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,
I wept as I learned Tuesday night after work about the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and again each time I heard another story of a child or teacher who was killed in this massacre, or as more details came out about this. You can watch a press conference Pastor Emanuel Cleaver and I were a part of this week by clicking here. You can watch my Tuesday Vespers addressing this here. I’ll speak to this briefly just before my sermon. The underlying issues related to school shootings are complex. I’ve been reading various studies done on this topic this week. The solutions are multi-faceted addressing mental health and bullying, enhancing gun safety laws, violent forms of entertainment, strengthening school security and more. You’ll see a bit of this reflected in the e-mail I’ll send this Tuesday and in the press conference from yesterday. We must do more than pray, but we must at least pray for these families who are suffering such intense grief. Would you pause now to pray for them, and to pray for our state and national leaders to act upon those things that would reduce the likelihood of these things happening again? At the bottom of this e-mail I’ll include the comments I plan to share in worship this weekend about this tragedy.
On this Memorial Day weekend, my sermon will focus on the the fifth and final key to Relationships that Last, and it is really two keys that are absolutely essential: Perseverance and Faith. In our survey of now 10,200 people about relationships, we found the happiest marriages of all were people who had been married 50 years or more. This week we interviewed four couples in our congregation who have been married for more than 50 years and we’ll learn from them.
I’ll also be sharing with you data from the survey of correlations between people who were very happy in their marriages and the things they do more of than those who were not so happy. This data is fascinating and practical – there are four simple things that you can do to improve your relationships. We’ll also talk about divorce and times when marriages will not survive. We’ll end with stories that inspire as you seek to pursue not just marriages, but friendships that last a lifetime. I’m recording the weekend sermon today for TV, online and for use at all of our locations as Sunday morning, LaVon and I and our kids are heading to Arizona to celebrate LaVon and my 40th Anniversary with our adult children and granddaughter this week. We’ll be worshipping with you from Arizona Sunday night – I really want our kids to hear this message. And this message will be appropriate for Stella too – G-rated.
Invite your friends and family to join you in person at one of our five locations:
As we observe Memorial Day this coming Monday, May 30, our staff have the day off and our church buildings will be closed. However, for those with loved ones inurned in the Wesley Memorial Garden at the Leawood location, you may access the Memorial Garden in the courtyard of Building C through the South Entrance (the door is labeled South Entrance) from 10 am to 2 pm.
At Leawood, the new Resurrection Memorial Garden on the northeast side of Building A and the Prayer Walk on the south side of Building A will be open during daylight hours. The Memorial Garden at Resurrection Overland Park will also be open during daylight hours.
Ever wonder why you do certain things or react in a certain way? God has wired each of us in unique ways. Starting June 1 at 6:30 pm CT, join Dr. Dennis Butler for a six-week exploration of the Enneagram, an ancient tool for understanding different personalities. Learn more about yourself and how to better connect in your relationships with others. Cost is $15 for the Enneagram assessment.
This class will be offered in-person at the Leawood location and online via Zoom. Visit cor.org/next for registration!
For the past month, Central Bank of the Midwest and KCTV5 have been recognizing those who make our community a better place to live through their everyday kindness. This past week, Resurrection member Dave Krug was honored. Dave was nominated by one of the young adults from his group at Resurrection. Dave shares his kindness through his job at Johnson County Community College but also as a mentor to our Young Adult Community Groups. Check out the story by clicking here. If you’re a young adult in your 20s or 30s, bring your friends and check out this group that meets in Wesley Chapel (Building C at the Leawood location) where you can get connected with some amazing people! Learn more here.
I’ll be on vacation with family this week so will not be joining you for Vespers on Tuesday night on Facebook Live. I’ll be back the following week.
As a reminder our COR Worship Collective recently released a new album called Redeemer. Last week we linked you to their YouTube channel, but we wanted to link you directly to the new album. Click here to listen to Redeemer.
These are my tentative thoughts I plan to share this weekend in worship – I have five minutes to speak about the shooting, but will be sending more action steps in my special e-mail to you next Tuesday.
I’d like to speak to you about the tragic events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas this week. It would be great if any of us had all of the answers, but the problem is complex and there is no one solution that solves this problem and ends the violence. We can and should talk about improvements to school buildings that might keep shooters out. We should talk about reasonable gun safety laws that should be in place already including red flag laws, increasing the age one can buy guns to 21, safety classes required for purchase and carrying of lethal weapons and safe storage laws among others (the majority of gun owners in our congregation agree with most of these). We can and should be talking about mental health and increased funding for mental health and strategies for addressing troubled teens. We might discuss the wisdom of violent video games which are increasingly realistic in which teens can play at killing people. And we can and should call our state and national representatives to work together across the aisle to address gun safety.
But there is something we can each do individually: we can work to overcome evil with good. We can look for kids who are bullied and picked on and make stop it and demonstrate love for them.
The Washington Post reported about the shooter, Salvador Rolando Ramos,
“In middle school and junior high, Ramos was bullied for having a stutter and a strong lisp, friends and family said. Stephen Garcia, who considered himself Ramos’s best friend in eighth grade, said Ramos didn’t have it easy in school. “He would get bullied hard, like bullied by a lot of people,” Garcia said. “Over social media, over gaming, over everything.” “He was the nicest kid, the most shyest kid. He just needed to break out of his shell.” One time, he posted a photo of himself wearing black eyeliner, Garcia said, which brought on a slew of comments using a derogatory term for a gay person.”
His mother had both alcohol and drug problems and a neighbor noted that he had, “a pretty rough life with his mother.” One of his middle school friends noted, “I think he needed mental help. And more closure with his family. And love.” I wonder what more love and less bullying might have done for this kid? Most kids are not born monsters, maybe none. There is a darkness in each of us, and the darkness either grows, or is pushed back by the light that comes from the love of Christ and the love of others.
I want to say something to parents and children. The events of this week are terrifying and traumatizing and the stories break your hearts. All I could do was cry for the first few minutes after hearing the news, and again with each heartbreaking story I would read or hear this week. Life feels unsafe. Our oldest texted the next morning to say that it felt like taking Stella to school was one of the most dangerous things she could do – schools did not feel safe.
But schools continue to be one of the safest places children can be, even after Uvalde. In 2021 there were 49 children who died in school. There are 49,000,000 children in public schools. The odds of a child dying at school were 1 in 1,000,000 last year. Those are too high. But they are half of the odds of a child being struck by lightning, and a child is 95 times more likely to die in a car accident than in a school shooting. Our schools are safe, but we’ve got to make them safer.
On Tuesday of this week I’ll be sending a letter to each of you whose e-mail addresses we have, that I’d like to encourage you to read and forward to your legislators, local and national, if you resonate with this letter. Watch your e-mail. Please be sure to register your attendance today if you do not receive my e-mail so we can send this letter to you on Tuesday.
Finally, don’t miss the outpouring of love and the demonstrations of kindness towards the people of Uvalde. God did not cause this terrible tragedy, but God does work through people to force good from it. Let’s speak up for common sense solutions to reduce the likelihood of this happening again. Let’s overcome evil with good. Let’s love those who are bullied. And let’s live unafraid, knowing God is with us.
I am so grateful for you, Resurrection!
In Christ’s love,
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.
Watch for the “Next” newsletter in your email on Tuesday. This newsletter includes a personal message from your location pastor (Wendy, Anne, Bill, Penny, Joshua and Ashley) and opportunities for you to engage and connect at your location. If you’re not receiving it right now, you can sign up here.