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

Weekly E-mail

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Last Sunday after the Epiphany
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2021
TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY
Holy Eucharist Rite I at 8:00 am (live streamed)
Transfiguration of Christ
Transfiguration of Christ
From Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.
Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 am (live streamed)

Resurrection will host in-person services this Sunday.
COVID precautions will be observed with a face mask required. 
Ash Wednesday services
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17 at NOON AND 7:00 PM
Ash Wednesday
We will celebrate the imposition of ashes at Noon and 7:00 pm on February 17.  The 7:00 pm service will also be broadcast on FaceBook Live and You Tube.

This will not be a eucharistic service, rather a service of penitence.  The words and scripture from this liturgy are greater for our spirituality than the outward signs and bearing of ashes.

Like spiritual communion, the receiving of ashes is the mark of our inward and personal reconciliation with God and the acknowledgement of our mortality.  Please join us either in-person or virtually
From Fr. David+
THE SEASON OF LENT
The Rev. David Lynch_
Anyone involved in parish ministry knows that so much of human life involves struggle and pain. The struggles are the demands of coping with our own complexities and failings and, often, the complexities and failings of others. The pain is the inevitability of illness, suffering, depression, loneliness, and death. In terms of percentages, there are many lives where the challenges are greater than the joys. Many humans carry considerable baggage with them every single day.

Ash Wednesday is the start of a journey when we examine our baggage. It is a journey of Lent that starts with the struggles and culminates on the pain of Holy Week and Good Friday. It is an important season in the Church Calendar. It is a real opportunity to critique, understand, and explore our lives. It is the moment when we critique our weaknesses and explore our failings. But it is also a season when we discover that in the end, it has to be grace. Resolutions to be a better person are not the solution: divine agency in our lives is what is needed.

Ash Wednesday is a day when struggle and pain coincide. Our internal struggle is captured in the act of penitence; the pain is captured in our reminder that we are mortal and death awaits us all. It is a day when we are invited to be deeply authentic: we expose our fragile selves to the full glare of divine awareness, confident that we are loved, even when we do not deserve that love.

Because our fellowship practices have changed due to COVID, we will not celebrate our usual "Shrove Tuesday" banquet of pancakes, sausage, and sweets together at church, rather I encourage all of us to observe the festivity and enjoy this tradition in our homes and with our families.

Sometime Tuesday evening, February 16, I will burn the blessed palms from last Palm Sunday (no service.)  If you are able, please drop off your saved palms at the church in the barrel by the parking lot door before 5:00 pm. 

Burning of the Palms

Officiant:   Light and peace, in Jesus Christ our Lord
People:     Thanks be to God
 
A Reading:
Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp to put it under a bucket, but on a lamp stand where it gives light for everyone in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed light among others, so that they may see the good you do, and give glory to your Father in heaven.
 
Let us pray:
Grant us, Lord, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in us and shed its light on those around us, and that by its brightness we may have a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.
 
Almighty and most merciful God, kindle within us the fire of love, that by its cleansing flame we may be purged of all our sins and made worthy to worship you in spirit and in truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Burning of the Palms
Lord Jesus Christ, we welcomed you as the Messiah by waving palms and with shouts of hosanna; but a year has passed and these palms have become as dried as our hearts. Every time we turn our back on you something within us turns to dust. We offer these palms to be turned to ash, to remind us of our sins and our own mortality. During this holy season of Lent, we pray for a new beginning, that you will once again create new life out of dust and breathe into us your life giving Spirit. We pray this in your most holy Name. Amen.
 
Almighty and everlasting God stir up in us the flame of that love which burned in the heart of your Son as He bore His passion, and let it burn in us to the ages of the ages. Amen.
 
The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen.
 
Officiant: Let us bless the Lord.
People:  Thanks be to God.
Ecumenical Lenten services
EVERY WEDNESDAY STARTING FEB. 24
We will still share Lent with other local churches in the fellowship of Wednesdays in Lent. The fellowship, however, will be virtual and broadcast every Wednesday from the First Christian Church and last approximately 30 minutes. Our theme this year is "The Benefit of Community". Each parish will share on a given Wednesday. The schedule is as follows:
  • 6:00 pm, share together at home as a family at supper. Lenten Services
  • 6:45 pm, log-in to Facebook, YouTube, or ZOOM (yet to be announced)
  • 7:00 pm, live service.  Messages from:
    • 2/24  Pastor Cliff Caton: First Christian
    • 3/3    Father David Lynch: Resurrection Episcopal
    • 3/10  Pastor Sarah Pierce: All Saints Lutheran
    • 3/17  Good Shepherd Disciples of Christ
    • 3/24  Pastor Andrew Florio: Chapel Hill Presbyterian
Welcome and thank you
TO OUR NEW VESTRY LEADERSHIP
Vestry Welcome and thank you to our Vestry for the year 2021.  Joining the Vestry are Diane Gerlach, Jan Pahlas and Joe Owen.  Continuing on the Vestry are Gabe Conn, David Henson and Tess Garcia,

Vestry officers include: Bill Carle (Senior Warden), Les Woodward (Junior Warden) and Jim Gilligan (Treasurer.)  The Clerk of the Vestry is Elaine Marshall, replacing Debbie Carle and Kelly Blankenship.

Retiring from the Vestry are John Biggs, Arla Witte-Simpson and Jim Whitaker. Thank you for your service and blessings and thanks to this year's volunteers and parish representatives!
Announcements
PARISH NEWS

FR. DAVID+ AND DEBBIE MOVE TO NEW HOME
Congratulations to Fr. David and Debbie on the purchase of their new home in Lee's Summit.  The Lynch's new address is 608 SW Benjamin Place; Lee's Summit, MO  64081.

BIBLE STUDY
Bible Study
Join us for bible study every Wednesday at 1:00 pm both in-person at church and via ZOOM.

Meeting ID: 976 6873 2072     Passcode: 794043 

COVID IN-PERSON GUIDELINES
  • Upon entry, ushers will ask if you have any symptoms of illness including fever, chills, coughing and any history of recent illness. It is very important that you DO NOT attend church if you feel ill or know that you have been exposed to COVID or any other serious illness.
  • Ushers will check your name against a directory roster and newcomers and visitors will be asked to provide their names and phone numbers upon entry. There will be no guest book or prayer sheet to sign.
  • Masks will be required at all times while in the church building.
  • Hand sanitizer, facial tissue and some masks will be provided.
  • Seating will be in every other pew and social distancing at least 6 feet apart. Families may sit together.
  • Congregational singing will not be allowed.  There will be no hymnals in the pews for use.
  • Prayer books will be provided and will be located in the back pews. After the service, prayer books should be placed in the big basket located in the Narthex when leaving.
  • Communion of both kinds will be available in individual chalices and distributed by the priest.  Please discard these used chalice packets in the trash when leaving.
From the Safety Team:  IF you have received your COVID vaccine, the question is whether to wear a mask or not.  The answer is yes!  No vaccine is 100% effective and vaccines don't provide immediate protection. COVID vaccines may not prevent you from spreading the disease and continued wearing of a mask will protect people with compromised immune systems.  Masks also protect against any mutation of the coronavirus.  The best hope for ending the pandemic isn't to choose between masks, physical distancing, and vaccines, but to combine them.
RenewalWorks
In the coming weeks we will engage in the program of Renewal Works. This program begins with a parish spiritual survey conducted by the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF). The survey is intended to seek the views of parishioners on spirituality, including what is working, lacking and needs improving. The survey is conducted on-line and anonymously. The results of the survey are then published back to the parish and feedback is supported by the ECF.

Episcopal churches across the country are being asked to participate in this program and the Diocese has paid the cost for all the churches in our Diocese.  Accommodations will be made for anyone unable to complete the survey on-line.

The greatest value of our participation is to learn how Resurrection can better meet the "spiritual needs" for you - the parishioner. To know about Renewal Works and what it means for us as a parish, please log onto the Renewal Works website at:  https://renewalworks.org/

MONDAY MATTERS FROM JAY SIDEBOTHAM +
Monday Matters Column dated  February 8, 2021

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham _
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  -Romans 8:38, 39

What happens for us and in us through Christ has two sides to it: in Christ we find God, and we find ourselves in Christ. This is the true God: the one who in Christ takes the way of suffering to the point of death on the cross, so as to reconcile this faithless and torn world to himself; the one who takes on himself death in profoundest forsakenness so as to comfort all the forsaken through his love; the one who becomes poor so as to make the poor rich. In Christ, God himself comes to us and reconciles us with himself. And that is our true self: our sins, which cut us off from the source, the wellspring of life, are forgiven. Our enmity is overcome. God reconciles us, and we are reconciled. God loves us, and we are beloved.  - Jurgen Moltmann, from his book, Jesus Christ For Today's World


What difference does Jesus make?

There are a few ways to pose the question.

I recall a sermon I heard when I was a teenager. The preacher asked the congregation: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? At the time, I heard the question in a shaming way, but I've held on to it anyway, as a way of personal spiritual assessment. What is the evidence? Has it all made any difference?

A few years later, when I served as rector, I remember a speaker who framed the question this way: If your church disappeared from your community, would the community notice it was gone?

Last week, one of my spiritual guides, Dwight Zscheile, Professor at Luther Seminary, spoke to a group of us about cultivating communities of hope. He put the question this way: What difference does Jesus make? 

It was a way of asking us to explore our core identity as a church, the community committed to following Jesus. He noted all kinds of reasons people come to church: the joy of social connection, aesthetics like music and art, a vehicle for good works in the community, satisfying performances akin to an interesting lecture or swell concert. All good things. But are they at the core? How are they distinct from other offerings available in our culture?

He said that the core is revealed in the 8th chapter of Romans, where Paul affirms that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, a love that will not let us go, a love that meets the longings and losses we face. The core is transforming grace. When that love is embraced, it answers the question about the difference Jesus makes.

There are various ways to express the same question. You may have other variations in mind. Basically it asks why we do what we do. Why do we commit time, talent and treasure to a spiritual community? What does it have to do with hope? How do we come to see a difference in our lives? How do we participate in making a difference in our world?

I read a recent interview with another one of my spiritual guides, Marian Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington. It's an interesting time for that job, for sure. The article noted that the good bishop has not been shy in calling for policies that reflect Jesus' call to care for the least of these.

For her, that has involved listening to Jesus, following Jesus, and not simply depicting the Jesus of our own choosing. In other words, letting Jesus make the difference in us. She said that if your Jesus always agrees with your politics, you're probably not reading deeply enough into Jesus. At the same time, she does not believe that justice and societal issues are optional for clergy. They are embedded in our faith. And she admits that it doesn't matter how articulate a bishop is if she doesn't have behind her strong vibrant congregations who are making a difference in their communities.

Making a difference. In Bishop Budde's words, it's about leading with Jesus. That means to me allowing Jesus to make a difference in our lives. That will look different for each of us. Bishop Budde's context, her vocation leads her on a certain path in these extraordinary times for our church and nation. Yours and mine will reflect our own context, our own vocation.

But wherever and whoever we are, we are called to ask on this Monday morning: What does leading with Jesus look like for us this week? What difference does Jesus make in our lives? What difference does it make in our church? Is there evidence of any transformation? If our church went away, would anyone notice?

Not bad questions to ponder as Lent approaches. Maybe you can prepare for that holy season with thoughts and prayers about these questions, however they are framed for us, however they touch our hearts.
Helpful links
RESOURCES TO USE