Kansas City Pastor Seeks Way to Minister Across the Political Divide

The Rev. Adam Hamilton preaches to the congregation at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection outside of Kansas City. The multi-campus church with a membership of more than 20,000 is the largest Methodist church in the U.S. (Courtesy of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection)
The Rev. Adam Hamilton preaches to the congregation at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection outside of Kansas City. The multi-campus church with a membership of more than 20,000 is the largest Methodist church in the U.S. (Courtesy of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection)

Clergy across the country are sermonizing about events in Washington, D.C.

For Rev. Adam Hamilton, that is both a challenge and an obligation.

Hamilton founded the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas in 1990, hoping to attract what he describes as thinking Christians with little or no engagement with their faith. The congregation began meeting in the chapel of a funeral home.

Today, it’s a multi-campus church with a membership of more than 20,000. It’s the biggest Methodist church in the country, and it has been cited as one of the most influential churches in America.

The new sanctuary that’s about to open at the main campus just outside Kansas City hosts the largest single stained glass window in the world.

Hamilton tells NPR’s Robert Siegel he didn’t set out to claim that record. But he did set out to build a church that will serve as a house of worship for a century, if not more.

“We’ll baptize 30,000 babies in here,” he says. “We’ll give 30,000 children their third-grade Bibles. This congregation over the next 100 years will give away 50,000 units of blood, 10 million pounds of food. And over the next 100 years, we’ll give between $4.5 and $6.5 billion to ministries outside the walls of our church.”

Hamilton is in the midst of a series of sermons he calls “Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope.”

On Sunday, his focus will be fear related to the direction of our country. He will touch on President Trump’s executive action temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.

“So part of it’s just dealing with fear,” Hamilton says. “You know, our fear of President Trump, our fear of the whirlwind of activity – so if you tend to be left-of-center, there’s a great deal of fear there – and I want to address that and say, ‘We need to be a careful about overreacting, and being people who are stirring up fear.’ ”

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SOURCE: NPR

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