Music Ministry at Southminster

jellenkc : March 23, 2016 11:40 am : pastors-blog


Maxalt generic When in our music God is glorified, and adoration leaves no room for pride,

buy Pregabalin er online it is as though the whole creation cried:  Alleluia!

How often, making music, we have found a new dimension in the world of sound,

as worship moved us to a more profound Alleluia!

Let every instrument be tuned for praise!  Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!

And may God give us faith to sing always:  Alleluia!

(“When in Our Music God Is Glorified” Text:  Fred Pratt Green)

Music Ministry at Southminster Church has always been a vibrant and life-giving aspect of our common life as the people of God in this place.  I am regularly in awe of the gifts, creativity, and skill of so many in our congregation who give of themselves to make our music ministry thrive—Chancel Choir members, Bells of Peace ringers, Joyful Noise participants, our youngest Sing and Shout kids, instrumentalists and vocalists who grace our services with special music.  I hope you will join me in an expression of profound gratitude for all of them!

Let me share with you some things that are happening right now in this important area of our ministry:

¨ Your Director of Music/Organist search committee is at work and already in receipt of several resumes.  Because we have only one professional music ministry position, we look for someone who has skill in both choral direction as well as instrumental ability, especially with our wonderful Casavant pipe organ.  Many thanks to Ruth Ann Unruh, Charles Singleton, Marge Reid, Tom Mahan, and Melissa Athon for agreeing to serve in this important task.

¨ We are so grateful for the willingness of Dr. Stephanie Henry to step in and serve us as interim Director of Music and Organist.  Stephanie has brought a positive and uplifting spirit to our chancel choir program and worked hard to bring creative and beautiful repertoire to our worship experience.  Thank you, Stephanie!

¨ Quietly and without any compensation, Marilyn Lake has given countless hours of her time to us as part of service to Christ and to Southminster as a volunteer director of our Bells of Peace bell program.  When we needed a new children’s ministry group for graduates of our Sing and Shout program, Marilyn once again offered her skill and her energy to lead our Joyful Noise Singers and Ringers.  She also brought our annual Summer Music Camp into being, an offering that has grown in numbers every year.  Thank you Marilyn!

¨ Many of you are aware that our Casavant organ has experienced issues with the structural integrity of the large façade pipes that are so much a part of our sanctuary’s architectural beauty.  These pipes were cast from tin alloy that has proven over time to be structurally unsound, leading to metal fatigue.  Casavant replaced 12 of the large façade pipes many years ago with pipes of the same alloy at their own cost.  Now we are faced with replacing all seventeen of these façade pipes, using a zinc alloy.  The total cost of this pipe replacement is around $60,000.  Your B&G leaders have negotiated with Casavant and your Session has signed a contract for this permanent solution to our issue.  The cost to Southminster will be $20,000, one third of the total cost.  More information will be available soon about how you can assist your congregation with this financial challenge.


Grace and Peace,


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From the Associate Pastor

jellenkc : February 19, 2016 6:22 pm : pastors-blog

“These special holidays give rise to various liturgical calendars that suggest we should mark our days not only with the cycles of the moon and seasons, but also with occasions to tell our children the stories of our faith community’s past so that this past will have a future, and so that our ancient way and its practices will be rediscovered and renewed every year.”

Brian D. McLaren, Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices




Greetings Friends!


Lent has begun and we have started our journey with Jesus through the wilderness and on to Jerusalem.  This is a season of preparation.  In the ancient church it was a time for instruction for those seeking to be baptized, a time to call back those who had become estranged from the church, and for all the faithful to deepen their faith.

The season of Lent is 40 days (not including Sundays).  Many people practice a Lenten discipline of giving something up.  While fasting is a part of Lent, sometimes it is helpful for us to focus on connecting with God.  On the church website, there is a Lenten calendar that makes use of the three traditional pillars of Lent.  There are days to focus on prayer, others on fasting and others on giving.  They are simple ideas, but are meant to help even our younger members focus on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

May this Lent be a time to deepen our relationship with the Living God through retelling the stories of the people of God and through honoring the practices of the church over the centuries.  How will you deepen your faith?  How will you remember your baptism as well as promises made to the children of Southminster and seek to nurture their faith in the coming weeks?

Let us return to the central things of God: the stories of those before us; the traditions of our community; and most importantly our ever changing and growing relationship with God, the God who loves us so much that God sent his only son Jesus to be our savior, to take on the sins of the world, and who has redeemed us.

Let us seek a Holy Lent!




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In Memorium-The Rev. Dr. Harold W. LeMert, Jr.

jellenkc : November 25, 2015 10:40 am : pastors-blog

In Memorium

The Rev. Dr. Harold W. LeMert, Jr.

Pastor Emeritus

Southminster Presbyterian Church

Our beloved Pastor Emeritus, Hal LeMert, died in the Lord on Wednesday, November 11th and joined the church triumphant in the communion of saints in light.  Hal’s active service as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) spanned 37 years, including 10 years as the Pastor of our congregation from January, 1988 to May, 1998.  Upon his honorable retirement, the Southminster congregation conferred on him the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus.

Hal came to Southminster as pastor in the wake of the sudden death of Pastor Jim Fry and he brought a pastoral sensibility and depth of experience to a congregation in grief.  Hal possessed a scholar’s mind and received his doctorate from Eden Theological Seminary with a focus on leadership through servanthood defined by the Greek term diakonia.  His stimulating and provocative preaching brought the Word to life among us.  Under his tenure, the congregation involved itself in AIDS ministry in the Kansas City metropolitan area and welcomed Daybreak, and adult day care center into our facility.  Hal was passionate about issues of equity, inclusiveness, and justice and was willing to take a challenging stand for them in the Presbyterian Church.

After his honorable retirement, Hal did not really stay “retired.”  He involved himself in ministry to college students both in Missouri and Kansas.  He and Annie relocated to Lawrence and Hal was very active in nurturing the faith of young men and women through the Ecumenical Campus Ministry program at University of Kansas, bringing his keen interest in theology and ethics into dialogue with them.

As Hal’s successor here at Southminster, I have benefited greatly from his friendship, collegiality, and counsel on numerous occasions.  He and Annie continued to share their deep love for this congregation over these last 16 years.  Annie has shared with me that the family would like for the final resting place for Hal’s mortal remains be here at Southminster Presbyterian Church.

A member of the congregation shared with me words of gratitude that Hal shared with the congregation upon his honorable retirement.  Here is an excerpt of his thoughts:

Among all the institutions of the human milieu, the church stands alone.  It is

a long way from perfect.  But I conclude, after 37 years of ministry, that it is

certainly worth our dedication, our energy, and our best efforts.


The Church may be burdened with our selfish spirits, but it holds always before

us a call to self-giving service…it is also the Church that reaches into our worst

hours and calls forth our best selves.  The Church may be burdened by my pitiful

humanity and yours, but before us all it holds the image of humanity has God

designed humanity to be.

 Thanks be to God for the life and ministry of Hal LeMert!

Grace and Peace,



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Communion of Saints

jellenkc : October 22, 2015 12:22 pm : pastors-blog

As we approach Pledge Dedication Sunday and look toward November and All Saints’ Day, I came across a question in the Heidelberg Catechism that made a connection between these two Sundays that I had never before noticed.

Question 55: What do you understand by “the communion of saints”?

Answer: First, that all and every one, who believes, being members of Christ, are in common, partakers of him, and of all his riches and gifts; secondly, that every one must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members.

So what does this mean? It means that we believe that all who professes Christ past and present are part of the body of believers. That we are indeed surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) from ages past. We honor and give thanks for those who have gone before us and we give thanks for the work of God done through them.

Then I took note of the second part. That each of us must share our gifts to enrich the church and in so doing, we share in the gifts of Christ. I think about this in the context of pledge dedication this Sunday. How have we benefited from the saints of Southminster? In what ways has the communion of saints formed who and what we are today?

I give thanks for their work and their gifts that has granted us a beautiful space in which to worship, the legacy of a strong youth program, the long standing work of Presbyterian Women, the history of a strong music ministry, and events like Journey to Bethlehem. We have been the recipients of their work, their gifts of time, talent and treasure. How do we contribute to this legacy? What will we work to strengthen or create and leave as our legacy to future generations at Southminster?

I invite you to prayerfully consider the legacy you help create. In what ways will your participation through you time, talent and treasure at Southminster and in the Kingdom of God add to what God is doing in the world? Join me in giving thanks for all the saints who have gone before us and seeking ways to be of God’s work in the here and now.

Grace, Mercy and Peace,


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Where My Treasure Is, There My Heart Will Be…

jellenkc : October 22, 2015 12:15 pm : pastors-blog

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where most and rust consume
and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break
in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
–Matthew 6:21

Many of you know that we have been engaged in a Stewardship consultation this year with our good friend Bill Cordaro who has helped us in the past with the funding of needed changes in our facility. One of the first things Bill did was to have your Stewardship team read a short meditation by my seminary teacher, Henri Nouwen, entitled A Spirituality of Fundraising.

I suspect, if you are like me, a quick reaction might be: I don’t really think of spirituality and fundraising in the same phrase. We all know the old jokes about the once a year time when the church comes around, hat in hand, asking everyone for money. We have worked really hard this year to challenge ourselves to think anew about the ministry of stewardship. We have worked to make this vital part of our overall ministry not just something we focus on for three weeks in October, but a part of our ministry for which we are asking God’s guidance and inspiration year round.

I like the way Father Nouwen characterized the ministry of stewardship:

…brings together needs and resources to meet those needs and shows
us new directions and opportunities for our mission. Even small acts
of generosity can grow into something far beyond what we could ever
ask or imagine.

This is what our ministry of stewardship is all about. Identifying the needs of the work to which Christ has called us—mission to our local community and the world, enriching ourselves and our children through education, engaging one another in moving and relevant worship of God, and reaching out to our neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ—and providing resources to meet those needs. As our Stewardship Minutes for Mission have shown throughout this year, those resources are comprised of our sharing of our financial blessing, our willingness to offer our precious time, and our gifting the church’s ministry with our skills and abilities.

Our worship services during this year’s Stewardship Emphasis invite all of us to transform the way we think about ministry, mission, money and our faith community…to consider the ministry of stewardship a vital part of our spirituality, our relationship with God, and not something which should be viewed as a burden or a chore or an unwelcome obligation which we grudgingly fulfill.

I hope we will all make a special effort to gather as a church family for our Stewardship Celebration dinner on October 11th. We will be able to see the broad scope of our ministry and mission during the ministry fair and have a chance for some honest and fruitful dialogue about questions and concerns that emerged in our Stewardship Survey. Mark your calendars now! I look forward to seeing you.

Grace and Peace,


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Advent and Christmas at Southminster

Sundays in Advent – 8:30 AM and 11:00 AM The Lighting of the Advent Candles Beautiful musical offerings of the season by the Chancel Choir, Bells of Peace, and guest performers. The Word Proclaimed—This year we focus on Advent as a time “in‐between,” miracles that have already occurred and God’s work that

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Journey to Bethlehem 2018

November 30th (6:00-8:00) PM and December 1st (5:00-8:00 PM) Come join us for a walk-through pageant that tells the story of Christ’s birth. We invite you to bring your family to our 34th performance of this free event which features seven scenes with live animals. Experience the story of wonder and

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ChurchOn Southminster App

Get access to the Southminster calendar, church resources, and manage giving all from your smart phone with the ChurchOn Southminster app. Click here to find the application for your device.

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