Lenexa United Methodist Church
We Know and Love God.
We Follow Jesus.
We Are the Body of Christ.

9138 Caenen Lake Road, Lenexa, Kansas 66215

Monday, May. 4th 2020

Weekly Newsletter—April 8

A Letter From Pastor Ezekiel
Dear Church Family and Friends,
Happy Easter! We finally got to the end of the cold season, and we are now in Spring. We are looking forward to Easter Sunday, although we won’t be able to celebrate it as usual. We will have a big celebration of Easter when we gather inside our church, whenever that happens.
Through the grace of God, I have seen some signs of a fire rekindled within our congregation during this crisis. I think our church will be stronger after this season of social distancing is over, and here’s why I believe that. Our church is showing in a tangible way its love for the community. I am seeing food pantry donations coming in. While not able to serve in person, we helped St. Mary’s Food Kitchen feed the hungry with a monetary donation. The love of Christ is being shown and felt in a powerful way. Another way we are showing love and care for our community is by not physically gathering together for now. Believe it or not, this is a way of demonstrating love and care. Churches that are recklessly disregarding state and governmental recommendations are unwittingly saying to their community, “We don’t care if we spread this virus. We’re just worried about us, our services, our numbers, and our offerings.” This is a poor witness to give at this time.
People are drawing closer to one another through social media. Sunday schools and youth fellowships have been continuing on Zoom. Mary and Liesel are connecting with the children through daily posts on Facebook. Church folks are checking on each other and sending messages of concern and encouragement. I’ve been so impressed at how our church family has rallied around one another during this time. I’ve even had people from the church call and text me to see how I’m doing. Others have called me and asked how they can help those who are homebound. That has meant a lot to me. As I often say, the church is not a building, but a family we belong to. That family is sticking together and staying strong during this difficult time.
Despite the temporary crisis we are in, I want to see good things continue to happen at Lenexa UMC., and I believe that you do too. Our annual Easter Offering is one opportunity to help ensure that exciting things continue to happen at our church. The Easter offering this year will support our ministry with Hillcrest Transitional Housing.
In His grace and mercy,
In-person services and events may still be cancelled through May 9, but that hasn’t stopped us from worshipping together!
We livestream one worship service each Sunday at 10 a.m. via our Facebook page, then post the video on our church website and email a link later that day.
If you would prefer CD recordings of the services mailed to you each week, please contact the church office and let us know.
7 P.M.
Tomorrow, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. will host a conference-wide online Maundy Thursday communion service. Tune into this livestream event, which will feature music, liturgy, prayer, a message from the bishop, and communion, here.
Participants are asked to have some form of bread and juice, if possible. Crackers and water are suitable substitutes.
The Great Plains Conference has put together a pre-recorded Stations of the Cross service for Good Friday. You are invited to worship by watching it at a time convenient for your family here.
Romans 8:18-24; Luke 24:1-12 
The Bible says, “In hope we were saved” (Rom 8.24). Salvation and hope go together. You can’t live without hope! There is nothing worse than the feeling of hopelessness or despair. Hope is our birthright as God’s people. So, let’s choose to live during this crisis energized by a spirit of hope rather sinking under a spirit of despair.
Rev. Ezekiel Koech preaching.
Yes, there is fear.
Yes, there is isolation.
Yes, there is panic buying.
Yes, there is sickness.
Yes, there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighborhood
so that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today churches, synagogues, mosques and temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way.
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes, there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic-buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes, there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
—Prayer from Richard Hendrick, March 13th 2020
If you would like to write a devotion for our Daily Devotions or if you have seen a
devotion that speaks to you, please e-mail it to
Mary Clow
During this time, the church still has ongoing expenses. We ask that, if possible, you stay up to date on your giving to the church by mailing in your contribution or by donating online or by text. Follow the link below to give or find out more about the ways you can give!
Please keep LUMC, the nation, and the world in your prayers during this difficult time. If you have a personal prayer request, contact
Pastor Ezekiel or the prayer chain at
prayers@lenexaumc.org. If you would like to be added to the confidential email prayer chain to keep your fellow church members in prayer, please
sign up here.
During this unprecedented time, we need each other. If you are on Facebook and have not liked the church
Facebook page, please do so now. If you a member or regular attendee of Lenexa UMC, we also invite you to join the
LenexaUMChurch Family group. This is a place that we can still be in community. We encourage you to share an inspiration, favorite scripture or success. Talk to each other. Be the church.
The Johnson County Food Pantry is still serving the vulnerable among us. As more people are impacted by COVID-19, their needs will continue to rise. They welcome all food donations, but currently are running low on canned meat, canned beans, dry beans, canned fruit, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, and soups. If you are at the grocery store buying food for your family, we encourage you to pick up a few extra things for the food pantry. Since the church office is closed, we have moved the gray bins to the east entrance. If you have a code to the church, open the door and drop your donations in the bin. If you do not have a door code, contact the Office and we will make arrangements to receive your donation.
The family living in the apartment we sponsor at Hillcrest Transitional Housing entered the program in November in hopes of finding peace in the middle of a storm. A family of 6, living in a small hotel room for months after being evicted, the family is described as resilient by the Hillcrest case manager, “after all they’ve been through they still find reasons to smile. Their optimistic attitude & determined mind set is surely the antidote keeping them afloat during these turbulent times.”
Both of the parents lost their jobs this past week due to the Coronavirus. Thankfully through their strict budgeting practices, the family has a small savings set aside. Hillcrest is helping the family preserve their savings for their next move with additional services including weekly check-ins with their case-manager to asses any immediate needs, a gas card, access to a food pantry, as well as mental and medical health support if needed.
As are all of our lives right now, their story is still evolving in the middle of a crisis. The family hopes to move out of Hillcrest and gain permanent housing in May. Please keep this family and the entire Hillcrest Agency in your prayers as they work to assist already at risk families in this unprecedented time we find ourselves in.
It’s because of the difference that Hillcrest makes in the lives of those they serve that the LUMC Finance Committee has designated this year’s Easter offering to support Hillcrest Transitional Housing. Lenexa UMC sponsors one apartment which costs approximately $7,000 per year. Thank you for your support of this worthwhile ministry.
College Scholarship applications are due
Applications are now available for post-secondary undergrad scholarships through LUMC Endowment Funds. Applications require an essay, two letters of recommendation, and an official school transcript. To be eligible, you must be a member at LUMC, have a 2.5 GPA or GED, intend to enroll as a full-time student at an accredited institution, and not have received an LUMC scholarship in the past. Request an application by e-mailing office@lenexaumc.org.
Scholarships for summer camp (Camp Chippewa, Institute, etc.) are available through LUMC Endowment funds. Request an application by e-mailing office@lenexaumc.org. The deadline to apply is April 22.
June 15–19  9 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
At this time, we hope to still be able to have VBS in June. VBS: Knights of the North Castle is open to kids who will be 4 by August 31–new 6th-graders.
Aftercare is available until 5 p.m. for working parents.
Registration forms are available online.
Lot of volunteers are needed to help, and we’re looking for paid aftercare workers who are at least 16 years old. Contact Mary Clow to sign up if you’re interested in helping.
The April issue of
is available now!
If you usually pick up the Messenger at the church and would like one mailed to you, please contact the church office via email or phone.
As always, it can also be read online.
Lenexa United Methodist Church
Church Office Phone:

(913) 888–5600

Preschool Office Phone:

(913) 888–6300

Lenexa United Methodist Church Journeying together toward spiritual and community wholeness
Lenexa United Methodist Church • 9138 Caenen Lake Road, Lenexa, Kansas 66215 • Office: 913-888-5600 • Preschool: 913-888-6300 • Fax: 913-888-5609

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