Dear Resurrection Family,
Be sure to read the entire enote today – I’ll be sharing when we’ll be reopening for in-person worship below. But first, I’m excited to tell you about this weekend…
In this weekend’s message, we continue our study of Mark’s gospel, turning to Mark 1:14-3:19. We’ll look at Jesus’ first sermon, the calling of his first disciples, and his ministry of casting out demons and healing the sick. But in the process of walking with Jesus through the Gospel of Mark, I’m going to invite you to see what it looks like for us to walk with Jesus in our everyday lives. I think you’ll be inspired and moved by these stories of Jesus, and what they mean for you and me.
Please have a Bible with you, a pen and paper. I want you to turn with me in Mark’s gospel as I’m teaching, and I’ll be offering a short pop quiz as the sermon begins.
Join us for worship at cor.org/live Saturday at 5 pm or Sunday at 7:30 am, 9:15 am, 11 am or 5 pm, on KMCI Channel 38 at either 8 am or 11 am Central Time, or on demand on our YouTube Channel. You can also worship on your smart TV if your device allows you to stream channels on Apple TV, ROKU, Amazon Fire, or Google TV. To find the channel, just search for "Resurrection Online" and look for our cross-and-flame logo on a bright blue background.
How’s your reading going? If you haven’t started, it’s not too late. Mark is the shortest gospel and we’ve divided the daily readings into manageable sections. My hope is that as we read the scriptures we will meet Jesus in new and exciting ways. Here are some tools to use:
This week I met with our elected leaders and staff and, given the sharp decline in numbers of new COVID cases and the number of ICU beds being used, there was a consensus that we should restart in-person worship at all campuses beginning Sunday, March 14. In our survey last week about 25% of you indicated you were ready to return to in-person worship immediately. More indicated they would be ready in March.
As we return to in-person worship we’ll start with two services at each campus: 9 and 11 am. Most churches I’m hearing from that have restarted in-person are running 25% of their pre-COVID numbers, although some are running more. We’ll still be maintaining our online and television services at the times we’re currently holding them (we are considering moving the 9:15 am online to 9 am to match the in-person service times).
We’ll have nurseries as we return on March 14, but don't plan to restart Sunday School and other programming until after Easter. March 14 and 21 are Spring Break and we feel we’ll have a better chance to ensure our volunteers are present and we can have a strong restart for Sunday School by waiting until the weekend after Easter.
Our in-person will continue to be “touchless” with no bulletins and registering our attendance online. We’ll start back with seating every other row and ask people to sit socially distanced. Masks will be required as we return. Our goal is to create a worship experience that is safer than going to the grocery store, yet meaningful as we return to in-person worship. Larger musical groups – choir and orchestra – will not return until later this spring or our fall kick-off as we seek to maintain social distancing until this is no longer needed.
We will be adding back additional services as needed, but anticipate that through the spring we’ll be able to accommodate the numbers who are returning with two services (except on Easter). I know many of you have said you are not ready to come back in person, and that's okay – you can continue to worship with us online or on tv. But for those who are, our campus pastors and I look forward to seeing you back in person on March 14!
Food insecurity is at an all-time high in Kansas City, and many of the families most in need are in areas with limited access to healthy and affordable food. Plans are underway for Resurrection’s hunger ministry to equip and operate a Foodmobile similar to our Bookmobile, which will allow us to take food distribution to the areas where it is most needed.
In the meantime, we will host five drive-through food distribution events throughout the city in March. Volunteers are need to help sort and box the food and to assist with the distribution. Registration is required, and volunteers should be prepared to be outdoors, on their feet, and be able to lift at least 30 lbs.
We’ve got a great online opportunity for discipleship leaders coming up on March 4. This first offering in the new ShareChurch Training Series is called Overcoming Lukewarm Discipleship.
Resurrection discipleship leaders Chris Folmsbee, Michelle Kirby and Melanie Hill will focus on helping church leaders engage congregants in the discipleship pathway. You’ll be introduced to a new initiative our Adult Discipleship team is launching for Community Life Ministers, plus you will come away with an assessment tool for your congregation and strategies to help new and established congregants deepen their spiritual walk.
This is a live event, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. Cost is $29 for the half day training session. Learn more and register here.
One of the visions of our church is to raise up and support the next generation of leaders in our church and denomination. In 2018, we began an Emerging Leader Program, and this year we are launching a second group. The group is limited to 40 people and applications are now open for any young adult between the ages of 24-35.
We invite members of Resurrection from all campuses to apply if you have a desire to grow your leadership at church, at home, and in your workplace, neighborhood, and other circles of influence and relationships. During the leadership development program you will build relationships, learn in a mentoring community, study leadership best practices, gain experience walking where Jesus walked, and receive coaching. The highlight of the program is a weeklong trip to the Holy Land in February 2022 that I will lead.
Commitment will include a monthly gathering beginning in May and continuing through the Spring of 2022, a willingness to be mentored, and the availability to participate in the Holy Land Trip which will require a week of vacation and the ability to cover 50% of the cost of the trip (with the church providing a scholarship for the remaining 50%).
I know many of you have been inspired by Bobbi Jo Reed, founder of Healing House, one of our ministry partners that provides recovery housing and support to people in Kansas City who suffer from substance use disorders to experience long-term sobriety. Bobbi Jo’s powerful personal life story of redemption, hope and faith has now been made into a movie that shares her struggle with addiction and her discovery that the only way to save herself is to save others.
I invite you to join me for a free preview screening of this documentary film on Monday, March 1, that you can watch any time between noon and 8:30 pm (CT). Here’s the link to sign up to view the movie. Following the movie, at 8:45 pm that night, I’ll be hosting a live Zoom conversation with Bobbi Jo and Brent and Donna Jones who produced and directed the film. Here’s the trailer for the film – it is a powerful, compelling look at what God did in Bobbi Jo’s life and what God can do in our lives.
I’m excited about this weekend’s worship – invite a friend and join me as we walk with Jesus through the Gospel of Mark!
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