Dear Resurrection Family,
When someone asks you how are you doing, what do you say? A large number of Americans, if they are honest, will say they are either busy or tired. In one study of American workers, 75% reported experiencing “burnout” at some time in the last year.
This weekend we return to our series on the Ten Commandments as we focus on the command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Of all the remaining commandments, I think this may be the most important and transformative for most of you. It is intended by God to help us live joyful, creative and beautiful lives connected with others and with God. It is God’s antidote to being tired, busy or burned out.
Wednesday night I sat down with my friend Rabbi Art Nemitoff of Congregation B’nai Jehudah (who, by the way, will be holding their high holy day services in our Foundry because their synagogue is under construction) and asked him to teach us a bit about what the Sabbath means to him and how he and devout Jews in his community observe the Sabbath. We’ll look to see how Jesus interpreted the command. I’ll share with you some research and some inspiring stories that might just change how you live the rest of your life.
Don’t miss worship at Resurrection this weekend – and if you are in town, join us in person at Leawood, Olathe, Downtown, Blue Springs or our new campus in Overland Park.
This is a very busy couple of weeks as I seek to represent you at various events. Saturday morning I’ll be a part of a panel with other religious leaders at Johnson County Community College on The Faith and Moral Imperative for Climate Action as a part of the Metro KC Climate Action Summit (our session is sold out, but the afternoon session with Rep. Sharice Davids, KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas, and Paul Hawken is open to the public).
This coming Tuesday night and Wednesday I’ve been invited to spend a day to the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the US. I’m honored to have been invited to offer the leadership training I’ve shared with United Methodists across the United States with the bishops and senior leaders of the Episcopal Church. Please pray that God will use me to inspire, encourage and equip our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church.
In just over a week we will welcome nearly 3,000 church leaders from across the nation to Resurrection. These pastors and lay leaders will be coming to learn about potential next steps for our denomination and for guidance on leading and navigating their congregations through this divisive time. If you’d like the inside track on what the future holds for the UMC, we have room for 200 Resurrection members who would like to attend.
You’ll hear from leading pastors, two panels of bishops, scholars, and from one of the most sought-after speakers on leadership in the world, Harvard’s Ron Heifetz (founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard, author of Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Change and Leadership without Easy Answers among others). And we’ll hear from David Brooks, NY Times bestselling author, columnist for the NY Times, The Atlantic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, a regular contributor on NPR, PBS and Meet the Press and lecturer at Yale University. He’ll speak on moral leadership in polarized times. I’ll speak at two of the sessions – the opening session on “The Bible Tells Me So,” and the closing session, “A Defining Moment.”
This will be a very important gathering, and we have two ways that members of the Resurrection congregation can participate. You can learn more about Leadership Institute at li.cor.org.
David Brooks will speak at the conference in the afternoon, and then will speak again for Resurrection members and the community on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 pm in the Leawood Sanctuary. David has spent the last few years championing the importance of character through his book Road to Character, a New York Times bestseller that was released in 2015. His latest book is The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. He will speak on his latest book in the evening for Resurrection members and the community. I’m very excited that David will be joining us. This will definitely be an opportunity to bring a friend and hear an incredible speaker. This is not part of Leadership Institute, though attendees are welcome, and it is free of charge to you and the community.
As you read this note, I’m in Atlanta (flew out last night and will be on my way back home tonight). A group of key leaders are meeting together to discuss legislation to be submitted by the deadline of September 18 that will shape the future of the United Methodist Church, allowing those who wish to leave the UMC to do so, while removing language from our Discipline that treats LGBTQ members of the UMC as second-class Christians. I’ll share more about this at Leadership Institute and in an upcoming enote.
Please continue to pray for the UMC as various legislative proposals are being submitted by differing groups by September 18 for consideration in May at our next General Conference.
On Thursday, Sept. 19, our Recovery Ministry will host a dialogue about youth and addiction, moderated by 810 WHB Radio host Frank Boal, at 7 pm in the Resurrection Student Center (Building C). Across the country there is an epidemic of addiction among teens, with suburban youth seeing the greatest upward trend. I hope you’ll join us for candid conversations with a panel of young adults as they share their individual journeys with addiction. Childcare is available and registration is required. Click here to register.
A week from this Saturday we’ll hold our annual Sacred Steps 5k or 1 Mile Run/Walk. I love this event each year. Don’t miss the fun, family-friendly morning where you walk or run 1 or 3.1 miles to benefit health projects in Malawi, Africa, funding clean drinking water projects. Two of our mission’s staff, Sheree Reece and Carol Cartmill, recently returned from a trip to Malawi where we were able to visit a few of the borehole sites made possible by Resurrection.
Above is a picture of a borehole drilled in 2018 from funds raised at last year’s Sacred Steps. It’s located in the Dzaleka refugee camp adjacent to a building that houses a United Methodist Church with a worshipping community of 300 people. There is a marked difference in the health of the people where there is access to clean water. It’s especially visible in the children, who no longer have sores on their bodies and distended bellies from drinking contaminated water.
This picture is from the Phalombe village, a site targeted to receive a borehole this year. The women have to dig through the sandy soil until they reach water and then carry the water a good distance back to their homes. Along with the borehole, the villages receive training so they can maintain the borehole and develop safe hygiene practices. A well-maintained borehole can provide water for thirty years. Clean water plays a significant role in the health and economic well-being of a community. Encourage your friends to join you for this fun run that will provide clean water for this community. Here’s the link to register: cor.org/sacredsteps.
We had a positive response to our emphasis on suicide prevention last weekend, and I hope we can keep the conversations going. I believe that we, working with other organizations in Kansas City, can reduce the rate of death by suicide in our community by half over the next 10 years, but one weekend sermon is not the answer – it is a conversation starter. Next Saturday, September 21, as part of our Community Health and Wellness Fair, we will have more in depth suicide prevention training from 9:30 am – noon. You can register here for the training.
We will also offer Live Well, a course designed for individuals with chronic depression or anxiety, beginning Oct. 3 at 6:30 pm. Registration is required and class size limited. Here are the class links: Anxiety, Depresssion. We will also offer an Elder Adult Suicide Awareness Training on October 22. Watch for details.
Don’t forget we’re working on memorizing the Ten Commandments during this sermon series. Can you recite the first three from memory? Here they are:
Okay, I have to run. I know this was a bit long today – but there were so many important things I wanted to share with you.
In Christ’s Love,
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