First Christian Church of Independence
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Funeral services for Mark Harken Saturday

Funeral services for Mark Harken will be Sat., July 12 at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, MO.

Visitation will be at 10 am followed by services at 11 am.

Mark was tragically killed in a car accident in southern Missouri.

He is the son of Bruce Harken and stepson of Rev. Amy Lignitz Harken, our recent church pastor.

Read the full obituary.

We are deeply sorrowed by the untimely death of this young vibrant person.


Mark Finley Harken, of Prairie Village, Kan., a beloved son, grandson, brother, and friend to many, died July 5, 2014. He was 20. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main, KCMO. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. Mark was born April 5, 1994, in Overland Park, Kan., to Bruce and Sarah (Higgins) Harken. Since early childhood, he was an enthusiastic scout. He is an Eagle in Troop 91 of Prairie Village, a warrior of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, and he counted a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in NM among his most treasured experiences. He graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in 2012, and was selected for honors among pre- engineering students. He was accomplished in robotics and led his high school build team his senior year. He ran cross country, lettering his senior year. Mark was passionate and skilled in many areas including fireworks, woodworking, BBQ, and gardening. His affable, adventurous personality won him many friends, who will miss him greatly. Mark is survived by his parents, Sarah Higgins of Prairie Village and Bruce and Amy Harken of Mattapoisett, Mass.; siblings, Erik and Claire of Prairie Village; grandparents, Kathy and Tony Giordano of Overland Park, and Mary and Larry Gruenhagen of Greenville, SC; his intended, Jennifer Noble of Florida; and many close friends and relatives. Memorial contributions may be made to BSA Troop 91 for Philmont camperships or to the SMEHS robotics team. Online condolences at Arr.: McGilley & Hoge, 8024 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS 66204. McGilley & Hoge Johnson County Memorial Chapel, 8024 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS 66204, 913-642-3565 - See more at:

Read more here:

Big events for Fourth of July at First Christian

Plan on spending the Fourth of July at First Christian Church celebrating the nation's declaration of Independence and the founding of the church.

Join us at 6 pm for Pam and Phil Morgan Family Concert in the church sanctuary. A free will offering will be taken.

Stay afterwards to tailgate and watch the community fireworks display.

Bring your lawn chairs, and beverage and snacks to share as well as your favorite game if you chose.

Good music, fellowship, fun and a great fireworks display are guaranteed as we celebrate the church's 179th birthday.

The church was founded on July 4, 1835.


Sign up for Vacation Bible School

This year's Vacation Bible School will be June 29 through July 3 involving First Christian, First Presbyterian and First Methodist churches.

The theme is Avalanche Ranch: A Wild Ride Through God's Word.

The program will be five nights from 6-8 pm and include a light meal.

A $1 donation is requested for the meal.

Please contact one of the participating churches to register.

Download the registration form.

VBS will be held at First Christian and Westminster Hall.


Life change Bible study planned

A Bible study "Life Change" starts Monday, April 21 at 6 pm at the church.

Dr. Don Brezavar will lead the Bible study.

A light meal will be provided each week.

The study book costs $6.


Boy Scouts plan Easter Sunday breakfast

Boy Scout Troop 229 is planning an Easter morning breakfast in Fellowship Hall from 7:30 am to 10:30 am.

There will be a free will offering.

This is a wonderful way to support the church-sponsored Scouting program and one of many special church activities during Holy Week.


Church offers nine-week Financial Peace University

What are your financial goals for 2014? 

Greatly increase your odds of achieving them not only for this year but for the rest of your life by attending a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University.

First Christian will host a Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace University" beginning Thursday April 3rd at 6pm.

 This is a 9-week program with each session lasting 90 minutes. 

There is a 20% discount for program books and materials for those who register before March 15th. Cost of the program is $100 includes study materials.

You can register online or through the church. Online registration is with a debit card or bank draft.


A light meal and childcare will be provided for each session.

The community is invited and welcome to participate.

Sessions will include:

  • "Common Sense for Your Dollars and Cents"
  • "Relating With Money: Needs and Free Spirit Unite"
  • "The Nuts and Bolts of Budgeting"
  • "Breaking the Chains of Debt"
  • "The Alphabet Soup of Investing"
  • "Real Estate and Mortgages: Keeping the American Dream From Becoming a Nightmare."

Other sessions will include information on insurance, buying decisions, and giving.

To register please call the church at (816) 252-6100.

Read more here:



Church holds fish fry April 11

The church will hold a Fish Dinner Friday April 11 from 5 to 7:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

The dinner is open to the public.

Dinner choices include whole breaded catfish, 2 catfish fillets, 2 baked tilapia fillets, or 2 fried tilapia fillets.

The cost is $7 for dinner which also includes boiled potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, cornbread and drink with all meals. Desserts are extra.

For more information, contact the church office.


Join us in church this Sunday

Dr. Don Brezavar sermon this Sunday is "The Final Words of Christ: “Freedom of Forgiveness”” based on Luke 23:32-38.

Join us at either the 8:30 or 10:45 am worship services.

Both services will include special music by Susan Lundquist.

All our welcome.


Combined Ash Wednesday service at First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church will host the Ash Wednesday service (Wednesday, March 5) at 7 pm in their sanctuary.

This is a combined worship involving First Presbyterian, First Methodist and First Christian churches.

The service will be a meditation service of flute, cello and vocal music matched with prayer and scripture.

Please plan to attend as we seek a simpler more peaceful entry in the Holy season of Lent.

The public is invited.



March 2nd worship services canceled due to snow

The March 2nd Sunday worship services are canceled due to the weather.

Dr. Don Brezavar shared notes from his planned sermon and thoughts for the day.

Be safe.

Be in prayer.

Be inside.


Pre-school for mothers starts in March

First Christian Church Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers will be held the third Thursday of March, April and May from 10 am to Noon.

This is an effort to continue our significant outreach to children and families in our community.

Talk to Kari Thomas for more details or to get involved.



Sign up for Tall Oaks summer camp

It's not to early to register for 2014 Tall Oaks Summer Camp.

The church believes strongly in the importance of the summer camping experience and will cover half the cost of any child or youth who attends. Scholarship are available.

The 2014 summer camp theme is “Get Real: Finding Your True Self in Jesus”

Application forms are available online, at the church or from the Tall Oaks website.

For more information contact Kari Thomas.

Kari is camp director for the Primary I (Grades 2-3) summer camp June 4-6th.

The early bird registration deadline is April 30.

Download the flyer.