Volume 72: Online December 18, 2014 Christmas Eve Services Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014 All Will Be Welcome! 12 noon - Celtic Christmas Service in the Chapel full of joy & the treasured harmonies of your favorite carols Special Music by Nicholas Simpson, & Tabitha Carroll, Iain McKee, Bagpiper, Jonathon Antle, Organist 4 pm - Celebration Extravaganza in the Sanctuary Special Music by Tim Whitmer & the JOURNEY Band, The Steeple Ringers Bell Choir, Lori Tucker, Plus – a special keepsake gift for every child! 7 pm - Gospel Music Service in the Sanctuary Including Millie Edwards, Tim Whitmer, and Ah’Lee Robinson, offering beautiful Christmas music from gospel, spiritual, & contemporary genres. 11 pm - Classically Traditional in the Sanctuary with cherished Christmas carols and glorious music by Community’s Chancel Choir, under direction of Minister of Choral Music John Stafford, and with special guest Nicholas Simpson. All services include Candle lighting & Dr. Hill’s Christmas message, “The Ultimate Christmas Star” Christmas Program This year’s Christmas program will take place on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 6:00 pm. Our Youth will narrate a retelling of the Christmas drama as our children act out the story. Please join us on the 21st for a wonderful program! There will be a reception in Centennial Hall immediately following the program. SAVE THE DATE: MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. INTERFAITH SERVICE SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015, 3:30 p.m. AT COMMUNITY Featuring Guest Speaker DR. CHARLES G. ADAMS From 1962 to 1969, Dr. Adams served as Pastor of historic Concord Baptist Church in Boston, followed by an appointment as the Pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit. Dr. Adams was the 1993-94 Conference Preacher for Hampton University Ministers Conference held in Hampton, Virginia. He has been awarded twelve honorary doctorates from colleges and universities across the country; has spoken before the United Nations (on South African Apartheid); and has received the coveted “Rabbi Marvin Katzenstein Award” from the Harvard Divinity School. View from the Hill Christmas Greeting – Hope, Peace, Joy, Love... Worshiping Joyfully, Celebrating the Arts, Doing Justice – I hope and pray that the gifts of this sacred season will be yours in full abundance. As we have been generously graced, let us generously share our love of God with the whole world. Christmas Blessings! Seymour and all those wreaths, trees, stars & creches– My friend Seymour dropped by my study at the church this past week to say how impressed he’s been by this year’s holiday decorations in the sanctuary building. “They’re really bedazzling, I must say!” he said with a smile as wide as the doorway where he leaned. “It’s always beautiful, but this year’s there’s something extra going on, I think.” “What do you think it is,?” I asked. “Well, for one thing, there’s more of everything,” he responded. ”Like what?” I wondered. Seymour gawked at me with incredulity: ”You mean you haven’t taken a walk around and seen it all?!” “I think I’ve seen it all, at one time or another, passing through all the hallways and all the spaces in the building, but maybe I haven’t paid as much attention as you have,” I retorted. “Tell me what you’ve seen.” Thus began Seymour’s roll-call recitation of what I had to admit is an overwhelming amount beauty and wonder. “OK,” he said, “there are 21 interior wreaths, 13 exterior wreaths, 2 greenery settings, 1 mantle decoration, 3 nativity/ creche sets, 1 manger carving, 2 Advent wreaths, 6 hanging baubles, 7 shining stars, and 7 Christmas trees.” “Seven Christmas trees, that can’t be right?” I questioned. “Yep, count ‘em! Some may seem a bit small, but they’re seven of them,” Seymour replied with beaming confidence. “No, I’ll take your word for it. I guess I’m just surprised is all. When you tally it up like that , it certainly is amazing. I’m going to have to give an extra-special word of thanks to Mary Reliford, Conchita Reyes, Marce Ireland, Kevin Freeman, Jeff Sidney, Pierre Walker, and Art Kent for all the hard work they did the three weeks leading up to Advent.” “Yes, I think they get an extra star in their crowns someday,” Seymour said, summing up his appreciation. “They’ve certainly given us some extra stars and a whole lot more!” I replied. This Sunday, December 21, we come to the penultimate moment before Christmas Eve. The focus in this week’s Sunday morning message will be on one of the most important and most neglected characters in the Christmas drama: the star. Fortunately for us, the carol “The First Noel,” has lots to say about that star and its significance for the shepherds and the magi and their world back then. And it says much to us in our world right now. My sermon in all three services will be "O’er Bethlehem It Took Its Rest,” based on Matthew 2:1-6. Invite and bring a friend to share worship with you this Sunday, as we explore the star-lit skies and see what heavenly message there is in the light that beckons us to the babe in Bethlehem. We will surely be illuminated and aglow when all is said and done! See you in church! Love, Bob CONGRATULATIONS Congratulations to Jean Sailors and Rich Bohon, who were married on Saturday, December 13, 2014, in Community’s sanctuary. Labyrinth Prayer for Advent Dec. 23— 2 sessions 7:30-8:00 a.m. & 12:00-12:30 pm (Meeting in the narthex at the back of the sanctuary) Considered both a timeless work of art and an ancient meditative tool, a labyrinth consists of a single path that winds inward to a central point or goal and outward again. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has no false starts or dead ends. As the stresses of daily life have rapidly increased, labyrinths have reemerged in contemporary society as a means to refresh the spirit, rejuvenate the mind and relax the body. Guidance and orientation for walking and praying the labyrinth will be provided by Dr. Hill, Rev. Smith (OIP), and Rev. Sexton. ENTERTAINMENT BOOKS Alpha Group is selling Entertainment books. The cost per book is $30.00 and the profits will go towards refurbishing the restroom in Bonfils Chapel. Please see Bernice Watson in the church office before church or at the back of the sanctuary during coffee fellowship or call Jonne Rose (913) 8889452 to purchase your books. They make a good gift or stocking stuffer. THE MITTEN TREE The Mitten Tree is up in the narthex awaiting your donations of warm hats, scarves and gloves for men, women and children. Everyone should be warm this winter season. Please help if you can. End-of-the-Year Giving Christmas is truly the season of giving. It all started with the three Wise Men who saw the star over Jesus and were overwhelmed with joy. When they beheld the Christ Child with Mary, they knelt down and offered their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Bible teaches us that one of the greatest blessings of life is a generous spirit. Spiritual rewards are based on the heart of the donor, not the size of the gift. The spirit of your giving allows work that makes a difference in our community of faith. Through your gifts, there are many ways the spirit of Christmas and the love of Christ can be felt by others – •Your Gift of Cash — A gift of cash to Community, generically or to your ministry of choice, could result in a nice tax deduction for you at tax filing time. •Transfer of appreciated securities. •Stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. •Life income gifts. •Life insurance & special accounts. Ask your professional financial advisor about the methods of giving that are most advantageous for you. Planning now and acting before year-end can help you meet your goals and greatly assist Community Christian Church expand its many worthy deeds. This holiday season can last forever. A check written on or before December 31, 2014, documents your generosity and may reduce your tax burden. To discuss your plans for an end-of-the-year gift or for more information, please contact Levon Weaver, Business Administrator, at 816-561-6531, ext. 11, or [email protected] Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 2015 Stewardship Pledges Norma Abernathy Norma Arroyo Jen Baker Brenda Barnes Suzanne Berry Rick Bevard Linda Blackshere Bernita Bogar Jack & Carolyn Bohne Ray & Nan Borden Erving & Margaret Brewster Kathleen Speer Brown Karl Bublitz Scott & Ingrid Busch Jorge Carballeira Dan Carpowich Louanne Cary Bill & Meredith Cecil George & Rachel Chrisman Bob & Donna Clark Jim Coakley Cliff & Pat Couty Tom & Diane Cranshaw Dale & Lisa Craven Michael & Christie Crump Judy Denney Overton & Sue Durrett Danny & Jackie Eberts Mitch & Dorothy Elliot Larry Evans & Gayle Woods Orvil & Helen Emanuel Ron & Toni Faust Cheryl Finke Lois Fitzgerald Greg Gildersleeve Sharon Goff Ron Gregg & Michele Dew Esther Gutierrez Darrel Hanan Matt & Katie Harting Dan Hartle & Kathy Tally Tom & Jeanine Hawley Gaye Henderson & Jim Dugan Edith Hicks Freddy Hill Bob Hill & Priscilla Reckling Kathy Hogarty Dorothy Holloway Pam Holloway Carol & Robert Hon Jim & Annette Howk Ken & Kristen Huber Marce Ireland Trent & Jan Jones Marty & Judy Joyce Art Kent & Lydia Butler Bill Langley Betty Laughman Dennis & Linda Law Catherine Lewer Shelli Lopez Jan Marcason Bob & Kay Maygar Ron & Carol McAdoo Mitch & Abi McCartney Donna McCray Ginny McKinney Joan Mills Ken & Jimmy Mohler Benny Montemore Donna Muiller Dzingrai & Memory Murambadoro Barbara Myers Sally Nelson Louise Nyberg Janet Page Uzziel & Adriana Pecina Donna & Jerry Porter Mary Reliford Ron & Judy Robinette Fran Rollins Jonne Rose Barbara Ross Vern Rourke & Cindy Gillespie Jean Sailors Tina Sales Elaine & Tom Scatizzi Bonnie Schannuth Katie Sexton Doug Shafer Doug & Sonja Shaffer John Sharp Scott Shattuck Bill & Pam Simpson Andrew & Becky Smith Caitie Smith Sandi Smith Virginia Stewart Steven & Sandra Stites AnDray Strickland & Shelly Bolling-Strickland Gene Sturner Kirk & Robin Sumner Bob & Sandra Steitz Eugene & Carol Suter Larry & Judy Terry Clyde Thompson David & Carol Thompson Mike & Sarah Van Horn Lettie Vogel Jon & Gayla Voss Irving & Corey Ward Bernice Watson Ann & Bob Weaver Levon Weaver Joan Wilson John & Shirley Young New Year's Eve Welcoming Service Wednesday, December 31, 2014 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. In the Chapel On the eve of the dawning of a new year, a midday, midweek service of prayer and meditation will take place in the chapel on Wednesday, December 31, 2014, for the blessing of the passing year 2014 and the welcoming of the New Year 2015. Members of Community’s hospitality team will offer welcome. Dr. Bob Hill, Rev. Katie Sexton, LaVetta Hall, Rev. David Thompson, and Rev. Kimi Yokoyama will provide words of encouragement. And Nicholas Simpson and Tim Whitmer will present inspirational music throughout this casual but deeply felt time of reflection and anticipation. The service will conclude with a deeply felt communion moment. Notable quotations for meditation and prayer will be printed in the service bulletin for your contemplation. All will be welcome! 12:00 – Welcoming 12:05 – Gratitude for Relationships 12:15 – Hopefulness in Every Situation 12:25 – Daily Courage 12:35 – Love in All Things 12:45 – Joy for Every Child Fundraiser for The Food Pantry: PUMPKIN PIE SALE! Pumpkin pies will be sold on Sunday, December 21, in the narthex, for $10 a pie. Someone will be at the back of the sanctuary after church thist Sunday to take reservaOur annual stewardship campaign is coming to a tions in advance so you can make close. Thank you for giving an estimate of your sure you get the number of pies you want. If you would like to e-mail giving for 2015! your reservation you can send it to: If you haven’t done so already, please turn in [email protected] The your pledge card to the church office or drop it money raised from the sale will in the offering plate at any of our services. benefit Community’s Food Pantry. Levon Weaver, Business Administrator MEMORANDUM TO: CONGREGATION OF COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH FROM: SCOTT BUSCH, MODERATOR; TOM CRANSHAW, CHAIR OF SEARCH AND CALL COMMITTEE SUBJECT: RECOMMENDED CALL OF REV. SHANNA KAYE STEITZ TO SERVE AS SENIOR MINISTER OF COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN CHURCH We are delighted to report that the Administrative Council unanimously accepted the report of the Search and Call Committee, on December 16, 2014, to recommend to the congregation that Rev. Shanna Kaye Steitz be called to serve as the next Senior Minister of Community Christian Church. Attached is a copy of the committee report that was unanimously adopted by the Search and Call Committee earlier this month. Hard copies are available in the church office if that is the preferred method of communication. As you will note from the committee report, the Search and Call Committee deliberated independently with input from the full congregation and Administrative Council over the past 10 months. The committee then submitted its report to the Administrative Council (both current and incoming) over a week ago to provide each member the opportunity to provide its own due diligence, to review the background and experience of Rev Steitz, and to review her materials from First Congregational Church in Los Angeles. We hope that you will concur in our excitement that Rev. Steitz will bring a warmth and enthusiasm that will serve CCC well over the coming years. Her family background in the KC area is a further plus for her, her family and for us. To help supplement the committee report, you are invited to review the website of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, where Shanna is currently serving. Please go to www.fccla.org. On the home page, if you click on the video you will see and hear "I am First Church" which is a production Rev Steitz has just put together. Also, to find her sermon click on Sermons, then find Shanna's latest sermon: “Even Mary Needed a Sister." As reflected in the attached report, Rev. Steitz will be preaching at a combined Community service at 10:00 a.m. on January 4, 2015, followed by a catered luncheon in Centennial Hall. The luncheon will be a time for everyone to become acquainted with Rev. Steitz, her husband and their two children. There will also be a time for general questions and answers. We hope everyone will take advantage of this special opportunity to meet and greet our proposed candidate for the position of Senior Minister of Community Christian Church. There will be a congregational vote at the end of each service on January 11 to formally call Rev. Steitz as our next Senior Minister. We hope that you share in our excitement as we look to the future. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact anyone on the Search and Call Committee, the Administrative Council, or either of us. We look forward to seeing you all in church throughout the Advent Season, as well as on January 4 and 11. Regards and Blessings, Scott and Tom Click here for a copy of the report: http://www.community-christian.org/docs/SSCReport.pdf Year in Review—2014 2014 was indeed a whirlwind of activity, love and change for Community Christian. We have a lot to celebrate and a lot to look forward to. Highlights of the year include: † Completion of all the desired projects the Church initially earmarked for our “Fresh Coat of Faith” Capital Campaign which, overall, included a new roof, organ, bathrooms, painting (exterior and interior), AV equipment in the sanctuary, chapel lighting, and carpeting in the sanctuary, chapel, and offices. † Remodel of the library and Main St. entranceway (including a new plasma screen bulletin board) through generous over-and-above gifts † Renovation of the 1st Floor of the Activity Center for the children and youth † Renovation, consolidation, and expansion of the Food Pantry (dedication to Fred Rollins) † Continued guidance and success of MORE2 † Increase in food distributed from Food Pantry to 200,000 meals worth of food/year and serving 550 individuals/month † Successful lease of the top two floors of the Activity Center to the Kansas City Art Institute, essentially taking this financial drain and turning it into a positive cash benefit to the church. = 10% of budget! † Receiving several generous legacy gifts that allowed us to purchase new air conditioning units and keep us from red lining other items in the budget. † Hiring one of the best Choir Directors the church has ever had. † The installation of Solar Panels on the rooftops of the sanctuary and Centennial Hall, making us “greener” and more cost-efficient in the long-run † Sending a near record number of Community members on the Jamaica Partners Medical Mission. † The search and successful calling of two new Clergy Residents- Katie Sexton and Caitie Smith † The enthusiastic rejuvenation of family support for our Youth Program, and the beginning of a careful search for a new Youth Director † And last but not least the successful journey which our Search & Call Committee took to secure an inspired succession to our beloved Sr. Pastor.
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