Happy New Year! I love the start of a new year because it provides the chance to reflect, reset, and refocus. One new year practice I have is to reflect on the previous year as I dream, hope and anticipate the coming year. I wrote a few notes to capture the amazing, sometimes challenging, but Holy Spirit-infused year we had at Resurrection Overland Park.
In 2021, we celebrated our first Easter together in-person. It was a significant moment as we returned to worship and continued to rebuild our in-person activities. Week to week, we provided care online and in-person with countless prayers offered, phone calls, and coffees. This included baptisms for families at home and in worship. This also included several memorial services conducted online and in person for loved ones. We have one of the most amazing care teams who love this congregation. I also think about our children and students as new families found a home here. Ten children received their third-grade bibles, twelve students were confirmed, and twenty-two students attended our fall retreat. Amazing!
We launched several new small groups and now have nearly 20 groups, including Sunday School classes, who meet to share life and form faith. That’s about 225 of you! I also think about some of our new ministries that launched. This fall we kicked off our new special needs ministry, Matthew’s Ministry. We also launched Recovery groups this year. Each week, around 85 people come to our location to stay sober and find healing and recovery.
I love how many of you serve as part of a vibrant faith, putting into motion what it means to be the light of Christ. Together, we supported 575 students and staff members at our partner school, Apache Elementary. It’s hard to say just how many people have served with us in mission (it’s a lot!), at the church and also through our Food Pantry, Apache Elementary, Avenue of Life, Hope Faith Ministries, Harvesters, supporting staff at our Early Learning Center and also Shawnee Mission Early Learning Center, Central UMC, Healing House and the JoCo Christmas Bureau. Also, in participation throughout the city on our monthly Serve Saturdays, including at Operation Breakthrough, Synergy Services and Blessings Abound.
Through the Food Pantry, you distributed over 350,000 pounds of food and personal items such as diapers, toiletries, and other items to our pantry guests. We served about 5400 families or 22,248 people with 15 meals (3 meals a day for 5 days). We provided 333,720 meals this year. I find this remarkable!
This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many other ways in which you shared the light of Christ last year. What I know is you will continue to share the light of Christ into this New Year. I’m looking forward to what we will do together in the New Year! When I tell people that I serve as the Location Pastor at Resurrection Overland Park, I cannot help but smile with love and joy. You have loved my family, you encourage me, and you embody what it means to be Jesus to others. Thank you for the gift it is to serve this church.
I’ll look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend as we begin a new sermon series on Doubt. Together, we’ll ask the hard questions of life and faith, wrestle with uncertainty and doubt, but also learn and grow in our faith.
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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