How awesome is it to be able to say, “Someone prayed for me today.” This is what will happen at the Thankful Day of Prayer Vigil & Prayer Walk on November 26th on the Leawood Campus. Starting at 6:00 a.m. in the Wesley Chapel, members and friends will be able to pray throughout the day for every member of the church and their families.
Upon entering the chapel, everyone will be given a list with approximately 30 families’ names on it for which they are asked to pray. Children’s names are included with their parents and only names without addresses or other identifiable information is included.
Prayer guides are distributed, so those hesitant to offer their own words of prayer will have help. Also, as a gift to all, dinner prayers for the holidays, along with hymns and Psalms will be distributed for attendees to take home.
For those who find additional peace and tranquility in nature, they may follow the church’s prayer walk rather than begin in the chapel. They too will be offered helpful materials to enhance their journey and will conclude their walk in the Wesley Chapel where they will also be given names of parishioners to pray for. Along the prayer walk, everyone will pass the church’s Prayer Wall where their individual prayers can be written and left in the cervices just like it is done at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
This year’s walking guide is based upon the fall sermon series “Messages from the Wilderness.” Reflections will include scripture and prayers about the lives and experiences of the biblical characters Ruth, David, Elijah, Joseph and Hagar as they walked through the wilderness.
As another way to offer thanksgiving, an old-fashioned hymn sing will take place during the noon hour in the Wesley Chapel. Led by Lance Winkler, director of contemporary worship, requests for particular hymns will be taken.
Based upon past years vigils, the number of those attending have been sufficient for all parishioners to be prayed for a minimum of two times.
Also, based upon experience, this day of prayer has been received well by small groups who have the opportunity to pray together. As well, families find it an added blessing to pray as a family. It is further a great way to introduce children to coming to church and praying without a pastor leading the prayer.
The Prayer Vigil will end at 10:00 p.m. and the Prayer Walk will close at 6:00 p.m. No set amount of time to pray is expected. All are welcome to join in this experience of Thanksgiving and to offer their praise and gratitude for God’s presence in our lives.
Talk about what a difference a decade makes. On Monday night, the Leawood City Council unanimously approved a revised preliminary plan and special use permit for Resurrection’s future building plans. It was a relatively quiet night compared to eleven years ago. Resurrection building committee member Chuck Winters laughs when comparing the two processes.
“This time it was a piece of cake,” Winters said.
Back in 2002, Resurrection presented a master plan which included not only seeking approval for the current sanctuary, but also a 7,000 seat permanent sanctuary. City Council members and neighbors were concerned about the size of the project. At the multiple City Council meetings, the rooms were packed representing both sides of the issue, though the vast majority of people were supportive of the project.
On Monday, it was a much quieter scene. Resurrection’s building plan was the last item of business. Resurrection’s architect John Justus was the first presenter. In large part due to the success of Resurrection’s campuses around Kansas City, Justus was able to explain how the current plan was smaller than the 2002 plan. The 7,000 seat sanctuary had been reduced to 3,500 seats. And instead of a master plan with 975,000 square feet of buildings, the new plan only calls for 552,000 square feet.
Pastor Adam Hamilton then followed Justus’ presentation and discussed the theology behind the design of the buildings. Adam explained how Resurrection wanted to build something that wasn’t ostentatious or prideful, but a building that had humility and would feel like sacred space. He then passed the model around to give the Council members a close-up view of the sanctuary. There were only a couple of inquiries from the council members, one specifically was if Resurrection would be using Kansas City-based material suppliers for items such as the exterior materials. Justus replied that local suppliers would be considered. After a few comments from Mayor Dunn, she called for the roll-call vote. All were in favor.
There will be another presentation to the City Council in the future where Resurrection will seek approval for the scope of construction and materials in the next phase of construction. After the meeting on Monday, Adam said it wasn’t only the reduced size of the project that made it an easier process this time around, but also that Resurrection has a larger body of evidence of what the church and its members bring to our community.
“People know who we are now,” Adam said. “I think the community values this church. Every one of the council members I talked to said that is going to be a beautiful building and we are so glad to have it in Leawood.”
Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Such a celebration occurred at Resurrection this past Sunday to honor all veterans, active duty military and members of the reserves.
Beginning with the presentation of the colors, some 250 veterans, friends and family began an evening to honor all who have served and those who continue to serve. Ages varied of those in attendance as the youngest, members of the ROTC of Shawnee Mission West High School, presented the colors.
Renowned author, minister and lecturer Dr. Rita Brock, author with Gabriella Lettini of Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War was the featured speaker.
Dr. Brock explained that all of us grow up as civilians but training to be a soldier requires focus on the moral code of the military which includes honor, integrity, obedience to authority and courage. Yet war demands the handling of human remains, the dehumanization of the enemy, unnecessary killing through friendly fire as well as perceived failure to save others called survivor’s guilt. Dr. Brock explained that these are some of the causes of moral injury for veterans.
Another of the evening’s speakers explained Resurrection’s “Rezvet” ministry. Currently, church members send care packages to those deployed. This often leads to additional opportunities for congregants to continue to reach out to our soldiers on a personal level. As well, a Prayer List of Veterans and their families and friends is available for the clergy and congregation who use it daily.
The church has also formed mentoring and counseling ministries to help those veterans who have ended their tours of duty. These trained and certified mentors offer help to veterans dealing with such problems as guilt, shame, fear, anger, PTSD, military sexual trauma, TBI and moral injury. They are trained listeners, compassionate and non-judgmental. Likewise, our trained and licensed counselors help veterans and their families and friends with these and even more complicated issues.
Resurrection has now teamed with JCCC and the Writer’s Place to encourage veterans to write their own stories as writing has been found to be a therapeutic way for veterans to handle the traumas of war. Working also with Healing Waters, an organization where disabled vets are taught fly-fishing to encourage both their physical and emotional healing and well-being.
Therefore, Rezvets’ mission “… to help restore, reconcile and re-integrate veterans and their families to a holistic relationship within family and community including the community of faith” is aimed to help all service men and women. To become a part of this ministry, please email Rezvets@cor.org.
By Jennifer Ross
In 1999 when my family moved to Overland Park and we were looking for a church home, one of the main reasons my family chose Church of the Resurrection was because the church offered a special needs ministry. We did not need the services, but as a trained special educator, I knew that a church that valued serving this population would be a place that our family could become actively involved. I had no idea that a few years later, I would become the program director for Matthew’s Ministry.
Families that have children with special needs need church, just like the rest of us. Many of these families need respite and support. According to some reported statistics, divorce rate for these families is between 70-80%. The main reasons stated are increased demands on the parents (usually the mom, but not always) and added stress of doctors, therapies, education, life planning and on it goes. What a blessing to be able to offer care, special classes, support groups and respite nights to the families involved in Matthew’s Ministry
Click on the image to read to read about the statistics of children with special needs.
Thank you Church of the Resurrection for ministering to families that care for someone with special needs. For more information on Matthew's Ministry visit here.
By: Linda Kozacek
As we start the month of November, we have much to be thankful for! I know I am thankful for our principals and how they allow us to support the schools. I am thankful for the staff who are beginning to forge a trust relationship with our church. I am thankful for the students who are reading more than ever. I am thankful for the volunteers who support all of our programming. And I am so thankful for our liaisons who work non-stop to partner, plan and implement all of the wonderful events going on in our schools. The relationships with our partner schools continue to grow, and that is evident in the amount of activities that we are able to help support!
Even though the days are shorter, the work being done does not lighten up. In fact, October was busier than ever. Each school hosted a Scholastic Book Fair where, thanks to the generosity of the Church of the Resurrection, each student got to choose 2 new books to take home "for keeps." I know the children were thankful because I got handfuls of notes telling me so. In the words of 1st grader Dominique, “Thank you for the books. You are nice. I will read the books.”
November and December will continue to be busy, so look for ways that you can serve. In addition to regular activities, we will be hosting Thanksgiving Luncheons and Joy Parties. Click on the link below to see how you can help in these fun events.
Of course, we are always looking for volunteers to help, so if you want to find other ways to get involved, please click on the link to get plugged in:
And as always, if you can't serve with your hands, can you serve with your heart and pray--for our schools, principals, staff and liaisons?? We need your prayers!!
Liaison Doug Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
The first quarter of the school year was a busy time at Troost Elementary! We helped kick off the year by providing ice cream treats for Back-to-School Night, classroom supplies for all the students, and backpacks and uniforms where needed. Our classroom volunteer group is well underway as we provide direct assistance to teachers and children in K-6 classrooms, and our volunteer numbers continue to grow! A HUGE improvement in more than one way was the rebuilding of a new playground structure. This wonderful multi-colored, multi-use piece is a HUGE hit with all the students! We are supporting the school's efforts to improve students' behavior, attendance, and academic achievement.
For example, a special bulletin board recognizes students' birthdays each month, and we help provide the counselors and behavior interventionist with rewards for their positive behavior incentive system. Our efforts to help improve academic performance included a very successful author visit in September and Book Fair in October as we work on developing students' interest and engagement in reading. The principal and staff members at Troost continue to work very hard on school improvement issues, and we are proud to be their partner and support their efforts!
Liaison Ann Hays email@example.com
Halloween was a great holiday at Wheatley school this year. Last year we found out that most of the students do not to go door to door trick or treating because their neighborhoods are too dangerous. So this year we brought it to them. We were planning a Trunk or Treat event until the rain drove us inside. There were 20 groups or individuals who decorated tables and walls in the hallway while the students through the 4th grade went “trick or treating”. Staff and church members , several residents from a senior living facility, and other Wheatley volunteers partnered to run the party. The volunteers made it such a fun event for the students that we plan to do it again next year. The 5th and 6th grade students had a party in the gym organized by students from a Christian school in Independence. It was a perfect opportunity for all of those students to get to know each other and have a lively Halloween party. The students with special needs all had parties in their rooms planned by Donna Ibenthal and several volunteers.
We have several tutors who have started working with Kindergarteners and first graders. They are making progress in the students’ reading abilities. One tutor who comes each week at Wheatley said a boy he works with never spoke in class and didn’t know his alphabet until he started working with him. In just a few weeks, he knows his letters and is now sounding out words. And he is more talkative. It is amazing what a difference a little special attention can do for a child’s confidence!
The church provided funds for a new audio visual system in the gym/auditorium (gymatorium?) and suddenly the school was transformed from the 1950s to the present age. They have already started using it for their literacy program. Each the mornings before school, the younger students (K-2) gather in the gym and see books such as “Arthur” and other children’s books read to them or acted out via cartoons on a big screen. They will also use the system for school programs, teacher meetings, and movies each month for the students with good attendance.
contact Ann Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liaison Claire Jepson email@example.com
It's been a busy month at Wendall Phillips, and there will be much more to come! Contact Claire if you want to get involved in all of the activity going on at this wonderful school!
On the Kansas side...
Liaison Linda Kozacek firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of you who served at Quindaro this past month. It was full of fun! We started the month by bringing in a magician as part of a good behavior celebration that was attended by most of the school. After that, many of you brought cakes and baked goodies for the cake walk at the annual Quindaro Fall Festival. We surprised the students by hosting a Trunk or Treat on Halloween. As the students paraded the school in costume, they became wide eyed as Principal Poke flung open the front doors for the kids to march through a line of decorated cars and Church of the Resurrection members who handed out candy. They weren’t affected by the sugar, as the next day each student came through our Scholastic Book Fair and eagerly picked out 2 new books to take home and keep. Whew! I’m tired just writing about all of this fun—but I could never have done it without you!
Lori Matusek has assembled a team of bakers who deliver yummy treats each month to the staff. While her bakers bake up the delicious goodies, Lori goes to work creating a beautiful themed table to welcome the staff to partake. The only complaint I have heard: the staff wants the recipes!!! They are feeling so blessed by her ministry. She also had created birthday bags for each teacher—just another way that Lori makes the staff feel valued and special. I am so thankful for Lori and her team!
We will be hosting the Thanksgiving luncheon and Joy Parties, so be sure to go to the link above and sign up to help. Quindaro would warmly welcome you!! Lori and I would also like to do cookie trays for each of the staff members to take home. So, I am looking for BAKERS to help make some holiday treats and assemblers to help package them with a creative flair. Details will follow, but please contact me if you are interested!
I have been blessed to partner with Ms. Poke over the past 4 years. One of our favorite shared quotes comes from the book Love Does by Bob Goff:
"God made each of us then whispered "Think symphony, not solo." Individually capable; collectively unbelievable. "
What is happening at Quindaro is often times unbelievable to Ms. Poke and me. But as the programming increases, so does my need for someone to assist me. I am looking for someone to help me for activities that conflict with my work schedule. If you are feeling called to get more involved and want to be a part of something incredibly special, please contact me asap. Come be part of something unbelievable.
You will be blessed...
Contact me with any questions-
Linda 913-400-3595 email@example.com
Liaison Ann Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 21, Thursday, Welborn will have another of our Family Fun nights. we generally have over 100 parents and students attend. Last month's night was "Music in the Lot" with the students performing. Attendance was almost 200. This month our theme will be Linking Literacy to Classic Games.
We will be taking a look at how board games, chants, and other fun activities link directly to literacy. I have a list of games that I am hoping to have donated to Welborn for that night so that each family might receive one of the games. They are needed by November 11, 2013. You can contact me, Ann Carter at 913.707.7209 or at email@example.com. Thank you so much!
M is for Mouse
To help with any of these activities, please contact Ann Carter. 913.707.7209 firstname.lastname@example.org
Liaison Jennifer Cutler email@example.com
Ridgeview Elementary ~ Olathe, KS
Ridgeview is always buzzing with activity. Here are some of the ways you can get involved!
A family event will take place on the second Tuesday of each month and volunteers are always needed:
Help provide child care for siblings 5-and-up, as well as 3-and-under, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM each month.
Adults and older teen-agers (17 years or older) may serve.
Help setup, serve, and clean up dinner, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM.
All meals will be provided by Kids Bistro of KC and Youth Development Services (YDS) of the YMCA.
Are you available once a week during your lunch hour to read with a child at Ridgeview?
A unique opportunity for service called
Lead to Read is a possibility for adults who live or work near Olathe and can devote one lunch hour each week to change the life of a child. All volunteers arrive at the same time, each volunteer reads with one child for 30 minutes, and return to work or home in under an hour! Volunteers build a special relationship by reading with the same child every week. A group of 25 volunteers are needed to begin this new ministry.
Could this be the opportunity to serve that you've been looking for?
Other service opportunities at Ridgeview:
Tutoring, Lunch Buddies, or Pen Pals - Weekdays, Choose your own schedule between 8:30 and 3:30
Do you have 30 -60 minutes a week to give to a child who needs YOU?
Thanksgiving Meals - November
Help distribute meal bags as part of JOY in Serving.
Ridgeview Christmas Shop - December
Wrap donated gifts, decorate the store, or work a shift on "shopping day, December 17"
Volunteer ~ We are transforming a community ~ God's plan is working at Ridgeview
Ridgeview Elementary, in Johnson County, is located less than 10 miles from the Leawood campus - but over 80% of Ridgeview students qualify for a subsidized lunch program, a commonly used federal proxy for poverty in the elementary grades. More than half the students are Hispanic, many receiving ELL (English Language Learner) and Title I Reading and Math services. Ridgeview children MUST succeed in school to break out of the poverty cycle. You will be richly blessed by sharing your gifts, talents and TIME with students at Ridgeview.
Heed God's calling ~ Ridgeview needs YOU.
Contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org to get plugged in!
Thanks to all those who attended Date Night 2013.
Q: How do you see Resurrection Downtown impacting the community?
Adam: My hope is that with every campus we are impacting a part of our culture and community. That happens with you inviting people to church and their own lives being changed by Christ. Every time somebody’s life is changed in the name of Christ it is like a pebble dropped in a pond and the ripple effect is incalculable. Every single relationship that you have and business decision that you make is affected by the fact that you are going to follow Jesus Christ.
The first way that downtown is making a difference is by the people whose lives are changed when they come here. That happens not from any postcard or mailer that is sent out. They break the soil a little bit. It is you saying to a friend, “Hey you should go to this church downtown. We have a cool campus pastor and great music. It’s really affecting my life. You should come with me this weekend.” The first time you ask them they will say no, the second time they will say no, and eventually they say they will go just so you will shut up about it.
It takes an average person who isn’t religious six times to be asked before they will go. You do that in a way that’s not like some people who say, “If you were to die tonight do you know without a shadow of doubt that you will go to heaven.” You just say you really care about them and you would like for them to check it out.
The second is the salt of life that you bring to the community. Jesus says that there is a city on the hill that cannot be hidden, like a light that is shone before others that they might see your good works and give glory to God in heaven. Part of that is what you are constantly doing in mission and service. You do that not just to bring other people to Christ. You do that because there are hurting people out there and you are the presence of Christ. Jesus was constantly healing the sick and setting free the captives. In the midst of doing that people look at you and say, “Those people are the real deal.”
Several nights ago I was at a Leawood Planning Commission to get approval for our next building. I was there 12 years ago for our current building and there were hundreds of people who showed up protesting saying things like children would die because of the cars and Resurrection members would run over them and all these scare tactics. The planning commission was pretty tough on us.
This time, the planning commission said, “We just want you to know that your church has made such a difference in our community. We are so proud that you are a part of the Leawood community. We are excited about your building and your vision.” Only two people came who I thought might protest, and one of them stood up and said he wished that we would clean up some dead trees on his property, but he really loves Resurrection, he doesn’t go here, but he loved it. It was awesome to see that the community around us, whether they go to church or not, has said that this is a valuable part of the community and we are making a difference here. You are already doing that downtown but I can see that growing exponentially in the years to come. So it’s growing by people’s lives being changed and the impact you are having in the community.
Q: How do you walk a fine line of trying to lead by example but also without looking conceited when you tell us about some of the good works you do?
Adam: From time to time I will tell you about something I am doing in my life as a way to try and set an example for you. At the same time, Jesus says don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing and don’t announce what the good works that you are doing. He said let your light shine before others so they see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven so it’s a mixed bag there.
What I want to say to you is if I do something that I think I got right, I am hardly ever going to tell you that. I might tell you about a friend who got it right, and you won’t know that if it was me or somebody else. And most of the time it probably actually is somebody else. I try to balance that out by telling enough stories about something stupid I did that helps a little bit.
If I ever tell you something so I think you will think highly of me, then I blew it. If at times you see me say something that you think is conceited you might drop me a note and say, “Hey I heard you say this six times and it is probably a little too much.” While it will sting I appreciate getting those types of messages. By the way my wife usually does that for me most of the time. She is pretty good at that. Anyway, that’s a way to set an example without being boastful or arrogant.
Q: When you retire can we keep Scott downtown?
Adam: Well maybe, but we will have to see what God has in store 20 years from now when I retire. We will see what God has in store for Scott and downtown then too. I like that there is a little smiley face at the end of this question. Part of what I want you to know is I so value Scott. His ministry and leadership is a huge part of what is happening down here. At the same time, my goal is to work myself out of a job at Leawood. I want the church to be so strong that when I die and if I have done my job well and that we have helped everyone in the congregation own this mission and vision.
We have helped you develop significant relationships so that even when we are not here, you are here because all of your Christian friends are here. That you have enough lay leaders and staff members to carry that DNA vision forward that this will be an awesome place to be. Whether I am here or Scott is here. Ultimately we are going to do our best that if something happened to me or Scott, that we have somebody that we are mentoring that can step into that spot.
What I told the Leawood campus the other day is there are thousands of Methodist pastors who would love to be the pastor at Church of the Resurrection. If you think I am the best that there is then you are sorely mistaken. When somebody else shows up after I am dead, then you are going find yourself saying, “Wow that’s what a real pastor sounds like.”
Q: I read in a report that 1/5 of the public and 1/3 of young adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated. 2/3 of Americans are saying that religion is losing its significance in American lives. Is this a problem or an opportunity?
Adam: I love the question. This is a huge opportunity. The opportunity is that people didn’t stop having spiritual needs in the last 20 years. They were just turned off from what they were seeing in the church. Not all churches, but sometimes the most vocal churches were the ones that were the most off putting in their message.
What the non religious saw were Christians who were narcissistic and not looking at the world around them and how could we bring the presence of Christ in the world and bring healing, hope, and justice. I think it is a huge opportunity. I think you are all a huge example. How many of you were not involved in a church before you started coming here? About half of you? Maybe more? What that tells me is that nominally religious people are drawn to Christ when they see such an authentic representation of him. You have heard this before. A lot of people love Jesus they just don’t love the church. If we can be a church that looks like Jesus then I think we will draw more people which is what downtown is doing.
Q: Where do you see the United Methodist Church going?
Adam: The United Methodist Church has 34,000 churches in the United States and more than any other denomination. In the 1800’s we would have people travel by horseback and go to every village. We had a church going in every county of the United States.
Somewhere along the 1950’s and 1960’s we lost our way a little bit and there were multiple factors. In the 1960’s mainline protestants adopted birth control before the Catholics and conservatives did so we stopped having as many babies as they did.
The real thing that happened was when we forgot what passionate and vital Christianity looked like. We lost a lot of people my age when they were old enough to opt out or go to church somewhere else. Many of the conservatives were offering a response to the 1960’s revolution with something that was passionate, biblical, and they were willing to tell you what they believed in. We mainline protestants weren’t very sure what we believed in anymore. We are still suffering from that.
Many of our churches are vital and alive today. People aren’t saying they don’t like the Methodist church anymore, that was happening in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Today what is happening is our people are dying. Most of the people like our church now it is just that the average age is 60. We have far more people who are in their 80’s than are in their 20’s in our church. The tragic thing is when the average age is 60, you can’t grow the church the fun way which is more babies. Unless you are Abraham and Sarah you are going to have to find out how to reach a new generation. When everybody at the church is in their 70’s and 80’s it is really tough to be a church for somebody in their 20’s really wants to go. Church of the Resurrection’s passion is about revitalizing the United Methodist Church. I think we as a denomination are going to decline, we have a little under eight million members in the United States today and I think we will get to four or five million members. But I think if we are doing things that Resurrection and other churches are doing to revitalize the church, then I am praying in 20 years when I am retiring that we will have bottomed out and are growing again. You are an important part of that.
Part of the reason we are always saying to listen to God to see if there is a call for you to be a pastor, is I want to know who are going to be the pastors for today’s kindergarteners. I will give you a secret, most people don’t hear an audible call saying, “I want you to be a pastor.” It happens when somebody comes by and says, “I think you have the gifts for this, would you consider being a pastor.” Pretty soon you dream about and can’t stop thinking about it. So I am hoping that some of you are thinking about going to seminary and starting a church somewhere and leading people to Christ.