Adam Hamilton

Pastor Adam's Enote

NEW YEAR, NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Posted Jan 7, 2022

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Dear Resurrection Family,

This is my first enote of the New Year, and I find myself both excited about the year ahead and, at the same time, recognizing that the rise in COVID cases across the country is having a significant impact on many. I’ll say more about that below.

THIS WEEKEND AT RESURRECTION: DOUBT AND THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

This weekend we kick off our new sermon series on Wrestling with DOUBT, Finding Faith. Almost 1,500 people have taken our doubt survey (you can still take it by clicking here) and 94.3% of those who did reported having occasional (70%) or frequent (24%) spiritual doubts. This weekend’s message will start by considering the important role doubt plays in our lives, then we’ll consider the most basic question we ask when it comes to faith: Is there a God? I’ll share three of the reasons why those of us who believe choose to put our faith in God.

I’d like to ask you to do something: Would you post our 45-second video promo on your social media, or email it to friends, and invite your friends to join us for this series of messages. You might even mention that this weekend’s question is, “Is There a God?” You have friends and family who struggle with doubt, or perhaps have no faith but need it. Your invitation on social media or by email could make the difference in their choosing to join us. Click here to view the promo, and then you can click the paper airplane in the top right corner to post it to social media, or copy the link and paste it in your social media. It takes less than a minute to share and invite others.

Join us for worship this weekend:

  • In person at one of our five locations:
    Leawood location at 7:30, 9, 11 am or 5 pm
    Downtown location Saturday at 5 pm or Sunday at 9 or 11 am
    Blue Springs, Olathe (West) and Overland Park locations Sunday at 9 or 11 am.
  • Online at cor.org on Saturday at 5 pm or Sunday at 7:30, 9 and 11 am or 5 pm
  • On KMCI Channel 38 television at 8 am or 11 am
  • On demand on YouTube throughout the week

TWO NEW WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Saturday, 5 pm, Downtown; Sunday, 11 am Modern Worship, Leawood Foundry

As I’ve shared with you, we are gradually adding new worship service times as our attendance grows. The current COVID uptick has been a setback, but we are moving forward with our plans to launch two new services this weekend. For those of you who work on Sunday or would prefer a Saturday night service, we will have a 5 pm service on Saturday nights at our Downtown location. Then on Sundays, we will be adding an 11 am modern service in the Foundry at our Leawood location. This will allow us to have both a modern and traditional option at 11 am at Leawood, the hour we have the largest attendance.

COVID CASES RISE DRAMATICALLY

The last week COVID cases have risen dramatically across the country. Below is the latest data from the covidactnow.org website for the Kansas City metro area. Deaths are still half of what they were during the peak last winter, but they’ve increased dramatically over the last week. Area hospitals are running short staffed even as they are managing a dramatic increase in patients, and senior care centers are struggling to care for residents. (See below thoughts on some simple things we can do to support healthcare workers). Here at the church we have a number of staff who are out with COVID, and one of our staff lost a brother yesterday to COVID.

We’ve not seen these levels of infection since the pandemic began. Vaccinated and boosted people usually have the mildest symptoms. But, there are some breakthrough cases that are more severe. For these reasons some of our programs have had to move online. We are postponing a few programs including the Martin Luther King service planned for next Saturday afternoon, and our annual women’s conference and others. In most of our ministries and worship, we are moving forward because we think we can maintain safe distances and protocols, and we are encouraging everyone to wear masks. I want to remind you that we do require masks for all children and students, as well as the adult staff and volunteers working with them. If you are not feeling well, or you know you have been exposed to COVID, please stay home and join us online.

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ENCOURAGING HEALTH CARE WORKERS

As I noted above, this week I checked in with two of the CEOs of area hospitals to see how they were holding up with the increase of hospitalizations. They all expressed concerns for their staff, who are overwhelmed and exhausted. In addition to increased patients, they are short staffed because their own employees have contracted COVID. One assisted living center in our community, I’m aware of, had staff out with COVID, residents infected with COVID, and employees strugglinlg to deliver meals and medications to their residents. One medical director worked nearly 48 hours straight trying to keep up.

Do you have a family member in assisted living? Can you do something to encourage the staff there – coffee gift cards, individually wrapped treats, signs or personal notes? When I asked one of the hospital CEO’s what we can do to support them, he asked his team, and they asked if we might provide a free coffee or drink from their café along with an encouraging note. I told him I knew our people would want to do that. We’re going to test this with one hospital and expand it if it is a source of encouragement to the hospital staff. If you’d like to buy a cup of coffee or drink with a note for a hospital worker, click here and then choose “Healthcare Encouragement” from the list of where you want your donation to go. $5 will buy a coffee for a hospital worker and will include a note of encouragement to them.

GOING DEEPER THOUGH STUDY AND CONVERSATIONS

Beyond the sermon, I hope you are finding ways to study and grow in your faith both individually and in community. During this series, we have several options:

  • Use the daily Grow, Pray, Study Guide (GPS) to read scripture and a reflection each day. If you are not currently receiving the GPS in your email, you can sign up here.
  • Join an online conversation about doubts and questions led by Anne Williams, Downtown Location Pastor and Matt Bisel, Lead Pastor of Discipleship. The three-week class “Live and Let Think” is on Mondays at 6:30 pm, beginning January 17. Register online.
  • Join a small group for study and discussion. Sign-ups for new small groups at all locations will open on January 16.

HONORING THE LEGACY OF REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Next weekend, we honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving our community on Saturday and Monday. Saturday is our regular Serve Saturday planned for the third Saturday of the month, and Monday is a special MLK opportunity. We hope on Monday you will make it a “day on” and not just a “day off” by joining in serving throughout the city. Here’s the link where you can select your place and time and sign up to serve.

We had orginally planned to join with St. James United Methodist Church for a large in-person worship/commemoration event on Saturday, January 15, in the Leawood Sanctuary. Out of concern for our participants, and in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we have decided to cancel this event. Instead, we hope you will make plans now to join us for a fantastic Juneteenth event, featuring Resurrection’s One AcCORd gospel choir and musicians from St. James. Juneteenth is a federal holiday on June 17, commemorating the emancipation of African-American slaves. I’m excited about this collaboration with our friends at St. James. Since we won’t be gathering for the MLK event next Saturday, we will be sharing a video tribute on Friday, January 14, that reflects on the life and legacy of Dr. King. I hope you’ll find an opportunity over the weekend to watch this video that reminds us of Dr. King’s dream and inspires us to continue his work – Still Pursuing the Dream. The link will be at cor.org/next and in my enote next week.

You might also be interested in getting involved with Allies for Racial Justice, a partnership ministry of Church of the Resurrection and St. James United Methodist. The partnership was formed in 2016 with the purpose of forging authentic relationships to eliminate the existing racial divide in our communities and churches. On their website, you will find upcoming events and opportunities to get connected, as well as articles, videos and book suggestions that help us better understand our differences, appreciate our similarities, and establish Christ-centered solutions to end racial and social injustices.

SCREEN SANITY SUMMIT FOR FAMILIES

We’ve got something coming up later this month that might just be life-changing for your families. Beginning January 19, we’re going to host the first ever Screen Sanity Summit at all our locations and online. The summit is at 6:30 pm on Wednesdays, January 19 - February 2, offered online (cor.org/live) and at the Leawood, Downtown, Overland Park and Blue Springs locations. It will be offered Thursdays, January 20 - February 3 at the West (Olathe) location.

Resurrection is partnering with the Kansas City-based nonprofit START for a unique nationwide event that will bring parents together to discuss one of today’s most pressing topics—digital health. Whether you attend in person or virtually, you can will hear from experts in the digital field, have rich conversations with other parents, reflect on the role technology plays in your life, and leave with realistic tools for improving your family’s digital health. The Summit will provide practical ways to talk to your kids about everything from smartphones to social media at every age and stage of digital parenthood and provide tips and tools to help you create screen-life balance. Learn more here.

Register for Screen Sanity Summit →

A SPECIAL INVITATION TO YOUNG ADULTS

If you are a young adult at any Resurrection location in the Kansas City area, I want to personally invite you join our Young Adult Community Groups. Each Wednesday evening, people in their 20s and 30s gather at 6:30 pm in the Wesley Covenant Chapel at the Leawood location. Everyone starts and ends together in one large group where a Resurrection staff member shares a devotional, and then they spend time in authentic discussion, while forming lasting friendships. The small group breakouts are led by a team of older (seasoned) adults who are role models in their families and across Kansas City. If you’re a young adult, I hope you’ll check this out. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Justin Schoolcraft.

TUESDAY NIGHT VESPERS

Don’t forget you can join me for Vespers Tuesday night at 7:30 pm 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 the church’s YouTube page after Tuesday night. This week, in research for my sermon on doubt, I was looking at when Christians should have doubted but didn’t. In particular I began researching the second rise of the KKK in the 1920’s (began around 1915, but the surge was in the 1920’s). Millions of Christians joined the KKK at that time as the KKK tried to present themselves as mainstream. I have just a couple of minutes to mention this in my sermon this weekend as I speak about the importance of asking questions, but we’ll talk more about it in next Tuesday’s Vespers – a fascinating and tragic story pointing to the importance of Christians examining their faith and speaking up. Join me on Tuesday night – I’ll be coming to you from my home.

I’m really looking forward to worshipping with you this weekend!

Adam

PS: SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING AT YOUR RESURRECTION LOCATION!

Watch for the “Next” newsletter in your email on Tuesday. This newsletter includes a personal message from your location pastor (Wendy, Anne, Bill, Penny or Joshua) and opportunities for you to engage and connect at your location. If you're not receiving it right now, you can sign up here.

Adam Hamilton

Adam Hamilton

Reverend Adam Hamilton is the senior pastor of Church of the Resurrection and the author of 22 books. He has been married to LaVon since 1982, and she has been a critical partner in every dimension of Adam’s work. They have two daughters and one granddaughter.

Adam's writings are known for helping readers make sense of challenging theological questions, exploring the significance of the biblical stories, and equipping Christian leaders to be more effective in their work. He earned his MDiv from Perkins School of Theology and graduated with honors from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Pastoral Ministry.

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