Adam Hamilton

Pastor Adam's Enote

Back to School and Fall Kick-off This Weekend

Posted Aug 13, 2021

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Dear Resurrection Family,

I was just in the sanctuary as our musicians were rehearsing for weekend worship. I can tell you it is going to be AWESOME! I am so excited to be back with you for worship this weekend! I’ve worshiped each weekend online, but there is something about being in the space, the immersive music, and seeing people that I have missed. This is our back-to-school fall kick-off. I’ll be preaching a six-week sermon series on the most important letter in the New Testament, Romans (more below). Our kids and youth at every location will be moving up to their next grade-level in Sunday School, and our adult Sunday School classes and mid-week studies and programs are resuming. And, we’ll be re-launching an evening service at 5 pm at our Leawood location.

As our kids head back to school for the fall semester, I want to encourage all of you, if you’ve missed a bit of church this summer during break, to return in person if you’re comfortable doing so, or online or on television as we kick off our fall at Resurrection! At each of our locations we’ll have opportunities this weekend to reconnect with friends and check out some of what’s happening this fall for all ages!

This Weekend in Worship

This weekend we kick off our new sermon series on the most important letter in the New Testament and one of the most important Christian documents ever written. In Romans Paul lays out the Christian gospel as he preached it to Christians living at the center of the Roman Empire. He wrote it about AD 57 to a community experiencing tension and divisions. He wrote to remind them of the power of the gospel to save, redeem and transform lives and the world. We’re inviting each of you to join us in reading the entire Letter to the Romans using the daily GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide. The letter will be divided into shorter passages you can read and reflect upon in a few minutes each day. (You can sign up here to receive the GPS as a daily email.)

I’ve had three different titles for this sermon as I was working on it this week – all of which capture some dimension of the sermon. Here they are: Good News is Bad News is Good News, We’re ALL in Big Trouble, and finally, the one I settled on for reasons you’ll understand at the end of the sermon, Swimming in the Toilet!

We’ll be focused on Romans 1-3. Our memory verse is Romans 3:23, All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Each week we’ll memorize one verse from Romans, providing it to you as a download for your phone’s wallpaper or as a card you can take home if you join us in person.

Invite a friend to join you for worship in person at 9 or 11 am at one of our locations, online or on television this weekend. Click here for our physical locations or for information about joining us online or on television.

Sunday Night Worship at Leawood

We’re seeking to be intentional about relaunching services, getting one back up and then preparing for the next relaunch. Our concern is to make sure that the services are excellent and that we have a critical mass of worshipers and volunteers. We have 9 and 11 at every location, and at Leawood we’re adding back in Sunday night at 5 this week.

We’ll be adding back services at our other locations as needed and as we have the worshipers and volunteers to support them. Leawood’s Sunday night was the next service we felt would have a critical mass of volunteers and worshipers to support the service.

If you are ready to be back in person and/or if you are willing to volunteers to help your service happen, please click here. We’re reviewing the numbers of people ready to return and compiling lists of the volunteers. We’ll be reviewing these over the next few weeks.

Studying the Book of Romans Together

As we explore the major themes of Romans in worship, we’re also kicking off congregational studies of the book. On Tuesday or Wednesday nights we’ll have groups meeting on Zoom or in person at our various locations to study and discuss the daily readings from Romans and the weekend sermon. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet new friends and grow deeper in your faith in this remarkable study of the New Testament’s most important letter.

Sign Up for the Romans Study Now →

What Goes into Preparing Online and TV Worship

Currently about 15% of our total weekend worship attendance is in person (2,500 to 3,500) – a number we’re hoping grows dramatically in the months ahead. Another 25% is online, divided nearly equally between our traditional online service and our modern (4,500 to 5,500 per weekend). The remaining 60% are joining us by television (13,000 to 18,000). These percentages are approximate and fluctuate weekly. These are our summer numbers while I’ve been on sabbatical, and I’m interested to see what this looks like as we return to school and our fall rhythms.

Each week we prepare two different services for online and another for television in addition to our in-person services. Each of these is a different edit and requires a team of people preparing them. Online we prepare a traditional and modern option (same sermon, different music). Television is shorter, requiring that we cut out some elements of worship to fit within the 59 ½ minutes allotted.

On Saturdays the television edit is completed first as it must be sent to KMCI by Saturday afternoon to be closed caption and prepared for their system. Then the online edits are completed and finally reviewed one last time and uploaded through the Leawood sanctuary control room.

I’m really proud of the team that prepares, records and edits these services. Some of them are working late into the night Friday nights and all day Saturday preparing these.

For all of our worship leaders and pastors this has also changed our schedules. For the last 30 years Mondays were my day off but that has shifted to Saturdays as I begin work on my sermon on Monday so it is ready to preach on Friday at 2 (I’m heading in to record the sermon for online and TV as soon as I finish this enote). I typically preach the sermon twice on Friday. Wednesday nights we record the music for the traditional worship service. Fridays we record the modern worship service and the pastoral elements for both services. Then our teams lead the services in person at all of our locations on Sundays at 9 and 11 (and now 5 at Leawood).

There are a lot of moving parts to provide worship in three formats across five locations each week. I’m really proud of our teams of staff and volunteers and their tireless effort to make this happen.

Tuesday Night Vespers

I have heard from many of you anxious to see the worship service you attended in person pre-COVID restarted. I’ll be talking about our latest thinking on this during my Vespers on Tuesday, August 17. I hope you’ll plan to join me for this conversation next Tuesday night at 7:30 pm Central Time on my Facebook page: Pastor Adam Hamilton on Facebook. You’ll also be able to view it on my Facebook page or cor.org/next after Tuesday night. We’ll also spend a few minutes talking about Romans, and I’ll share a few things that I didn’t have time to cover in the sermon but are meaningful from the first three chapters of Romans!

Thank You for Supporting our Partner Schools

One of the things I most looked forward to as a child was buying school supplies, laying them out on the table and packing them up for my first day of school. But many kids in KC would miss this back to school joy were it not for you.

This year you provided school supplies for 3,000 children in our partner schools and 85 foster students. You’ve blessed these kids and their families, helping ready them for back to school.

In addition to the supplies you donated, you also gave $39,000 in donations that will were used not only to supplement the in-kind donations, but will provide continued support for school supplies and clothing needs of these students throughout the year. I am so proud of you, Church of the Resurrection!

Learn More about supporting our Partner Schools →

Rezlife Student Ministries Kick-Off

If you are a student in middle school or high school, a parent or grandparent of a student or you know a student, please share with them that Church of the Resurrection is kicking off a fall filled with fun and meaningful activities, and we would love to welcome them! Sunday morning gatherings and Wednesday night youth groups resume in person this week at all of our locations, and you can also check out the Sunday program on the Rezlife Student Ministry YouTube page.

I’m also excited to share that after an extensive search, we hired an amazing Lead Director for our student ministry. Steve Schneeberger will join the rezlife team later this month to give leadership across the church. He will lead our team of staff and volunteers as together they take our student ministries to the next level. A graduate from Shawnee Mission West, Steve spent most of his career in Florida, where he become known and respected across the denomination. Steve teaches in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Florida Southern College, and he founded Youth Ministry Institute which has advised and counseled hundreds of churches in developing successful children’s and youth ministries across the country. He brings a wealth of expertise, an analytical mind, a skill in building teams, and a passion for our church’s ministry with teens. If your family has a middle school or high school student, this is a great time to get plugged into rezlife!

Serve Saturday is August 21

As we get back into our fall routines, I hope you’ll make serving in the community a part of the way you put your faith in practice. Our monthly Serve Saturday is a great way to get started. We’ll have hundreds of opportunities to serve in the community in a variety of ways, including family-friendly and outdoor options. It’s simple to sign up, just go to the registration site and pick the place you want to serve on Saturday morning. Some opportunities fill up quickly, so don’t wait. Here’s the registration link.

As part of our Serve Saturday this month, we are collecting new and gently used clothing, plus picture and chapter books for elementary students at all of our locations between 9-11 am on Saturday, August 21. Our volunteer team will distribute the donations to local clothing pantries and shelters, and our Partner Schools team will use the books for distribution on the Bookmobile.

COVID and In-Person Worship

This week I made calls to two families in our church who lost persons to COVID. The grief was so deep – these were not people with health complications. I want to encourage you, if you have not yet been vaccinated, to go get vaccinated.

As you know, we’ve developed strong protocols for worship. Our staff and pastors are returning to wearing masks except when speaking from the chancel. We’re encouraging but not requiring masks in worship, but we are following the schools in requiring masks for children and youth and those adults working with them during programming. In our recent survey, 95% of those surveyed indicated that they had been vaccinated. When we hosted and assisted Advent Health in providing vaccinations, over 20,000 people were vaccinated at Resurrection – this included Resurrection members and people in the community.

If you are comfortable, join us in person at 9 or 11 at any of our locations, or at 9, 11 or 5 at Leawood. Our pastors and staff will be masked, and you are encouraged to mask, but not required.

Resurrection, I can’t wait to be back in the pulpit this weekend and so excited for our fall kick-off and church-wide study of Romans to begin! See you in worship –in person, online or on TV!

With love,

Adam

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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