Message from Pastor Mike


I am always amazed at how fast shrimp cooks. Depending on their size and cooking method, typically shrimp are finished in three minutes, and by four they're overcooked. Other foods take all day to cook. Last week, I made our family's Pasta Fagioli (Italian ham and bean soup). If you include the overnight soaking of the beans, then it's more than an all-day recipe. For a recipe like that, it doesn't matter if it cooks a few minutes or even a few hours past the prescribed time, the longer it cooks the better the flavors meld together. All day on low heat is a recipe for the truly fabulous.
The lessons we learn in life can be like cooking times. Some lessons we learn as fast as touching a hot stove. It's an easy lesson. Don't touch hot things. We learn that lesson faster than shrimp on the grill, and it doesn't take a second touch to learn it. Other lessons are more complex and take longer to learn as we find ourselves making the same mistakes. The cooking times for those lessons are not measured by timers. They're measured in life's phases. But, learning the slower lessons are the ones that make life truly delicious. When we learn the harder lessons like controlling anger, selflessness, perseverance, courage, etc... and those flavors meld into our lives, that's when life becomes truly fabulous.
"I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6) God's Spirit is the one who is doing the cooking in our lives by slowly and carefully melding together maturity, character, and wisdom into something truly Christ like.
Blessings,
Mike
Special Programs & Christmas Eve Services

Wednesday, Dec. 5

5:00pm - Christ Early Learning Center Christmas Program

Sunday, Dec. 9

9:45am - Children's Christmas Program

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
Gift Card Fundraiser for Christ Early Learning Center

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.
Thank You!
 
The Worship Committee would like to thank everyone who helped with the Hanging of the Greens preparations and Sunday service. It was such a blessing to see the church come together and accomplish the job! There were too many to name one by one, but we thank each one of you. We look forward to enjoying the beautiful decorations through January 6th, when we'll meet again to put everything away.
Family Candles
 
The Worship Committee will have white family candles for sale this weekend for $2 each. You may bring yours from home (white, unscented, 3" diameter) if you have one. Please place those on the rail in the front of the sanctuary with the other candles.
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.

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 doug.hickman.swe@gmail.com.

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 

December is for Detergent!





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

We collected 80 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
 
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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 dlspummill@att.net.  
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 lindaashley443@gmail.com.
Come and Help 

OUR NEXT MOBILE FOOD PANTRY 
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.
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 cljimerson@gmail.com 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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Christ United Methodist Church | 816-461-1101 | church.office@icumc.org | www.icumc.org
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