Director of Worship Arts – Welcome Sarah Newberry!

I am excited to share the news that we have hired Sarah Newberry to be the Director of Worship Arts at Resurrection West. Next week, I am hoping to share a bit more of the process with you. Until then, I wanted to pass along the update that Pastor Molly shared the news via email to the congregation:

“We welcome Sarah Newberry to our team beginning March 1, and we will have the opportunity to introduce her in worship on February 26.

Sarah comes from within the Resurrection community, she has been leading in the Vibe worship service at the Leawood Campus for the past year and a half, and she takes on this position as part of answering her call to full-time ministry.  Trained as a Music Therapist, Sarah comes to us from The Good Samaritan Society-Olathe, a senior living and care organization, where she has been employed as their Activity Director, Volunteer Coordinator, and Music Therapist.  In her job, she has worn many hats: music therapy, staff supervisor to a department, led and planned worship services in their facility, started new initiatives and programs to care for the community she serves, and coordinated volunteer teams for the community.  Sarah is a pianist, vocalist, and percussionist primarily, but she can play and teach pretty much every other instrument.  In addition to her Bachelor of Music degree in music therapy, she also studied music education, choral conducting, and vocal performance at Florida State University.  Sarah is personable, she has a great sense of humor, a humble heart, and she has a deep passion for leading people in worship of our God.  Oh, and she started a 5th grade praise band in KiDS COR at Leawood!

And because I won’t have time to tell you everything when I introduce Sarah in worship, I have to share with you one little story. A few weeks ago, we had a day in which we had four highly-qualified candidates in for a final interview and audition.  When Sarah sat down at the piano and started playing “You Are My King” (amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me…), I was immediately drawn into worship.  Honestly, I didn’t expect that.  I went into our auditions prepared to listen, to critique, to observe their performances.  I wasn’t at all thinking about putting myself in a place to engage in worship through singing.  In an instant, I knew what it was that several other staff members and ministry leaders had gone out of their way to tell me.  There was something in Sarah’s voice, in the way she delivered the words, that made space for me to meet God.  All of the details of the task at hand were gone for a few moments.  That doesn’t happen to me very often.  I usually have to fight to set my duties aside–to stop evaluating or making mental notes of how to do things differently or what is supposed to come next.  I don’t even know that I can describe it that well–other than to tell you that I found the Holy Spirit in the notes through her voice.

For those of you that have joined us in the last few months, we have been conducting this search process since November.  In the past three months, we had more than 65 applicants.  We conducted phone screens, a couple of rounds of in-person interviews, and a final interview/audition.  We were blessed to have a great response and to have interacted with some really gifted leaders.  In the meantime, our volunteer worship teams have been doing an amazing job in leading worship each weekend at our three services.  I am so thankful for their hard work, and I’m excited to see where the next months in our worship ministry will lead us!

A Year Ago on Thoughts of Resurrection – October 2010

Here are some posts from Thoughts of Resurrection one year ago, that I think you might find interesting. Take a look…

Closing My Time with Resurrection Online

Yesterday, I led a workshop at Leadership Institute – Worship Online: What We’ve Learned in Three Years. Having transitioned my job responsibility to serve as Associate Pastor at Resurrection West on August 15, this was my final official role with Resurrection Online. You can see the presentation here:

I felt great about the presentation. I was able to share the thought, theological reflection and strategic decisions that had been made over the past three years that culminated in the decision to understand Resurrection Online as a worship venue of our Leawood campus and not as a campus where people would go to worship, grow, give, serve and find community. My friend Ben Simpson, asked if I would guest post about what I learned as Pastor of Resurrection Online. I hope to write this post soon, so to read some great writing (and my guest post at some time in the future, I commend http://www.benjaminasimpson.com to you.

It was a good finale. With the completion of that workshop, I feel that I was able to end well and close my time with Resurrection Online.

First Two Weeks at Resurrection West

I have had a great first two weeks as part of the Resurrection West team. I started as Associate Campus Pastor on August 15 and have loved the opportunity to be part of what God is doing through this community in the western part of Johnson County. There is an amazing team of staff and volunteers that make opportunities to know, love and serve God possible each day.

My task over these two weeks has been to step into some of my immediate areas of responsibility and get to know people. It is a brand new congregation for me to get to know. I have met with couples and individuals almost every day to hear their story of connection at West and listen for the words of wisdom and guidance they have for me as an associate pastor here.

At times it can feel exciting, confusing, peaceful, important, fascinating and sometimes a mix of all of these at once. I am looking forward to the days ahead!