Dear Resurrection Family,
This weekend is the beginning of the season of Advent. For 1,700 years Christians have set aside the four weeks leading up to Christmas to spiritually prepare themselves to celebrate the birth of Christ and to contemplate and ready themselves for Christ’s second advent – his return either at their death or his second coming. Our various campus sanctuaries are decorated with lights and evergreen. We’ll be lighting the advent candles and singing the songs of advent and Christmas.
Christians around the world typically turn to the story of John the Baptist during Advent. All four gospels begin with John’s story because he was sent by God to prepare the way for Christ. This weekend we’ll turn to the meaningful and touching story from Luke 1:5-25 where the elderly Zechariah and Elizabeth are told that they will have a child, John, who will “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” This weekend, to help you prepare for Christmas, we’ll be giving away patterns for ornaments you can make at home called “Chrismons” – ornaments that remind you of the meaning of Christ’s life. Join us this weekend as we prepare our hearts for the Lord with the help of John the Baptist!
Last weekend’s blizzard led many churches to close in anticipation of the storm. We were open and had just over 4,800 who attended in person at one of our campuses – and just under 4,000 who joined us online. Attendance was overall down 2,000 to 3,000 from a typical weekend, but it was still a great weekend in worship. I’m grateful for our online worship which allows people to remain connected even in inclement weather. If there is ever inclement weather on the weekends be sure to check your email or our website for updates and know that if you are ever uncomfortable getting out in the weather, you can join us online.
Thanks to all of our staff, volunteers and worshipers who did join us for worship this last weekend in person, including 133 adventurous souls who showed up Sunday night at 5 pm at Leawood! I was certain there’d only be fifteen or twenty people there!
Thank you to the 3,300 families who have returned your commitment cards to date. Your giving makes possible the ministry of our church and that ministry has an impact on tens of thousands of people in the name of Christ.
The average commitment is up – thank you to all who have increased your commitment for the coming year. The average commitment is $4,159 across all of our campuses (Leawood, West, Downtown and Blue Springs). The range of individual commitments is from $1 a week to several thousand dollars a week. Because of the blizzard, we are behind by about 800 commitment cards that we typically would have received to date. If you have yet to return your commitment card, I’d like to encourage you to fill out your card online by clicking here, or to plan to return it this weekend. We’ll have the 2019 coffee mugs for you in worship this weekend as our thank you for returning your commitment card.
Just a reminder to those who have signed up for the Egypt trip, or those who are on the waiting list: this Sunday night at 6:30 pm I’ll lead an informational meeting about the trip that will include photos and maps of the places we’ll visit, information about everything from dress to security to optional excursions and more. Join me from 6:30 to 7:30 pm in the Foundry Hall Sunday night.
There were 226 adults and children across all campuses who joined the church during our Coffee with the Pastors! At Leawood 123 adults and 33 children, at West 29 Adults and 17 children, at Blue Springs 4 adults, and at Downtown 20 adults became members of our church family during the month of November.
I loved speaking with people after the Leawood Coffee and hearing the number who were choosing to follow Christ and to join a church for the first time in their adult lives. I’m always inspired by these people. So many of these persons come to faith because one of you invited them to church. New members, please arrive five minutes early to worship this weekend as we’ll welcome new members at the beginning of the service.
On Saturday night, December 8, from 5 to 7 pm, our Matthew’s Ministry for persons with special needs is having their annual Christmas Family Night Out. There will be fun and holiday cheer and even a special guest "coming to town"! But we currently have a waiting list of 20 special needs persons who want to come and we don’t have enough volunteers to accommodate them. I promise you that you will find joy in volunteering for this special event. For more information and to sign up to volunteer click here.
Topping the list of the most loved Christmas carols is "Silent Night.” This year’s Christmas at Resurrection celebrates the 200th anniversary of this beautiful carol by bringing it to life with more than 300 actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists. It will be a fun, inspiring and moving time of music and drama. Christmas at Resurrection draws visitors from across the country and has become a Kansas City must-see Christmas event. Performances are December 6-9 in the Leawood Sanctuary.
To purchase your tickets, click here. You can also order by phone by calling (913) 232-4178. Make your plans now to attend this great family holiday tradition as we celebrate Christmas at Resurrection!
Join us for a buffet dinner before the Friday and Saturday evening performances and lunch before the Saturday afternoon matinee. Details and reservations are on the website. Questions? Contact Laura Cooper: (913) 232-4178.
Thanks to your generous donations more than 4,000 individuals in our community were positively impacted this Thanksgiving. Resurrection served over 1,000 Thanksgiving meals with Avenue of Life, Central UMC, Hope Faith, Healing House and KidsTLC.
We also had a great group of volunteers serving meals at the Leawood Foundry. Hundreds of people prepared and donated food and non-perishable items or helped behind-the-scenes or at the various locations. 657 families received meal bags and a gift certificate or frozen turkeys through your donations to Community LINC, Della Lamb, Safehome, Grace United, KidsTLC, Ridgeview and Fairview Elementary and Via De Esperanze Ministries.
Thank you to all who took meal bags this year - you allowed us to send more food than pledged to every organization that we served, which was greatly appreciated! In addition to all of this, over 550 educators and staff at our partner schools enjoyed salads, baked potatoes with toppings and tasty desserts at Thanksgiving appreciation luncheons at their school. Thank you to all who helped make this possible! I’m so proud of you!
Joy in serving opportunities continue as we move into December. I encourage you to drop by the JOY tables in the Narthex to learn more about the various organizations that we are partnering with for Christmas. One of this week’s featured opportunities is purchasing items requested by students in our partner schools for use in the schools’ incentive stores. These items are given as awards for attendance, good behavior and academic accomplishment. These items range from crayons and craft kits to bicycles. Each bag has a list of about 20 items and you aren’t expected to buy every item, but just one or two or whatever your budget allows. The students earn shopping tokens for meeting academic or good behavior goals and then redeem them for these various donated items at their school stores. The toys and incentives that you donate this month will continue to bless the students through the rest of this school year and help them to succeed in school.
Flourish Furnishings is 100% donation-based and volunteer-run. We have about 45 clients scheduled in the next few weeks that we will be unable to fully provide furnishing for. If you have any upholstered or wood furniture pieces, bed frames and dressers that you can spare we’d love to be able to bless a family. Donations can be dropped off on Thursday or Saturday mornings at the following location:
11971 Grandview Road
Grandview MO 64030
We also offer free pick up, but because we are 100% volunteer run, drop off is ideal. Email email@example.com to let us know you are coming. Click here to schedule our FREE pick up. For more information click here and select the tab on how to donate furniture.
Invite your friends and neighbors to join you for a fun evening in the Leawood Foundry on Wednesday, December 12 as we show the movie Elf on the big screens. We’ll have hot chocolate and Christmas treats. The show starts at 6:15 pm, and we have Family Night dinner at 5:30 pm for those who want to join us for supper ($5/person, kids 5th grade and under eat free). Register by clicking here.
Finally, invite family and friends to join you for our annual Birthday Party for Jesus on Friday, Dec. 14, at 5:30 pm. We’ll have games, a dance party, serve projects and family photo ops, then we’ll enjoy watching Resurrection’s Kids’ Choir perform their Christmas musical. Register by clicking here for an optional dinner served from 5:15-7 pm in the Foundry.
This Sunday the congregation at Valley View United Methodist Church at 95th and Antioch will hold a Church Conference to vote on a proposal their leaders have put forward to become a campus of Church of the Resurrection. If they vote to do so, our next step would be to hold a Church Conference to give you an opportunity to ask questions and consider whether you would support the recommendations of our leaders to accept the opportunity for Valley View to become a campus of Resurrection. Our Church Conference would be held on Saturday morning, December 15 at 9 am in the Leawood sanctuary.
As we begin Advent this weekend, we’ll consider the story of John the Baptist, and more importantly, what it means to be “a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17b). I want to be prepared for Christ and, as your pastor, I want you to be prepared for him, too. Let’s prepare together this Advent season.
In Christ’s Love,
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