Message from Pastor Mike
Yesterday, the remaining 24 of us who did the longer tour of the Holy Land returned. It was a wonderful trip to many of the places from the stories of our faith. Some of the Biblical sites are marked by tradition, but others are located with certainty. When you're in the actual, authentic spot of an event in Jesus' life, there is an indescribable feeling that takes place. Standing on the original floor of the Antonia Fortress, you can almost feel the brutality of the Roman guards. In the olive grove of Gethsemane, you can almost hear Jesus' anguished prayer. Sitting on the teaching steps of the temple, it's as though you can still see the astonished look on people's faces as Jesus says, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God the things that are God's." These places provided wonderful moments of connection to the stories.
On this trip, we also saw the valley known as Gehenna which our English Bibles translate as "Hell". It was the ancient version of Jerusalem's trash incinerator. Other names for it were the fiery furnace, fiery lake, lake of burning Sulphur, eternal fire, and other names that have been used to describe the place of eternal torment for the wicked dead. Today, Gehenna is nothing like our images of hell. It's one of the few green spaces in Jerusalem, and it even has a garden. Unlike the places from Jesus' life, we didn't get an experiential connection to Gehenna. The closest we got to an experience of the place of eternal torment was the plane ride home. The middle seat in economy class of an overnight transatlantic flight is about as close to eternal torment as it gets. If Jesus were speaking about hell today, I don't think he would point to the valley of Gehenna. I think he would say it's seat 43F on a plane that never lands.
Whether it's Gehenna or a seat on a never ending plane ride, the good news is that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus saves us from ever having to experience it. All the sites from Jesus' life give us the assurance that the closest we'll ever come to spending time in Gehenna is passing by it in a nice seat on an air conditioned tour bus.
Blessings,
Mike
There is Still Time to Join "The Cross in Our Context" Class
Wednesdays, January 6 & 13 at 10:00am in Room 126
Everyone is welcome to join us.
"Lazarus, Come Out!" Study
Mondays, February 11 - April 15 at 10:00am in Room 122
Tuesdays, February 12 - April 16 at 7:00pm in Room 122
Cost of Materials: $10
David and Elaine Howlett will be teaching from their book, "Lazarus, Come Out!". This is a 10-week study and you can sign up at the Welcome Center.
Update Your Family Information for the Next Guide Book
Changes are Needed by Friday, Feb. 15, 2019
Does the church office have your updated family information? It is time to update our database with any changes, additions, or deletions that may have occurred in your family over the past year. 
Have you changed your phone number? Have you moved? Are you preparing to move soon? Are all of your children still at home and are they all included in your records? Do you want your record published?
If you have not already informed the church office about changes to your record, please let us know now so that the information in the Guide Book and Directory is correct.
You can send an email to church.office@icumc.org or call the church office at 816-461-1101.
Christ UMC's Community Services League Pantry Needs Help!
 
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Our pantry is in URGENT need of help. We need at least 4 volunteers each Wednesday to bag groceries for the clients. Volunteers are able to pick their hours anytime between 9:00am & 2:45pm. 
Please call Darla Pummill at 816-224-0403 if you are interested in helping and please leave a message if she doesn't answer.
Come and Help 

OUR NEXT MOBILE FOOD PANTRY 
date is Thursday, February 21 from 2-5pm
We helped 254 families at the January 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.
February  Community Services League Needs





 
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Bar Soap, All Purpose Cleaner, Pancake Mix, Boxed Meals, and 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner.
The Community Services League food pantry at our location receives all food that is donated at the church each week.
Variety Book Club
Thursday, February 28 at 10:00am OR 7:00pm in the Christ UMC Parlor





 
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The book selected for February is titled "Eleanor: A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of the 20th Century's Most Influential Woman" by Harold Ivan Smith.
Eleanor Roosevelt is remembered as a formidable first lady and tireless social activist. Her personal faith was focused on Jesus and fueled her commitment to civil rights, women's rights, and the rights of all people marginalized in American society. This book provides insight into the spiritual influences that made her so active in social justice issues. 
The book can be ordered online through Alibris or Amazon, at local stores, or borrowed from the church's United Methodist Women's library, located in the Archives room (by the Chapel). 
Variety Book Club is open to everyone. We would love to have you join our discussion.

Sundays, March 3 - April 21 at 9:45am





 
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Confirmation Class will be held on Sundays beginning March 3rd in the Sunday School room off of The Place during the Sunday School hour at 9:45am. The class is for youth in sixth and seventh grades, plus any other youth who missed confirmation or were not able to complete the class. The youth will join the church on Sunday, April 28th. 
The class will be taught by Donna Bergsten and Poese Vatikani. 
Contact Donna Bergsten at youth@icumc.org with any questions.
Save the Date for the CUMC Basement Sale





 
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Friday & Saturday, March 29 & 30, 2019

Adult Co-Ed Volleyball
Tuesdays from 7-9pm in our Family Life Center (gym)
Join us for an evening of fun and fellowship!
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.
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.  
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  - 4th Monday each odd numbered month (Jan., March, May, July, Sept., Oct., Dec.) between 5:30 & 8 :00pm. They are located at 2100 N. Noland Rd. Contact Colene Voth at 373-4881 to volunteer.

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 Mobile Food Pantry  - 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 volunteers are needed to help sort, hang and rotate donated clothes on Tuesdays that schools are in session between 9 :30am - 2:30pm. Contact Buttons Jimerson at 228-7380 for more information.
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