I mentioned that my wife, Laura, was the only pastor present on Wednesday afternoon when Kelsey’s family learned that she had been found murdered. A few minutes later, pastors from the Smith’s church, Hillcrest Covenant, arrived. Laura quietly suggested to them that when it came time to begin discussing memorial service plans, the family should consider having the service at Church of the Resurrection. At the risk of sounding immodest, I truly believe Resurrection is the only church in the area with the capability to handle a funeral like this. Our main sanctuary seats 3,000+ and we have extensive video production capabilities to be able to generate a pool feed for the media while keeping them mostly out of sight.
Wednesday afternoon I let our upper management know that the suggestion had been made. On Thursday morning several of our staff came to me and said that all of the teams required to support the service were on board and eager to help, if asked.
Then Friday the word came that the family had decided to take our suggestion. Normally, the church has fees for outside funerals, but they were completely waived in this case, even though a huge effort will be required. This will be a major event in the middle of the work day (2 pm Tuesday) when volunteer availability will be low.
The planning began immediately Friday, showing great foresight and attention to detail. Our experience with the Ali Kemp funeral five years ago has been invaluable. From traffic, to parking, hospitality, facilities, security, and A/V we have vast expertise and resources to handle every detail so the family and friends can simply be in the moment and celebrate Kelsey’s life. This is the Body of Christ functioning as should (but too rarely does) – joining together across congregational and denominational boundaries to serve in a very special way in a time of great need. Although I will not have a personal role in any of this, I have never been prouder of Church of the Resurrection than I am right now. It is a special place to serve.