Monthly Archives: January 2009

Resurrection by the Numbers

On Friday, January 23rd, Resurrection held our annual all church celebration.  During that time Adam shared a bit about where we were both in terms of worship attendance and financial health.  I found the following tidbits to be particularly interesting:

  • Average worship attendance in 2007 was roughly 6,800 adults
  • Average worship attendance in 2008 was roughly 7,400 adults
  • Average worship attendance for the first three weeks of 2009 was more than 10,000 adults
  • 72.2% of Resurrection’s giving units pledged for 2009 (this # was 59% three years ago)
  • 700 new giving units pledged for the first time in 2009
  • However, the average pledge for 2009 decreased by 10%.
  • In 2009 we will operate with essentially a flat budget
  • Many of the other largest United Methodist Churches in the country have cut budget and staffing by 5-12%

Overall it was an exciting evening as we celebrated the growth (both numerically and in stewardship) and dreamed of ways that 2009 could be an even more exciting year in ministry.

Are there numbers from 2008 and 2009 to celebrate in your ministry setting?

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Resurrection Strategic Objectives ’09

Last Friday at our all church celebration, Adam shared Resurrection’s strategic objectives for the coming year with our congregation.  They are as follows:

  • Expand the Church’s Ministries of Support, Healing and Hope
  • Equip and Encourage Members to Pursue a Deepening Christian Spirituality
  • Intentionaly Welcome, Include and Involve Young Adults in the Life of the Church
  • Launch New Faith Communities to Reach New People
  • Transform Neighborhoods Surrounding Urban Schools
  • Raise Up a New Generation of Pastoral Leaders for the United Methodist Church

I am excited to be a part of this team working to accomplish so many great things in the coming year.  Which of these speaks the most to you?  If you could only pick one, what would it be and why?

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Congregational Care at Resurrection in ’09

Last Friday Resurrection had our annual all church celebration (Charge Conference) and it was very well attended (more than 1,400 registered).  We celebrated the ministry that had been done in 2008 and looked forward to 2009.  As we looked to 2009 Adam talked us through our Strategic Objectives.  The first of which is to, “Expand the Church’s Ministries of Support, Healing, and Hope.”

Tuesday the congregational care team spent a day away on a retreat and spent the afternoon discussing what will be two of our primary areas of emphasis in 2009; ways in which we’ll work to further accomplish this objective.

First of all, we’re going to be expanding the ways in which we provide ministry to people and families who are struggling financially, dealing with the loss of a job, or generally hurting in these tough economic times.

Secondly, we’re going to be vastly increasing the grief offerings at the church.  We’ll be looking to provide more classes to aid people in the grieving process as well as creating a system by which we can continue to be in ministry to and with people after they have gone through one of those classes.

I continue to be very excited to be a part of this team and look forward to the things in store for 2009. 

As you think about the coming year, specifically in relationship to the two areas listed above, what might be the most helpful kinds of things for us to offer?

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Difficult Conversations

Yesterday the congregational care team from Resurrection got together for a day of retreat.  During the morning we had one of our Congregational Care Ministers (and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) lead us through the book Difficult Conversations by a host of folks from Harvard.  Apparently it’s taught as a semester long course there, but I felt like we had a nice two hour introduction to the material.

I had read the book in preparation for our time together and I really appreciated it.  I would recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand how to navigate tough conversations and to deal with conflict in relationships.

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What Does the Confederate Flag Symbolize?

Sunday morning as I drove in to Ottawa I saw a sign that said, “Welcome to Ottawa: We’re Building an Inclusive Community.”  I was most impressed by the sign, but it wasn’t long before I was shaking my head in shame as I passed a house with a confederate flag flying out front…

Lest I not seem too judgmental of Ottawa, as I was parking the car at the grocery store in Olathe that same afternoon I saw a pick up truck with a confederate flag license plate.  These two sightings in the same day rasie a few questions for me:

  1. Didn’t the Confederacy lose?
  2. What does this flag symbolize to the people who fly it?
  3. Do they not know that KS is and always has been a free state?
  4. What do others think of when they see the confederate flag?  What does it symbolize to them?

Thoughts?

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Ministry With Mom

I had the privilege of preaching yesterday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ottawa, the church where my mom serves.  The congregation was wonderful and it was a joy to be with them in worship!  My mom has been serving at Trinity since July 1st, of 2008 and she is doing an incredible job there.  She is a wonderful preacher, a great leader, and someone who really loves people.  I heard over and over again from the congregation how much they appreciate her and her ministry.

I too appreciate my mom and her ministry a great deal.  She is the kind of thinker and lover of people that make great pastors and I have no doubt she’ll continue to be a blessing to many in all of her years in ministry.

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Proud Mama – Too Kind

I’m guest preaching tomorrow at Ottawa Trinity, the congregation my mom serves.  We began seminary together (her at St. Paul School of Theology in KC and I at Garrett-Evangelical in Chicago) at the same time.  We also began serving our current churches at the same time.  It is a blessing to serve in ministry with her.

Earlier this week momma wrote a bit about me as an introduction to the coming weekend.  She’s too kind.

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