In December of 2014, Church of the Resurrection CEC in Wichita, Kansas was approved to change its status from a “Mission Church” to a “Parish Church.” Church of the Resurrection began as a house church meeting in the home of Fr. Terry and Julie Hedrick in July of 1998. Starting in 2007, the church met at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita. In 2013, our congregation purchased a building and we celebrated our one-year anniversary service in the building on All Souls Day, 2014.
During 2014 our average Sunday attendance grew by 25 percent and the number of people who attended at least one service or event doubled. We are able to hold both baptism and confirmation services throughout the year and our giving patterns were sufficient to meet the new expenses that came with the new building.
A number of things contributed to our growth this past year. Having a building has made us more visible in the community and has given us a place that feels like “home” and is conducive to who we are as a parish. Also, we have expanded our outreach programs and have donated books and backpacks to local elementary schools that had students in need of them and prepared and served meals at a homeless shelter. (Each of these projects arose at the initiative of individual members of the parish and utilized their gifts, vision, and connections). Finally, God, at His own initiative and in His own serendipitous way, has brought people to us that we could not have found on our own. We have prayed for many years that God would bring us just the right people, in just the right way, with just the right hearts, and we feel like we have seen Him answering this prayer in a new way throughout the past year.
When our building was dedicated, Bishop Michael Davidson said that he believed God was speaking to our congregation through the words of Psalm 18:35, “You give me Your shield of victory, and Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great.” Bishop Michael has been incredibly supportive of us as a congregation and his wise counsel and leadership has given us the ability to grow at our own pace. We thank God for all He is doing among us and look forward to what God has for us in this next phase of ministry and life together.