Open Arms logo We exist as a congregation to bring people to Jesus Christ and discover new life in community with him through fellowship, education, service, invitation, and worship.

Street Address:

1021 W College, Independence MO 64050

Mailing Address:

500 W Pacific, Independence MO 64050

Dave Winship, Co-pastor

Shawn Mallas, Co-pastor

Dave McDonald, Co-pastor


Welcome to our congregation! Open Arms presents basic Christian faith. If you are investigating Christianity, or if you are a follower of Christ who prefers contemporary worship, these services are designed especially for you. While we use up-to-date language, music, and drama, our Bible-based message is as eternal as the revelation of God's love through the life of Jesus.

Mark 4:26-32 God's Word

Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground. He sleeps at night and is awake during the day. The seeds sprout and grow, although the man doesn't know how. The ground produces grain by itself. First the green blade appears, then the head, then the head full of grain. As soon as the grain is ready, he cuts it with a sickle, because harvest time has come."

Jesus asked, "How can we show what God's kingdom is like? To what can we compare it? It's like a mustard seed planted in the ground. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth. However, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that birds can nest in its shade."


This meditation follows the format of Daily Bread, a Community of Christ resource that is available for daily meditation. It includes a short message, a short excerpt from the Daily Prayer for Peace, a spiritual discipline, and a statement of a peace covenant.

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” —Mark 4:26–34

It was after 5:00 p.m., and my workday was nowhere near over when the call came in. It was a member of our maintenance staff at the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo, Illinois, USA. He was at the nearby Community of Christ congregation, and a family of tourists from a western US state had stopped by. It was cool and wet for a summer day, and the forecast called for the rain to continue. The travelers hoped to attend an outdoor pageant that evening and were looking for materials to keep them warm and dry.

Who did they think we were, Walmart? I was busy. I assumed, based on where they were from, that they were likely not members of our faith and wondered why they didn’t turn to their own church. As I prepared to say that we didn’t have anything that would be useful, the words stuck in my throat. They were strangers, far from home, looking for help to stay warm and dry.

I recalled that we had large sheets of unused plastic purchased to fight the flooding Mississippi River and boxes of packing blankets from my household move. I delivered both and was thanked with a hug from a grateful child.

Seeds of humility were planted that day in the imperfect garden that is my life. They have sprouted into a greater awareness of the small steps that can be taken every day to end needless suffering and bring the Kingdom of God one step closer to reality.

--Lachlan Mackay, Council of Twelve Apostles

Prayer Phrase

Wherever I am, God is here.

Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?

Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Visit the Daily Prayer for Peace page to find each day's prayer and be a part of this practice of peace.