Dear Resurrection Family,
If you live in Kansas City (or anywhere else with this amazing weather we’re experiencing today) I hope you’ll take a few minutes to go outside, to walk, to look around, to see the beauty of the earth, to listen for the sounds of God’s creatures singing and praising God.
I take early morning walks for exercise and prayer. As I was walking, marveling at the beauty of the world around me and praising God for it’s beauty and goodness, I was stopped by the sound of the frogs singing from the pools of water leftover from Wednesday’s rain. As I listened to this chorus, the birds began to add their voices. I stood there in the middle of the street in awe, thinking of how these creatures cannot help but sing. The zoologist can explain the function of these songs at an evolutionary level. But I heard them praising their Maker, giving glory with the gift they’d been given by God.
It reminded me of a hymn I love, one that was sung last Sunday in worship and last Saturday at Bernie Haldiman’s memorial service: “How Can I Keep from Singing?” (You can watch and listen to a beautiful version of this song performed by the New York City Virtual Chorus and Orchestra by clicking here.) Did you know that you, too, were made to sing praise to God? Unlike the frogs and the birds, you do so with understanding. That’s part of what we do in worship every week.
Whether you join us in person, online, or on or TV, don’t miss out on singing. You were made for this, and it has a remarkable impact on our souls, our mental and spiritual health, when we sing praise.
This weekend, I’m kicking off a new series of messages called People of the Light: A “How-To” Guide for Faithful Living. We’re turning to the very first document written in our New Testament, Paul’s first letter to the fledgling church at Thessalonica. Written twenty years before the first gospel, in the letter Paul seeks to mentor these new Christians calling them to be people of the light.
Please bring your Bible to worship as I’d like you to follow along as we look at chapters one and two. In these chapters Paul offers words of encouragement as he speaks of the suffering and opposition both the Thessalonians and he himself had experienced. We’ll look at how we experience criticism and opposition (and sometimes are the source of it for others!) and how we are to live faithfully in the face of criticism.
We’ll talk about biblical figures, America’s two most revered Presidents and others who faced criticism, and we’ll draw strength and encouragement from Paul’s words. Here’s the promo for this series of messages. I’d love for you to share this with your friends and family by email and social media and invite them to join us!
If you are worshiping from home this weekend, have bread and wine or grape juice ready as we share in Holy Communion together during worship. If you are worshiping in person, we'll serve communion (bread only) at the doors as you leave.
This weekend, we’ll be filling a time capsule at each of our physical locations. I hope you’ll plan to be in worship so that when we open it in 25 years you can say “I was there!” We’ll be taking a photo at both the 9 and 11 am services at each location to include in the time capsule.
If you live in Kansas City and are ready to be back in public, plan to join us in person at the location nearest you. For a complete list of our locations, click here. We have worship services at 9 and 11 am at all locations as well as programs for children and students.
We’ve been closely following the COVID protocols for indoor gatherings this week, and we’re seeing social distancing and mask mandates being downgraded in favor of recommendations to wear masks and maintain social distances. I met with our committee chairs yesterday, as well as our lead staff, to discuss our church’s protocols for our worship and programs. Our committee leaders recognize that vaccinations have become widely available for everyone who will receive one, with most people having access to their second shot within the next two weeks.
Because it takes two weeks following the second shot to achieve the full benefit of the vaccine, we are currently maintaining our mask requirement. However, our committee leaders suggested that as soon as Memorial Day, our church’s mask mandate could shift from a mandate to a recommendation that masks be worn. So, barring unforeseen circumstances, we’ll lift the mask requirement as soon as the end of May. Our lead staff are watching this closely, and our Church Council has a meeting on May 18. So I expect to announce the modifications to our protocols at that time.
My hope is that you will join us before Memorial Day, but please continue to wear your mask. If you live in Kansas City and are ready to be back in public, plan to join us in person at the location nearest you. If you're not yet ready to worship in person, continue to worship with us online or television.
I had a great time Sunday afternoon welcoming 163 new members during our Coffee with the Pastors. They represent 102 households – 137 adults and 26 children. Pause to pray for each of them as they continue their Christian journey as official members of Resurrection, and if you know someone personally, drop them a note or email of welcome.
This week three of our pastors, Ashley Morgan Kirk, Tino Herrera, and Lauren Baker Thomas, talked me into doing a fun promo for a four-week class they are leading beginning this coming Wednesday. The musical Hamilton is one of my favorites and somewhere way back in history my family is connected to Alexander Hamilton. I’m looking forward to hearing how this musical can teach us about the Christian walk.
“The Gospel According to Hamilton the Musical” will explore themes found in both the content and creation of the musical, paralleled with themes of Scripture. Discussions will include a Christian approach to ambition, how we view history, and what the diversity in this production has to teach us.
This online class meets Wednesdays from 6:30–7:45 pm CT on May 5–26. Here’s the link to register to get the Zoom link. And here’s a humorous promo Ashley, Lauren and Tino asked me to join them in filming – “Hamming” it up a bit. Click here to take a look.
Exciting plans are under way for Vacation Bible Camp this summer with BOTH in-person and virtual options. VBC in-person at all our locations includes a week of fun and a family-friendly "Great Adventure Party" on Friday night! The virtual VBC option for those outside the KC area or not yet comfortable with in-person gatherings includes the resources to have your own family or neighborhood adventure. Registration is open now at cor.org/VBC.
I’ll be helping kick off VBC on Sunday, July 18, when all in-person and virtual participants will have a link to a special video introducing the Great Adventure theme for the week. This is going to be a great week as our kids learn how the Israelites trusted God in the Exodus story and how they can trust God, too!
VBC can’t happen without many volunteers. Would you consider volunteering to help at VBC? No special skills required, just a heart for sharing God’s love with kids. Sign-up now to serve at cor.org/VBC, and if you have kids Pre-K and under, we will provide childcare while you serve!
Our monthly Serve Saturday is May 15. We have 250+ opportunities to serve in the community, including family-friendly and outdoor options, food pantries, assisting with donation sorting, yard beautification, community garden opportunities and more. Registration is required to ensure proper social distancing and some opportunities fill up quickly.
I encourage you to select where you want to serve and register now to make sure you get your spot.
Since it’s installation in 2017, the Stained Glass Window in the Leawood Sanctuary has been a beacon in our community, with Jesus’ outstretched hands welcoming all to experience love and hope. Well, sort of… the lighting in the window was never quite right – until now.
James Holt, the Leawood Technical Director, has been working tirelessly to find the right lighting solution. This was no simple solution, involving the installation of about 200 feet of new steel support struts in the ceiling, moving electrical wiring to the ceiling and reusing all 24 original white LED lights, and then installing about 100 feet of short curtains to help control the light.
I thought you might be interested in see the window as it was, and as it is now. When you approach the Leawood location at night, take a minute and look up at this beautiful invitation reaching out to offer light and hope to our community.
This Tuesday morning at 8 am (Central Time) Resurrection members and regular attenders will be able to sign up for next February’s Holy Land trip that I will be leading. Pastors and laity from other congregations can sign up starting at 8:30 am. Pre-COVID, these trips would sell out in a matter of minutes. I am hearing a great deal of interest in this trip. Here’s the link to review the brochure. Here’s a link to watch this past Tuesday’s Vespers as I shared more about the trip. And here’s the link to the site where you can sign up for the trip on Tuesday morning.
Our process this year is to allow everyone to sign up for a “wait list.” When you sign up your interest will be time and date stamped. The first 200 people to sign up will receive an email within a week to officially sign up. You’ll want to sign up within a week. If you haven’t officially filled out the registration form in that time, your spot will go to the next person on the waitlist.
This is less a vacation than it is a spiritual pilgrimage. It is one of the most meaningful trips you will ever take. We’ve got room for 200 people and will have a Resurrection pastor on each bus. I’ll be rotating among busses and speaking at various sites and in the evenings.
In closing, I want to remind you that one of the ways we care for one another and our community and world is through prayer. Next Thursday, May 6, is the National Day of Prayer. We’ll have special prayers on our social media, but I encourage you to find time during the day to pray for our nation and our leaders. Also, our pastors and care team want to pray for you personally. You can submit a prayer request online or call the church office.
Join us this weekend in worship as we sing, pray and listen for God’s voice.
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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