Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
(816) 228-4220

Weekly E-mail

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving
Advent Sunday: on-line only
First Sunday of Advent
Advent Sunday

Holy Eucharist Rite I at 8:00 am
Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 am
- Both services broadcast on-line on FaceBook Live or YouTube

Due to COVID, our Parish has returned to only
on-line services until further notice. 
From Father David Lynch+
Fr. David Lynch_
Dear Friends in Christ,

On this Thanksgiving Day Debbie and I give our best wishes for your families and friends.  And as you safely gather, or virtually share together, know our prayers ascend for your good health and memorable fellowship.  In this time, when so many things are different, remember that Christ remains alive in all that we do.  So, I give our thanks for all the gifts that God has bestowed upon us, and that we enjoy the love that we share together, where ever we may be. I personally give thanks for all of you and I ask your prayers for our family as well.  May God our Father, Jesus our Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always!  Most sincerely, Fr. David


Bible Study
As it is possible to meet, either in person following COVID guidelines, or by ZOOM, I am trying to determine the best time and what day to reopen bible study. I would like to do this so the study can continue in my absence when I must miss a session.  Please contact me with your interest.
Faith Filled Generosity
Please pledge by Sunday, December 6
Faith Filled Generosity

This year's campaign is titled Faith Filled Generosity.  Generosity is inspired by our faith and how we are formed and led into relationship with each other.  It determines how we share our gifts with the world.

How will you discover and use the gifts you have been given to help our church? How will you hear the Gospel call to seek and serve Christ in all people?  We are the stewards of God's manifold grace because we give to the world from what we have received.

Note: Your 2020 contribution statement will be provided in January, 2021.  If you would like to know where your current giving stands for 2020 and/or your 2020 pledge amount, please  e-mail the Treasurer.
Blue Springs CSL Christmas Outreach
Due to COVID, Resurrection will not have our Christmas gift tree this year to benefit the Blue CSL Springs Community Services League (CSL).  Instead, we will be collecting only gift cards and money to contribute to the CSL Christmas event.  CSL will then distribute the gift cards to parents so they may pick out appropriate gifts safely.

If you wish to donate money, please indicate on the memo line of your check or offering envelope the amount you designate as "CSL Christmas gift".  We will use those funds to buy gift cards.  If you would prefer to buy your own gift cards, CSL is requesting them in increments of $10, $20 and $25 from Walmart, Target, Old Navy, or Kohls only.

You can place your gift of money or gift cards in the offering plate or drop it in the black locked pledge box outside the downstairs entrance or simply mail it to the church.   We must receive your gifts by December 7.    Thank you for your support of this worthy Christmas event!  
Nominations for Vestry open
Vestry members exercise leadership by example and participation both in the business and spiritual life of the parish. Persons standing for election to Vestry should regularly attend worship services and demonstrate faithful stewardship.  Vestry members must be committed to attend monthly Vestry meetings, participate in a Vestry retreat during the year and complete the Safeguarding God's Church training course on-line.

Please contact Gabe Conn, Dr. Tess Garcia or David Hensen for information or to express your willingness to serve.
Monday Matters - RenewalWorks
Renewal Works
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  -Nelson Mandela

Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.  -Winston Churchill

Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.  -Deuteronomy 31:6

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  -Joshua 1:9

Love the Lord, all you his saints.The Lord preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.  -Psalm 31:23, 24

Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.  -from the Post-Communion Prayer at the conclusion of the service of Holy Eucharist

Be not afraid

A recent conversation took me back to the days when I worked at an ad agency, before I made the slight career shift to ordained ministry. (I've been told that I'm still in advertising, but that's another topic.) Though it was a particularly secular environment, in which theological issues and liturgical practices never came up in staff meetings or client presentations, there were some spiritual lessons.

In one conversation with the principal of the agency, he posited two motivations in promoting a product or service: love and fear. An advertisement should either connect with what you love, or tap into what you're afraid of. For instance, this was an agency that came up with the slogan for air filters for your car: "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later." Buy this product out of fear of automotive apocalypse. Judgment Day is coming for your Oldsmobile. I'm guessing you can think of other advertising examples.

The conversations that evoked this memory had to do with church history, and more specifically, the personal spiritual journeys of people in our congregations. In my years in Episcopal congregations, I've noted that many of our people come from other traditions where the fear of God, the fear of judgment, the fear of damnation was the motivator. God was the celestial judge just waiting for people to mess up. Better be religious or else. No wonder so many people feel that they have been spiritually wounded. No wonder there are so many nones (i.e., no religious affiliation) and dones (i.e., done with church).

I haven't counted to verify but I'm told there are 365 times in the Bible in which people are told that they should not be afraid. One for each day. A daily exhortation. We'll read a few of those stories in Advent and Christmas seasons. The opening lines from angels to Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, shepherds are some version of "Fear not!" I can imagine that fear might be a reasonable response to an unexpected angelic visit.

But maybe it's deeper than just surprise. Maybe the angels are also saying that fear is not a healthy motivator. It brings with it toxicity that deforms relationships with God and neighbor. We see that fear-based brokenness at work in families, workplaces, churches, and in our political system. It pervades our racial reckoning. It shapes our regard for those who differ from us and leads us to treat those folks without regard for Christ's presence in each one of them, dismissing the inherent dignity in each person, created in God's image.

This kind of fear differs from the fear of the Lord that scripture tells us is the beginning of wisdom. That kind of fear, that spirit of awe recognizes that our lives unfold in the presence of a power greater than ourselves. The good news of our faith is that that greater power is by nature the power of love (and not the love of power).

I've been told that the opposite of love is fear. The Bible seems to confirm that when we read that perfect love casts out fear. Another way to think about it.  Courage is the opposite of fear, recognizing that the word courage shares the same root as heart (as in the French word for heart, coeur). Digging more deeply into the word, Richard Rohr points out that courage comes from the Latin, cor-agere, literally "an act of the heart.'

So blessings to you this day, in this unusual time when there are a bunch of reasons to indulge in fear. We launch on a season of thanksgiving and enter Advent, a season of hope, leading to a season of comfort and joy. May we start out this week, living not in fear but with courage, with acts of the heart. In whatever faces you this week, be fearless. Be of good courage.
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