Dear Resurrection Family,
It’s a soggy start to Memorial Day weekend here in Kansas City! I suspect your weekend will be celebrated a bit differently than in year’s past.
Memorial Day began at the close of the Civil War. It was originally known as Decoration Day and was set aside as a day to encourage families and communities to remember those who had died in the war in part by decorating their graves. Over time, it became a holiday to remember all who died serving their country in war, and eventually, a day like the church’s All Saints Day, on which families remembered all of their loved ones who had died.
As a child I remember my grandmother taking me to the cemetery to decorate the grave of her parents.
This weekend in worship we’ll pick up on this theme, looking at our own lives in the light of death. I’ll be inviting you to think about how you hope to be remembered and the legacy you will leave behind.
I have a special guest interview in this weekend’s sermon: Sonia Warshawski. Sonia is one of the few remaining holocaust survivors in Kansas City. Her story was made into a remarkable film a couple of years ago called Big Sonia (here’s the trailer for the film). She was in the Majdanek, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps. At the close of the sermon you’ll hear her describe life in the camps, and then she’ll describe the legacy she hopes to leave behind. Click here to see the pictures of Aushwitz-Birkenau on Wikipedia – you can click through the photos to see some of the things Sonia speaks about.
At the end of the service, we’ll return to the original Civil War origins of Memorial Day with Julia Ward Howe’s song, written about the war during the war, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, as performed by the Resurrection Leawood choir and orchestra last Memorial Day.
In preparation for worship, have a candle to light as the service begins, a cup of wine or juice and bread for sharing Holy Communion, a pad of paper and pen to write a few things down, and a Bible.
In honor of Memorial Day, we have compiled a list of all those associated with our church who passed away in the past year that you can read online. I encourage you to remember them and their legacy, and to pray for their loved ones.
Invite a friend to join you for worship. Tell them to log in at cor.org/live Saturday at 5 pm, Sunday at 7:30 am, 9:15 am, 11 am or 5 pm (CDT). Or, if you have friends, neighbors or family members who do not have internet access, invite them to tune into KSHB Channel 41 for worship at 11 am.
Anytime you want to register your attendance, give online, submit a prayer request or see our weekly announcements, you can do all that at cor.org/next.
Please note that our church buildings are currently closed, but in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 25, those with loved ones inurned in the Wesley Memorial Garden at Resurrection Leawood may access the Memorial Garden in the courtyard of Building C through the South Entrance (the door is labeled South Entrance) from 10 am to 2 pm. We will adhere to social distancing guidelines, follow one-way directional signs in and out of the building and the garden, and use the provided hand sanitizer; you may want to consider wearing a face mask to protect yourself and other visitors to the garden.
At Leawood, the new Resurrection Memorial Garden on the northeast side of Building A and the Prayer Walk on the south side of Building A will be open during daylight hours. The Memorial Garden at Resurrection Overland Park will also be open during daylight hours. Please practice social distancing guidelines in both of these locations.
Each Tuesday night I go live on Facebook from 8–8:15 pm (CDT). This Tuesday we’ll be doing something a little different. We’re going to have a hymn sing led by some of our pastors.
Join us from your home, and as Charles Wesley instructed in an early Methodist hymnal: “Sing all… sing lustily and with courage.” These are all familiar hymns that will bless you.
Vacation Bible Camp is on the go this year! COVID-19 has made it necessary to change our plans for in-person Vacation Bible Camp this year, but we are excited to announce that all our campuses are coming together for VBC July 20-24 in a brand new way!
This year “VBC on the Go” will meet children and their families wherever they are this summer. When you register, you’ll get a VBC kit full of awesome activities, t-shirts, online videos and resources, and fun ways to connect on social media.
Invite your friends and neighbors to be part of this summer’s VBC fun by sharing the registration link (cor.org/VBC) with them. Your VBC kit will also include everything you need host a fun VBC experience for children and families in your neighborhood.
Registration for VBC is now open, and additional information is available at cor.org/vbc!
We know responding to COVID-19 is having an enormous impact on our front line medical professionals and first responders. They are seeing the devastating effects every day, and it can be a traumatic event.
Resurrection is partnering with Frontline Therapy Network to provide six free tele-health counseling sessions with licensed counselors who all specialize in trauma therapy. This can help prevent burnout and the long term effects that trauma can have on their mental and physical health.
If you are a first responder or medical professional in need of counseling services, you can fill out a referral form here. This is one of the things possible because of our congregations generous contributions to our COVID response fund. Thank you!
In case you missed it in worship last weekend, here is the link to the video honoring our 2020 high school and college graduates. Some photos came in too late to be included and unfortunately, a couple just got missed because of the incredible number of graduates, so we have made those revisions in this version. Even if you saw it last week, you might want to take a look again so you can personally congratulate those students you recognize.
Speaking of congratulating graduates, last week I invited you to submit a message of congratulations to Church of the Resurrection’s 2020 graduates. There may have been some confusion about these messages. We do not have a way to get personal messages to individual students. What I was trying to ask for was for you join me in offering a general message of congratulations and encouragement to all the 2020 graduates as a group so that we could include these messages in a booklet of encouragement from their church family.
If you would like to submit a message, here is the link. Please include your name with your message.
If you go to our website you’ll find lists of specific items needed, as well as other opportunities to volunteer and donate.
Some of you have asked about two popular Resurrection summer activities – the UMW Rummage Sale and the Car Show. We have made the difficult decision to postpone both these events this year. There is just too much uncertainty about what will be happening in our community with regard to large gatherings in July, and both of these events draw large crowds.
If you have furniture and household items that you’ve been saving for the Rummage Sale, you might consider donating to our ministry partner Flourish Furnishings.
Due to internal promotions and ministry growth, we are seeking youth ministers at four of our five campuses. Check out the positions here: cor.org/employment.
Our youth ministers engage every student from grades 6-12 within our church and communities and help them become deeply committed Christians. We are looking for leaders to join the Resurrection team who are passionate about being used by God to change lives, strengthen churches, and transform the world through a fun, innovative ministry that is making a huge impact in the lives of students and families.
I received a kind note from the Chief of Police in Shawnee thanking you, Resurrection, for your cards, notes, signs and other acts of kindness and encouragement shared with their department.
Yesterday three of our Silver Link volunteers who usually lead worship at Benton House in Blue Springs, went to encourage the residents there and to pray with them through the window. Katie, the activity director there, wrote, “We were so truly blessed by your visits this morning. Thank you for taking the time to make these beautiful moments of prayer and encouragement possible for our residents. We love you all dearly. We are thankful for the prayers you have offered and continue to offer over our residents and staff. We feel God watching over us.”
I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pictures:
I’m so grateful for you, Resurrection! You continue to take the church into the world – to embody Christ’s love. Your generosity of finances, food, and the giving of your time these last three months have been remarkable. Thank you!
See you in worship (online!) this weekend!
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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