Dear Resurrection Family,
In the last week I reviewed a dozen studies published in the last few years demonstrating the amazing power of gratitude. Gratitude has been found to reduces stress and depression, increase sleep quality, and improve overall health. In the business world, it improves employee morale and corporate performance. In interpersonal relationships, it is a key to successful marriages. Gratitude is a central theme in scripture as well, and fundamental to a meaningful relationship with God.
This weekend we kick off a three-week Thanksgiving series of messages called, With Grateful Hearts. We’ll look at how and why gratitude works and give you tools and tips to harness the power of gratitude. Researchers have said that 30 days of giving thanks each day has a significant impact on people’s lives. This weekend we’ll kick off a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge and provide each worshiper with a small 30-day Gratitude Journal to help you unleash the power of gratitude in your life. Invite a friend to join you this weekend. Here’s a picture of the gratitude journal.
With you, my heart has been aching for the people of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the entire community, where 26 people were killed and 20 others wounded. I was reading in my news feed this morning of the responses of various churches in Texas to the tragedy – Christians coming alongside the survivors and the community to give support and care. The article was focused on United Methodist Churches, but churches of every kind have been doing the same. You can read that article from United Methodist Insight here.
Violence has struck nightclubs, post offices, shopping malls, theaters, military installations, schools and churches. There is no place that is immune from these senseless acts. Our security ministry was formed some years ago to focus on the safety and security of our congregation, and they do a great job. The church has an Emergency Procedure Plan in place that is regularly reviewed and updated. We have a well-trained security team on each of our campuses who work closely with the local law enforcement. In light of the shooting at Sutherland Springs our team is carefully reviewing all security procedures.
On the Leawood campus, in addition to two full-time security personnel who are former law enforcement officers, we have over 80 trained volunteers on our security team, some of whom are retired law enforcement officers. All of our volunteers go through training at least four times a year. In addition to active shooter scenarios, they also train for first-aid and disaster response. During every worship service, as well as major events, we have a minimum of one Resurrection security staff member, five security team volunteers, and a uniformed off-duty police officer in the building, as well as uniformed police officers in our parking lots. At every service and event, some of the security team members are armed.
Pat McCarthy, our Director of Safety and Security, wanted me to include two important things you can do to help them with safety and security: First, be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you know where the closest exits are located. Second, if something or someone doesn’t look right or makes you uneasy, say something. At Resurrection, this means telling an usher or staff person who will relay it to our security team to check out. I’m proud of, and grateful for, our many security team members.
This weekend we will recognize veterans and active-duty members of the military in worship. If you are able, we encourage you to wear your uniform this weekend. Church of the Resurrection has a special ministry called RezVets that seeks to honor and support the women and men who serve, along with their families. This ministry offers opportunities to connect socially as well as provide care and training for those who sometimes struggle with re-integration into civilian and family life. We also pray for those serving our country. You can email the name of a loved one to Cheryl.Greenough@cor.org to have their name added to a prayer list on the church website. We will list their first names only due to confidentiality. You can learn more about RezVets and the resources provided on our website. Vets and active duty personnel, please join us this weekend in worship.
Resurrection Leawood’s Blood Drive is Monday, Nov. 13, and Tuesday, Nov. 14, 8 am – 8 pm, in the Building A Narthex. As we move into the holiday season, the Community Blood Center is counting on us to help keep the blood supplies replenished in Kansas City, which serves our community as well as enabling them to answer the call for much-needed blood in other areas. Click here for more information. Join LaVon and me as we give the gift of life!
Join me and our other pastors for Coffee with the Pastors, Tuesday November 14, 6:30 – 8:30 pm in the Leawood Student Center (Building C). This is a great opportunity to learn more about the church and membership expectations. You will also meet our Congregational Care pastors and have a chance to talk with them. For those who decide to join there will be a brief joining ceremony at the end of the gathering. Childcare is provided. Register Online Here. This is the last Coffee with the Pastors this year, and the final opportunity to join during this year we moved into the new sanctuary. If you’ve been a regular visitor, I hope to see you there.
Five years ago, as part of our vision to help renew the church, we made the important decision to make space for Saint Paul School of Theology – one of the 13 United Methodist Seminaries in the Unites States – to locate right here on our campus from their previous campus. This not only is helpful to Saint Paul, but it's a tremendous resource for us as well. To have opportunities for you to grow deeper in your study and understanding of faith from outstanding professors by taking or auditing classes.
It's a tremendous collaboration between Resurrection and Saint Paul and this weekend, out in the narthex after worship, you can stop by the Saint Paul table and learn more about upcoming classes and seminars that you can participate in either for graduate credit or simply to grow deeper in your faith through auditing a class. You can also learn more at their website by clicking here. I don't want you to miss out on the opportunities Saint Paul offers to grow in both your knowledge and understanding of faith.
Then right along those lines, because we believe that God is going to call at least 200 of us over the next 20 years into full-time Christian ministry, I want to ask you if you think God might be nudging you to think more about full-time vocational ministry. Whether you’re a young person who is thinking about what to do with your life or you're somebody who has some life and vocational experience under your belt already, I want you to prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you into full-time ministry. One of the first steps to begin to explore that question is our Pathways to Ministry, led by Pastor Steve Langhofer.
This is a great way to just explore what's involved in vocational ministry, so if you have any questions, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We expect over 700 people will attend Thanksgiving meals that Resurrection is helping sponsor at our community partner locations. You can help ensure folks attending one of these meals enjoy a holiday feast. Simply prepare an extra side dish or roast an extra turkey this Thanksgiving and drop it off at the refrigerated truck in the church parking lot on Thanksgiving week. Sign up at the JOY in Serving tables in the Narthex this weekend or sign up online.
This is all I have for now, see you in worship this weekend and don’t forget to invite a friend as we kick-off our 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.
In Christ’s Love,
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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