Dear Resurrection Family,
As I do every morning, I awoke today giving thanks to God for you and for the privilege of being your senior pastor. Yesterday I received the grand total you donated in the Christmas Eve offering benefitting children and their families living with poverty. It made me grateful and proud, once more, for who you are. I’ll share this number in my sermon throughout the weekend (yes, this is a cliff hanger intended to get you here this weekend!).
This weekend we’ll continue in our sermon series on Christianity and World Religions by turning to Hinduism. Hinduism feels, to most Christians, the most foreign of the major world religions – the offerings to various deities, its teaching on reincarnation and karma, and other Hindu concepts are sometimes difficult to understand. Last week I interviewed a leader of the Hindu Temple here in Kansas City, and attended a service at the temple. I read, once again, the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu text found in every Hindu home (about the length of a couple of gospels, combined). And, I spent time considering where Hinduism and Christianity share common ground and where we disagree.
My aim in this sermon is both that you will better understand your Hindu neighbors, but also that you will have a deeper understanding of your own faith. I believe this message will inspire you.
Despite the cold temperatures, 130 adults and children joined the church at last weekend’s Coffee with the Pastors! 124 were at our Leawood campus and 6 at our Blue Springs campus. Downtown will have their Coffee with the Pastors Sunday, January 21, and Resurrection West will hold their Coffee with the Pastor on January 28.
We’ll officially welcome these persons this weekend in worship (new members, please arrive five minutes early for worship – we’ll do the welcome of new members at the beginning of the service).
Please look over the list of their names at the bottom of this enote and, when you see someone you know, drop them a note to welcome them.
Last Call: If you are part of the 38% of our members who have yet to return your 2018 commitment card, could you please do that today or this weekend? We mailed a note to our members who had not yet returned a commitment card – you can return the card this weekend in worship, or you can click on this link now to make your commitment.
This is really important to me and to the church as it allows us to set our budget not based upon what we guess or hope you will give to God through the church, but what you have told us. I also hope it is important to you as you make your 2018 commitment. Your giving makes possible all of the ministry that happens here at Resurrection – through it you honor God and invest in God’s work across our city and around the world. Again, click here on this link to make your commitment. You’ll receive our 2018 coffee mug as a thank you for returning your card.
I want to encourage you to attend our annual All Church Gathering on Friday, January 26. We will not have dinner this year, as we have nowhere to serve it while the new fellowship hall is under construction. We’ll start at 6:30 pm in the Leawood sanctuary.
This year’s event will be different from most. We’ve hired a consulting firm to help our congregation, at all campuses, to begin a year-long dreaming and discernment process with the aim of discerning a set of visions and goals that we will pursue over the next 12 years – we’re calling this "Vision 2030" and we’re looking at the kind of “big, hairy, audacious goals” that could only be accomplished if God were calling us to pursue them. Our theme when we began the church was, “Come dream with us!” We’re inviting you, at our All Church Gathering, to once again come dream with us.
We’ll end the All Church Gathering with a tour of the previous Leawood sanctuary to see the progress in construction – drywall has been going up this week. Childcare is available – here's the link to reserve a spot.
This weekend is Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend. Interestingly, on this weekend we’ll study Hinduism - it was Dr. King’s study of Gandhi’s understanding of Hinduism, and non-violent resistance, that shaped King’s own approach to the civil rights movement.
On Saturday night I’d like to invite you to join me for a panel discussion at St. James United Methodist Church on “Creating Change in a Fractured World.” I’ll be joining Rev. Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III, Rev. Shanna Steitz of Community Christian Church and UMKC professor Dr. Theres Torres for the panel. As parking is limited at St. James, we’ll have busses providing free transportation from our Leawood parking lot. The event starts at 6:30 pm and is part of our work to build bridges, tear down walls and work together for racial justice. Click here to register and reserve a space on the bus.
On Monday, we’ll have a serve morning in the Kansas City area in honor of Dr. King day. This is a terrific opportunity for families to serve. Meet on Monday at 8:45 am at the Leawood campus sanctuary and we’ll have nine different service projects you can choose from. You can sign up ahead of time here to choose one of nine off-site activities, or you can simply show up that morning.
Several years ago, I interviewed Sonia Warshawski for one of my sermons. Sonia Warshawski's teenage years were marked by the horrors of concentration camps and death marches during World War II, and she shares her poignant story in the movie, Big Sonia.
In connection with our World Religions sermon series, Resurrection is showing Big Sonia in the Sanctuary on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 pm. Sonia and her family were arrested and placed in the concentration camps because of their Jewish faith. The following weekend I’ll preach about Judaism. Ages 10 and up will be inspired by this story of a woman who endured and overcame unspeakable hatred through the power of love.
The film is free – invite your small group, friends and family to join you for this remarkable award-winning film!
This weekend is also the time we will commission our new Congregational Care Ministers and will serve as the kick-off for our Care Night winter sessions.
Congregational Care Minister volunteers work alongside pastors and staff to minister to and care for our congregation. CCMs make hospital visits, call or meet with those in need of a listening ear, offer support to grieving families, and more. CCMs work directly with Resurrection Care Pastors and serve in areas where they feel most gifted.
If you are feeling called to this ministry you can find more information online by clicking here.
Make your home at Resurrection Care Night on Thursday evenings as we begin winter/spring classes and groups, as well as a new message series, "BINGE." We'll talk about unhealthy or addictive habits that hurt us and others and discover ways to overcome them. Community dinner at 5:45 pm, worship and message at 6:20 and classes at 7.
Download the Care Night brochure here. Each week be sure and check the Care Night section of the enews for upcoming opportunities.
The finance department wanted me pass on to you that your 2017 year-end contribution statements will be mailed and emailed around Friday, January 26. The last week of the year is always a huge one for the finance team with the Christmas Eve offering and year-end giving to the church as people fulfill their building and regular pledges. I’m grateful for our amazing team who work to process all of these gifts, and for you, our congregation, and your faithful generosity.
Join me for breakfast along with Rev. Clayton Smith, Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 am, Leawood B206. I will present "Looking Back and Looking Forward: Casting Resurrection's Multi-Campus Vision for Legacy Giving." Register online. This breakfast is sponsored by the Church of the Resurrection’s John Wesley Foundation.
Finally, ladies, if you have yet to sign up for our Inspired for Life Women’s Conference I want to encourage you to do so today. Over 1,000 Resurrection women and their friends will be here Friday night and Saturday morning, February 2 and 3 at the Leawood campus. Nationally sought-after speakers, great workshops, awesome music and meaningful fun and fellowship await. Click here to find out more or to register.
On January 26, in my enote, I’ll recognize all who had high worship attendance (90% or better) for the year. I want to encourage you to be among them in 2018. Make it a goal to be in worship (in person or online) each weekend this year!
See you in worship this weekend!
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