The Messenger

Lead With The Light

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Message from the Co-Moderators

Oh, February. Doesn’t it always seem to last longer than other months? If there’s ever a month which leaves us craving additional light, it’s likely February. Fortunately, we know that daylight minutes increase each day this month and the glories of spring are just around the corner.

Meanwhile, let us focus on:

  • looking for God’s light
  • working towards God’s light
  • working with God’s light
  • revealing God’s light
  • sharing God’s light
  • celebrating God’s light
  • letting God’s light guide us in every way.

The verse about light for this month is 1 Peter 2:9, which says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Thoughts collected from PW Board members:

  • God chose me; I’m God’s own.
  • Feels good to be included.
  • Claim the promises of God.
  • We are God’s children.
  • I often have trouble with “chosen” people language. I feel like everyone is chosen by God.
  • God has chosen us to be God’s people. God brought us into the light of Christ.
  • You are chosen.
  • “Possession” actually feels comforting here.
  • We are to “proclaim [God’s] excellencies”.

Consider the use of the word marvelous to describe the light. Consider the ways we can/should act as a “royal priesthood, a holy nation”. Consider any “darkness” you face and the various ways God calls us out of it and into the light. What “marvelous light” examples have you witnessed or experienced lately?

Love and Increasing Light,

Laura Langdon and Suzanne Willey, Co-Moderators

Come! Live in the Light!

“Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord! We are called to be light for the kingdom, to live in the freedom of the city of God…”

This favorite hymn of mine tells us of Christ’s light and love for us all. It calls us to be the light, “to love tenderly, to serve one another and to walk humbly with God.”

I hold in my heart these lessons as I witness the faith, love and light shown by the women of my Core Connect group. The peace, comfort and joy shared between us as we each walk the path of life is clear. The light and love that is proclaimed encourages each of us and it comes from Christ! He lifts us up to face life’s challenges and obstacles that come our way.

Where would we be without the light of Christ in our lives?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

- Patty Zender Grossman

Save the Date! Celebration of Faithful Women to be held April 9

The PW Board invites all to join us on April 9 at 10:30 a.m. in the Village on Mission Sanctuary, to celebrate the years of faithful commitment of Linda Alley, Lexa Carr, Julia Scammahorn and Cindy Wilcox! Guest speakers will deliver inspiration and joy. This is a no cost event; donations will graciously be accepted; and refreshments will be available for purchase at The Village Cup.

Meet Linda Alley

Linda has been fortunate to be involved in all kinds of Village Church activities since joining the church in 1986. As a member of both the large choir and the newer More Love Choral, including serving on its leadership team, she loved singing in this past year’s Tidings of Joy concert and hopes to do that again. She is a member of the Growing Together Sunday School class and a teacher for elementary, junior high and high school Sunday School classes, and twice has served as a confirmation small group instructor. “Learning and growing in my faith is important to me, and one of the biggest blessings in my life is to be a member of a Village Connect group since it started,” Linda said. After five years co-leading, she is stepping aside this year.

A huge blessing for Linda was being asked to go on the second mission trip to Thwake, where they went to see how the well was progressing and to open the brand new health clinic. “I have never encountered Christians who are more joyful, generous or live out their faith on a daily basis as much as our sisters and brothers in Thwake. That trip not only touched my heart, it changed my life in many ways,” said Linda.

Linda and her husband, Steve, were Shepherd Deacons, then were honored to become Elders, serving on Session right as Tom Are joined the church. “One of my first meetings with Tom was when the committee I chaired, the Young Adult Committee, delivered sleds to Tom and his family,” Linda said. Linda has served on additional committees – Stewardship, Sacristy, and the Sanctuary/Welcome Center committees. She has served on the Advent Dinner committee a few times, and participated in Women With Spirit, which led to being at retreat after retreat over the years. She recently joined Amazing Graces, and currently serves on that Board. Linda’s biggest honor has been to serve as PW Moderator in 2011-2012, saying “What a gift to work with amazing women and to get to know SO many Village women!”

When asked about her life story , Linda said, “Oh gosh, I was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. My family started to move every two years after I was 10; I went to three different high schools. I was involved in student council, clubs and activities, especially playing the flute in every kind of band. I put myself through Purdue University (Go Boilermakers!). I joined Alpha Delta Pi sorority, served on the Exec Board, and am so lucky to still have good friends from there. Joining a sorority was the final successful part of making me less shy – I was super shy as a child.”

When no opportunities as an Agricultural Communications graduate were offered, Linda moved with her parents to Blue Springs, MO. She got hired as a writer/editor by Hallmark Cards, and worked there for 25 years – loving it! After Hallmark, Linda started a personal concierge company, which suited her love of helping people – “so it was awesome,” Linda said. When she was asked to help with the church capital campaign, she did – and that work led her to becoming our pastoral care coordinator. Who knew an aspiring wildlife journalist would find herself doing this kind of wonderful work?

“I met my husband here at church,” said Linda. “Dr. Bob married us in 1990, and we have two totally amazing children, Kristen and Connor. Kristen works here in town, plus she is a professional singer and actress. She is getting married this October and we are excited to welcome Caleb, her fiancé, into the crazy Alley clan. Connor loves living and working in Nashville. He keeps me posted on all things sports-related and we share a passion for the Chiefs.”

What interests Linda is anything to do with the water and the beach. Being with family and friends and laughing is the best. She loves animals and just started volunteering at Wayside Waifs every week. Free time includes traveling, reading, baking and walking or hiking. Linda has had some great adventures – from being a governess in Italy to dive-bombing the last half of a “black” ski trail, saying “it was exhilarating but never again!” She has even hand-fed a wild rhino in Africa!

Meet Lexa Carr

Lexa has been supporting Village Church in so many ways since 2009, starting with the Monday Flower Ministry and Bereavement cards. She participated in the Village Golf Classic (DRMP fundraiser), was on the APNC to call Rev. Jenny McDevitt, served as both a Deacon and Elder, and as the Stewardship Chair for three years. Lexa has served on the PW Board as Co-Moderator Elect, Co-Moderator, and Co-Nominating chair. She has volunteered on the Liturgical Art, Memorial Guild and Memorial Garden committees. Most recently, Lexa serves on the Pastoral Care and Counseling Committee.

Lexa was born and raised in Carthage, MO, and yes, in the Presbyterian Church, with a strong sense of family, love, and faith. She graduated from Wichita State University with a BS in Dental Hygiene. She worked professionally as a dental hygienist – “it is what I always wanted to do and I did it,” Lexa said. After 25 years, Lexa retired to be at home with her children making/building memories, especially many years spent at Lake of the Ozarks.

After living in El Paso, TX, in late 1991 Lexa and Scott moved to the Kansas City area for his job and to be closer to their families. They have two children, Erin and Peter. Erin lives in NKC with her fiancée, Lauren, and their two fur babies, and Lexa says Erin is “a loving, humorous, and intelligent woman who is an ASE certified mechanic.” Their beloved son, Peter, passed away at age 23 in 2008, and they can only imagine how he would have made his mark in this living world. Scott just retired in December 2021, and they are grateful to be footloose and fancy free to explore anything and everything.

For Lexa’s free time, she mostly volunteers at Village Church. Years ago she made an intentional decision to solely devote her efforts to the church and listen to how God called her into service. It was time to move on from the professional, social, and educational organizations that had been a focus for several years.

Lexa loves to walk in nature wherever that might lead. She and Scott love road trips and traveling to new places, sharing time at a table with dear ones. Lexa always needs a creative outlet, whether it be container gardening, painting, or cooking. The future holds golf again with her hubby and other new interests, like revisiting needlepoint and sewing.

Lexa also loves to dance – especially kitchen dances. This happened frequently with her little family while enjoying dinner or time together for any occasion, including weddings! What genre, you ask? Anything and everything related to Motown or Earth, Wind, and Fire. You get the picture. And like many of us, she loves to ride a waverunner – flying on the lake in the early morning hours “is just magical,” said Lexa. “Spinning in a 180 degree turn also takes that up a notch!!”

Meet Julia Scammahorn

Julia has been a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher for many years. She has volunteered at Operation Breakthrough and on many committees – Children & Family Ministries, Adult Education, Mission, and Pastoral Care and Counseling, where she served as secretary. She is a founding member of the Social Justice Ministry, and is serving her 4th year as a Stephens Minister. Julia served as an Elder for 3 years and currently serves on the Marketing and Communications and Marketing Steering committees. She is a founding member of the Building Beloved Community (anti-racism) Committee. In the past, she was on the PW Nominating Committee. Currently, Julia is the Presbyterian Women Marketing Chair, and a member of Circle 4 and Women with Spirit and Books with Spirit. She is an avid supporter and participating member of the Village on Antioch Book Club, which she chairs.

Julia was born in Colorado, but her parents and extended family are from Oklahoma. She spent summers with her grandmother in Oklahoma City, attending vacation bible school, church on Sunday mornings, Sunday School with her teacher Tommy Jean, fellowship suppers some evenings, and delivering meals on wheels throughout the week. Julia and her family moved to Kansas City and became Village Church members when she was in fourth grade, or around age 9. “I grew up in Village Church, attended regularly with my mom, dad and sister, Joybeth. She was baptized at Village during my confirmation ceremony in ninth grade,” Julia said.

As a church member she enjoyed Sunday school, youth group, youth choir and mission trips, including the second teen trek to the Dominican Republic. Julia’s father was a social studies teacher and her mother a school administrator with SMSD, so it was commonplace to discuss the lessons and sermons from Sundays on their way home or around the dinner table. This environment influenced her already curious personality (she was often referred to as the “question kid’” by teachers), and her curiosity was put to good use while she majored in Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia!

Mostly, Julia loves down time with friends and family. Her son, Christian, will be college bound in a year and her middle child Isabella, the year after that – so now they are trying to fit in as much family time as possible. Julia is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri. At Junior League she has “served with and met some of the most incredible women in Kansas City,” she said. Julia also loves water and snow skiing, reading books on the beach, attending live concerts with her husband, Guilherme and traveling.

Julia’s parents insisted on her family hosting an exchange student her junior year of high school, Gabriela. She was from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and they immediately became “thick as thieves.” Julia saved money to visit Gabriela the summer before her freshman year at Mizzou; while there, she was introduced to her friend’s boyfriend’s cousin – Guilherme! She couldn’t pronounce his name, but other than that, there were no issues. Six years later they married, a few years after that, Gabriela married her boyfriend, so now their family has grown to include five children between the four of them.

Loving someone who speaks multiple languages inspired Julia to study abroad and inspired her life-long appreciation for cultures and viewpoints different than our own. Now, her home is filled with sounds from around the world – English and Portuguese primarily. Her three children speak many languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. “I’ve found it’s easier to love your neighbor when you know a little more about them,” Julia said.

Meet Cindy Wilcox

Cindy worked at Village Church for a total of 21 years between 1991-2021, and retired January 2, 2022 as Director of Connectional Ministries. She was the speaker for the 2016 PW Advent Dinner – a wonderful experience for us all! “It has been an amazing privilege as I dedicated my life to this church family. I will always treasure my experiences and hold this congregation in my heart as I adjust to retirement,” Cindy said.

Cindy grew up in Salina, KS with loving parents and three younger brothers. They are a close family. She graduated from Kansas State in 1979 with a BS in Interior Design. Following graduation, she moved to Kansas City to work for Black & Veatch Architects/Engineers and Ramos Group Architects. In 1991, when she was presented with an opportunity to work for Village Church, she took it and has been forever grateful for making this decision, as it “changed the trajectory of my life!”

Spending time with family and friends is important to Cindy, but she also relishes quiet time to recharge with crossword puzzles, movies, travel, beaches, cooking, hiking, biking and reading (non-fiction).

Cindy has been on numerous Village Church trips with Lisa Ball (as her assistant) over the years. “I have truly enjoyed these special opportunities to travel with and get to know many of our church members on a more personal level. It was a privilege,” said Cindy. Some of the locations visited included Italy (Rome, Venice, Florence, Assisi); Crystal Bridges AR; Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway); Grand Canyon; and a Northeast Fall Foliage trip (Boston, Prince Edward Island, Montreal, New Hampshire).

“All of my experiences at Village Church over the years have shaped my faith and my heart,” says Cindy.

PW Circle Meetings at Antioch and Mission

Village on Antioch Circle

PW Circle of Village on Antioch will meet at 6:00 p.m. Monday, February 14, in the church library. We’ll enjoy our “bring your own dinner” and continue exploring the story of Ruth. All are welcome!

Monday, February 28, “Ladies Who Dine” will meet for dinner and social time at 6:00 p.m. at Panera, 135th and Metcalf. Come get to know some new Village sisters!

Village on Mission Circles

Thought-provoking Bible studies and fellowship meet on the second Tuesday of each month and are open to women of all ages. Contact Sherri Robeson at 913-219-9925 or email for more information.

The Village Church Women's Retreat!

In faith we are moving forward with plans for our retreat at Heartland Presbyterian Center. If you've attended the retreat before, you know first-hand what a spiritual and bonding experience it is.

Please plan to join us April 22-23 for a time to connect with God, old friends, new friends and the beauty of nature. Registration materials will be available in March.

Mission Sewing: 2021 By The Numbers

After a December hiatus, masked Mission Sewing sewists returned to Room 115 in January!

During 2021, volunteers sewed at home and as a group starting in March. Nevertheless, volunteers clocked some amazing numbers:

Tuesday Mission Sewing (meeting 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., weekly):

7,628 items; 3,528 hours

Thursday Mission Sewing (meeting 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., currently meeting weekly):

1,126 items; 1,206 hours

Volunteers have demonstrated resilience, flexibility, and commitment. Take that -- you pesky virus!!!

Tuesday Co-Chairs: Anna Staton and Cheryl Brady

Thursday Co-Chairs: Nancy Cantril and Dee Gound

Operation Breakthrough "THANK YOU" and Reading Program Update

Village Church, thank you for your generosity! Giving truly was the reason for the Christmas season. Once again, Village Church sponsored 100 “Star” Families from Operation Breakthrough. The donations helped provide Christmas gifts and holiday meals for low-income and/or homeless families. Thank you Village volunteers who helped make it such a special and meaningful holiday.

Last year, Operation Breakthrough celebrated 50 years of service to the Kansas City community. The center provides a safe, loving and educational environment for children in poverty and empowers their families through advocacy, emergency aid, and education. Operation Breakthrough is an education center for children age 6 weeks to 14 years.

We were so hoping that the Operation Breakthrough Reading Program could be held this spring. Due to the COVID pandemic, the reading program is still on hold. Hopefully, it will start again next fall. We will keep in touch with the Operation Breakthrough center to learn of any ways Village Church can support the program during this difficult time. To keep up on all Operation Breakthrough news, please see their website.

Amazing Graces Book Club Meeting February 2

The Amazing Graces Book Club schedule of books we will read in early 2022 are as follows:

February 2: Sooley by John Grisham

March 2: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

April 6: The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

May 4: Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

If joining a book club is one of your 2022 goals, we’re happy to have you join us! We meet year round, usually on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome (if fully vaccinated). We meet in homes, so please contact Sara Wallace, to be added to the monthly email distribution.

Page Turners to Meet February 22

At the February 22 meeting of Page Turners, the book for discussion is ELEPHANT COMPANY by Vicki Croke. It is the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in WWII. After the First World War, Billy Williams travels from Great Britain to Burma to work for a teak company. His story becomes one of friendship, loyalty, and breathtaking bravery that transcends species. Lt. Colonel Williams forms a “company” of elephants and attempts a risky escape, after being cornered by the enemy. To save a group of refugees he directs a desperate trek over the mountainous border to India. Part biography, part war epic, ELEPHANT COMPANY depicts a little known chapter of wartime heroism.

Visitors, prospective members, are always welcome to join the discussion or just to listen to the lively exchange of ideas about the book. It isn’t necessary to have read the book to enjoy listening to the discussion, and all are welcome.

Page Turners meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 127. Following church protocol, we wear masks, and tables are arranged for distance seating.

For further information please contact Barbara Lee ( or Judy Lockett (

Presbyterian Women

We are all women of Village Church, the community of church, and those who support the purpose of Presbyterian Women (PW) following a path of being invitational, relational, missional and magnetic. You are welcome!