Church of the Resurrection

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Posts from: 05/2014

Thank You to a Tech Arts Leader

May 29, 2014

Resurrection has always been a church with a heart to serve the church and the world. When Fr. William and Anne Beasley replanted Resurrection in the 1980s, they printed this on the cover of the weekly bulletin:

Ministers: the congregation

It was a way to emphasize that every believer in the body of Christ is given gifts from the Holy Spirit to serve the church and the world. Every Christian ministers in the power of the Spirit.

When Jon Svensson came to Resurrection, his first time serving was on the Technical Arts Team. “I served ‘just this once’ during 2009 Holy Week All-Call and I got hooked!” he says. Jon quickly began mixing on Sunday mornings and then took over the weekly leadership responsibilities for the tech team. He then married another RezArts volunteer, Diane, who sings in the choir.

In the last 5 years, Jon has developed tech team procedures, trained new team members, and led through 4 holy weeks. He was crucial in our transition to our new Sanctuary and his organization is what helped bridge the gap when we faced unforeseen challenges in our audio installation process. He has become a crucial leader in RezArts and an incredible ministry partner and friend to me. Some of my ministry highlights in the last few years have been sitting across the table from one another at Shane's Deli trying to untangle the latest technical arts ministry challenge.

Jon is the behind-the-scenes ministry hero of one of our most behind the scenes ministries. The Technical Arts partner so closely with the musicians and clergy who lead us into worship each Sunday. Technical artists like Jon help free those onstage to minister to the congregation and help create an atmosphere of worship for the congregation through long hours of preparation and creativity. Jon said,

“The most fulfilling moments for me while serving on Tech Arts have been the times I've been able to take a step back from the soundboard and just listen to and watch Rez worship.”

Jon represents just one leader and Team out of many Teams that create a space for each of us to come and meet with the Lord. Resurrection is so blessed to have so many who minister in a variety of roles and gifts—somewhere around 278 people each Sunday!

After both recently finishing graduate programs, Jon and Diane will be moving to Kansas City (where Diane's family is from) at the end of this month. I am so excited for this next season in the Svensson's life as a family and I am jealous of the next church God calls them to, because they are incredible leaders and servants.

Jon, I speak for RezArts, the staff and clergy, and for the church when I say thank you for all that you've given to love and serve Jesus through his church here at Resurrection.

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Photo captions:

Jon's first time serving on Tech Arts, Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009
The finale takedown at Glenbard West High School, December 2, 2012
The first Sunday in our new building, December 9, 2012

If you would like to find out more about our Teams or to serve on a Team at Resurrection, click here.

Why We Celebrate Ascension

May 27, 2014

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about America as an impatient nation. We're in a hurry: we eat fast food, speed date, use self-checkout lines, access movies and TV shows via Netflix and Hulu, use abbreviations in text messages, and read more blogs and fewer books. We have gadgets and apps that immediately give us what we want—now! When it comes to waiting, as a viral video says, "Ain't nobody got time for that."

While a lot of people criticize our culture's impatience—indeed, there is much to lament about this cultural tendency—not everyone sees it as a disease that needs to be cured. In his 2010 NPR article "Impatient Nation: I Can't Wait for You to Read This," Linton Weeks classifies impatience as a virtue:

Impatience isn't always a bad thing. Sure, it can be the sign of a troubled mind. … But impatience can also be the sign of a healthy mind: Wired magazine lists impatience as a desirable characteristic in the "X-factor" that leads to success. Some of our most revered leaders are impatient people. Bill and Melinda Gates describe themselves as impatient optimists. … Impatience can be a virtue. [America's] Founding Fathers were an impatient lot. In an 1822 letter, John Adams described the writing of the Declaration of Independence: "We were all in haste," he said of the drafting committee, which included Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. "Congress was impatient."

In other words, impatience not only causes us to get things done; it is often coupled with the optimistic thought of what could be. Impatience drives us to turn possibilities into realities. It's not simply a feeling of irritation with something that causes delay. It's a restless desire for change.

Change—isn't that what the gospel is all about? The gospel tells us that many of our longings for change are satisfied now. We don't have to wait. Forgiveness of sin is a reality—now! New life in the Spirit is a reality—now! Reconciliation with others is a reality—now!

But as much as I'd like to agree with Weeks—that impatience is a virtue and that imprudence is the real problem—I think impatience is only a quasi virtue. Patience, we're taught in Scripture, is a fruit of the Spirit—a mark of God's very character. The gospel tells us that while some of our longings are certainly satisfied now, others will be satisfied later. We're told to be patient and to trust in God. Theologians call this tension the "now-and-not-yet" reality, one in which our thirst is satisfied, but not fully. We experience salvation and its many benefits now, but we await its full reality—the resurrection of our bodies and uninhibited communion with our Triune God. We can have some things now, but for other things we have to wait. And no Christian doctrine speaks to our immediate satisfaction and our anticipation quite like the doctrine of the Ascension.

Not an Appendix

The Ascension is often underrated and undervalued by evangelicals. We make a big deal of Christ's coming at Christmas, celebrating with gifts, baked goods, and carols. With solemn services we mourn his horrific death on Good Friday. And with exuberant celebration, we rejoice in his Resurrection on Easter Sunday, with glorious services, extravagant bouquets of flowers, Easter eggs, and big hunks of glazed ham. But to Christ's farewell we give very little attention—if any at all.

Perhaps this is because the Gospel writers say almost nothing of Christ's departure. Matthew includes no direct reference to the Ascension. Both Mark's and Luke's gospels condense this event into one measly verse (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51). And John excludes the event from the ending of his gospel, though he does include several allusions—but the main focus of these texts is on the sending of the Holy Spirit, not Christ's ascension (see John 14:16–18; 16:4–15).

Perhaps they write so little about it because Christ's departure was a difficult topic of discussion. Anyone who has lost a loved one—for whatever reason—knows how tough it can be to talk about their loss. After all, they weren't just his students; they were his friends. 1 John 1:1 says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." I can faintly imagine what it would have been like to live life with Christ while he was on Earth. He and his disciples traveled together, lodged together, prayed together, ate together, worked together, and ministered together. Then he was executed as a criminal. Their leader, their friend, was suddenly gone. They were trapped in fear and isolation. But then he came back to life, only to leave them again. What an emotional rollercoaster...click here to keep reading.

This article was originally published at Christianity Today. Read the rest of this article here.