December 18

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
following the
SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015, 3:30 p.m.
Featuring Guest Speaker
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 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.
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 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
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
12:25 – Daily Courage
12:35 – Love in All Things
12:45 – Joy for Every Child
Fundraiser for
The Food Pantry:
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
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 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:
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.