June 07, 2017
We have some exciting news to share about our Replanted ministry. First, the ministry keeps thriving and growing. After starting with a few churches in the Wheaton area, Replanted expanded to many area churches in the Chicagoland area. But the ministry here at Resurrection continues to thrive through the work of a strong multi-church leadership team. Replanted currently offers 11 Me Too support groups for families who have chosen the path of adoption, foster care, or safe families. Next fall the local Replanted team hopes to run 14 Me Too groups. In addition, this spring Replanted started new groups in Seattle, Oregon, Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Hawaii. But that is just the beginning. Watch for news about more Replanted groups launching across the country.
Secondly, and on another note, Jenn Ranter, Replanted’s founder and leader, has some exciting personal news to share: this September Jenn and Josh Hook are getting married. Jenn and Josh will set up their hometown in the Dallas area where Josh is a professor of psychology at the University of North Texas. Jenn will lead the ministry as it expands nationally, but she will also continue to oversee the very strong local team.
As this vital ministry continues to expand at Church of the Resurrection and beyond, there are several ways that you can get involved:
1) Sign up to host a monthly (September to June) Me Too support group in your home. Host families make a meal for the group’s adults and provide space for adults and a separate space for the children. You do not need to lead the group. You can make a huge impact by just opening your home to these families.
2) Volunteer to watch the children while the parents get the support they need. This is also a monthly commitment September to June.
3) Join our Refresh Chicago conference planning team. Refresh Chicago is a chance for fellowship and rejuvenation for those who care for God's orphaned and vulnerable children. We are looking for detail-oriented, well-organized people to help prepare for and run the conference.
4) Volunteer at Refresh Chicago. The conference is taking place October 6-7 and volunteer roles include IT support, welcome team, registration, prayer ministry, etc.
You can sign up for any of these things by clicking the link below.
Once again, Jenn Ranter will continue to lead Replanted, including the local team. We wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the local Replanted team that have been so instrumental in building this ministry, including the local Church of the Resurrection contacts. Christine Stahl (National "Me Too" Group Coordinator), Christie Otts (National Director of Development), Melissa Harms (Me Too District Coordinator), Currey Blanford (Media Director), Lisa Jarot (Me Too Groups Coach), and Jessica Stoffer (Caring for Caseworkers Director). Here are the local contacts at Church of the Resurrection: Mark Hawkinson is the Chicagoland District Leader, Hollee Ball is our Children's Program Coordinator, Sarah Roney is our Events Coordinator, and Sonja Shogren is our Me Too Group Coordinator.
Keep Jenn and her team in your prayers as they transition, continue to expand, and offer healing to hundreds of families who need love and encouragement.
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