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 1:9-13 God's Word

Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. As Jesus came out of the water, he saw heaven split open and the Spirit coming down to him as a dove. A voice from heaven said, "You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you."

At once the Spirit brought him into the desert, where he was tempted by Satan for 40 days. He was there with the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.


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.

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. —Mark 1:12–13

Jesus endured forty days in the wilderness with the wild beasts. On top of that, Satan tempted him. According to the scripture, Jesus faced his tempter and stayed true to his calling.

Today, we reflect on Jesus’ experience in the wilderness. In the wilderness, Jesus was tempted to question his faithful and trusting relationship with God. In the wilderness, Jesus not only shaped, but sharpened, his ministry as the anointed one.

The wilderness of life is challenging. Temptations that present themselves often seem innocuous or ambiguous. Through temptation our inner nature is revealed. Temptation challenges us to stand firm on the promises, the initiatives, and the enduring principles of God’s compassion for all. In the wilderness, we are driven to face our own relationship with God and create God’s vision where all are welcomed and invited. No one is banned from God’s vision for all creation.

Lent is not just about resisting the temptations we are facing; it is also about allowing ourselves to be shaped and sharpened to fulfill God’s ultimate vision.

On this first Sunday of Lent may we be driven into the wilderness to sharpen God’s vision for all people. We stand firm because the “angels are waiting on us.” Trust and praise God always.

--Moana Faana of Lake Mary, FL, USA

Prayer Phrase

I surrender into your love

Spiritual Practice

Centering Prayer: Set a timer for 20 minutes. (If that feels like too much at first, choose a time that will be comfortable for you as a starting place, committing to expand that time in future prayer.) Allow the rhythm of your breath to draw you deeper and deeper into silence. As you breathe, claim one sacred word (Christ, peace, grace, trust, etc.) emerging in you as an anchor to return you to the intention of your prayer when your thoughts begin to wander. Gently release the thoughts and images that come, making space for presence to the One who is with you here and now. Release, return, “be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:10b).

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.