In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
Dear Resurrection Family,
This last week was awesome as we kicked off fall worship, children and youth Sunday School, and week night programs. I loved seeing the lines at Leawood at the ice-cream truck. We had great attendance as well. At the end of today’s e-note I want to give you some updates on worship attendance and finances here at Resurrection – I’ve been meaning to update you and I think you’ll find this interesting – so be sure to read to the end. But first, I want to share important and exciting news from around Resurrection!
This weekend we kick off our fall sermon series on the Letter of James – it’s five chapters of wisdom and guidance addressing the struggles of early Christians – and not surprising – they are the same struggles and challenges we face today. We’ll start where James starts, with a perplexing but ultimately powerful passage that begins, “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” What??? Consider it joy when you face adversity, suffering, hardship? At first glance, this seems absurd. In the first half of the sermon, we’ll find out what James meant, and how what he teaches is precisely what researchers in the field of psychology are suggesting is key to enduring suffering today. In the second half of the message, we’ll look at temptation (it is the same word as trials in Greek), and how we resist temptation. It will be a very practical and helpful message from James that starts with a famous children’s book, includes a classic blues song, and ends with a lot of hope. The message is entitled, Trials, Temptations and the Testing of your Faith.
We’ll have free scripture memory verse cards we’ll be handing out at our in-person worship services each week – we’ll memorize five very simple, very powerful passages from James over the next five weeks!
We have an amazing worship experience coming up September 3 that you will not want to miss! We’ll be presenting Affirmations: A Night of Worship at 6 pm in the Leawood Sanctuary. Resurrection worship leader Isaac Cates, along his performing group, Ordained, and Resurrection’s One AcCORd Choir share brand new, uplifting music with a variety of musical styles from contemporary Christian music to traditional gospel and Swahili songs They’ll also be joined by a local Congolese choir, Ushindi.
By the way, did you know that Isaac is a voting member of the Recording Academy that chooses the Grammy Award winners? He’s travelled the world singing, leading gospel choirs and teaching. He’s remarkable, and we’re blessed to have him on our staff. Isaac Cates and Ordained are also releasing a new album, Amazed, that night and will be debuting some brand-new worship songs. This is going to be a very special night of music, of a caliber you won’t find anywhere else in the city, and it’s free! Bring your friends and join us.
We’ve already had great response to the kick-off of our fall campaign to engage in deliberate acts of kindness and share the message that God calls us to do justice, act with kindness and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8 says this is what God requires of us). The campaign is a part of our ten-year goal of helping Christians to depolarize our community and to foster kindness in our city, particularly around election season.
We’ll have radio and television spots, billboards, and signs. I heard our radio spot last night just before the Chiefs game began. Click here to go to the BE Campaign website where you can learn more about the campaign and order t-shirts and reserve yard signs. T-shirts are $8 for adults and $5 for children. Yard signs are free, but you need to reserve yours in advance. The deadline for orders is September 1, and will be available for pick up later in the month. If you worship with us outside the Kansas City area, you can arrange to have t-shirts shipped and download the artwork to print your own yard signs. Once more, here’s a photo of the signs and t-shirts
If you lead in another church, we’d love to have your church join us. There is a section on the website where you can download any of the resources we are creating and use them in your community. A number of Episcopal Churches and UMC’s across the country will be joining in this campaign. We have resources available in both English and Spanish.
In October, I’ll be preaching on what it looks like to live into the Micah 6:8 scripture, and each week we will offer challenges for intentional acts of justice, humility and kindness. I’ll also be sharing examples from the scriptures and life today of people who epitomize what the Micah 6:8 life looks like. If you know of someone like this, who would be good to interview, please email their information to email@example.com.
We had great blood drives at Resurrection West and Blue Springs this past week. This week we have drives at Leawood and Overland Park. Donating blood is an easy way to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors, and you may save a life! With the Labor Day Holiday weekend coming up, blood donation needs always increase. Donating is easy, and your donation could save a life. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins will be safely worked in as space allows. Just click on the location name for details and a registration link.
Youth groups for students 6th-12th grade kick off at all of our locations this Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. We’ll have high energy games and fun activities to celebrate the beginning of the school year. Students are encouraged to bring friends. Everyone is welcome! Each location will have something slightly different, so check out cor.org/students for all the details.
Resurrection has an incredible Recovery Ministry where more than 1,000 people are tapping into a supportive community to find hope, healing and recovery from substance abuse and addiction. We have recovery groups at all five of our Resurrection locations meeting on Thursday nights and at some of the locations on other days throughout the week. You can check it out here.
September is National Recovery Month, and we are hosting a special community event on Thursday, September 8 at 6 pm in the Foundry of Building B in Leawood. A panel of experts will discuss addiction, how the current opioid crisis is affecting the community and what we can do to combat its effects on ourselves and loved ones. During the panel, you will hear from individuals in recovery, loved ones of individuals struggling with addiction, professionals treating addiction and local law enforcement. In addition to an amazing panel of speakers, we will provide dinner, feature local art from the recovery community and offer numerous resources. The event welcomes everyone who wants to learn more about how we address this health crisis in our community.
Last Tuesday’s Vespers was a great conversation with Dr. Nicole Price. Dr. Price is a follower of Christ and a nationally recognized speaker and trainer. We talked about how we, as Christians, might live with greater empathy towards others. If you missed it on Tuesday, you can watch it on the Vespers YouTube channel any time.
Last spring, we celebrated Creation Care month, and Pastor Scott shared an opportunity to support The Giving Grove in honor of Earth Day – donating funds to purchase trees for community orchards through The Giving Grove. We recently received a nice note from The Giving Grove thanking you for your support of community orchards. Your contributions represent more than 535 fruit and nut trees planted in urban communities with a capacity to produce a significant amount of healthy food for urban neighborhoods – all while cleaning the air, stabilizing the soil, and creating beautiful green-spaces for neighbors to gather and build community. In addition, many have volunteered at an orchard and shared the information about their mission. You can learn more at GivingGrove.org. Thank you, Resurrection. I continue to be inspired by your generosity! This week, I heard a terrific podcast with Resurrection members Greg Finkle and Kevin Birzer about the The Giving Grove on the Banking on KC podcast. You can find it by clicking here.
I’ll be in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Saturday, September 24, speaking about the Future with Hope for the United Methodist Church. As some are trying to convince United Methodist Churches to leave the denomination, I’ll be travelling to Arkansas one Saturday next month in the hope of correcting misinformation being circulated by those folks and offering a hope-filled picture of the future of the United Methodist Church. If you live in Arkansas, plan to join us in Fayetteville from 10:30 am to noon and, if you are a pastor, join me for lunch and Q&A following the main session. More information to come next week.
Just a quick update on worship attendance and giving at Resurrection. After moving worship online and on television during the peak of COVID, we’ve gradually been building back our in-person worship attendance over the last year. We started at about 30% of our pre-COVID in- person attendance. Last weekend we were at 67% of our pre-COVID attendance (we look at 2019 numbers for the same weekend to calculate this). Our in-person worship has been growing steadily over the last year (last Sunday was nearly double the in-person attendance for the same weekend last year). Online was up 68% from pre-COVID with over 7,400 last weekend. The TV numbers were 20,800 (a bit above that, the rating service numbers trickle in over a week, but these are the numbers we have so far) – we did not have televised worship pre-COVID. Total attendance last weekend was 33,945 – compared with 12,875 for the same weekend pre-COVID. The TV numbers are all local in Kansas City, but online includes people across the country.
Our first quarter giving was ahead of budget based on a strong January, the second quarter came in right at budget, as giving by stock declined as the market dropped dramatically. July’s giving was above budget. For the year, we’re about 8% above budget. This is about where our Finance Committee projected – they set a conservative budget this year as they tried to take into account economic uncertainty around interest rates.
All of which is to say that we continue to be astounded by your generosity, and by the number of people who are worshiping with us each week. Your giving makes possible all of the programs and ministries that happen across our locations. And in worship, together we are connecting worshipers with Christ, welcoming non-religious and nominally religious people and helping all of us grow to become deeply committed Christians. I never could have dreamed we’d see the number of people joining us for worship, the generosity of this congregation and the impact you are having. I’m really proud of you, Resurrection.
I look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!
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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