Dear Resurrection Family,
I’m looking forward to being with you in worship this weekend. As we observe the third weekend of Lent, we’ll be continuing in our series of sermons on The Walk: Five Essential Practices of the Christian Life. Throughout scripture we’re called to walk with God and told that God walks with us. This idea of God walking with us and we with God reaches its apex in Jesus, when God took on flesh and literally walked with us, inviting others to follow.
I love this imagery of Jesus walking with me every day, and my aim is to walk with him. My hope is that through our Lenten sermon series you will have a closer walk with him each day.
We began two weeks ago with the practice of worship – both our gathering together in corporate worship, and the daily personal practice of prayer and giving thanks. I invited you to look to the five fingers of your right hand and let them remind you to give thanks five times a day. Last weekend we considered the importance of studying scripture together in small groups, and the daily discipline of reading the Bible and listening for God to speak through it. My day began, as I hope yours did, by reading from James 1:22-25 in the GPS Guide, inviting us to be not only hearers of God’s word, but also doers. (If you don’t receive those daily email devotions from the church, click here to sign up.)
This weekend we’ll turn to the practice of serving God by serving others. We do this together as a congregation in impactful ways, but we’re also meant to make this the daily rhythm of our lives – paying attention to the promptings of God as we work for justice and practice loving kindness. It is in this that we become most fully human, walk closely with God, and find meaning and joy. We’ll turn to the scriptures to learn more, and then I’ll offer some concrete examples and a simple tool to help you to find joy in serving Christ and others.
You’ve no doubt been following the story of significant flooding that is wreaking havoc in Nebraska and now Missouri as well as Iowa and South Dakota. Bill Gepford, who grew up at Resurrection and heard a call to ministry here, is serving as a senior pastor in Freemont, Nebraska, where flood waters have destroyed many homes. We’ll hear from him in a video from his town this weekend.
Resurrection will be sending teams to Nebraska in the weeks ahead. Rev. Hollie Tapley, with the Great Plains Conference wrote, "This disaster is huge, and it will take months of relief work and years for recovery work. Your Disaster Response Ministry is committed to the long haul and we will be active until the end."
There are three ways you can help those hardest hit now:
In addition, we already have a long-term disaster recovery team heading to Corpus Christi, Texas, in our continuing work in response to last year’s hurricane. This team will be serving April 27 – May 3. Corpus Christi is a beautiful city on the Gulf Coast, but parts of the community are still rebuilding. There is still time to join this long-term disaster recovery serve trip to Corpus Christi.
Shifting gears, I’ve been so pleased to see the response to our Lenten Study offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights in the Foundry as more than 1,000 Resurrection Leawood members are meeting new friends while going deeper into the Five Essential Practices.
Even if you missed the first two sessions, it’s not too late to join the study. Dinner is served from 5:30 to 6:15 pm and the study begins just after the meal. Pick your day: Tuesday Grow Night, Wednesday Family Night or Thursday Care Night. Register for your choice of class night here.
This is great for small groups! Download the Lenten Journal here. Let's get GROWing together!
Many of you have expressed excitement about our long-term vision of establishing preschools around all of our partner elementary schools to ensure every four-year-old has access to a quality early childhood education.
We’re kicking off this work with a forum next Sunday night, March 31, at the Leawood Foundry at 6:30 pm. We’ll have four amazing leaders who are currently directing pre-schools for low income communities. If you are feeling called to be a part of this vision, I’d like you to join me for this forum and panel discussion. Click here to register for this event.
This month Pastor Cheryl Bell was recognized in By Faith magazine as a part of their celebration of Women’s History Month. Congratulations Pastor Cheryl! You can read the article here.
As you read this, I’ve just landed in Atlanta where I’m speaking at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology this evening. I’m speaking at a conference on giving on the topic of "The Good Life." Would you take a moment to pray for me, that God will use me to inspire, encourage and bless those attending? I’ll be back in KC after my talk tonight and look forward to preaching this weekend.
Next week I’ll give an update on conversations happening among bishops and leaders in the UMC about the denomination’s future, particularly for the 20,000 churches in the denomination that, like us, are centrists.
I’m grateful for you, Church of the Resurrection, and am proud to be your pastor.
In Christ’s Love,
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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