Adam Hamilton

Pastor Adam's Enote

Commitment Weekend, Thanksgiving and More

Posted Nov 19, 2021

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Dear Resurrection Family,

We had such a great weekend in worship this past week – it was the highest in-person attendance since the pandemic began. 3rd graders received their Bibles at all locations. There was such excitement. We had great attendance online as well. I’ve got some fun news to share today that you’ll want to know, particularly about the Plaza Lighting on Thanksgiving Day. But first…

The Legacy We Leave Behind

This weekend we have several important things happening in worship. We’re concluding our series on Investing for Life by looking at "The Legacy We Leave."

When I visit people who are approaching death, I carry a little notebook with me. At some point in the visit, I ask the person, “What is the legacy you hope you’ve left behind? How do you want to be remembered? And, what really matters to you?” I write these down as lessons I want to learn. I ask these same questions about this person when, after their death, I meet with their family to plan the funeral service. The individual’s answers, and the answers of their family, form the basis of the homily I’ll share.

This weekend I’ll ask you to consider these questions and how you would answer them, as I invite you to intentionally think about the legacy you’ll leave behind. I’ll share several inspiring stories of people in our congregation who left a legacy, and we’ll see the answers to these questions that Moses, Jesus and King David gave, and lived.

What will be written in the pastor’s notebook (mine or someone else’s) about your life and legacy?

Make Your Commitment/Pledge This Weekend

This is a big week and weekend at Resurrection as we invite you to return your annual pledge card in our stewardship campaign. Our members will have received an email or snail mail from me with your pledge card or link to make your pledge. LaVon and I increase our pledge each year, but I always need to go back to remember what our current pledge is. You can find your current pledge and giving on your quarterly giving statement that was emailed to you on October 28.

If you are a part of our congregation but not a member, and would like to join us in making a financial commitment to God to support the church’s ministry in the coming year, you can do so this weekend in worship, or by clicking here.

To each of you, members and those who are regular givers, I’d like to ask you to consider increasing your commitment to God through our church for 2022 as you grow towards tithing. We are doing amazing ministry at the church. You can see just a few of the things you’ve done in the last year here. But as with everything else, we have seen increasing costs for everything we do. Thank you in advance, for your faithfulness, your commitment and your generosity! You impact tens of thousands of people through your generosity. Your giving is an act of worship and Christian discipleship – an expression of your faith.

As an expression of appreciation for making a pledge, we will be giving you a 2022 Resurrection mug (pictured below). It has the Fruit of the Spirit on it (with Kindness highlighted in the center – a theme we’ll be focusing on next fall). The mug is an opportunity to remember and reflect upon the Fruit of the Spirit throughout the coming year. We have one mug per household that returns a commitment card, but every child and teen who returns a commitment card will receive their own mug. We’ll give these at the end of each worship service across all of our locations. If you worship online or on television, you can pick up a mug at any of our locations between 12:30 and 2 pm this Sunday. Here’s a picture of the mug:

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Advent Wreaths Available for Pick-Up

During Advent, we light a candle each Sunday in anticipation of Christmas. We’ll do this together during worship, and if you worship online or television, I hope you will light the candles along with us in your home. If you don’t have an Advent wreath, we’d like to give you one. You can pick these up at any of our locations on Sunday when you pick up your Stewardship mug, between 12:30 and 2 pm.

Resurrection Musicians Performing at the Plaza Lighting Ceremony

Thursday, November 25, 6 pm

I learned today that members of Resurrection’s traditional music team will be opening Kansas City’s Plaza Lighting Ceremony this year with The Little Drummer Boy. Eight singers, seven drummers and worship leader Isaac Cates on the piano will perform at 6:03 pm on Thanksgiving night on the Plaza. Isaac, who is our associate director of Traditional Worship, and his musical group “Ordained” will also perform at the event. The lighting ceremony will be broadcast live on KMBC Channel 9 beginning at 6 pm.

This is a wonderful Kansas City tradition, and we’re honored that Resurrection can be part of it! I’m grateful for the time our musicians and vocalists are committing to do this – they will be rehearsing on the Plaza most of the day before Thanksgiving.

Are you coming to Christmas Eve services?

Last year we were not able to have in-person Candlelight Christmas Eve. This year we will be having services, but do not know how many services to plan for. We don’t want to schedule too few services and turn people away. We also don’t want to schedule too many services and have the candle lighting ceremony in a nearly empty room.

Can you take a few minutes to help us by taking this survey? It will let us know if you plan to attend in person, and if so, which service time and location you plan to attend, and how many people are likely to attend with you.

Here’s the survey link →

Serving Our Neighbors this Thanksgiving

  • Serve Saturday - We still have open spots if you would like to serve with a local organization November 20-25. Here’s a link to find opportunities.
  • Donation Drop Off - Provide warmth items (coats, hats, gloves, blankets) and toiletries at our monthly collection drive tomorrow, Saturday, November 20, from 9 - 11 am at any of our locations. Here are the specific items requested.

Annual Thanksgiving Prayer Vigil

Tuesday, November 23, 7 am - 7 pm

The Thanksgiving Prayer Vigil is one of our annual traditions. I’d like to invite you to join us at the Wesley Chapel at our Leawood location (building C) anytime between 7 am and 7 pm. We have devotional readings focused on gratitude.

As we pause to give thanks to God for his blessings, you’ll also be invited to pray by name for some of our attendees. We'll pray for all of our congregation by name throughout the day, and you will be prayed for that day! This is a churchwide come-and-go prayer event. All are invited to participate at your convenience, individually or with your family or small group. Again, prayer guides are provided.

You can also participate in the Prayer Vigil online throughout the day. Directions will be on the page below.

Join the Prayer Vigil →

Advent Studies and Dinner Groups

Next Sunday is the beginning of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas. During this season, we’re going to retrace the stories of Mary, Joseph and what Matthew and Luke tell us about the events leading up to and including the birth of Jesus. Each week in worship we’ll ask how these beloved stories speak to us today. We’ll be singing the songs of the season, lighting the Advent candles and preparing our hearts for a deeply meaningful Christmas.

Along with the sermons, we’ll be studying my book, The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem in small groups, including videos I filmed in the Holy Land years ago taking you to the places where the story unfolds. Our daily GPS – our Grow, Pray and Study Guide – will include daily scripture readings from Matthew and Luke and a devotional from a book of daily Advent devotionals I wrote (thanks to Abingdon Press for giving us permission to use these).

During the month, we invite you to join one of our Open Table Dinner groups for fellowship and fun. Groups will gather at local restaurants between December 6 and 22 to enjoy some good food and talk about the sermon series and book. This is a great opportunity to meet some new people and share in some Christmas cheer. To get the groups started, we need volunteers who are willing to be hosts. If you are willing to do this, here’s the link where you can sign up and get more information on what this involves.

Watch next week for opportunities to sign up as a group participant. I hope to show up and surprise a few of these dinner groups!

We also have a special online study opportunity on Wednesdays, Dec. 1, 8 and 15, from 6:30-8 pm Central Time. This three-week online study is a chance to connect with others during Advent and deepen our faith through conversations based on The Journey. We’ll use a large format Zoom gathering with breakout rooms and hosts for the chance to engage with and learn from one another. Here’s the link to register.

Reading the book during Advent will be helpful, but not required to fully participate in the study. But, if you’d like, you can order a copy of the book online through Resurrection Leawood's The Well Bookstore.

Advent Activities for All Ages

We’ll kick off the Christmas season at Church of the Resurrection with a Merry ‘Little’ Christmas Event for families on Saturday, December 4! All are welcome to enjoy a visit with Santa Claus, a meaningful craft project supporting KC area foster kids and a living nativity to reflect on the true meaning of the season. You can also pick up a free Family Advent Kit filled with activities to help brighten your family’s Christmas season! Here’s the link for the specific times at the location near you.

On Wednesday, December 8, a Caroling Blitz will take the joy of Christmas to the streets of our community. Come with family, invite friends and meet us at any one of our gathering zones across the city. Enjoy coffee, hot chocolate and cookies before taking off with a group of singers, going door to door, singing Christmas carols. Here’s the link to select a meet up location and sign up!

Watch for more details on additional activities including a special Serve Saturday on December 18, and a meaningful Longest Night service on December 15 when we gather to remember that we are not alone.

Tuesday Night Vespers on Gratitude

Join me for Vespers this Tuesday night at 7:30 pm on Facebook Live, on my Facebook page: Pastor Adam Hamilton on Facebook. You’ll also be able to view it on my Facebook page or on cor.org/next after Tuesday night. I’m continuing a focus on the importance of gratitude as we head into Thanksgiving – this week: Giving Thanks When Life Is Hard.

Afghan Evacuee Response

You may have seen an article in the Kansas City Star this week about an Afghan refugee family with sixteen people living in a two-bedroom apartment. Kansas City is receiving a number of families that worked with the US and fled the Taliban.

Resurrection has partnered closely with Jewish Vocational Services and other resettlement agencies to welcome people into the new homes. We are still very much in need of volunteers to help move furniture. We also need to identify more housing solutions. Learn about volunteering here.

If you have access to a network of rental properties, please contact Patrick.Mclaughlin@cor.org.

Offices Closed Thursday and Friday

The Church Offices will be closed this coming Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. As a reminder, if you have a pastoral care emergency after office hours, you can call our pager number at 913-544-0799. The pastor on call will return your page as soon as possible.

That’s all the news I’ve got for you today. I want to thank you again, in advance, for your faithfulness and generosity that make Resurrection’s ministry possible. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

In Christ's love,

Adam

Adam Hamilton

Adam Hamilton

Reverend Adam Hamilton is the senior pastor of Church of the Resurrection and the author of 22 books. He 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.

Adam's writings are known for helping readers make sense of challenging theological questions, exploring the significance of the biblical stories, and equipping Christian leaders to be more effective in their work. He earned his MDiv from Perkins School of Theology and graduated with honors from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Pastoral Ministry.

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