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 15:21-28 The Message

Jesus…went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much."

But Jesus did not answer the woman. So his followers came to Jesus and begged him, "Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting."

Jesus answered, "God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel."

Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, "Lord, help me!"

Jesus answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs."

The woman said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eatthe crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked." And at that moment the woman's daughter was healed.


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.

Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David… —Matthew 15:22a

I grew up in England and remember that our family was not wealthy. We lived week to week on the wages my parents earned in jobs that did not pay well. We had a small car and the farthest we ever traveled was to the coast about two hours away. When I started to attend Community of Christ, I traveled to different places to conferences and camps but still never more than about a four-hour journey.

Soon after my baptism at the age of 18, I felt a prompting that I should request my evangelist blessing. During the blessing, I was told I should learn a different language. As I thought on this, I found it strange because my life was being lived in a small geographical area where the only language spoken was my own.

Not long after, I began hearing other languages as I traveled more widely to youth camps, area gatherings, and even World Conference. I eventually found myself working for the church and being responsible for the church in nations in Africa.

Who knows where God will use us to minister to those in need, those who are lost? Who knows who will be healed because we are willing to reach out and touch the lives of people who are different from us? Who knows what different languages we will hear and with what different cultures we will interact?

My testimony is that God knows and prepares us if we open ourselves to the touch of the Spirit.

--David Waring of Clay Cross, Derbyshire, England

Prayer Phrase

"… the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4).

Invitation to Spiritual Practice

Breathing God's Compassion: Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God's presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God's Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God's compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.

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.