Dear Resurrection Family,
We had a great beginning to Advent last weekend, with beautiful Christmas music, worship spaces decorated with greenery, lights and evergreen trees, and the lighting of the first candle in our Advent wreaths as we began our focus on the stories surrounding Christmas!
This is “Tacky Christmas Sweater” weekend! If you’ve got an ugly, tacky or funny Christmas sweater, wear it! I’ll be wearing mine as we add a bit of fun to the Christmas season at Resurrection! Here’s a pic of my amazing sweater:
Today I’ve got some exciting things to share about what’s coming up this month – and about candlelight Christmas Eve. But first, a word about this weekend’s message…
In my message this weekend I’ll be focusing on Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. Upon learning that Mary was pregnant, knowing he was not the father, he planned to quietly “divorce” her. He was a righteous man, and faithful, yet he did not believe Mary when she explained that she had miraculously conceived the child by the power of the Holy Spirit – he was the first to doubt the virgin birth.
We’ll talk about doubt and faith, and we’ll consider what this story in Matthew 1:18-25 teaches us about the child whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, as well as what this passage teaches us about ourselves. At the conclusion of the sermon, I’ll be sharing with you stories of how Resurrection members have helped to welcome and resettle Afghan refugees over the last few weeks. I’m so proud of the work they have done. It’s going to be a moving weekend in worship!
I hope you’re following along each day in our GPS Guide – the Grow, Pray and Study Guide – that includes daily scripture readings from Matthew and Luke and a devotional from a book of daily Advent devotionals I wrote. You can sign up to receive the daily GPS in your email here.
You can join our online study of The Journey on Wednesdays, Dec. 8 and 15, 6:30-8 pm Central Time. This is an opportunity to connect with others during Advent in a large format Zoom gathering with breakout rooms to engage with and learn from one another. Here’s the link to register.
We still have openings to join one of our Open Table Dinner groups for fellowship and fun. Groups of 8-10 people will gather at local restaurants between December 6 and 22 to share a meal and talk about the sermon series and book. You can use this link to sign up for a time and location that works for you. I misspoke last week – you are not committing to gather for three meals, one each week – just one meal together, meeting new people. I’ll be popping in on several of these dinner groups.
Thank you to each of you who made your financial pledge to God for the ministry of the church for the coming year! So many of you took a step forward, increasing your pledge for next year – I can’t tell you how much this matters as we look at ministry next year. I’m so very proud of, and grateful for, each of you. Last Sunday a sister and brother, 6 and 10, came to me after worship. They had each filled out their commitment card giving the first tenth of their weekly allowance. Here’s a picture we snapped:
If you haven’t returned your pledge yet, and if this is your church family, I’d like to encourage you to do so today. You can do this online by clicking here or you can turn it in worship this weekend, or you can mail it to the church. After you submit your pledge, don’t forget to pick up your 2022 Resurrection mug after worship this weekend. As we prepare for setting our ministry budget for the coming year, your pledges are an important part of how we determine what we can and cannot do in ministry in the coming year. Thank you!
December 4, 2021
Join us tomorrow at all Resurrection locations, for Christmas crafts, treats, a living nativity, family service projects, Santa and a free Family Advent Kit filled with activities to help brighten your family’s Christmas season!
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Make plans to join our Caroling Blitz next week! We will gather at locations throughout the city where we’ll meet up for hot chocolate and cookies before caroling door to door. Come with family, invite friends and join us to spread Christmas cheer.
Join us for a special service for those who have experienced loss this year. December 15 at 7 pm, at all locations, we’ll hold our annual Longest Night service. Christmas can be challenging when you’ve experienced loss. At this special worship experience, we’ll come together to honor the grief that so many of us carry and remember that we are never alone. God joins us in our sadness and holds us in tender care, and as a church family we support and care for one another.
We are excited to return to in-person Candlelight Christmas Eve services this year at all our locations. Each service will have beautiful Christmas music, a message of hope and the traditional passing of the candlelight while we sing Silent Night. If you are in the Kansas City area, we hope you will join us in person. If you are outside Kansas City or not able to worship in person, we will continue to have services online and on television.
We’ll have 18 services at five locations during the afternoon and evening on Friday, December 24. Our complete schedule, locations, times and details for services can be found at cor.org/Christmas, but I wanted to mention one special early service.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Our December 24 Christmas Eve services will be “mask encouraged” but not required. However, on Tuesday, December 21, we’ll offer a special candlelight service for those who are healthcare workers, immunocompromised persons and those who are COVID-cautious who would prefer to attend a service where all will be masked. This will be our modern Candlelight Christmas Eve and we’ll be recording this service for television and online. The service will be at 6:30 pm in the Leawood Sanctuary. Masks will be required. This will also be the service that we record for broadcast, so you’ll be part of our worship audience as we pass the candlelight at the end of the service.
This year, we have a special way you can invite friends and neighbors to join you for Candlelight Christmas Eve worship. We have gift boxes with 8 candles in a decorative bag and a note from me that you can purchase for $5 each to give as gifts to your neighbors this Christmas season, inviting them to join you for Candlelight Christmas Eve. We’ll take orders December 5–21, and you can pick them up at your designated location 24-48 hours after submitting.
Throughout the season of Advent, we are helping make the season brighter for our neighbors, with different opportunities to donate and serve each week. This weekend, we’re focusing on our Partner Schools and collecting toys for their incentive stores. These toys serve as rewards to help the kids stay motivated to reach their behavior and education goals. Lists will be available for pick-up after worship services this weekend, or you can find them online. Incentive toys can be returned to the collection areas of any Resurrection location through the month of December, or bring it to our drive-up, drop-off event at any location on December 18, from 9 to 11 am. Here's a photo of one of the incentive stores.
Don’t forget to sign up now for our Christmas Serve Saturday on December 18. We have family friendly, COVID-cautious opportunities to serve throughout the Kansas City area. This is a great way to spread some joy this holiday season! Sign up to serve today!
Monday, December 6, 2021
On Monday, I’ll be joining Gary Mendell, the founder of Shatterproof, from 6:30-8 pm for a special presentation on addiction in the Leawood Foundry (Building B). Mendell founded the HEI Hotel and Resort Chain. He met with tremendous professional success. But after losing a son to addiction, he founded Shatterproof, a nonprofit focused on reversing the addiction crisis in America.
The program will also be online at cor.org/live. I’m looking forward to learning about their work and how it might help us address the addiction crisis in our community. I hope you’ll join me. You can find out more about Shatterproof by clicking clicking here.
Thank you to Pastor Tom Langhofer and his team for making this night possible. Our Recovery Ministries and Pastor Tom are having a significant healing impact in our community. Thank you for making this ministry possible by your support of our church.
Last year, I had a vision of writing a children’s book about the Lord’s Prayer. My hope was that parents and grandparents would read this book with children, and that together they would think about the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer. The book is called The Most Important Prayer of All: Stella Learns the Lord’s Prayer. It is being released by Abingdon Press next week. For my Tuesday night Vespers on Facebook Live next week, my granddaughter, Stella, and I will read the book together for you. Join us at 7:30 pm on my Facebook page: Pastor Adam Hamilton on Facebook. You’ll also be able to view it on my Facebook page or the church’s YouTube page after Tuesday night.
This book is a companion to a book for adults and teens called The Lord’s Prayer: The Meaning and Power of the Prayer Jesus Taught, that also comes out next week from Abingdon Press. The material in this book has shaped how I pray, and in turn, has shaped my life. If you’re interested, here’s a brief promo for the book.
In January, I’ll be preaching a sermon series called Wrestling with Doubt, Finding Faith. We’ll look at the stories of biblical figures, many heroes of the faith, who wrestled with doubt. In preparation I’m inviting you to let me know if you ever struggle with doubt and what your doubts are. The survey is anonymous, but your input will help shape January’s sermon series, and it will only require a few minutes of your time. Thank you!
In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I hope you find moments of stillness to pause and reflect on the gift of a Savior, whose birth we prepare to celebrate. I’m looking forward to worshiping with you this second weekend of Advent!
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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