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
816-795-9373
816-651-8255
simplydavew@sbcglobal.net

Shawn Mallas, Co-pastor
816-517-9080
smallas@CofChrist.org

Dave McDonald, Co-pastor
816-223-3740
ssgoodguy50@gmail.com

 

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.

John 10:11-16 NRSV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

***

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.

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” —John 10:14–18

My husband and I don’t typically make a big deal about our birthdays. We are clearly at the age where we would prefer to stop counting. In 2016, my birthday was on the Friday just before World Conference started. I was busy with a million tasks and back-to-back meetings all day. I was weary knowing there was a long journey ahead. The fact that it was my birthday had totally escaped my memory.

My husband, young adult children, and parents were arriving for conference in the middle of my chaotic Friday. I had begrudgingly agreed to take a few minutes to greet them in my office over lunch before rushing back to my duties. I really didn’t feel like I had the time or the energy to do the whole “mom” thing but I did want to give them hugs as I hadn’t seen our daughter for months.

Arriving later than I said I would, I was preparing for an angry reaction to my tardiness. I knew the group would be anxious to go to lunch, and I knew I was holding them up. The door to my office was closed. I thought that was weird until I pushed the door open and was greeted with a scene of flowers, balloons, cake, and my smiling family. I was drawn into a loving community who knew me by name and loved me as I was. I was able to pause and simply receive their love and attention. The experience pushed aside my weariness and reenergized me for the journey ahead.

My family is part of my core community that is being Jesus’ hands and feet—my “good shepherd.” Who represents the “good shepherd” in your life?

--Stassi Cramm, Presiding Bishop, member of the First Presidency

Prayer Phrase

"Every breath is a resurrection" (Gregory Orr).

Spiritual Practice

Breath of Life: Take a few moments right now to breathe. Simply observe each inhale and exhale. Pay attention to how it feels in your body. Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Notice how you breathe even when you aren’t thinking about it, how your body instinctively knows how to keep you alive without your thought or effort. In this moment, you are alive. Receive this awareness as an expression of divine grace. In joy or despair, loss or celebration, your body continues breathing. How is your breath a resurrection this day?

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.