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,
Yesterday, people around the world both mourned, and began the process of honoring, Queen Elizabeth II. There was a little book prepared about her several years ago called, The Servant Queen and the King She Served that described the importance of her faith in shaping her life. This weekend in my sermon I’ll be sharing a clip from her Christmas address in 2012 in which she spoke of her faith – it has a direct connection to this weekend’s message.
At the end of today’s eNote I’ll share an important statement just released yesterday from the African Bishops of the United Methodist Church that I think many of you who are following the divisions in the United Methodist Church will be interested in, so be sure to read today’s note to the end.
This weekend we’ll continue our sermon series Practical Wisdom for Imperfect People on the Book of James. My sermon title comes from James 2:19, “Even the Demons Believe…and Shudder.” One of the primary themes of James is that “faith without works is dead.” I’m excited about this weekend’s message – it has spoken to me as I’ve been writing it, and, like nearly everything in James, it applies to every one of us. I’ll be wearing my Chiefs red on Sunday – as an illustration in my sermon – feel free to join me as the Chiefs kick off their season in Arizona this weekend! This is also Matthew’s Ministry weekend – always one of the most inspiring weekends of the year.
Matthew’s Ministry is our ministry with special needs children, youth and adults, and in worship, we will celebrate the wonderful community of people who are part of this ministry. We’ll have powerful family testimonies, special music performances, artwork, Sonflower bakery cookies free to all, and more throughout the weekend! Matthew’s Ministry serves 300 families across the community. It is a powerful ministry and one that defines who we are as a church. Since COVID, as many people moved online or to worship on TV our number of volunteers in Matthew’s Ministry has declined and that has a real impact on this important ministry. If you stepped away during COVID, we need you back! But if you’ve never considered volunteering with Matthew’s Ministry, I’d love for you to consider getting involved – you’ll find it to be one of the most joyful and rewarding ways to serve others, and in the process discover it is you that is blessed! Click here to find out more or to volunteer for Matthew’s Ministry.
Confirmation is one of the most important faith events in a student’s life – and can be a life-changing event. During confirmation, our youth take a deep dive into faith, what it means to be a Christian, what Christians believe and why. At the conclusion of the process, they have an opportunity to claim and profess Christian faith for themselves. In small groups of their peers (alongside adult mentors), students explore their faith by asking questions, digging deeper, serving others, and learning more about God and the Church. Confirmation is open to students in 8th – 12th grade, and you do not have to be a member at Resurrection to register.
Confirmation kicks off on Sunday, September 18, at 2 pm. Parents or other adults are invited to join students on their confirmation journey as Confirmation Mentors. Registration for this year closes on September 13. Information and links for all locations are available on the Confirmation webpage here.
Rez ReEntry is a Resurrection ministry that works to establish both a coordinated in-prison program and a ReEntry hub that graciously receives people back into the community after incarceration. Ministry with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals is a richly rewarding experience where you get a front row seat to watch God change people’s lives. You can serve one-on-one or as part of a group of volunteers who seek to offer access to the physical, emotional and spiritual resources necessary to live the life that God intends for all of us.
Successful ReEntry into society after incarceration is a complex and unpredictable process based on individual needs, resources and histories. Resurrection is offering simulation experiences on Tuesday, September 13, from 10 am – 2 pm or Saturday, September 17, from 9 am – 1 pm to help anyone interested in better understanding the significant obstacles women and men face while trying to navigate the system, or lack thereof. Both sessions will be offered in the Foundry, Building B, at the Leawood location. Register to participate in this experiential, real-time ReEntry simulation on either date by clicking here.
If you have been worshiping with us in person or online and are interested in joining the church and becoming a member at Resurrection, plan to attend Coffee with the Pastors this month. Coffee with the Pastors is an inspiring gathering in which you’ll learn more about Resurrection, what it means to be a Christian, and then how to officially join the church. We will be hosting Coffee with the Pastors at all of our locations on Sunday, September 18 from 2-4 pm or online on Thursday, September 22 from 6:30-8:30 pm via Zoom. You can learn more and register for the in-person sessions here or the online session here.
Resurrection has been invited to collaborate on a special project with United Community Services of Johnson County called One Small Step. Developed as a part of NPR’s Story Corps, One Small Step pairs strangers with different beliefs for a 50-minute conversation about their lives and the things they share in common. The aim is to see if, by having conversations like these, it is possible to address the toxic polarization that divides communities across America.
We are looking for volunteers who would be interested in participating in this experience. Your conversation would be recorded and used to help others learn and reflect. I may share some of the conversations in my sermons in October. Here’a a short video about the project. If you are interested in applying, the first step is to complete an application survey, which One Small Step uses to pair people from our community. If you are paired, a time would be scheduled to record your conversation. If you are a Johnson County resident who is inspired and energized by the idea of connecting with people who have different views, click here to join the project!
If you have passionate convictions around issues or politics about which our society is divided, we need you!
We are looking for a diverse group of people who are committed to the mission and ministry of our church to serve beginning in 2023 on our Finance, Trustees, Staff Parish Relations, Foundation and Nominations committees, and as Lay Delegates to Annual Conference. If this interests you, here is a link where you can learn more about these committees and sign up. Deadline for nominations is October 10.
Last Sunday as I served communion at 9 and 11, I found myself and my serving partner serving three sections of seats instead of the normal one section – it took an extra five or six minutes and a bit of confusion moving from section to section. The challenge, since COVID, is that 35% of our Ushers, Greeters and Communion Servers are worshiping on TV or Online and are not back in person yet! Ushering, greeting and communion service are three really important and meaningful ways you can serve in worship on the weekends and WE NEED YOU! If you were formerly on a team, but have been worshiping from home, I’d like to invite you to re-join us in person. If you are new to the church, I’d like to encourage you to help us extend hospitality, and communion, in worship by joining our worship team. Here’s the link to sign up at any Resurrection location where you worship.
The Resurrection Foundation is sponsoring a special event on October 4. Beginning at 9:30 am, you can join other Resurrection members for a guided tour of the World War I Museum followed by a tour of Resurrection Downtown and lunch provided by Thelma’s Kitchen, a ministry of Reconciliation Services. Learn more and sign up here.
Each Tuesday for the next month, we’ll be digging a bit deeper in our study of James. You can join me Tuesday night at 7:30 pm CT live on Facebook or catch the replay on YouTube. There’s a ton that I’m having to leave out of each weekend’s sermon. This week, we’ll talk a bit more about faith without works being dead and I’ll spend a little time unpacking for you the African Bishops statement below.
I’ve been invited to speak in northwest Arkansas on Saturday, September 24, about the future of the United Methodist Church, dispelling some of the misinformation that those encouraging people to leave the denomination to join the Global Methodist Church have been sharing, while also sharing a vision of what the future of the United Methodist Church will be: a future I see as filled with hope. I’ll be speaking to both clergy and laity from 10:30 am to noon, then having a special luncheon and Q&A with Arkansas clergy after that. My hope is to encourage Arkansas churches to remain United Methodist. If you live in Arkansas and are United Methodist, plan to join me in Fayetteville. Tickets are limited. Click here for the registration information.
As most of you know, there are some United Methodists who are leaving the United Methodist Church (UMC) to join a new start-up denomination called the Global Methodist Church (GMC). Across the denomination that could be 10 to 20% of churches, mostly smaller churches, though some larger churches as well.
What are they leaving over? The key issue is how we are to read and understand six passages in the Bible related to gay and lesbian people. Some see these passages as reflecting God’s timeless will for gay and lesbian people. Others, including an increasing number in the US, see these passages as similar to passages that permit slavery, call for putting persistently disobedient children to death, forbidding women from preaching and teaching and many others. On this, United Methodists disagree and have disagreed for 50 years.
Our current denominational policies dictate the more restrictive view for all UM churches. A majority of UMC scholars, bishops, clergy and lay leaders favor removing these policies and allowing pastors, churches and annual conferences to minister according to their convictions and reading of scripture – not dictating one policy for everyone.
Because African United Methodists tend to be more conservative, many believed they would leave the UMC to join the GMC. The leaders of the GMC have been cultivating the support of the African UM leaders for decades. But yesterday, all but one of the bishops of the African United Methodist Church issued a statement that was remarkable, indicating, it would appear, their frustration with the GMC and the organization that supported its founding, the Wesleyan Covenant Association. They, too, have felt these groups were spreading misinformation and harming the church. It appears that the African UM bishops are indicating a willingness to remain United Methodist despite the differences over how we read these texts on human sexuality. There is a proposal, initiated by some in Africa, that the United Methodist Church adopt something called the Christmas Covenant that would allow greater latitude for each region of United Methodism to have more latitude for differences across regions, while still maintaining a strong unity for mission and ministry. You can read the Christmas Covenant here.
Click here to read the bishops’ statement. My hope is that it reflects a position that many of us have advocated for – that United Methodists might hold differing views on a number of issues yet remain one church. I find the bishops rebuke of the divisive path and the disinformation some in the WCA and GMC have taken encouraging, and hopeful, and I hope that it signals their willingness to remain United Methodists while allowing different regions of the denomination to hold differing views on the issues that divide us.
I look forward to worshipping with you 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.
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.