If you weren’t at last Sunday evening’s service, you need to hear Lance Winkler’s performance of “And Can It Be.” The hymn “And Can It Be” is Charles Wesley marveling at the depths of God’s love. God takes man’s heinous act of murdering Jesus Christ the Son of God and uses that very act to save the murderers. As Charles said, “How can it be?”

Discover Resurrection is a one time gathering, designed to help people understand what it means to be a Christian and the role of the church, all within the context of being a United Methodist. The next Discover Resurrection event is this Sunday at 12:45 pm in room 2209 in the West Building. We talked with Melanie Hill to give us a preview of the event.

Can you describe what people can expect at Discover Resurrection?

Discover Resurrection is meant to be a casual, informal time to come and meet new people.  We have a light lunch that is provided with it. We spend a little bit of time talking about the roots of Methodism and Resurrection. We will be watching a video of Pastor Hamilton talking about why he became a Methodist. We also spend some time talking about ministries and how you get connected. That part runs about 90 minutes and then we will have an optional tour of the facilities at the end.

Who is the event open to?

It’s open to anyone. Half of people who come are first time visitors and then half have been coming for a while and want to know what’s the first step to get connected.

What is your favorite part about Discover Resurrection?

My favorite part is when we start talking about the ministries and talk about how we get people connected to either opportunities to serve or learning events.  We want people to come and get a feel for the culture and what is really important here. A little bit of the history of how we got started and how we got to where we are today.

You can register for Sunday’s event here


On September 21st, Church of the Resurrection presents their 55 piece orchestra, handbell choir and over 150 voices with a variety of works to the Kauffman Center.  We talked with Kevin Bogan about the event. Kevin has been the Director of Traditional Worship at Resurrection since 2004.

The Kauffman Center is one of the more talked about performance venues in the country, what does it mean for Resurrection to be performing there?

We knew we always wanted to perform here. We wanted to get our music more downtown and into the big parts of Kansas City where people in the arts can hear what is going on in our church. We will be in Helzberg Hall which is the same place where the Kansas City Symphony plays.

How will the acoustics of the Kauffman Center enhance the music?

Helzberg Hall is a much smaller room than the sanctuary and it seats about 1,700 people so the acoustical sounds are generated from non amplified sound. You can hear the sound that is coming out of the instruments and the choir. You will hear sound differently in that room than you will ever hear in our sanctuary. In our sanctuary the carpet deadens some of the sound. Helzberg Hall is a very live room so you will enjoy what you hear.

What songs will we be hearing at Kauffman?

It is pretty much the best of the best from Resurrection music. The whole second half of the arrangement will be works by popular composer Mack Wilberg including Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Bound for the Promised Land, Praise to the Lord the Almighty, Love Divine All Love’s Excelling and a lot more. It will be the great hymns of the church. We will finish the concert with Amazing Grace with the bagpipes which we have done several times here. We have added handbells to that so it will be a big finish. We will be doing a Christmas section because it will be Christmas before you know it.  The Chamber of Singers will be doing some of Brahms Requiem. Everyone in our music department is incredibly excited for the event.

Learn more information about buying tickets here.

sonflower4004bookWe talked with Joan Baird who serves as the coordinator for the Sonflower Adult Learning Program.  The Sonflower Adult Learning Program is an enrichment program for adults with special needs. On Thursday, the program hosted its first Book Club.

Can you explain the new Thursday reading program for the Sonflower Adult Learners?

The Book Club is one of many enriching times we offer to our Learners in the Sonflower Adult Learning Program. The book club is brand new and our first one was today. Our idea is to encourage discussion and self-expression and to enrich and broaden their horizons. For most of our Learners their reading level averages about a third grade level. We tailor the book club by reading a book to them during that time and having a discussion about the book. We are focusing on listening and discussion skills and having fun. We might have a worksheet or a craft that goes along with the book. It will help them remember a story and sequencing. A lot of what our program is about is fellowship, community, and building self esteem.

What age group is this program targeted to?

The program is open for adults with special needs who have graduated from their public education. A lot of them have a time period between public education and state funded programs. We are an independent program and are able to offer a lot of things that state programs can’t offer such as a daily devotion. Part of our purpose in our program is to help them develop a deeper relationship with God and practice their faith.

Can you talk about the personalities in the program?

Our Learners are very accepting of everybody. They enjoy jokes and having fun. They will be your best friend. It is fun working with these individuals because they are loving, kind, awesome people.

What can volunteers be expected to do?

For this particular book club, it can be as much as they want to do. They can choose the book and develop discussion questions or the project that goes along with it such as a word search, drawing sheet or a craft.  Or just read a book. It can be pretty flexible.

Can you talk about what the books will be about?

We are doing themes this summer like Snow Days in August. So our book theme today involved snow!  In a couple weeks, we will have a fire safety theme and our book will be related to that theme.

How can a parent get their adult learner involved?

The Sonflower Adult Learning Program is an enrollment based program Monday through Friday,10 am to 3 pm. The minimum enrollment is one day per week which would be the same day every week. We have some Learners who come five days a week and some only one day. There is a tuition fee involved in the program. The parents usually visit the program and if they are interested, they can go through the enrollment process.

What are other frequently asked questions you receive from parents?

A lot of parents are interested in something for their adult child to be involved in. I hear quite often from parents they want something more for them then watching TV all day. Typically when a parent comes in they learn about the overall program, including about our devotions, our missions work, the Sonflower Bakery, art class, yoga, fitness training and music therapy. There is a lot of variety in our program. I think parents like hearing that because they want their adult child to be engaged and challenged.

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 Troost Elementary School’s volunteer liaison Doug Harris. Before Doug retired, he was the principal at Leawood Elementary School.

How did you get involved with Troost Elementary?

After I retired from the Blue Valley Schools, I still wanted to work with children in some capacity.  Something I had been thinking about for a long time was getting involved with the Kansas City schools.  They had had several superintendents, lost accreditation, lost enrollment, closed schools, and the future did not look very promising. I wondered if the knowledge and skills I had in suburban education would transfer to urban education.

One day in the church bulletin I read that Resurrection needed a school liaison for Troost Elementary.  I was excited to read that!  My experience as a teacher and principal, plus working with a very active Parent Teacher Organization at Leawood Elementary, would be a good background for providing support to Troost.  I knew I could quickly learn the needs of the school, and then begin using church resources to help meet those needs.

The first semester was really a learning experience for different reasons.  Troost had a new principal and several new staff members.  They were extremely busy with just the day-to-day activities of the school, and were not familiar with the partnership with Resurrection.  They also were in the first year of a School Improvement Grant from the State of Missouri, which had expectations and guidelines for improved attendance, behavior, and academics, and took even more of their time.  So it took time to reestablish our relationship.  I really wanted to build rapport and trust with the staff, to be present and available without being pushy, and to begin taking steps forward in our partnership.

One of the first things we did was present holiday gift boxes to the students.  Resurrection had put together some wonderful items in individual boxes for the children—crayons, pencils, a hat and gloves, etc.--and these were extremely well-received.  Looking back, this activity helped set the tone for re-establishing a wonderful partnership.  The boxes showed that the church was truly interested in helping meet the needs of the students.  Setting up our classroom volunteer program was next.  Volunteers came from the congregation, some retired Blue Valley teachers, and a few people from a church near Troost.  By spring we were able to provide each teacher with a volunteer at least one morning a week.  In addition, we provided school t-shirts for all the students and staff, sponsored a Book Fair, Teacher Appreciation Week activities, and much more.

A unique and defining moment for our partnership was the Bless the School renovation project this past summer.  The church had previously done this major project at Troost about five years ago.  When the project returned this year, it meant refurbishing much of the school through painting, carpeting, building classroom shelving, installing new window blinds, marker boards and bulletin boards, murals, and sprucing up the grounds.  Nearly 700 Resurrection members participated!  What a wonderful commitment by the church and congregation to the school!  It really was blessed!  And now I hope we can continue to improve and have a model school-community partnership—making a difference at Troost Elementary!

Troost is losing around 75% of its staff members for the next school year.  Many of those were Teach for America teachers.  Can you speak to what that will mean for the school?

Kansas City schools have many Teach for America teachers.  They generally are recent college graduates.  Some were education majors, but many were not.  They go through a rushed program on teaching the summer before they begin, then serve for two years in many urban areas around the country.  Troost lost teachers because their two-year commitment had ended, plus some retirements.  It was disappointing to lose teachers familiar with all aspects of the school and had served so well.  Yet the principal was excited to hire new teachers and have a new beginning with staff who hopefully were committed for the long-term at Troost.  Thus, no Teach for America candidates were considered this time.  She is now taking steps to prepare them for the new school year, to building a collaborative environment, and focusing on school goals, particularly literacy.

I am confident we can make a difference through our support of these new staff members.  We assisted the principal in finding a location for a day-long retreat with the staff before the school year began.  We are now helping them acquire the tools they need for their classrooms, and helping the students be prepared to learn each day.  This includes backpacks, school supplies, and uniforms, and will soon include the Friday food backpack program.  I am excited to get our volunteers started, too, and hopefully grow that program to provide even more assistance in classrooms.  We can turn the issue of many new staff members into a positive with our common vision for Troost.  I'm hoping our partnership will not just take steps forward, but leaps forward!

What can volunteers do to get involved?

There are a variety of activities available, depending upon the interest and available time of the volunteer.  Some school support activities take place at church, such as filling the Friday food backpacks and preparing incentive goody bags for the children.  For those wanting to be more directly involved with the schools, they could volunteer to help with special activities at the schools such as Book Fairs and classroom parties.  For those willing to make a weekly commitment, they could sign up to be classroom volunteers.  An example of this would be spending one morning a week assisting in a particular classroom.  Volunteers who do this often seem to get attached to their classrooms as they get to know the teacher, the individual children, their needs, and the routines.  The teachers appreciate having a person to help in the room, with small groups, and one-on-one with students.  The children love to have an adult who can call them by name, show an interest in them, and be a good listener.  If we want change to occur, ultimately that means what happens in each classroom, each day, for each child.  There are even some after-school tutoring opportunities available.  Schools need to be intentionally inviting places where students are engaged, places where students want to be rather than have to be.  It's obvious through their test scores, attendance rate, and behavior issues that there is much to be done.  But we have seen signs of improvement!  So now we need people to step forward and be willing to serve!  And I might add, this isn't just rewarding for the school—those who volunteer are also rewarded!

You can contact Doug by emailing him at pjh223@sbcglobal.net

Pastor Adam's Weekly eNote

Dear Resurrection Family,

Today we're hosting the Willow Creek Leadership Summit at the church. Hundreds of area pastors, staff members and lay leaders, including many from our own church, are gathered in our Sanctuary for the live simulcast of the Summit being broadcast from Chicago.

Over the last month Saint Paul School of Theology has been moving into our adult education wing along Roe Avenue. They have installed new technology into some of our adult classrooms that allow professors to simulcast their courses to Saint Paul's Oklahoma City campus located at Oklahoma City University. This week the reference library was set up in the wing – we currently don't have room to house the 100,000 volumes of the Saint Paul library, so we're hosting just the reference library – commentaries and critical books for students. The rest of the library is being housed at Avila University. Here's a couple of pictures of the reference library now located in Room 222 of our East Building.  I'll have more information next week on how and when Resurrection members can use the library.

You are a part of creating a new model for theological education – patterned after the medical school/teaching hospital model. Students will be learning in the classrooms, but also learning from you – observing ministries and programs and interacting with our pastors, staff and lay leaders. The goal is that graduates of Saint Paul will be better prepared for leading healthy vital churches when they graduate. An important part of our vision at Resurrection is to play a part in renewing mainline churches. This partnership with Saint Paul will be an exciting part of that.

Beginning next semester the faculty of Saint Paul will also be offering courses designed for laity, for those who would like to go deeper in their faith.

Currently we're only able to offer seven or eight rooms for use by the seminary. In our 10,000 Reasons campaign we are hoping to build our permanent sanctuary, then convert the mezzanine of our current sanctuary into 24 classrooms, and the main body of our sanctuary into our fellowship hall and Vibe worship space, so that the seminary can have access to most of the current adult wing of the church. This will allow them to bring their full library to our campus and expand the number of classes offered at any given time. It is all very exciting. We'll have a weekend coming up where we'll officially welcome the seminary and pray for its students, faculty and staff.

This weekend is my last two days of sabbatical. I'll be back in the office on Tuesday of this coming week. Pastor Glen Shoup, our Executive Pastor of Worship and also one of our Congregational Care pastors, will preach this weekend at Leawood, and our campus pastors at each of our campuses. Prior to joining our team Glen was the senior pastor of one of the largest Nazarene churches here in Kansas City (Nazarenes and Methodists are close cousins, both tracing their beginnings to John Wesley). Those at the Leawood Campus will enjoy hearing Glen.

I am really excited to be back into the office, and look forward to being back in the pulpit next weekend.



Pastor Scott's Weekly enote:

"I’m writing you this Friday morning from my second day at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit (which is being held at our Leawood Campus).  It has been a great experience to listen to and learn from some of the world’s greatest leaders and speakers.  Yesterday we heard from Gen. Colin Powell, Bill Hybels, Patrick Lencioni, Bob Goff and Chris Brown (the preacher not the singer) and today’s line-up is even better.  I hope you’ll consider attending this event with me next year when it comes back to town.  It’s a great way to be filled and inspired as we think about all that’s coming in the life of our church and community." Read more here.

Monday's GPS Insight from Chris Holliday:

"Music has long played an essential role in my connection to God. Whether I’m feeling restless, depressed, happy, or blessed, I can almost always sense God’s presence through music. So when I need to stop, breath, gain perspective, and remember that God is the source of all life – the one who gave us breath and the one for whom we breathe – I listen to songs that open my heart and free my soul." Read more here .

Tuesday's GPS Insight from Rev. Anne Williams

"One day last week, I was driving down the freeway trying to figure out what the truck in front of me was doing. His left blinker was on so I slowed down a bit to let him merge into my lane. He didn't get over. I was stumped trying to figure out what this guy was doing. I know you've never had road rage, so I won't admit to it either. A few seconds later he merged into the right lane. Yes, the right lane. Not the left lane, to correspond with the left blinker that was still blinking. I stopped trying to understand." Read more here.

Wednesday's GPS Insight from Angela LaVallie

"In verse 7 from today’s passage, Jesus tells his disciples, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” This verse speaks to me in two ways." Read more here.

Thursday's GPS Insight from Janelle Gregory

"With closed eyes, my friend began to count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…”, and the rest of us scattered. The church was the perfect place to play hide and seek, something we loved to do when I was in high school (yes, high school). My best friend and I stuck together, moving from spot to spot, looking for the best place to hide." Read more here.

Friday's GPS Insight from Darren Lippe

"Today’s passage is “referenced” in Rhett Oric’s new public speaking book, “How to be a Greater O-Rator in Eight-Or (less days).”  Here’s a snippet of my interview:" Read more here.


Pastor Steven Blair talks about Congregational Care’s new program - Live Forward. The new Thursday night program will be replacing Celebrate Recovery on September 5. Learn more at www.cor.org/liveforward

Who is Live Forward for?

Live Forward is for anybody who is stuck in either a hurt or a habit that they want to move past.  This is a program that will help people  live forward and into the  new future that God wants for them.

How are classes in Live Forward divided up?

Newcomers can attend whatever class they want on their first week but we will recommend they start with The Essentials class. This crash course will introduce them to the basics of handling hurts and changing habits. Participants will receive a teaching followed by a time for gender divided groups to discuss the content. Topics will include “Boundaries,” “The Addiction Cycle,” and “What God Does and Does Not Do,” among others. Every eight weeks, the set of lessons will repeat.

There will be a new Healing Hurts Class offered.  It will be divided by gender.  These classes are for those whose main presenting need is some hurt that is keeping them from the life God wants for them. These classes will deal with sadness, loneliness, self esteem issues, loss, and other hurts.

For those who are trying to change habits, what classes are offered for them?

We will offer four 12 Step Groups. These groups can help you with your habits by offering the 12 Step Method and the support of others who are traveling the same path as you. If you are just beginning your sobriety, we suggest you start with a 12 Step Group.

We will also have a group called SMART Recovery which is almost the opposite of a 12 Step Group. It is based on a psychological-educational type material and processing possible triggers.

What other groups will be offered at Live Forward?

Beginning in late fall, We will also be offering an Intensive Sexual Addiction Group. These discussion groups are led by a therapist trained in the topic of sexual addiction.  One class will be for men struggling with a sexual addiction and another class will be for women whose male partner is struggling with a sexual addiction.   Registration is required for these classes.

We are also very excited about offering the first Spanish 12 Step Class at Resurrection. It is called Vida Renovada which will be targeted to Spanish speaking women. The teachers are great and they speak Spanish fluently. It will be one of the few Spanish speaking 12 Step Groups in the area.

Do you have to be a certain age to attend Live Forward?

Live Forward will include ages from 18 and above and then classes will be divided by gender. There will also be a class called Propel which is Live Forward for high school students. This will begin on September 5th, the same as all other Live Forward classes.

What will the size be of these classes?

Most of these groups will be between 8 to 18 people across the board. I imagine the Essentials class and Healing Hurts classes may be a little larger. The leaders of Celebrate Recovery will continue to be leaders of the 12 Step Groups in Live Forward. We are recruiting other leaders to lead the Hurts groups.

Can you explain the format of the class?

Live Forward begins on September 5th and meets every Thursday. The schedule is:

Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm
Worship: 6:30-7:20 pm
Small Groups: 7:30-8:30 pm
Fellowship: 8:30-9 pm

Do you have to register for the classes?

There is no registration needed to attend worship or the small groups. The only ones that require registration are the ones relating to sexual addiction or short term studies. Those are all closed groups and everything else is open. There is also the option to join us for worship or small groups if they want. It allows people to connect in ways that feels more comfortable.

Is there free childcare?

There is also free child care for children six months through fifth grade.  They can call 913-544-0285 or email childcare@cor.org to make a reservation. They have to call before Thursday to receive childcare.

We caught up with Women’s Ministry leaders Michelle Funk and Holli Pearson to preview the Women’s Live classes for this fall.

Q: What are some of the big changes to Live this fall?

Michelle:  Classes are still offered on Thursdays, but we are expanding to Monday nights and Friday mornings in order to reach more people. This is also first time we are also offering Alpha groups specifically for women. We are so thrilled that Jeff Kirby and Michelle Kirby, long time Alpha leaders will lead these.

Q: Are these Live classes open to every woman at the church?

Holli: Absolutely. One of the greatest things I have seen is it is a place to make new friends especially if you have just moved here. It is a good place to grow deeper in God but there are a lot of friendships that begin. We are doing life together and sharing and learning together in Live.

A woman in my class last semester moved here from Wyoming. She had been here six months, was living with her daughter and had no way to make friends. So we said, "We are your new friends. We are it. We are here to help you." That’s always such a good feeling. She needed that and we needed her.

Q: Are these Bible Studies catered to any certain age group?

Holli: We have women of all ages. Sometimes you will have a brand new mom and you could also have someone who is 80. You can get and give a lot of wisdom; it goes both ways. That never seems to be an issue with age. Everyone learns from everyone.

Here is a preview of the classes that will be offered this fall.

Embraced by God Bible Study Participant Book: Seven Promises for Every WomanEmbraced by God by Babbie Mason
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection Class Description: Become equipped to accept God's unfailing love through seven biblical promises. Live out these promises to deepen and enrich your relationship with God and others. Led by Donna Ibenthal and Michelle Arteberry.

Amazon's Customer Book Rating: 4.5 stars.
Amazon Customer Review: "I finished this book thinking to myself that this is a universal message for men and women. All of us just want to know that we matter, that what we bring is enough. That is what Babbie reminds us of in this book. It's not about being like someone else or thinking more of others than ourselves. It's about recognizing that God has created us to shine in our own way for His glory."

Purchase this book at The Well Bookstore.

Gideon by Priscilla Shirer
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection's Class Description: Do you downplay your abilities? Think you're not quite the right person for God to use? Too old/young? Inexperienced? Afraid? Learn how Gideon surrendered to God's calling, and how He can transform YOU. Led by Diann Hurt.

Goodreads Customer Book Rating: 4.73
Goodreads Customer Review: "Apt and timely is what I can say for Gideon. Are you dealing with weakness, insecurity, or fear? Are you dealing with all three? Want to study a character in the Bible that received holy confidence and was allowed to be a part of great and supernatural accomplishments? Read and take part in Gideon. The discussion questions and homework help guide the study very well; I finished the study with a sense of who Gideon was."

Good and Beautiful Life by James Bryon Smith
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection's Class Description: Following the Sermon on the Mount, this follow-up to The Good and Beautiful God guides us to look behind these character flaws and to replace our false beliefs with Jesus' narratives about life in the kingdom of God. Led by Laurie Webb and Maribeth Hinderer.

Amazon's Customer Book Rating: 5 stars
Amazon's Customer Review: "Throughout this series of books Smith cogently argues that "we live at the mercy of our ideas and our narratives," and it is through this lens the content of our spiritual lives is examined and then challenged. Each chapter within this installment presents a common narrative that many people hold that leads to anger, lust, lying, vindictive competitiveness, vainglory, avarice, worry, or judgmentalism, and then challenges that narrative through the life and teachings of Jesus. Smith relies on Jesus's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount as paramount for instilling the virtues that oppose these vices, reinforcing the Jesus narratives with an accompanying spiritual practice. In this book, those practices are writing a letter to God, play, hospitality, keeping the Sabbath, a media fast, silence, praying for the success of competitors, secret service, deaccumulation, prayer, a day without gossip, and living one day devotionally. The practices are simple, yet powerful, and the instructions Smith provides are very easy to follow."

Purchase this book at The Well

Gospel of Mark by Shirley Yarick
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection Class Description: He didn’t write any books or build any buildings. He didn’t live in a palace or a mansion. He had no silver or gold and didn’t raise any armies. Yet, this man who died a criminal's death turned the world upside down. Who was he? Led by Shirley Yarick.

No Amazon Ratings/Reviews at this time.  Michelle Funk gives her description:

"This is an excellent study authored by the teacher Shirley Yarick. She is very renowned Bible teacher here at church and has been established teacher in Thursday Live.  This was such a great study we actually gave it away at Leadership Institute last fall. It is an excellent way to dig deeper and get to know Jesus through the Gospel of Mark."

Hop, Skip, and a Jump Through the Bible by J. Ellsworth Kalas
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection Class Description: Highlights the wonders of the Bible for readers both familiar and unfamiliar with them, and shows how the Bible isn’t just a collection of stories of the past, but rather it is our own continuing story of God and God’s relationship with the human race. Led by Doris Lippe.

Amazon Customer Book Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Amazon Customer Review: “As a teacher of an adult Sunday School class with members in the 40-60 age bracket, I'm always looking for interesting and easy to follow lessons that can be covered in about 45 minutes. Having heard Dr. Kalas give this very presentation in one day, I knew this was the perfect book. Dr. Kalas has a unique way of bringing everything to life while giving new perspectives on biblical stories you thought you knew. We advertised this new lesson in our church bulletin, and had several people from other classes join us just for this book. While that probably upset some of the other teachers, it sure added to the discussion within our class. I highly recommend this book to all individuals and classes."

Purchase this book at The Well

James: Mercy Triumphs
by Beth Moore
1. Monday 7:00-8:30 pm, 9/23 thru 11/25 register
2. Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection Class Description: James is a book with many topics: social justice, joy, hardship, faith, reversal of fortunes for rich and poor, wisdom, gifts from above, single-mindedness, the dangers of the tongue, humility, and prayer. Learn about these as you meet the man, James, through video segments and discussion.

Amazon Customer Book Rating: 4  1/2 Stars
Amazon Customer Review: "Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore is such a great in-depth Bible study on the book of James that I was sorry to see it end. Beth's older daughter, Melissa, also had some interesting articles included from an historical standpoint based on research she did. I learned so much more about James, the author of this book, than I had known before and accepted Beth's challenge to memorize the entire book of James, which I am in the process of still doing, having memorized the first two of the five chapters. This is a very practical study because the topics in the book of James are still relevant today: Patience, temptation, rich and poor, favoritism, judgment, controlling the tongue, wisdom,, our relationship with God, how to treat others, prayer. This study is fantastic! I really can't say enough good about it. There are DVD's that go with this that I enjoyed too because of some funny stories she shares from her experience to make her points. In particular, I especially liked hearing about her camping trip with the birds and the hair brush story at the airport. That is one I don't think I'll soon forget.”

Wonder Struck by Margaret Feinberg
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection Class Description: Learn to unearth the extraordinary moments in every day life, recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine, and discover peace in knowing you're wildly loved.

Amazon Customer Book Rating: 5 stars
Amazon Customer Review: "Margaret's writing awakened me afresh to the wonder of God. I will admit that I often spend a lot of time studying about and serving God, all the while missing the wonder of God. Margaret reawakened that wonder inside of me. I'm amazed a book could do that. Her writing style is whimsical and tangible. She is transparent and yet well researched. In short, she is perfectly equipped to help you encounter the one, true God, for the first time or the first time in a long time. Don't pass up this book, especially at the amazing price."

Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado
Thursday, 7:00-8:30 pm, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

Resurrection's Class Description: God's grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid to die to ready to fly. Let's make certain grace gets you. Led by Patricia Sanders-Hall.

Amazon's Customer Book Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Amazon's Customer Review: "Grace is the real reason to love Jesus. Max very eloquently projects how little we realize about the greatest aspect of accepting the free gift God offers to any who accept. It is the aspect of grace and being redeemed that is so much more than just "being saved from eternal death" that is so powerful. This enables me to live in this life without condemnation that would otherwise be mandated. Thank you, Max, for so beautifully revealing how grace was presented throughout the bible for us to model! This is a "must read" book and the best of Max Lucado so far."

Alpha for Women
Monday 7:00-8:30 pm, 9/23 thru 11/25 register
Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am, 9/12 thru 12/05 register
Thursday, 7:00-8:30 pm, 9/12 thru 12/05 register

An overview of the Christian faith and exploration of questions about the existence of God, purpose of life, the afterlife, claims of Jesus, and more. Refreshments each class. Holy Spirit Retreat on 10/11 - 10/12, very important to attend. Led by Jeff Kirby and Michelle Kirby, for women only.


Pastor Adam Hamilton’s Weekly eNote:

Dear Resurrection Family,

Just a quick note: This weekend at Leawood Chris Folmsbee will be preaching on Saturday night and Jeff Kirby on Sunday. Their emphasis will be on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. This is a really important message, and both of these guys are gifted teachers and preachers. Chris oversees our small group ministry. Jeff oversees men's ministries, alpha and teaches regularly in our discipleship program. You will be blessed by their messages. Resurrection Blue Springs will have a special guest preacher, Rev. Bob Farr, director of congregational excellence in the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. Pastor Jason will preach at Resurrection West, and Pastor Scott Chrostek at Resurrection Downtown.

There will be great music in all the services, but on Sunday morning at the 7:45 and 10:45 Leawood services you'll have guest tenors Nathan Granner and Stephen Gulley. These guys are a part of the Sony Masterworks group, The American Tenors.

I'm at the Lake of the Ozarks wrapping up my Sabbatical leave this week by trying to complete the manuscript of the book I've been writing this summer called, Making Sense of the Bible. I've finished 220 pages and am hoping to complete the final 80 pages this week. Last night I was up until the wee hours making connections between the work of geologists and paleoanthropologists and the story of Noah and the Ark! Today my focus is on the Old Testament passages that portray God as vengeful, angry, and violent.

Okay, it's back to writing!


Pastor Scott Chrostek’s Weekly eNote:

“It is great to be writing you this Friday morning after what has been a great and full week within the life of our downtown community.  As a way of continuing in our sermon series entitled, 'Not In Your Wildest Dreams.'  I thought I would try to start my eNote without mentioning the weather or coffee and without writing so much that you lose sight of the invitation to join us this weekend in worship.  My hope as we look forward to Saturday and Sunday is that you would consider yourself invited and that you would also consider inviting your friends and family to join us in worship this weekend as we look at what it means to live into God's holy imagination by 'Speaking in Different Languages.'”

Read More Here

Pastor Penny Ellwood’s Weekly eNote:

I'm really excited about the opportuntity we have this Sunday morning.  Rev. Bob Farr, the Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence in the Missouri Annual Conference is going to be preaching live at our campus on "The Power of Introductions."

Read More Here

GPS Daily Insight

Monday’s GPS from Jeanna Repass: “I was twenty-two when I found myself sitting in the window sill seat with a yellow legal pad with a title at the top and the numbers one through ten written down the left hand side. Although my task has been to fill in all ten lines, only one number – the number 1 - had anything written next to it. As I stared at what I had written I began to cry. When it was time to share with my counselor what ten things I had written I reluctantly handed over the legal pad. She handed it back to me and told me to read it out loud.” Read more at http://gpsinsights.cor.org/?p=9355

Tuesday’s GPS from Valerie Naas: “I consider myself to be proactive. A planner. With the many mistakes (small and great) that I’ve made in my short life, I always try my best to learn from each one. I hold an automatic internal review session with myself following nearly every action/behavior that I execute: What went well? What didn’t work? What can I do differently next time? What variables will stay the same? What might change? Thanks to having spent a great deal of time picking up the broken pieces of my mistakes, I now try to prepare myself for what’s ahead.” Read more at http://gpsinsights.cor.org/?p=9358

Wednesday’s GPS from Steven Blair: “Tom Rath has written a New York Times Bestseller called Strength Finder.  It is based on the notion: ‘Find your strengths and then develop your strengths.”  Rath notes that when we are growing up we are actually told to focus on our weaknesses.  When we received our report cards, our attention was drawn to our worse grade.  We are encouraged, sometimes demanded, to bring that grade up.  The result is spending numerous additional hours spent on the subject which we are not naturally gifted instead of developing our greatest strength into something much stronger.   Rath comments that spending time trying to reduce our weaknesses instead of growing our strengths thwarts our ability to become extraordinary at any one thing.” Read more at http://gpsinsights.cor.org/?p=9361

Thursday’s GPS from Liz Gyori: “My 20 year old daughter and I recently drove her car from her California school back to Kansas. I was a little anxious beforehand, worrying about the condition of her tiny car. The night before I flew to California, I dreamt that I was a passenger in my own car, and my late father was driving. We were on a highway that was suddenly covered with deep rushing water just ahead of us, and I cried out in alarm. My father told me not to worry, and steering the car quickly around the water, told me that our early start had helped us avoid the flood.” Read more at http://gpsinsights.cor.org/?p=9365

Friday’s GPS from Bryan Cisler: “A few years ago I watched a basketball player I idolized growing up give his Hall of Fame speech.  This player was known for the way he could take the smallest personal slight and use that as ammunition to crush his opponents on the floor. I’ll admit, it was fun to watch. Can’t we all sometimes live vicariously through someone like that? Those ultra competitive characteristics likely played a part in him rising to the highest level of the sport. Plus, it was on the basketball court. It was harmless.”Read more at http://gpsinsights.cor.org/?p=9369

Other Blog Posts:

Honduras Blog: Rez Life July 2013 Team http://honduras.rezmissions.org/

Partner School Series: Ridgeview Elementary School https://blogs.cor.org/?p=381

Christmas in October Preview https://blogs.cor.org/?p=374

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that schools in our own backyard need help too.  Resurrection West has rallied behind one school in particular – Ridgeview Elementary School. We talked with Jennifer Cutler who is  Resurrection’s volunteer liaison to Ridgeview about what we having coming up for the 2013-2014 school year.

How did Resurrection West initially get involved with Ridgeview Elementary?

When Rez West opened six or seven years ago,  like any new church we got together and began to think about what our missions were going to be. There was a significant interest in supporting schools and I think a big reason for that is we have many young families at West. We considered working alongside Leawood to help with their partner schools, but because we are in Olathe and we have schools in our own backyard that need us, we started thinking about partnering with an Olathe school. We went to Ridgeview and we saw a significant need.

Can you give a background of Ridgeview Elementary?

Ridgeview in Olathe is a very small school, of 250 -275 kids and more than 50% that are Hispanic. Many of their parents don’t speak any English.  Kids who need it, receive ELL (English Language Learner) services. Ridgeview is also a Title I school which means it is federally funded for extra support in reading and math. In the Olathe Public Schools we have 10 Title I buildings.  At Ridgeview, 80 - 90% of the kids are receiving free or reduced lunch, and that is the qualifier used by the federal government for “students living in poverty.” That’s a very high percentage in  Johnson County.

When I met with the principal at the outset, it was apparent that the needs for Ridgeview would be different from the other schools in the Bless the Schools program. One of the things that Bless the Schools often did was a “blitz” to repair and paint a building over the summer. In Olathe, the district covers all that. If you drove by the building you would think that it looks like a wonderful school – which it is. The district takes care of the “physical plant,” and the technology. It is the same at Ridgeview as any other Olathe school. The physical needs of the school are covered, so the church doesn’t have to meet those needs.

What we chose as our goal was transforming the community. Every summer the church sponsors a community dinner once a week. When we started these dinners years ago we were lucky if we had 30 or 40 people. Our last dinner we had 135 people, which is amazing. I think sometimes the parents come because they are so hot. They live in a house with no air conditioning but they can come to school for a really nice meal prepared by someone else, be cool for a couple of hours, and then enjoy some type of programming. The Olathe Public Library brings the bookmobile every week so the students have books to read over the summer. We also partner with the Y, who provided several different activities.  One week, an instructor from the Y taught a Zumba class after dinner.

Can you talk about the literacy program that is in place there?

At Ridgeview, the staff does a great job of teaching and supporting reading. I would say there are 50 to 60 kids who stay for an after-school child-care program provided by the Y.  Their staff spends an hour helping with homework and reading with the kids. A lot of those kids need extra help and they are getting that through the Y. The Youth Development program from the Y hopes to scholarship even more students for after-school care,  so getting volunteers from Resurrection would be wonderful. They will be needed right after school, any night between 4 and 5 pm.

We can also connect people who want to read with kids during the day, have lunch with them, or even be pen pals with them. You don’t have to be a former teacher to have a kid read a story to you or just talk. The kids really respond to that.

The Ridgeview librarian also tracks how many minutes the students read outside of school. Once a month she rewards those who bring back the calendar showing how many minutes they read. She challenged them last year to read a million minutes during the school year - and they did! The whole school celebrated together.  Ridgeview has an environment where reading is valued and rewarded. Our volunteers just try to support their existing literacy program and make it fun. 

How many people would you need for the pen pal program?

I would say if we had ten people who would commit to writing one letter, to one child, once a week, that would be fabulous. If we started with ten, there would be ten more kids right away wanting to be a part of that. In our society, we don’t get many hand-written letters anymore.  Pen pal letters would be very valuable to the kids; to think someone took the time to write.

What other programs do volunteers help support?

As a church we also help Ridgeview at Christmas time. Last year we opened the Ridgeview Christmas Shop. and We collected gifts for adults at church, wrapped them individually, and had them on site at school. We decorated an unoccupied classroom with greenery, and Christmas lights -- it really looked like Dillard’s. It was beautiful. The kids came in and each picked out three gifts to give to anyone they wanted. I have never seen them beaming like that before. They were so excited. One came to school the next day and he was so excited about the present he gave to his mom. I asked him why he didn’t wait until Christmas and he said he was too excited to wait to give it to her. To me, that is part of this whole transformation. They have never been shopping in a store, they have never been on the giving end of gift-giving. They were so thrilled, and it was so much more exciting for them to give a gift, than to get a gift.

We have also partnered with the Olathe Wesleyan Church as they were interested in offering a soccer camp at Ridgeview. We have teamed up to do it two years in a row, and will be helping again this year. It lasts for six weeks and kids practice two times a week. It is wonderful. Practice starts at 4 pm, when the kids are still at school. We target fourth and fifth graders, divide them up into teams to do practice drills and learn soccer skills. They also learn teamwork and the importance of supporting the other players. At the end, they have an awards ceremony, and a soccer banquet. Ridgeview parents prepare the food. We had over 200 people at last year’s banquet.

What kind of volunteers are you looking for the soccer camp?

It would be great if we could get five college-aged volunteers and four or five adults to commit to helping with soccer camp. The kids really look up to the young adults. It gives Ridgeview kids a sense that they “could be like that, one day.”

You can email Jennifer at cutlerj@olatheschools.org