We begin with a prayer that our consciousness of God’s loving presence in our lives is continuing to grow, even amidst the hard, harsh times in which we live. May God’s faithfulness become, for you, a deep river of power flowing through all the ups and downs of your daily life. Pray your fears and on the other side, you will find courage. Pray your hopes, and you will be given sight of higher ground and knowledge of a way to climb there. Pray for everything and everyone you love, and you will find yourself being lifted above all pain and sorrow. May God hasten you to success in all your work. May you see the Epiphany star going before you no matter what is happening around you. In the name and power of Jesus, Amen.
We are about to become an Earth Care Congregation as a result of working together to meet the guidelines of the Presbyterian Church, USA. We are one of only three churches in the Presbyterian Church in this region, to do this. Consciously working to make our building green, creating messages of love for the Earth in worship, developing adult and children’s Earth Care educational activities, and reaching out to the community are all part of this mission. The team has met twice now. We hope you will consider joining as we begin to create an identity and a mission for ourselves. We will be looking for ways to support local initiatives to make buildings more energy efficient, and incorporate more LED lighting and electric buses in the city’s infrastructure planning. Metro KC citizens can still email comments thanking KCATA for putting two electric buses into service and encouraging them to electrify all KCATA buses to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the most recent KCATA meeting, they mentioned that they had received comments from three people (and mentioned their names) who were in favor of them electrifying buses and seemed to appreciate the comments. Comments don’t need to be technical, but more people urging them to electrify their fleet of buses within this decade can only help! Contact team leader Jim Turner if you are interested in joining our Earth Care team.
The Shower Ministry Team and Lunch Ministry Team continue to serve homeless and poverty-stricken people in our community. New volunteers who have seen what we are doing have arrived. Some team members have been serving every week or nearly every week for almost a year now. The large basement power room is also filled with washers and dryers, large cabinets with donated clothes, baskets of washed clothes with people’s names on them, and other supplies. The kitchen is constantly being re-stocked with donations of water, bread, fruit, cheese, and lunchmeat, along with purchases of bulk foods and supplies from Restaurant Depot, Costco and area grocery stores. Right now, eight to ten people make the Sunday Shower Ministry Team happen. Four people make the weekday Lunch Ministry happen. The struggling people who come through the doors are our brothers and sisters. In the spirit of the Passover Seder at Westport, we are always opening the door in case Elijah comes in that very day. We want to be prepared.
For Lent, we are raising money to bring clean water and sanitation to villages in Uganda and Kenya. Chris Roesel (father of Martine) plans to go back to Africa this year to donate his time and effort to work on building wells and creating real latrines and sinks for villages in Africa who don’t have them. While he is there, he will also give them guidance on other health improvements, like nutrition and malaria prevention. You can find out more about previous and current projects by going on https://www.facebook.com/people2peopleinc/. You can contribute on the links there, or you can contribute by sending money to Westport Presbyterian and designating it “Water.”
The Livestream Worship Team is growing in power and faithfulness. All eight of us are working together every week to bring a musical and spoken word message of love, justice, grace and healing to everyone who is watching and listening. Together we are striving for a greater, global God Consciousness in your lives and in ours. Keep praying for us, encouraging us, and we will do the same for you.
In our Thoughts and Prayers: We praise God that Julia Thomas has come through a long regimen of chemotherapy and now successful surgery for breast cancer. All that remains is a series of radiation therapy treatments, and then she hopes to go back to work at Pembroke Elementary School. Thanks to all for your prayers and support. Stan Morgan is doing much, much better after a brief stay in the hospital. Thanks to his sister, Deborah and his brother, Lawless, for all their love and support. Trail White, along with his brother William and friend Thonette Ryan, created an exciting short film adapted from one of Shakespeare’s plays. They performed and filmed this in the main church hallway. If you go to Trail’s Facebook page, you can enjoy the acting and the action. We continue to pray for Fred Culver and Rae Peterson, Deanna Wardlow and her family, Nancy Gay, Bettie Taylor, Steve Zeoli’s mother and Bobbie Testa’s aunt, Carly Simon’s brother and sister-in-law, Bruce Anderson, Freda Reynolds, Elidah Chibanda’s family (death of her son’s adult daughter after childbirth and a struggling nephew, Alex), Jim Beckner and Joe Criswell, family of Tom Bruns (Debbie Anderson’s brother-in-law) and Roy Fester.
Carly’s 2 cats are looking for a temporary home until mid-Summer. Carly is taking care of sick family in Washington and has had Laura watching her cats. Laura now needs to rush to New York to take care of her mother. Two sweet and friendly cats need a temporary home.
Several of us participated in a Car Caravan to McDonald’s, supporting a $15/hour federal minimum wage on January 15. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas joined us. The day was also marked by a nationwide strike by fast food workers, calling for the $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, pensions and a union to represent them. Decades and decades later, this is the same struggle that auto workers, steel workers, construction workers, carpenters, postal employees and so many others went through and finally succeeded, to the benefit of the whole nation and world. Siyahamnba! We are marching (in this case, driving and honking) in the Light of God!
Mark your calendars for an inspiring Livestream concert Make Them Hear You: Amplifying Voices That Need to Be Heard on Friday night, March 5, from 7 to 8 pm. Westport Presbyterian Church’s Inspirational Quartet and Pianists perform “My Dearest Ruth,” “Home of the Brave” (in honor of Matthew Shepard), “Martin Luther King, Jr.,” “Lady of the Harbor” and other works by Florence Price, Leonard Bernstein, Juliana Hall and other composers.
Rev Scott has been elected moderator of the Presbyterian Urban and Immigrant Ministry Network (PUIMN) for 2021. PUIMN is especially focused on anti-racism work this year. A team has been formed to develop a scope of work, search for and secure a contract with a local African American organizer to reach out to, educate and mobilize Presbyterians and others to struggle against anti-blackness and continued segregation in our city and region. Both Rev Scott and Stan Morgan are members of this team, along with Rev. Eric Garbison (Cherith Brook), Kim Carter (Linwood), Sandi Moss (Covenant), Rev. Kirk Perucca (Covenant) and Rev. Roger Nishioka (Village).
We hope you are continuing to stay safe, stay strong, stay brave, and we look to the day when we will all see each other and be with each other again. “Over our heads, we hear music in the air, there must be a God somewhere.”
Siyahamba! Stay safe and well!—Rev Scott