Adam Hamilton

Pastor Adam's Enote

Preparing Our Place of Worship

Posted Mar 17, 2017

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Dear Resurrection Family,

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Resurrection! At the end of this e-mail I’ll tell you a bit more about St. Patrick; but first, I have several important things I’d like to share with you. For those of you at the campuses you’ll notice my enote has been a bit shorter than usual – I’ve had quite a bit of information that is Leawood-specific related to the new building that I’ve been including, and that information we typically only send to Leawood campus recipients.

For those of you at Resurrection Leawood, this weekend will be the final time we’ll gather as a congregation to worship in the current sanctuary. We’ll end each service pausing to remember and celebrate all that has happened in this room since we moved in thirteen years ago. Many of you joined the church in this space, had children baptized here, received their third-grade Bibles or were confirmed in this room. Some of you celebrated the lives of loved ones in this sanctuary. 

Don’t miss the chance to worship in this space before the room is transformed into classrooms and a fellowship hall. This weekend’s worship will be a meaningful way to mark the end of one chapter in our congregation’s life as we prepare to begin a new chapter. We’ll be taking a congregation photo at the end of each service, so don’t leave early – we want to capture for historical purposes all the people who were a part of the congregation on this last weekend. We’ll post these pics online for any interested in having a copy.

For those who worship at Vibe, this will be the final Vibe service in the Student Center, and the last stand-alone Vibe service for a year. Vibe will join the 9:15 am service for a year while the lower seating area of the current sanctuary is remodeled into our new fellowship hall and Vibe worship space. I’m excited about being able to see Vibe worshipers and to be with them in person during the next year. Once the renovations are completed we’ll offer Vibe again in the fellowship hall at the later hour. 

We’ll be capturing a photo in the Vibe and the Chapel services as well as the sanctuary services at the end of worship. Vibe, don’t miss this important weekend of worship!

Paradise Lost

My sermon this weekend is entitled Paradise Lost: The Garden of Eden. We'll focus on Genesis chapters 2 and 3, the Bible’s second creation story, and look at what the story teaches us about the meaning of marriage, what it tells us about temptation, sin and shame, and what we learn about God’s grace. 

The aim of this story is not to teach us ancient history, but to help us understand ourselves – it is a mirror held up to our souls. We are all Adam and Eve in this story, and we all hear the serpent’s whisper beckoning us to eat the forbidden fruit. I’m excited about sharing this message with you.

Breaking Ground Downtown

Last weekend Resurrection Downtown broke ground (or asphalt!) on their new building. I thought you might enjoy seeing photos of the moment. Browse pictures from Downtown’s groundbreaking.

Worship Times Changing

For our Leawood congregation, remember that on opening weekend, March 25/26, our morning worship times change to 7:30, 9:15 and 11 (evening services will remain at 5). 

The 7:30 and 11 services will be led by the choir and orchestra and will include both traditional hymns as well as more modern music in the traditional genre. 9:15 will offer passionate modern music led by the Vibe band with a focus on connecting with Sunday morning attendees who enjoy a more contemporary worship experience. Our goal is to offer beautiful and inspiring traditional and contemporary options on Sunday mornings in the sanctuary, in addition to our evening contemporary services on Saturday and Sunday nights.

I’d like to speak to those of you who worship at 10:45 for a moment. I am concerned that we could be overflowing at 11 and turning newcomers away at the doorwhen we move into the new sanctuary. If you currently worship at 10:45 and you are an early riser, I wonder if you might consider joining us for the 7:30 am service in the sanctuary for the first month in order to make room for new visitors at 11 (or perhaps joining us at 9:15 am or at one of the evening services). 

If you worship at 10:45 now, would you consider worshiping at one of these alternative services? In this way you can help us make room for those who may not know Christ but who are drawn to worship with us for the first time as we open the new building.

I’d like to brag on the 7:45 crowd for a moment and give you five reasons you might want to make the shift to the 7:30 service in the new sanctuary: 

  1. Our early service is filled with some of the most warm and welcoming people in the congregation.
  2. It has the feel of a small church. While we anticipate that the 11 am service may have 3,000 or more people, I anticipate that the 7:30 am service will have 500-600 people.
  3. We’ll offer donut holes and coffee following the service to encourage people to stick around and fellowship.
  4. 7:30 am has the best parking - no traffic jams in the parking lot.
  5. You’re out before 9 am and able to beat the Baptists and the Catholics to brunch with the whole day free beyond that!

I’d love to see several hundred of those who worship at 10:45 consider making 7:30 your worship hour, at least for the month after we move into the new building.

Prayer Vigil

In anticipation of the opening of our new building we will hold a special Prayer Vigil during the 24 hours leading up to the first worship service to spiritually prepare the space for worship. 

I’d like to ask you to join me in signing up for a 15-minute time slot to pray. The vigil begins next Friday night, March 24 and will run all night and all day ending as our first service begins at 5:00 pm. Each participant will read a portion of Scripture, pray over various worship elements and spaces in the new building, pray for the people in the community we hope to reach through our ministries and missions, and pray over a particular section of seats in the Sanctuary. 

We are asking our members and those who worship with us regularly to sign up for 15-minute time slots during this 24-hour period. Our prayer ministry will provide information that will help guide your prayer time. Would you join me in signing up for a time slot by registering here? It will be a moving experience for you, and one more way you can prepare the room for worship.

St. Patrick

So, a word about St. Patrick. He was born in Scotland around A.D. 387 and died sometime around 460 (though some say as late as 493). As a 16-year-old, he was abducted and forced into a life of slavery in Ireland for six years before he escaped. 

During this time, he was a shepherd and as he cared for his master’s flocks he came to pray many times a day, developing an ever-deepening love of God. He eventually escaped and returned home. Not long after he began his life in ministry as a priest. 

Later, he would hear God calling him to return to Ireland as a missionary to share Christ with the very people who had abducted him. He’s known for teaching the Druids about the Trinity by using the three-leaved shamrock as an illustration. He faced persecution and death but boldly continued to proclaim Christ. 

It was his witness that played a key role in the Christianization of Ireland. He is the patron saint of Ireland but, following the mass migration of the Irish to America in the 1800s, St. Patrick’s Day became an American tradition.

Among my favorite prayers are selections from what is called the Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick:

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me…

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the ship’s deck,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

May God’s hand guide you who read this e-note today, and may you sense Christ with you, around you, holding you, and may you look for Christ and listen for Christ, in all you encounter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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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