Tallgrass Creek Residents Use Internet Technology to Attend Simulcast Sunday Worship Services

Tallgrass Creek Retirement Community Residents in Overland Park, KS,  Use Internet Technology to Attend Simulcast Worship Services From United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS OVERLAND PARK, KS (September 7, 2011) - About 50 residents of Tallgrass Creek retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas,  head to their campus clubhouse each Sunday morning, but they are not going there to attend art classes, the spa or the fitness center. Instead, they are going to church via a simulcast from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. The idea for their live-streamed worship experience began two years ago when Resurrection member and Tallgrass Creek resident Paula Dunmire was recouping from hip surgery. Dunmire began watching Resurrection's worship service on the computer in her apartment. As the weeks passed, Dunmire began to think if there was a way to show Resurrection's Sunday worship service on a large screen and invite the entire Tallgrass Creek community to attend. Dunmire took the matter to Tallgrass Creek staff members who were quick to respond, working with Karla Woodward, pastor of Resurrection's Silver Link ministry, and the Rev. Andrew Conard, a Resurrection minister who now heads up Resurrection Online. Before long, the loosely formed worship experience evolved as residents began to volunteer as weekly greeters. Soon Tallgrass Creek upgraded its technology by adding a dedicated Internet line and pull-down screen. The residents began to pass the offering plate just as the Resurrection members do on-screen. Today the Tallgrass Creek residents register their church service attendance, which is later transferred to Resurrection Online by a Tallgrass Creek staff member. They also use Resurrection's weekly bulletin, a GPS guide (Grow, Pray, Study), which can be downloaded in large print from http://www.cor.org/ . Their prayer requests are gathered and included with those from Resurrection's main campus. Each month they celebrate Holy Communion served by lay members of Resurrection's Silver Link ministry team. Dunmire knows that worshipping as the body of Christ is vital for the well-being of many older adults. The simulcast fills the need they have to feel a part of a group of believers who care about one another. In an ecumenical spirit, denominational differences quickly fade as residents sing, pray and worship together. Jill Cline, the Community Resources Coordinator at Tallgrass Creek, points to the culture of interfaith respect at the retirement community. About 30 percent of the nearly 300 residents have moved to the area from other cities and states, leaving behind their own faith communities. Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews and others co-exist respectfully and lovingly as is evidenced when residents of Jewish faith prepare and serve a Seder dinner for fellow residents who wish to celebrate the Passover meal.