Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
(816) 228-4220
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Third Sunday of Easter
Prayer Request                                                      
Fr. Mark McGuire _
Guest Celebrant and Preacher

Please join us this Sunday and welcome back The Rev. Mark McGuire as guest Celebrant and Preacher while Fr. David is away on vacation. 
The Rev. David Lynch

As Debbie and I enjoy our time away, please know my prayers continue for all on our prayer list. I give thanks for Fr. Ron and Mark in their service to you all in my absence.
For those with birthdays this month, I have your dates and am saying prayers of thanksgiving for you from Hawaii.
I share with you again from Fr. Jay Sidebothom from his Monday newsletter, his message for this second week of Easter. It reminds me what it truly means to say that I am a Christian.
Blessings to you all and I look forward to being back next week.         Fr. David +

Real Christians
I keep seeing a billboard that reads: Real Christians Follow Jesus' Teaching. I'm taken with the phrase and wonder who sponsored the ad. I also wonder whether the sponsors would think I was a real Christian. 
I've had a couple opportunities to think about this lately. The candidacy of Mayor Pete Buttigieg has raised the issue of what makes a real Christian. One commentator (Erick Erickson) who I'm guessing won't vote for the mayor, has questioned the mayor's faith, especially his reading of the Bible. The commentator notes that because Mayor Pete  is an Episcopalian, he might not actually "understand Christianity more than superficially.  Episcopalians are shallow Christians.'" 
Mr. Erickson may be right as I look at my own heart, and am struck by the depth of my own shallowness. But it's been my privilege to know so many Episcopalians who know God and follow Jesus and are filled with the Spirit. I wish Mr. Erickson could know them.
Looking at the question from another angle, I recall conversations with one woman who responded to the Renewal Works inventory. She bristled at some of the questions and said she preferred to "self-identify" as Episcopalian, not Christian. A part of me gets her point because the association with Christians in our culture is pretty grim. When people outside the church looked at the church in the first days, they said, "See how they love one another." Now, surveys indicate that people might say, "See what hypocrites they are. See how judgmental they are. See how they fight with each other. See how they are captive of a particular political agenda." Anyone who has hung around church for a while, and especially anyone who has gotten involved in sausage-making governance can probably provide examples. 
At the same time, my own experience of the Episcopal Church is that it offers me an authentic way to be a follower of Jesus, for which I believe I will be eternally grateful. My journey to the Episcopal Church was personally salvific.
So what's a follower of Jesus to do? For starters, remember that Jesus nowhere uses the term "Christian." His first followers who met in small communities described themselves as people of the way. I suspect we'd all be better of if we'd stuck with that name. Jesus said to his disciples "By this shall people know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another." Not by your doctrine or your stand on social issues or the name of your group or how you do liturgy or the way your interpret scripture. 
Jesus' own ministry was marked by harsh judgment primarily directed at religious people. He said "Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven." He told the parable of sheep and goats (Matthew 25) and said that those who welcomed the poor, the hungry, the imprisoned would inherit the kingdom. Those who ignored those in need would be excluded.
Finally, Jesus seemed pretty expansive in his understanding of who lies within the range of God's grace. A Syro-phoenician woman, who apparently expanded Jesus' vision of his own ministry. The Samaritan woman at the well, who engaged Jesus on the subject of worship. A Roman Centurion who Jesus described as having more faith than anyone he'd met in Israel. A child who understood what the kingdom of heaven is all about when adults were dense. You get the point.  
In current discourse about who is a real Christian, columnist Cal Thomas denied that Christianity was inclusive . He said Christianity is about exclusion for those who refuse its central message of repentance and conversion.  I think he's doing what we all do, reading scripture selectively, reading it in a way that serves our own purpose and, in this case, is anything but good news. 
Which leads to this insight which Jesus gives: Why get all worked up about the speck in somebody else's eye when you've got a honking timber going through your own? When as a kid I was scrapping with my siblings, my grandmother would say: "Take heed to yourself," which is somewhere in the Bible. Not a bad word for all of us who wonder who is a real Christian. Maybe we don't need to worry about that. Maybe we should let God worry about that. While God is sorting that out, maybe we can direct our energy elsewhere, like figuring out what we should do to live into Jesus' call: "By this shall all people know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another. "We all have some growth edges there.
Our church would be in much better shape if that became our singular focus. 

  - Jay Sidebotham

Some statements meant to live by:
It makes no sense to take the name of Christian and not cling to Christ. Jesus is not some magic charm to wear like a piece of jewelry we think will give us good luck. He is the Lord. His name is to be written on our hearts in such a powerful way that it creates within us a profound experience of His peace and a heart that is filled with His praise. 
- William Wilberforce
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.   
- Billy Sunday
Everyone is welcome!

The Finding Faith Through Fiction Book Club meets on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm to discuss a new book.

Looking ahead, here are the planned readings for the next couple of months:

May 6:  Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
June 3:  The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
July 1:  The Alpine Betrayal by Mary Daheim
August 5:  The Leisure Seekers by Michael Zadoorian

Nefertiti is the  fictionalized life of a notorious queen as told from the point of view of her younger sister, Mutnodjmet. In 1351 B.C., Prince Amunhotep secretly kills his older brother and becomes next in line to Egypt's throne: he's 17, and the 15-year-old Nefertiti soon becomes his chief wife. He already has a wife, but Kiya's blood is not as royal, nor is she as bewitching as Nefertiti. As Mutnodjmet, two years younger than her sister, looks on (and falls in love), Amunhotep and the equally ambitious Nefertiti worship a different main god, displace the priests who control Egypt's wealth and begin building a city that boasts the royal likenesses chiseled in stone. Things get tense when Kiya has sons and the popular Nefertiti has only daughters, and they come to a boil when the army is used to build temples to the pharaoh and his queen instead of protecting Egypt's borders.
Saturday, May 18 at 7:00 pm

Ole! Enjoy a Mexican themed dinner and fellowship on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 7:00 pm.

No need to travel south of the border for this grand event!  Invite your friends and neighbors.  Please sign up in the Narthex .

Adults $15, Children 5 - 12 years $5, Under 5 Free.

Funds raised will be used for church projects.
Upcoming Events
Men will cook for the Ladies on Saturday, May 11
Sign-up in the Narthex for a sumptuous dinner on Saturday, May 11 at 5:30 pm that will be prepared for the ladies of Resurrection by the Men's Group!

LunchBunch will meet on Tuesday, May 14
The LunchBunch will meet for their monthly lunch outing at 11:30 am on Tuesday,,May 14 at Summit Grill in Lee's Summit.

Necessity Pantry needs continue
Needed items include disposable razors, toothpaste and brushes, men's and women's deodorant, canned soup, cereals, feminine depends and pads S-M-L sizes and seasonal clothing.  Monetary gifts are also gratefully accepted. This year Church of the Resurrection has donated $856 in cash to the Pantry! 

Save Best Choice labels and Boxtops for Education
Please clip and save Best Choice brand UPC labels and the Boxtops for Education for Resurrection.  Collection containers are located in the Narthex.

Save items for our Summer Garage Sale
We are planning a large Church Garage Sale on June 14-15.. Please save your items now for donation no earlier than June 8.  Contact Rich Conn if you need items picked up.