A Message From Pastor Bob Hickman

Pastor Mike has asked that I share thoughts with you while he is gone. The offer is appreciated, as I've always thought I have some words in my heart or mind or soul - or somewhere - that might be with sharing.  
Last Wednesday evening here at CUMC, many of us came to hear what is and isn't going on at the global level of the United Methodist Church. Many thanks to Pastor Mike for setting it up and monitoring the information. Both sides of the questions regarding our faith and the LGBTQ community were heard. I am grateful that we have begun to talk. Listening to each other often brings healing.
But now a few thoughts for today. On Monday, the morning news said we would have fog concerns. They were very correct. As I drove to church there was a bit of road that was normal, but I couldn't see too far in any direction. Not too far ahead of me was this whitish-gray nothingness. The distance was safe, but if there was any world beyond what seemed like a huge curtain, it was not visible. If I was naive, I might have wondered if there was nothing ahead, a non-existence maybe.
Of course, I knew that there was more than I could see. Those headlights coming through the fog must have come from somewhere. But it caused me to contemplate, what if there wasn't? Will I have to stop at the edge of this huge wall of fog? What if there is no life more than what can be seen? What if? As I a waited to turn at the red light at Noland and I-70, I watched the traffic that mysteriously appeared from left and right. Many turned down the ramp to East I-70. I thought, "You know, it looks like they are just driving into nothing."
Were any of this an example of realness, it would be very scary. But of course, it was not real; just an image to stir our minds. My thoughts were reminded that dealing with something unknown is not easy. It is often scary or at least uncomfortable. How do we handle something we haven't handled before? How do we deal with experiences such as loss of a job, serious surgery or illness, family troubles, death of someone friend or family, changing age that progresses from one year to the next decade, children off to college or on their own, seeing a stranger in your neighborhood? How do we handle the many, many cultural changes that confront us so often?
How do YOU deal with change that seems difficult, unknown or mysterious answers to difficult questions? Much of what happens to us is not much different than a wall of fog. Do we really know what's beyond it? Will we be able to handle it? Often we do not know what to think, or feel or believe. Think about it. Think as though you were praying.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1, NRSV).
Honored to be with you, 
A Word From Pastor Mike

As I spend the next five weeks living in union with the metaphor of the Holy Spirit, (the wind), I'm also reading the books from Asbury Seminary's course on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Some of you may be interested in those readings. If you'd like to read along here is the list of the books. Some of these are available on Amazon.com. The others are available at Christianbooks.com.

Paul, the Spirit and the People of God - Gordon D. Fee
Flame of Love; A Theology of the Holy Spirit - Clark H. Pinnock
Gift Giver; The Holy Spirit for Today - Craig S. Keener
Perspectives on Spirit Baptism; 5 Views - Del Colle, Dunning, Hart, Horton, Kaiser
Come Creator Spirit; Meditations on the Veni Creator - Raniero Cantalamessa
Sanctity Without Starch; A Layperson's Guide to a Wesleyan Theology of Grace - Robert Tuttle, Jr.

Happy reading.

date is THIS Thursday, January 16th  from 2-5pm
We helped 324 families at the December 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.

(Come Hungry on Wednesdays)
This Wednesday, January 15, 2020
5:45pm in The Place
Menu: Spaghetti w/Meat sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread, Dessert & Drink
Cost: $5/adults & $3/kids (10 & under)
Can Every Day Be a Blessing?
New Growth Opportunity beginning January 20th
Rev. Bob Hickman is offering an opportunity to examine FIVE ways to grow in your Christian faith and improve your personal life. The five topics are: 1) Feelings Are Okay, 2) Celebrate Yourself, 3) Anything Mentionable is Manageable, 4) Forgiveness and Reconciliation (which comes first?), 5) Practice Your Faith. This material is related to, but not limited to, the recent movie "It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood". Sessions are 6:30pm Mondays January 20 - February 17 OR 10:00am Wednesdays January 22 - February 19 in Room 126. If you have questions, email bob.hickman@icumc.org or text 816-694-1059.

Session 1 - Feelings Are Okay
Have you ever considered that pain and anger are two sides of the same coin?
This is the first lesson in making every day a blessed day. Group learning is
Monday, the 20th at 6:30pm OR Wednesday the 22nd at 10:00am. No book involved.   Sign up ahead if possible with Bob H. Text him at 816-694-1059 or email  bob.hickman@icumc.org  Join us.
"Unhanging of the Greens"
Saturday, January 18th at 9:00am
Your help is needed! It's now time to put away the Christmas decorations. Come join us on Saturday, January 11th at 9:00am to take down decorations. All ages are welcome...there's a job for everyone!
CSL Food Pantry Volunteers Needed
The CSL Food Pantry is in desperate need of a few good volunteers to help out on Wednesdays.  For more information and to find out how you can help, contact Darla Pummill at 816-224-0403 or 816-260-7653 or email her at dlspummill@att.net
2020 Altar Flowers Calendar
The 2020 Altar Flowers Calendar is posted on the bulletin board outside the office. Alter Flowers are $30. Spaces are limited to one family/individual per week. If someone else has signed up on a week, please choose a different week. Payments can be placed in the offering plate and marked "Flowers".
Community Service League Food Pantry Needs
Community Services League needs the following items in the food pantry:paper grocery bags, laundry soap, canned vegetables (carrots, mixed vegetables, spinach, peas, tomatoes), jelly, tuna helper, cream soups, shampoo (NOT 2in1), canned raviolis and spaghettios.  The Community Services League food pantry at our location receives all food that is donated at the church each week.   Please discontinue bringing empty egg cartons.  We have plenty.
Variety Book Club
January 30th at 10:00am

The Variety Book Club selection for January is Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience by Monique Gray Smith.  It is based on the author's life as the daughter of a Lokota man and Cree woman and coming of age in the 1980s.  This nonfiction story captures the irrepressible resilience of Tilly and of indigenous people everywhere.  Please join us on Thursday, January 20th at 10:00am in the Parlor. All are welcome to join our discussion.
Variety Book Club
Book List for 2020
Here is a list of the books that the Variety Book Club will be discussing in 2020:

January - Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience by Monique Gray Smith
February - Fresh Expressions: A New Kind of Methodist Church for People Not in Church  by Kenneth H Carter Jr. and Audrey Warren
March - Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School by Janet Halfmann
April - Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children's Faith Season by Season by Kara Lassen Oliver
May - An Insider's Guide to Praying for the World by Brian C Stiller
July - Not Worth Saving: How A Severely Handicapped Boy Transformed Lives by Ann Joyner
August - Raising World Changers in a Changing World:  How One Family Discovered the Beauty of Sacrifice and the Joy of Giving by Kristen Welch
September - The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson
October - When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up by Jamie Janoss
November - The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton
Did you know that when you shop for the holidays at smile.amazon.com/ch/43-0861943, AmazonSmile donates to Christ United Methodist Church?

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 of each month between 5:30 & 8:00 pm If you are interested in helping, please contact Colleen Foudree at 816-478-8020. 
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 838-2575 for more information.
Glendale Elementary Lunch Buddies - Eat lunch with an assigned student at least twice a month at Glendale. Lunch                 periods are 25 min. long and are staggered between 11:40 and 1:05. You can buy a school lunch, or just sit and visit   while your student eats. A simple background check is required. Contact Lyn Verstraete. 816-838-2575 for 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 - If you would like to help put together sleeping mats, please contact Myrtle Dye at 255-4543.
Tabitha's Closet - Located in the Fairmount Community Center, Tabitha's Closet needs help sorting, hanging, and rotating donated clothing on Tuesdays from 9:30am to 2:30pm when school is in session. Choose to help the entire time, or just an hour or two! For those that can't stand for long periods of time, there is work you can help with too. Contact Buttons Jimerson at 228-7380 if you have any questions.
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Christ United Methodist Church | 816-461-1101 | church.office@icumc.org | www.icumc.org