Message from Pastor Mike
When I was the pastor at Lake Lotawana UMC, part of my weekly routine was to change the church sign. We had the type of sign that has individual plastic letters. One of the women in the church would send me an email every Monday with that week's wording for the sign, and I'd put it up. One day I received an email from someone who didn't like our sign. The sign read, "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil. It has no point." The email was from a woman who didn't believe in God. Her email very kindly said that even though she didn't believe in God she didn't feel like her life was pointless. She went on to say that this kind of message excludes people and creates divisions. She was right. The message of the unsharpened pencil had too sharp a point on it.  I hadn't thought about how the message would be received by those who do not believe in God. To me it was just fun wordplay, but the reality was that it was alienating the very people who we were trying to reach. We exchanged a few cordial emails, and I thanked her for pointing out the insensitivity of our message, and I changed the sign. It was an important lesson, and I appreciated her bringing it to my attention. We Christians have something great to offer those who have not yet found a life in Christ, but we can talk about what we have without alienating others. When we use phrases that paint non-believers as blind, lost, walking in darkness, etc..., we do exactly what the woman said to me in the email, we exclude and create divisions. Our goal is to reach people with love, not alienate them through careless speech.
On a different topic, I wish to express my gratitude to the entire congregation for your generosity this year. As we closed the year, we have accomplished two financial goals that were set by the finance team. The first was to fully fund the hold accounts, and the second was to participate in the global mission of the church by paying 100% of our apportionments. This hasn't been accomplished since 2010. It is your faithful generosity that has made this possible. Please accept my gratitude. It is a joy to be in ministry with you, and I'm proud of the things that we're doing together as a church. More importantly, accept the gratitude of those who are impacted by the ministries and generosity of this church.
Blessings,
Mike

C.H.O.W. (Come Hungry On Wednesdays)
January 10 at 5:30pm in The Place
$5 for adults and $3 for children 10 & Under
Menu: Taco Salad, Dessert & Drink
Join us for dinner! Call 816-461-1101 if you have not made your reservation yet.
"God's Amazing Love" Bible Study
Sundays, January 14 - February 4, 2018
9:45-10:45am in Room 122
Do you know that God loves you? Do you love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind? Everyone will experience adversity at some time in their life, and it is sometimes difficult to remain close to God.
If this describes you, there is no better place in Scripture to turn than the Gospel of John. Join David and Elaine Howlett in a four-week Bible study beginning Jan. 14 and continuing through Feb. 4 at 9:45am in room 122.
Help is Needed for Upward Games
Upward Basketball games start on Saturday, January 20th at our church. We are asking for volunteers to help welcome players and families that come to these games.  If you would like to help greet players and families, answer questions about our church, and extend hospitality to visitors, please contact Linda Ashley at 816-337-2647 or  lindaashley443@gmail.com .

Our Next Christ UMC & Harvesters Food Drop
is Thursday, January 18 from 2-5pm
 
At our November Food Drop we helped 367 families! 

We welcome all who would like to volunteer to help with setting up, helping take food to cars, and cleaning up.
Glendale Elementary School Snack Packs
Glendale Elementary School Snack Pack Requests:

1. Snacks: Rice Krispie treats, chips of any variety in snack size packages (NO peanuts please due to allergies and NO candy items or fruit snacks).

2.  Plastic Bags: regular grocery store size (NOT trash can size please).

Thank you for your continued support to help feed children in our neighborhood on the weekends.
Christ UMC is Collecting Care Packages for Human Trafficking Victims
The following items would be most helpful:

1.Change of clothes in size medium  - preferably comfortable clothes that could easi be donned (i.e. sweatpants, t-shirt, socks, etc.)
2. Toothbrush and toothpaste 
3. Shampoo and body wash
4. Deodorant
5. Hairbrush/Comb
6. Body Lotion
7. Snacks (i.e. travel size snack foods: protein bars, chips, peanut butter crackers, etc.)
8. Notes/Scriptures of Encouragement

Care packages need to be travel size so they can stay in a relatively small space in police cars, etc. 

If you have any questions about these, please call Colene Voth at 816-547-2842.
Inclement Weather Cancellation Policy for the Church Offices
When the Independence School District is closed due to inclement weather, the church offices are closed on the first day. Any days after that will be determined by the lead pastor and the Church Council chair.
Any meetings or classes that are scheduled will be held unless the committee chair or class leader decides to cancel and will let their committee or class know of the cancellation.
Christ United Methodist Church | 816-461-1101 | church.office@icumc.org | www.icumc.org
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