Federal Employee Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Thank you to all who contributed to the fundraiser for federal employees on Saturday, February 2nd.  Over $600 were raised for the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (a 501c3 supporting federal employees and their families) and tens of pounds of food was donated to the St. James pantry.  It was a great evening to demonstrate how quickly St. James can be called to action and respond to an urgent need.  It was also a heartwarming evening of fellowship.

Snake Saturday 2019

St. James is excited to again be participating in the North Kansas City Snake Saturday Parade on March 16th.  We need your help!  A planning meeting will be held in St. Timothy at 9:30 am between services on Sunday, February 24th and Sunday, March 3rd.  The parade’s theme is “Rock the Blarney” and St. James will be creating an papier-mache rock float entry.  A sign-up sheet is on the Evangelism Team’s bulletin board outside of St. Timothy.

St. James parade volunteers will meet that morning at 8 am for a pancake breakfast courtesy of the Gladstone Rotary.  Volunteers will then car pool to the parade staging grounds and be ready to begin the parade at 11 am.  The parade route is a little less than a mile.  Volunteers will walk with the float, smile and waive.  Those comfortable may hand out give-away items or stop to talk with parade watchers about St. James.

Important Dates and Times:

  • Sunday, March 3rd, 9:30 am, in St. Timothy – Final planning meeting
  • Sunday, March 10th, 9:30 am, stage in the Great Hall – Float building, papier-mache.
  • Wednesday, March 13th, 6 pm, stage in the Great Hall – Float painting
  • Friday, March 15th, 5:30-9 pm, [private residence] – Potluck, float assembly and finalization
  • Saturday, March 16th, 8 am, Gashland – Pancake breakfast
  • Saturday, March 16th, 10 am, North Kansas City – Head to parade staging
  • Saturday, March 16th, 11 am – 1 pm, Parade
  • Saturday, March 16th, 1pm – St. James parking lot – Float deconstruction.

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP WITH MLM’S CHRISTMAS STORE!

St. James members were instrumental in the success of this year’s Metro Lutheran Ministry Christmas Store at Immanuel Lutheran in Westport.  Thank you to the Project Group, who spent the year making beautiful quilts, knitting caps, decorating cookie containers and putting together Christmas stocking kits.

Thank you to those who baked cookies, made the stockings, brought blankets and shopped for gift items or donated money to purchase food vouchers. Thanks to Craig Simon for collecting 14 “gently used” bikes for the Christmas Store.

Thanks to those who loaded 3 cars and 4 pick-ups with the gifts from St. James. Thanks to the Guggenmoses, Schuettes, Simons, Stones, Grace Holmen, Connie Royal and Norb Stracker, who drove them to Immanuel and unloaded them into the “Store.”

Thanks to members who volunteered their time setting up the store or helped clients shop while the Store was open.

In addition to the items brought by members, St. James’ $500 donation through undesignated benevolence purchased clothing for all ages. Your generosity has made the holiday happier for about 900 families served at this year’s Store. Thanks for your help in fulfilling St. James’ mission to serve those in need.

On Being an Ally

RIC.gifWatching old news reels and war movies one is struck by the use of the term “Ally.”

“Allied forces moved into France….”

“Our Allies across the sea are standing their ground against oppression…”

“We are Allies in ideology with…”

Being an ally meant aligning yourself with something that may not at first seem to directly affect you “yet” but that you have a sense will require all the resources that can be mustered to ensure the rights or privileges of the other.

There is a movement afoot in the current administration to reclassify the way people who identify as transgender should be treated under the law in terms of civil rights. The movement is to move to “classification” of gender at birth, saying that whatever your external gender appearance” is should determine your gender classification for the rest of your life.

There is a huge problem with this deceptively “simple” approach.

Approximately 1 in 2000 births in the U.S. are of children who are somewhat ambiguous in their gender assignment. They are born “inter-sexed.”

In the past it was somewhat commonplace for parents to simply “decide for the child” and to have surgical procedures done shortly after birth to “assign” the gender.

The difficulty with this practice was that it is very difficult to tell at birth how hormonal changes that will not take place until the teens will ultimately swing one’s identity in the continuing spectrum of identity that is gender. Gender is not just the “bits” but also has to do with brain chemistry, identity bonding, and self-identification.

What is at stake is the entire classification of “transgender,” and with that the ability to people to discover who they have been created and unique individuals made in the image of their creator.

Our transgender siblings already experience difficulties in a number of civil rights areas. In addition to the personal work of sorting out who they are, they experience difficulties in getting passports, identification cards, and health care. They bear a disproportionate burden in discrimination in the workplace, and various “bathroom legislations” have made it difficult to use public facilities, stoking unjustified fears.

As a “Reconciling in Christ” community we affirm that God creates marvelously and with infinite variety and complexity.

We affirm that God’s creation is always “good.”

We stand with those who are discovering who they are in all that complexity and diversity.

We all acknowledge that we are not the person that we once were, and that change in identity is part of human freedom and personal growth and discovery.

It is important, therefore, that you hone your own “ally” skills in regard to your neighbor, that as they have need, you lend your own resources to them in terms of advocacy, welcome, understanding and willingness to love and learn.

We do not know as of yet how this proposal will play out, but we need to be ready to stand with our LGBTQ siblings in the midst of these times when their very existence and self-identity is being questioned.

Be understanding.

Help each other learn and listen.

Be Christ to one another.

 

Pastor Merle.

Kansas City PrideFest 2018

kc-pride-2015-love-is-the-cure1[1]St. James is proud to be an vendor/exhibitor at the 2018 KCPrideFest.  This is the festival’s 40th year.  It will be held at the beautiful Berkley Riverfront Park June 1-3, 2018.

Festival hours are:

  • Friday 6:00-11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday Noon-11:30 p.m.
  • Sunday Noon-7:00 p.m.

We could use volunteers to help with staff the booth during festival hours.  We will have games and an opportunity to share our faith and St. James with the Kansas City LGBTQ community.

We have purchased a limited number of parking passes and tickets for volunteers.  Tickets are $7.50 in advance, $10.00 at the door (credit cards accepted).  Parking is $5 (cash only).

We are also in need of a 100′ industrial grade (“yellow, orange or blue style”) extension cord.

Sign up sheets are on the Evangelism Team’s bulletin board outside of the St. Timothy room.

Helpful links:

 

Clothing Collection for Clay County Clothes Closet

CCCC-Light-Background-1The annual collection of gently used clothing for the Clay County Clothes Closet will be held from April 8, 2018 – April 22, 2018.  As you put away those winter clothes and get out things for warmer weather, bring the items the kids have outgrown or you’re no longer wearing to share with others who depend on the Clothes Closet.  In addition to used clothing, the Clothes Closet also needs some new items – namely underwear and socks.  To help with this need, we are designating the following special donation days:

Sunday, April 15 – Undie Sunday – Bring packages of new underwear for any age or gender.

Sunday, April 22 – Sock it to ‘Em Sunday – Bring new socks for any age or gender.

All donations will be collected here at church and delivered to the Clothes Closet on April 24th.

Restart Lunch

reStart-logoMany thanks to everyone who supported the February outreach meal at ReStart, Inc.  We served lunch to just under 80 residents and friends of the shelter.

Our next visit there will be SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018.   We learned a few things about the eating preferences of the clients last time and are adjusting our menu accordingly.  Thus, we’ll need donations of desserts, hot dog buns, apples, and halos (cuties).  We could also use cash donations toward the purchase of potato salad and canned chili.  If you wish to make a financial contribution to this mission, just make the check payable to St. James, but write ReStart on the line.

We will also need a crew of drivers and servers to deliver, set up, and serve the meal.  Clean-up takes a few more minutes and we’ll be ready to leave around 1 pm.

If you are able to help in any way, please sign up on the sheets located in the Impact Center.  Thanks in advance!