Message from Pastor Mike

Today, I have on my Monday shirt. I don't have a shirt for each day of the week, just Monday. I don't wear it every Monday, and I don't wear it only on Mondays. But, if it gets washed over the weekend and is hanging in the closet on Monday morning, which is usually the case, then it's going to get worn on Monday. I've had many Monday shirts. Some last longer than others. Our family pictures are a gallery of Monday shirts going all the way back to when our children were little. Even my school pictures in elementary school were taken in Monday shirts. I went to the bank a few weeks ago to cash a check, and they were training a new bank teller. She looked up my ID picture in their system and said, "Look he's wearing the same shirt as in his picture."  That picture was taken in a Monday shirt five years ago. What usually happens to a Monday shirt is Morrisa says, "I never want to see you in that shirt again." And I say, "But baby this is my best shirt." After making my case for the shirt, I get the message, and I stop wearing it on Mondays. I still wear it once in a while, and it's always in the closet ready to go.
There are passages of scripture that are like Monday shirts. They're the first words that we go to and take with us as we face the world. Our Monday scriptures are those passages that give us encouragement and reassurance. At different stages in our lives, our Monday scripture may change. When we're young and starting out in the world, our Monday scripture may sound like the words from Jeremiah, "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." (Jeremiah 29:11). When we're dating and figuring out how to be in love, our go to scripture might sound like Paul's words, "If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. Etc..." (1 Corinthians 13). When we're juggling careers, family responsibilities, and workloads our Monday scripture might sound like, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). After we've exhausted our efforts trying to do everything our own way, our Monday scripture might sound like the words from the Psalms, "Be still and know that I am God!" (Psalm 46:10). As we approach the end of our life, our scripture may sound like, "The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore." (Psalm 121:8).
My Monday passage is, "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor." (Psalm 8:3-5). That's been my Monday scripture for many years. It's a durable message that never seems to wear out or go out of style. I'd be interested to hear what your Monday scripture is, and how it has changed throughout your life.
On a different topic. The Franciscan Mission called and are in need of volunteers this Saturday (Dec 15) from 9:00 - noon to fold and bale linens. They need 12 people, and 2-3 of them need to be strong enough to run the baler. Usually, we go to the Franciscan Mission every other month. It's unusual for them to call us between trips. They must have something urgent to ship or be inundated with linens. Either way, I hope you'll consider helping. If you're able to help, please contact Colleen Foudree at 816-478-8020. Perhaps, that day your scripture will sound like, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38).
Special Programs & Christmas Eve 

Sunday, Dec. 16

9:45am - Chancel Choir Christmas Cantata - "Jesus: The Advent of the Messiah"

5:00pm - "The Longest Night" Service

6:30pm - Youth Christmas Program - "A Christmas Carol in Bethlehem"

Sunday, Dec. 23

10:00am - One Worship Service ONLY

Monday, Dec. 24

2:00pm - Christmas Eve Chapel Service

5:00pm - Contemporary Christmas Eve Service

7:00pm - Traditional Christmas Eve Service
The Longest Night Service

Sunday, Dec. 16 at 5:00pm

The days before Christmas are not always merry and bright. For many, this season remains a painful reminder of loved ones who are no longer present to celebrate the holidays, whether from death, divorce, estrangement, illness, distance, or some other change in our relationships to ourselves or to others. A Longest Night Service provides a safe place for people to name their pain, be transparent and authentic in how they experience the holidays, as well as finding hope and comfort in our faith.

The Longest Night Service will be at Christ United Methodist Church on Sunday evening, December 16, at 5:00pm.

If the weather is inclement, we will have the service on Tuesday, December 18, at 7:00pm. The church is located at 14506 East 39th Street, Independence, MO 64055. If you have any questions, contact Rev. David Howlett at 816-461-1101.

Our choices shouldn't be limited to either celebrating a perfect Christmas or not celebrating Christmas at all. We have the freedom to find meaningful and authentic ways of marking our holidays with rituals that honor the reality of our actual life as well as the possibility of hope.

We invite you, your family, and your friends to join us in this special time of worship.

Christmas Care Packages for Our Shut-Ins
The Christ Care Network has officially begun preparations for our shut-in Christmas Care Packages! We know the list is long, but want to bring joy to those that can't attend church on a regular basis. There are free Christmas cards set up at the "Mailbox Station" in the sanctuary entryway for you to use as you need. We've been asked if it's ok for children to get involved by making homemade cards. The answer is YES! The people that live out of our area will receive a care package of cards. Those in our area will receive cards, as well as a Christmas Care Package. All cards need to be at the church by December 16th. See the list below for those we are sending cards/care packages to.
If you are interested in helping to deliver these care packages, we'd love you to join us!
Contact Doug Hickman at (816) 824-5013 (call or text) or

Betty Arnold                            Marie McDaniel                          Isybelle Smith
Allan & Thelma Baker             Travis Merriman                         Venita Starr
Ed Benn                                  Chesley Miller                            Juanita Taylor
Alice Boone                             Carol Mitchell                            Bob & Barbara Tice
Dama Britnell                           Linda O'Dell                              Ron Townsend
Martha Broker                          Lois Perry                                 Dorothy Ulshafer
Eleanor DiRe                           Don Ploeger                              Clara Vaughn
Polly Elliott                               Steven Ploeger                         Donald Vaughn
Shirley Felter                           Francis & Freda Provost           Phyllis Vaughn
Merlyn Grubb                          Alice Redfearn                           Mary Louise Waddington
Wayne Hamilton                      Lorene Rhoades                        Larry & Toni Wendelman
Rosalee Hutcheson                 Lois Rice                                    Charles Westbrooks
Michelle Lahey                        Art & Vera Slaughter 
Gift Card Fundraiser for Christ Early Learning Center

The deadline for orders is Monday, Dec. 17 at 9:00am.

Christ Early Learning Center is selling gift cards! Our daycare receives a percentage of each gift card sold. There are lots of options to choose from:  Amazon, Olive Garden, Kohl's, Target, Menards, Bass Pro, and many more. Forms are available at the Welcome Center and when your order is placed on or before Sunday, the gift cards will be available the next Sunday. Contact Kathy Moxley at 461-3393 with any questions.
United Methodist Women's Christmas Potluck Luncheon
Monday, December 17 at 12:00pm in The Place
Please join us for our Christmas Potluck and special program. We are welcoming "The Stomping Sweethearts" to entertain us! 

All are invited to attend. Contact Vivian Sasser at 816-373-4772 with any questions.
Franciscan Mission Help is needed Saturday, Dec. 16 from 9-12. Please call Colleen Foudree at 816-478-8020 ASAP if you can help!
We will be folding and baling linens. They need 12 volunteers, with 2 to 3 that are strong enough to run the baler.
Community Services League Christmas Store

Are your interested in joining the small army of Christmas volunteers to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors?

There are still opportunities to serve at CSL's Noland Road location. Personal shoppers are needed to help guide our neighbors through the store as they shop for their loved ones. Volunteers MUST be high school age or older to participate in personal shopping.

Call CSL at 816-254-4100 with any questions. Their website for more information is
Come and Help 

date is Thursday, December 20 from 2-5pm

We helped 326 families at the November mobile food pantry.

We can always use help from volunteers anytime between 12:30 & 6:00!

We could use extra volunteers between 5:00 to 6:00 or so on Food Drop days to help clean up, get leftover food onto the truck, and unload it at the Noland Road Community Services League cooler at Noland & Truman Rd. It goes pretty fast with extra hands helping out.
Christmas Eve Cookies
We are asking for your help in having homemade cookies to serve at our Christmas Eve services. If you would like to drop off any cookies on Sunday, Dec. 23rd or Monday, Dec. 24, please put those in the workroom and make sure they are marked "Christmas Eve Services". If you have any questions, contact Lisa Wilt at 295-1065.

December is for Detergent!

We can also use cake frosting for "special" cakes (lemon, cherry, strawberry, carrot, and spice) and 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner combo.

We collected 175 items last week.

The Community Services League food pantry at our location receives all food that is donated at the church each week.
Winter Coats Needed for Community Services League
The Community Services League at our location is needing winter coats. We need all sizes that are gently used. Contact Darla Pummill at 224-0403 or  
United Methodist Men's January Breakfast & Program
Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 8:00am in The Place
The program will be presented by Phil Watson, who is the Managing Director of Philanthropic Gift Planning at Children's Mercy Kansas City. Everyone is invited to attend.

Since its opening in 2012, the specialists at Children's Mercy East have provided convenient and expert care to the children of eastern Jackson County, with almost 45,000 outpatient and urgent care patient visits annually for children and families seeking answers to their health questions. This state-of-the-art facility has quickly become the provider of choice for families and referring physicians in Independence and the surrounding communities, resulting in a 213% increase in patient visits in the past five years! The community has spoken, and Children's Mercy East is renovating and expanding this important facility to accommodate the rapid growth in patient visits to urgent care, lab and radiology, and eighteen specialty clinics. Come and hear about this important project for our community and how it will impact our children and families.

Please make a breakfast reservation by calling Randy Vest at 816-220-0218.
Southern Independence Transportation Ministry Help Needed

Volunteers are needed to help members get to and from services on Sundays. 

If you would be willing to do this once a month, contact Linda Ashley at 337-2647 or
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. They will be in touch with their individual groups.
Watch your email and Channels 4, 9, and 41 for notices of closings.
Independence School District Student Needs
Continue to help our Independence School District students by donating to Tabitha's Closet with new underwear, new or gently used kids tops in sizes 5-10, and money to purchase new kids shoes in sizes 12-4. This school year alone, 548+ kids have been helped so far. 

Another need the Independence School District has is gift cards. The school district's liaisons use these when purchasing clothes, shoes, or haircuts for students in urgent need of help. The liaisons would appreciate gift cards from Walmart, Payless Shoes, and Supercuts.

Contact Buttons Jimerson at 228-7380 or for more information.
Opportunities to Volunteer
There are lots of opportunities to volunteer in our area and at our church. Some of those opportunities are:
Community Services League (CSL) Food Pantry - Wednesdays from 9:00am - 3:00pm at Christ UMC. Contact Darla Pummill at 224-0403 for more information.
Franciscan Mission - We volunteer on the 4th Monday each odd-numbered month (Jan., March, May, July, Sept., Nov.). Contact Colleen Foudree at 478-8020 for more information.
Glendale Elementary Reading Program - Monday through Friday between 9:30 & 11:30am or 1:00 & 3:00pm for one hour per week, during the school year, to listen to students read. A background check is needed. Pick a form up at the church. Contact Lyn Verstraete at 816-838-2575 for more information.
Glendale Elementary School Snack Packs - Thursdays from 1:00 - 2:00pm at Glendale Elementary, during the school year. Contact Shirley Cottrell at 373-3687 for more information.
Harvesters & Christ UMC Food Drop - Third Thursday of each month at Christ UMC. Volunteer help needed between 12:30 & 6:00pm.
Meals on Wheels - Drivers are needed for this program. You are assigned a specific day and route and it takes about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Contact Meals on Wheels at 254-9566 if you are interested.
Sleeping Mats for the Homeless - Volunteers are needed to help cut the shopping bags to get them ready to make the sleeping mats. If you are interested in helping with cutting, or making the mats, please contact Myrtle Dye at 254-4585 or Sharon Safley at 220-0749.
Tabitha's Closet - Tabitha's Closet is located in the Fairmount Community Center and helps clothe some our Independence School District students. Volunteers are needed to help sort, hang and rotate donated clothes on Tuesdays that schools are in session between 9 :30am - 2:30pm. You can help the entire time or just an hour or two. For those that can't stand long periods of time, there is work you can help with too. Contact Buttons Jimerson at 228-7380 for more information.
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Sermon Videos on YouTube and Our Church Website

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Christ United Methodist Church | 816-461-1101 | |