Dear Resurrection Family,
I have a lot of exciting and important news to share in today’s eNote. Make sure you read to the end!
This weekend each of our location pastors will be preaching at their locations, concluding our series on James. The letter of James ends with an emphasis on the power of prayer, but also the power of people caring for one another in the church. At Resurrection, we talk a lot about stretcher-bearers, people bearing each other’s burdens and caring for one another. Our location pastors are responsible, at their respective locations, for helping to foster this kind of community, and I know you’ll be inspired by their message! Our memory verse this weekend was pivotal in early Methodism – it comes from James 5:16: Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. Don’t miss worship this weekend.
Pastor Wendy Lyons Chrostek has just been named location pastor for our newest Resurrection location, which we have decided to call Resurrection Brookside at Historic Central (more about the name later, but first Wendy). We had a number of really great candidates for this position but believe that Wendy’s experience as part of the pastoral staff at Resurrection Leawood for 13 years, and most recently serving as the location pastor at Leawood, has uniquely prepared her for this position. Wendy is a graduate of Duke Divinity School. In 2009, she moved to Kansas City with her husband, Scott, who now serves as an Executive Pastor on our staff at Resurrection. They have two children, Freddy, who is 7 and Poppy, who is 2 1/2. To know her is to know that she loves people, loves hearing their stories and loves connecting them with others. You most often will find her with a cup of coffee in her hand and a smile on her face. She is thrilled to be invited to serve as the location pastor at Resurrection Brookside. Wendy will be preaching at Leawood and online this weekend before she assumes her new responsibilities at Resurrection Brookside. I hope you will worship with her in Leawood or at another Resurrection location where each location pastor will be preaching live.
This weekend, Kansas City’s oldest Protestant church, Central United Methodist, will hold its final worship service before it becomes Resurrection Brookside at Historic Central. Central started in 1844 in what was then called “the City of Kansas” but what is today Kansas City, Missouri. There is a wonderful article written about its history that just came out today by journalist Mary Sanchez – you can read it here.
This is a bittersweet moment for the congregation, as one era ends and a new one begins. I will be there for this closing, and Pastor Sally Haynes, Central’s pastor, will preach and she and I will preside at Holy Communion together at the end of the service. Please keep the Central congregation in your prayers.
I wanted to mention a word about the name. The church is located in an area just south of the Plaza. We settled on Resurrection Brookside as the church is on Brookside Blvd. We will continue to use “at Historic Central” to honor the historic significance of this church which is the oldest Protestant congregation in Kansas City.
I don’t want to overwhelm the Central folks on this, their special weekend, but if you think you may want to be a part of the new Resurrection Brookside, you may want to join us for worship at 10:30 am to be a part of this historic service. If you are interested in helping launch Resurrection Brookside, you can learn more at cor.org/next.
I am grieving today, along with many others, the death of one of our founding members Wendell Lady. He died yesterday at the age of 91. Wendell truly lived a life of service. He served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1969 to 1983 and was Speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1979 to 1983. Wendell was a founding member of Church of the Resurrection and played a huge role in who this church became. He was the leader of our first Visionary Committee, then served as Building Committee chair for our first three buildings and honorary co-chair with Chuck Winters after that. His life will be celebrated in November in the Wesley Chapel that he helped to design.
Trunk or Treat is one of our biggest outreach events each year – we welcome thousands of kids from the Kansas City metro for safe Halloween fun and of course, candy! This year we will have trunk or treat events on either October 29 or 30 at all of our locations, including Resurrection Brookside. Are you willing to decorate your trunk, hand out candy, or volunteer in another way to help make Trunk or Treat happen? Let us know at cor.org/next!
You can still order your BE Campaign t-shirts. We’re doing a second order, but you need to sign up before midnight on Sunday, September 25. Just click here to order. These shirts will be available mid-October. We have plenty of yard signs at no charge, so you can pick those up after worship at all locations this weekend.
I thought I’d do something a bit different for next Tuesday’s Vespers. I thought I’d take you up behind the Leawood stained glass window. We don’t give tours up there – you have to walk around or under ductwork to get there! – and I might possibly take you to the catwalks to get a close up of the face of Christ, if my cell coverage or WIFI will work up there – 70 feet above the sanctuary floor. Join me Tuesday at 7:30 pm on Facebook or catch the replay on YouTube.
Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing updates with you on the future of our denomination. You may know that about 15 to 20% of the churches in the UMC are anticipated to be leaving. Some will join a new denomination called the Global Methodist Church, others will be independent. 80% of the UMC’s 30,000 churches in the US – 24,000 churches – will remain in the UMC.
The leading figure in the formation of the Global Methodist Church, a pastor from the Houston area named Rob Renfroe, produced a series of six short videos aimed at persuading churches to leave the UMC. I recently watched all six videos and recorded a brief video response to each, correcting what I believe was misinformation, and describing why I’m #proudtobeumc – proud to be a part of the United Methodist Church.
I’d love you to watch each video, which starts with the conclusion of Renfroe’s video. My videos range from 5 minutes to 18 minutes in length and cover who we are as United Methodists, how we read the Bible, our commitment to and faith in Christ and the historic essentials of the Christian faith, our love of scripture while also believing it is important to rightly interpret scripture, our denominational divisions of human sexuality and the future of the UMC. My aim was to be gracious, but to also speak clearly to what I see as misinformation in Renfroe’s videos.
The videos, along with other helpful resources, are on a new website called Proud to Be UMC. We are also inviting individuals and churches who are remaining United Methodist to indicate that on the website. You can do so here. Eventually those whose churches are leaving the UMC but who wish to remain UMC will be able to search for those churches that will remain UMC in their community. Please sign on if you are committed to remaining UMC and share this site with others. We anticipate 80% or more of UM’s across the US will remain UMC
This coming week is Leadership Institute at Resurrection. Every fall we offer this 38-hour event to inspire, encourage and equip church leaders to help in the renewal of their congregations. We’ve got amazing speakers and terrific workshops, and we’ll have over 1,500 pastors and church leaders here or online for this event. On Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:00 pm CT I’ll be sharing the talk I’ve given in Texas, and tomorrow in Arkansas, on A Future with Hope for the United Methodist Church. Our orchestra and choir will open with music, and then we’ll speak to what is happening in our denomination, what the future looks like, and why many see a future with hope for the UMC. We’ll be in the Leawood sanctuary – come and join us! If you aren’t able to join in person, you can watch online at cor.org/live.
Finally, would you please pause to pray for me and all who are leading, teaching or serving at the Leadership Institute this week. It is a HUGE endeavor and exhausting, though at the same time, exhilarating. Please pray for the participants who will be coming from across the US, and for those joining us online.
And would you pray for me today. As you read this I am on my way to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I’ll be speaking tomorrow morning and early afternoon to United Methodists from across Arkansas. Please pray for those I’ll be speaking to, that God would use me to bless, inspire and encourage them.
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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