With a jacket on in the morning and windows rolled down in the afternoon, we’ve officially entered my favorite season. It is hard to believe that another month has passed and even more difficult to believe is how much good has been accomplished in just that time! I’ll share more about that after I share upcoming opportunities to serve, something that inspired me recently, and a new award for Serve volunteer of the month.
Invite a friend to join you at 9am, at 1522 McGee, to be deployed to one of our partner agencies. This month you can introduce someone to our West Paseo Community Gardening Partner, The Healing House recovery community and stay for their Open House, My Father’s House furniture ministry, or our Wendell Phillips elementary school partnership by prepping JOY boxes for students.
Join us for lunch around noon this month at one of our favorite downtown lunch spots: Home Slice 1501 Grand Ave. KCMO 64108.
Between 5-7pm, gather with community volunteers at the Independence Blvd Christian Church located at the intersection of Independence and Gladstone Avenues. You’ll help serve over 400 people a meal who might not otherwise eat that day. RezDT hopes you’ll join other RezDT volunteers on the Mondays that follow Serve Saturdays to build community, so wear a RezDT shirt if you have it. You are welcome to join this effort any Monday and if you have a group you’d like to bring, contact our liaison Mary Landis firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure they can accommodate your group.
We are looking for more one time volunteers to help on a Monday in the incentive store and at the Dec 21 Joy parties. Sign up for either or both by clicking on the provided links. You may take a few hours to serve at one of these without any prior certification! We are always on the lookout for longer term volunteers to serve in these capacities and as tutors or reading log champions. If you have questions about volunteering, please contact our liaison Julie Doane email@example.com. To volunteer at Wendell Phillips in an ongoing way, please obtain your safe gatherings certification, attend an Urban Training at Leawood or Context Training Downtown, and fill out our Kansas City Public Schools volunteer application.
This is the time of year where you’ll find several extra opportunities to serve and invite others into serving through the giving of gifts. I fulfilled Thanksgiving meal commitments for 3 Kansas City Public School families for $45 each. It is so easy to give and make a BIG difference. The most urgent needs now are for Healing House Thanksgiving food donations and Lazarus Ministries Family Care Kits. Sign up for these here and learn about many more opportunities to give at the RezDT connection points and at our JOY in serving website.
I was recently inspired by a community member who sits on a committee with me that makes decisions about investing into new church starts. His day job is vetting entrepreneurs and his wisdom translates clearly for me into our work as a church. His words will inform a future sermon, so consider this a teaser! He said that he is always on the lookout for people who are in love, not with solutions, but with the problem. I immediately retracted from the word “problem” because too often the work we do as a church is with people who are labeled as “problems” when in reality they are powerful agents in finding solutions. He continued by saying that in business, he finds those in love with a solution limited in vision and out of work when the context changes. He used Henry Ford as an example. If Ford asked the people what they wanted as a transportation solution, they would have said “Faster horses”. Ford wasn’t in love with horses, he was in love with the problem of transportation.
Reflecting on my days as a chemistry and physics student reminded me that another word for a problem is an equation. I like this word because it forces us to think of a multitude of variables on both sides of the equal sign that must indeed be equal to be a valid equation. When we think of “a problem” on one side of the equation and a solution on the other it is too easy to see single variables, a hungry person and a soup kitchen for instance—problem and solution. Thinking about variables on both sides of the equals sign helps us to see equations that include gifted neighbors who are hungry and who are not, public policies, and simple migrations of people who are wealthy and impoverished. Being in love with the equation helps us to be open, resourceful, and persistent in our pursuit to finding the equilibrium between what is and what could be in our communities.
There is a variable with exponential significance that we as the church are called to include—God. We are called to keep God as the highest power and to remain faithful that one day Earth will be as it is in Heaven. It’s what we pray each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer. Between Earth and Heaven there is an equal sign. With God we are shuffling the variables around to create an Earth where there is no suffering. I pray that you’ll join me on a journey with confidence that you are a powerful variable in the equation. I pray that you, with our church and community, will be a part of making God’s Kingdom known and alive all around you. Signs of that kingdom come will be progress in ending the “problems” that cause people to suffer. Along the way, if you’re faithful to loving the equation, you’ll experience the affirmation of the fruit of the spirit, listed in Galatians 5, in you and those around you.
Dan Smith has demonstrated exemplary leadership in volunteerism-- captaining two Christmas In October houses, offering leadership to initiate and build capacity for the Helping Hands Construction ministry, and for taking an exploratory disaster relief trip to Texas last month. Thanks Dan for your exemplary leadership all while being a great grandpa. If you have suggestions on who should be volunteer of the month, please send me their name with an explanation why they deserve such recognition. Please feel free to nominate yourself if you have gone above and beyond in such a way that has gone unnoticed by the larger community.
Find below some photos with captions of the ways we have made such a difference in Kansas City over the last month. It is obvious that many are in love with the equation and willing to apply themselves as variables to create an equilibrium between Heaven and Earth. Thank you all for your service.
Check out some students in their new computer lab, installed by COR's computer ministry, at the Reading Nook hosted by Centennial UMC's TrueVine ministries to help refugee children improve their reading. The connection was made because of church leaders like Julie Doane's and Lisa Avery's involvement and vision for what is possible when we commit to relationships on the margins of our community. For more information is serving at the Reading Nook, please contact Lisa Avery firstname.lastname@example.org.
Genease and Virgil show off their shirts in front of the house they helped to repair during Christmas in October. They and over 50 volunteers from RezDT joined hundreds of other volunteers in the community to do home repairs for dozens of houses in Kansas City. If you are interested in helping with construction projects throughout the year, contact Dan Smith email@example.com.
Bob and Heather led an info session to recruit team members for our June 2-9 Honduras Mission team. For more information and to sign up on the website, click the image. We currently have 7 applications in and they are all women. Gentlemen, I could use some male camaraderie on the trip!
Donna Wilson helped coordinate a project for RezDT volunteers that would show some love to veterans this year. ReStart houses many veterans who would otherwise be homeless. For more information on ReStart or to volunteer click the image and contact me or Darin Challacombe firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pam Curry introduced me to this amazing meal ministry at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. I'm eager to add this opportunity to our Serve program. Contact me if you're interested in early morning meal ministries in Downtown. Click the image for more info on Morning Glory Ministries and contact me with interest in volunteering.
We participated in a 3 week study on Being Missional at RezDT. Together we considered the importance of Being Known, Being Called, and Being Missional.We focused our attention in week one on claiming our primary identity and the primary identity of others in Christ. As such, we see each other for our gifts and abilities intended for building God's Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven. We further recognized that identifying ourselves or each other by our needs and deficiencies inhibits God's kingdom building. With these gifts in mind, we took a look during week two at the Kansas City context into which we are called and some of the root causes of our community's poverty. We then considered the ways that our particular gifts can be applied to our context. In our final class we looked at the approach to mission at RezDT that offers entry points to service through giving and easy to access serve opportunities. Finally we discussed how worship, classes, small groups and invitations to leadership help people become more deeply committed Christians. A big thanks to all who participated and here is a sampling of the reading list I offered for those wanting to pursue studies on community development in the church.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing what's been going on in the Serve life of RezDT! Thank you for your participation and help in achieving our 2017 goals:
1. Meeting all the gift needs at Wendell Phillips Elementary School
2. Inviting new people to join Serve days
3. Participating in classes that help you improve your serve
4. Finding ways to serve sacrificially with your time
Grace and Peace,
13720 Roe Ave.
Leawood, KS 66224
24000 W. Valley Parkway
Olathe, KS 66061
1522 McGee St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
601 NE Jefferson Street
Blue Springs, MO 64014
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