More of life in resurrection…

butterfly landing

Last week we looked at 3 stories of Jesus appearing to people after His resurrection.  These case studies of ‘belief’ are such an encouragement to me.  I find myself in these people over and over again.  John 20 will take you 45 seconds to read and 45 years to digest.

Bottom line:  Jesus wants to make Himself real to you.  He will show up when you least expect it.  He will look different than you were anticipating.  He will speak to your particular and personal doubt.  He will give you purpose and send you out in adventure.  He will take what seemed to be the end and show you how it is just the beginning.

He is risen.  And we are living in the reality of resurrection.  Thanks be to God.

I’ve got another newsy update.  This one involves Eucharist words in Spanish, a church that is heartbroken, and a postponement.  Take a look.

Bolivia2018, Rev. Tammy Firestone and the Eucharist in Spanish

We have had a special treat this week.  Our friend, Rev. Tammy Firestone, the rector of La Trinidad Anglican Church in Cochabamba, Bolivia has been visiting.  On Thursday and Friday she spent time with our Bolivia2018 team orienting them for what they will be doing in August.  We are excited to lead a retreat that will train people to do prayer ministry.  This has been an exciting area of growth for Restoration and we are excited to keep learning about prayer ministry alongside our friends at La Trinidad.

Rev. Tammy will join us during the 9:00 and 11:00 liturgies this Sunday, April 15.  She will be the celebrant for the Eucharist and she will use the words she uses with her home church:  SPANISH!  Rev. Tammy was called to the priesthood while living in Bolivia and Spanish is the only language she has used while celebrating the Eucharist.  I am sure the experience will stretch her comfort level in a predominantly English speaking context and it will stretch the comfort level in our congregation for those for whom Spanish is not a familiar language.  I am grateful for this cross-cultural opportunity that we can experience as a church without having to leave the familiarity of our pews!

Please greet Rev. Tammy with your normal generous hospitality.

Please pray for our Bolivia Team that is prepping even now.

Please thank God that we are a part of His global church.

Christine W. and Christ Church Austin

Some of you know that Restoration has a special relationship with Christ Church Austin.  Our churches are similar in years of existence, similar in age demographic and proximity to a major metropolitan center, similar in our support of Jesse and Sarah Blaine (both churches send finances and teams of people to partner with them), and similar in our passions for Scriptural teaching, discipleship, and mission.  We have been on mission trips together as churches.  We have sent people to each other churches.  We share the Wheatley children (Resto gets Mac, Christ Church gets Meghan).

I have tragic news about Christine, the wife of Cliff who is the rector of Christ Church.

On April 10 Christine was hit in full force by a truck while attending to her son’s vehicle, which ran out of gas on a major freeway flyover in Austin TX.  Her injuries are massive and comprehensive: brain damage and some swelling and bleeding, her face was shattered and will need to be reconstructed later, her carotid arteries are damaged and this greatly concerns the doctors for if they close down it brings a massive stroke, she has broken ribs, possibly other broken bones, the liver is lacerated and bleeding—may need emergency surgery. We sense that God will heal her, and we will see miraculous actions of the Spirit of God.  PRAY PRAY PRAY!”

That is from Christine’s father.  Since that notice, Christine has had a craniotomy and is waiting for her body to stabilize so that she can have major liver surgery.  Please pray for Cliff, Christine, Brendan, Cormac, Skye, and Bronwyn.

Cliff is one of my closest friends and closest colleagues in ministry.  His Director of Operations called and asked if I would come to Christ Church to lead, preach and celebrate the Eucharist this weekend (April 15).  My bishop and vestry have encouraged me to go and to serve this church while they are reeling from the news about their beloved Christine.  After you pray for Christine and her family, please pray for me, that God would give me the words I need to say at the times I need to say them.

I will miss being with Restoration on Sunday, but I am grateful for our partnership with Christ Church and to be sent to them by you.

1 Corinthians 6 and 7

You may remember that we were studying the book of 1 Corinthians this year?  In March I was quite ill with a bacteria I picked up on a pastoral visit to West Asia so we had to pause our sermon series in 1 Corinthians.  We haven’t quite gotten back to it…

I was all ready to pick it up this weekend, but my need to be in Austin precludes that.  So, Lord willing, next week, we will re-enter the world of Corinth and pick up the Apostle Paul’s letter in chapter 6.  If you read chapter 6, you will see that his words are challenging in today’s milieu.  If you keep reading into chapter 7, you will see that the words don’t get any easier.

Because of the number of questions that can be generated as one preaches through these texts, we are creating 2 forums for you:

  1. After each service on each Sunday (April 22, 29, May 6, 13), David and another Restoration Pastoral Staff member will gather on the 3rd floor in the big window area that looks out on the sanctuary.  Please bring any question that comes up for you during the sermon.  We will have about 30 minutes to talk and we can schedule more time as needed.  The discussion will be like a forum, not one on one.  It’s a great chance to hear what other people are thinking and to drill deeper into things that are said during the sermon.
  2. We have created this form for you to submit questions at anytime over the next 4 weeks.  Your questions will help David hone the scope of topics he needs to address.  Some of the questions will be answered during the sermon.  Some of them will be answered in the post-service Q&A on the 3rd floor.  Some will be answered by blog post.  Thanks for your active listening and feedback.  Your questions help us learn together.

Thank you for praying.  Our church is desperate for God’s power and presence.  We go to places that are difficult and hard and we ask for God to bring His light and hope.

We need that for our friend, Christine.

We need that for discussions about human sexuality and marriage.

We need that to stay faithful in all that He calls us to do.

With you in it,

David