Dear Resurrection Family,
If you are a Chiefs football fan, this is an exciting weekend as the Chiefs play the Bills for the AFC Championship game, a rematch of a game held January 1, 1967 when the Chiefs defeated the Bills in the AFL Championship game to advance to the first Super Bowl. If you’re a fan of either team, join me in wearing your team’s jersey to church this weekend!
This weekend in worship we’re continuing our series of messages on A Thinking Person’s Guide to Faith. We’re looking at things that trip people up when it comes to Christian faith.
This weekend we’ll look at the question of Hell. I’ve often been asked the question this way: “How can a good and loving God punish people for all eternity in Hell? How is that just or loving?”
My sermon is entitled The Love of God and the Logic of Hell. In preparation I studied every passage in the Bible that mentions Hell – Jesus mentions it more than anyone else. I think you’ll be surprised by what scripture actually says about Hell. I’ll also share with you the story of a mainline Christian pastor who had a near death experience and felt he experienced hell.
This would be a great weekend to invite a friend – not a hellfire and brimstone message – but one that helps us understand how Jews and early Christians thought about the afterlife and why it matters for us today.
Worship with us at cor.org/live tomorrow at 5 pm or Sunday at 7:30 am, 9:15 am, 11 am or 5 pm – you’ll be able to select from modern or traditional worship styles. You can also join us on our YouTube channel and subscribe. Or join us on television if you live in Kansas City area on KMCI, Channel 38, at 8 or 11 am. All times are Central Time Zone. For a listing of where KMCI is found on various cable providers, click here.
If you consider Resurrection your church family but you haven't officially joined yet, or if you've been worshipping with us online for a little while and would like to know more about the history and mission of our church and what it means to be a member of the Church, join me Sunday, January 31, at 2 pm for a virtual Coffee with the Pastors on Zoom.
At this informal session, you’ll learn more about our beliefs, our mission and vision, as well as ways to serve, connect and grow in your faith. It’s an inspiring time and is our new member class. After a break near the end of the Coffee you’ll have the opportunity to join Resurrection.
Here’s the link to learn more and register.
I’m leading a study of the Ten Commandments each Tuesday night on Facebook Live, based upon my book, Words of Life: Jesus and the Promise of the Ten Commandments Today. We’ve had people joining from across the country each week for this thirty-minute time of study, reflection and prayer.
This week we’ll turn to the fourth commandment: "Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy." This commandment is a gift from a good and loving God who knows that we need rest and renewal. I think you’ll find this commandment is, literally, a word of life for you. Vespers are from 7:30 to 8 pm Central Time each Tuesday night. Click here to visit my Pastor Adam Hamilton public Facebook page.
I might mention that if you look for me on Facebook I have two pages registered to me. One is my public page, @PastorAdamHamilton. It has 58,000 people who follow it. This is the only page I actually use on Facebook as the personal pages limit how many people you can have as friends. I cannot send friend requests from this page, so if you ever receive a friend request from me, it is a scammer. If anyone asks you for money on Facebook and purports to be me, it is a scam. Please report this. I have a personal page, required by Facebook in order to have a public page, but I don’t use it. I’d love for you to follow my public page. I post there several times a week.
Thank you to each of you who served our community this past weekend in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We had to limit the number of people serving in person due to COVID restrictions, but we still had more than 600 people serving on Saturday and Monday across the city.
And the number of people who chose one of our serve-from-home projects was amazing! The amount of diapers, dental kits and pet supplies that you purchased, assembled and dropped off at the Overland Park Food Pantry was incredible! Others worshiped at one of two city-wide Martin Luther King, Jr. Day services. Still others tuned in to videos or resources on our Allies for Racial Justice page.
Thank you to all who participated and all who helped organize this meaningful day of events and opportunities.
I mentioned last Sunday in the message that one of the best ways to study the Bible is with others, asking, “How did God speak to you from that passage?” or “What did you take away from that reading?” These are meaningful conversations that often lead to meaningful friendships. We will be launching new small groups that will begin meeting the week of February 1, and this is a great way to join in our church-wide study of the Gospel of Mark during Lent.
Resurrection small groups are communities of 5–15 people who meet regularly for spiritual growth and connection. Some groups are online only, and others will meet in person when COVID rates improve. During this launch, your initial commitment is four months, with the possibility to continue after that.
I shared in my sermon last weekend that my message on Making Sense of the Bible was a condensed version of an hour-long presentation I shared with congregations across the country after I wrote the book Making Sense of the Bible. If you are interested in seeing the full presentation, you can watch it here.
Like many of you, I am anxious to return to in-person worship. I’ve had several of you ask when we’ll be coming back.
Our aim is to return as soon as possible, but to do so as we’re seeing a significant decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases in our community. We use the COVID Act Now website to monitor daily numbers of infections in our community. Here is today’s chart for Johnson County:
We had hoped to return to in-person worship by February 21 as Lent begins. We monitor these numbers on a weekly basis and will be making a decision the first of February as to whether we can return on the 21.
Johnson County continues to limit gatherings to 50 people or 50% of room capacity – whichever is fewer. Jackson County has a limit of 10 people. While exemptions are made for churches, the numbers point to the seriousness with which local health departments are taking COVID and the importance of social distancing. If we don’t see a significant drop in COVID numbers in our area, and hence postpone in-person gatherings for weekend worship, we’ll be looking at other ways we can gather our congregation for in-person events including, as the temperature allows, outdoor and drive-up/through gatherings. More on this the first week of February.
Last spring as the pandemic first swept across our country Congress created the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) providing small business and nonprofit organizations loans to help ensure that they could keep their employees employed. The amount of the loans was roughly based upon the organization’s payroll, and funds were to be used primarily for payroll. Congress included religious organizations because employees of these organizations generally do not qualify for unemployment benefits and would have been particularly vulnerable if they were laid off.
Our lenders, our CFO, our Finance Committee and our Church Council all recommended we apply for a loan to help ensure that we would not have to lay off large numbers of staff should there be a catastrophic meltdown in the economy, as appeared to be possible in the first months of the pandemic. We used the loan entirely for payroll. But our hope was that we would come to the end of the year and find that our finances held up and we could pay the funds back sooner rather than later.
Last month, instead of seeking loan forgiveness, the church paid back the entire PPP loan with interest. That was possible thanks to your generosity. We are grateful to the government for the loan in that it ensured that we would not have to lay anyone off in 2020. But I’m also grateful for the generosity of our congregation making it possible for us to pay off the loan.
Looking forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!
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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