Michael’s Missive February 27, 2019

First Pres Community –

Methodists.  Sunday.  Ash Wednesday.  Lent.  Corporation Meeting.

Please pray for our Methodist friends and their denomination.  A Special Conference concluded yesterday that decided on a direction that impacts them all.  Our Presbyterian denomination covers only the US.  The Methodist denomination is global.  Agreement is hard enough in ours, it is even more so for them.  We know their pain.  I appreciate that the PCUSA adopted a “One Church” plan that allows clergy and churches to decide LGBT issues for themselves…and that we have chosen to welcome everyone and their ministries and their relationships here.  Again, please have them in your prayers.

Prayer is an important part of the Season on Lent.  Ash Wednesday is NEXT Wednesday, March 6.  We will have a brief service, 7:00 to 7:20 in the Fellowship Hall.  Everyone, all ages, are welcome.  That is important here at First and in our denomination…ALL are welcome.

As Lent begins, many take on spiritual disciplines to deepen their spiritual life and to help prepare them for Easter.  Some give up desserts as a fast to the Lord.  Some give up Facebook. Some give up bad habits or bad attitudes.  Some take on additional prayer time.  Some take on new disciplines of exercise or eating healthy.  Some spend more time with their family or in service to others.  Some give every day an item of clothing they never wear to a social agency.  Some give the cost of a meal at every dinner for One Great Hour of Sharing.

Sally Wright of our Heartland Presbytery staff is putting out a daily devotional focused on reconciliation that is available through their Christian Formation FB page.  I like using d365 which brings a devotional to my email every morning (it’s free & you just sign up for it).

The key is to prayerfully decide what works for you…and as Nike says “Just Do It.”  If you falter or forget, then recommit and get back at it.  Lent lasts 40 days so this is quite a commitment… but that is the idea.  Remember whatever you choose is an offering to the Lord.  This is not a New year’s resolution.  This is your spiritual offering to our God.

This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday when we remind ourselves immediately prior to Lent… how awe-some is our God.

THIS SUNDAY, the sermon will be “Speechless” and Communion will be celebrated at both the 9am and 11am Services of worship.  During the 10am Faith and Fellowship Time, classes for all ages are held.  Nursery care is provided all morning.

Please note that even though Sunday will be March (yeah!), the forecast at this time calls for snow or ice (boo!)  If we do have to cancel, we will try hard to make the call on Saturday evening.  However, you may need to check KMBC before coming in on Sunday morning.

TONIGHT – Once again…NO Logos, Bells, and Choir.  Schools closed due to ice this morning.

THIS SATURDAY (weather permitting) – Women’s Breakfast at the church at 8:30am.

Lastly, on Sunday March 10, a lot is happening.  Sunday March 10, our Annual Corporation Meeting will be at 10:35am in the Main Sanctuary.  We introduce our Corporate Officers, hear the Annual Statistical Report, hear about our Fund activity for the year, update you on Ebenezer Too, and observe a moment for those who died in 2018.  Sunday Evening March 10, our “March Madness” event will be held with games for children and fun for all.  Games at 4pm, Potluck Dinner at 5pm (meat provided).  Sign up in the Narthex.  Sunday March 10 is also the beginning of Daylight Savings Time.

See you this Sunday!   (At least I am praying that I will.)

Your pastor and friend  Michael

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

Michael’s Missive March 6, 2019

First Pres Community –

Weather permitting. Ash Wednesday. Daylight Savings. Corporation Meeting.  Sunday Worship.

“Weather permitting” needs to precede everything we do these days.  I do hope and pray that everyone got the news on Sunday morning.  I don’t like cancelling before something happens in case it doesn’t…so if it’s iffy check KMBC on Sunday morning (or Wednesday night!)

TONIGHT – Weather permitting, a brief Ash Wednesday service will be held, 7-7:20pm.  Everyone is invited as we enter into Lent with this time of penitence.  Ashes, a symbol of remorse and grief as well as a reminder of our mortality will be imposed for those who wish.

THIS SATURDAY – Weather permitting, Men’s Breakfast at 7:45am.  All men welcome.

THIS SUNDAY – Whether weather permits or not, Daylight Savings begins!  Set you clocks ahead so you won’t miss all that Sunday holds!

THIS SUNDAY – Weather permitting, the Annual CORPORATION MEETING will be held between the services BEGINNING AT 10:35AM (DST) in the Main Sanctuary.  We introduce our Corporate Officers, hear the Annual Statistical Report, hear about our Fund activity for the year, update you on Ebenezer Too, and observe a moment for those in our church who died in 2018.

THIS SUNDAY – Weather permitting, the sermon will be “Learning Your Mortality” and Communion will be celebrated at both the 9am and 11am Services of worship (since it was not last week).  During the 10am Faith and Fellowship Time, classes for all ages are held.  Nursery care is provided all morning.

THIS SUNDAY – Whether weather permits or not, the “March Madness” event will not occur as it has been postponed to March 31…weather permitting.

Lastly, a repeat of what I wrote last week….as Lent begins, many take on spiritual disciplines to deepen their spiritual life and to help prepare them for Easter.  Some give up desserts as a fast to the Lord.  Some give up Facebook. Some give up bad habits or bad attitudes.  Some take on additional prayer time.  Some take on new disciplines of exercise or eating healthy.  Some spend more time with their family or in service to others.  Some give every day an item of clothing they never wear to a social agency.  Some give the cost of a meal at every dinner for One Great Hour of Sharing.  Sally Wright of our Heartland Presbytery staff is putting out a daily devotional focused on reconciliation that is available through their Christian Formation FB page.  I like using d365 which brings a devotional to my email every morning (it’s free & you just sign up for it).  The key is to prayerfully decide what works for you…and as Nike says “Just Do It.”  If you falter or forget, then recommit and get back at it.  Lent lasts 40 days so this is quite a commitment… but that is the idea.  Remember whatever you choose is an offering to the Lord.  This is not a New year’s resolution.  This is your spiritual offering to our God.

See you tonight or Sunday or sometime soon…weather permitting!

Your pastor and friend  Michael

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

Michael’s Missive for February 20, 2019

First Pres Community –

Yes, I am writing about the weather again.
Yes, this is going out on Thursday because yesterday was another snow day.
Yes, I think “Wednesday” should be renamed “Snowday”.
Yes, I am tired of the snow, the ice, the potholes, and the cancellations.
Yes, I drove through the pothole obstacle course on Chipman in front of Paneras.
Yes, you are tired of me writing about it all.
Yes, you are also tired of it all as well.
Yes, the forecast says there may be more coming in on Sunday morning.

Enough with “yeses” right? No. One more for you…
2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Gotta remember: There are some “yeses” that we just have to say “Amen” too!
Yes, I am alive and life is a precious gift.
Yes, I am loved by God…now and forever.
Yes, I have new life in Christ and a purpose for living.
Yes, I am blessed by you and all whom God has brought into my life.
Yes, I am abundantly blessed…and it is all God’s goodness and grace.
Yes, I pray that every one of you can affirm the above.
“Amen”?

THIS SUNDAY (weather permitting), Worship at both 9am and 11am. The sermon will be “The Hidden Christ”. During the 10am Faith and Fellowship Time, classes for all ages are held. Nursery care is provided all morning.

Lastly, last Sunday was a once again a tough call. Even then we had to have Brummell come back Sunday morning. And thanks to our folks who salted between cars. Amazingly, the choir was full and every one of our Confirmation students were here. I try hard to make calls by Saturday evening, but there are times you should check KMBC before coming in on Sunday morning.

Yes…I do hope and pray to see you Sunday!

Your pastor and friend Michael

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

Michael’s Missives February 13, 2019

First Pres Community –

Sick. Sick of being sick and sick of slippery Sundays.

Last Sunday was a tough call. I had group texts going with Session, Staff, and some other pastors. I was following the news on tv and online. Brummell came out both Saturday and Sunday. I was here at the church early Saturday evening and mid-morning Sunday. There were some slick spots in the parking lot, but mostly at the south curbs. I thought it was fine for 11 at church, however many of LS side streets were a mess. With the Scouts and their families, we had about 120 in worship…mostly guests…plus another 100 or so online.

KMBC only gives us the option of saying we are closed…so I did not notify them. Holding 11am only was a first-time call for me. I would have contacted KMBC on Sunday morning had things been worse…thankfully they were not.

Early forecast has more of the slippery stuff for this Sunday (of course). However, Wednesday night is “on” for the first time in weeks. And they say we might get in the 50s! Woo hoo! Then comes Friday and Saturday. We’ll see. I am sick of the slippery Sundays…and I know some parents sick of the slippery weekdays.

And I am sick of being sick. I have had my share of colds this winter…as have a number of you. It is good that we are nodding or elbow bumping instead of shaking hands during greeting or else our passing the peace might become passing of the germs. And I have to curtail personal visits…except for phone visits. Meetings, I need to be there, but I will keep my distance. Lots of handwashing and sanitizer folks. Keep mindful and in prayer for those around us dealing with chronic illness or illnesses far worse than a common cold.

It is ironic – or maybe providential – that this Sunday’s sermon is on the healing ministry of Jesus and the power of his touch…when I am sick and not touching anyone.

THIS SUNDAY, Worship at both 9am and 11am. The sermon will be “Hospitality and Healing”. During the 10am Faith and Fellowship Time, classes for all ages are held. Nursery care is provided all morning.

TONIGHT – Logos at 5:30pm (movie night!); Bells at 6:30pm; Choir at 7:30pm.

TOMORROW – Keenagers at Noon. “Matters of the Heart” is the program. Cost of the lunch is $5. Everyone is welcome!

Tomorrow is also Valentine’s Day. Remember God loves you…and we do too!

Lastly, check KMBC on Saturday evening and Sunday morning if the weather is sick.

Be well. Be Safe.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Your pastor and friend Michael

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

Michael’s Missives February 5, 2019

First Pres Community –

Weather watch, Scouts Sunday, and a “not-so super” Bowl –

If there is freezing rain on Wednesday and LS cancels school, then the church offices will be closed and there will be no Logos, Bells, and Choir. Apparently, LS Schools never open late…so if the weather warms up in the afternoon, you may want to contact your leaders: Curt, Sharon, or Jacob just to be sure.

Sunday…chance of snow…imagine that. If we close it will be posted on kmbc and online.

Remember if you stay home and if we hold service…you can still be with us online.

THIS SUNDAY is SCOUT SUNDAY! Scouts from our Troops 323 will be helping lead Worship at the 11am service. All Scouts and Girl Scouts are invited to come in uniform. The sermon will be “Fishing with Jesus” at both the 9am and 11am services. During the 10am Faith and Fellowship Time, classes for all ages are held. Nursery care is provided all morning.

THIS FRIDAY, the Elizabeth Bible Study at 9:30am. All women are welcome.

THIS SATURDAY, the Men’s Breakfast begins at 7:45am. All men are invited.

Lastly, that “not-so super” Bowl. Yes, I watched (except for the last 2 minutes), but I half-watched as we purged old files. The game seemed boring, the commercials forgettable, and the half-time show lost it’s shirt. HOWEVER, there were some super things about it all: 1) Patrick Mahomes as KC’s first League MVP (including thanking God first), 2) both Tony Gonzalez and Johnny Robinson being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and 3) pulled pork and ribs from the Youth fundraiser! Here’s to next year being a truly “Super” Bowl.

Have a blessed week.

Stay warm. Be Safe.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Your pastor and friend Michael

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

Ps – Two big announcements from our DCE Curt Likins:

1 – The Annual Youth Auction/Dinner has been changed to SATURDAY, APRIL 13!!! This is different than what is in your CNN. Mark your calendars for SATURDAY, APRIL 13 (not 27).

2 – Heartland Presbytery Camp costs have been reduced and are filling up fast. To register, to look at the camp offerings and availability, to see what those costs now are and to check out scholarship opportunities please log on to the camp website at www.HeartlandCamps.org or call Heartland at (816) 891-1078 and speak to one the camp experts. Additional scholarships are also available through our church as well and brochures are available outside Curt’s office.

Michael’s Missives September 25, 2018

First Pres Community –

I know it is Tuesday, but I will be at a conference tomorrow.  So, since the Chiefs are doing so well, I thought you would enjoy this which a parishioner shared with me:

Twelve Reasons Why I Have Decided to Quit Going to Games

  1. The coach never came to see me.
  2. Every time I went, they asked for money.
  3. The people sitting in my row did not seem too friendly.
  4. The seats were hard.
  5. The referees made a decision that I did not agree with.
  6. I was sitting with hypocrites who only came to see what others were wearing!
  7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
  8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
  9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
  10. My parents too me to too many games when I was growing up.
  11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches.
  12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

I hope you find the humor in that…and that we will see you in church this Sunday!

THIS SUNDAY – the sermon will be “Stumbling Blocks” at both the 9 am and 11 am Worship Services.  During the 10 am Faith and Fellowship Hour, classes for all ages are offered.  Nursery care is provided all morning.  For Adults, there are 3 very diverse Sunday morning classes downstairs.  The Ladder of Faith class meets in the Center Room…Nancy Tapp will lead the study of Adam Hamilton’s Unafraid to start the fall season.  The Inquiring Minds class meets in the Resource Room with Stan Howell leading the study of Unbelievable by John Shelby Spong.  The Contemporary class meets in the youth room at the end of the CE wing with Courtney Williams leading the study of The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.  On Sunday, October 7, the more classes will begin as the Men’s Bible Study starts and Ann Ditty will lead a class for women discussing The Wonder Years: 40 Women Over 40.  All classes welcome you!

In addition to the above classes, the Elizabeth Bible Study led by Carol Phillips meets every Friday morning at 9:30 am and welcomes all women.

TOMORROW NIGHT (Wednesday – Bells at 6:30 pm and Choir at 7:30 pm.  Logos will begin on Wednesday, October 3.  Youth will meet 3:30-5pm, every other Sunday, beginning October 14.

Go, Team, Go !!!

Your pastor and friend Michael

Building Faith…Bringing Hope…Sharing Love

Michael’s Missives September 19, 2018

First Pres Community –

Floodwater.  I remember piling sandbags to keep water out of a parishioner’s home…and moving furniture upstairs.  It was the winter of 1996 when a rare snowstorm was followed by weeks of rain.  All creeks flooded…even the Willamette River started to overflow into downtown Portland.  My parishioners home took in a foot of water…roads were flooded out…and some communities stranded.  Storms blow through…but standing water on water-saturated ground takes time to recede and recover from.

25 years ago, Kansas City had a flood…many of you remember it.  And of course, we have all seen pictures of flooding after Katrina and Maria and others.

Many of us have friends and family in North Carolina.  I know I have family in High Point and memories of friends from my early childhood in Charlotte.  Our hearts go out to all affected…and we have them all in our prayers…as well as those affected elsewhere.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) responded immediately to efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut funded through One Great Hour of Sharing.  If you would like to give beyond that special offering to relief efforts, go to our denomination’s website at pcusa.org.  There is a banner at the top of the page where you may give electronically or an address to which you may mail your gifts.

THIS SUNDAY – the sermon will be “Embrace God” at both the 9 am and 11 am Worship Services.  We will also receive new members at both services.  Welcome Beverly Campbell, Marco Cusumano, Lucy Horton, LaWanda Roudebush, and Peter Roudebush!

THIS SUNDAY – during the 10 am Faith and Fellowship Hour, classes for all ages are offered.  Nursery care is provided all morning.  For Adults, there are 3 very diverse Sunday morning classes downstairs.  The Ladder of Faith class meets in the Center Room…Nancy Tapp will lead the study of Adam Hamilton’s Unafraid to start the fall season.  The Inquiring Minds class meets in the Resource Room with Stan Howell leading the study of Unbelievable by John Shelby Spong.  The Contemporary class meets in the youth room at the end of the CE wing with Courtney Williams leading the study of The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.  All three classes welcome you!

In addition to the above classes, the Elizabeth Bible Study led by Carol Phillips meets every Friday morning at 9:30 am and welcomes all women.

TONIGHTBells at 6:30 pm and Choir at 7:30 pm.  The Revitalization Task Force meets at 6:30 pm.

With you in the deep, deep love of Jesus –

Your pastor and friend Michael

 Building Faith…Bringing Hope…Sharing Love

Michael’s Missives September 12, 2018

First Pres Community –

First – Hurricane Florence should prompt our urgent prayers.  I know we will be hearing of ways we can help relief efforts, but right now be in prayer for all in harm’s way and all affected by this threatening storm.  Many of us have family in this area and are rightly concerned.

Second – on to church life.

THIS SUNDAY – Church School for all ages begins at 10am!!!  Classrooms downstairs are marked…including my Confirmation Class with 13 students!!

For Adults, there are 3 very diverse Sunday morning classes downstairs.  The Ladder of Faith class meets in the Center Room…Nancy Tapp will lead the study of Adam Hamilton’s Unafraid to start the fall season.  The Inquiring Minds class meets in the Resource Room with Stan Howell leading the study of Unbelievable by John Shelby Spong.  The Contemporary class meets in the youth room at the end of the CE wing with Courtney Williams leading the study of The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel.  You may want to contact the teachers for additional information.  All three classes welcome you!

In addition to the above classes, the Elizabeth Bible Study led by Carol Phillips meets every Friday morning at 9:30 am and welcomes all women.

THIS SUNDAY – the sermon will be “Crossroads” at both the 9 am and 11am Worship Services.

During the 10am Faith and Fellowship Hour, classes are listed above.  Nursery care is provided all morning.

THIS SUNDAY – a Pastor’s Class will be held at the church, from 2-4 pm, for anyone wanting to learn more about our church or anyone wanting to join our church.  Contact the church office to let us know that you are coming.

TONIGHT – Bells at 6:30 pm and Choir at 7:30 pm (weren’t they great last Sunday?)

TOMORROW (Thursday) – Keenagers are off to Powell Gardens.

This Saturday – Heartland Presbytery meets in Odessa.

In the faith, hope, and love of Jesus –

Your pastor and friend Michael

Building Faith…Bringing Hope…Sharing Love

Michael’s Missives September 5, 2018

First Pres Community –

Carol Combs.  Carol Combs passed away yesterday morning.  Carol and her husband Wayne are members of our church and regular attenders at our 11am service.  A Service to celebrate Carol’s life will be held this Friday at the church at 2pm.  Visitation will be at the church at 1pm.  Please keep Wayne, family and friends in your prayers.

This Saturday is the Men’s Breakfast at 7:45am in the Fellowship Hall.  All men welcome.

THIS SUNDAY IS KICK-OFF SUNDAY!!! (aka Rally Day).  Beginning at 10am, COME DOWNSTAIRS TO MEET THE TEACHERS and get information about all of our classes. From 10:15-10:45am, SLUGGER will be DOWNSTARS for pictures and fun.  During the 10am hour, refreshments will be both upstairs and downstairs and our BOUNCY HOUSE will be in the Gym.   At the 11am Service, both Choir and Bells will be welcomed back.

THIS SUNDAY, the sermon will be “Laying Hold of Jesus” at both the 9am Contemporary and the 11am Traditional Services of Worship.  Childcare provided all morning.  It is a great Sunday to invite your friends!

Next Thursday, September 13, Keenagers will meet at the Church at 11:15am and carpool to Powell Gardens.  Lunch at Café Thyme, then a tour. Cost: lunch plus $15 for the tour.

Sunday School for all ages begins Sunday, September 16.  Children, youth, Confirmation, and 4 Adult Classes!  Plan now to be part of a class to grow your faith.

Speaking of Christian Education, I am pleased to announce that Curt Likins is our new Director of Christian Education!  Curt is a longtime member and elder here who has been doing this job on an interim basis.  I am delighted to have him join our church staff!!

Lastly, our Fellowship Hall Update Group (FHUG) asked that I include this for you:

As you possibly know a group was commissioned August 26th for exploring updates for our church’s fellowship hall.  As a group we are committed to focusing on what God’s plans are for our use of this space (addressing various uses, connection to kitchen/narthex areas and its continued use as a worship space).  We feel it is important that we are transparent, open and available to the congregation.  Please share any suggestions to our co-chairs (Elders Tom Beaver and Ann Ditty) by September 11, 2018.  We would also greatly appreciate your prayers for this endeavor.  Suggestions can be sent to: tomandroxee@gmail.com and/or aditty1971@gmail.com.

I am grateful for their work on our behalf just as I am for all of our Task Forces…and Action Teams…and Teachers…and volunteers…and all of you.

In the faith, hope, and love of Jesus –

Your pastor and friend Michael

Ps – Last week, Ebenezer Too received two more commitment and an upward adjustment made to an earlier pledge.  With this addition and adjustment, our total for the Ebenezer Too campaign commitments is $420,645.  When added to the amount of $59,165 that was on the books at the start of the campaign, our total is $479,810.  The total amount of initial or one-time payments submitted with the commitment cards is $37,325.  Thank you all and thanks be to God!

Building Faith…Bringing Hope…Sharing Love

 

Michael’s Missives, August 29,2018

First Pres Community –

New Church Year, Senator McCain, and Labor Day Weekend.

TONIGHT begins the new year for Bells at 6:30pm and Choir at 7:30pm! Their first Sunday singing and ringing will be September 9th, our Kick-Off/Rally Day. It will be great to have them back and it is great to welcome new Director Jacob Lowry!

This Saturday will be the Service for John McCain, a true American hero. Our prayers are with his family and with our nation as we honor his life and service. A brave soldier who had endured torture for the sake of honor and country. A politician of integrity who would not sell out and who would work with others. We thank him for his service to us all. May he rest in peace.

Also this Saturday, the Women’s Breakfast Group will gather at 8:30am for those who can be there.

This weekend is Labor Day Weekend and here in the office we will observe it by taking Monday off…so a laborless Labor Day. Actually, Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country…and we do thank them all.

THIS SUNDAY the sermon will be “The Work of our Hands” as we consider work, avocation, and vocation. Communion will be observed at both the 9am and 11am services. There will be an Adult class downstairs in the Center Room at 10am. Nursery care is available all morning.

Looking ahead:
Saturday, September 8, Men’s Breakfast at 7:45am
Sunday, September 9, Kickoff Sunday for meeting the Teachers & pictures with Slugger
Thursday, September 13, Keenagers to Powell Gardens
Sunday, September 16, All Sunday School Classes begin…incl. Confirmation & 4 Adult Classes

See you Sunday!

Your pastor and friend Michael

Ps – The commitments for the 6th week of the Ebenezer Too campaign were $36,650. Also, an upward adjustment of $2,500 was made to a commitment made. The total commitments for the six weeks of the campaign is $395,425 from 73 commitments. With the $59,165 given before the campaign, the total is $454,590. Additional commitments or adjustments will continue to be welcome. Thank you all!

Building Faith…Bringing Hope…Sharing Love