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2BC BLOG

Page 4 of 42

A Note from Pastors Jason and Connie

A NOTE FROM PASTOR JASON

We must recognize that people’s lives are not organized the way they once were. We now live in a culture where, predominately, every working age adult in a household “goes to work.” This affects a family’s time and availability for volunteerism, learning, worship and other activities as well. Each day parents brave traffic to get home from their job, picking up children from school and childcare, sometimes shuffling them to extra-curricular activities, which happen even on Wednesdays and Sundays now. They then return to homes situated all over Liberty and Kansas City, often exhausted, but knowing they still want to find sacred space for their family to spend time together. Time with family is a shrinking, precious commodity. One young father once quipped to me, “you couldn’t pay me enough to drive across I-35 into Liberty traffic to get my kids from home to the church building on a Wednesday evening.” This is a significant part of the reality in which we now live. 

With these and other factors and opportunities in mind, our church staff has been working on ways to better meet the discipleship and service needs of people in our community, starting this fall. In the article that follows, Associate Pastor Connie McNeill shares these plans in great detail. 

Jason Edwards
Senior Pastor

A NOTE FROM PASTOR CONNIE 

We are truly excited about bringing hours of conversation together into a new fall programming schedule. There is a lot of information for you, and we are talking about various ways we can make it available, so no one misses out on any opportunity. To begin with, we have to create new space in the existing program. That starts with replacing our Wednesday night meal, adult programs, and children’s missions options. We want to have new ways that we hope will accommodate households in better ways to accomplish the commitments we have to our mission—to provide meaningful Christ-centered community, to nurture whole-life faith and to be a transforming missional presence starting in Liberty. Here’s a bulleted list of changes:

  • On Wednesdays, a pastors-led Bible study and brown bag lunch at noon for anyone interested and available; Wednesday night Community Groups can meet at church and will have childcare provided; Ministry Task Forces and Ministry Teams can meet on Wednesday night at the church and take advantage of the childcare provided. Adult music offerings continue as usual on Wednesday nights. Occasional Wednesday Dinners that are church-wide for special events will be offered.
  • Sunday morning children’s Sunday School will include one Sunday a month as a mission study for boys and girls and one Saturday mission service days throughout the year. The adult teachers in these classes are encouraged to sit in on the adult Bible study the morning they don’t teach. Deacons, Task Forces, Ministry Teams will meet on the second Sunday of each month. Standing Committees and Church Council will meet on the third Sunday of each month. Let’s keep the first, fourth and fifth Sundays free of meetings. Sunday morning Bible studies will continue, and we hope that those who aren’t already organized as Community Study Groups, will fashion themselves into Community Study Groups. (Cont. on next page).
  • A third Worship Service is currently scheduled to begin on August 12 at 9:45 a.m. The worship style will be contemporary with an acoustic sound. We are starting this worship experience for those not in a church anywhere who are looking for this style worship and for others who prefer this style. We are fulfilling our mission statement for some by creating this third service.
  • Coffee and Conversation Groups continue on the 1st and 3rd Mondays. Coffee and Conversation is an existing  Community Activity Group.
  • Women on Mission continues on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. This is a Community Study/Ministry Group.
  • We will relaunch Community Groups which are organized around one or more of the following foci: study, covenant, activity, and ministry. Our goal is for everyone who regularly worships with us to be engaged in a Community Group.
  • MOPS will continue on the 2nd Friday of each month during the school year.
  • Whole Life Retreats will be held on Friday-Saturdays up to four times a year. Our goal is that everyone who regularly worships with us will participate in at least one Whole Life Retreat each year. Our first retreat is in the planning stage with Carrie Bartlow and Tanna Campbell as co-chairs. The planning team also includes Angie Fuller, Heather Lewis, Kathy Benavidez and Hanni Guinn. Men will soon be hearing about an option designed just for them.
  • Zoom into a meeting! The church has a Zoom account for groups to utilize and to create a platform for us to offer online, live-time teaching, meetings, and other group experiences for those who cannot leave their homes.

Some of these opportunities are still in the planning stages, so details are still being finalized. Please feel free to ask any of the pastors about any of these opportunities that interest you and especially those you would be interested in helping lead. We are certain that as we work out the kinks, we will need to adjust schedules, add things here and there. and maybe remove things that aren’t helpful or meaningful to you. We welcome your feedback and your prayers.

Connie McNeill
Associate Pastor, Administration and Discipleship

 

 

Posted by Connie McNeill at Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Ramadan Mubarak by Carol Kingery

Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.  It’s a time of spiritual reflection, improvement, increased devotion, and worship by Muslims worldwide. Muslims wake before dawn and consume some protein and water.  From dawn until sunset they fast and continue to pray throughout the day.  At sunset, they break their fast with a huge meal followed by more prayers. 

“Salaam”, “Ramadan Mubarak”, hugs, handshakes, and smiles were our greetings as we entered the Islamic Center of North Kansas City last Sunday evening prior to sunset, which would occur at 8:30 p.m.  We were guests of Carol’s English as a second language student, Tahani, and her family.  The occasion was a potluck dinner after sundown during this time of Ramadan.  

Drew was well-taken care of on the men’s side.  Someone was always there to talk with him and bring him heaping plates of food.  Likewise, Carol never lacked for a companion and hospitality on the women’s side.  We had a great time and ate way too much food! We feasted on Middle Eastern dishes that we can’t pronounce and tasted wonderful

We left before evening prayers began at 10:00 (and lasted to 11:30 p.m.!)  Despite not looking like everyone else or speaking Arabic, we couldn’t have felt more welcome.  The warmth was genuine and plentiful.  Even though we did not understand the language, the universal language of friendship and acceptance was understood by all.

As coincidence would have it, 2BC’s Mission Committee is planning to provide baklava, brought by Muslim guests, at the July 22nd church conference.  Additionally, they are planning a community Ramadan fast-breaking meal for us next spring.  These are two events you’re not going to want to miss!  

 

at Thursday, May 24, 2018
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The Blessings of a Child, Part 3 Jackson by Jason Edwards

Being Jackson’s father has been one of the most personally shaping experiences of my life. Parenthood itself is profoundly formational. To say that it is both a wonderful and troubling experience is to undersell it, though sometimes simple explanations are essential. Such is the case here, in this short space, as any parent who has a child with special needs well knows. Simple sharing will have to do.

Our Jackson is on the autism spectrum. We knew this before we knew it, though it’s possible we’d have sensed it sooner if he wasn’t our first child. How does one know something is unique without comparison? Parenthood tests everyone’s mettle. We knew this. Slowly, we also learned our mettle was being tested in ways not typical for neurotypical kids. There’s relief that comes with this kind of knowing, by the way. Relief and grief and fear and self-revelation and all kinds of stories, reflections and explanations attached to those words that I’ll not share right now. Instead, here’s a small glimpse of one of the ways Jackson is challenging me to be better now.   

If you know our Jackson you know his mind is capable of exceptional focus. Hans Asperger once said, “it seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential.” Exceptional focus is at least part of this equation. With Jackson, this manifests in his love of cars, certain fictional stories, and history. It’s his joy to drill into minute details. And when he does, he does not like to be distracted or disturbed. 

Unless I’ve noticed, he overhears something related to his other great, embedded passion: justice. Try to get Jackson to talk about football when he’s focused on studying the Hindenburg disaster, and you won’t get far. But if in the midst of his thinking he catches even a whiff of talk about environmental, economic, social, racial or any other kind of injustice, he becomes more than curious. He then becomes passionate about righting wrongs, supporting the oppressed and working toward a better world. It amazes me every time I witness it. His heart is huge for others. And his focus is laser-like. I often wonder how God will use that. 

God is using it right now to challenge me. All of us get overly focused on our own stuff. Often good stuff. Our work lives, family lives, social lives, and personal lives all require energy and attention. AND we have been called to participate in God’s Kingdom coming and God’s will being done in this world, especially among God’s “least of these.” When was the last time environmental injustice, economic injustice, racial injustice or some other kind of injustice (that wasn’t about you) caused you to look up and recalibrate your energy, your attention, and your focus into a laser-like pursuit of something better for someone else? 

Jackson challenges me to do this more in my own life every time he looks up from something he’s personally interested in and says “Daddy, that’s not right. I’m going to do something about that.” 

Thanks be to God. 

Posted by Jason Edwards at Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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