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
April 13, 2016
On October 18, we launched weekly services at City of Light, but 22 weeks later during our first Holy Week it felt like we experienced another launching. It is on the Cross and in the Resurrection that we truly see who God is. For us, it was also in our celebration of the Cross and Resurrection that we saw more of who we are as a church and who God wants us to be.
Several folks said to Bonnie and me, "I was wondering why you kept talking about Easter and what the big deal is. Now I get it." In a culture that tries so hard to manufacture one experience better than the last, tasting the real joy of Resurrection as we do simple things like ring bells, sing, and dance is an extraordinary thing. People who were new to this tradition and who have celebrated this way for years have all said, "This is true joy and this church is our home." Our first journey through Holy Week brought us closer to the Lord and to one another as a new church family.
Thank you for your constant prayers and generous giving that makes this work of the kingdom possible. You are such an important part of our City of Light ministry team each and every week, but a week like this reminds us afresh of the incredible partnership we have with you. Here are just a few ways we saw the fruit of your prayers:
A Holy Week Craft—We held an event at Hill Elementary that brought 60 children, 16 parents, and 8 City of Light team members together on Maundy Thursday. Three families came back on Easter Sunday to worship with us.
Invitation—We had visitors at every service of Holy Week, several of whom were unchurched or had been away from the church. 49 people joined us for an outdoor Stations of the Cross service and over one hundred people worshipped with us on Easter Sunday.
Teams—46 people served on Holy Week teams, 9 of them serving for the first time. Several new musicians and visual artists joined the team for Holy Week, creating beauty that brought us into the presence of the Lord.
Healing—We had a beautiful time of prayer at the cross at our evening service on Good Friday and a Prayer Team of 6 people praying with others for healing.
Baptism—We had our second baptism as a church on the Second Sunday of Easter and we are preparing for several more at the feast of Pentecost.
McMaken Family—We were able to enter into worship together this Holy Week more than ever before, processing on Palm Sunday, washing each other's feet on Maundy Thursday, praying at the cross together on Friday, and dancing together on Easter. Thank you for continuing to hold us and Nora and Finn up in prayer!