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Weekly Update from Pastor Adam - November 22, 2023

November 22, 2023
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November 22, 2023

Dear Resurrection Family,

My eNote is coming early due to Thanksgiving. Yesterday, we prayed for each Resurrection member by name – I had the joy of praying for 564 of you, and it was deeply meaningful to kneel and lift you up in prayer. Some were names of people I knew well, some I didn’t know, some I see each week. And, some I hadn’t seen since COVID. I was one of over 100 people who came to pray for our members yesterday. Thanks to all of you who prayed.

I’m including at the very end of this note, a Thanksgiving Day Prayer and an idea you might want to consider for your Thanksgiving meal. This weekend we begin Advent – we’ve decked the halls, have the trees and poinsettias up, and we’re ready for the season leading us to Christmas. I’m including in this email a host of ways for you to make the season of Advent more meaningful for you and your loved ones. But first, here’s where we’re going in worship this weekend…

THIS WEEKEND IN WORSHIP – “MESSENGERS OF HELP, COMFORT AND HOPE: ANGELS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT”

This weekend, I’ll kick-off our Advent sermons on angels. LaVon asked me this week, “How is there enough material to preach five weeks on angels?” But once you begin to read the 300+ verses that mention angels in scripture, as I did this week, you will find that some of the Bible’s most meaningful stories incude angels.

In my sermon this weekend we’ll consider if angels are real (after the Enlightenment some view angels with skepticism, while some who believe in them likely put too much emphasis on them), dispel certain myths about them, and we’ll look at two powerful stories in the Old Testament of angels who came to help those who were depressed and feeling hopeless and helpless. Then, we’ll ask how these stories speak to us today. I can promise you this sermon, and each in this series, will speak to you in surprising ways, whether you’re a skeptic or a believer in angels.

INTERESTED IN JOINING RESURRECTION? COFFEE WITH THE PASTORS, DEC. 3

Register here to join us on Sunday, Dec. 3, at all of our locations and online from 2 – 4 pm for Coffee with the Pastors. You will learn more about the church, and what it means to be a Christian, a United Methodist and a member of Resurrection. Child care is available. 

ADVENT: PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS

Advent is the four week season leading up to the birth of Christ. Advent comes from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival” and it is a season of preparation to rightly celebrate Christ’s first coming as a babe in Bethlehem, and a season of anticipating Christ’s promised return and preparing our hearts for the day when we meet him, either at our death or at his Second Coming. Each week we light another of the four Advent candles, we sing Advent and Christmas carols, and we look for ways to take His light into the world.

This is a season for growing in our faith. I’d like to encourage you to use “five essential practices” to deepen your faith the next five weeks.

Worship: Plan to be in worship each weekend as we sing the Advent and Christmas carols, light the Advent candles, and listen for God to speak to us about heavenly angels and His call for us to be His earthly angels.

Study: Pastor Scott Chrostek will be leading a special online Advent study based on his book Advent: A Season of Surprises on Mondays, Nov. 27 – Dec. 11, at 6:30 pm. Here’s the link to register and join him.


Our daily Grow, Pray, Study Guide (GPS) is also a great way to spend time reading scripture daily. If you
sign up here you’ll receive an email each day with a scripture and reflection questions. The GPS will follow our semons on Angels throughout Advent.

Each of our locations is offering special Advent studies. Check your location email on Tuesdays for these opportunities.

Serve: During December we have a wide range of JOY Serve Opportunities for you and your friends. Whether you’re interested in donating or getting hands-on, we have plenty of options to choose form. Sign up here to serve. Each week in worship we’ll have opportunities to serve different emphasis areas: Week 1 – Families; Week 2 – Toys for Children; Week 3 – Global Partners; and Week 4 – Special Christmas Eve Offering.

Give: This holiday season, experience the joy of generosity by contributing to our Candlelight Christmas Eve offering as a part of your gift to your family, co-workers or friends. Every year I ask LaVon and the kids and others in our family, “What do you want for Christmas?” Sometimes they find it hard to come up with ideas, we have most of what we want or need. I love the candlelight Christmas Eve offering as it allows us to give gifts to children who don’t have all that they need. This year, our local focus for the Christmas Eve offering will help provide preventative dental care for thousands of low-income kids here in KC, starting with those who attend our partner scools. We’ll be supporting other local projects. The international portion of the offering will go to support our 14 partner schools around the world, with a portion going to help children in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel affected by the violence and war there as we celebrate the birth of Jesus in the little town of Bethlehem.

So, what if, instead of the usual presents, or in addition to them, your honor your loved ones by giving a gift to benefit low income children in their name. Gift cards that can be used to share with friends or family the gifts you’ve given in their name are available at the Connection Point at your locations, or you can download at cor.org/next.

Share: This season is filled with opportunities to invite your friends, neighbors and co-workers to celebrate the season with you. In addition to weekend worship, we have special opportunities to introduce someone to Resurrection.

Merry Little Christmas is our big, free, fun event for children and families to kick off the Christmas season with Santa photos, crafts, mission projects and treats on Friday, Dec. 1, 6:30 – 8 pm at West (Olathe), Downtown, Blue Springs, Overland Park and Brookside, and at Leawood on Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 – 10:30 am, followed by the Children’s Christmas musical at 10:30. Details here.

• Christmas at Resurrection is our big musical Christmas extravaganza with amazing music, drama and lots of joy! It will be held Dec. 7 – 10 at Resurrection Leawood. Tickets to this year’s production, Sing Choirs of Angels are available here.

• Candlelight Christmas Eve is the perfect opportunity to share the joy and hope of the season with someone, as we sing carols, hear the Christmas story and share the tradition of passing candlelight while we sing Silent Night. With 31 services and six locations, plus online and television, we have a place to welcome everyone you invite! You can find the complete schedule of services here and share this page with your friends: resurrection.church/Christmas.

CHURCH OFFICES CLOSED THURSDAY AND FRIDAY

Just a reminder that all church buildings are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24. If you have an emergency care need when our offices are closed, you can call our pager number at 913-544-0799 and the pastor on call will return your page as soon as possible. We also have a webpage where you can request non-emergency care: resurrection.church/care

RESURRECTION AT THE PLAZA LIGHTING CEREMONY THANKSGIVING NIGHT

This year, three Resurrection worship leaders Isaac Cates, Zae Romeo and RJ Leonard will be sharing music on the main stage at the Country Club Plaza Lighting ceremony. The 94th annual event starts with performances at 5 pm on Thanksgiving night, with the official lighting ceremony at 6 pm and the flip of the switch at 7:05 pm. KMBC TV9 will televise the lighting ceremony beginning at 6 pm. We are grateful for these worship leaders and excited that they will be sharing their gifts with the community this Thanksgiving.

SPECIAL SHOWING OF DOCUMENTARY ABOUT RESURRECTION WINDOW DEC. 4 and 5

Join the film maker and the artist who designed the Leawood Resurrection window for a showing of Holy Frit – the film about the making of the Resurrection Stained Glass Window. I’ll be at the Tuesday evening show. Tickets are going fast, but there are still some available for the showing of the documentary about the creation of the stained glass window in Leawood Sanctuary, at two area theaters. Invite a friends to join you for a chance to see the film on the big screen! Show times are: 
  • Monday, Dec. 4, 5:30 pm, Glenwood Arts Theater, 3707 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS. Here’s the ticket link.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5, 7 pm, AMC Town Center 20, 11701 Nall Ave., Leawood, KS. Here’s the link to purchase advance tickets.

RESURRECTION EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

God may be calling you or someone you know to utilize unique talents and experience as a member of our staff. We regularly post employment opportunities on our website, which you can check here. I want to share a couple of special positions with you so you can share in your circles:
Safety, Compliance and Risk Management Lead Director
Pastor of Recovery Ministries (This is a new position for a pastor to work alongside Pastor Tom Langhofer.) 

VESPERS THIS TUESDAY NIGHT

This Tuesday night we’ll talk about Angels in the Old Testament and I’ll pick-up a couple of stories I had to cut from my sermon this weekend about angels showing up for the hopeless and helpless. Plan to join me from 7:30 to 8:15 pm CT for Vespers on Facebook Live. I’ll be sharing a bit of what I had to cut out of this sermon on angels in the Old Testament. You can join Vespers live on Facebook or watch after Tuesday on YouTube. Here are the links: Facebook, or YouTube.

A THANKSGIVING PRAYER AND IDEA TO USE ON THANKSGIVING DAY

As you gather around your Thanksgiving table, you might invite everyone to share one thing they are grateful for in the moment, or from the last year. I found the following prayer meaningful. It comes from Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), a Baptist pastor, theologian and one of the leaders of the Social Gospel movement of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. You might share this prayer (practice reading it aloud a couple of times before hand) and then invite everyone to join you in the Lord’s Prayer.

O God, we thank you for this earth, our home; For the wide sky and the blessed sun, for the salt sea and the running water, for the everlasting hills and the never-resting winds, for trees and the common grass underfoot. We thank you for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of the summer fields, and taste of the autumn fruits, and rejoice in the feel of the snow, and smell the breath of the spring. Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty, and save our souls from being so blind that we pass unseeing when even the common thorn bush is aflame with your glory. O God our creator, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Finally, thank you to the hundreds of you who are serving meals tomorrow for those who might otherwise not have had Thanksgiving, and for those who provided literally tons of food for people in Kansas City to be able to prepare their own Thanksgiving celebrations. You are amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Adam

P.S. Check out your location newsletter on Tuesday for more opportunities to get connected with Resurrection. Sign up here.

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.

Learn More About What's Happening Now at Your Location

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