May 29, 2017
Every family has its own birthday traditions. In my husband's family, you were allowed to eat sugary cereal and stay in your pajamas and play video games all day. In mine, we picked our favorite meal and cake and helped my mom cook them. Interestingly enough, the Church has her own birthday tradition. In it, her people wear red and eat bread and drink wine and celebrate baptisms. This tradition is called Pentecost, and it is our spiritual birthday.
The story of Pentecost is remarkable. The apostles and Jesus' followers are all gathered together to celebrate the Jewish feast of Shavuot, which celebrates Moses' descent from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. Suddenly, the sound of a strong wind descends from heaven and they are each crowned with tongues of flame. Perhaps, having followed Jesus around and seen his miracles, this did not faze them too much. But then something happened that changed their lives–and ours–forever: they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Before that moment they were individual followers of Jesus, but when the Holy Spirit descended, the Church as we know her was born.
I don't know about you, but I still get excited when my birthday rolls around. I begin anticipating days beforehand, and it saddens me when a close friend or family member forgets it. It stands to reason then that I should get excited when I know Pentecost is coming. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the church body grew from a small group of Israelites to an international force. On this feast day we at Resurrection join in celebration with our fellow body members all over the world and rejoice that God has given us his Spirit and in doing so united us as one Body. Now there's a true cause for celebration.
Remember to wear red or another bright “fire" color like orange or yellow on Pentecost.
May 17, 2017
We are overjoyed to announce the location of our next church plant: Madison, Wisconsin! Scott Cunningham, our first-ever Pastoral Resident, will be leading the plant as the head pastor. Scott has been training over the past year in an intensive residency program intended to immerse him in what it means to lead a Revival of Word and Sacrament infused by the Holy Spirit. Serving as a preacher, worship leader, and small groups coordinator, he has served on two staff teams, both at Church of the Resurrection and at our most recent church plant, City of Light Anglican in Aurora.
Scott and his wife Marissa, who has served consistently with our worship ministry, will move to Madison with their son James (and Baby Boy #2, on the way!) in Fall 2017, with the hope to launch the church plant in Fall 2018. Read more from them below!
Ever since we joined Resurrection, God has knit our hearts to her vision of planting a revival of Word and Sacrament, infused by the Holy Spirit. We have leaned into that vision over the past few years, and now are compelled to go out from the Cathedral in order to build the Church in the broader Midwest.
The Lord has made it clear that He has been sharpening us to engage our generation with the Gospel in a fresh way. For us, this has meant going somewhere where our post-Christian culture is thriving. We began thinking about Madison as one among many possible cities, and as the list shortened over time, Madison remained. Finally, after visiting numerous times, meeting with local church leaders, entering into times of prayer and fasting with our community, and thinking about the nature of Madison and the nature of our specific calling in the Lord, it has arisen as a clear Gospel opportunity and has captured our hearts.
Madison, which sits at the intersection of politics, academics, and tech culture, is a booming cultural high place, and those three currents are constantly bringing people in and out of the city. We desire to plant deep roots in the middle of those currents, and to see those who have walked away from the faith be re-introduced to Jesus and his Church, as if they were meeting them both for the first time. Even more, we are thrilled by the unity we have felt with other Christian leaders and denominations in Madison who are eager to partner with us. Indeed, one of the most exciting things has been learning of the ways God is already present and at work, and we are eager to join in with Word and Sacrament, infused by the Holy Spirit.
So, we have fallen in love the city and her people, are captivated by the opportunity and need, and are motivated by the beauty and joy of the Gospel. We will be moving to Madison this Fall, with the intention of launching the church a year later in Fall 2018. In the meantime, we will continue to serve at Resurrection and City of Light, preparing for the great journey ahead.
We welcome your questions and conversation about this exciting journey, so if you are interested in learning more, please don't hesitate to reach out to Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott and Marissa Cunningham