December 21, 2016
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “a culture of life”? That phrase, made most famous by Pope John Paul II, implies creating a world where we cherish the lives of the most vulnerable among us and then help them to thrive. At Resurrection, we believe that a culture of life starts with defending unborn children and their mothers and fathers. But it cannot stop there. To be pro-life—to create a culture of life as opposed to a culture of death—also compels us to put our convictions into action.
During this Advent season, we have highlighted one way we create a culture of life—by supporting the fathers and mothers of our church’s Replanted ministry. They have heroically responded to God’s call to adopt or to serve as adoptive or foster parents.It’s not too late to show our your love and appreciation by choosing a gift of love for these parents: you can do so here.
Following our Advent season, we will be focusing on the unborn. January 15 will be our Sanctity of Life Sunday, and Pastor Matt Woodley will be preaching on “The High Call of Radical Hospitality,” which I believe is a key component of creating a culture of life. I would also encourage you to mark your calendars now for some very special events this January:
People from all walks of life and all across the Midwest will march together in downtown Chicago. Join with thousands of others as we march to defend and protect human life. A chartered bus will depart from the church at 12:30pm. For more information and to reserve a seat, visit the event page.
If you or someone you love has lost an infant—perhaps through a miscarriage, a stillbirth, or an abortion—come or invite your friend to this service. We want to acknowledge the depth of these losses by providing a safe place to grieve and find renewed hope. This service will be open to the public.
I pray that all of us will respond to Jesus’ call to love the helpless in this new year. May Christ, who first came to us as an infant, fill you with his joy and peace.
Bishop Stewart Ruch III
May 17, 2016
People adopt because they ultimately believe that what they have to offer a child is something beautiful and life giving. It isn't necessarily a fancy home, or dance lessons, or designer clothes, or all the toys they could possibly want. It is something much deeper. Felt security. A warm bed. Never-ending hugs. A place to call home. Siblings to play with. Siblings to cry about. Wholesome activities. A mama and papa that have fought for them. A mama and papa who take pictures of them as if they were famous. Because they are. Or perhaps should be. Someone who keeps fighting for them. Someone who believes in them. Someone who comes in the middle of the night after a bad dream.
My husband and I have adopted because we have these things to offer and there are millions of children who are in desperate need of them. But when your children come home and your best doesn't seem to be enough, your confidence as a mama comes crashing down. I never struggled with post-partum depression, but the days and months post adoption have rocked my world as severely I imagine a hormonally-triggered depression would. The need is constant, and there is always someone who wants something else. More rides at the fair. More toys from the store. Different food to eat. A different color plate to eat off of. Another variety of juice. A different type of crayon. More time watching a show. Less time sleeping.
With 5 children, somebody is always upset and I can't help but ask myself, were we right to invite more children into the messiness of our lives? Do we not have what it takes? Will my energy levels ever manage to stay high enough? Will our bank accounts always be so low? Will someone always be crying? Or tantruming? Or screaming? Will someone always want what we can't give them or simply don't have to give?
I have never doubted so severely or questioned so intensely. Our home is small, my patience is smaller, and I never claimed to be Wonder Woman. I cannot keep my house clean and my children happy and make meals that are homemade. I can't find the time to read the Word, or move my body, or get everything done on my to-do list. I am always behind and someone is always in tears.
I never question if we were meant to bring our children home. His sovereignty declares that they were always ours and forever meant to be here. With us. Since before the world was created. What I question though is how we are meant to manage? How I am meant to parent well and live in a clean home and keep our children fed while feeling like a woman with space to breath, margin to live in and balance to grow personally? Though my confidence in my own ability to mama well remains small, my confidence in God's perfect plan must soar higher than ever before. Because He did the impossible by bringing our children home, I must trust in His ability to equip me and provide for our needs. Confidence well placed- in God's ability rather than my own- can make all the difference in their five little worlds, and in mine.