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 21:28-32 God's Word

[Jesus said] "A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go to work in the vineyard today.'" His son replied, 'I don't want to!' But later he changed his mind and went."The father went to the other son and told him the same thing. He replied, 'I will, sir,' but he didn't go."Which of the two sons did what the father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Tax collectors and prostitutes are going into God's kingdom ahead of you. John came to you and showed you the way that God wants you to live, but you didn't believe him. The tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But even after you had seen that, you didn't change your minds and believe 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.

When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things." —Matthew 21:23–24

Why listen to Jesus? Why take what he says seriously? Questions about the authority of Jesus were raised by his critics to his face 2,000 years ago. Today's passage is one such example. So the authority of Jesus is not a new question.

The early Christians called Jesus "Lord." That was their testimony of the crucified and resurrected carpenter and teacher from Nazareth. There was more to Jesus than met the eye, more to Jesus than they first realized. And in calling Jesus "Lord," they could not give him any higher title. For Jews only God was Lord. To call Jesus "Lord" was astounding. It meant Jesus was God. Such an idea astounds me even now, 43 years after my first dawning realization of this.

When I was baptized at the age of 23, I believed in God. I was convinced of the importance of Zion and the need for peace and justice on Earth. I believed God was calling me to let God change me so I could make the world a better place. So I was baptized in South Wales. But who was Jesus? How did Jesus fit in? I had no idea. But I kept asking myself these questions. I am a slow disciple and not very bright. It was a year later and by reading scripture, especially the Book of Mormon, the answer dawned on me with spiritual power. Jesus is God revealed in a human life. Jesus is God become human. Jesus is Lord. And so I kneel and then follow.

--Andrew Bolton of Independence, MO, USA

Prayer Phrase

"Attention is the beginning of devotion" (Mary Oliver).

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Holy Attention: Spend a few moments paying attention, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings. What draws your focus? Look more closely at detail and color. Notice what pulls or prods within you. How is the God-in-all-things speaking to you through what you see and feel right here, right now?

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.