Pastor's Note

February 28, 2020

Hey Church! 
Do you remember a time when you went “all in”?
It might have been that moment you proposed.
Or when you accepted the job offer.
Or when you shipped off for Afghanistan. 
There are these moments in life when we make a decision to jump—no going back. You may not realize this, but for me, accepting the appointment at First UMC was one of mine! I could have stayed comfortable in a successful position at my last church, or moved to Florida to be closer to my mom, or quit my job to backpack the Pacific Crest Trail for six months. But God placed this unexpected opportunity in my lap, and I had to make the decision if I was ready to go…
All In. 
But for every one of those moments, there are a million tiny, seemingly insubstantial decisions that ultimately bring us to places we haven’t chosen. You’ve heard the stories, and maybe you’ve lived them. 
It’s just another drink… until it’s a DUI.
It’s just a temper… until it’s a fist.
It’s just a little bit of money they won’t miss… until they do and find out it’s you.
It’s just flirting… until you lose your marriage. 
Sure, these are the extremes. But no one ever intends on having these things happen to their lives. It just kind of happens. 
And Jesus understood this. And he gave us a simple (but challenging) guide to having an intentional life. You know, the kind of life that you make instead of a life that makes you
But... I'm not sharing that advice just yet :) 
I hope to see you this weekend as we dive in to “All In”! You never know, you might just make a decision this week that changes everything
Much love!
Posted by Chris Abel

February 21, 2020

Hey Church!
Riddle for you: what are different sizes, colors, and shapes…and they hurt pretty bad when you step on them?
Legos of course! If you’ve stepped on one, then you probably got that right away! If you’ve peeked inside the Youth room anytime since December, then you probably had a pretty good guess too! The Youth room has been overrun by giant Legos that the Youth have made from cardboard boxes! All this work just for YOU!
This weekend is Youthapalooza! That is the one weekend a year that the Youth Group takes over all the worship services! They lead the worship, show off some musical talents, preach, pray, and anything else you would expect to see in a church service!
This year our theme is LEGOS! When considering what the Youth wanted to say with their one opportunity to take over worship, this theme became obvious. If you’ve ever spent any time with our Youth, then you know that they are smart, caring, and ready to take on the future! Because of that, they have something to teach us as!
The worship isn’t really about Legos. We won’t be teaching you how to build a really cool town out of the blocks, but it’s about what it means to be the Church. Not just our church here in Blue Springs, but THE Church! The Church that Jesus started, that spans across time, denomination, and includes so many different types of people! They are going to show us what the Bible says and hopefully open our eyes to what it means to be a part of the Church.
Think about this: YOU are a LEGO.
I don’t want to give away all of what we will talk about this weekend, because I want you to hear it directly from the Youth! I hope you come check Youthapalooza out! You don’t want to miss what they have to say!
See you this weekend!
Pastor Erika Braun 
Posted by Erika Braun

February 14, 2020

Hey Church!
On Wednesday this week I was working late, so I spontaneously decided to pop in on our student ministry. If you haven’t visited recently, it’s a pretty amazing group! Imagine this: 30-40 awesome teenagers running around, heroic adults providing food every week, and countless interesting smells filling the hallways... 
Well, believe it or not I feel right at home in settings like this. I may not speak the hip lingo anymore (if ever), or know what’s cool in the world of video games or TV shows (or Tik Tok), but I feel at home because I understand the impact an adult can have when they show up and care. I don’t need to be cool to make a difference. I just have to care. 
And it’s easy to care... when you think about what home life is like for a lot of these students. A few of them have well-balanced healthy parents in their lives. But just as many might be coming from a home where things are a lot rougher. However well-intentioned they might be, the decisions parents make in their own lives can create shockwaves in the lives of these young people. 
l share this because we’re continuing our series on “Love, Heartbreak, and Trainwrecks” this weekend, and we’re talking about the trainwrecks part! But when it comes to train wrecks, sometimes we think that what happens in our relationships only impacts the two people involved. Maybe it’s a breakup, a divorce, a fight, a betrayal. Some of us can even use the narrative, “well, it didn’t hurt anyone.” But the reality is that what happens in our relationships doesn’t just affect us… It affects all the cars attached to the train as well. Kids, parents, brothers and sisters, friends, church, and sometimes even work.
It turns out, we’re all connected. And when one car goes off the rails… there are often others that come with it. 
So I want to invite you to come to church this weekend as we explore some Bible stories that you may not ever have known… and trainwrecks that happened 5,000 years ago that have something to teach us today. 
Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! 
P.S. If you're ready to join the ranks of the angels who provide meals for our student ministry, sign up here! Oh, and prepare yourselves for a youth-led service next weekend! Excited to hear what they have to teach us :)
Posted by Chris Abel