am Faith and Fellowship time, classes for all ages will meet downstairs.  Nursery care is provided all morning.

Also, this Sunday, the free medical clinic here will be open, 1-5pm.  This is provided by Pax Community Health at our church facility.

TONIGHT– 5:30, Logos; 6:30, Youth; 6:30, Bells; 7:30, Choir.

Tomorrow – Keenagers will carpool from the church at 11:30am to go to Smokehouse BBQ and then the Midwest Genealogy Center for a tour.  You pay for your lunch, tour is free, all are welcome.

Friday – 9:30am, Women’s Elizabeth Bible Study

This Saturday – 7:45am, Men’s Breakfast Group

Looking ahead, the big Youth Auction/Dinner/Show in Saturday the 28th (contact Curt Likens to be on the waiting list).  And the Kansas City Metro Men’s Chorus will perform here on Sunday the 29th at 3pm (a free will offering will benefit One Good Meal…feeding shut-ins here in Lee’s Summit)…the concert is free and open to the public so invite your friends.

Lastly, thank you to all who came to the Annual Corporate Meeting and Interior Presentation last Sunday.  For those who could not be there, I am including after the Prayer Concerns, the notes Don Buss used.  These will also be available in the Narthex.

In the faith, hope, and love of Jesus –

Your pastor and friend  Michael

FPCLS – Interior Upgrade and Renovation Project – A Reasonable Path Forward??

Presentation by Don Buss – March 8, 2020


►For your church Session, today’s purpose to provide information to the Church Family.  ►For the Church Family, today’s purpose is to be informed, to be guided by the Holy Spirit and to provide input to Session members.

►I am here today to discuss three things:  1.) Getting A Perspective on Things; 2.)  What Stewardship Is & Is Not; and 3) A Reasonable Path Forward??

1) Getting A Perspective on Things

►We are all usually in the moment…. let us go higher than that for a few moments this morning.  ►All churches struggle with two major issues:  Faith and Finances

►Our church also struggles with finances….no surprise…. but relatively speaking we are blessed compared to most church families…. trust me!! I will explain later offline why I know this is true.

►Our church struggles with Faith too…again….no surprise.  What is the Holy Spirit guiding us to in regard to the “Great Commission?”

►The Great Commission is very summarized form is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.  It is the end of the Gospel and the beginning of faith in action for all our Church Family and all Christians.

►Speaking of “Faith in Action,” I came across a two-column typewritten list of our ministries (from the “2017 160-50-20 FPCLS History Celebration).  In reviewing this page, I saw over 70 mission activities.  This is faith in action!!  Even since 2017 a few items have been discontinued but I can also think of a few new items to add to the list.  This is good news as the means our mission is dynamic and ever changing….no moss growing here.

►This document reminded me of the Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

►Like in the movie we need an Angel to show us what our community would be like if we had not existed on the past decades or cease to exist!

►We must NEVER lose our perspective on this fact!  What our Church Family does every day in regard to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and running our church is what we are all about.

2) What Stewardship Is & Is Not

►This is not about me, but I recently ended some years as a member and also a Moderator of our Presbytery Stewardship Committee.

►This was out of my comfort zone…. which was a good thing for me.  I met a lot of great, even inspiring people, visited a lot of churches in our Presbytery and learned a lot about Stewardship in regard to both annual giving and building campaigns.

►The preceding comments are NOT a prelude to lecture you but rather to say I have some perspective on the subject.

►First, Stewardship is NOT begging for money for money to do something.  If we look at any building campaign as strictly a money activity…. or divide family over this kind of activity…. we have FOR SURE LOST OUR WAY.

►In summary, Stewardship is a VISION OF GENEROSITY that shows us new directions and opportunities for our mission.  It is the spiritual “WHY.”   Not the “WHY” because of better carpet, better sound and lighting, better able get more folks in the door, etc.

►Stewardship is an offer to ALL to PARTICIPATE with their generosity in this vision and mission.

►Stewardship success, in our case in the form of a successful capital campaign, requires a common vision shared by all…. well…. nearly all….as we are all guided differently by the Holy Spirit.

►If a church family is all swimming in the same direction in regard to the vision or the spiritual “Why”, their time, talent and treasure are sure to follow.

3) A Reasonable Path Forward??

►Again, not a lecture but background information.

►Listen, Read, Understand and provide feedback to Session members as guided by the Holy Spirit.  Again, who are the Session members??  Again, see the mug shots in the hallway.

AS BACKGROUND, the Session approved 24SEP2019 motion to borrow money begin interior upgrade and start additional fundraising.  Motion was complete but lacking detail and only approve with a 9 to 6 vote…. HARDLY A CONCESUS.  The Session has struggled with this issue since then with little progress.

►D. Buss, new to the Session as of January, listened to a lot of folks and worked in collaboration with Tom Beaver on a more logical interior upgrade plan with more acceptable financial risk to the church.  In publication terms, one could consider D. Buss to be the principal author.

►The Session on 18FEB2020 approved unanimously, to amend the 24SEP2019 motion.  The 18FEB2020 amendment is a handout for all to take home and read in detail.

► Note the question marks in the title “A Reasonable Path Forward??”  This is a WORK IN PROGRESS.  In other words, this “General Progression Timeline” has a number of decision points where the project may proceed or stop either by decision or lack of activity.

►Think of the new interior upgrade project as “1….2….3”

►1 is Year 1 (2020). This in the year of PREPARATION.  The recruiting and formation of a willing and robust Building Committee PLUS the recruiting and formation of a willing and robust Campaign Committee.

►2 is Year 2 (2021).  This is the year of ACTION.  The Building Committee will do a re-assessment of all in interior upgrade proposals…. things may or may not change.  The Building Committee will later oversee construction if it occurs.  The Capital Campaign Committee will plan and conduct a Stewardship campaign.  A Go / No Go decision will be made by the Session later in this year based on input from the Building and Capital Campaign Committees.  A “Go” decision will start a building loan process in late 2021.

►3 is Year 3 (2022).  This is the year of CONSTRUCTION paid for by loan money.  The loan money will be repaid by financial pledges from the Church Family.  ►So back to TODAY!

TODAY the Session amendment is just words on paper…. unless our collective vision breathes life into it.

►I have heard: “we must proceed, or the costs will go up….”, “we must proceed because we have already spent some money….”, and “we can’t proceed because we don’t have the money.”  These types of comments should not be prime factors in any decision from Today onward.


►The decision from today onward is whether the interior upgrade project is “a vision of generosity that shows us new directions and opportunities for our mission.”

Thank you!!