A man was preparing to speak at a conference. He discussed his speech with his wife who gave him this advice, "Don't try to be too charming, too witty, or to intellectual, just be yourself." Last weekend was Annual Conference for the Missouri United Methodists. This year marks 200 years of Methodist conferences in Missouri. The very first conference of the people who would come to be known as Methodists was held in London in 1744. It was attended by a whopping six people, John and Charles Wesley, and 4 preachers. They decided to invite four more traveling preachers to the meeting. John Wesley wrote this about the conference.  

"In June 1744, I desired my brother and a few other clergymen to meet me in London, to consider how we should proceed to save our own souls and those who heard us. After some time, I invited the lay preachers that were in the house to meet with us. We conferred together for several days and were much comforted and strengthened thereby."

Methodists have been "comforted and strengthened thereby" through conferencing ever since. In light of the developing schism over the latest decision of the General Conference concerning ordination of LGBTQIA+ persons and the strengthening of the penalties on those clergy who preside over or use the churches to perform same sex marriages, a little "comforting and strengthening thereby" is a welcome relief.

The dissatisfaction with the 2019 General Conference decision has been so strong and the opposition so widespread that alternatives are being pursued by various groups within the church. At this year's conference, Dr. Lovett Weems described the five directions that the various factions pulling.

The first is to let the United States make decisions for itself concerning LGBTQIA+ issues. Our Book of Discipline currently allows for other parts of the world to vary from the Book of Discipline. This option would allow the US to do the same.

The second position is to tighten restrictions, increase legislation, and strengthen penalties for violations of the current position on ordination and participation in same sex marriages.

The third direction that factions are exploring is to simply reject the current position through defiance while advocating for something different.

The fourth direction involves splitting with one side or the other leaving the denomination.

The fifth direction that is being explored is to dissolve the denomination and have Annual Conferences and churches join two or three new denominations.

As uncertain and conflict laden as our unfolding future looks to be, I can tell you that it was comforting and strengthening to hear and talk about this with a conference of other United Methodists. We certainly don't all agree. Missouri Methodists are as divided on this as the rest of the world, but overwhelmingly our desire is to remain together despite our differences. We are joined with each other as the body of Christ through God's Holy Spirit which is stronger than our differences. I went to Annual Conference grouching about having all the clergy out of their churches on Pentecost Sunday. Now that it's over, I'm glad that we were together as a conference on Pentecost. We needed that time of "comforting and strengthening each other thereby" in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I look forward to continuing as your pastor for the next year and to the comfort and strengthening that the certainty of our bonds of love will bring to each other in a turbulent time. May God's Spirit fill our spirits with grace, peace, and understanding so that we may continue to lead people to Christ regardless of the challenges in front of us.
 
Blessings,
Mike
Special Recognition
 In this season of celebrating our graduates we have the special joy of celebrating the graduation of Poese Vaticani our ministry intern from seminary. Poese has completed his Masters of Divinity degree and will finish his time with us on June 23rd. His service here has been part of his ordination process and he has served this church without a salary for 9 months. He has done a marvelous job with the youth, leading classes, and occasional preaching. We would like to recognize his time at Christ UMC by sending him into his next appointment with a generous gift. If you would like to show your appreciation for Poese please put a gift in the offering plate or send it to the church and mark it "Poese Gift"
Picture This . . .Silent Auction

I hope you've enjoyed the "Picture This..." sermon series. Perhaps you've found one of the paintings especially meaningful and would like to have it. If you're interested in purchasing one of the paintings from the series, you have an opportunity to buy it by participating in a silent auction. 

The paintings will be in the lobby/narthex from June 8 - June 23. During that time you're invited to bid on the paintings. The bidding will end at noon on June 23rd. Clipboards with the bid sheets are located at the welcome center.

If you would like to bid on a painting, you will need a silent bidder number. They were in bulletins this past weekend, and will be included in bulletins again this weekend.  You can also stop by the office during office hours and pick one up. 
New Socks & Underwear Needed for Tabitha's Closet Ministry
Help us support Tabitha's Closet with desperately needed NEW underwear and socks for many of the school district's students in need.  Your past generosity has been tremendous and now you can do this all year long by bringing these items to our new collection area in the old Narthex.  Contact Buttons Jimerson at 816-228-7380 with questions.  

Please use these guidelines when purchasing:
New Underwear - Girls size 4-8 (no binkinis), Big Girls size 10-16 and Ladies size 5-10 (no bikinis or briefs).  Boys size 5-20 and Men S-XXL (legged briefs only)

New Socks - Girls size 5 up to Ladies size 12. Boys size 5 up to Men size 14. Ankle height or less.
Creative Arts Camp
Sunday, June 23 - Thursday, June 27 5:30-8:45pm
3rd - 7th grades (grade entering in fall)
Kids can choose three classes and one alternate from a list of classes. Sign up online at www.icumc.org. Cost: $20 (Includes kid-friendly dinners all 5 evenings). If you have any questions, contact Kathy Vest at createartcamp@gmail.com.
Creative Arts Camp Volunteers Needed
We are needing eight church members to volunteer to help with dinner at Creative Arts Camp each night from Sunday through Thursday, June 23-27 from 5:00-6:15pm. We are needing help with setting up the drinks station, serving food, visiting with the kids while they eat, and cleaning up after dinner. We also need a few volunteers that are Safe            Sanctuary certified to serve as an extra adult in a class. Contact Kathy Vest at
createartcamp@gmail.com to sign up.
Community Services League Needs

     Kid snacks (granola bars, chips, fruit snacks, etc.), d ish soap (not dishwasher), canned carrots, canned pinto beans, canned pork & beans , small bottles of laundry detergent and bleach
The Community Services League food pantry at our location receives all food that is donated at the church each week. 


Come and Help 

OUR NEXT MOBILE FOOD PANTRY 
date is Thursday, June 20  from 2-5pm
We helped 297 families at the April 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.

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.
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 Colleen Foudree at 816-478-8020 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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