What a great beginning to the New Year!
This Sunday we will continue to ask what Jesus would say when it comes to mental health. When we surveyed hundreds of Millennials and Generation Z (the two largest generations on the planet) at Resurrection, mental health was named as one of the top critical issues of our time. What can we learn from Jesus and how the church can respond to this great need? Please read below about the National Alliance on Mental Illness 12-week course we are offering Monday nights starting in February. Join us on Sunday as we gather at 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, and 5 pm with KiDSCOR Sunday School for 5th grade and under at four services and rezlife 6th-8th grade Sunday School at 9:30 am & 11 am.
I received an important note a couple Sundays ago that I wanted to share. At the conclusion of one of our worship services a young adult came up and gave it to me. She was about to walk away when I stopped her to ask her name and thank her for worshipping with us. I’m not sure of her age exactly, but she would definitely be a Millennial (born 1981-1995) or Gen Z (born 1996-2012). She wanted to share with me her experience in worship with us. I didn’t have time to read the note until I got home that afternoon, and in it she shared feedback about her experience. She wrote how she really enjoyed the service and had parked in our guest parking spot. She shared that she was really intrigued by our new series and wondered what Jesus would have to say about these important issues? She also shared that she “hadn’t felt seen yet, and maybe giving this note to you will help that, but if I weren’t coming to you, would I have felt seen at all?”
This statement really gave me pause. I was so glad that I stopped her to ask her name, but I don’t always do that. Sometimes I hesitate, as I’m guessing some of you do, hoping not to impose myself on someone. I’ve been reflecting on this note for the past two weeks and want to invite all of us to consider how we interact with others on Sunday, but really in every area of our lives. I know you join me in wanting everyone to "feel seen" on a Sunday when they worship with us, especially those who are there for the first time. I think about the courage it takes to walk into a strange new place, especially a church - where many people have not had good experiences.
One of our Resurrection distinctives is that we are outward-focused, and we need to be reminded of that constantly, me included! It’s easy and comfortable to come in on a Sunday and connect with just our friends or family. But we need to be intentional about welcoming guests so they are no longer strangers. You’ll remember that as one of Jesus’ teachings for us.
So, my invitation to all of us is to remember to be just that – outward-focused. Let's intentionally look for visitors and guests, and let's offer them a warm welcome. Let's ask their name and try hard to remember it the next week. Let's reach out to people we know have fallen out of the holy habit of worship and connection to the church – not from a place of judgement, but from a place of care. I’ve attached the lines from her note here because I believe they are important enough to read in her own writing:
I also wanted to celebrate our attendance from the first Sunday of this new year and break it down for you by worship service…
8 am Worship & Nursery - 157
KiDSCOR Sunday School - 17
9:30 am Worship & Nursery - 478
KiDSCOR Sunday School - 177
rezlife Sunday School - 29
11 am Worship & Nursery - 284
KiDSCOR Sunday School- 61
rezlife Sunday School - 28
5 pm Worship & Nursery - 144
KiDSCOR Sunday School - 11
Thats a total of 1,386 people, across six generations, growing in faith together (323 of those being K-8th graders in Sunday School)! Wow! How exciting it is to welcome so many into our new expanded Sanctuary, parking lot, and drive. May we continue to be faithful to the mission God is calling us to as we seek to build Christian community where non-religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.
Finally, I hope you’ll make worship a priority in your life this year as we live into our five essential practices of the faith: worship, study, serve, give, and share.
Speaking of studying, I look forward to being at the Saturday Morning Women’s Group as they launch into a new year. These ladies are amazing and would love to welcome you this Saturday as they begin a new book called It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, written by Lisa TerKeurst. I’ll be teaching the opening session focusing on how God speaks in the midst of the unexpected difficulties we face. Saturday morning women meets twice monthly from 8:30-10:30 am for brunch, teaching, table-discussion, prayer, laughter, and connection. More info can be found on our adult classes & community web page.
And be sure to SAVE THE DATE for guest speaker, Dan Meers, who is well-known as another persona: THE KC WOLF. He will be speaking on Saturday morning, Jan. 25, and all are invited. Make plans to join us for a great breakfast and inspiring testimony from Dan. Then, later that morning, THE KC WOLF will be stopping by our Upward Basketball games! Thanks to Allan Henning and our Saturday Morning Men's Group for reaching out to Dan and putting this together. They are studying his book Wolves Can't Fly. More info to come.
Wear your Chiefs gear on Sunday. Go Chiefs!
Pastor Jason Gant
13720 Roe Ave.
Leawood, KS 66224
24000 W. Valley Pkwy
Olathe, KS 66061
1601 Grand Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
601 NE Jefferson St.
Blue Springs, MO 64014
8412 W. 95th St.
Overland Park, KS 66212
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