Dear Resurrection Family,
I’ve got several important things to share with you today including the date we’ll be restarting in-person worship (read to the end for that), how to get your hands on our #LoveYourNeighbor t-shirts (and what they mean!), some awesome news about our upcoming Leadership Institute, and more.
But first, a word about the message I’ll be preaching this weekend as we kick-off our emphasis on Joy!
How many of us can use some additional joy in our lives right now? This weekend we’re kicking off a new series: Joy in the Midst of Adversity.
Each week we’ll turn to Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This short letter is known as Paul’s “epistle of joy” – he mentions joy in one form or another 14 times in this little letter. What makes this remarkable is that he was writing from a prison cell, awaiting a trial that could lead to his death.
I promise you that you and your friends will find powerful lessons on finding joy in the midst of adversity each week. This weekend Philippians 1 offers us two important lessons on having more joy in our lives. Click here to watch the one-minute promo and to share on your social media.
We’ll also be praying for students, teachers, staff and parents this weekend as our children in area school districts begin going back to school.
Worship online at cor.org/live Saturday at 5 pm, Sunday at 7:30 am, 9:15 am, 11 am or 5 pm (the online service includes a bit more music and opportunities to interact). Locally we’re now on Channel 38, “the Spot,” that’s KMCI on Sunday at 8 and 11 am. For a listing of where KMCI is found on various cable providers, click here.
Please be sure to register your worship attendance at cor.org/here. This helps us know who is staying connected and active in this time when we can’t see your smiling faces in worship!
Every year Church of the Resurrection, as part of our vision to strengthen and renew churches, offers a Leadership Institute in September. Last year we had a record attendance of 2,450 people – pastors and church leaders from across the country. This year we’ve gone entirely online and, with three weeks of registration still to go, we have over 3,500 pastors and church leaders already registered!!!
We have Ronald Heifetz, one of the most sought after speakers on leadership (founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard, consulting with many major companies, author of multiple books on leadership) speaking on Adaptive Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World, and Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA (you may have heard him preach the Royal Wedding several years ago), who will be speaking on the power of love to heal our land. I’ll be speaking on What Has Changed, What Must Change, and What Must Stay the Same.
I’m hoping many of you will register and be a part of this amazing event – the talks will inspire you and speak to you whether you work in business, education or other non-profit, or simply want to be a more effective Christian. Visit our Leadership Institute website for more information or to register for this year’s event.
October marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of Resurrection, and we’ll have some awesome things going on all that month. We’ll be launching the #LoveYourNeighbor campaign and for thirty days this will be our primary emphasis. This is the month leading up to the election, and we think our city could use a little love.
To get started we’ve got a #LoveYourNeighbor t-shirt I’m hoping each of you will purchase and wear throughout October (and well beyond). We’re underwriting the cost of the t-shirt so you can get yours for only $5. The hashtag (#) is drawn from social media, where hashtags are used to highlight a message and create conversations. Love Your Neighbor is written on the front of the shirt seven times – a reminder that this is a call to live Christ’s words seven days a week. On the back is our 30th anniversary logo.
You’ll need to order your shirts by September 16 to have them delivered in time for our Anniversary Celebration. Here’s the link to see the t-shirt design and go to the order form. We’re planning celebration kick-off events at each of our locations on October 3 where you can pick up your t-shirts, or you can pay a little extra to have them shipped to your home.
I hope you’ll consider ordering a t-shirt. I love the thought of 25,000 people wearing the message, “Love Your Neighbor,” and bearing witness to this message during the month leading up to the election. We’re also planning to have matching yard signs with this message that you can pick up at the kick-off events.
Whether your kids are going back to school virtually, in person or a combination of the two, as a church we want to surround them in prayer.
We’ll be offering a special blessing in worship this weekend, then next Sunday, September 13, you’ll have the opportunity for a special drive-thru blessing at each of our locations in the Kansas City area. As you drive through our parking lots, our pastors and staff will greet each family individually and offer a blessing for your children. We’ll also have special gifts from our Children and Student Ministries, as well as some fun at-home activities.
If you are in the Kansas City area and have been worshipping with us online, here’s a great opportunity to check out a location near you. Here are the drive-thru times and locations for Sept. 13:
During the month of September I will continue to share Tuesday night Vespers from 7:30 to 8 pm live from the Resurrection Leawood sanctuary. You are welcome to join me in person in the sanctuary or on Facebook Live at my Pastor Adam Hamilton page (click here to follow and you’ll be notified when I go live).
The sanctuary is open from 6–7:30 pm for prayer on Tuesdays, and from 7:30–8 pm for vespers. Masks are required and because of limited seating we would ask you to register in advance by clicking here. We’ll begin each week with two or three hymns or worship songs, then I’ll be sharing insights from Paul’s letter to the Philippians – interesting things that there was not time to include in the weekend sermon but which I think will speak to you.
We offer a variety of virtual classes, studies and groups this fall to help you grow in your faith through study. You can check out all the opportunities on the website at cor.org/connect.
If you are interested in an in-depth study of the Bible, consider joining a Disciple Bible Study, a 24-week small group study to deepen your personal faith journey as you develop meaningful friendships with others. Disciple 1 is an overview of the Bible, and after you've completed that course, you can participate in other Disciple studies that cover topics such as the classical doctrines of the Christian faith, the stories of Jesus, and the Old Testament prophets.
All our courses will be offered online this year starting next week following Labor Day. Here’s the link to sign up.
Join grandparents from across the nation for a series of virtual classes on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm this fall. We’ll kick off September 8 with “How to Grandparent, COVID-19 style.” Here’s the link for more information and registration. Parents, share this with your children’s grandparents, they’ll both be blessed.
Among my favorite fun events at Resurrection is our annual car show. The 18th Annual Car Show is Saturday, September 26, from 9 am to 1:30 pm in the Resurrection Leawood parking lot.
There will be classic, exotic, and muscle cars, along with food trucks and Sports Radio 810 broadcasting live. Beneficiaries include our church's Hunger Ministry, along with the Cars Ministry, which repairs cars for those in need. Find info on sponsorship or entering your car on the Church website. If you’ve got a great car, or know someone who does, enter them. I’m planning on entering my Mustang in the show, or possibly my John Deere Tractor! Click here for more information.
Occasionally people create fraudulent email addresses in my name, and even more frequently, fake Facebook pages, Twitter pages and Instagram pages. This is a common problem for pastors of large churches. These persons create fake accounts to try to convince you to send money.
Most recently there was a fake Adam Hamilton email that was circulating from a fraudulent Gmail address. While I do have a Gmail account to use for certain Google functions, I virtually never send email from it, and the email address that these letters came from is not mine.
If someone ever asks you for money via email, or asks for other kinds of help in my name, please report this to the church. If I am sending you a request, it will come from an official Church of the Resurrection account (@cor.org). If you have any questions about this, you can direct them to our IT department.
It was six months ago this weekend that we last worshiped in our buildings at the Church of the Resurrection. In the time since then our weekend worship attendance has skyrocketed (last summer we average under 10,000 per weekend, this summer we’ve averaged over 25,000 per weekend), we’ve made significant improvements to our online experience and we’ve added two televised worship services (we’ve also done incredible ministry serving in the community). We closed in-person worship in March to do our part to help “flatten the curve” so that hospitals would not be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and to help protect you, our parishioners, from illness.
By now all area Catholic churches and many Protestant churches have re-opened. We’ve taken this slower than many because of our size and our desire to be as responsible as possible with the health of our members. We’ve continued to monitor the COVID numbers daily – new cases, ICU beds, infection rate, deaths, etc. We’ve monitored how other churches are doing, what they are doing to prevent the spread of the virus and if they are seeing increased numbers of new cases among their congregants as a result of worship.
We’ve also tested out in-person gatherings, outside at several campuses, and in the sanctuary the last two weeks at Tuesday night vespers. We have developed important protocols for making worship as safe as possible – safer, we believe, than eating at a restaurant or shopping at the grocery store.
With all of this in mind, we have set our re-launch of in-person worship for Sunday, October 4. This is the same weekend, thirty years ago, that we held our first worship service at Church of the Resurrection.
The services will be simplified, requiring fewer musicians, pastors, and volunteers than normal. Online and broadcast worship will continue to be our primary way most Resurrection attendees will worship. But we also know that some of you have been yearning to be back in person. I’ll be preaching live at Resurrection Leawood and by video at the other campuses. We’ll add back nurseries, Sunday School and other programs over the weeks following October 4, but we are starting with worship only that first week.
We anticipate, based on what other churches have experienced, that we’ll see 20% of our pre-COVID attendance in person as we relaunch. In order to determine whether we need more than one service on October 4, we need to know how many of you anticipate being in worship in person that weekend, and which campus you attend. Please click here to let us know if you plan to be in worship in person on October 4.
We will be watching case numbers and other criteria very carefully. If we move into the fall and see increasing infection rates, or a surge in illnesses or hospitalizations, we’ll quickly reevaluate.
As you begin your Labor Day weekend, I just want to remind you that this Monday is a holiday for our church staff also, so phones will redirect to voicemail. If you ever have a pastoral emergency outside of regular business hours, you can call our pager number: 913-544-0799, and the pastor on call will return your page as soon as possible.
I’m excited about this weekend’s worship and hope to see you online or on KMCI!
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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