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Central United Methodist Church

5144 Oak Street | Kansas City, MO 64112 (816)753-1844 |

digital edition­— october 2011


Central United Methodist Church celebrates Christ’s unconditional love that changes lives every day, as together we reach up to God, reach within ourselves, and reach out to the world.

A Note from Jim | 2 Couples Ministry | 3 Youth Meals Schedule | 4 Risk-Taking Missions Update | 6 CECC Upcoming Events | 7 Finance Report | 7 Stewardship Campaign | 7

a note from jim Dear Central care-givers and Christ-followers: We are having a fine, fun, fall season at Central. Serve2011 was a great experience of service and cooperation among area churches; our greeter and hospitality teams are leading us into more radical hospitality; our choir is growing and sounds great; our children’s ministries are being refreshed. Our spirit is strong and full of hope. We are deep into construction of our new gathering space. The stained-glass window in the east transept was carefully removed to be repositioned in the new building. Soon we’ll have our main floor and the walls and roof will begin to take shape. The library will be reconfigured in Kenwood East. The former library space (outside Wesley Hall) will become our café/coffee bar area. Central folks have dreamed and envisioned this project for several years. It is exciting to watch it become reality. Generous giving is crucial for the success of our building project. Thanks to all those who have given their full pledge to the Capital Campaign. Thanks to all those who continue to give regularly to fulfill your pledge. Each gift is vital as we move forward. Extravagant Generosity will be a big theme later this month and as we move into November. Our operating budget needs real attention. More than once this summer, our treasurer has struggled to pay utility bills and make payroll. Watch for a letter introducing our fall campaign: The Heart of Giving. Together we will learn and grow into faithful, extravagantly generous followers of Jesus Christ. Every ministry of the church depends upon a foundation of prayer. Please care for each other with notes, visits and by lifting each other up before God. Please pray for the life and mission of Central UMC where we celebrate Christ’s unconditional love that changes lives every day. Faith, hope, love and joy! :) Jim Simpson | Pastor



October Worship Highlights Forgiveness is a central practice of Christian discipleship. Jim will lead us through 3 weeks in October of learning how to forgive: October 2; Matthew 18: 21, 22 We’ll explore what forgiveness is and what it is not;Holy Communion October 9; Ephesians 4: 31, 32 We’ll explore forgiveness as a drama in four acts or stages. This message will help you or a loved one learn how to forgive. October 16; Luke 23: 34 Forgiveness is hard. We’ll look at hardness of heart and how we resist Jesus’ teaching to forgive each other. Stories of Jesus: Oct 23 & 30, Jim will begin a series of messages exploring several stories of Jesus. We will study these stories from a unique perspective offered by Dr. Kenneth Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes. Each story will highlight one of our five practices: radical hospitality; passionate worship; intentional faith formation; extravagant generosity; and risk-taking mission.

couples ministry Ways to “Woo” or “Wow” Your Partner Jay & Laura Laffoon spoke at a Better Marriages Conference we attended in Albuquerque in July. They have written several books about relationships and while their main focus is on married couples, many of the ideas they presented apply to most committed couple relationships. One concept they talked about focuses on keeping our relationships current and alive—ways to “woo” or “wow” your partner. They suggest five ways to strengthen our couple relationships: Give encouragement—admire and openly speak about your partner’s strengths, gifts, and things they are good at. Enrich your life together—make memories by doing new and different things together. Educate your partner about activities important to you and learn about things important to your partner. Equip your relationship—purchase technology or services that will help your relationship flourish. Expand your relationship—reach out, support and learn from other couples. In their book He Said, She Said, the Laffoons suggest that there are at least eight phrases that we and our partners want to hear that will help to strengthen our relationships. As we strengthen our relationships, we are also having an impact on our community and our world. As it turns out, words are important. Some of us may have grown up with the notion “words are cheap—do something to show me what you mean.” However, many of us have a hard time reading the messages that are sent without words. After all, words and language are what distinguish us from many other animal species on this planet. The truth is that we cannot read each other’s minds. So what are those phrases that we need to hear? Of course, we want to hear the phrase “I love you” from our partner. Most of us cannot hear it too often. Another phrase that is important to us is “I‘m proud of you”. We often know that our children need to hear that from us as parents, but it is also important for us to let our partner know that we are proud of him/her. Most relationships are based on trust and respect, so our partner needs to hear us say “I respect you”. We may think that we show that on a fairly regular basis, but again, saying the words may carry special meaning to our partner. Because we cannot read each other’s minds, our partner needs to hear us say “I

need (blank) from you”. Sometimes we are guilty of holding hurt feelings because our partner has not figured out what we need. These hurt feelings can fester and grow and spoil an otherwise good relationship simply because we expected our partner to figure out what we needed or wanted them to do for us.

HURT FEELINGS CAN FESTER AND GROW AND SPOIL AN OTHERWISE GOOD RELATIONSHIP SIMPLY BECAUSE WE EXPECTED OUR PARTNER TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WE NEEDED OR WANTED THEM TO DO FOR US. Other phrases that need to be verbalized to our partners are “I desire you”; “I want you”; “I cherish you”; and “I believe in you”. Words of endearment may be hard for some people to say, but in our special relationships they are critical for our partner to hear. We may not have witnessed this behavior in the family we grew up in, but we can learn how to do it in a meaningful way so that our own relationship can grow and flourish. Keep the “woo” and “wow” alive in your relationship!

Clark & Ruth Achelpohl


Great Dates at Central will be held on Saturday, October 15 at 5PM. We will be sharing more materials from Jay & Laura Laffoon on keeping the “Woo” and “Wow” alive and well in your relationship. The cost is $15 per couple. Please contact Betty in the CUMC office to let her know whether you will be attending so that we may plan for childcare. You may reach her at 816-753-1844 or As always, we look forward to seeing you!


central culture Mather Class September Schedule October 2

Dr. Warren Carter | Professor of New Testament

The Dead Sea Scrolls: What are they? Where do they come from?

October 9

Laura Bruce, Dorthea May Olsen, Nancy Kinkaid, & Diane Brown

Long time leaders in the United Methodist Women’s Mission program will give the history of their many successes, present day national and international activities, and discuss the future of the mission movement.

October 16

Judi Korneman, 13-year Kansas City Zoo Docent and retired nurse

“Mothering a Newborn Orangutan, Rejected by Its Mother” Judi tells the story of 5 months of round-the-clock loving care by human stepmothers until a new “mother” could be found. She shows pictures of her experiences and devotion.

October 23 & 30

Along with other classes, the Mather Class will begin a short series of class discussions on the book by Bishop Robert Schnase, “Practicing Extravagant Generosity”. Books may be purchased at the church for a nominal fee and each discussion will be led by a different person selected by Pastor Jim Simpson.

Sunday Morning Christian Education at Central United Methodist All classes meet at 9:30am on Sundays. The Pastor’s Class Kenwood Hall Study of Acts

Samaritans’ Class Oak Hall Young Adults

The Mather Class

Wesley Hall “A class for all ages studying the Bible, our community, and the world.”

Age 3 - Kindergarten Room 105

1st - 5th Grade

October Youth Meals 10/2: Debby Powell 10/9: Greens 10/16: Tafts 10/23: Marianna McGuire 10/30: no dinner - Trunk or Treat

Youth Updates School days are back again! With everyone returning to school, it was time for the second annual back-to-school bash on September 18. We had a great turnout and enjoyed the beautiful spring weather as we had a West Entrance cookout. Chef Megan prepared burgers and huge hotdogs (where does Costco get those things?), and the Mill Creek dinner crew finished up feeding the homeless just in time to join us for dinner. The construction project took up our water slide area this year, but we had a very competitive ultimate Frisbee game (until the cat came by and distracted half the team) and crowned a grand champion of the orange roll. A special thanks to those who provided our weekly meals in September—Rosemary Adams, the Stewarts, and the Joneses. We have an exciting spring in youth coming up, as Cara Megan spearheads another artistic contribution to Trunk or Treat, Becca starts working on another summer mission trip for 2012, Kyle kicks off the youth worship choir/band, and Meredith and Megan continue to find creative pantyhose games. Please join us on Sundays from 5-7 p.m, and bring a friend!

Room 206

6th - 12th Grade Youth Room

“The Nest” (Nursery) Room 107



Central Singers will be offering Te Deum by Mark Hayes for worship on December 11. Please let me know if you are interested in singing for Christmas, for now is the time to join in with rehearsals. We’ll start working on the piece this Wednesday; all are welcome! - Kyle Linson


Upcoming CECC Events CECC


October will continue to be a very busy month at CECC. Families will be conferencing with teachers on October 18 to set goals for their children. On October 19-20 the students at CECC will have individual photographs taken by Classy Kids Photography. CECC will be hosting our annual Scholastic Preschool Book Fair during the week of October 16 – 21. This event will allow CECC and Sunday school classrooms to earn back a percentage of the total sales in books to enhance our children’s libraries. Central visitors and members will have the opportunity to shop during the Book Fair Kickoff on Sunday, Oct. 16 and all during the following week. This is a great way to get some holiday shopping finished early! On October 31 UMKC Law School will be hosting our students for their annual costume parade. Everyone is invited to ‘dress up’ and join us at noon for this fabulously fun annual event.

“Building Strong Foundations”

For the last ten years, the church has been operating in a deficit budget. We’ve borrowed from savings and underpaid apportionments to offset this shortfall. Expenses have been cut to bare bones and donations to the church have flatlined for the last several years. As a result, the church will be conducting a stewardship education campaign—The Heart of Giving—starting in October to detail the situation and educate members

on what they can do to help. The campaign will begin October 23 and conclude on Pledge Sunday, November 20. we will support your analysis with weekly reports in church, small group meetings, and religious giving literature. Our goal is to increase pledged donations by 15% for 2012 ($50,000). Look for more information to come later this month.

To connect to the current happenings here at Central UMC, the classrooms at CECC have titled their program-wide goal this year “Building Strong Foundations”. Throughout the year, teachers will plan activities and set up classrooms to enhance and build upon this goal. On October 11, CECC will host the first family event of the year. Our Open House will begin with a potluck dinner at 6:00 pm in Kenwood Hall. From 6:307:30, families and friends are invited to explore and enjoy activities in each classroom. The theme of the night will be “Building Strong Foundations.” This will be a great opportunity to make connections with other Central families and staff!

The Heart of Giving: Extravagant Generosity Congregations who seek to form people into followers of Christ have a responsibility to think deeply, prepare thoroughly, act wisely, and teach courageously about the relationship between faith and money. how does our giving affect our relationship to God? How does our relationship to God affect our giving? How does being a follower of Jesus shape all our behaviors concerning money—how it is earned, spent, saved, and offered to God?”

The Heart of Giving is a stewardship education program to lead our congregation more deeply into the practice of extravagant generosity. in October and November, we will ask every person at Central to read Bishop Schnase’s Practicing Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving.” We will ask every Sunday School class; every small group; and form special groups to read these daily devotions for four weeks. We will provide information and share in conversation about the financial realities of Central UMC and how we grow into faithfulness through generosity. Watch for more information in the coming weeks.


outreach reStart: Save These Dates!

Risk-Taking Missions Update

What do October 2, November 6th and December 18th all have in common? They are the dates Central will be hosting “Taco Salad As You Please” supper at reStart, a homeless shelter and food kitchen in downtown Kansas City. We have a terrific group of volunteers set for October 2nd and November 6th, but are looking for a Holiday Team for December 18th. It’s not too early to plan to show your outreach to the community via serving at reStart. Only takes 4 hours of your time on a Sunday afternoon... from it you’ll have a lifetime of great memories having helped someone in need in our community.

Central is on the move and we have a lot more planned for the coming months!

As part of our supper, we gather the ingredients, prepare and serve the meals. We are always looking for donations, both financial and ingredients, to make the 165 suppers. The ingredients list is posted in the Breezeway (hallway down from the Church offices) or you can call Betty at 816.753.1844 (email works too to select what you’d like to donate. We look forward to your active participation in this wonderful ministry of Central UMC. Thanks to you, we can make it happen! Sherri Scharff, Jill Gonzagowski and Susan Odneal, your reStart Team Leaders

Graham Porter: Impressionistic Photographs Graham Porter is the featured artist whose impressionist photographs are currently on view in the hallway at Central. The images featured in this exhibition were taken during Graham’s travels in Europe between 1980 and 2000. With the use of a mottled pane of glass in the darkroom, Graham began creating what he would term “Old World Impressionistic Photographs.” The result is a tender gaze into the European countryside, where a viewer is ushered into a notion of place and a sweet, welcoming sense of belonging. At age 94, Graham has started a blog, a modern day medium to share his messages of hope and his distinctive perspective on the world. You can follow his blog at Contact Cara Megan Lewis at 415.531.6339 with any questions about Graham’s work.


In September, Central partnered with Broadway, Country Club, St. James, & St. John’s UMCs as part of Serve2011, a program throughout the state of Missouri developed by our conference. Over 350 people were involved in delivering 43,375 pounds of potatoes to over 20 food pantries, delivering over 100 meals, cleaning and repairing a UMC foot pantry, packaging and distributing over 2200 undergarments, and bringing hundreds of pounds of food to Harvester’s. This was all coordinated through If you would like to see a video of our work, visit Save the date! Upcoming Events: On October 30 we have Trunk or Treat, which will be a chance for neighborhood kids to trick-or-treat safely. Soon after, the “Most Fowl Congregation” contest will take place—this is a friendly competition between Central and other UMC congregations to see who can donate the most turkeys to Harvesters. Other events coming up: All-Church Thanksgiving Dinner–November 20; The Polar Express movie night–December 3rd; and Breakfast with Santa on December 17.

Central Cares—Help Us Show It! Wanted: People with big hearts, willing spirits, and a keen interest in doing some radical hospitality! Job description: Call on or make phone calls to Central members who may be either homebound or temporarily needing a compassionate ear. Time commitment: Approximately 1 hour/month. Skills: Ability to listen and chat with other people. Experience: Entry-level to professional. Number of openings: Unlimited. Why? No pastor has enough hours in the day to do all the visitation he/she wants and needs to do. We are hoping to create a team who will support Jim in some of the reaching out that he does every day. Where to apply: Wesley Hall, immediately after the 10:50 service on October 16. “Recruiters” will be there to answer your questions and get you connected with someone who would love to hear from you (light refreshments will be provided). Submitted by Maggie Holley and Connie Hartline

central culture Practice Presence A traveling contemplative prayer group led by Cara Megan Lewis. Wednesday mornings, 7:45-8:30am, locations listed at right. Practice Presence is a weekly invitation to be in contemplative prayer– “prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.” The focus of the 45 minutes together will be on developing the practice of centering prayer and other meditative exercises. Every 1-2 weeks the location of the prayer group will change providing the opportunity to experience the benefits of travel (rejuvenation, perspective, peace) in the convenience of our own greater Kansas City backyard. We begin with 10 minutes of settling in (drinking tea, absorbing the surroundings). Following a short reading and introduction, there will be 20 minutes of silent meditation–seated and/or walking. We will end the time promptly at 8:30 am with an opportunity to share discoveries and recent news. Contact Cara Megan Lewis with any questions, or 415.531.6339.

“I am delighted to report that a group has been practicing presence weekly at gardens in Kansas City for three weeks now. We have explored centering prayer, walking meditations, and have waitied in silence to hear God’s voice and practiced leaning into God’s presence. In the first week of October, we will meet at Roxy Paine’s sculpture Ferment in the Nelson-Atkins Sculpture

October 5: Nelson-Atkins Sculpture Garden Roxy Paine Dendroid Sculpture, Ferment, enter off of Rockhill Road October 12: Local Vineyard TBA (meet at Central at 7:30 to travel to site together) October 19: Town of Kansas Observation Deck on Missouri River entry on 2nd and Main, KCMO, 64105 October 26: Labyrinth TBA (meet at Central at 7:30 am to travel to site together) November 2: Nelson-Atkins Sculpture Garden Roxy Paine Dendroid Sculpture, Ferment, enter off of Rockhill Road November 9: Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral 415 West 13th Street, KCMO, 64105 November 16: Falling Down Cathedral 21st and Benton Blvd, Historic Northeast KCMO November 23: Pilgrim Chapel 3801 Gillham Road Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Garden. This large tree-shaped sculpture offers a great opportunity to track our spiritual journey—where we each feel we are currently and where we might like to imagine ourselves in our relationship with God. I look forward to practicing with you.” - Cara Megan Lewis

“Yes, Virginia; There is a UMW” This is not a reply from Santa Claus, it is fact. At Central, we do have a UMW group. It is smaller than it used to be, but it is still doing global mission work, promoting supportive felUNITED lowship, and helping women to become whole persons in METHODIST their belief in Jesus Christ. Don’t you need this? If we don’t WOMEN do it, who will?

month in the morning (contact Peggy Shaw); Rebekah Guild meets on the second Tuesday in the evening (contact Cindy Wienstroer); and Lydia Guild meets on the second Saturday morning, (contact Laura Bruce). If you don’t think you fit in these guilds, we would love to help you start a new one. Contact Laura Bruce for details.

This is not new. This has been our purpose for over a hundred The next meeting of the whole UMW will be our World Thanks years. At Central, there are three units, and we invite you to Offering meeting, held on the day we have our all-church join one. Joanna Guild meets on the third Wednesday of the Thanksgiving meeting. 10/2: Carla Warriner 10/4: Peggy Simpson 10/6: Betsy Ballard 10/7: Larry Denton 10/8: Kathryn Buenger, Bette Rhule 10/9: Lorna Brammel, Carla Klukvin 10/10: Wilma Heckart, Carrie Vanderford 10/11: Laura Bruce 10/12: Barbara Campbell, Vimala Dasari, Fritz Heffinger, Brennan McCall 10/13: Mitch Anderson 10/14: James Clark, Bea Kamp, Paul Weigel 10/15: Connie Hartline, Jennifer Markham, Cody Wesche 10/18: John Hattaway, Matthew McMillan 10/19: Becca Bruce, Alleene Martin 10/20: Milke Jasa 10/21: Pam Flory, Andrew McMillan 10/22: Steven Boeck, Evey Hattaway OCTOBER 10/23: Barb Shelly 10/24: Stephen Cutelli 10/25: Connor Miller 10/27: Kristina McCall 10/28: Christie Anderson, BIRTHDAYS Donna Peck 10/29: Steven DeWilde 10/30: Avery Lemon, Harper Page


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Kansas City, MO Permit No. 4561 CENTRALCARES.COM

OCtober 30 | 6-8PM cUMC parking lot

Central United Methodist Staff

Address Service Requested MAILED THURSDAY, SEPT. 29

Jim Simpson | Pastor

Kyle Linson | Dir. of Music & Worship Arts

Justin McCoy | Organist/Pianist

Donna Brown | Dir. of Early Childhood Center

Betty Clay | Administrative Assistant

Lee Jackson | Dir. of Children & Family Ministries

Abby Carr | Publications Assistant

Steve & Greg Cutelli | Evening Receptionists Lisa Wynn | Sunday Receptionist


CECC Open House: October 11, 6-7:30pm | CECC Pre-K Scholastic Book Fair: October 16-21 Trunk or Treat: October 30, 6-8pm | All-Church Thanksgiving Dinner: November 20 The Polar Express Movie Night: December 3, 6-8pm | Breakfast with Santa: December 17

Central Messenger - October 2011  

the monthly newsletter of Central United Methodist Church.