Warden’s Report: November 2017

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

At our 28 November Vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting.  This month, our rector, David Hanke, led us through our prayer time which included a time of thanksgiving for all the areas God has blessed Restoration over the past year.  As we knelt and considered all the staff, volunteers, blessings, events, ministries and efforts of this year, we saw God’s presence and grace spring forth like flowing waters.  We welcome your prayers for all that God is doing here on Quincy Street. 

We voted to approve a recommendation from RILA to sponsor an individual fleeing violence in her home country and seeking asylum in the US.   We received an update from David on the many activities he has engaged in as our pastor, as a leader in the diocese, and as a disciple of Christ over the last month.    

The majority of the meeting was spent discussing what we learned over the past year about Church Planting, communications, building disciples at Quincy street, outreach, RILA and where we have opportunities to grow more in our faith, our relationship with God and our family communion at Restoration. 

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback.  You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Dietrich Kuhlmann, Warden

Announcing the Vestry Class of 2020!

Dear Restoration,

It brings me great joy to write to you with the results of our 2017 Vestry Selection.  It was an excellent process that was undergirded with faithful and overt prayer.

The selection process began with over 35 nominees.  The Vestry Discernment Team (VDT) was thrilled with the number of people who were offered as potential servant leaders for vestry.  We were also humbled by the number of people and the task of discerning the few out of the many who could be put on the slate.  I am so grateful for the number of people who WANT to serve AND the number of people who are ABLE to serve.  Restoration has a rich resource of gifted servant leaders and it is the reason we have such excellent leadership through our advisory teams (personnel, facility, outreach, finance, church planting);  and discernment teams (for people considering vocational change–  especially to ordained ministry); and vestry.  Thanks be to God!

The VDT took a week to pray and to listen to God.  When we met to discuss what we had heard from God, there was a clear, discerned consensus.  Our next step was to invite a significant number of the nominees to consider becoming a candidate and for those who said yes, to fill out a Vestry Discernment Questionnaire (VDQ).

When we had received the VDQ from those who were willing to be considered as a candidate, we again took some time to pray and to listen to the voice of Jesus as we read the excellent, vulnerable, God-honoring answers that were offered by these potential candidates.  Then we met together as a team, face to face, to pray and to discern who would be on the final slate.  Those 6 candidates were the people you have been praying for and considering for vestry service.

During the Restoration Annual Meeting that was open from November 26 to December 3, members of Restoration voted for 3 of the 6 candidates.  Here are the results:  Kevin Marshall, Johanna Montague, and Danny Lee comprise the vestry class of 2020.  

The Restoration Vestry will look like this next year:

The Vestry Class of 2018

  • Becky Mohr
  • Meredith Lloyd
  • Dietrich Kuhlmann

The Vestry Class of 2019

  • Leigh McAfee
  • Sean Burke
  • Chris Belen

The Vestry Class of 2020

  • Danny Lee
  • Kevin Marshall
  • Johanna Montague

 

Every year, we are asking God for clarity about people with the right gifts for whom vestry is the right time.  There are always multiple people who could fill these roles–  and for that we are grateful that there is a rich choice.  Thanks be to God that He sees the future and He knows what our church needs and He guides the heads and hearts of His people to select and to choose and to faithfully follow.  Thank you to all the people who considered serving on vestry.  I appreciate your courage and humility and willingness to serve.

Please pray.

Over the next few weeks, the old vestry will be meeting with the new vestry through informal coffees and lunches in order to begin the process of orientation to this team.  On January 4, 2018 the vestry will meet for a formal orientation to the by-laws, policies, and procedures that govern our life together.  On January 23, the new vestry will meet for the first time and review the financial position of the church, 4 months into its fiscal year.  On January 26-27 the vestry will leave town for 24 hours to pray and plan how God might continue to move our church towards the planting of churches and the dreams of our strategic plan.

To the One who always does more than we can ask or imagine:  glory and honor, thanks and praise.

From the One who knows what we need before we even ask:  grace and peace; faith, hope, and love.

-David

Jeremiah

Fences

This past Sunday, I got the opportunity to preach my last sermon in our fall series out of the book of Jeremiah.  Nathan will finish things up on Sunday as we transition into thinking about Advent and the coming of our Rescuer.

At each service, as I approached the end of my message, I got pretty choked up as I realized where Jeremiah ended his years of faithful service.

He was taken by a disobedient remnant of people to Egypt.  Jeremiah didn’t want to go.  God didn’t want them to go.  But, as they had done over and over, they didn’t listen to God’s instruction or God’s words of hope.  The remnant did what they thought would make them feel secure and comfortable.  Entering into the rigor and protection of Egypt seemed so much better than staying in the rubble and chaos of devastated Jerusalem.

Even though God had promised:

If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up…

Jeremiah 42.10

From our human vantage, Jeremiah was the ‘least successful prophet of all time’.  He pleaded with his people, his friends and neighbors, to change their mind and to amend their life.

They didn’t.

The worst happened.

God’s words through Jeremiah didn’t change the trajectory of His people.  It’s hard to see.  It’s harder to read.

Yet, he was able to say…

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

Compare that to a prophet like Jonah–  probably ‘the most wildly successful prophet of all time.’  He gets sent to a foreign land, to Nineveh.  He is not happy to go.  He is not happy when he gets there.  He preaches the worst sermon ever.  Over a hundred thousand people change their mind and repent.  He is not happy about that.  And the book ends with him in a funk– grumpy and ticked.  Not happy.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.  And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah 4.1-3

Jeremiah, in his ‘failure’ seems to have gotten something about God that Jonah did not get in his ‘success’.  That realization makes me sober and careful and inspires my prayers for humility.

So why I was so emotional as we came to the end of this series?  Here are some thoughts:

  1. I have loved the hard work that our congregation has done on this book.  Generally, it is an unfamiliar story, really long, and sometimes hard to understand.  Many of you took on the task of reading through the whole book and then studying it faithfully in small groups for 11 weeks.  I am proud of you.  May the Lord increase your love for the Scriptures as you seek Him in new places of the Bible.
  2. I have loved the relevance of this book for the temptations that afflict us all.  We know the problems of idolatry, religious pretense, and superficial experience.  We see the shortcomings and limitations of the society in which we live.  We resist the triumphalism of ‘it will all just get better’ and we resist the despair that might lead us to cocoon ourselves from the wider world.

    No.  Instead, let us lament what is broken and busted.  Let us acknowledge what is not easy to fix and seems slow in coming.  Let us wait in sincere hope for God’s timing and the sure future arrival of the One who will make all things right.  Jeremiah has given us words and images (that linen loincloth!) for what ‘living by faith’ means.

  3. Most personally, we live in a cultural moment that is increasingly dismissive of Jesus and His people–  thinking they have no relevance for the longings and despair that is all around us.  Jeremiah faithfully said what is true–  the very words of God–  yet there was no change.  It is my hope and expectation that myself and our church will be faithful day in and day out to say what is true.  And it is my sincere desire that many people will be transformed, changed, and find the courage to amend their life.

    Maybe.  And maybe not.

    It is a great honor to invite people to stay home and to not run to Egypt.  It might be my highest privilege as a pastor–  to be in the midst of junk and crud and wrong thinking and to get to shine a light and spray a hose and beg people to stay home.  It is a privilege to say over and over, Egypt will disappoint you.  It always has and it will again.  I am grateful for the chance to say it many times in many different ways each week.  I am grateful for all of you who join me in the task of saying the same.  You are good partners in this project of renewal and amendment of life.

But that doesn’t make it easy.  And it definitely carries a truckload of emotion as you watch people make spiritual decisions that affect them and everyone around them.  I am grateful that we are in it together.  This is a beautiful church and we serve a gracious and beautiful God.

Happy Thanksgiving.

-David

RILA: snapshot of a clinic

AsylumPrimer

As we approach the end of 2017, Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) looks back with thanksgiving for Restoration’s support: 

  • You helped us achieve a matching grant of $25,000 from the Matthew 25 Initiative. 
  • You turned out in large numbers (and brought friends and coworkers) to staff monthly legal aid clinics. 
  • You provided meals and hospitality for clients and their families. 
  • You prayed and opened your heart to care for those fleeing violence and abuse in their home country. 

We continue to be amazed and surprised by a good and limitless God whose mercies never end and who calls us forth to love our neighbors.  Know that your support has enabled RILA’s more than 75 volunteers to be the hands and feet of Christ to 74 clients since RILA’s start in March 2016.  We hope the following “Snapshot of a Clinic” will bring you closer to the work that you have helped make possible.

Snapshot of a Clinic

Restoration Anglican Church, 5:30 pm:  At a time when church staff are departing and others throughout the DC area are making their way home from work, the first floor on 1815 Quincy Street in Arlington, VA begins to come to life, first with volunteers, then with clients of Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA).

The Volunteers:  tables, chairs, legal expertise, food, prayer 

Two Restoration moms and their combined seven children set up tables and chairs in the fellowship hall, where a meal for clients and volunteers will be served.  More tables and chairs are carried to six colorful Sunday school rooms, where clients will meet with their volunteer legal team.  In a quieter space, RILA’s director of legal services performs a final review of the evening’s cases in which he is involved.  Two DOJ-accredited representatives join him to prepare.  Ten clients will be served this night.

Donated food begins to roll in, as do more volunteers and clients, bringing children and other family members along.  Toys and books (donated – and free for the taking) are laid out, as are welcoming placemats crafted by Restoration children.

New volunteers are welcomed, including two private attorneys, one of whom providentially learned about RILA through a first-time visitor to Restoration who happened to hear about RILA from the pulpit.  This lawyer with expertise in immigration, in turn, brings another lawyer, to assist.

In total, 26 volunteers arrive that evening, bringing an array of talents and passions.  In unity of purpose and with dependence on God, volunteers form a circle in the fellowship hall and, along with clients, pray.  Volunteers disperse to their assigned areas:  lead interviewer, interpreter, note taker, hospitality/child care, photocopier.

The Clients

Most clients are fleeing fearful situations in their home country and are seeking asylum in the US.  They have few resources with which to hire a private attorney and face uncertainty about their family’s welfare in this new country.

One client, as a soccer coach, worked to keep young people in his home country from joining gangs.  He then became a target of gangs and had his and his child’s life threatened.

Another client was a reporter for a community radio station that advocates for human rights and non-violence.  She used the platform to persuade youth not to join the infamous MS-13 gang.  She, in turn, was targeted with violence and fled with her 13-year-old son, leaving her four-year-old behind in the care of others.

Yet another client is in need of health care for a chronically ill child, as well as food support.  A RILA volunteer who is a nurse practitioner provides her with a clinic referral near her home.

The hallways and rooms of Restoration’s first floor stir with activity, as clients come and go, volunteers confer with one another, photocopiers run nonstop, and clients’ children play and laugh with children and adults from Restoration.

Restoration Anglican Church, 9:30 pm:  Furniture is put away; bulging client files have grown even thicker; a meal, prayers, and trustworthy legal advice have been shared.  Clients have departed with the assurance of RILA’s commitment to pursue cases to their conclusion and an understanding that God’s people care and, by extension, God does, too.

Warden’s Report: October 2017

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

At our 24 October Vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting.  This month Susie Wallin led us through our prayer time which included prayers for Rev. Liz Gray.  We are so thankful for Liz and the many ministries she leads at Restoration including outreach both locally and globally, prayer, RestoWomen, DOMA Standing Committee, the discernment process for people seeking ordination, and, of course, gearing up to plant Incarnation Anglican Church in south Arlington.   She and all our staff are amazing and we are grateful and humbled by all they do in leading us.  We always welcome your prayers for Liz, the staff, the Vestry and God’s good work here at Quincy Street. 

Meredith Taylor, our treasurer, led us through the Fiscal Year 2017 and September financial reports.  Average Sunday attendance year to date is up 10% from 2016.  FY 2017 offerings were 103% of budget and spending 98% of budget.  As a result, we finished are starting FY 2018 with 3.7 months of cash on hand.  We are very grateful.

We voted to approve a recommendation from the Outreach Steering Team (OST) to grant the remaining FY2017 outreach funds. 

Gifts were given to:

  • St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in partnership to further their benevolence ministry to members of the local community
  • Families-in-need at Glebe Elementary in the form of grocery gift cards.  We will also be providing an opportunity for Restoration to provide over 50 Christmas gift boxes for these families.  We will tell you about it in November.
  • Rev. Tammy Firestone in support of her missionary ministry as rector of La Trinidad Church in Cochabamba, Bolivia. 

We also voted to allow OST to carry over up to 10% of outreach funds each year, but with a strong sense of Vestry that they should work to minimize any carryover.  We are so grateful for the congregations generous giving that enables us to support God’s work in the local community and globally.   

Finally, we received an update from David on our search for a church plant resident and the progress of Incarnation Anglican Church.  Both efforts are on a positive trend for which we thank God. 

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback.  You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Dietrich Kuhlmann, Warden

Fall Retreat to Singapore and Back

DOS MRT 2017

Hey Restoration,

I loved being with so many of you at the fall retreat last weekend.  Our planning team did a superb job, the weather was perfect, and the content was challenging.  As you may know, a couple days after the retreat, Jeff Walton and I went to Singapore for their diocese’s triennial Mission Roundtable.  It has been such a good time to be with our friends from Cambodia (Jesse Blaine, Gregory Whitaker, Wong Tak Meng) and our friends from the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (Bill Deiss, Bill Haley) and our friends from Anglican Frontier Missions which is the sending agency for our folks in West Asia and on whose board Jeff Walton serves.

I love being around people who are passionate about the expansion of Jesus’ Kingdom and fame, who are creative about getting people interested in the Gospel, and who are courageous in getting to places that are hard to get to with this good news.  I REALLY love getting to be around those people on their turf, outside of the US.   This has been fun and encouraging.

A few highlights:

  1.  I joined the guys from ARDF to do a workshop on why relief and development is used by God to bring His Kingdom shalom.  I talked about how the local church partners with ARDF and how ARDF serves the local church to connect us to the needs of the world.   Quick reminder–  Restoration responded within days to the 2 earthquakes in Nepal back in 2015 by giving over $8ooo to ARDF.  Today, 85% of the churches that were destroyed in that earthquake have been rebuilt and the remaining 15% will be done by the end of the year.  The Anglican church in Nepal has grown by 50% since the earthquakes because of the witness of generosity, relief, and development.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 2.58.40 PM

  2. The diocese of Singapore is a STRONG church.  I love their intentional, plan-filled hearts.  They have 6 mission ‘deaneries’:  Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and Nepal.  I attended a workshop where the folks from Cambodia gave a robust update on the good work that God is doing through the church in that country.  Quick reminder–  Restoration sent Jesse, Sarah, and Clara Blaine to serve in Cambodia back in 2011.  Since that time, they have had 2 more girls, Jesse has been ordained to the priesthood and now leads a Khmer-speaking congregation, and they are leading the Alpha Course which they hope might become a church plant.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 2.58.02 PM

  3. I spoke on a plenary panel about mission partnerships.  Jesse, Tak Meng, Stewart Wicker (of SAMS), Daryl Fenton (ACNA canon to SE Asia), and I talked about the relationship between Restoration (sending church), SAMS (sending missions agency), Singapore (Anglican diocese), and Jesse (mission church planter).  It was such a privilege to tell the story of our church and Cambodia–  the multiple teams we have sent; our desire to refresh the workers; the visits to Restoration from Tak Meng, Bolly Lapok, Jesse Blaine; the Holy Week financial gift we gave to CCOP for their church building project; the way we pray for the Blaines and Cambodia each month during our worship services.  Quick reminder:  I have been reminded many times of how unusual it is that we have such good, healthy, and deep global partnerships.  Most churches don’t have what we have and we have 3!!  (Cambodia, West Asia, and Bolivia).  I am so grateful to Liz Gray and her tireless work to help us stay connected and to go deep in these places.  And I am so grateful for the dozens and dozens of volunteers who have gone on trips, showed up at Resto prayer meetings, and given generously.  We have a vision to plant, to reproduce, to multiply (in Arlington and globally)–  and it was fun to tell that story this week.

Set up by the Fall Retreat…

Our topic at the fall retreat was ‘the problem of race and the power of the cross’.  Joe’s talk on Sunday morning was so educational for me.  He connected lots of dots as he spoke from Ephesians 3

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.  This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Ephesians 3: 4-6

Joe explained that when we talk about multi-ethnicity, we are not just talking about a diverse room.  Paul was describing what would happen as Jews and Gentiles followed Christ together–  there would be a multi-racial, multi-cultural church, whose members would be heirs together, ‘body together’, and sharers (partakers) together.

I have seen these 3 traits on display this week in Singapore.  It is a very diverse group:  ethnic Chinese, Tamil Indians, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Nepalese, Khmer, Americans, folks from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Thailand.  I have heard stories of national churches sharing resources so that there is a ‘shared inheritance’–  so that one church is not a ‘have’ and the other a ‘have not’.  I have watched churches ‘body together’ as they feel pain that is not their own, but treated as their own because another church is feeling it.  And I have watched churches ‘share together’- decide that ‘we are making it together.’  They are doing it across cultural and ethnic divisions, in spite of national pain, in defiance of being separated, as a declaration of unity for the sake of the Gospel.

It is beautiful.

Such is a week in my life at Restoration.  It doesn’t always involve such a swing of time zones, but every week seems to hold moments of God reconciling, empowering, emboldening, and healing.  Sometimes they are spectacular and public.  Most of the time they are quiet and hidden.

The mystery of Christ.

Grateful to be with you on the journey.

-David

presence in all the absences of the world

Presence in all the absences

“The very purpose [of the church] was to be a light in the darkness–  to be a presence in all the absences of the world.

Greg Thompson, from his talk at Q

When we started preaching through the book of Jeremiah this fall, I knew at some point we would have to talk about lament.  This week, that’s where we are going.

Is there no balm in Gilead?   Is there no physician there?   Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?  Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night…

Jeremiah 8:22-9:1

Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?

Jeremiah 15:18

Last Sunday, over 58 people were murdered by a shooter in Las Vegas and over 515 were injured.  The shooter had somewhere between 8 and 10 guns with him in his hotel room.  He had set up cameras so he could watch the approach of the police and gauge how much time he had before he, Steven Paddock, murdered himself.

There will be people who call for our nation to take a look at our gun laws.  And people will be mad that a call to change gun laws could change the freedom they enjoy with regard to firearms.  “Guns don’t kill.  People do.”

There will be people who call for our nation to take a look at the way we care for people with mental illness.  And people will be mad because mental illness is not an excuse for destructive behavior.

The mass murder in Las Vegas exposed yet another absence that is crying out for presence.

When injustice and tragedy happen…  When the absences of the world are exposed,   humanity tends to respond in 3 ways:  we protest, we serve, we lament.  We need all 3 to be present in the absences of the world.

So this week, we will choose to lament.

I wanted to give you a heads up and to encourage a few things:

  1. Lament might involve emotion but it is mostly a deliberate choice to ‘enter in’ ( to feel, to be empathic, to understand, to identify with).  We will invite you to feel the wrong of what is broken and busted in the world.  We will not expect you to have an emotional response.
  2. For some of us, we are assisted in our ‘feeling’ by ‘writing’.  If you are one who uses a journal, I invite you to bring it on Sunday.  You will have an opportunity to reflect, to write, to feel.
  3. As always, a particular event is grown and nourished in a broader culture.  We live in a culture that is entertained by violence and the desolation of the image of God.  The conflation of entertainment and violence should push us to lament.

Breathe.

For some of you, you are already mad.  For some of you, this topic feels overwhelming.  For some of you, you want to come to church to feel hope and encouragement, not lament.

I do too.  I don’t like the broken fallenness of our world.  But I am grateful to God that He walks with me (and you) into the absences while holding my hand and being present.

The light of the world.

-David

An update on Holy Orders for women in the ACNA

The College of Bishops for the Anglican Church in North America met in conclave from September 5-7 in British Columbia, Canada.  Here is the statement that they made at the conclusion of their time.

They met to discuss the report of the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders.  The report itself is over 300 pages long and well worth the time it takes to digest it.  You will see the careful thinking of the writers and you will learn a lot about church history and church polity.  The report underlines the reality that every decision has decades of background and convictions that shape the assumptions which lead to the final conclusions.

In the social media space, many people have reacted to the report that lead into the conclave and then subsequently to the decision that was made by the College of Bishops at the conclave.

I want to give my brief thoughts as the pastor of Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, VA.  I speak for myself.  Restoration is a church that joyfully affirms the leadership and gifts of women in every part of our life together.  We have women who are elders (vestry members), small group leaders (for kids, youth, and adults who are male and female), and priests (ordained clergy).  I want to be clear that not all of Restoration’s members agree with my view.  But we live in charity with one another and we work in mission alongside each other.

My response to the College of Bishops Statement

Generally I was thrilled by the conclusions of the College of Bishops for 4 reasons:  

  • First it was unanimous.  Currently, in the Anglican Church of North America, about 17 dioceses do not ordain women to the priesthood and 13 dioceses do ordain women to the priesthood.  There is significant disagreement on this issue within our province.  So to have a unanimous vote is quite incredible.  By the grace and discernment of the Holy Spirit, they found words to articulate a way forward in which all the bishops could agree.  Thanks be to God!
  • Second,  their statement does NOT say—  we agree that some of us believe this and some of us believe that.  We know there are differing opinions and convictions.  Saying, ‘We disagree’ would have been a non-statement.  Instead, they stated the elements where they found agreement and how our province could remain together even though there is disagreement on this issue.  Thanks be to God!  
  • Third, the statement acknowledges that “Anglicans have differing principles of ecclesiology and hermeneutics that are acceptable within Anglicanism and lead to divergent conclusions regarding women’s ordination to the priesthood.”  This statement affirms the beauty and charity of Anglicanism.  We find our authority in the unchanging Scriptures and that people who trust the Bible have come to different conclusions on this issue.  But we can stay in relationship with each other.  Thanks be to God!
  • Fourth, as expected, the bishops agreed that the ordination of women cannot be mandated across the whole province.  The College of Bishops decided that each bishop and diocese will be able to make that decision for their diocese but not for other dioceses.

    To be clear, this is the way we talk about the leadership of women in our church, here at Restoration:  all of us have to decide what we believe about the expression and use of gifts that God has given to women.  You can make a Biblical case to limit the role of women and you can make a Biblical case for women to use their gifts in all aspects of the parish.  Restoration strongly encourages women to lead, teach, and serve in every part of our church.  Thanks be to God!

I encourage you to read the statement from the conclave.  And to dig into the 300 page report that was prepared over 5 years.  It is excellent work.

As always, feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.  I love Restoration and I am grateful that our bishops have made a way for us to continue our Biblical practice of affirming the leadership, teaching, and serving gifts of women in our parish.  Thanks be to God!

-David

5 Myths about ‘being on vestry’

Want to join this awesome team?

Want to join this awesome team?

Vestry: The Five Myths Edition

We are so thankful for the 9 men and women who serve on our vestry.  These leaders provide spiritual and fiduciary oversight for our church and serve as liaisons for  different areas of our church life.  Many sit on the committees that advise the vestry on finances, the facility, outreach, and personnel.  In addition to each member’s individual areas of oversight, the vestry meets monthly to advise the rector and make decisions related to the church’s finances and facilities.

Vestry members are elected to staggered three-year terms.  Any confirmed member of Restoration is eligible to stand for election to the vestry.  Elections are held every year in November.

You might have heard some myths about what’s involved in vestry service.  In the spirit of the WaPo, here are some myths…  de-mystified.

Myth 1: Vestry members must be uniquely qualified to serve on vestry. (I have read the high standards listed in Titus 1: 5-9!)

Everyone has something to offer, as we are all equipped with spiritual gifts. The vestry is a broad representation of the congregation – all talents, perspectives, and passions are needed. Hannah Royal (former warden) reflects, “It took me a little while to shift my thinking from ‘What do I have to offer?’ to ‘Why and what is God using me to do on vestry?’  I found my years of service on vestry to be hugely beneficial to my own spiritual walk, and my desire to pray and listen to God.”

If you are elected, it is because God wants to use you, no matter your background, leadership experience, or gifts.

Myth 2: OK, we all have spiritual gifts. But I must have technical expertise (like finance, the law, human resources) to serve on vestry.

Again, all of us have special expertise in something. The vestry operates at its best when the members are a mix. Sure, this year it would be great to elect someone with financial expertise, to work alongside Meredith Taylor as Assistant Treasurer. And Becky Mohr could use a fellow vestry member conversant in human resources. But vestry discusses more than personnel issues and financial spreadsheets. Generalists are important as the church ponders strategic directions.


Myth 3: Serving on vestry means I can’t stay involved with what I am really passionate about at church:  like children’s ministry, small groups, or outreach.

Again, Hannah offers wise advice, “Vestry actually needs people that are passionate about the various ministries of the church.  While on Vestry, you have the opportunity to help those ministries in liaison roles.  Being on Vestry also provides an in-depth and holistic view of all that Restoration is doing and may open your heart to other aspects of our church that you never considered.”

Myth 4: Ok, I can stay connected to my favorite ministry.  But surely vestry meetings aren’t as interesting as the other committees that I am a part of.

Surprisingly, vestry meetings are not a buttoned-up, formal affair. Yes, motions are approved and passed. But vestry is not your typical business meeting. Instead, there are the essential elements of prayer and fellowship. Peanut M&Ms and seltzer. Laughter, lots of laughter. And always, grace.

Myth 5: Vestry meetings run until midnight.

Vestry meetings are very well organized and run efficiently by our rector.  They often end by 10:30pm. Here’s the schedule: the vestry gathers at 7pm for dinner and begins a time of prayer at 7:30pm. The actual “business” meeting begins at 8pm. Fun fact: ever since the vestry started praying for 30 minutes, the meetings have actually been shorter in length!

However, it is important to note that serving on vestry is not just a once a month event. (Do pastors only work on Sundays?)  Between meetings, you will be expected to spend time in prayer and preparation and assisting with various reports and parish meetings. The workload often comes in “seasons” and one month you might spend 30 hours on vestry duties and next month only 10.

It is important to be deliberate as you consider the time commitment of the 3-year term. Even so, our vestry always has a wide range of “DC-types” with busy schedules. Everyone is working to carve out space to serve our church!  

We hope that you will consider nominating someone (including yourself) to vestry.   

It’s easy. 

  1. Click this link.
  2. Give us your nominee’s name and email address (if you have it).
  3. Please provide 2-3 sentences on why you nominated this person.  (a particular experience they have, service you have noticed, character trait that you admire, etc)
  4. That’s it!  Nominate as many people as you would like!

We can promise that vestry members enjoy the honor of serving our church and love the opportunity to get to know the people with whom we serve.

“Think of it as an extended small group experience!” Hannah Royal (former warden)

-Christine Jones, chair of 2017 Vestry Discernment Team

Nominations, including 2-3 sentences describing why you are nominating a particular person (and, yes, you can nominate yourself!) should be sent here

Warden’s Report: September 2017

2017 Vestry

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

At our 19 September Vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting.  This month Meredith Taylor led us through our prayer time which included prayers for Kat Downs and the amazing gifts she brings as she steps into an increasingly managerial role while still keeping the bills paid, the lights on and the trains running on schedule.  We welcome your prayers for her as well as all the staff, the Vestry and God’s good work here at Quincy Street. 

Due to timing, the August and Fiscal Year 2017 financial reports were not available for review.  Our initial indication is that we remain slightly ahead of plan and all is well.  We will include a more robust report at the Parish Meeting on October 8 and after our next Vestry meeting.  We held detailed discussions on the Facility Reserve and the status of the mortgage which is laying the groundwork for future policies and decisions.  

We voted to approve a $6000 gift to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund to support hurricane relief in Houston and Florida as well as a $5000 gift in support of the Matthew 25 Gathering.  Additionally, we discussed preparations for the upcoming Vestry election and the Parish Meeting on Oct 8th.

We give thanks for a vibrant Christian community connecting to God’s creative mission through a gifted and caring congregation.  We are humbled by the multitude of ways God continues to bless our people, raise up leaders, and entrust us with resources to steward. 

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback.  You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Dietrich Kuhlmann, Warden

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