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.

Matthew 9:35-38 Common English Bible

Jesus traveled among all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest."


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.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.—Matthew 9:35 NRSV

My husband Ron and I met Alexei when Ron went to the infusion center for chemotherapy. Alexei had cancer, too, and his chemotherapy appointment that week coincided with Ron's. He spoke only Russian, so a translator accompanied him, but she struggled with English. The conversation was polite, but limited.

In late morning, our nurse entered with her cell phone in her hand and an eager expression on her face. "My cell phone app can translate for you both," she said, "like this." She turned to Alexei and said distinctly, "Susan and Ron are ministers of the gospel, just like you." A soft voice translated into Russian. Alexei smiled and began to speak with animation. With the help of the phone translator, we shared our stories.

Alexei had been a pastor of his church in Russia and especially loved teaching Bible classes. He shared his testimony with us, and we shared ours with him. Our nurse joined in as she could, delighted to hear our testimonies. I sang a Russian hymn I had learned, and Alexei responded by singing another. Before he left, I offered prayer in English, while Alexei and his translator quietly prayed aloud in Russian with me. We parted with hugs, feeling blessed by the Holy Spirit that had enabled us to share the good news with one another, and grateful to the nurse who had made our conversation possible.

--Susan Oxley of Renton, WA, USA

Prayer Phrase

I dwell in your presence

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Spend a few moments recalling your day. Let details, events, and conversations drift through your memory. Offer gratitude for the day and pray to be aware of how God was present. What did you notice or feel that brought meaning? Pay attention to moments when you felt least in harmony with God's vision for creation. Offer a prayer of confession. Pay attention to moments when you felt most in harmony with God's vision for creation. Pray to be even more aware of and responsive to God's presence in the days ahead. Amen.

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.