Dear Resurrection Family,
I spoke to a friend this week shortly after his first visit with hospice. As we talked, he told me he had spent much of the day watching YouTube videos (Bob Ross painting lessons) learning how to paint landscapes. Over spring break his granddaughter is coming to visit and he wanted to paint with her, making memories with her. He reminded me of the importance of not missing out on the important things in life.
Our granddaughter, Stella, came over one afternoon this week to spend the night. I was busy and behind in my work for the day. She came into my study and said that it was a beautiful day outside and that she and Mimi were going for out for a bicycle ride. There was an implicit question of whether I might join them. I looked at my computer and the backlog of work, thought of my friend, then looked at my granddaughter. I closed my computer and spent the next forty-five minutes riding my bicycle with Stella. It was time well spent.
I share this to invite you to join me in not missing out on the special moments in life because you are too busy. None of us knows how long we’ll have here. My friend had lots of retirement plans that will not materialize. But right now, he’s learning to paint with the help of YouTube so that he can spend time making memories with his granddaughter.
Don’t miss the important moments.
I know you’ve been unfairly criticized somewhere along the way. I have too. But did you know that this happened to Jesus… A LOT.
This weekend in worship, as we continue our study of Mark, we’ll turn to chapters three through five, where we find Jesus’ family saying he was “out of his mind,” and the religious leaders accusing him of having demons afflicting him! We’ll learn from him about facing unfair criticism. Then we’ll turn to one of his most famous parables. Finally, we’ll look at some of his amazing miracles. All of this as a way of seeing what it means to walk with Jesus today.
I’ve felt God speaking to me as I was preparing this weekend’s message and I believe you’ll find the sermon and worship service deeply moving. Please have bread and wine or grape juice ready at home in preparation for worship as we share Holy Communion together.
Invite a friend to join you for online worship this weekend with one of these options:
It was a year ago this weekend that we held our last in-person worship before shutting down due to COVID. We opened back up for a short while in the fall before closing once more due to the high number of COVID cases.
Last year this weekend was confirmation, and once again this year we’ll be confirming 214 young adults at Leawood and Overland Park. There will be another 40 young adults being confirmed at West and Blue Springs later this spring. We’ll be having four abbreviated services in the Leawood sanctuary, allowing the confirmands and their guests to maintain safe social distances.
I’m excited about confirming these young adults this weekend. The Confirmation services are reserved for confirmands and their invited guests only, but we invite you to watch the livestream online at 1, 2, 3 and 4 pm Central Time. If you are accompanying a confirmand, please wear a mask.
As I shared last week, we are planning to return to in-person worship on March 14, beginning with services at each of our locations at 9 and 11 am. The 9 am service at Leawood will be modern, the 11 am will be traditional. If you attend another campus, check your campus pastor’s enote today to find out more about the services at your campus. (All campuses will have services at 9 and 11 am).
Some have asked me when we will expand to other worship times. We’re starting with 9 and 11 am as we anticipate having about 25% of our pre-COVID attendance (which also means 25% of our pre-COVID volunteers for worship and nurseries). This allows us to safely re-open while having adequate numbers of volunteers. We’ll look at adding back services as our number of worshipers increases over the next year. We’ll continue to have online worship Saturday at 5 pm, Sunday at 7:30 am, 9 am (shifting from 9:15 starting on March 14), 11 am and 5 pm. Both modern and traditional options will be available online at both times. We will also continue to offer our services on KMCI Channel 38 at 8 and 11 am each weekend.
If you plan to worship in person on March 14, please fill out this brief questionnaire and let us know the location and time you will attend. This will help us estimate attendance and make sure we can maintain a safe worship experience. In-person protocols will be in place that include required masks, physically distanced seating, no large musical groups, and “touchless” processes (no bulletins or handouts and using phones for attendance). Nurseries will be available for ages 2 and under, with reservation. We’re planning to restart children’s Sunday School sometime after Easter.
One of the things we’re going to look at this weekend in my sermon is Jesus’ healing ministry. Many of you are called to be healers professionally, as doctors, nurses and counselors. I also think all of us are called to be healers in some way through our care for one another, and some of you have gifts to help care for our Resurrection community as volunteers with our Congregational Care teams.
Volunteers can connect with and care for others simply by listening and walking with them through life’s challenges and celebrations. If this is something you’d like to learn more about, here’s a link to a form you can fill out and we’ll get back to you.
Are you looking for a COVID-cautious way to get out in the community and serve? Every month we offer a Serve Saturday event. The next one is March 20 from 9 am – noon. Registration is required to ensure proper social distancing, but you simply check out the available opportunities online and register.
On Saturday, volunteers go directly to their selected serve site. We have lots of great opportunities including food pantries, assisting with donation sorting, yard beautification, community garden opportunities and more. Many are family-friendly and outdoor options. Check out the upcoming opportunities and register here. Serve Saturdays are also great opportunities to invite a friend to join you!
If you’re looking for other ways to serve beyond Serve Saturdays, go to cor.org/localimpact.
You likely have been hearing about the increase in hate crimes and harassment of Asian Americans that has taken place across America in the last year (up 3,000% in the last 12 months) linked to COVID originating in Wuhan, China. The logic of blaming people of Asian descent for COVID, then harassing or harming them for this is tragic.
In 1918, perhaps the first known outbreak of the pandemic that year was at Fort Riley, Kansas, yet Kansans were not targeted for harassment because of the outbreak there (it was ultimately called the Spanish Flu, due in part to the widespread reporting of the flu and its impact in Spain).
We have Asian American families in our congregation who have reported to me their concern for their young adult children in the wake of these attacks. One woman wrote to me, “The entire East Asian American community is under attack for something we had absolutely nothing to do with. It is a sad reminder that no matter how many generations we have been here, how much we love America, or how we, too, have served this country, we are still viewed as foreigners. I had to tell my two sons in college to wear Chiefs or Royals gear when they go out so that people know that they are local. I also had to tell them to travel in pairs and to stay home as much as possible.”
I want to ask you to be willing to speak up against expressions of racism and harassment wherever it is found, but as Asian Americans are increasingly the target, to be mindful of this. I’d like to encourage you to have courage to say something when you see someone being harassed and to befriend those who may be the objects of other’s scorn, teasing or hurt.
I’m grateful for the many Asian Americans who are a part of our congregation and count on the fact that all who consider themselves followers of Jesus would do all we can to stand with and for them and for all who experience the effects of bigotry.
I’m grateful and proud of you, Church of the Resurrection. I look forward to “seeing” you in worship this weekend!
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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