Dear Resurrection Family,
A quick word upfront: don’t forget this weekend is Daylight Savings Time and we’ll “fall back” by setting our clocks back an hour on Saturday night.
This weekend we kick off a new sermon series on The Fruitful Life: Lessons from the Vineyard. I’m really excited about these messages. Last year, while LaVon and I were in Napa, California celebrating our 35th anniversary surrounded by vineyards and wineries, I read every passage of scripture that mentioned vines, vineyards and wines. It was there I began to outline this series.
Over the last year, I’d go with a film crew to Aubry Vineyards in Stilwell and film the various stages of planting, pruning, and harvesting grapes. Both the Old and New Testaments speak of God’s people as God’s vineyard, and the Christian life as like a vine, bearing grapes. Click here to see the 60 second promo. I’d love for each of you to post this on social media and share it with your friends to invite them to worship. If you have friends who don’t go to church, but enjoy wine, I think they’ll really enjoy these messages!
I want to thank the hundreds of you who attended the prayer vigil at synagogue Kehilath Israel on Monday night – I’m guessing there were 400-500 of you from all of our campuses who were there (maybe more, it was impossible to count). The synagogue was literally standing room only. I know that many of you could not hear or see what was happening.
What is powerful and what mattered most was that you were seen and heard. You were the ones speaking, you and all who came. You were saying to our Jewish friends and neighbors, simply by showing up and standing there, “we love you. We will not accept anti-Semitism in our community. We’re standing with you.” I was so proud of you for taking the time to be there and to speak up by your presence.
Join LaVon, Me and Stella and at least 100 other Resurrection grandparents and grandkids tomorrow morning at the Kansas City Zoo! This is the kick off of a new ministry at Resurrection that will include fun events for grandparents to do with their grandchildren, as well as classes for grandparents. To begin with, these classes will start at Resurrection Leawood, but the events will be held in different places throughout Kansas City. Our hope is to help all of us to be the best grandparents we can be, while leaving a legacy of faith. Grands at any campus are welcome to join us.
Our first event is tomorrow, Saturday morning, November 3, when we’ll take our grandkids to the Kansas City Zoo. Rain or shine, join LaVon and me and our granddaughter Stella, along with other Resurrection grandparents at Swope Park’s Shelter 5 (directly in front of the zoo entrance) between 9:30-10:30 am. LaVon and I will welcome everyone, distribute tickets, enjoy a light snack and then visit the zoo together! Join us for a Saturday of fun and fellowship. If you did not pre-register, no worries, come stop by the shelter to say hello, then you can purchase your tickets at the zoo entrance. Enjoy the fall colors and a chance to connect with your grandchildren and other Resurrection members. For more information click here.
Every time we lead groups to the Holy Land we seek to help them understand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In February of this year as I was leading our young adult trip, we spent an evening with an Orthodox Jewish rabbi living in a settlement in the Palestinian West Bank, and a Palestinian activist from the same area. They came together to help us understand the conflict, and what they were doing to work for mutual understanding and peace. It was a remarkable evening. A week from Tuesday night we’re bringing this conversation to all of you.
Tuesday night, November 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm we’ll host “Painful Hope: Cultivating a Foundation for Peace Across the Deepest Divide.” We’ll welcome Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger who lives in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and Palestinian activist Shadi Abu Awwad who works for Palestinian rights. They will share their personal stories and how they came together in 2014 to form the organization ROOTS to foster understanding, non-violence and transformation. We’re co-sponsoring this event with Congregation Beth Shalom, and it is open to people from across the metro area.
It will be worth the drive and coming out for – I promise you’ll find it to be a remarkable evening. Click here to register or for more information. Childcare is available, but you must register for childcare.
You can help brighten someone's Thanksgiving and Christmas this year by Joyfully Offering Yourself in serving! JOY brings opportunities each and every week to make a difference this holiday season. Between now and Christmas, you can sign up to serve alongside our partner schools, local community agencies and our global partnerships. When you do, you are a tangible reminder to those in need of the love and light of Christ!
There are many ways for individuals, families and small groups to make a positive impact in the community. Some of our opportunities are only available in the Narthex at our JOY tables during worship each weekend, others have online sign ups. For information or to sign up please click here. Let's spread the Joy!
"Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright."
These are words that speak Christmas, but what is the story behind this classic Christmas carol? Christmas at Resurrection 2018 celebrates the 200th anniversary of this Christmas favorite by bringing it to life with more than 300 actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists for an evening of music and drama. This musical tradition has become a Kansas City must-see Christmas event. Performances are December 6-9 in the Leawood Sanctuary.
To purchase your tickets click here or by phone at (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 here.
Questions? Contact Laura Cooper (913) 232-4178.
This week, NPR’s program 1A broadcast a 25-minute interview with me about faith and the issues we face in our world today. The program is broadcast nationally but I’m not sure it is on our local affiliate. The response was very positive with people from across the country calling the church or sending messages and notes. It may be something you’d enjoy hearing or sharing with a friend. Here’s the link.
I’ll be voting in the midterm elections on Tuesday, and I hope each of you will be also. As Christians and citizens we have both the right and the responsibility to be informed voters who participate actively in the political and civic process, exercising our right to vote. There are important issues at every level of government, and I hope that you are researching who is running, listening to their visions, and assessing their qualifications, gifts and perspectives – particularly their ability to listen and work with others.
Finally, last weekend in my sermon on David as Poet, we talked about David’s psalms. I invited you to consider reading and praying the Psalms each day. If you’ve not started, why not today? I’ll include Psalm 1 below. I read the Psalm out loud, then I focus on a verse or two and adapt them in some way as my prayer. For example, in Psalm 1, my prayer following reading the Psalm would be to take verse two and I would pray, “Lord, help me to love your instruction. Help me to think about your words when I’m awake, and even as I sleep. Help me to be like a tree planted by streams of water, and to bear fruit for you.”
I read and pray the Psalms either in the morning, shortly after I get up, or just before I go to bed at night. I use my pocket Testament and Psalms (available for free at each of our campuses at the Connection Point). But there are also free apps for smart phones that have the Psalms for you to pray daily. I find this to be a rich experience and believe you will as well.
I am looking forward to seeing some of you at the zoo tomorrow, and hopefully all of you in worship this weekend as we seek to experience The Fruitful Life!
In Christ’s Love,
The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice,
doesn’t stand on the road of sinners,
and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.
Instead of doing those things,
these persons love the Lord’s Instruction,
and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!
They are like a tree replanted by streams of water,
which bears fruit at just the right time
and whose leaves don’t fade.
Whatever they do succeeds.
That’s not true for the wicked!
They are like dust that the wind blows away.
And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice—
neither will sinners
in the assembly of the righteous.
The Lord is intimately acquainted
with the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked is destroyed.
(Common English Bible)
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