October eNews

Fall Institutes – Thursdays in October
Last chance to sign up!

InstitutesThis is your last chance to sign up for a Fall Institute! They begin this Thurs., October 3 and run for four Thursdays from 6:30-8pm. Institutes being offered this session:
– Pursuing Biblical Wisdom
– Jesus & Film
– Parenting: From Surviving to Thriving
– Racial Realities & the Christian Identity
– Art workshop
– Kids Institute — God’s Big Story & Me

Register by clicking HERE.
To help us plan for child care, please register by Tues., Oct. 1st.

A Celebration of Philip Lesniewski

Interview by Jessi Marcus

Philip Lesniewski has served faithfully on the Jacob’s Well staff for the past decade. He has touched many lives and has left a lasting legacy. This is Philip’s final week of serving on staff; however, Philip, his wife Christine, and their children will continue as an integral part of our church body. This past week, I was able to interview Philip and hear some of his story from the past ten years. I am blessed by his story. I hope you will be too.
When did you first start attending Jacob’s Well? How and when did you end up on staff?

I first started attending Jacob’s Well Church from its humble beginning. A small group of people from Heartland Community Church wanted to plant a church in Midtown with Tim Keel as our pastor; that was in the late 1990s. I was perfectly content teaching ESL full-time when a need arose at Jacob’s Well for a Children’s Ministry Coordinator. So, in 2003, I started working part-time in that capacity.

What are the various roles you’ve played on staff at Jacob’s Well? Other than the Children’s Ministry Coordinator, I have also coordinated an ESL School (2.5 years), recruited volunteers, served on the Missions Team and Koinonia Team, officiated weddings, led the Prayer Team and coordinated the Second Saturday teams.

What do you love about this church? One of the things I love about Jacob’s Well is the origin of our name (from the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John) and what it means to all. Jesus has an encounter with a stranger — a woman with a messed up life (as do many people). She walked away a changed woman because of the living water Jesus offered her. None of us is better than that woman.

What are some memories from your past decade on staff here that stick out in your mind? I have a hundred stories to tell about wonderful encounters I’ve seen between people and Jesus. One that comes to mind is from early in the history of Jacob’s Well. At the time, we only had the 5:30pm gathering and another congregation gathered in the church on Sunday mornings. The other church community, Roanoke Presbyterian, was dwindling in numbers as our church community was growing. In 2004, I distinctly remember one evening when all the Roanoke congregants attended the Jacob’s Well gathering. Most of them were in their 60s, 70s and 80s. They saw in us the life in Jesus that they had when they were our age. Roanoke Presbyterian Church then moved to legally bequeath the building to us. It was a wonderful blessing and a truly Christ-centered act.

What are your plans for this next season in life? My current plans are to pursue legal studies in order to help immigrants navigate the laws of this country. I have always been attached to helping immigrants but never as anything more than a friend and teacher. Soon, I will be advocating for them as a legal representative.

Second Saturdays

Second Saturday Team

Interested in serving JW neighbors? If you would like to join a team to help give leadership to Second Saturdays (our monthly service projects), please email Isaac Anderson.

Upcoming Events

Congregational Meeting – Sunday, October 20

We will hold a congregational meeting in Banner Hall immediately following each of our gatherings on Sunday, October 20th. It will last around 20 minutes.

Saturday, October 26 — A tandem event for JW Women
Come to one — or both — events!

Women’s Sweet & Savory Brunch

A great opportunity to meet and connect with other women of the Jacob’s Well community…and enjoy an amazing spread of food! Please bring a brunch dish to share. Last names A-L: sweet; M-Z: savory. **The brunch portion of this tandem event will take place from 9:00 – 10:30am.**

Kids Clothing Swap

Bring your gently used kids clothing, shoes, gear, toys and maternity wear to swap with other families. Feel free to invite friends — the more the merrier! Everything that’s left over will be donated to Uzazi Village, an organization in Kansas City that promotes healthy pregnancy and infancy for underresourced families in Kansas City. **The Clothing Swap portion of this tandem event will take place from 10:30am – noon.**

Fall Youth Retreat – 10.4 – 10.6

Join us for the Fall Retreat! This trip is for both middle school and high school students. We will meet at Jacob’s Well at 4:30pm on Friday, Oct. 4 and return at 4:30pm on Sunday, Oct. 6. Cost is $30 for the weekend; please bring your payment in cash the day of the retreat.
We will be traveling to Mann Ranch, a family-owned property in SE Kansas near Eureka. We’ll spend time playing games, swimming, fishing, riding ATVs and more! Please SIGN UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!! Don’t delay!

Click HERE to sign up.

New Elders at Jacob’s Well

The Elder Team recently added three new elders in July when two elders rotated off the team after their three-year term expired. We’re very grateful for the service of Steve Jernigan and Cheryl Burbach and for their time on the board. We’re excited to welcome Merritt Benz, Sarah Magill and John Power to the board. The remaining current members are: Kevin Morris (chair), Ian Davidson, Kelly Jackson, Ed Marquette, Jannele Mastin and Jeff Turner. In addition, the Pastoral Elder Team of Isaac Anderson, Mike Crawford, Jim Gum, Tim Keel, and Jessi Marcus participate in the elder meetings. Tim Keel is the only member of the Pastoral Elder Team who is a voting member of the elders.

Merritt Benz

Merritt BenzMerritt is a Kansas City native but calls Brooklyn, NY her “true home”. Merritt is a licensed clinical social worker and currently works with The Cancer Support Community at Gilda’s Club Kansas City where she provides programs and individual and group counseling to people living with cancer and their family members and friends. Merritt and her husband, Brendon, have two boys, Jack and Judah. Their ideal family vacation is being knee deep in a spring-fed trout stream casting flies, hoping for a fish to rise, and celebrating with a cold beer on the river afterwards. Both Merritt and Brendon see building intentional community as their life’s work and calling and feel blessed to be a part of such a vibrant and authentic faith community at JW.

Sarah Magill

Sarah Magill grew up on a farm outside Atlantic, IA. She attended the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Journalism School, ended up in Kansas City after college…and stayed. Sarah is a creative writer at Hallmark Cards, a film collaborator and screenwriter, a music-maker, a book-devourer, a (slow) trail runner, and a very, very grateful participant in the incredible community of Jacob’s Well.

John Power

John PowerJohn is Midwestern-born and raised and has called Kansas City home since 1985. He went to undergrad at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and law school at Washington University in St. Louis and is a partner at Husch Blackwell where he is a trial lawyer. John still gets out and plays ice hockey as often as possible. He and his wife, Diane, like to travel to northern Minnesota as much as they can, especially if the trip includes one, or both, of their grown children (Jensen and Brennan). John and Diane came to Jacob’s Well for the music and teaching, and stayed because the JW community just keeps getting better and better.

Revelation Series Resources

Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John & the Praying Imagination, Eugene Peterson. This is pastor Eugene Peterson’s meditation on Revelation engaging the book as the last words on scripture, Christ, church, worship, evil, prayer, witness, politics, judgment, salvation, and heaven. Excellent!
Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness: Following the Lamb Into the New Creation, Michael J. Gorman. This is a slightly more academic approach to Revelation, yet written in an accessible and helpful way. If you like Bible study, Gorman’s book is a great resource.
The Lost Letters of Pergamum, Bruce W. Longenecker. What would it have been like to live late in the first century? This “historical novel” takes the content of the New Testament and applies it creatively in a fictional, yet real, context. Using the format of a collection of letters, it chronicles the challenges of one first century community struggling to be faithful to God in a hostile world.
The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis. This classic by Lewis is not a reflection or study of the book of Revelation. It is an imaginative journey onto the shores of heaven with a guide who relates his experiences and conversations as he contemplates taking a journey into the “high country.” This is one of my favorite books. I read it yearly.
Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright. Eschatology is the theology discipline that studies “last things,” from the Greek words, “eschaton” meaning “next” or “last” and “Logos” meaning “word” or “study.” New Testament scholar and pastor Tom Wright has written a tremendously helpful and creative book exploring what the New Testament has to say about final realities.