Adam Hamilton

Pastor Adam's Enote

Final Week of the Unafraid Series

Posted Feb 10, 2017

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Dear Resurrection Family,

It may not be spring yet, but it’s going to feel like it today. I hope you can take a break from whatever you are doing, get outside, take a short walk and enjoy it!

This weekend I’ll be concluding our series of sermons on Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope by looking at the three nearly universal fears of human beings: 

  • The fear of getting sick,
  • The fear of growing old, and
  • The fear of dying.

How do we find peace, courage and hope in the face of these fears? I’ll share with you how others in our congregation havefound peace when faced with illness, a tool used by counselors to help people overcome these anxieties, and we’ll look to the words of scripture, which offer us God’s antidote to the fear of death. We’ll also give you a small card to fit in your wallet or purse that includes a scripture of hope and Reinhold Neibuhr’s well-loved Serenity Prayer. Don’t miss this closing to our series on living without fear.

Racial Justice Forum

This Sunday, Feb. 12, at 7 pm in the Leawood Sanctuary, we will sponsor our second Racial Justice Forum in partnership with St. James United Methodist Church. The focus is on race and education. 

In addition to Dr. Cleaver and myself, we’ll have a panel including: 

  • Erik Stafford (Historian)
  • Alissia Canady (Kansas City Councilwoman)
  • Dr. Derald Davis (Assistant Superintendent of KCMO Schools)
  • Michael Mayberry (Director of Grace United Ministries, which focuses on programs for urban children to help break the cycle of poverty)

We’ll look at how our two churches, and we as individual Christians, can play a role in healing our racially divided city. Following the program we’ll have coffee and desserts. I hope many of you will plan to join us for this important conversation and to connect with our brothers and sisters from St. James UMC.

Worship Changes

Beginning March 26, (opening weekend for the new sanctuary) the 10:45 am Vibe service will join the 9 am worship service in the sanctuary for the next year while the current sanctuary is renovated into our classrooms, fellowship hall and Vibe worship space. 

There are several reasons for this shift. The move allows Vibe worshipers to be adjacent to children’s nurseries and Sunday School (particularly important since we’ll be closing the current entrance to KiDSCOR during construction/renovation of the current narthex and sanctuary). The change also allows us tune our 9 am service to better reach young adults and young families looking for a “modern” worship experience. A third benefit is that the move frees up the Student Center to allow us to restart youth Sunday School at 10:45, something we stopped offering when we started Vibe.

I am excited about these changes, but I also know that they require sacrifice on the part of everyone involved. Vibe is changing worship times and venue for a year. 9 am has changed its worship band and style. I recognize these are genuine sacrifices. I believe they will ultimately have a significant positive impact on both the Vibe and 9 am worship communities as well as our youth ministry. More than that, I think they will better equip us to continue to build a Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.

Thanks to the above changes, on March 26, Rezlife student ministries will begin offering 6th-12th grade Sunday School in the Student Center (Building C) at 10:45 am, in addition to the current Sunday School hour for youth at 9 am. Rezlife Sunday School includes fun hangout time in the Student Center, an intentional time of biblical teaching, and small group breakouts to build community and personal interaction with leaders, other students, and the scriptures. Both the 9 am and 10:45 am Sunday School hours will look very similar and cover the same Bible lessons. 

Rezlife will need many new volunteers to begin connecting with students and teaching at 10:45 am and you don’t need to be a Bible expert to help! All teaching curriculum is provided. If you have any questions about Rezlife Sunday School or might be interested in volunteering to teach and change students’ lives at 10:45 am, please contact Dave MaGee, Director of Student Ministries (dave.magee@cor.org).

Annual Missions Report

Did you know that you gave $4.8 million to mission and ministry beyond the walls of our church in 2016? This weekend, Resurrection's 2016 Annual Missions Report will be available for you to pick up after worship and read about ministry highlights and how we are being used by God to change lives in the Kansas City community and around the world. You can also download a digital copy of the report.

Panel Discussion of the Death Penalty

This spring the Kansas City Lyric Opera is presenting the opera Dead Man Walking about a nun whose ministry with a death row inmate changes them both. 

In conjunction with this opera, the Lyric is co-sponsoring, along with The American Public Square and the Kansas City Public Library, a panel discussion on the death penalty, discussing the ethical, moral and legal questions surrounding the death penalty. I’ve been asked to be a panelist along with Tricia Bushnell, Director, Midwest Innocence Project, Eric Zahnd, longtime Prosecuting Attorney for Platte County, Missouri, and Terry Nelson, Consultant, Republican Strategist and Founding Partner of FPI Strategies. 

The event is Tuesday, February 21 in the Truman Forum of the Plaza Branch of the library. A reception will be held at 6, and the discussion begins at 6:30 pm. The event is free and moderated by former ambassador Allan Katz and KCPT’s Nick Haines. They've requested that you register to attend.

Valentine's Day

Finally, did you remember that Tuesday is Valentine’s Day? I remember one year I was so busy at the church that it was 4 pm on Valentine’s Day when I finally went shopping for LaVon. I kept meaning to, but had forgotten. 

I ran to the mall only to find dozens of other men doing what I was doing: frantic, last-minute, shopping. I bought her a pair of shoes that were the wrong size (the woman at Dillard’s swore they ran small – but not an entire size small apparently!). I then ran to get a card (most of the good cards were gone) and by the time I arrived at the restaurant I was late, and, even before LaVon opened the shoes that were the wrong size, the message was clear – my work was more important than my wife. She was most gracious about it, but I’d blown it. 

If you have a sweetheart, a bit of forethought goes a long way in conveying your appreciation and love. By the way, in our last survey of the congregation several years ago, one of the most common reasons for marital dissatisfaction was husbands or wives feeling unappreciated. Valentine’s Day is a chance to say, “I value, appreciate and deeply love you.” Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare! :)

New Blog Post

I’ve been posting a series of blogs on the Apostles’ Creed – the latest is on the Holy Spirit called The Spirit Empowered Life. If you are interested, I'd love for you to take a moment to read it.

I look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend as we look at our fundamental fears and Christianity’s powerful answer to them!

See you in worship!

Adam

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 since 1982, and she has been a critical partner in every dimension of Adam’s work. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.

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