The Church of the Resurrection's Christmas In October (CIO) Ministry is focused on rehabilitating the houses of low-income homeowners in the Kansas City area at no cost to the homeowners.  In only three years, Resurrection has become a major force in helping elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners remain in their homes.

This year, Resurrection plans to focus on a smaller area around the Wendell Phillips Neighborhood around 25th and Paseo Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri. This year’s Christmas in October serving opportunity will be October 12th.

We talked with Resurrection’s Christmas in October Program Leader Larry Hedenkamp about this year’s event.

How did you get involved in Christmas in October?

When I was asked to do this I was originally hesitant. One Sunday morning I was reading a newspaper article about a woman who was basically trying to save a neighborhood on the East Side. She represented her homes association and the article detailed all the struggles she had to eliminate crime and vacant lots. I held up the article to my wife and said, "This is the woman we need to be supporting," somebody like her. Our church is big enough and there is a lot of energy here and this is the type of effort that we should be focusing on. We can help this woman save her community. From that came my effort to volunteer to step up and help. Messages from many directions telling me that this is something I should do. 

Can volunteers of all skills sign up?

What's really good about this effort is I have had families who show up to volunteer and they will bring their 15-year-old son or daughter and the house captain will put them in an area that is safe. We will teach them how to paint and change a lock on a door. It's fun to see them come out as a family knowing that not only are they giving but they are teaching their kids life skills that are important. They are learning how to pick up some small hand tools and make a difference in the world they live in. You have that level of skills and learning all the way up to the highly skilled person who volunteers.

What's one of your favorite memories from last year?

Last year I had a man who was a very skilled carpenter but he hadn't done carpentry work in 20 years, but he liked to tinker. There was a window that didn't work and he spent the entire day rebuilding the window. He put it back together and it functioned beautifully. He was so proud of it. That window happened to be the window this woman who was in a wheelchair would open and close to get fresh air. It was really important for the window to work for her and she was really happy with the work he had done. He felt quite accomplished because it had been a long time since he had done those types of skills. This was really good for everyone.

What are you looking for in a house captain?

The main thing we do look for is someone who can manage people. You don't have to have a construction background. We like to have two house captains on a house. One of those would be great to have a housing background. The other could be a great organizer of information. We are going to put 20 to 30 people with you who want to be lined out for the day. The house captain's responsibility is to be the liaison between the homeowner and the volunteers to make sure they match them up with the scope of the work and it gets accomplished in a safe and orderly manner. That's an important piece of the puzzle. Additionally we are also looking at a new level of management that we are trying to put in place - like a superintendent. We are going to try and do 30 houses. With that we want to have a designated person who has an oversight on five or six houses. If I was a superintendent, I would be managing 12 house captains and six projects. Keep the scope in a realistic fashion so it doesn't get too far out of hand. There is so much to be done with few resources.

What long lasting impact does Christmas in October have?

We try to put in insulation on these houses which has a long-term impact financially, so we get very positive feedback. This year we took in almost 30 applications for homes. One of the people we will be helping is a lady who is 97 years old. She stays in this house and has someone who helps her. This is what we do. We try to make these houses functional for people like her. She's got some electrical problems and some drainage issues and other things she just can't afford to do. That's our goal is to transform a community where people can live dignified, quality lives.  



To learn more information about signing up as a house captain or volunteering, go to

Check out a few of the highlights that took place at Resurrection this past weekend.

Pastor Anne Williams preached for the second straight week: Facing the Unexpected with Joseph:

During worship this past weekend, Pastor Adam gave a quick video message standing in the St. Mary’s Church in Oxford where John Wesley preached a number of sermons.

Troost PicnicTroost Picnic: On Saturday, Resurrection volunteers hosted a picnic at Troost Elementary School. Last year, Troost’s playground was destroyed by arsonists, and with the support of the community Resurrection plans to rebuild the playground. More than 30 neighbors signed on to support the project and watch over the playground so it remains a safe place for everyone in the community. At the picnic there was face painting for the children, a local drum line came to play, and volunteers served hotdogs and drinks for everyone who attended. Watch the video below.


RidgeviewResurrection West: West’s Chris Monson gave an update on the activities at Rez West over the weekend.

“Pastor Jason set out the challenge to have every bag filled with school supplies for the kids at Ridgeview Elementary in Olathe, and it was met! We filled 360 bags.

On Sunday, Jason hosted a Coffee with the Pastors meeting yesterday and we welcomed 13 new households into the Resurrection West family.

We also held a Visioning Meeting to brainstorm for our Sunday 5pm Worship Service. More than 40 people attended and shared their ideas.”

Scott's new jacketResurrection Downtown: Jackie Thomas gives us an update on everything that happened at Resurrection Downtown this weekend:

"Rez Downtown hosted their first annual Golf “Fun”-raiser tournament and had over 65 golfers! We played at Swope Memorial Park, which is a beautiful course and has several magnificent views that look all the way to downtown KC. It was a scramble format tournament that allowed golfers of all abilities to join in on the fun and created a great team atmosphere. The weather was perfect and allowed for a great morning of golf, community building, and fun! Pastor Scott even received a token green jacket!"

Also listen to Pastor Scott’s sermon from this past weekend here.

Glory Revival Concert: We had more than 400 people at the Leawood Student Center on Saturday night for the Glory Revival Concert. Thanks to all who attended.

We'll have more later today but here is the video from the Troost Elementary School Picnic our volunteers hosted on Saturday.

 Check out all of this week's content from Church of the Resurrection. 

Pastor Adam's Weekly eNote:

Dear Resurrection Family,

Tomorrow LaVon and I head back to the U.S. from the UK. After spending a week retracing the life of John Wesley and the beginning of the Methodist movement, we spent a week in the Cotswolds where I was writing. This last week I set aside my computer and we just explored Scotland. We spent a couple of days in Edinburgh, then we traveled to the Scottish highlands near Loch Ness, and today we're back on the east coast of Scotland preparing to come home.

My sabbatical leave officially ends on August 14 when I return to the office. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be trying to complete the manuscript for the book I've been writing this summer, outlining the sermons for this fall, and I'll be in meetings related to our upcoming building efforts.

This weekend I look forward to being in worship live at Resurrection. I'm so grateful that we have Resurrection Online which has allowed me to be in worship each weekend. This is a commitment I've asked each of you to make: to be in worship every weekend of the year, either live or online. What percent of the time have you been in worship this year (counting both online and in person) - 50%? 70% 85%? My hope is that, if your getting a grade for attendance you'd all have an "A"!

This Saturday night, following worship on the Leawood Campus, food trucks will be set up in the parking lot for worshipers to enjoy supper, then there's a concert with Justin Huey, our worship leader at Resurrection Downtown and other of our worship team members, at 7 pm in the Student Center. This will be an awesome event!

This week I visited the royal castle at Edinburgh, the palace at Holyrood, and the castle Stirling. I spent time reading a bit of Scottish history, particularly the stories of the kings and queens of England and Scotland since the 1500's. Meanwhile, the future king of the UK, Prince George, was born in London. Being surrounded by the symbols of monarchy, I began thinking about the primary theme of Jesus' preaching and teaching: The Kingdom of God and how the gospels portray Jesus as the Prince who rules on behalf of his Father. He is our King.

At one point the monarchs ruled over their kingdoms, not always with justice or righteousness, but often with sweeping powers. Today the monarchy is largely symbolic of the culture and history of the UK, with very little power. The Queen and royal family represent the UK, they play some diplomatic role, but they are loved by many.

What role do we allow Christ as King in our lives? How much power and authority do we allow him in our lives? Is he largely a figurehead that we keep around for sentimental reasons - someone who represents our heritage and culture? Or do we allow him real authority to reign in our lives?

What's interesting about Christ is he won't seize power. He invites us to come to him, and to follow him. Unlike many of the kings England and Scotland of old, He rules with justice and righteousness. He is humble and seeks to serve his people. This King we serve suffered for his subjects, giving himself "as a ransom for many."

Each morning we are meant to wake up and yield our lives to Christ our king. We invite him to send us on his mission, and we live our lives in service to him and his kingdom. Today, I'd invite you to once again offer your life to Christ your King. It is in doing this that we find life and joy and peace.

I look forward to being in worship, in person, this weekend at Resurrection. I hope you'll make a commitment to be in worship as well.

In Christ's Love,

Adam Hamilton

Pastor Scott Chrostek's Weekly eNote

"It is great to be writing you this Friday morning back at home from downtown Kansas City! I hope this email finds you doing well and I hope you have had a great week. For me, it has been a busy week of getting back into the swing of things after being in Honduras with our mission team. What I’ve discovered this week, however, is that there is a lot going on in this community of faith!  I’m excited about this coming weekend, not only because Kansas City will be welcoming soccer fans from across the country for this year’s MLS All Star Game Celebration, but I am looking forward to a weekend filled with some pretty great events and opportunities to connect at RezDowntown." Read more here

 Pastor Penny Ellwood's Weekly eNote

"I've had conversations with a couple of teachers I know this week.  They've started ticking down the final days of summer and beginning preparations to head back into the classroom.  It's hard to believe that school will be starting back up in just a few short weeks!" Read more here

Pastor Jason Gant's Weekly eNote

"What an amazing week we had here at Resurrection West! Over 250 of attended last Sunday evening's picnic. Incredible food made from your hearts and hands brought together a spirit-filled night of fun, laughter, and praise with the "Chasing Grace" concert. It was a great joy to move from table to table meeting, greeting, and listening to your story. Over and over I hear you saying how much you feel God's presence here in our Church. I feel it too and I believe God is calling us to great things beyond what we can imagine today! Our worship attendance has grown each week over the past three weeks and it's July!! I am so inspired to see you inviting friends to worship. We had ten first times visitors one Sunday this past month and I have met so many new faces at the doors each week!" Read more here

 Daily GPS Insights

Monday's from Melanie Hill: "So often when I read through the story of Abram I tend to focus on the amazing amount of faith it must have required to trust God completely at his word.  And that faith still stops me in my tracks. What a precarious and exciting place Abram and Sarai found themselves in.  Today though, as I read through this passage again I keep getting caught up in the promise that God makes not only the Abram, or to Christ followers, but to “all the families of the earth”.  God promises to bless us all through Abram.  Once again God is at work creating a means for restoration in relationship with him.” Read more at:

Tuesday's from Lucas McConnell: “What was Abram thinking? This is the question that goes through my mind, and I’m sure went through Pharaoh’s as well, when I read about Abram and Sarai’s exploits in Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20. Why did Abram lie about Sarai being his wife and sacrifice her to the Egyptians so that his own life could be spared? While justification for Abram’s actions cannot be established in today’s passage alone, further information can be gleaned from before and after this story. In Genesis 12:1-3 we read about God blessing Abram and promising to create a nation through him. In the patriarchal culture of Abram’s time, it would be natural that Abram would see himself as a VIP in this nation building promise and would thus want to preserve his life, even at the expense of Sarai’s.” Read more at

Wednesday's from Angela LaVallie: “Patience is a virtue. Patience is one of those things that we as Christians should be striving for. I have jokingly heard others say they don’t want to pray for patience because they are afraid God will give them situations where they would need to exercise patience in order to develop it. I think a further complication of developing patience is that it is difficult to have patience when we don’t know what we’re waiting for.” Read more at

Thursday's from Celicia Hiatt: “I have experienced many times in my life where I have found myself laughing at God because he has made sure his plans have trumped mine. I’ll be honest – this is a lesson that God has to teach and re-teach me on a daily basis, and I am thankful that God is so patient and understands that there is a learning curve, because I often let the misguided notion that I’m the one at the helm get the best of me. I have to tell myself again and again, that, yeah, my plan might work, but God’s plan will work better.”

Friday's from Darren Lippe: “Today’s scene needs a little context to be fully appreciated.  Back in Genesis 18:1-15, we read of 3 messengers from God who boldly predicted to the elderly Abraham & Sarah that they would have a son within the year.  Sarah’s response to this seemingly ridiculous prophecy was to laugh.  When later pressed by God as to why she laughed, Sarah asks innocently, “Who me?” Read more at

Resurrection Stories

Partner School Series - Welborn Elementary School: Every school year Church of the Resurrection teams up with our partner schools to provide them with support during the school year. Through our partner school series we will look at each school and preview their needs and goals for the upcoming school year.  We talked with Welborn Elementary School’s volunteer liaison Ann Carter. Read more at

Volunteer Spotlight - Karin McCrary: This week’s Volunteer Spotlight features Karin McCrary. She serves as a Grief Ministry Coach for Congregational Care. Read more at:  

Glory Revival Concert Preview: Glory Revival is playing at the Leawood Student Center this Saturday at 7 pm. The concert is free and there will also be popular local food trucks outside the East Building before the event. We talked with Justin Huey and Matt Bisel to preview the concert. Read more at

Other Resurrection Blogs

Honduras Blog: “Our last day in Danli began with one final visit to the Expresso Americano for one last round of macchiatos and mochachino supremos.  What made this last trip to the café especially sweet was that our coffees were picked up at the graciousness of one the locals in line.  He told us that he wanted to buy our coffee because of our willingness to help transform Honduras.  What a blessing!” Read more at

Navajo Nations Blog: "We are so tired, but happy. Day 3 of VBC included 43 joyful kids. When picking up children from as far as 20 miles away, I was blessed to see the morning sun bouncing off giant red rock formations." Read more at

Glory Revival is playing at the Leawood Student Center this Saturday at 7 pm. The concert is free and there will also be popular local food trucks outside the East Building before the event. We talked with Justin Huey and Matt Bisel to preview the concert.

 How did Glory Revival get its start?

Justin: I moved to Kansas City around a year ago to lead worship here at Resurrection Downtown. Matt was the previous worship director at RezDowntown and we kept in contact by sharing songs back and forth. We, along with some of our friends, wondered what worship would look like if the goal wasn’t acquiring a record deal, but rather to focus on being a group of people loving each other well and seeking after the Lord. We wanted to see what songs could be birthed out of that process. Glory Revival isn’t so much a band but a greater idea of what we want to build in Kansas City. We want to foster a really creative group of artists and musicians all focused on the same thing: building community with each other in a real way.

At Resurrection Downtown you have people from all socioeconomic levels. How does being in that environment reflect in your music?

Matt:  A lot of what I write comes from my experience in the community and the people there. That’s how people are going to identify with it. It’s tangible. It’s us.

Justin: I would say that’s an ongoing theme in this entire collection of songs. We are a community that houses a lot of broken people.  There are tons of people in recovery and a lot of folks who have been through some horrible life situations.  I feel like it is easy to say “God is good” but what does that mean? When your faith is tested is when you show your fruit. What does it mean to praise the Lord when things aren’t going well? We can still come together.  God is still good and still working. I don’t know if we intentionally wrote around that idea but that is a theme throughout the record, ending with the song “Oh we praise you” which is this proclamation of what Christ truly is.   

Matt: You start talking about a change in the heart. I see downtown Kansas City as the heart of the nation. What happens if we ask God to change our hearts and we then change the heart of a city. That resonates in my mind all the time. If God changed the heart of Kansas City what would happen to the rest of the nation?  

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before:

Justin: It is very orchestrated worship music in a non-traditional sense of the word I would say.  The songs come out of deep personal experiences in all of our lives.  The music has a lot of feeling and heart to it and I believe a lot of that translates to the actual sonic landscape of sound.

You can also check them out at Watch Glory Revival's music video: "Overwhelmed By You"

Every school year Church of the Resurrection teams up with our partner schools to provide them with support during the school year. Through our partner school series we will look at each school and preview their needs and goals for the upcoming school year.  We talked with Welborn Elementary School’s volunteer liaison Ann Carter.

Can you talk about the background of Welborn Elementary School and how Church of the Resurrection initially got involved?

Welborn was a 2010 Bless the School project. One of the things that struck me was that summer school was going on in the kindergarten classes in the morning; afterward the teachers would come over and help us paint. It was a real bonding experience for me as a Bless the School leader to have the participation of the teachers. The opportunity came open to have a liaison there for the 2010-2011 school year and I felt very close to those teachers. The programs that we started were initiated by their former principal Cheryl Rainey. My first year as the liaison was her last year as principal. Her biggest request was a reading program and a perfect attendance program. If the kids aren’t at school they can’t learn. When they miss multiple days at school it counts against them. Most of these kids don’t read on their own. They don’t have books and many times their parents can't read to them. They want to, but there are so many obstacles for some families.

Welborn is about 40 percent Hispanic, 40 percent African-American, 10 percent Hmong, and 10 percent Caucasian. Very little of our Hispanic and Hmong parents can speak or read English. The opportunity to read to their kids isn’t there unless they read to them in Spanish, and then they have to have books. In the inner city most families have fewer than three books in the home. They can’t read 100 minutes a week in the reading program if they don’t have books. The reading program was initially put in place at Welborn and there was a limited budget for the program. Now, every kid who reads a 100 minutes a week gets an incentive bag and a reading book to keep. We have 500 kids at Welborn and on average 300 of them are reading 100 minutes a week. I feel like anytime we can hit above 50 percent we are doing really well. It’s a strong reading program and kids look forward to Friday when they can bring in their reading logs and get their rewards for reading.  We call what we do there rewards as opposed to prizes because a prize you win and a reward you earn. We want these kids to understand the value of working hard to earn something. We feel that if we can get them to read then the testing results will follow.

The perfect attendance program requires kids to be at school every day for the current month, that means they haven’t come in late or left early, then they are rewarded for perfect attendance.

Another program we offer makes use of the computers the computer ministry rehabs. The parents earn a computer by volunteering in the school 30 hours in one semester. It’s the idea of working hard and you get rewarded for your hard work.

Can you talk about the roles that reading tutors have at Welborn?

Tutoring is a commitment. You need to be there most weeks. The kids come to rely on their tutors not only for learning, but for friendship and guidance.  A tutor can choose the day of the week and time during the school day and the school will work around the person’s schedule to fit them in as a tutor. We can also use volunteers to help us with the reading program. All 300 of those logs have to be evaluated.  The program is only as strong as its integrity.  We look to make sure they have all 100 minutes and that a parent has signed it and not the student.  If the teacher allows it they can read up to 50 minutes at school and then their teacher has to sign off on it.  We look at all that when evaluating the reading logs. When we are done we count the rewards out by classroom then we deliver them.  The two grades that have the highest percentage of reading logs turned, in get a party on Friday afternoon. We will play math bingo for prizes or have coke floats or something fun with the kids in the afternoon. That gets them to nudge each other and puts an emphasis on working as a team in the classroom to get that party.

Have you seen a correlation yet between the reading logs and state testing?

Tracking it through testing is hard because we probably lose 25 to 33 percent of our students over the school year. We have new kids come in during the year to replace those kids so it is a constant turning of kids in the school. If we try to track it as a class the turnover skews the results. However I can say, its so cool when the kids see us on Friday, to see the excitement in their eyes about what books they read that week.

You mentioned that on average 300 students out of 500 can hit their reading log goals every week. What can Resurrection do to try and get the number closer to 400 students?

We have never gotten 400 students in one week to turn in their reading logs so that would be amazing. A student is not going to go home and read 100 minutes if they are stumbling over every word. The more tutors we have in place who can help those kids become more fluent in their reading skills the better chance we have. I think a lot of times children look at reading as a chore because it is not fun for them but if you have someone reading enthusiastically to them at school, then it becomes fun for them when they go home. They can then read to their younger brother or even to their parents. If they are not familiar with books and their only exposure to books is at school and homework it’s not as much fun for them as playing a video game. When we walk in on Fridays the kids will come up to us really excited and talking about the book they read. Last year was the first year I saw that real excitement.

When does tutoring begin?

The tutors start in September because we want to get through the first testing period and to see which students need tutors. The school is refining how they are assigning tutors. We don’t want just the difficult behavior issues, but someone who needs help in their reading.  The tutor can start from 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.

Aside from tutoring, what other ways can volunteers get involved?

We can also use volunteers for our toy store. One of the teachers said to me that they need an incentive for her students to do well on their tests. She didn’t want them rushing through it to get it done because it hurts her when they get bad grades. It doesn’t look like her class is improving and it hurts the school overall.  There are two testing goals – one for reading and one for math. We have developed a formula for a toy store so that when the student reaches one of their testing goals they can get to shop for a small toy and if they hit both goals they get to shop for a big toy. We use 600 new toys four times a year for their toy store. We use volunteers for the store to set up, manage, and tear down. It is generally at the end of each quarter. We can use volunteers for perfect attendance which is either the last day of the month or the first day of the month. It generally just takes a couple of hours to reward the perfect attendance.

I'd love to have volunteers for events too such as field day, career day, etc.  If someone has an hour to give to make a difference to a child, I can find a rewarding job for that person.

To contact Ann Carter email her at


Today’s Volunteer Spotlight features Karin McCrary. She serves as a Grief Ministry Coach for Congregational Care.

How did you get involved in the Grief Ministry?

My daughter passed away and we were in church one Sunday about three or four years ago and heard about the Grief Ministry. My husband volunteered first and he told me I would love it – and that’s how I got on board.

What do you do in the Grief Ministry?

We have our Grief Ministry classes on Thursday nights and I serve as a Grief Ministry Coach. We have about 80 people at a session. Pastors Karla Woodward and Karen Lampe lead the group in a lesson and then we break out in small groups based on losses. The group that I have is “child or traumatic loss.” It deals with people who have lost children unexpectedly or lost loved ones to suicide. We spend 60 or 90 minutes speaking and sharing about where we are in our journey. That’s my primary role. I receive and respond to emails from members of the group, and spend time outside of the group if people want to get coffee together. It just depends on the needs of the group.

Do you feel that losing your daughter has helped you connect with others in the group?

Absolutely. I share all the time. It’s important for me because I want to give back and because I went through the horrible loss of my daughter and can find some good in that. What I have learned is people in our group will say all the time that this is the only place where they can talk about these issues because everyone there gets it.  It is something that none of us wanted to go through, but we are kind of a club. We get each other. It helps that I get those feelings and all the thoughts they are going through.

Do you feel  volunteering with this group has helped your own grief recovery?

I absolutely do. It’s funny because I went into this thinking that I was going to do this to help these people. I found that oftentimes, I gain more than I give. I had some fear going into it that I would have to relive going through what happened to my daughter, and I hoped I wouldn’t get too emotional.  I had some anticipation as to what that would do to my own grief journey.  I have found that this has been extremely healing for me even though that wasn’t my intent.

What are you favorite moments from volunteering with this group?

Some of the best moments happen while watching the group come together. What happens is somebody will come in and will be having a rough week. The group’s response will be to rally around that person.  We all have our moments. I still have my moments eight years later. It is a lifelong journey. To watch these people come together and support each other is amazing. I started doing coffees outside the group because they want to be together.

The next Grief Class is Thursday, July 25 at 6 pm in the East Building Room 300.

Here’s a recap of what all happened at Resurrection this past weekend:

Rev. Anne Williams delivered an empowering sermon: Facing the Unexpected with Sarah.

During worship, Pastor Adam gave a quick video message standing in the John Wesley room at Lincoln College - Oxford University where Methodism got its beginning.

FaithWork: Overall 174 people served at Saturday's Faithwork. Activities ranged from bingo with residents at a local nursing home to playing board games with children at the Salvation Army Children’s Shelter. One of the highlights included 164 meals being served at Central UMC in KCK.

RezDowntown Faithwork:  RezDowntown had their own Faithwork event which drew 50 people to help serve the downtown community. Associate Minister Todd Maberry gave an update on the serving opportunity.

"RezDowntown had a great FaithWork this past Saturday.  Half of the group went to Crossroads Academy, a new downtown charter school, to paint and move furniture in preparation for the upcoming school year.  The other group divided into teams that removed trash and weeds from 28 city blocks surrounding the downtown campus.  The teams also used street chalk to leave encouraging messages.  Thanks to everyone who was able to come out!"

Below are some photos from Saturday's RezDowntown FaithWork. Click on the icon to see the full image.

RezWest Concert: RezWest hosted a Potluck Picnic & Concert last evening, featuring Chasing Grace.  Over 250 people attended and enjoyed a wonderful evening of fellowship, music and family fun.  There were games in the park lot, craft tables in the entry, an amazing group of guys grilling hamburgers & hotdogs and countless volunteers helping with everything. All of this was capped off with a wonderful concert by musical artists Chasing Grace.

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday:  Embracing Honesty, Stuff Christians Think but Don't Say. Time: 6:30 pm. Location: Leawood Campus Student Center.

Do you ever find yourself in conversations that sound more like Christian clichés than what you’re really thinking? Like so many others, Christians seem to keep their most frank thoughts to themselves—worried about what others might think if they were brutally honest. But what might happen if we embraced the honesty of the thoughts that come across our minds every day? Perhaps we’d just get the odd look. But we might possibly find ourselves in a world fresh with accountability and unparalleled growth.

Be a part of this conversation as Group Life Director, Chris Folmsbee leads this discussion to help us engage in an authentic Christian life.

Wednesday: Caregiver Support Group. Time: 2 pm. Location:East Building Room 221.

A Caregiver Support Group will meet the fourth Tuesday of every month  at 2:00 pm in Room 221, East Building, Leawood Campus.  All family caregivers are welcome:  those caring for spouses, parents, long-distance caregivers, those whose loves ones are in long-term care, or those experiencing anticipatory grief.  Will include faith devotional and prayer, resource information and an opportunity for guided sharing at round tables. Registration is not necessary. 

Thursday: Grief Ministry. Time: 6 pm. Location: East Building Room 300.

Unresolved grief can linger for years. Anyone is welcome to attend these classes led by Reverend Karen Lampe and Reverend Karla Woodward no matter where they are on their grief journey. A light meal will be served at the beginning of each class followed by a teaching time and small group discussion facilitated by trained grief coaches.  Personalized grief counseling for children and youth is available by appointment.

Saturday: Glory Revival Concert. Time: 7 pm. Location: East Building Lawn.

Come enjoy the music of Glory Revival, a group of Kansas City musicians who write songs and perform together, using their musical gifts to worship God. Invite some friends and make it an evening out. Food trucks will be available outside the East Building before the concert, which starts at 7 pm in the Student Center.

Read up on everything from all of the weekly enotes to our mission team’s adventures overseas. Also be sure to attend worship this weekend as Reverend Anne Williams delivers a powerful sermon: Facing the Unexpected with Sarah.

Pastor Adam Hamilton’s weekly enote: “I'm writing from the Cotswold area in England where I've spent the last week in a beautiful and very tiny village first built in the 1100's. It is the most quiet, relaxing, idyllic place I've ever stayed. I've been writing about 7 hours a day, then playing, walking, praying and eating with LaVon the rest of the time. Today, as you are reading this, I'm taking a day off from writing and we're exploring Stratford-on-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown. I've been posting pictures each day. Click on this link to go to my Facebook page and then click on the pictures for descriptions.” Read more here.

Pastor Penny Ellwood’s weekly enote: “Last Sunday evening, we had our Special Baptism Service at the Scott's backyard pool.  I'll have to confess, even as I planned it, I was a little concerned that it wouldn't feel "holy," baptizing people in a swimming pool.  But I was wrong.  When I saw over thirty of you there to support the six adults and children that were being baptized and when I prayed God's blessing over the waters, it felt holy. And when Geri threw her arm up in the air and shouted, "Wooh!, after I had baptized her, it was a joy-filled, holy moment.  Congratulations to those who were baptized: Mike Ash, Olivia Ash, Alison Mathes, Tim Mathes, LaShaine Reynolds and Geri Venable.” Read more here.

Pastor Scott Chrostek’s weekly enote:  “I hope you are having a great week in Kansas City! I am writing you this week in Honduras with a team from RezDowntown. I arrived here on Saturday and joined up with a Resurrection team in La Ciudad Espana. I had the privilege of speaking in front of 75 church leaders and telling them stories about our Christian community in KC. From there, I traveled two hours and joined up with our downtown team in Donli. We have been building stoves, playing soccer with the kids, and drinking some fantastic coffee ever since. We have been so blessed and I hope you might consider traveling in mission. Our team returns this Saturday and I am looking forward to joining you in worship on Sunday, as we won't be having our Saturday evening service due to a previously scheduled wedding. Given the connectivity here is only so so, I will cut it short today, but I hope to see you soon, I hope those of you heading to the Resurrection night at the ballpark have a great evening and I pray that God continues to bless you this week and into the weekend!” Read more here.

Pastor Jason Gant’s weekly enote: “Let me begin by saying thank you for responding to God's call and taking every single school supply bag for Ridgeview Elementary this past Sunday. Jennifer Cutler, who coordinates this effort, said that was the best response she's ever seen! Many of you asked if there were any more and we will have additional bags available this Sunday.” Read more here

GPS Daily Insights Archive:

Monday's GPS Blog from Jeanna Repass: “This coming school year two of my children will be seniors. My oldest son will be a college senior and my only daughter will be a high school senior – both are scheduled to graduate in May just days apart. I am very proud of both of them. But as all parents do I worry. Mostly at this time I worry about whether or not I have prepared them for the next stage of their life. Adam will in all likelihood put down his football cleats and pads forever and begin his journey as a “real” adult – working, paying bills, getting married to a nice Christian woman (a mother can only hope!). Ariel will be leaving the nest and going to college at least eight hours away or farther as there is as possibility of her attending a University on the East coast (a mother can only cry…) Read more here.

Tuesday's GPS Blog from Shawn Simpson: “Five or six years ago I felt an urging to do something more “worthwhile” than what I was doing at the time.  I’d worked really hard to build some form of a career and having that little voice telling me that it was a waste was disconcerting, to say the least.  When I could ignore it no more, I just had to throw myself down on God’s will…which is to say that the industry I’d worked so hard in had finally slid down to the point that I just didn’t want to do it anymore.  I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and I needed something more to get that back.” Read more here.

Wednesday’s GPS Blog from Rev. Steven Blair: “This past weekend, Bishop Will Willimon presented this question:  “Do you know what it is like to be saved in a way that you don’t want, by a Savior you didn’t think you needed?”  This Scripture is about a man named Naaman who can answer that question.” Read more here.

Thursday’s GPS Blog from Rev. Glen Shoup: “The crux of today’s reading (verses 17-24) might be best understood as a picture of the joy that comes from seeing and experiencing salvation. “ Read more here

Friday’s GPS Blog from Bryan Cisler: “My favorite part of last Sunday’s sermon was when Bishop Will Willimon began describing the possible Samaritans in our life. These are the people who we couldn’t possibly imagine helping us in dire situations.  He listed off names such as the president of the NRA, members of the Kansas legislature, and the leaders of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance.  I saw a few people shifting in their seats. There was some uncomfortable laughter. Those are names and groups who are associated with sensitive issues. As I walk out of the sanctuary after that type of sermon I always like to think that I am one of the well-balanced Christians who strives to see gray in a world of black and white. That always lasts until I get to my car and turn on talk radio  ….” Read more here

Resurrection Stories Recap:

Embracing Honest Preview: Stuff Christians Think but Don’t Say: “Next Tuesday on July 23, Group Life Director Chris Folmsbee is leading the class, “Embracing Honesty: Stuff Christians Think but Don’t Say.” The class will take place at 6:30 pm at the Leawood Campus Student Center. We talked with Chris about the topics he will be exploring.” Read more here:

Caregiver Class Preview: “We interviewed Reverend Karla Woodward about next week's Caregiver Support Group class. The class meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 2 pm in Room 221.  The next next class is July 23.” Read more here:

July 20 Faithwork Preview: “We talked with Missions Entry Points Program Director Stewart Curtright about some of this Saturday's FaithWork opportunities. To see the full list go to  FaithWork is Resurrection’s entry point into serving locally and provides a meaningful way to serve God by serving others.” Read more here.

Missions Blogs Recap

Honduras Blog: “The July 8th team spent their final weekend doing dental work, preparing for the school, and co-leading an Invitational Evangelism training for the lay leaders that came from Methodist Churches all over Honduras.  Scott, a member of the July 13th team, joined the 2nd half of the training to lead a portion of living missionally daily.  Below are some pictures from this jointly led weekend of training and worship!” Read more here.

Malawi Blog: Look at photos from our latest team’s trip to Malawi  here.

Next Tuesday on July 23, Group Life Director Chris Folmsbee is leading the class, “Embracing Honesty: Stuff Christians Think but Don’t Say.” The class will take place at 6:30 pm at the Leawood Campus Student Center. We talked with Chris about the topics he will be exploring.

What are some of the spiritual issues that this class can help people with?

A lot of times it is not even the deep theological questions that people struggle with. I get people who will confess to me that they haven’t touched their Bible in three months or that sometimes they get bored in church. There are all types of things we think but don’t say as Christians. I think we can help each other if we can get a couple hundred people in the same room to realize that they aren’t alone.  Maybe we can have some honest conversation about these issues and we can grow from them.

Is this class for people at all different places in their spiritual journey?

Yes, we will be covering questions from all over the map. Last night I had a conversation with a lady about the validity of Jesus being God.  She has been a Christ follower for much of her life and that is something she struggles with. She said she knows that Jesus was alive and a person, but how do we really know he was God?  I also hear from people who wonder if they have ever really felt the Holy Spirit. We’ll be covering these types of topics as well.

How important is it for someone to honestly assess where they are in their spiritual journey and the challenges they face to growing deeper in their faith?

One of the more important aspects of becoming a deeply committed Christian is knowing where you’re at. And it’s fine to be at that spot, but it’s not okay to stay there. How do we continue on the journey if we are unwilling to embrace our questions and shortcomings. If we’re not willing to do that, then we are limiting our growth to becoming deeply committed Christians.