Message from Pastor Mike

Last year, I kept one of the Advent poinsettias. It's the first poinsettia that I've ever kept. It has been in the windowsill of my office for the entire year. Amazingly, it is still alive and thriving. Between Heather, our custodian, and I we have kept it watered, turned into the sun, and the dead leaves trimmed off. It doesn't look like it did when I got it. After Advent, it was short with big red leaves.  The leaves were so big that it was difficult to water it without getting water on the windowsill. Now the leaves are small and only a few of them are red, but the plant looks healthier than it ever has. Everything on the plant is new growth. Sprigs and sprouts have popped out all over this plant. Two branches have been pruned, and twenty new branches have sprouted. When I look at this plant and see how different it looks now compared to when I got it, and when I consider that it was healthy then as it is healthy now, it makes me think of the church.
The church is always changing. There have been what feels like a few big leaves drop off the plant this year. Kathy Vest's retirement from children's ministry and the end of Upward Basketball feel like that. But, while a couple of big leaves have fallen off, there has been new growth. Two years ago, we sprouted new growth with the Backsnack program at Glendale Elementary School. This year, that relationship has sprouted a new shoot. Now, we are involved not only with Backsnacks, we are also helping the children with their reading. New growth has taken place in our adult Sunday School ministry. A new shoot has sprung up for the 20's - 40's which has become the Samaritans Class. A video ministry has sprouted this year. Now our sermons are on the website, and we have video announcements. The morning center has sprouted new growth as David and Elaine have been training other congregations in how to companion each other in grieving. Our choir has outgrown their pews and has expanded across the aisle. The praise band has new members, new technology, and have grown so tight together that you can't go to another church and hear a better band. In children's ministry, our daycare has grown by another twenty children. In youth ministry, our staff have grown with the addition of Donna and Poese. The Outreach Committee has grown our volunteer opportunities. The knitting group have grown the number of homeless sleeping mats. Our care team has grown the number of homebound people we connect with. Upward Basketball dropped off, but we have a group from the church and the community who play co-ed volleyball every Tuesday night. Kathy Vest retired, but Jennifer and Carla will send up shoots of new growth.
The ministries of the church look different now than they did a year ago. There are still a lot of big leaves left on the tree, like the food drop, Scouts, clothing giveaway, the food pantry, etc... and the new growth that has sprung up around them is exciting. I give thanks for the new growth that has taken place this year, and I look forward to the new ministries that will spring up this year.
Come and Help 

date is Thursday, January 17 from 2-5pm

We helped 264 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.

ny Pennies and a Shiny New Year: Leaving a Legacy"
Sundays, January 13, 2019 at 9:45am in the Chapel
It's a shiny new year! Come join Lisa Wilt to discover how you can shine with purpose in 2019. The class will draw from Lisa's book "Windows of Wonder." You can sign up at the Welcome Center and books are available for sale.
"Exploring Christ UMC "
Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 9:45am in Room 126
This one time class is for those who are new to Christ UMC, including new members and those who have attended regularly who might wish to know about what happens in our church. We'll look briefly at what it means to be United Methodist and what our local church is all about. Information will be provided with a time for questions. If you have any questions, please email
"The Cross in Our Context" Class
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 30, and Feb. 6
10:00am in Room 126
Christ UMC is blessed with intern Poese Vatikani to enrich our spiritual growth. In addition to his work with our youth, he will lead some group classes. This month, a three week class on understanding The Cross in a 21st century context is scheduled. 
While preregistration is not required, it is helpful in preparing. Rev. Bob Hickman will have a sign-up sheet at the Welcome Center very soon. You may also email Bob at with any questions.
January Needs for Community Services League!

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

We collected 92 items last week.

The Community Services League food pantry at our location receives all food that is donated at the church each week.
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
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  
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.
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 of 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

Our Christ UMC YouTube channel is now live and our weekly sermons are available at  Sermon Videos Link . Sermon videos can also be found on our church website at  

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