Penny Ellwood

Campus E-note

New Life in the New Year

Posted Jan 6, 2017

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Hello Resurrection Blue Springs!

I'm sending you warm New Year's greetings in this first enote of 2017. Bill and I got to kick off the New Year by crossing off one of my bucket list items. We attended the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA. It was all that I hoped and a great way to cap off a wonderful time away visiting family and meeting our newest granddaughter. Although, I'll have to admit I'm having some withdrawal pains this week! I spent many happy hours of our week away just holding Nora and watching the many expressions flit across her tiny face and marveling in the miracle of new life.

Speaking of new life, I thought you might be interested to hear the final counts for our Christmas Eve services and the results of this year's JOY in Serving. We had 810 people attend our Candlelight Christmas Eve services. This was up 16% from last year! We had every seat in the house filled for our 3 pm service with 355 in attendance. Our kids did a great job with their part of the program, too. I was also excited to have 99 people join us for Christmas morning! The morning felt sort of like gathering under the tree and opening the presents together as a family when I was a child.

These are the results from our JOY in Serving. There were:

  • 80 Joy Bags that went to Phillips at Attucks Elementary
  • 40 Linen Kits (20 going to KC Community LINC and 20 to Independence School District Family Services)
  • 41 Cleaning Buckets (buckets full of cleaning supplies) to My Father’s House
  • 21 people from Blue Springs volunteer for the Joy Party at Phillips at Attucks and we provided gifts for the school.

Unfortunately, our Lazarus Table Christmas party was cancelled due to icy conditions but we still delivered our food for 200. We also provided Christmas meal cards to each of the families in our Backpacks Ministry and Christmas cookie trays to our Blue Springs police and fire departments to thank them for their service.

I want to thank each and every one of you that contributed to this joy-filled season of honoring Christ's birth. From those donating gifts to all who gave their time to serve in one way or another. These past weeks your generosity and response to God's call has truly caused the light of Christ to shine ever brighter from our community. This Sunday in worship I'll have the totals for our Christmas Eve offering, all of which will go to benefit children in poverty here in Kansas City as well as within our partner organizations in Honduras and Haiti.

We'll also be starting our new sermon series this Sunday: Unafraid. It will be a great opportunity for us to focus on our fears (big and small) through the lens of our faith. I am really looking forward to this series and I hope you’ll invite some friends to join us in worship this weekend.

In the meantime, make sure to take a look at our upcoming classes. Parents, don't forget that tonight is our first TGIF of the new year. This KiDSCOR program is a fun evening for our pre-k through 5th grade students and a couple of hours of together time for Mom and Dad. Finally, if getting your life more organized and under control was part of your New Year's resolutions, you'll want to come this Tuesday night to "The Moore Organized Life" to learn some tips on organization from an expert in the field. This is sponsored by RezMoms, but is open to everyone.

I look forward to seeing you in worship!


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.