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

Weekly E-mail

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Come to Church tomorrow
Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

No 8:00 am service

Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 am
- The Rev. Doug Johnson, Guest Celebrant
- Service in-person and also broadcast
on-line on FaceBook Live or YouTube

Social distancing and masks required

Virtual Coffee Hour at Noon on Zoom
Click Here to Join          Meeting ID:  983 6979 4971       Password:   536310

Trunk or Treat returns
Trunk or Treat
Join us in the church parking lot with your trunk decorated for Halloween on Saturday, October 31, from 4:00 - 6:00 pm.

Feel free to dress for the occasion and please bring a few bags of candy to hand out to the kids. There will be a gift card giveaway for the BEST decorated trunk. Let's grow our church community with this FUN outreach event! Invite children from your family and neighborhood.

Contact Sarah States with any questions 816-787-8214.  Let Sarah know you will participate with a decorated trunk. Please click here to RSVP.
Remembering our Saints
All Saints Day
Because of our COVID limitations, collecting names for the acknowledgement of loved ones on All Saints Sunday, November 1, is more difficult this year. 

Please e-mail or call Elaine Gilligan with your request or submit your names on our website using this link.

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 see Fr. David or Senior Warden John Biggs for information or to express your willingness to serve.
Monday Matters - RenewalWorks
Renewal Works

Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.
I Peter 3:15 (New Revised Standard Version)
Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. 
I Peter 3:15 (The Message)
Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.  I Peter 3:15 (King James Version)
Christianity, for many, has come to mean anti-intellectual, fanatically narrow-minded people. Christianity, for some, is neither faith nor reason - just reactive tribalism hiding behind the skirts of Mother Church...I move in some circles where the word Christian means he knows nothing about history, nothing about politics and is probably incapable of civil conversation about anything. Five Bible quotes are the available answers to everything. How did we ever get to this low point after developing such a tradition of wisdom? How did we ever regress to such arrogance after the humble folly of the cross?  -Richard Rohr, The Wisdom Pattern

What we're for 

People more easily define themselves by what they are against, by what they hate, by who else is wrong, instead of by what they believe in and whom they love.    -Richard Rohr

A friend told me about a conversation with a parishioner, part of discussions about spiritual growth and their own experiences of faith. As they talked, this parishioner told my friend: "I prefer to self-identify as Episcopalian, not Christian." I wished for the opportunity to explore that statement with this parishioner, to hear her story, to share my understanding that our Anglican tradition is deeply rooted in the story of Jesus, i.e, unavoidably Christian. But I also had a sense of what she might have meant. In our culture, word association with the word "Christian" does not always suggest good news. People think that word denotes judgmentalism, hypocrisy, a particular political agenda. This woman wanted to make clear: "I'm not that!"

Here's a cheery Monday morning excerpt from Richard Rohr's book, The Wisdom Pattern. He offers this observation of our culture: "The soul, the psyche, and human relationships seem at this point to be destabilizing at an almost exponential rate. Our society is producing very many unhappy and unhealthy people...The postmodern mind forms a deconstructed worldview. It does not know what it is for, as much as it knows what it is against, and what it fears." This insight struck me not only because of the character of this toxic political season, but also because I had recently been talking with some church leaders about the state of our church.

One priest who grew up in a fundamentalist church said that for much of her life, her religious energy as an Episcopalian had been about defining herself by what she was not. Now in her own parish leadership, she recognized that her church was filled with people who were at the church in a defensive, reactive mode, many deeply wounded by other traditions. I've met those folks. Their company includes not only those raised in intense religious environments. I've met folks wounded by the fact that they were raised with no religious tradition. And of course, there are way too many examples of those wounded within the Episcopal tradition. So it's understandable that people define themselves by what they're not, or what they're against, or who they are mad at.

In our work with congregations through RenewalWorks, we often find people react negatively to particular religious language, and to the ways religious questioned are framed. We often hear: "That's not how I speak. That's not how Episcopalians speak." One of our coaches, an apt listener, heard this comment and responded: "I understand. So tell me. If that's not your language, what is your language? How would you put this into your own words?"

We all have to do that work. As we think about our spiritual lives, our beliefs and our practices, especially the ways we put faith to work in the world, how do we describe them positively? How do we affirm as well as renounce? How do we talk about what we believe as well as what we refuse to believe? How do we describe where it is we give our hearts? How do we talk about practices that are meaningful and transformative for us? Maybe you want to sit down this week and jot down a few answers to these questions.

At one point, Jesus pulled his disciples aside, and in perhaps the first example of public opinion polling, he asked: "Who do the people say that I am?" When he'd gotten a few answers from his disciples, with laser like focus he then asked: "And who do you say that I am?" How would you answer that question? What's your language? What are you for? Who are you for?

On any given day, we can all point to the failures of religious , institutions, traditions and their practitioners. We can easily lapse into the prayer of the Pharisee: Thank God I'm not like that tax collector (i.e., those people). The challenge: How do we think about, talk about and act on the things we believe? How do we do so without being reactive, defensive, judgmental, fearful?

This coming Sunday gives us a clue. Jesus is asked to name the greatest commandment. He says it's all about love, love of God, love of neighbor. Love is our language.
In-person worship guidelines
  • Ushers will ask if you have any symptoms or recent history of illness. Don't attend church if you feel ill or know you have been exposed to COVID or any other serious illness.
  • Newcomers and visitors will be asked to provide their names and phone numbers upon entry for possible contact tracing. There will be no guest book or prayer sheet to sign.
  • Masks will be required while in the church building.
  • Seating will be in every other pew with required social distancing at least 6 feet apart. COVID Guidelines
  • No congregational singing allowed.
  • Prayer books will be provided in the back pews for pick-up and use. After the service, return the prayer books in the big basket located in the Narthex.
  • Bulletins will not be recycled.
  • Communion of both kinds will be available in individual chalices distributed by the priest.  Please discard these used chalice packets in the trash when leaving.
Helpful links