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Moving Forward,
Beyond Ourselves

Questions about Spring Hill Closing?

As Spring Hill United Methodist Church prepares to close in preparation for reopening as Church of the Resurrection, Spring Hill, you may have some questions about that. Here are the answers to a few questions that have been asked:

  • Why are we closing?
    The church gathered information and entered a discernment process in January, 2023 that led to a vote in February, 2024, believing that the opportunity to be the church in our community can best be accomplished if we enter into a relationship with Church of the Resurrection, who has long desired a presence in South Johnson County. This requires Spring Hill United Methodist Church to close on May 19th, 2023 and reopen in September of 2024.

  • When will we close?​
    Plan now to attend our final worship service on May 19th. Lunch will be served. RSVP to umcspringhill@gmail.com no later than May 12.

  • I have a bunch of church stuff at my home. What should I do with it?

    • If you have church memorabilia, we'd like to display it on May 19th. Pictures, certificates, etc. would be great additions to the celebration of all SHUMC has accomplished.  

  • What if I have personal items at the church that belong to me (non-donated items)?

    • Items not used during worship must be removed from the church by April 30th. Items used in worship may be removed after our final worship service.

  • What happens to all the stuff Resurrection won't be using?

    • As we sort through what will be used in the future, we will list items not being kept and make them available to church members and attendees. For example, if Resurrection decides we won't be using the dishes in the kitchen, we'll invite you all to take what you want before we donate them to a local organization.

  • Where will we worship when the sanctuary closes for renovations?

    • We're still working on this and will let you know the plan as soon as possible. 

  • Where should we direct our giving?

    • Although Spring Hill closes on May 19th, that is not the day we cease to exist. We hope your generosity will continue until Resurrection becomes the official, legal entity.

  • What about church membership?

    • If you are a current member of SHUMC, your church membership will need to change to a different entity (not necessarily a church), but not immediately. Resurrection will hold a membership event called "Coffee with the Pastor" in August. Everyone who wants to transfer their membership to Resurrection will need to attend this event and join Resurrection that day by transfer of membership. Those who do not want to join Resurrection at that point will have other opportunities. Coffee with the Pastors happens approximately every 3 months.
      Of course, those who choose to leave SHUMC to affiliate with a different congregation are free to transfer their membership. All memberships will need to be transferred by the time SHUMC ceases to exist as an entity. All memberships not transferred will become members of the Annual Conference.​

If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact Angie McCarty or Jennifer Haney at umcspringhill@gmail.com

South Johnson County

South Johnson County is one of the fastest growing areas in the Kansas City region. Resurrection has planned to start a location in South Johnson County for decades, acknowledging the mission field the demographics indicate.

  • 12% expected growth from 2023-2033. (77,605 – 87,366)

  • 13% growth in households expected between 2023 and 2033 (25,875 – 29,118)

  • 9.9% of current residents express UMC affiliation

  • 60.7% of residents are not involved in any congregation

 

Resurrection already has a presence in South Johnson County.

 

  • 1,047 active congregants & 2,900 inactive congregants

  • The active congregants (ACs) include 537 visitors, 420 members, 49 former members and 40 categorized as “other.”

  • ACs worship at Leawood (740), West (125), online (94), Overland Park (37), Blue Springs (7), Brookside (2),

       with 20 not indicating a primary location

  • ACs represent 468 households

  • 190 households give $306,000 annually

  • 75 individuals have indicated an interest in helping Resurrection launch a location in South Johnson County

 

Resurrection is one church in six locations. Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor and a denominational leader, as well as author of over 30 books. He is a graduate of Blue Valley High, Oral Roberts University and Perkins School of Theology.

 

Resurrection was named “The Best Place of Worship” in the Kanas City Magazine’s 2023 “Best Of” issue.

What are our Options?

In the time I’ve been your pastor, I have grown to love and appreciate the heritage of Spring Hill United Methodist Church. The stories I have heard of past turkey dinners, bazaars, a full sanctuary and community engagement show a passion and dedication to your church home. We have much to offer the world.

 

Without receiving ongoing significantly increased donations, we all too soon will not be able to pay our bills. Even with an influx of donations, our aging congregation cannot be sustained long-term. Closing our doors in the near future is a very real possibility. This breaks my heart, and I will do everything possible to ensure a different future, not only for you, but also for the people who don’t have a church home in South Johnson County.

 

While we may lament what we wish were true, it’s time to determine what God can do with our reality. We could choose to move forward as we are, knowing closure is a possibility. Is God ready for us to close our doors? Or, we could vote to close Spring Hill UMC and play a role in starting a new congregation in cooperation with Resurrection. Can we accept this level of change for the sake of a longer-term future? Most small churches in our position don’t have any option but to close their doors permanently.

 

If we view Resurrection only as our financial savior, we should cease any future discussions on the matter. If we sense that God is calling us to partner with Resurrection so that God’s mission to offer non-religious and nominally-religious people -- those without a current church home -- a place where they can experience the radical grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, I’m all in, and I hope you are, too.

 

The decision to become a Resurrection location is not one we make primarily for ourselves. Honestly, this is probably not our first choice. Through God’s grace, we have the opportunity to look beyond ourselves toward a future where Spring Hill United Methodist Church’s

legacy continues far into the future.

 

-- Pastor Angie

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Next Steps

  • A discernment process will be introduced the first Sunday in October. The congregation will be invited to pray about how God is leading us into the future.

  • A small study, prayer, and discussion group will meet for three weeks in late October and early November. This group will be open to everyone.

  • Focus groups will give the church an opportunity to discuss openly and honestly the feelings associated with our future.

  • Resurrection leaders will join us for an all-church gathering in November. This will be a time of visioning, asking questions and receiving answers.

  • Gatherings and formal conversations will cease during the month of December, the season of Advent.

  • If we feel God leading us in this direction, a Church Conference would be held in the spring of 2024 where all church members could vote regarding the closure of Spring Hill United Methodist Church for the purpose of being involved in starting a new Resurrection location.

  • Alternatively, the discernment process might reveal a new option or may lead us to conclude that closing the church in 3-5 years is preferable.
     

The details of the new location are largely unknown, but based on the five locations Resurrection has started since 2006, we can imagine being involved in a planning phase led by a full-time Location Pastor and full-time Director of Operations. Additional staff may include a part-time Children’s Program Director, a part-time musician, and a part-time Worship Experience Specialist. The new location would likely open with two worship services on Sunday mornings, both unique in worship style.

 

In a sense, the opportunity to be involved in a new Resurrection location would be a way for the vision of those who started Spring Hill UMC, built the current sanctuary, and purchased the land on Webster to become a reality.

FAQ's

The following questions have been asked by the Church Council and will be addressed at community gatherings throughout the months of October and November.

 

  • Why are we talking about this?

  • Will the congregation vote on how to proceed?

  • Why do we have to vote to close?

  • What happens if we don’t move forward with this option?

  • Could Resurrection discern that they do not want to join with us in ministry?

  • Will the Bishop agree with what we discern?

  • Who will be the Resurrection Location Pastor?

  • Who would preach?

  • If we vote yes, what happens between the time the church closes and reopens?

  • Would we continue to worship in our current space?

  • Would the building be torn down?

  • Would the worship style change?

  • Would the culture of the church change?

  • Would we become a mega-church?

  • Would Resurrection listen to our congregation’s wishes?

  • Would we have representation in the governance structure of Resurrection?

  • Why would Resurrection move south when Spring Hill is already here?

  • Can’t we look for other revenue streams to help our budget?

  • Who does our property belong to?

  • How would Spring Hill UMC’s legacy be memorialized?

  • We’re growing as a church. Won’t that continue?

  • How do we know the church will grow once it is a Resurrection location?

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