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Looking Forward to a New Year

December 30, 2021
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Dear Resurrection family,

We come now to the end of one year, and the beginning of a new one. I spent time last night reflecting on 2021, writing down the blessings, and the sorrows. I wrote down the major world events, the highlights of the ministry here at Resurrection, and the experiences my family shared – the loss of people we loved, the birth of a new niece, the adventures and challenges we shared.

The night before I sat down to pray and dream about the year ahead – my hopes, plans and goals for 2022. I’d love to encourage you to do the same, giving thanks for the blessings, laying before God the burdens, and inviting God to guide you in the year ahead. Resurrection, in the midst of a challenging year, I’m so proud of the way you sought to live as Christ’s people – the way you cared for and served the community.

This weekend will be the first weekend of 2022. I’d like to encourage you to be in worship. Pastor Scott is preaching, which allowed me to take some time away this week. It will be a great message and together we’ll share in the Methodist tradition of praying the Covenant Prayer as the new year begins. I’ve got a couple of important year-end announcements to share with you below, but first a word about Scott’s message.

Arise, Shine; For Your Light Has Come

This weekend in worship we will give thanks for the last year, and kick off the new year. We celebrated the light that Christ brought into the world at Christmas. The scriptures tell us that as followers of Jesus, we are to be the people of the light. So what does that look like? How do we bring light into the world in the coming year? It will be a powerful weekend in worship, one that I know will speak to you! We will also celebrate Holy Communion together at the close of the service. We’ll return to our regular worship schedule this weekend. Invite a friend as Pastor Scott leads us in worship.

Record Crowd for Candlelight Christmas Eve

Thank you to all who volunteered, served, invited friends and joined us for worship on Christmas Eve! It was a beautiful evening. After not holding in-person candlelight in 2020 due to COVID we were grateful to return to offering in-person services. The final television attendance won’t be confirmed until next week (we receive these numbers from COMSCORE who reviews data from the cable companies), but preliminary numbers show that we had over 100,000 people who joined us for candlelight services. Over 15,000 joined us in person, 17,000+ joined us online, and well over 70,000 joined us on television – most of the TV worshipers are in the Kansas City area.

I am moved by imagining how the world would be different if each of these who lit their candles sought to walk in the light of Christ, and to reflect his light every day. If a friend joined you for Christmas Eve candlelight, in person, on TV or online, invite them to join us for our new sermon series on Doubt (see below). One of our members invited a friend in another state to join him for Christmas Eve last year, then invited him back after Christmas. His friend has joined us every weekend since, and after church each week they call and talk about the message. It has been a blessing for both of them.

Regarding the Christmas Eve offering, we won’t know the numbers for another week or so as people are still making year-end contributions, but I’ll let you know, hopefully in my sermon on January 9.

About Year-End Giving

I’ve received a lot of requests this week from organizations that LaVon and I support. You probably have also. I have a couple of reminders if you completing your pledges for 2021 or making special year-end gifts to the church:

  • You can easily make a year-end gift by using our online platform at cor.org/givenow using a debit card, credit card or your bank account.
  • If you would like to pay by check, your regular year-end tithes and gifts to the Ministry Fund (including Capital Campaign offerings) please mark as such in the memo line.
  • If you mail your gift to the church, it must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2021, to be recognized as a 2021 contribution.
  • Your year-end gifts can also be brought directly to the church offices during open office hours. The main reception in Building C at the Leawood location will be open: today, December 30, until 3 pm, and tomorrow, Friday, December 31, from 9 am – noon. Blue Springs is also open today until 3 pm. All other locations are closed this week.

I also want to thank all of you who have made your pledges for 2022! If you are a part of Resurrection and you’ve yet to return your commitment for next year, you can do so here.

New Sermon Series: Wrestling with Doubt, Finding Faith

Almost everyone has doubts about faith at some point. Beginning January 8/9 we’ll look a some of our common doubts and questions, look to the doubts even the heroes of the Bible struggled with and explore how our doubts can help us grow in our faith. As I prepare for this sermon, I’d love to get your input. Here’s a quick survey where you can share your thoughts. This is a series that I think will resonate with many of your friends who don’t regularly attend church. Invite them to join you for worship. Here’s a link to the video promo that you can share.

How will you grow in faith in 2022?

This is the time of year when many of us make New Year Resolutions, things like eating healthier or exercising more. I’d like to challenge you to make a resolution to grow spiritually. At Resurrection, we talk about five essential practices (worship, study, serving, giving and sharing) that can change our lives in powerful ways and bring meaning and joy. Our website is filled with opportunities to help you to make these practices part of the rhythm of your life in 2022. Each week we highlight next steps for you to grow in faith at cor.org/next. Here are just a few coming up in January:

  • Worship every weekend with new sermon series on Doubt beginning Jan. 8/9
  • Screen Sanity Summit Study January 19 – February 2
  • Study with a small groups launching January 16 at all locations
  • Join Live and Let Think, an online Study/conversation about the Doubt sermon series and questions about Christianity beginning January 17.
  • MLK Weekend Worship/Commemoration January 15 and Serve in the community January 15 and 17
  • Learn about opportunities to Serve with Partner School Ministry on January 11.
  • Serve at Sack Hunger Food Drive kicking off January 30.
  • Complete you 2021 Giving commitments and return your pledge for 2022.
  • Follow Church of the Resurrection on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and Share with your friends.

I love you, Church of the Resurrection. I want to wish each of you a very Happy New Year! I’m grateful for the opportunity to be your pastor, and excited to see how God will use Church of the Resurrection in 2022!

Adam

Adam Hamilton

Resurrection Senior Pastor

Reverend Adam Hamilton is the senior pastor of Church of the Resurrection and the author of 22 books. He has been married to LaVon since 1982, and she has been a critical partner in every dimension of Adam’s work. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.

Adam’s writings are known for helping readers make sense of challenging theological questions, exploring the significance of the biblical stories, and equipping Christian leaders to be more effective in their work. He earned his MDiv from Perkins School of Theology and graduated with honors from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Pastoral Ministry.

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