Dear Resurrection Family,
I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving. Thank you to the many of you who purchased, prepared or served Thanksgiving meals throughout Kansas City! And, thank you to the members of our music ministry who sang on the Plaza as part of the Plaza Lighting Ceremony! On this “Black Friday” I’ve got a few important things I wanted to share with you.
This Sunday is the beginning of Advent - the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Each week there will opportunities for you to worship, study, serve, give and share, as we focus on preparing our hearts for a deeply meaningful Christmas.
Our sanctuaries at each location have been decked out with greenery, candles, trees and lights. We’ll be singing Advent hymns and Christmas carols each weekend, lighting the Advent candles, and focusing on the stories leading up to, and including, the birth of Jesus.
This weekend we’ll begin by turning to Luke 1:26-38, where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary announcing that she will conceive and have a son whom she is to name Jesus, a child who is the Messiah and Son of the Most High. In the message I’ll take to you to Nazareth and we’ll consider why the Gospel writers want you to know Jesus was born in this otherwise insignificant town. We’ll consider Gabriel and ask who or what an angel is (with a clip from It’s a Wonderful Life which gets it partially wrong about angels… and partially right). We’ll then consider Mary’s response to Gabriel, and to God, and how she models for us how we might daily live our lives.
Our small groups will be studying my book, The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem, upon which this sermon series is based. It includes videos I filmed in the Holy Land years ago taking participants to the places where the story unfolds. Our daily GPS – our Grow, Pray and Study Guide – will include daily scripture readings from Matthew and Luke and a devotional from a book of daily Advent devotionals I wrote (thanks to Abingdon Press for giving us permission to use these). If you would like to receive the daily GPS in your email, you can do so here.
Thank you to each of you who made your financial pledge to God for the ministry of the church for the coming year. I am, and as a church we are, so grateful for each of you who had returned your pledge card.
If you weren’t able to do this last weekend, and you consider Resurrection to be your church home, you can make you pledge online by clicking here, you can turn it in during worship this weekend if you are joining us in person, or you can mail it to the church. After you submit you pledge, don’t forget to pick up your 2022 Resurrection mug after worship.
I mentioned last weekend that LaVon and I struggle each year to buy Christmas gifts for family who have more than enough. I remember several years ago when Danielle and JT asked us to go easy on gifts for Stella, because she already had more books, toys and playthings than she needed.
Eleven years ago, Resurrection began giving away our entire Christmas Eve offering to benefit children and families who did not have enough. Our missions team vets projects and works with mission partners here in Kansas City, in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world, to determine where these funds will go. Our goal is that these funds have a catalytic impact aimed at bringing hope, help and support to children and families.
On this Black Friday, as you are making your plans for Christmas gifts, I’d like to remind you of our Christmas Eve challenge. We invite our members to consider giving an amount in your Christmas Eve offering equal to what you’ll spend on your own family for Christmas, blessing children and families who don’t have enough. Not everyone can do this, and some can do more, giving many times what they spend on their family at Christmas. We have special cards you can download and print to include with Christmas cards or gifts letting your family or friends know that in addition to whatever gifts you may have given them, you gave a gift to help others in their name.
This weekend, we will share some highlights of what your generosity made possible in 2021, as well as some of our plans for this Christmas season – opportunities to sponsor children and families, donate and serve. Mark your calendars now for a Churchwide Serve Saturday on December 18 when we will spread joy and hope throughout the community.
Care and Support During the Christmas Season
For many people, this time of year is especially difficult. It’s hard to feel “Merry and Bright” when you have experienced loss and are facing personal challenges. I want you to know that we are your church family, and we want to care for and support you. Reach out to our care team and let us know how we can walk with you through the darkness (cor.org/care). We have several opportunities coming up that I hope you’ll take advantage of and share with those you know who might be helped.
Join me for Vespers this Tuesday night at 7:30 pm. I’ll be sharing from the Psalms and talking about gratitude during seasons of reorientation – when you come out of adversity or difficulties. Join me on Facebook Live, at my Facebook page: Pastor Adam Hamilton on Facebook. You’ll also be able to view it on my Facebook page or on cor.org/next after Tuesday night.
Over the past two weeks, we had blood drives at four of our locations – Blue Springs, Overland Park, West and Leawood. Thank you to all who donated and volunteered. Through your efforts, Resurrection was able to put a total of 595 units of life-saving blood on the shelves of the Community Blood Center prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Keeping our community, as well as our nation's, blood supply at a safe level is becoming more critical each day. We are working closely with CBC going into 2022 and planning for our next blood drive in February.
Again, Happy Thanksgiving! That’s all the news I’ve got for you today. I want to thank you again, in advance, for your faithfulness and generosity that make Resurrection’s ministry possible.
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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