Dear Resurrection Family,
I continue to be amazed by your generosity. Last week, our Vacation Bible Camp kids led the way by raising enough money during Vacation Bible Camp to build 3 fresh water wells in Malawi. In my sermon, I suggested that this might be something you would be interested in doing with your family, small group or workplace. Wow! You responded! As of last night, the combined donations are just under $90,000 to fund the boreholes that will provide life-giving water to 18 villages in Malawi. In addition there are a number of others who have made commitments and will be giving funds in the next week or so. Every one of those boreholes provides clean drinking water to an entire village of children and adults for decades. We’ll keep the fund open for another week, because I know there are still some of you who are planning to give. Here’s the link to give online; just select the giving type: VBC Missions Malawi Clean Water.
This weekend we’re going to begin a two-week sermon series that explores what it looks like to have a resilient faith. During this time of uncertainty, how can we become resilient in the face of adversity? How can we become stronger in this season? These are questions we’re all struggling with, but the scriptures give us some clear direction. Pastor Scott Chrostek is preaching this weekend, and I’m looking forward to hearing his message. I’ll be on vacation, but I’ll be worshipping with you online.
We all have friends and family who are struggling with the upheaval in our lives caused by the Coronavirus. Invite them to join you for worship online. I know this message will speak to them. Worship online at cor.org/live Saturday at 5 pm, Sunday at 7:30 am, 9:15 am, 11 am or 5 pm (CT), or on KSHB Channel 41 at 11 am. Wherever you worship, don’t forget to go to cor.org/next to register your attendance, give online, submit a prayer request or see our weekly announcements.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our community, many healthcare workers and hospitals are experiencing great stress and fatigue. This week we heard from the CEOs of two hospitals that asked if Resurrection could provide prayer and encouragement for their staffs. We’ll be sending notes and providing pastoral messages next week, and we’re working on other ways to offer encouragement.
I know many in our congregation are healthcare workers, and I just want to personally tell you how grateful we are for your sacrifice and commitment. Would you please take a minute and share with us your name and where you work? Here’s a simple form to submit. Your pastors and prayer team want to be able to pray for you by name and offer encouragement. I also want to remind you that our Congregational Care staff is available to talk with you, and we also have a grant that provides free counseling by Licensed Counselors for anyone working in any capacity in a healthcare facility. This also includes EMT’s. Here’s the link if you or someone you know would benefit from this.
Pastor Darryl Burton was ordained as a Full Elder in the United Methodist Church, effective July 1. In the United Methodist Church, Elders are ordained ministers who have completed their formal preparation for ministry (Master of Divinity and the three-year ordination process) and are set apart by the bishop to preach, administer the sacraments and give key leadership in the church. Up to this point Darryl has been a provisional elder since graduating from seminary. This moment represents a long journey for Darryl, and the fulfillment of a promise he made years ago. Pastor Darryl is appointed half time as a pastor at Resurrection and half time as the executive director of Miracle of Innocence. Congratulations Pastor Darryl!
Church of the Resurrection serves as a host site for the Global Leadership Summit each year to provide our congregation and community access to a wealth of leadership insight from a world-class faculty. This year’s summit, Thursday and Friday, August 6-7, is entirely online, and it’s not too late to sign up!
More than ever, leadership matters, and the two-day infusion of fresh ideas, actionable concepts, leadership principles and heartfelt inspiration will provide an opportunity for us to connect and lead in new and meaningful ways. Register for GLS today at www.cor.org/gls and use the Priority Code LEAD2020 if you are a Resurrection member or regular attender as you sign up.
Again next week, the Leawood Sanctuary will be open for prayer on a drop-in basis on Monday from 10am-noon, and Thursday evenings from 6-8pm. Please wear a mask and maintain a safe physical distance from others. You can enter/exit the building from the Southwest doors (near parking lot A3), and enter the Sanctuary doors directly across from them. A hand sanitizer station will be positioned just outside those doors for your use. The rest of the building remains closed, so please enter and exit through the designated doors and stay in the Sanctuary.
This week we concluded our annual school supplies drive. As with the wells, you demonstrated remarkable generosity aimed at serving and caring for children in the Kansas City area. You gave $103,600 to provide school supplies and uniforms for the children at our ten partner elementary schools across Kansas City. Some of these schools will be holding in person classes starting in September. Others are online only until later this fall or January. Your donations will be helping children in these schools regardless of when they return to class. I’m so grateful and proud of the generosity you demonstrate to these students.
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that we were making masks for the children in our partner schools. These 3,800 kids will need multiple masks, and we could use some additional sewers to help convert the kits into masks. If you sew and could help, contact Lisa Kirk in our Missions Ministries.
Since mid-March, we have seen a 200% increase in demand for food in our community, and as unemployment increases, so do the requests. You can help us fill this gap by filling a box with 30 non-perishable highly requested food items. (This also helps our partner pantries distribute the food more efficiently to families in need.) Here’s how it works:
Tonight, I am preaching by video for Sabbath worship at Congregation B’nai Jehudah. I will be sharing that same sermon, as delivered for the synagogue, with you in my Tuesday evening vespers this next Tuesday night at 8pm (CT) on my Facebook page. It is an 8-1/2 minute message on the meaning of steadfast love (in Hebrew, chesed). I thought you might enjoy hearing this message – it includes a story I shared with you last year about a Delta flight attendant named Roberta Alpert and how she demonstrates steadfast love to her passengers. Join me Tuesday night at 8pm on my Facebook page.
This Tuesday is the primary in Kansas and Missouri, voting on candidates that will go on to represent you in the general election in November. I want to encourage you to research the candidates running for office in your district. Support people who represent your views and convictions. This requires that you do some research before going to vote. Last Saturday I voted, choosing the early voting option. I had done some research going into the voting box, but I still found it confusing – there were people who I had not researched. I asked my followers on Facebook this week where they go to find information on candidates – they offered a variety of important sources in both Kansas and Missouri. Feel free to add yours to the list. Click here to visit my Facebook page and scroll down a post or two – you’ll see a photo of my “I voted” sticker and you can read below.
Speaking of voting, as you know, this week Congressman John Lewis died. He was at the center of the Civil Rights movement and a part of so many of the critical moments in its history and served in Congress for 33 years. He was 80 at his death. I was reminded of something he wrote years ago – something I quoted in a sermon back in 1998. He was writing just after former Alabama Governor George Wallace died. Wallace had been among the most outspoken opponents of desegregation in the 1960s, declaring, at his inauguration as governor in 1963 that he stood for, "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Yet Wallace had a change of heart after his conversion. He spent his last years seeking forgiveness for the harm he’d caused. Lewis’ opinion piece was called, “Forgiving George Wallace.” I re-read that piece this week – you can read it here. Shortly before he died, Lewis penned an essay to be shared after his death. If you haven’t read it, you can read it here. In it he speaks of Emmett Till, who, with his mother, is in our stained glass window at the Leawood campus, and he mentions King’s vision of the Beloved Community.
This coming week our Church Council will be discussing when to re-start in-person worship. We had tentatively set August 23rd as the date for restarting in-person worship. With an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Kansas City metro area, area schools postponing restarting until after Labor Day and/or voting to start the school year online only, and a couple of ICU units nearing capacity, we’ll be revisiting the date for restarting in-person worship. I’ll give you an update on the conversation and decision in next Friday’s e-note.
Don’t miss worship this weekend as we focus on developing a resilient faith!
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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