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“Todos los que tengan sed, vengan a beber agua; los que no tengan dinero, vengan!” “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink!”

These words read from Isaiah 55 reverberated throughout the service. Jesus’ invitation to come and feast with him: Come, Vengan, Come.

On Saturday May 8th in the ministry center chapel, Iglesia de La Resurrección, celebrated its first ever First Holy Communion service. Following the Roman Catholic tradition, over the last year seven Hispanic children from Resurrection-Parkside and our emerging altars in Glendale Heights and Warrenville met weekly to learn from the Bible and to prepare to receive the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. Each Saturday while these kids met their parents also met for a discipleship class.

For many Hispanics, first communion is an important cultural rite of passage. It is when these children say their “yes” to Jesus’ invitation to “come.” This event is celebrated by a special communion service and usually followed by a celebratory reception for friends and family at the family’s home or another venue.

One of the joys and challenges of an immigrant church is that second generation children and youth who have been born here in the U.S. usually prefer English while their parents prefer the language of their country of origin, in this case Spanish. Thus, worshipping the Lord together often becomes a challenge. Towards this end of worshipping together as whole families, this service was done bilingually in English and Spanish. It was a joy to see both children and adults participating liturgically in the service: “The Lord be with you”  “And also with you,” eagerly replied the kids. El Señor este con ustedes, “Y con su espíritu,” replied their parents.

With the invitation to “come!” offered again and again, the service culminated with the children and their families and godparents gathering around the altar where Fr. Stewart celebrated and then with the children coming to receive the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. After communicating, each child was given a lit candle by their godparents signaling the presence of Christ with them.

Following the service and all the pictures from doting family members, Luis (age 7) came up to me and asked with an eager look in his young eyes: “Jonathan, can I have some more bread?” Something had happened for him. He had met the Lord and he wanted more.

For our new emerging Hispanic Altars in Warrenville and Glendale Heights we pray that they may all learn from Luis’ example by showing a hunger to receive more from the Lord.

Story by Jonathan Kindberg
Photos by David Vosburg

Click here and here for more stories from Resurrection-Parkside

Click here for Resurrection Parkside’s blog.

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 Holy Spirit, and 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 devastates 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 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.

Story by Meghan Anderson

Remember to wear red or another bright “fire” color light orange or yellow on Pentecost.

Thoughts from Deacon Matthew as his Church of the Resurrection chapter closes and his Church of the Ascension chapter begins.

We’ve been meeting together as the Ascension team for several weeks now, thinking, talking, and praying about Church of the Ascension.  We are companions at the beginning of a journey, growing as friends and as people.  Already we have enjoyed so much about one another; discovering our love of food and drink, sports and games, music and laughter.  We’ve also been caring for each other, as we’ve grieved the loss of a dear friend so young, listened and prayed for deep concerns, reached out to connect and to love.  At the center of what we’re about is Jesus – hearing his voice, making him plain, following him in this new adventure.

My official time at Church of the Resurrection is drawing to a close.  Amazing things have I seen and been a part of at this church.  I am grateful for the lessons and the challenges, the laughter and the tears; they’ve made me who I am today.  Most importantly, and what I will miss the most, are the dear people of Resurrection.  So many friends, so many wonderful memories covering nearly 10 years of worship and service together.  I trust that you know that Kris and I love you and will always pray for you.  But we won’t say good-bye.  Elmhurst is only nine miles and 22 minutes from Resurrection.  Church of the Ascension isn’t that far away.

This new church has a straightforward vision:

To be a place of Anglican Worship and Spirituality; Consisting of a people on mission to proclaim the Love of Christ;
Who have
a plan to practice deep hospitality and release people for service in the world.

We’ll worship the Risen and Ascended Christ in Word and Sacrament, following our familiar liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer.  Our mission will rely upon the Holy Spirit to bless and empower this work for we desire many who have lost their way to return to Christ, or to meet him for the first time.  The practice of Ascension will be to love and care for those who enter our church; living life together and serving in meaningful ways.

Would you consider being involved?

1. Pray.  Pray a lot.  Every day.  Several times a day.
2. Introduce.  Do you know someone in Elmhurst or other towns to the east of Wheaton?  Can we meet them?  My email address is mpechanio@gmail.com.
3. Visit.  Although we have not decided with 100% certainty, signs are pointing to a July start on Saturday nights at 5 PM.  We’ll keep you posted.

Thank you, Church of the Resurrection, for your love and friendship.  An exciting adventure has just begun – so glad you are a part of it.


Matthew, Kris and the Ascension Team (without whom we could not be doing this)

Click here to visit Church of the Ascension’s blog.
Click here to download the Ascension Prayer Card.

Look below for photos from yesterday’s service where we celebrated and blessed Church of the Ascension.

Fr. Stewart presenting Ascension with a gift of a Chalice made by Resurrection's Nadine Rorem

Matthew and the Whitakers at the Church of the Ascension Rez Cafe yesterday.

Blessing Church of the Ascension yesterday on the Feast of the Ascension

Kevin, welcome to the staff as our new Associate Rector (officially starting Aug 1)! You’ve been a part of Church of the Resurrection for a while and we get to see you celebrating and preaching regularly on Sunday mornings, but we want to get to know you a little better. So, before we get into some longer questions, how about we start off with a little lightning round?


Full name: Kevin Andrew Miller

Height: 6’3”

Birthplace: Philadelphia

Children: Andrew (25), a project planner for a large logistics company; Anne (23), a Spanish and English teacher in a Christian high school

Hobbies: read, travel, drink coffee.

Cubs World Series Prediction: “This is the year!” (repeat as needed)

Favorite iPhone app: My top 3 are iBCP (the Book of Common Prayer), MLB.com At Bat (gives you pitch-by-pitch for every major-league baseball game), and Evernote (stores notes, and I write a lot of those in a week)

Twitter feed: thinkevin

Life verse: “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” Mark 12:24. Sounds like an odd life verse, but it starkly reminds me to stay immersed in the Scriptures and in the power of God.

Church background in bullet list form:

Baptized Episcopalian
Sunday-schooled Presbyterian
Confirmed Lutheran
Born again Youth for Christ
Set on fire Pentecostal
Educated Wheaton College
Led youth at Faith Lutheran Church, Geneva
Elder at Wheaton Vineyard
Many roles at Church of the Resurrection, 1991-now (though spent from 1998-2003 helping William and Anne Beasley as they started Church of the Redeemer)

RezBlog: Ding, ding, ding. That’s the end of the lightning round. Now on to some Miss America questions about world peace and such…You were a part of Christianity Today for nearly 25 years. You worked with numerous publications there and helped create several of their websites. Was leaving a difficult decision?

Kevin Miller: Of course. I have many friends at CTI and have spent virtually my entire worklife there. Yet in another way, the decision seemed easy, like it was an inevitable outcome, like the final chord in a song. I feel most alive when I am in the local church, and spiritual directors like to say, “Pay attention to those life-giving moments.”

RB: Have you always had the desire to be on staff as a pastor or has it been something that God has called you to of late?

KM: Since I was a teenager, I have thought about being a pastor, and over the past ten years especially, that desire has kept getting stronger.

RB: You were ordained to the priesthood at Resurrection in 2006. How do you understand your role as a priest in this community?

KM: Feed people with the Word and Sacraments.  Lay down your life for them.  (I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn, though; I’m pretty new at this.)

RB: You will be assisting Stewart in leading the preaching and clergy teams as well as leading our adult formation. What role or aspect of your position are you most looking forward to taking on?

KM: The whole thing. It’s a great fit for me.

RB: Formation is kind of a new word around here—it’s like the transformation’s little brother. What do you mean by adult formation?

KM: Becoming more like Jesus. Doing what he says. Joining him in his mission.

RB: You recently joined the pastoral staff on their working retreat. What was that like? Any inside information you want to share about them? Idiosyncrasies? Strange habits?

KM: A publishing company like CTI tends to attract introverts, people who enjoy reading and writing on their own. The pastoral staff at Resurrection, though, is packed with extroverts, so the social energy is incredible. It felt like being in a college dorm, where you want to stay up and talk with people, and something is always going on.

RB: What will working with your wife, Karen, our Executive Pastor be like?

KM: A woman once prayed this prophetic prayer about us: “I see you and your wife as two knitting needles; you can’t knit with just one. You two are like a spiritual father and mother, and you will have many spiritual children.” That seems to be coming true. Something happens when we’re together that is greater than the sum of the parts. Karen has been my best friend for over 30 years, and I can’t wait to work with her.

RB: Sometimes my wife and I go out on a date and all we talk about is Resurrection. How do you set boundaries as a couple so that your whole life isn’t the church?

KM: Uhh, well, we sometimes talk about Resurrection on a date night… But we guard every Thursday as date night, and we honor the Sabbath on Saturday (since we work on Sunday). We go on a prayer retreat together each year.

RB: How can we be praying for you between now and August 1 as you finish out your leadership at Christianity Today and transition into your role here?

KM: One moment I feel vulnerable, then excited, then sad over the relationships I am saying good-bye to, then full of joy over the fulfillment of a long-standing desire. Amid the jumble, my prayers are, “Thank you so much, Father, for bringing this to pass. Give me your wisdom to lead these people. Glorify your name among us.”

Click here for a copy of Fr. Stewart’s parish letter, FAQ, and a copy of Fr. Kevin’s new job responsibilities.

I have a new-found obsession with egg whites. I set about making these insanely yummy chocolate soufflé muffin cupcake things for Easter brunch, headed for my kitchen, and met my match. I had never separated eggs before, and the chocolatey awesomeness called for egg whites, separated out, and whipped up. There the whites sat, runny and pale and kinda gross, in the bottom of my mixing bowl. Not sure what would happen, I turned on my mixer and waded in.

It was incredible! I watched as the liquid gook literally became something else right in front of my eyes. A dribble of runny stuff became a mound of white, foamed, frothy, and incredibly potent stuff that filled up my bowl and in turn transformed the small heap of chocolate batter into rich, moist, and totally delicious cupcakes.

During the Vigil that night and continuing into Sunday morning, I sensed God nudging me to listen to him through my baking observations. God desires to change us —like the whites of an egg—into agents of his power. It’s not like trying to add a dash of niceness or a pinch of refraining-from-signature-sin-x to our runny selves, but rather a total remaking into people who are able to access his Spirit, able to allow him to transform our situations into peace, joy, holiness. The result? Like whipped egg whites, this new life transforms us and the world around us, enlarging our hearts and opening doors for God to be known and worshipped more fully by others.

On Easter morning, I contemplated just a few of the unfolding transformations within Resurrection: I could see those who had been lonely and isolated standing at worship within deep community; I saw a woman who had been swallowed up by pain playing music with joyful abandon; I saw children whose existence had been prayed for with longing going forward for Eucharist; I could see families that had been torn apart reunited. It was incredible!

We’ve come into the Father’s House this Lent. As we continue to connect with God by being open to his work in us, we are invited to keep hold of Easter by habitually coming back to the kitchen—that we may taste and see how God wants to infuse his life more fully into our souls and then out into our world.

Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Story by Kirsten Guidero.
Photos by Hester Buell, Kim Johnson, and Peter Sidebotham

Check out all the photos below. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Something powerful happens when a church community simply reads the Bible together. This probably sounds boring to a lot of people. No gimmicks. No outlandish sets. No fog machines. Just the true stories of some pretty stubborn people and their fiercely faithful God.  But during this year’s Easter Vigil I was struck by the inevitable wonder of these stories and how they teach us the meaning of God’s faithfulness to his people, the Israelites and his church.

These stories are crazy. Bizarre. Hilarious. Even Gruesome. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I can forget that. This year, thanks to the gifts of those in our Resurrection community, I saw the sheer folly. An extended family—with issues like any family—stuck in a boat as God reboots the world. A father asked to sacrifice his son … and his obedience to actually follow through. A prophet envisioning a wonderful, yet horrific image: a pit of bones coming to life.

And the craziest part of all? These things actually happened. Like the twelve stones Joshua set up in the Jordan River, they remind us of the greatness of our God. Most importantly, they point to his victory. Why did we cheer when the Egyptians were defeated in this year’s Red Sea reading? Because God won. And through him, our people, the Israelites, won. And so we, as the church, are also victorious—in these stories, in the resurrection, and ultimately when Christ returns. God always wins.

These stories and prophecies, retold year after year, point us to Christ, the culmination of God’s faithfulness to us. Through his death and resurrection he fulfilled the themes and promises in these stories. There is no greater example of God’s love—a love that was present to his people even from creation.

Story by Bonnie McMaken.

Photos by Kim Johnson and Katy Carlson

Check out all the photos below. Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image.


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