The Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road, Blue Springs, MO
Weekly e-mail
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Sixth Sunday
of Easter
Sunday, May 9, 2021

Holy Eucharist Rite I at 8:00 am
Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:30 am


Resurrection will host in-person services. COVID precautions will be observed with a face mask required. All services also live-streamed.

Renewal Works survey now available
PLEASE TAKE THE SURVEY

We are very excited for everyone at the Church of the Resurrection to take the RenewalWorks Spiritual Life Inventory, and even more excited to see what the survey will provide us as we look to grow our spiritual life individually and together as a parish.

Through an anonymous online evaluation of each parishioner, and a series of workshop discussions, the RenewalWorks process helps churches (and the individuals in them) refocus on spiritual growth and identify ways that God is calling them to grow.

We prayerfully request that all us complete the survey. There are paper copies available for anyone who cannot complete the survey online, including an addressed envelope for you to return your survey directly to RenewalWorks.
 
The online link to the Spiritual Life Inventory for Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Blue Springs is https://www.research.net/r/RenewalWorks2257

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
CSL need request
FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED

The Community Services League of Blue Springs is requesting food donations for families who are needing assistance. Anything is appreciated, but particular needs include pasta/pasta sauce, canned tomato products, rice side dishes, cereal, Jiffy Corn mix, Jello, and cake mixes. Please bring your donation to the church and we will deliver it to CSL. Thank you for your generosity!
Lectors and Acolytes Still Needed
PLEASE SIGN-UP TODAY

As more people are vaccinated and we continue to follow COVID health guidelines, we are asking for volunteers to read scripture and serve at the altar. 
        
If you are currently a lector and/or eucharistic minister and would like to return to reading, please contact Diane Gerlach at 816-896-2875.

If you would like to be an acolyte, please contact Lisa Twitty at 913-485-7150
Survey results are in
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED

A big THANK YOU to all who completed our Feasibility Study survey to gage interest in constructing an addition to the church building in order to relocate the stairs and add a wheelchair lift.

The Vestry will review the results and comments at the May meeting and determine whether to move forward and any next steps.
From Fr. David+
Fr. David Lynch picture
RETURNING TO IN-PERSON FELLOWSHIP

As restrictions lessen, and the COVID infection continues to decrease, and more of us receive our vaccinations, I am very hopeful that we can begin returning to fellowship events at the church.

This will be discussed at our May Vestry meeting. What we have learned over the last year and how we have made changes to our everyday lives still has an impact for us going forward. The use of face coverings and social distancing in certain situations will still be guidelines for all of us to follow. Since following the guidelines that were established over the last year plus, I for one have not had a cold, the flu, or any of my usual annual cold/flu related insults. Now, this may just be happenstance, but I do believe that it has been in-part because of the practices through this last year.

I encourage us to complete the vaccination process and increase the confidence for seeing us all in person at church and the many other places that we have missed so much.

REPRINT FROM: John Thornhill sm; The Emmaus Series 2021

As we look forward to celebrating the Lord's Ascension and Pentecost's coming of his promised Spirit, our Easter season is drawing to a close. The mood of today's liturgy is reflective, inviting us to take in more fully the deep implications of our Easter faith.

Standing out in today's readings is the theme of love. What more important theme is there for our restless human hearts? Yet it is so often trivialized and distorted in today's popular culture. From our earliest years we have learned to know what genuine love is, not from lessons in words, but by being loved ourselves. Today's readings invite us to recognize that the Paschal Mystery that is the center of our Easter celebration is an expression of God's love for us, and an invitation to enter into the love of Jesus and his Father, and to give it expression in our own lives. True love expresses itself in action rather than in words. The Father's love, John's letter tells us, was expressed in our midst when he ‘sent into the world his only Son, so that we could have life in him’. The words of Jesus in John's gospel remind us how complete is the gift which he brings, as an expression of the love which he shares with the Father: ‘A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friend’.

Genuine love is an unselfish gift. It seeks the good of the beloved rather than its own benefit. God's love is an outreach of utter generosity; it comes before any response on our part, as John's letter points out. (As the continuation of our passage puts it ‘God loved us first’.) And our response can give nothing to God except the joy in the heart of the selfless giver. As we contemplate the mystery of God's generosity, we are reminded that, in the end, love is the most precious of all gifts. If it is true that true joy is the finding of what our hearts are made for, then a love that is genuine brings a joy which is without compare: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you … I have told you this that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete’. The fruit of genuine love is the intimacy of friendship – sharing all that matters in one's life with the beloved: ‘You are my friends … I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father’.'.

Coming to a deeper appreciation of the love the Father and the Son have for us, expressed in the Paschal Mystery, we will find new enthusiasm and energy for the outreach which must express our life in Christ during the coming week: ‘You did not choose me, no I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit’ (We are reading the continuation of the passage about ‘the true vine’).

In the first reading continues the story of the early Church. As Peter baptizes Cornelius, the first gentile convert, we are reminded of our theme: God's generous love is for all, ‘God does not have favorites’ anybody ‘who fears God (i.e. has a loving reverence before God) and does what it right is acceptable to him’. Like Cornelius, we too have, through our baptismal sharing in the Paschal Mystery, been given to share in the mystery of the love of the Father and the Son. 
Monday Matters (May 3, 2021)
BY FR. JAY SIDEBOTHAM +

May God give you grace never to sell yourself short, grace to risk something big for something good, and grace to remember that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love. -A prayer attributed to William Sloane Coffin
 
Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” -John 8:32

IN SOLEMN REMEMBRANCE OF THE ENSLAVED PERSONS WHOSE LABOR CREATED WEALTH THAT MADE POSSIBLE THE FOUNDING OF ST. JAMES’ CHURCH, HAMILTON SQUARE, 1810.
Christ have mercy. -Text of plaque near entrance to St. James’ Church in New York City

Jesus came to comfort the afflict and afflict the comfortable. -A saying originally attributed to journalists about their work, but adapted to the Christian context by Martin Marty in 1987


Standing on sacred ground

“We don’t know what we don’t know.” That’s been a key principle in our work with congregations, based on the idea that as disciples (a.k.a., students, learners), there is always more for us to discover in the journey of faith. We can always go deeper. That means we are ready to find new dimensions of the good news of God’s amazing grace. It also means that there can be difficult learnings about ourselves along the way, as light shines in darkened places.

Over the past couple of months, my spiritual journey has been shaped by a series of discussions called Sacred Ground, an excellent program put together by the Episcopal Church. It helps us reflect on where we’ve been, where we are and where we are called to go as church and society, based on our nation’s grim history of racial divide.

I’ve always prided myself (an attitude which usually doesn’t end well) on being a student of history and politics. I watch a lot of news. I consider myself well-informed and fairly enlightened. (Again, red flags should be going up.) But what I learned in this series has challenged and chastened me. There’s a lot of history I either didn’t know, was not taught, chose not to know, or benefited from not knowing. Separation of children from parents in indigenous communities in Maine, as just one expression of a war on Native Americans. Apparent perpetuation of de facto slavery long after the Emancipation Proclamation, through Jim Crow and mass incarceration. Chinese workers ostracized and denied opportunity to start families on the West Coast. Mexicans in Texas and California whose land was taken from them. As I traveled these ten weeks with others, the group of folks in these discussions repeatedly confessed that there was a lot we hadn’t known. Were we asleep? Were we misled? Were we too busy savoring privilege?

This Monday morning, I’m sharing the experience that I was woefully ignorant or willfully blind to histories of violence and abuse, prejudice and injustice, dynamics in which family and friends participated (as well as yours truly) for this reason. I believe that my ignorance and/or willful blindness are fundamentally spiritual issues, issues of discipleship. In RenewalWorks, we speak of the importance of pastoring the community. Addressing these issues in a pastoral way is key to the vitality of congregations, to the healing of the world, to the healing of my soul.

On recent Sundays, we’ve been reading from New Testament letters attributed to John. They talk about love, which is sweet, but with this edge. They say if you say you love God but dis your neighbor, good luck with that (my translation). Until we recognize the truth that good church people (like me) have participated in the tragic brokenness of human relations, in the systemic denigration of whole groups of God’s children in our own history, there will not be healing.

A theme in the last of our ten sessions was truth and reconciliation, the most notable example being work led by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu as apartheid fell apart in South Africa. Since that time, others have taken on this work in other contexts, based on the premise that reconciliation, healing, wholeness will not emerge without first being truthful about what has taken place. That’s true for societies, for nations. It’s true for churches. The church where I am serving here in New York put up a plaque for passersby to see. It’s a small step, but it speaks truth. (See text included above)

That’s true for us as individuals, in family relationships, in neighborhoods and workplaces, in relationships with people who differ from us. Our liturgy provides an opportunity for weekly (and if you so desire, daily) individual truth and reconciliation commissions, as the Confession invites us to consider what we have done that we ought not to have done, what we left undone that we ought to have done. The Confession offers the following statement which is true every day of my life, true before my feet even hit the floor when I wake up: I have not loved God with my whole heart. I have not loved neighbor as self.

The prologue to John’s gospel tells us that Jesus came to live among us, full of grace and truth. Lord knows, we need both. Later in the gospel, Jesus tells those with ears to hear that the truth will set them free. I’m grateful to have discovered a few of my own growth opportunities through Sacred Ground. Now I’m wondering: what are ways I can keep learning and then participate in reconciliation and healing? How would you answer that question for yourself this week?