Dear Resurrection Family,
I’ve got some fun things to share with you in today’s e-note, but first I want to mention this weekend’s sermon. We’re continuing our series of sermons on UnAfraid: Living with Courage and Hope. When I was a child just learning to read, one of my favorite books was called, Henny Penny. One day the hen, Henny Penny, was scratching in the dirt when an acorn fell on her head. In fear she began to shout, “the sky is falling!” Pretty soon she had all her friends convinced the sky was falling. The story has actually been told in one form or another for 2,500 years (Henny Penny in other versions is sometimes called Chicken Little). When we watch the evening news it can sometimes seem that the sky is falling. The sermon will look at the impact of fear on our world and what it means to have courage in the face of tumultuous times. The sky is not really falling. We’ll find comfort in Psalm 46 and in this divided time we’ll also reflect on the very different politics of two of Jesus’ disciples.
The story that has made the news every day this week relates to refugees. I’m going this afternoon to meet a family of Syrian refugees who arrived here in Kansas City last August to hear their story. I’ll tell you a bit about my visit with them this weekend as well.
Don’t forget, Sunday night worshipers, that the Sunday evening service times at Leawood, West and Downtown have been moved up to 4 pm so we’re finished well before the Super Bowl kick-off. Join us at 4 pm or worship in the morning to allow plenty of time for your Super Bowl party. And don’t forget this weekend and the next are our annual Super Bowl Food Drive. Last year we collected just under 40 tons of food for area food pantries. My hope is that we’ll surpass that this year.
At the Leawood Campus this week we held our winter blood drive and had a lot of first-time donors! Thank you to each of you who donated. We collected 613 units of blood! That was awesome! I am so proud of each of you who gave the gift of life to someone else! Just a reminder that Resurrection West will be holding their drive on Tuesday, February 7, and Resurrection Blue Springs will be holding their drive on Thursday, February 16.
If you are an NPR listener, you may recognize the name Robert Siegal, the senior host of All Things Considered. He was in town this week for a story on electric cars, but while here he stopped by Resurrection to ask me my thoughts on the temporary suspension of the US refugee program. The segment will air on All Things Considered, which you can hear on KCUR (89.3) from 4 and 6:30 today. We’ve been told this interview will be at about 5:50 pm. If I hear more specifics, I’ll post the time on Twitter for any who are interested.
Last year in our sermon series on Facing the Issues that Divide I preached about Immigrants and the Bible. It was that sermon that prompted Siegal’s producer to contact us. I think it is a timely one in the light of the discussions this last week on immigration. You can watch it or the other sermons in that series by clicking here.
Tonight our women’s conference, Inspired for Life, kicks off with over 1,200 women attending. It’s going to be awesome. LaVon and I look forward to being there this evening for this tremendous event. Saturday night at 7 pm, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans will be speaking to both men and women on Keep the Church Weird! Rachel is a mom, wife, author, blogger, and really thoughtful Christian. I’d love to invite Resurrection members from any of our campuses to join LaVon and me in attending. It’s a great chance for you to hear an influential and gifted writer and speaker talk about keeping our churches vital and relevant.
I want to congratulate all of our Resurrection members who had perfect attendance in 2016 and those who got an ‘A’ in worship attendance (90% or more). At the bottom of this email you’ll find their names listed. If you believe you had perfect attendance at Resurrection, or had 90% or more, but are not listed here, let us know and we’ll be happy to add your name next week. We honor this commitment with a small sticker to go on your church nametag that says, “committed to worship.” I also want to recognize that we had 63 congregants that had perfect attendance two years in a row! That’s fantastic – I can’t even say that (a couple of times I could not get the service while traveling – my aim is perfect attendance either in person or online every year).
I recognize that some of you had 90% attendance but you didn’t sign in, or we could not read your handwriting. Simply stop by the connection point and let them know – this is on the honor system and you and Jesus both know how often you were in worship. :)
Please visit the Connection Point to pick up your sticker. We also have a special permanent name tag for all with 90% or more in attendance – a sign of your commitment. For those who did not get one of these nametags last year, you will receive information next week regarding your new nametag and instructions for picking it up. Please email Janice Updike at email@example.com with questions or if your name is not listed and you are confident that you were here 90% of the time.
The Racial Reconciliation Forum has been rescheduled for Sunday, Feb. 12, at 7 pm in the Leawood Sanctuary. Pastor Emanuel Cleaver III from St. James' United Methodist Church and I will host along with local government, education and community leaders as we focus on on race and education in Kansas City. Afterwards, enjoy a dessert bar in fellowship with members from St. James. Please register and submit your questions for panelists online. We have teams from both congregations working together to look for ways that our two churches can play a key part in healing the racial divide in our city.
Our own Pastor Darryl Burton will receive the Beating the Odds Award and be the featured speaker at the “Heart 4 Hope Celebration and Beating the Odds Fundraising Event” for the Hope Center KC. Congratulations Darryl! The event will be held Saturday, February 11, 2017 in the Great Hall at Power & Light, 1330 Baltimore Avenue, KCMO. I’d love to encourage you to attend this event supporting a great cause and Pastor Darryl either individually or as a small group outing. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of those attending. The meal is provided and donations are appreciated. Evening attire is recommended.
At Resurrection Leawood, the seats will be completely installed in the new sanctuary by 5 pm today. Carpet is going in as I write this. After this weekend we’ll only have six weekends in our current sanctuary before we move into the new building. It’s going to be an exciting few weeks!
I look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend!
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