Dear Resurrection Family,
I am sitting in our Leawood sanctuary along with 450 Resurrection members and 500 leaders from other area churches participating in the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. Over 400,000 people are joining live via simulcast around the world. Resurrection Leawood and Resurrection Blue Springs are both host sites for the Kansas City area. The event brings together a cadre of amazing speakers focused on leadership. I find it always refuels my leadership idea banks.
This weekend I’ll be back in the pulpit and sharing a 30-minute walk through the Bible – that’s right, the entire Bible in 30 minutes. We’ll look at what the Bible is, how we read it for all its worth, and I’ll take you all the way through the Bible in 30 minutes. Don’t miss this and bring a friend. And please bring your Bible – an actual printed complete Bible – Old and New Testament – we’ll walk through it during the sermon. We’ll give away a small bookmark that summarizes all the books of the Bible. We’ll also have free pocket New Testaments available in the Narthex of all our campuses for those who don’t have one. We’ll have an insert in the bulletin with tips on how to dig deeper into the Bible. And we’ll have excellent study Bibles and guides for sale in the Narthex.
I have dozens of study Bibles in my office. People often ask me for my recommendation. My favorite Bible is the CEB Study Bible. This one has full color graphics and photos, great study notes and introductions to the various books of the Bible, terrific maps and an excellent new translation of the Bible – the Common English Bible.
This is also back to school weekend for our kids in worship. In the midst of worship our children in Sunday School will join us so that we can pray for them as they begin the new school year. We’ll also recognize all of our teachers and school staff and administrators and pray for them. We have a special backpack patch that we’re giving to the children in Sunday School as well.
Following worship, we’ll celebrate back to school for all ages with information tables representing our KiDSCOR childrens’ programming, rezlife Student Ministries, and even a table for our Adult Discipleship offerings. We’ll have a “block party” with roaming magicians, games, music, prizes, and Kona Ice (free for kids)! Don’t miss this fun and meaningful weekend!
We are in need of volunteers in rezlife Student Ministry for 6th-12th graders. Help teach Sunday School at 9:15 or 11 am. Teachers serve in teams and all lessons are provided. Additional rezlife serving opportunities include mentoring Confirmation students and Wednesday night youth groups. For more information click here or email Deborah Comstock to volunteer.
I’d like to offer a shameless plug, in conjunction with this weekend’s sermon, for my book, Making Sense of the Bible. I don’t recommend it because I receive any personal gain from its sale, LaVon and I give all of the royalties from this book to the Building Fund. I wrote this book to help people understand what the Bible is, how God speaks through it, how the books of the Bible were chosen, how we make sense of the Bible’s difficult passages (like Why does God seem so violent in the Old Testament? or How do we reconcile science and the Bible? or What are we to make of discrepancies in the various biblical accounts? and What is the meaning of the Book of Revelation? How do we make sense of the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality? among many other questions) and how we can read it for all its worth. I wrote this book both for non-religious and nominally religious people who struggle with the Bible, and for mature Christians who are serious students of the Bible.
I want to express my thanks to the hundreds of you who are already a part of the church’s John Wesley Society. The John Wesley Society is made up of those members of the church who have named the church in their will or estate plan. These persons are leaving legacy gifts that will continue to impact the church’s mission and ministry long after we’re gone. We have a building to stand for generations. The church’s foundation and the John Wesley Society will help ensure that the Church of the Resurrection continues to be used by God to change lives, strengthen churches and change for generations to come.
This week, on Thursday, August 17 at 6:30 pm, Clayton Smith and the church’s Foundation are planning a celebration of our 15th anniversary of the Foundation. This is not only for those who are John Wesley Society members, but for those who would like to know more about the foundation or leaving a legacy gift. We’ll gather in the Leawood sanctuary. The celebration will include special music by Rezonate under the direction of Lance Winkler and a dessert reception with cake and ice cream. For more information and to register please click here.
On Tuesday, August 22 of this month we’ll have a special Church Conference to approve the final drawings, plans and financing of the renovations to building B – our former sanctuary – at Leawood as well as to review the final building plans and financing plans for Resurrection Downtown. We’ll gather in the Sanctuary at 7 pm. Everyone from any campus is welcome to attend. Only Resurrection members (from any campus) may vote.
As we think about our children in the church this weekend I wanted to tell you about something I did with Stella, our three-year-old granddaughter this week. She came to have lunch with me at the church yesterday during the break at the Willow Creek Summit.
After lunch I asked her if she wanted to go see Jesus in the stained glass window and she nodded and told me she did. Every time she’s at church we go in and look at the window and I tell her stories about it. As we stood in the back of the sanctuary, I pointed to him and said, “Stella, do you see how Jesus’ arms are outstretched?”
She nodded and said, “Yes, Papa.”
I said, “Do you know what I think he is saying to you?”
“I think he’s saying, 'Stella, I love you so much.'”
I have found the window to be such a powerful tool for telling the gospel story, and teaching people about the faith. But I find it particularly true for children.
Following our time in the sanctuary we went to the water feature at the door, which she loves to touch. I reminded her that this water represents our baptism, and that I baptized her here at the church when she was a baby. I told her that in her baptism God claimed her as his child, and promised to be with her always (that’s as much as she can understand at this point about baptism). Then I invited her to put some of the water on her forehead, as I did the same, so that we might remember our baptisms.
I regularly see many of you doing the same with your children and grandchildren. I’m grateful for the ways the building is a tool for passing on the faith to our children. I imagine the day, 50 or 60 years from now, when Stella brings her grandchildren into the sanctuary, and tells them these same things.
Don’t miss worship this weekend as we celebrate the Bible, and as we celebrate our children and teachers as we prepare for back to school!
See you in worship!
13720 Roe Ave.
Leawood, KS 66224
24000 W. Valley Parkway
Olathe, KS 66061
1522 McGee St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
601 NE Jefferson Street
Blue Springs, MO 64014
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