Adam Hamilton

Pastor Adam's Enote

A Hope-Filled Sermon on Suicide

Posted Jul 7, 2017

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Dear Resurrection Family,

I’m glad to be back in the office and looking forward to being back in the pulpit this weekend! 

As most of you know, this weekend I’ll preach what I believe will be a hope-filled sermon on suicide. That sounds like an oxymoron, but suicide occurs when people lose hope. The Gospel tells us there is always hope. 

In the sermon we’ll talk frankly about suicide – statistics and warning signs that someone may be suicidal. We will also discuss what to do if you or someone you care about is suicidal. We’ll hear from a family who recently lost a son to suicide; from the Director of Behavioral Health unit at Shawnee Mission Medical Center; and from a guy who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge but survived his suicide attempt – a remarkable story. Ultimately, we’ll look to Scripture to see what God would say to those who feel hopeless, and to those who have lost loved ones to suicide.

Here are a couple of statistics that might be of interest as you think about who you might invite to be in worship: In a study done at 70 colleges several years ago...

  • 55% of college undergrads reported having suicidal thoughts at some point during their college years.
  • In any given year 4% of all Americans have suicidal thoughts.
  • While suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults, the highest proportion of suicides are of white men aged 45 to 64.

Panel Discussion on Suicide Prevention

In connection with this weekend's sermon, Congregational Care will lead a Panel Discussion on Suicide Prevention, Thursday, July 13, at 6:30 pm in the Resurrection Leawood sanctuary. Panel members will include one of our pastors, a police office and mental health clinicians from our community. Please invite others for this important discussion. Our pastors will be present that evening to provide support and guidance to those struggling.

Suicide Grief Support Group

For those who have lost a loved one to suicide, we are offering a tqo-week Suicide Grief Support Group. This group will meet for two sessions, July 20 and July 27 in C144 at Resurrection Leawood, from 6:30-8pm. Rev. Karen Lampe will help us honor those people that we have lost, while offering a space for you to grieve and share as you feel comfortable.

Please feel free to invite others to this gathering if you feel they would benefit. Material will be appropriate for teenagers and older. No registration is needed.

Know that at every campus our pastors and congregational care ministers are here to support you. Please contact Congregational Care at care@cor.org or (913) 544-0238.

Rummage Sale

In other news, the United Methodist Women’s Annual Rummage Sale is happening Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15. Volunteer, donate and shop! It's all for a great cause as proceeds support sustainable ministries benefitting women, childcare, and youth both locally and globally. 

If you have gently used, clean, and non-broken items, the kind of things we’d give to a friend, we likely can use it at the Rummage Sale. Donations are being received this Sunday from noon to 8 pm, and Monday and Tuesday from 8 am to 8 pm. The drop-off location is at Building C at Resurrection Leawood. For more information about the sale, how to volunteer, to schedule a furniture pick-up or more, take a look at the Rummage Sale event page.

Host a Blood Drive

Can your business or organization host a blood drive this month? We have received an urgent request from the Community Blood Center. 

Does anyone have a contact with any organization that might sponsor a blood drive? Would you become an advocate for the community? Examples include your employer or other businesses, social, military, fraternal or educational groups.

Although the Church of the Resurrection will host an upcoming August blood drive, increased demand for blood this summer means that the Community Blood Center needs blood now. Please contact Jim Sajevic at the Community Blood Center (816) 210-6801 if you have an organization that is willing to sponsor a blood drive over the next several weeks.

Mission Teams

I’m so proud of the many mission teams and volunteers that have been serving throughout Kansas City, across the country and around the world this month. To take a look at the latest reports from Resurrection mission teams, follow our Global Impact blog. To learn about upcoming serve opportunities, browse our Serve page.

New Pulpit

When I got back this week I was pleased to see that our new pulpit had finally arrived. We’ve been using the plexiglass podium from the Wesley Chapel and a music stand (for the iPad I use for maps and charts) since we moved into the new building.

The architects designed the pulpit to tie in with the altar table and baptismal font – trimmed in bronze as both of those pieces are. Bronze was used in places on all three pieces as this was the material God instructed Moses to use in building the altar and basin and many of the other elements in the Tabernacle, later used in the temple.

The front of the pulpit has the same vine pattern (though at a smaller scale) that we see over the organ speaker/pipe chambers on either side of the stained-glass window. In the Old Testament Israel was seen as God’s vine, and God’s vineyard, intended to bear fruit. In the New Testament Jesus picks up the same metaphor in his parable of the vineyard. In John 15 Jesus says, “I am the vine, my Father is the vine grower, and you are the branches.” Then he calls us to abide in him and to bear much fruit. 

The imagery of the vine on the pulpit was meant to convey the idea that in worship, and in hearing scripture read and proclaimed, we abide in Christ and our faith is cultivated that we might go forth to bear fruit for him.

Here’s a picture of the pulpit, both front and back. The top of the pulpit is large enough to hold both the sermon and the iPad we use for graphics. After worship please feel free to come up and take a closer look! Here are a couple of pictures:

LWD_pulpit.jpg?mtime=20170707134707#asset:11654

Renovation Update

I thought you might want to see what’s happening inside our previous sanctuary. Demolition is occurring right now. We are still finalizing elements of the design of the fellowship hall, classrooms and commons - the Building Committee will be meeting in the next few weeks to review flooring choices and options regarding materials and furnishings. Once they have finalized their recommendations these will be brought to you at a Church Conference. 

Work is also about to begin on the children’s outside play area, so this weekend you’ll notice that the walkway between Buildings B and A is temporarily closed. If you’re walking in from the east parking lots or going between Buildings A and C, you’ll need to walk outside for the next couple of weeks. Here’s a few pictures of the demolition to date.

Sanctuary-B-1.jpg?mtime=20170707125342#asset:11651Sanctuary-B-2.jpg?mtime=20170707125343#asset:11652Sanctuary-B-3.jpg?mtime=20170707125345#asset:11653

That’s all I have time to include in today’s note. I’m looking forward to seeing you this weekend in worship!

In Christ’s Love,

Adam Hamilton

Adam Hamilton

Adam Hamilton

Reverend Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. The church began in 1990 with four people (Adam’s wife, LaVon and their two small children) and a dream of creating a congregation where thinking people – non-religious and nominally religious people – would become committed followers of Jesus Christ. In the years since, the church has become the largest United Methodist Church in the denomination with over 20,000 children, youth and adult members and an average weekend worship attendance of 10,000. 

Hamilton is the author of 22 books published by Abingdon Press and Harper. His writings are known for helping readers to make sense of challenging theological questions, to explore the significance of the biblical stories, and equipping Christian leaders to be more effective in their work. His books have received numerous awards and have been used in over 20,000 mainline churches across the country.

Hamilton believes that vital mainline churches are key to reaching new generations of young adults who have been turned off by more fundamentalist expressions of the Christian faith. In the last eight years he has spoken to over 70,000 Christian leaders in 40 states on leadership and strategies for missional outreach. In 2012 he was asked by the White House to deliver the message at the National Prayer Service, a part of President Obama’s second inaugural activities. 

Recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, Hamilton earned his Master of Divinity Degree at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University where he received the B’nai B’rith Award in Social Ethics. He graduated with honors from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. 

Adam has been married to LaVon for 33 years. LaVon has been a critical partner in every dimension of Adam’s work. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.

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