MISSION ROAD CONGREGATION EVENTS AND PROJECTS: MARCH 29, 2020

PASTORAL PRAYER

Our Most Gracious and Eternal Heavenly Father, we come this morning in thanksgiving of the abundant blessings you have bestowed upon us as a congregation. The many times that you have cared for us when we were in need and may not have known it. As we come this morning, we are alone and separated from our church family. We feel alone from you as well because we are so accustomed of meeting together to worship. We feel lonely this morning as we are also isolated from what we are accustomed of doing in our daily lives. We understand the need for this state of separation and the reasoning behind it. But we still miss the close fellowship we enjoy. We asked that you fill us with that warmth we feel as we gather on a Sunday Morning. Please comfort us as we reach out to you for that gentle spirit we enjoy.

We are thankful this morning that most of us are isolated from this awful threat. But there are those of our church family that are in the throes of the conflict; and for them we ask for your protection. We ask for special blessings for those that are on the front lines of this pandemic that has invaded our world. We know there are many brave souls that are faced with caring for others. Protect them and give them courage to perform their life saving measures. We ask for those working in laboratories that are searching to find a cure that you might give them inspiration and direction to reach their goal.

As we turn our thoughts to the Easter Season, we remember the sacrifice that Christ made for each of us. Help us to remember the teachings he has provided us in the scriptures. We remember the forty days that Christ spent in the wilderness as he fasted and prayed. We have been somewhat isolated for but a few days. We have several things to help keep us connected. May we reach out to each other in this time of isolation and give comfort to each other. Lord we ask that you continue to bless us and keep us safe. Guide and direct our lives in ways you would have us serve our fellow beings. Grant us the strength to carry your love to those we may contact. Help us to be the example you would have us be.

For these many favors and blessings we ask these things in the name of your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

THIS WEEK’S WORSHIP MESSAGE AND FOCUS MOMENT

You’re invited to read Roger Parrish’s message and focus moment that was originally prepared for this morning’s service at Mission Road. You’ll find the focus moment on the congregation’s website at https://mission-road.org/2020/03/29/todays-focus-moment-by-roger-parrish/ and Roger’s message at https://mission-road.org/2020/03/29/todays-message-breathe-on-me-breath-of-god/

BETHEL AND PAST MISSION ROAD WORSHIP RECORDINGS AVAILABLE

Though Mission Road is not offering specific online, live worship services, you are invited to join one offered by the Bethel Congregation. And don’t forget that you can access past Mission Road Congregation worship service podcasts (recordings) online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8.

JOIN ONLINE WORSHIP ACTIVITIES

During this COVID-19 season, don’t be isolated from your church family. There are numerous online opportunities for worship, Sunday School Class (both for adults and children), prayer service, and Sunday Chat and more. Check out the complete list on the world church website below.

https://www.cofchrist.org/online-ministries

THE PRAYER CIRCLE MOVES ONLINE

The weekly Prayer Circle that typically meets in the Church Library on Wednesday evenings has moved online using a videoconferencing tool called Zoom. Plan on joining us on Wednesday evening at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome and further instructions will follow early this week. You’ll be able to access the session using your computer, tablet, smartphone or simply dial-up using any phone.

MARILYN GAIRNS FATHER TURNS 99

Marilyn is one of the teachers for the Adult Sunday School class. She recently posted to Facebook the following message: “My father who is locked-in until we are all well (the pandemic ends) in a nursing home. He will be 99 years old on April 6 and I don’t know how we can help him share his birthday since we can’t see him.

If you would like to send my dad a card, for his 99th Birthday, on APRIL 6, here is his address. Please don’t feel obligated. I really didn’t expect you all to want to reach out yourself. I was just trying to figure out what I could do since I couldn’t be there. You may want to mention that you know one of his seven children, since I can’t be there to explain who sent the card when they arrive. Thanks so much in advance for caring.

Martin Parisot
c/o Hope Creek Care Center
4343 Kennedy Drive #1225
East Moline, Illinois 61244-4203

TITHES AND OFFERINGS

Please remember that church expenses continue, even when we’re not meeting in the building. Mary Reichenbach, the Congregation’s Financial Officer has indicated that contributions can be mailed to her house (10223 Briar Dr., Overland Park, KS 66207) or the church 7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208), or you can sign up for eTithing on the World Church website https://www.cofchrist.org/etithing). If you use the eTithing site, select the United States link. Any of these options work.

REMINDER GOODBYE TO STEVE AND LAURIE HOLBEN!

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re unable to hold the farewell potluck for Laurie and Steve. Without that opportunity to thank the Holbens for their service and friendship, we’d suggest you can contact them using email (sgholben) or using Facebook. There’s no snow in Kansas but maybe we can create a blizzard of messages to Laurie and Steve!

MISSION ROAD CALENDAR

There will be no activities at the church building this Sunday.

REPLACING ENTRANCE TILE AT CHURCH

Remember, the floor tile inside the main entrance of the church is being replaced. While this project is underway it will be necessary for everyone to enter the church from the other exterior doors. If you have a key to the front door, it will open any of the exterior doors including the back door to the Fellowship Hall, the basement door at end of the hall by the teen center and the basement door at the bottom of the ramp that enters by the ladies restroom in the basement.

Sorry for this temporary inconvenience. The main entrance should be available again by midweek next week. When the main entrance is available, we will get the word out. Please make sure to turn off the lights and lock the building when you leave. Thank you for your understanding.

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS MESSAGE

When church services resume at Mission Road, we’ll continue the adult Sunday School class with a discussion of Chapter 1 of Amy-Jill Levine’s book “Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.” Be sure you’ve read the Introduction too.

If you’re curious to learn more about the author, who is Jewish but teaches classes on Christianity, check out her humor and her comments on faith and belief at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFy_jjP2WzU

NEED A COPY OF THE NEW ADULT CLASS BOOK?

If you wish to purchase a copy of the adult Sunday school text (“Short Stories by Jesus” by Amy-Jill Levine) please contact Jonathan Bacon (his phone and email address are in the church directory). We can arrange to have the book delivered to your home.

The text is optional but provides insights and information that cannot be covered in the weekly Sunday school class.

The cost of the book is $13 and should be added to your offering with an indication that it’s for the Sunday School text.

ALL GOOD BOOKS GROUP MEETING ONLINE

The All Good Books discussion group was scheduled to meet at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 16, 2020, to discuss “The Confession Club” by Elizabeth Berg (the author of “The Story of Arthur Trulov,” “Night of Miracles” and “Open House”).

At this point, it appears that will not be possible due to the Coronavirus pandemic and stay at home orders. We’re exploring the possibility of conducting the book club meeting online using Zoom, a videoconferencing tool. More information to follow, but please keep reading!

2020 REUNIONS

Doniphan June 12–16 2020 with Guest Minister Apostle Art Smith. Contact: Josh Huyett, (913) 707–3005

Chihowa July 12–17, 2020 with Guest Minister Apostle Dave Nii. Contact: Sarah Marolf (785) 213–8308

***Please note Doniphan reunion date change***

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WITHOUT EMAIL OR FACEBOOK ACCESS?

If you know someone in the congregation that does not have email and does not use Facebook, please let Jonathan Bacon know. We’re trying to be sure everyone in the congregation has access to periodic news updates and information on congregational activities.

FOR FUTURE CHURCH CLOSINGS

In the future, if inclement weather forces the cancellation of church services at Mission Road, we’ll post the closing on our church Facebook page, send a message to the church email list and list the closing on KCTV Channel 5 and KSHB Channel 41.

Be sure to check the TV listings for either "Community of Christ – Mission Road" (KSHB 41) or "Community of Christ – Prairie Village" (KCTV5). The listing will be under one of those two names.

CONCERNING PRAYER REQUESTS

Please know that any member of the congregation can post prayer requests or share information about members and events on the Mission Road Members Only Facebook page. You do not need to send the information for approval to anyone. In fact, doing so may slow down the dissemination of your request. Be sure to include the person needing prayers and what situation has occurred (if you wish to share that information). If your post concerns an event or news item, be sure to include the basics in your posting (such as who, what, where and when).

For prayer requests, if you do not have access to Facebook, then please call Paul Bennetts our Congregational Pastoral Care Coordinator.

OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE VIA EMAIL

The email address for general church drafts of your Order of Worship and church business (Clint Reine) is mrcoc

The email address for CFO business (Mary Reichenbach) is mrcoccfo

IMPORTANT CONGREGATIONAL LINKS

The Mission Road Congregation hosts the following social media sites:

Congregational (public) website at www.mission-road.org

Facebook Page (public) at https://www.facebook.com/MissionRoad.CoC

Facebook Group (open only to congregational members) at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MissionRoad/

The link to Mission Road worship service audio recordings at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8

The All Good Books discussion group website at https://allbooksclub.wordpress.com/

Visit and "like" each of these sites to keep up-to-date on congregational news.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS EMAIL

If you have news items and calendar additions or changes that need to be included in the congregational news email, please contact Larry Birkby. His email address and phone number are both in the Church Directory.

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Today’s Message: “Breathe on Me, Breath of God:

Today’s message on the theme "Breathe on Me, Breath of God" is presented by Roger Parrish.

Today’s theme is “Breathe on Me, Breath of God”. The Bible Old and New Testaments equate the breath of God with life, and the breath of God to new creation or restoration. I’ll get into today’s scripture from Ezekiel shortly,

But first, I want to start with a Parish family history story.

My 4th great grandfather born in 1736 was farming in coastal Connecticut in 1765. His family then included his wife Mary and 3 children. His family with 5 other families seeking a better life opportunity joined in a settlement in what is now Strafford, Vermont; incidentally just 12 miles from where Joseph Smith was born later. The land was acquired from a then Province of New York, as this was unsettled land between New York and New Hampshire. The families spent 3 years making trips back and forth to clear enough land to start farming. After 1770 three more children were born in Vermont including my 3rd great grandfather, Eliada.

In the meantime, New Hampshire sold rights in Strafford often to the same land and conflict arose as to land ownership. The dispute was settled by the Crown ruling in favor of the New York grants. Later, the early New York grantees were in the minority and with the beginnings of the Revolution, and the New Hampshire militia, led by Ethan Allen, those New York grantees were labeled enemies and pushed off their lands. Any Canadians here will recognize the label given them, Loyalists. Identity politics is not new, only its label. Mary’s father was an earlier settler and the family went to live with him.

My 4th great grandfather was stripped of his hard-cleared virgin land, his ability to support a family was lost, his country was in turmoil, and the future looked bleak. I’ll finish this story later, but first, I want to get back the Scripture message for today taken from the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament.

The prophet Ezekiel lived during the time of the Babylonian conquest in the 5th century BC. He ministered to the people during the siege of Jerusalem and after Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed. The people including its leaders, artisans, and wealthy people were taken captive and lived in exile in Babylon to serve the Babylonian king. The Jewish king was captive in a foreign land. God’s promise to give the Israelites their land for all time seemed empty. The temple, the dwelling place of God, lay in ruins. The Israelites no longer had a national identity. It seemed that God had deserted them.

The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament following Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to the book itself, it records six visions of the prophet Ezekiel, while exiled in Babylon. Two are well known from spirituals – “Ezekiel saw that wheel Way up in the middle of the air” and the one in today’s Scripture reading – “Ezekiel connected “dem dry bones.” As spirituals they were teaching aids.

Today’s Scripture is Ezekiel 37:1-14 I’ll summarize its elements.

Under the spirit, Ezekiel was brought into a valley full of a very large number of very dry bones. God asks Ezekiel if these bones could live again. Ezekiel responds, “Lord God, You know.” God asks Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones saying “O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Surely God will cause breath to enter you and you shall live, He will put sinews and flesh on you and cover with skin and put breath in you, and you will know I am the Lord.”

Then came the interpretation after the 11th verse. The bones are the whole house of Israel. Its people are like bones that are dry, all hope is lost, and they have been cut off and isolated. Then God says he will open the graves and cause the Israelites to come forth and then He will bring you into the land of Israel.

This prophesy harkens back to Genesis where all creation is assigned to God’s power. What could be more powerful than the creation of life? Returning the Israelites to their homeland should be a piece of cake by comparison. It’s to remind them that they were not abandoned and to have faith. Later in the chapter 37 we find:

Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones came to him after God had directed him to prophesy of the rebirth of Israel in chapter 36. God announced, through the prophet, that Israel will be restored to her land in blessing under the leadership of “David, My servant [who] shall be king over them” (Ezekiel 37:24), many believe this is a clear a reference to the future under Jesus Christ the Messiah, descendant of David (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6–7; Luke 1:31–33).

It seems the Jewish peoples have been constantly maligned in their history. Held captive in Egypt until lead out by Moses. Their nation and temple destroyed by the Babylonians holding them captive in a foreign land, then at the time of Jesus as they were occupied by the Romans, later German Jews were persecuted and imprisoned in concentration camps in our life time.

As we look at Israel today can we think the promise of a land for all time has been fulfilled? It’s been anything but easy for the present nation of Israel to say they have a land for all time. Jesus came from the house of David but was rejected as the Messiah so has that prophesy been fulfilled?

For everyone today, Ezekiel’s prophesy shows that with faith, blessings to help overcome obstacles in our lives can become a reality.

Now, as promised, I will conclude my brief history of my 4th great grandfather. As we left the story, Loyalists have been driven off their pioneered lands in what is now Vermont. He lost his land and all the work that went into it clearing it for farming, and everything else, but Mary, his wife, was able to move with her then 6 children in with her father living nearby. So why did I use this family history here? You see my 4th great grandfather’s name was Ezekiel Parish. He felt the same kind of loss as the biblical prophet Ezekiel being in captivity and removed from his native land. He lost his farm, he was separated from his family, he lost what he thought was his country.

So, what did Ezekiel Parish do? He saw no way possible to recover his loss unless the British could quell the revolution. He was not a prophet like the biblical Ezekiel. He was nearly 40 years old and could not join as an active soldier but knowing the area he could become a scout. He was eventually captured by the Continental army and imprisoned, nearly starved and treated harshly. He finally escaped and fled to Canada where he died in his 50’s in Halifax separated from his family forever.

Mary stayed in Vermont never losing faith that their hard-earned land might be returned. Vermont became an independent republic first and then acquired statehood. Mary continued to press the injustice of losing the land and along with other Loyalists who lost their lands, eventually was rewarded with compensation.

Because of Ezekiel’s service to the British, Mary and each of the children were awarded 200 acres of land in Ontario (north of Brockville). There the grown children started a new pioneer experience with lands to clear for farming. After 1850, Elida’s son Ira and brother Hiram were living in Lee County, Iowa across the river from Nauvoo. After the church split, Hiram and his family went to Utah and Ira stayed and later joined the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Then the spelling of the family name was changed to Parrish to distinguish themselves from the Mormon family who retained the original spelling, Parish.

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Today’s Focus Moment by Roger Parrish

For my focus moment I refer to Genesis 1:29 as a part of the first few chapters of Genesis that explain creation.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”

Before I begin this Focus Moment, my apologies to Dorothy May, as I am no biologist.

Today I would like to turn this focus moment to something that happens every spring, and I don’t mean baseball. It’s much more important – its nature coming out of its winter rest in the northern hemisphere – it’s the leafing out of all natural trees and plants. Its God saying “I give every green plant for food.”

I want to focus on that event and what it means.

First, what makes plants grow?

Man has always wondered just where plant growth came from. In 1648 Johann van Helmont, a Belgian, set up an experiment. He planted a willow sprig in a large pot with a known weight of dry soil. He tended the tree for 5 years and then he ripped it up and shook off all the soil and weighted it dry, and also weighed the tree. The tree weighed over 160 pounds but the soil lost only a few ounces of weight. Cleary the tree growth did not come out of the soil. At that time, matter was thought to consist of four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Van Helmont thought the tree growth came from the water. He was only partly right. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution when the atomic theory began to emerge in the late 1800’s and be accepted, that more insight about the nature of matter came to be known.

The leaf: God’s Miracle

Now we know plant growth is a process involving photosynthesis, that is chemical reactions using light. The light from the sun being the energy source. The photosynthesis process is still a subject of research and with modern tools a much clearer picture is now available.

The marvel is in how the leaf performs its function.

The leaf has pores on its underside called stoma. Through these pores the leaf sees and captures a single molecule of carbon dioxide from the air out of 2,500 other molecules. The leaf brings the CO2 into its circulator system where it begins two complex chemical cycles involving other chemicals produced by the plant.

I’m showing this slide to illustrate the complexity of the chemistry within the simple leaf. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz later. These complex chemicals which the leaf create react with sunlight and then change CO2 into starches and sugars used for plant growth. In light reactions from water it produces oxygen that is released back into the air. To me this is a miracle: it is living things that have what man used to call the vital force. It’s something man cannot do in a laboratory. Its science, not science fiction. Its Gods miracle in nature.

Why is this slide here? This is the Saturn, the most powerful vehicle ever made by man, it’s fueled by hydrogen and oxygen. They combine making water vapor and release a tremendous amount of energy propelling the rocket. In this like all chemical reactions, the heat given off, like the burning of the hydrogen, must be absorbed back when that reaction is reversed. In the live plant, the reverse is to convert water back to hydrogen ions and oxygen. While the rocket exhaust is over 5,000 degrees, the simple little leaf in the reverse reaction captures light energy at ambient temperatures making oxygen from water.

This is not an insignificant amount of energy. To restore all the world’s human breath back to oxygen requires an amount of energy equivalent to 6% of that of all of the oil and gas being used today.

Within the plant, the sugars and starches become the building blocks that grow the plant and produce its yield of grains, vegetables, nuts, grasses and fruits. All the food for all living things comes from plants that have undergone photosynthesis reacting sunlight with the absorbed CO2 taken from the air. This is the only source for our food. Simply speaking without photosynthesis, the sun, water and CO2 from the air there is no food – without food there is no life.

CO2 from air is and has been the only source of chemical carbon, the essential atom from which all organic chemicals were and are built. In our sanctuary everything you see with few exceptions came from growing plants from some time in the past. Not any metals, glass or bricks, but the wood in the walls and ceiling, the pews, its covers, the hymnals, our clothing and shoes, medications we took today, the fuel that heats and cools this room, our very own bodies also came mostly from the food we and our mothers consumed and that food originally came from the CO2 taken from the air.

Our bodies are like a slow burning furnace. The food we eat is the fuel and the oxygen in our aerated blood is the source of combustion. This is our circle of life. We eat food that gives up its energy to keep us alive and in doing that we expel CO2 back into the air to join other amounts of CO2 and then plant life with sunlight energy converts it into food and oxygen.

This is just a part of God’s plan that has provided the tools and mechanisms for all life. Producing food today for over 7 billion people on earth, however, does not come about easily. Man has become very efficient in the production of food rising to the needs of a growing world population. With highly developed farm machinery, invention and production of fertilizers, genetic developments to improve plant yields, refrigeration and transport system to minimize spoilage, irrigation and land management all have allowed this to come about. There is a whole lot more that can be done to produce more food to sustain the growing earth’s population. Life on earth is nowhere near any danger from over population, yet.

So, celebrate spring and welcome the new leaves and grasses that are essential to life. And this fall when you pick up the fallen leaves bless them for their effort.

As the poet Robert Browning wrote – “God’s in His heaven – All’s right with the world”.

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MISSION ROAD CONGREGATION EVENTS AND PROJECTS – FRIDAY UPDATE

CENTRAL AVENUE CENTER OF HOPE STILL HAS NEEDS DURING THIS PANDEMIC!

There are many families served by the Center who’s needs continue even during the current Coronavirus pandemic. In order to assist, Robin Payne will be at the church on Saturday from 10 AM to Noon collecting goods.

You’re invited to drop off non-perishable items such as canned goods (fruits, vegetables, canned meats and so on) plus bread, fresh fruit, peanut butter, jelly or paper products like toilet paper, Kleenex tissues, diapers, and the like.

When dropping off supplies for the Center on Saturday, please use the side door into the Fellowship Hall. Because of new floor tiling, the main entrance is not available,

Sometimes when under stress and concerned about the current health crisis, a good remedy is to reach out and help someone else!

TITHES AND OFFERINGS

Please remember that church expenses continue, even when we’re not meeting in the building. Mary Reichenbach, the Congregation’s Financial Officer has indicated that contributions can be mailed to her house (10223 Briar Dr., Overland Park, KS 66207) or the church 7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208), or you can sign up for eTithing on the World Church website (https://www.cofchrist.org/etithing). If you use the eTithing site, select the United States link. Any of these options work.

MISSION ROAD CALENDAR

There will be no activities at the church this Sunday.

REMINDER GOODBYE TO STEVE AND LAURIE HOLBEN!

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re unable to hold the farewell potluck for Laurie and Steve. Without that opportunity to thank the Holbens for their service and friendship, we’d suggest you can contact them using email or using Facebook. There’s no snow in Kansas but maybe we can create a blizzard of messages to Laurie and Steve!

REPLACING ENTRANCE TILE AT CHURCH

Remember, the floor tile inside the main entrance of the church is being replaced. While this project is underway it will be necessary for everyone to enter the church from the other exterior doors. If you have a key to the front door, it will open any of the exterior doors including the back door to the Fellowship Hall, the basement door at end of the hall by the teen center and the basement door at the bottom of the ramp that enters by the ladies restroom in the basement.

Sorry for this temporary inconvenience. The main entrance should be available again by midweek next week. When the main entrance is available, we will get the word out. Please make sure to lock the building when you leave. Thank you for your understanding.

JOIN ONLINE WORSHIP ACTIVITIES

During this COVID-19 season, don’t be isolated from your church family. There are numerous online opportunities for worship, Sunday School Class (both for adults and children), prayer service, and Sunday Chat and more. Check out the complete list on the world church website below.

https://www.cofchrist.org/online-ministries

Though Mission Road is not offering specific online, live worship services, you are invited to join one offered by the Bethel Congregation. And don’t forget that you can access past Mission Road Congregation worship service podcasts (recordings) online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8.

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MISSION ROAD CONGREGATION NEWS – MARCH 21, 2020

JOIN ONLINE WORSHIP ACTIVITIES

During this COVID-19 season, don’t be isolated from your church family. There are numerous online opportunities for worship, Sunday School Class (both for adults and children), prayer service, and Sunday Chat and more. Check out the complete list on the world church website below.

https://www.cofchrist.org/online-ministries

Though Mission Road is not offering specific online, live worship services, you are invited to join one offered by the Bethel Congregation. And don’t forget that you can access past Mission Road Congregation worship service podcasts (recordings) online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8.

CENTRAL AVENUE CENTER OF HOPE STILL HAS NEEDS DURING THIS PANDEMIC!

There are many families served by the Center who’s needs continue even during the current Coronavirus pandemic. In order to assist, Robin Payne will be at the church on Saturday from 10 AM to Noon collecting goods.

You’re invited to drop off non-perishable items such as canned goods (fruits, vegetables, canned meats and so on) plus bread, fresh fruit, peanut butter, jelly or paper products like toilet paper, Kleenex tissues, diapers, and the like.

Sometimes when under stress and concerned about the current health crisis, a good remedy is to reach out and help someone else!

FIRST PRESIDENCY UPDATED STATEMENT

Response to COVID‐19 Virus

20 March 2020

The First Presidency is extending the recommended suspension of church gatherings around the world through at least Friday, 1 May 2020. Church gatherings are worship services, meals, conferences, funerals, and other group activities. The Presidency continues to monitor guidance from government and public health agencies around the globe related to the estimated spread and duration of the COVID‐19 pandemic. However, if local government and public health guidance is more restrictive than the Presidency’s recommendation, please follow local guidance. As new information is available it will be released and posted at www.CofChrist.org/covid‐19.

As a reminder, the Presidency bases its recommendation on the following principles:

1. The church’s response should emphasize preventative, rather than reactive, strategies to keep the COVID‐19 virus from spreading as quickly as many infection‐rate models indicate.

2. A primary prevention strategy is “social distancing.” The World Health Organization advises: “Maintain at least 1-meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.” According to the USA Centers for Disease Control, social distancing involves “remaining out of congregant settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance” between people whenever possible. Social distancing is especially challenging for people in church settings.

3. The church’s response should emphasize “protecting the most vulnerable” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:6a) in our congregations, cities, towns, and villages. This includes our senior members and those already affected by other health challenges.

Historic sites will remain closed to the public through at least Friday, 1 May 2020. Based on guidance provided by the Independence, Missouri, USA mayor, the Temple Complex, including the Peace Pavilion, will remain closed to the public with all events canceled through at least Friday, 15 May 2020. Headquarters staff at all sites continue to support operations, but staff presence in the offices is limited to maximize social distancing. Reopening all sites to the public will continue to be evaluated as the situation unfolds.

Social distancing can cause us to feel isolated from each other and God. We are grateful for the many ways people are staying “connected” and supporting each other in living Christ’s mission while upholding the strategy of social distancing. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? …neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38 NRSV).

As you connect and support each other through the Lenten journey into Holy week and then the Easter season, we ask you to remember that your congregation, mission center, campgrounds, and World Church have financial responsibilities even though we are not physically gathering. Please use online giving (www.CofChrist.org/give) or mail in contributions to support Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes.

PAST MISSION ROAD RECORDINGS ONLINE

You’re invited to relive past worship services or listen to those you’ve missed. Over the coming weeks, please remember that past Sunday morning worship service audio recordings are available online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8.

Recordings are located in folders corresponding to the year (e.g., 2018, 2019, 2020). If you missed a Sunday, this provides you a way to hear the music and the message.

Each audio recording begins with the date of the service (20200224 represents February 24, 2020). The date is followed by a dash and the first initial and last name of the speaker.

The following list includes the most recent audio recordings:

08 March 2020 message by Jonathan Bacon, filename 20200308-JBacon.mp3

01 March 2020 message by Steve Holben, filename 20200301-SHolben.mp3

23 February 2020 message by John O’Neal, filename 20200223-JOneal.mp3

16 February 2020 message by Karen Birkby, filename 20200216-KBirkby.mp3

09 February 2020 message by Jennifer Libeer, filename 20200209-JLibeer.mp3

02 February 2020 message by Kennetha Kuttler, filename 20200202-KKuttler.mp3

GOODBYE TO STEVE AND LAURIE HOLBEN!

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, we’re unable to hold the farewell potluck for Laurie and Steve. Without that opportunity to thank the Holben’s for their service and friendship, we’d suggest you can contact them using email (sgholben) or using Facebook. There’s no snow in Kansas but maybe we can create a blizzard of messages to Laurie and Steve!

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS MESSAGE

When church services resume at Mission Road, we’ll continue the adult Sunday School class with a discussion of Chapter 1 of Amy-Jill Levine’s book “Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.” Be sure you’ve read the Introduction too.

If you’re curious to learn more about the author, who is Jewish but teaches classes on Christianity, check out her humor and her comments on faith and belief at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFy_jjP2WzU

NEED A COPY OF THE NEW ADULT CLASS BOOK?

If you wish to purchase a copy of the adult Sunday school text (“Short Stories by Jesus” by Amy-Jill Levine) please contact Jonathan Bacon (his phone and email address are in the church directory). We can arrange to have the book delivered to your home.

The text is optional but provides insights and information that cannot be covered in the weekly Sunday school class.

The cost of the book is $13 and should be added to your offering with an indication that it’s for the Sunday School text.

ALL GOOD BOOKS GROUP MEETINGS SUSPENDED

Because of the World Church recommendation that all gatherings be suspended until May 1 or later, the All Good Books discussion group is suspending our scheduled meetings until at least May 2020. If you want to prepare for the next meeting, you can read “The Confession Club” by Elizabeth Berg (the author of “The Story of Arthur Trulov,” “Night of Miracles” and “Open House”).

MISSION: LEARN 2020 AT THE OLATHE CONGREGATION

The Mission Center has announced that “Mission: Learn” scheduled for March 28, 2020 has been canceled.

ORGAN CONCERT @ THE TEMPLE

This concert is canceled as are all activities and events at World Church facilities until April 13, 2020.

2020 REUNIONS

Doniphan June 12–16 2020 with Guest Minister Apostle Art Smith. Contact: Josh Huyett, (913) 707–3005

Chihowa July 12–17, 2020 with Guest Minister Apostle Dave Nii. Contact: Sarah Marolf (785) 213–8308

***Please note Doniphan reunion date change***

MISSION ROAD CALENDAR

There will be no activities at the church until May 1, 2020 or later. We’ll keep you posted.

CONCERNING PRAYER REQUESTS

Please know that any member of the congregation can post prayer requests or share information about members and events on the Mission Road Members Only Facebook page. You do not need to send the information for approval to anyone. In fact, doing so may slow down the dissemination of your request. Be sure to include the person needing prayers and what situation has occurred (if you wish to share that information). If your post concerns an event or news item, be sure to include the basics in your posting (such as who, what, where and when).

For prayer requests, if you do not have access to Facebook, then please call Paul Bennetts our Congregational Pastoral Care Coordinator.

Please remember John and Eloise Snider in your prayers this week.

OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE VIA EMAIL

The email address for general church drafts of your Order of Worship and church business (Clint Reine) is mrcoc

The email address for CFO business (Mary Reichenbach) is mrcoccfo

IMPORTANT CONGREGATIONAL LINKS

The Mission Road Congregation hosts the following social media sites:

Congregational (public) website at www.mission-road.org

Facebook Page (public) at https://www.facebook.com/MissionRoad.CoC

Facebook Group (open only to congregational members) at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MissionRoad/

The link to Mission Road worship service audio recordings at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8

The All Good Books discussion group website at https://allbooksclub.wordpress.com/

Visit and "like" each of these sites to keep up-to-date on congregational news.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS EMAIL

If you have news items and calendar additions or changes that need to be included in the congregational news email, please contact Larry Birkby. His email address and phone number are both in the Church Directory.

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MISSION ROAD CONGREGATION EVENTS AND PROJECTS – March 15, 2020

CHURCH SERVICES CANCELED

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and out of an abundance of caution, the Community of Christ – Mission Road Congregation will not hold services for the next three Sundays.

This decision is based on the current CDC guidelines that suggest the risk is greatest for people who are 60 and older as well as persons with respiratory illness or weakened immune systems. It’s clear that even those who experience no symptoms could inadvertently carry the virus into a gathering where more people are at risk for serious health effects stemming from the virus.

While we regret this disruption, it is important to take precautions and protect the more vulnerable members of our congregation.

You’re invited to relive past worship services or listen to those you’ve missed. Over the coming weeks, please remember that past Sunday morning worship service audio recordings are available online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8. If you open the link and then scroll down to the 2020 folder and double click it) you’ll find all the worship service recordings for 2020.

MESSAGE FOR SUNDAY, March 15, 2020

While we’re celebrating the third Sunday of the Lenten season without a face-to-face meeting at the church, we do want to share some readings with the congregation.

Lenten Welcome:

Lent is about divine grace. It is a period of time to reflect on our discipleship and prepare for Easter. It is based on the example of Christ’s forty days in the desert preparing for ministry. Lent is a time to honestly examine who we are, recognize who we are called to become, and receive divine grace for the journey in between. Lent is an invitation to fast or replace a behavior with time connecting to God.

Last week’s candle reminded us to be humble in our relationship with God. Today we light the third candle that represents hopefulness. As disciples we humbly look to Christ’s example, yet we are imperfect and often fall short of who Christ asks us to become. We practice hopefulness when we seek to love ourselves, others, and the path in front of us despite challenges. We praise our loving Creator for the compassion and grace extended to all. We open ourselves to fully receive both.

Scripture Reading (adapted from 2 Nephi 3:32-34)

My soul grieves because of my sin.

I am surrounded by the temptations and sins that so easily influence me.

When I desire to rejoice, my heart groans because of my sins;

Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trust.

Responsive Reading (adapted from Doctrine and Covenants 162:5a-c and 164:2b):

Leader: God’s grace, especially as revealed in Jesus Christ, is generous and unconditional. It is for divine purpose that you have been given the struggles as well as the joys of diversity.

People: Having received God’s generous grace, we respond generously and graciously receive the generosity of others.

Leader: Do not be defined by the things that separate you but by the things that unite you in Jesus Christ.

People: We offer all we are and have to God’s purposes as revealed in Jesus Christ.

Leader: Listen together to one another, without judgement or predisposition. …Reason together in love, and the Spirit of truth will prevail.

Prayer for the Congregation:

May God’s presence of peace, wisdom, and compassion continue to surround and strengthen you. We pray for those who are suffering during this pandemic and remember our fellow Mission Road friends and neighbors in our thoughts and prayers!

EXPLORING CHALLENGES DISCUSSION GROUP

The Exploring Challenges discussion group report coupled with discussion among the attendees will be rescheduled after church services resume.

ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS MESSAGE

When church services resume at Mission Road, we’ll continue the adult Sunday School class with a discussion of Chapter 1 of Amy-Jill Levine’s book “Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi.” Be sure you’ve read the Introduction too.

If you’re curious to learn more about the author, who is Jewish but teaches classes on Christianity, check out her humor and her comments on faith and belief at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFy_jjP2WzU

NEED A COPY OF THE NEW ADULT CLASS BOOK?

If you wish to purchase a copy of the adult Sunday school text (“Short Stories by Jesus” by Amy-Jill Levine) please contact Jonathan Bacon (his phone and email address are in the church directory). We can arrange to have the book delivered to your home.

The text is optional but provides insights and information that cannot be covered in the weekly Sunday school class.

The cost of the book is $13 and should be added to your offering with an indication that it’s for the Sunday School text.

NEXT ALL GOOD BOOKS GROUP MEETING

The All Good Books discussion group will meet at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 16, 2020, to discuss “The Confession Club” by Elizabeth Berg (the author of “The Story of Arthur Trulov,” “Night of Miracles” and “Open House”).

Meetings are held in the Church Library starting at 7:00 PM. All are invited to attend!

MISSION: LEARN 2020 AT THE OLATHE CONGREGATION

The Mission Center has announced that “Mission: Learn” scheduled for March 28, 2020 has been canceled.

ORGAN CONCERT @ THE TEMPLE

This concert is canceled as are all activities and events at World Church facilities until April 13, 2020.

2020 REUNIONS

Doniphan June 12–16 2020 with Guest Minister Apostle Art Smith. Contact: Josh Huyett, (913) 707–3005

Chihowa July 12–17, 2020 with Guest Minister Apostle Dave Nii. Contact: Sarah Marolf (785) 213–8308

***Please note Doniphan reunion date change***

MISSION ROAD CALENDAR

There will be no activities at the church for the next three weeks.

WORSHIP AND SPECIAL MUSIC AT MISSION ROAD

If you are not able to attend the Sunday Worship services at Mission Road, you can listen to our posted podcasts each week. If you miss our worship services and wonderful musical ministry, please join us for the peaceful Spirit of Worship. Links to our weekly podcast are listed below.

MISSED LAST SUNDAY’S SERVICE?

Audio recordings of past worship services are available online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8. This is a short URL for a Google Drive folder with past recordings.

Recordings are located in folders corresponding to the year (e.g., 2017, 2018). If you missed a Sunday, this provides you a way to hear the music and the message.

Each audio recording begins with the date of the service (20200224 represents February 24, 2020). The date is followed by a dash and the first initial and last name of the speaker.

NOTE: If you experience problems playing these audio files be sure you’re running the latest version of your browser or try a different browser. In some cases, you may be required to download the audio file before playing it.

The following list includes the most recent audio recordings:

08 March 2020 message by Jonathan Bacon, filename 20200308-JBacon.mp3

01 March 2020 message by Steve Holben, filename 20200301-SHolben.mp3

23 February 2020 message by John O’Neal, filename 20200223-JOneal.mp3

16 February 2020 message by Karen Birkby, filename 20200216-KBirkby.mp3

09 February 2020 message by Jennifer Libeer, filename 20200209-JLibeer.mp3

02 February 2020 message by Kennetha Kuttler, filename 20200202-KKuttler.mp3

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WITHOUT EMAIL OR FACEBOOK ACCESS?

If you know someone in the congregation that does not have email and does not use Facebook, please let Jonathan Bacon know. We’re trying to be sure everyone in the congregation has access to periodic news updates and information on congregational activities.

FOR FUTURE CHURCH CLOSINGS

In the future, if inclement weather forces the cancellation of church services at Mission Road, we’ll post the closing on our church Facebook page, send a message to the church email list and list the closing on KCTV Channel 5 and KSHB Channel 41.

Be sure to check the TV listings for either "Community of Christ – Mission Road" (KSHB 41) or "Community of Christ – Prairie Village" (KCTV5). The listing will be under one of those two names.

CONCERNING PRAYER REQUESTS

Please know that any member of the congregation can post prayer requests or share information about members and events on the Mission Road Members Only Facebook page. You do not need to send the information for approval to anyone. In fact, doing so may slow down the dissemination of your request. Be sure to include the person needing prayers and what situation has occurred (if you wish to share that information). If your post concerns an event or news item, be sure to include the basics in your posting (such as who, what, where and when).

For prayer requests, if you do not have access to Facebook, then please call Paul Bennetts our Congregational Pastoral Care Coordinator.

Please remember John and Eloise Snider in your prayers this week.

OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE VIA EMAIL

The email address for general church drafts of your Order of Worship and church business (Clint Reine) is mrcoc

The email address for CFO business (Mary Reichenbach) is mrcoccfo

IMPORTANT CONGREGATIONAL LINKS

The Mission Road Congregation hosts the following social media sites:

Congregational (public) website at www.mission-road.org

Facebook Page (public) at https://www.facebook.com/MissionRoad.CoC

Facebook Group (open only to congregational members) at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MissionRoad/

The link to Mission Road worship service audio recordings at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8

The All Good Books discussion group website at https://allbooksclub.wordpress.com/

Visit and "like" each of these sites to keep up-to-date on congregational news.

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS EMAIL

If you have news items and calendar additions or changes that need to be included in the congregational news email, please contact Larry Birkby. His email address and phone number are both in the Church Directory.

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Cancellation of Church Services Until April

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and out of an abundance of caution, the Community of Christ – Mission Road Congregation will not hold services for the next three Sundays (March 15, 22 and 29, 2020). The discussion of the Exploring Challenges group will be re-scheduled at a later time.
This decision is based on the current CDC guidelines that suggest the risk is greatest for people who are 60 and older as well as persons with respiratory illness or weakened immune systems. It’s clear that even those who experience no symptoms could inadvertently carry the virus into a gathering where more people are at risk for serious health effects stemming from the virus.
While we regret this disruption, it is important to take precautions and protect the more vulnerable members of our congregation.

As an alternative, please remember that past Sunday morning worship service audio recordings are available online at https://bit.ly/2MSgZW8. If you’ve missed a Sunday worship, you can find recordings going back several years. Some of the recent recordings include:

  • 08 March 2020 message by Jonathan Bacon, filename 20200308-JBacon.mp3
  • 01 March 2020 message by Steve Holben, filename 20200301-SHolben.mp3
  • 23 February 2020 message by John O’Neal, filename 20200223-JOneal.mp3
  • 16 February 2020 message by Karen Birkby, filename 20200216-KBirkby.mp3
  • 09 February 2020 message by Jennifer Libeer, filename 20200209-JLibeer.mp3
  • 02 February 2020 message by Kennetha Kuttler, filename 20200202-KKuttler.mp3

Also, the Mission Center has announced that Mission: Learn scheduled for March 28, 2020, will be postponed.
May God’s presence of peace, wisdom, and compassion continue to surround and strengthen you. Please pray for those who are suffering during this pandemic and remember your fellow Mission Road friends in your thoughts and prayers!

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