Dear Resurrection Family,
Our granddaughter, Stella, spent the night last night. It’s been our tradition to carve pumpkins together every October, pulling the gooey “brains” from our jack-o-lanterns and carefully carving out their faces. This was the first year Stella was able to carve her pumpkin on her own.
What does the ideal you look like? I’m not thinking about your ideal physique (mine would be ten pounds lighter), or your career or marital status. I’m asking about who you really are – your character, persona, the real you. What does that ideal you look like?
In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul gives us a list he calls, “the fruit of the Spirit” – a list of nine attributes that God created us to reflect: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Which of us doesn’t have room to grow in these?
This weekend we’ll talk about love, joy and peace, and about 90-year-old William Shatner’s (Captain Kirk’s) trip to space. I’ll also share what Mary Easterday told me about how she and Bob (Dr. Bob Easterday, a remarkable man and founding member of Resurrection who passed away this week), remained married 73 years. I’ll share one key to finding joy, and we’ll see how the first three of the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy and peace – fundamentally change the quality and impact of our lives.
The fruit of the Spirit are the key to living the life you were meant to live, to having the best relationships you can have, and finding meaning and joy. I think this series of messages is the most important of the year.
By the way, we’ll be working to memorize the Fruit of the Spirit over the next three weeks. To help, we’ll have a refrigerator magnet (you can see it here) you can pick up in worship this weekend. If you worship online we’ll have a screen saver with the same image. You can download it at cor.org/next.
If you are an early riser who wants to begin your Sunday with worship, join us in the Foundry Hall (Building B) at our Leawood location on Sunday for a 7:30 am worship service.
Being in the Foundry allows 7:30 worshipers to be close to adult Sunday School classes and to the Spring Café for fellowship following worship. The service will have traditional music. We’ll test it for four weeks to see if we can get a critical mass of people and if we can, we’ll continue to have it. I’ll be there in person this weekend to kick off this service, but the sermon will be by video much of the time.
I want to share with you the results from our fall Sack Hunger food drive. At all of our locations combined, we collected 13,650 pounds of food, and you generously contributed $163,600 dollars, all of which will be used to purchase another 200,000 plus pounds of food for families and children in need in our community. Thank you! I am so proud of you. We will have some new opportunities to serve our community as we approach the holiday season. Stay tuned!
What made this giving so remarkable was in the few weeks before our food drive you also gave $354,300 in disaster relief aid for the earthquake in Haiti and the hurricane that affected Louisiana and Mississippi – a total of over $518,000 above and beyond your regularly giving to help others last month. I am so very proud of your heart of compassion and your generosity in serving others.
Each fall, we continue the Methodist tradition of presenting all third-grade students with a Bible of their very own. As their faith family, we’re excited to provide this age-appropriate Bible, and our prayer is that this gift will help them grow deeper in their relationship with God.
This year, we’ll be presenting Bibles during worship services on November 14 at each of our five locations, as well as providing a Bible to third graders who worship with their families online or television. To provide each child with a Bible, we need for you to register your student and let us know where and when you plan to worship on November 14. We hope you’ll make plans now to celebrate this important faith milestone in your child’s life.
Our monthly Serve Saturday is tomorrow. We have great opportunities to serve at different times and locations throughout the community. You can sign up individually or serve with your family or small group. We still have a lot of openings available. Check them out and sign up! It’s going to be a beautiful day to get out in the community.
If you’re not able to serve out in the community, we have a simple way you can participate. This month we are collecting peanut butter for our Backpacks for Hunger ministry and individually wrapped snacks for our Partner Schools. You can drop these items off at any Resurrection locations between 9 and 11 am on Saturday. Peanut butter is a great source of non-perishable protein that can be used for quick meals, so families receive a small jar of peanut butter every month in addition to the usual Backpacks for Hunger food.
The snacks help our partner school teachers keep their kids from getting hungry during class. Peanut butter needs to be a 14-16 ounce plastic jar (student have to carry it home), and snacks should be individually wrapped (granola bars, fruit snacks, chips, sandwich crackers, cookies, and so on). Join LaVon and me in bringing snacks or peanut butter for kids here in KC!
As we learned earlier this fall, natural disasters can occur at any time. One of the ways our church responds is to have Early Response Teams trained and ready to deploy when needed. Certified Early Responders are often the first groups in once the emergency workers have deemed the area safe after a disaster.
At Resurrection, these teams are trained to respond to both the physical and emotional needs of the survivors - helping with clean up and immediate needs, but also providing a Christian presence as caring “listeners.”
We will be providing Early Response Training next Saturday, October 23, from 9 am - 4 pm for certification, and from 1-4 pm for recertification at our Leawood location. If you are interested in training to be a part of the Early Response Team, register for this training.
We’re looking forward to the annual Resurrection Golf Tournament benefitting Resurrection’s Mobile Food Pantry on Monday. You don’t have to be a golfer to participate in a special silent auction for a painting donated from Julie and Hal Hanson, of the Jeff Hanson Art Studio.
To see the painting, go to the golf tournament website and click on the painting to learn more and submit a silent bid. Bidding is online only, and closes Monday, October 18, at 4 pm CT.
I’ll be seeing some of you tonight at the Turning Dreams into Reality Gala in Resurrection’s Leawood Foundry. I’m excited that the event is sold out. The Gala helps support the work Resurrection Pastor Darryl Burton leads at Miracle of Innocence (MOI). Pastor Darryl serves part time at Resurrection and part time as the founding executive director of MOI. As many of you know, Pastor Darryl was wrongly convicted of murder and remained in prison for more than twenty years before he was exonerated after a witness who was not allowed to testify at the trial was finally heard by a judge.
Miracle of Innocence helps prisoners receive a review of their trials and helps the exonerated and released land on their feet. Based upon the number of persons convicted and later exonerated as a result of DNA evidence, it is estimated that 1% of the US prison population was wrongly convicted. On the one hand that points to the fact that the criminal justice system gets it right 99% of the time. On the other hand, if you are among the 1% - the 20,000 wrongly convicted persons who are currently incarcerated – your only hope is that someone comes along to take your case and is able to get a hearing. I’m proud of Pastor Darryl and the important work he and the team at Miracle of Innocence do, and proud that he is one of our pastors.
Finally, returning to where I began this note, I love seeing the pumpkins decorating our buildings as we prepare for a new sermon series on the Fruit of the Spirit. And Halloween is just around the corner!
We’re preparing for our annual Trunk or Treat celebrations October 30-31. Each of our locations will host a community event, and I know they all could use more volunteers and decorated trunks! Go to the cor.org/events page for your location to learn more and sign up to help. Here’s a silly 30 second promo video our team talked me into doing in my Alexander Hamilton costume I’ll be wearing at Trunk or Treat.
I hope you’ll join me as we fill our parking lots with trunks, treats, children and lots of fun!
See you in worship this weekend!
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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