Warden’s Report: February 2018

Vestry 2018

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 February 28th vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer at the rail in the sanctuary before starting our meeting. This month, Leigh McAfee led us through compline and prayer for Associate Rector, Liz Gray. We thanked God for Liz and the fruitfulness of her work in prayer, women’s ministry, and outreach at Restoration.  We also prayed for her new role as she leads the planting of Incarnation Anglican Church next fall: that God would protect and lead her as she bravely answer’s God’s call to be a church planter.

In our meeting, we discussed our plan to build on Liz’s legacy at Restoration as she prepares to leave Restoration for Incarnation. We are asking God to help us to hire a priest who can lead women’s ministry and also to help us find leaders to continue to grow our outreach programs.

We voted to approve several motions, these include:

– Responding to Bishop John’s request to gifting the ACNA with funds from our outreach budget to help travel Bishops from Uganda, Rwanda, and Myanmar to the GAFCON conference in Jerusalem. 

– Approving rosters for our 5 advisory teams: Personnel, Finance, Facilities, Outreach Steering, and Incarnation Anglican Church Servant Team.

– Authorizing David and Liz to sign a lease with Greenbrier Baptist Church for Incarnation’s worship services to be held there beginning next fall.

Lastly, we had a discussion on the future of Restoration Immigration Legal Aid. Nearly two years since its first legal clinic, RILA has filed 73 asylum cases and currently has 22 scheduled court hearings. RILA has flourished within the “incubator” of Restoration. Even so, both the vestry and the RILA leadership team have been aware that a more self-sustaining model is necessary for RILA to continue to grow and best serve its clients. About a year ago, vestry asked RILA to begin considering what that model would be.

After research and consultation with Restoration’s chancellor, RILA ultimately proposed becoming its own legal entity, an integrated auxiliary of Restoration. Vestry approved this proposal for RILA to gain the flexibility needed to best serve its clients, while still continuing strong ties to Restoration’s leadership.

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.’

– Becky Mohr and Dietrich Kuhlmann, Wardens

A RILA Volunteer Comes Full Circle


Ana, a regular Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) volunteer, can’t say enough about the difference that RILA volunteers make in clients’ lives:  “People listen.  They will commit to you to the end, no matter what….RILA is so valuable.”

As a volunteer interpreter and translator, Ana has been a witness to this commitment.  As a former client of RILA, she has also been on the receiving end.

Ana’s introduction to RILA came almost two years ago, at a desperate point in her life.  She was a victim of a cruel deception that brought her to this country and led to near captivity.  Ana, along with her daughter,  experienced isolation and deprivation in their first two and a half years in the US.  During this time, she sought the assistance of private and nonprofit attorneys, but they claimed her case was hopeless – or would be prohibitively expensive to pursue.  Eventually, her circumstances led to hospitalization, and her daughter was placed in foster care.   Ana describes this time as “terrible,” but she knew her daughter was safe and that this could be a turning point for them both.  Upon release from the hospital, she found work first as a cleaner and then as a teaching assistant.  At the same time, she learned of Restoration Immigration Legal Aid through her daughter’s foster parents. 

She was thrilled that RILA was willing to take her case—and at no charge.  She explained that RILA helped her secure a work permit and prepared her expansive, well-supported application for a visa.  Throughout the one-year process, Ana marveled at how much the RILA staff were willing to help her.  There was great celebration when Ana’s visa was approved – the first success for RILA and, more importantly, a chance for a new start for Ana.

One year later, Ana, who is a physician in her home country, works at the Virginia Hospital Center as a technician.  She makes time to stop by Restoration during RILA office hours to help translate documents.  She and her daughter are also regular volunteers at RILA clinics.  Ana’s own life experiences allow her to empathize and advocate for clients during the clinic sessions.  It gives her great satisfaction to help in this way.   She notes, “You won’t find another group like RILA.”

Ana explains that when she was persuaded to come to this country, she was seeking the “American dream.”  Having overcome much and received the gift of freedom, she now understands the American dream in an entirely new way.

If you would like to volunteer with RILA or be part of a new prayer team, please email Kate.

Making a marriage last


John and Susan Yates

I am so grateful for John and Susan Yates: they and their church launched Restoration 9 years ago.  They believed in God’s power to birth a new community in Arlington, they believed in how God might use me to lead it, and they believed in us-  that we would creatively and strategically build something that would last and influence our county.  Thank you, God for the Yates’.

John and Susan have been married for 46 years (5 kids, 21 grandkids) and they have coached thousands (really) of couples with tips and advice on how to strengthen their marriage.  I appreciate the hard work they have done to articulate the principles and guidelines that have served them over the course of their marriage.  It’s one thing to be faithful to each other over such a long season.  It’s another to be able to pass that on to folks who are coming up behind you.  That’s a gift to me and to many.

We will change things up a bit on February 18.  We all have our routines and so I am sensitive to the disruption that change brings.  We are not doing this haphazardly.  We intend to provide you with meaningful help and hope.

We will have our normal Eucharistic Liturgy at our 9:00am and 11:00am.  It is the first Sunday of Lent and I will be preaching from 1 Corinthians 5.

Then at 5:00pm, we will host John and Susan for a 90 minute seminar on ‘Making a Marriage Last’.  They will teach from the Scriptures and from their life.  There will be opportunities for Q&A.  Everyone is invited to attend.  In fact, I would love for EVERYONE in our congregation to come back at 5 to hear what they have to say.  We will have nursery and a kid movie for children 5th grade and below.

From time to time we want to provide extra teaching on topics that are important to our congregation and to our neighbors.  I hope you will make this evening a priority and maybe invite a friend to come with you.


Warden’s Report: January 2018

Vestry 2018

I am delighted to show you our 2018 Vestry.  We had a great retreat last weekend and we are eagerly anticipating all that God will do through our church this year.

The vestry chose Meredith Taylor to serve as our treasurer and Sean Burke to serve as our secretary.  Dietrich Kuhlmann and Becky Mohr will serve as our wardens.

The wardens meet monthly with the rector to plan and share the leadership of the vestry.  They are wise, strategic, and people who pray.  You will hear from them each month in this quick report that summarizes the discussions and decisions of our vestry.

Join me in giving thanks to God for our new vestry and officers.


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.

This report combines our 23 January Vestry meeting which was followed by our 26-27 January Vestry Retreat. 

During our Vestry meeting we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting.  This month David Hanke led us through our prayer time which focused on asking the Holy Spirit to bless our time together and give us wisdom as we start the meeting and a new year.  We welcome your prayers for all the staff, the Vestry, God’s work here at Quincy Street and the successful launch of Incarnation Anglican in South Arlington. 

The majority of the Vestry meeting focused on reviewing our Pastoral Charge, Diocese Constitution and Canons, bylaws and the many guidelines that those before us have faithfully prepared to aide us in fulfilling our responsibilities as Vestry members of a vibrant and growing Christian community.  

We voted to:

At the Vestry Retreat we focused on the parables in Matthew 13 and, after a team building exercise, we shared and prayed over the thorns and weeds in our lives.  We spent quiet time discerning what God was saying to us about what the “the Kingdom of heaven is like …” and then shared how we might apply those insights to sustaining the great work God is doing in Restoration and Incarnation.  We are excited about the well-crafted ministry plan from the Incarnation steering team and we look forward to faithfully supporting them in this year of launch!  

Finally, we elected the vestry officials for 2018:

– Wardens: Becky Mohr and Dietrich Kuhlmann

– Treasurer: Meredith Lloyd Taylor

– Secretary: Sean Burke

We ate, we laughed, we prayed, we listened – God was very gracious and the time together was an amazing blessing.

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’

– Becky Mohr and Dietrich Kuhlmann, Wardens

Why do we sing songs in Spanish?

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Why would we not?

Over the last few months, Restoration has added three or four songs with Spanish lyrics to our canon of music.  Generally, we have chosen one each Sunday and sung it during the offertory.  Some of you have loved doing familiar songs with Spanish lyrics.  Some of you have wondered why this is happening.  Here are three reasons that are informing this practice:

It is Biblical.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7: 9-10

As followers of Jesus who submit to the Scriptures, we have a long-used methodology for determining best practices:  protology and eschatology.  How did things begin (protology)?  How will things end (eschatology)?  As Christians, want to be moving either towards the way things were intended to be or the way things will be.

Revelation 7:9-10 gives a vivid description of the way things will be.  There will be multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual worship of the Lamb who was slain for all peoples.  Consequently, we seek a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual worship service in the present because we know that it is ‘the telos’, ‘the end’, ‘the eschaton’, ‘the goal’ to which we are headed.  Singing a familiar song with Spanish lyrics is a SMALL step towards the rich tapestry of linguistic diversity that we will enjoy in the age to come. 

Similarly, Revelation 19:9 says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”  The ‘marriage supper of the lamb’ is the telos (the end) to which our current Eucharist points.  We eat a bite of bread and take a sip of wine in anticipation of the FEAST we will enjoy in the age to come.  Our eschatology (FEASTING) determines our present practice (TASTING).

It is kind.

Kind means “having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.”  There are people in our congregation for whom Spanish IS their heart language, their first language.  When we sing familiar songs with Spanish lyrics, there is an ease and comprehension that opens for them that is not available when we only sing songs in English.  As majority English speakers, we extend ourselves to our brothers and sisters whose first language is not English when we sing songs that our less comfortable for us and more comfortable for them.  It is kind.

It represents who we want to be.

According to Statistical Atlas,

“14.1% of the total population living in Arlington County live in households where Spanish is spoken at home.”

According to Data USA,

“Arlington County, VA is home to a population of 223,945 people… The ethnic composition of the population of Arlington… is composed of:

  • 141,107 White residents (63%)
  • 34,629 Hispanic residents (15.5%)  (This is supported by the U.S. Census bureau which puts the population at 15.4% as of July 2016.)
  • 22,085 Asian residents (9.9%)
  • 18,584 Black residents (8.3%)
  • 5,777 Two+ residents (2.58%).

The most common foreign language in Arlington County is Spanish (29,482 speakers).

Restoration wants to love our neighbors and look like our neighborhoods.  We want to welcome anyone who is curious about Jesus and what it means to follow Him as the One who forgives our sins and leads our life.  To that end, we want our liturgy, our music, our volunteer opportunities, and our teaching to be accessible to all of our neighbors in all of our neighborhoods.

Are we there yet?  Not.  Even.  Close.

Can we do it by ourselves?  Never.

We will need to partner with our brothers and sisters in other churches across our region.  We will need to keep looking for the courageous steps that our particular congregation can take.  We will need to embrace uncomfortable.

So the next time you see Spanish lyrics, try this:

  1.  Say a quick prayer of thanks for all the people and households in our neighborhoods who speak Spanish.  We are so glad they are near us.
  2. Choose a language to sing.  We will always put English and Spanish on the slide.  Choose what feels right to sing so that you can worship.  You are worshiping God and he can sort out multiple languages at the same time.  No sweat.
  3. Consider taking a risk from time to time and singing the lyrics that are less familiar to you.
  4. Pray for the people standing around you that they would be the light of Christ to all the peoples in their neighborhoods.

For Me?  Well, so far I have stumbled through my Spanish during those songs.  Every time.  But as I bump along, embracing uncomfortable, I am so grateful that my voice gets drowned out by the volume of others singing next to me.  So grateful that we are a community.  I am so grateful to be in a community that is being kind and welcoming and hospitable.  I am grateful for really small steps that demonstrate trust in God and partnership in his mission.  And I look forward to that gigantic multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual worship of the Lamb in the age to come.



The Corinthian Correspondence


Writing a Letter


Happy New Year!  Restoration is starting a new sermon series and working our way through St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  Make sure you read the first 2 sections of this post….

Why would you want to do that?  (Don’t you know that it’s long and says true things that lots of people find offensive. #spoileralert)

Well, there are actually several reasons that this book seems really good for who Restoration is at this point in time:

  1. First, I am very grateful for our hard work in Jeremiah all fall.  We got our heads and heart around a big, mildly unfamiliar story.  As we seek to cover all of the Scriptures, it’s a good time to pivot to the New Testament and young churches that were getting started.
  2. It’s been a while since we worked through an epistle (a letter) and a while since we have worked through an entire book from start to finish.  Let’s take that on this year!
  3. The issues they were dealing with in Corinth are raw and connected to the things we are dealing with at Restoration and in our world today:  the foolishness of faith in the Gospel, discerning what is real wisdom and real prosperity, the consequence of identifying ourselves with our leaders (or not), sexual purity, lawsuits, the role of men and women in the church and in the home, spiritual gifts and how the Holy Spirit manifests in our worship, getting drunk at the Eucharist, marriage, not marriage, temptation and idols and rights and eating meat.  As relevant as this morning’s headlines in the Post.
  4. I appreciate that the church in Corinth was young, freshly planted, and messy.  Their questions are good things for Restoration and Incarnation to consider while we are still together (one being about 10 years older than the other…)

Small Groups

As always, we will have 30 small groups starting up with about half of them talking about the passages from 1 Corinthians.  Registration opens on Sunday, January 7 and I hope that everyone who worships with us on Sunday will be actively involved in a Resto small group during the week.  It’s the best place to get to know people, to pray together, and to wrestle through how these truths in the Scripture affect our hustle and bustle life.

Ken Bailey

Feel free to skip this last section, I just want to give a shout out to one of the names you will hear me frequently quote during this series:  Ken Bailey.  He is a preeminent author and scholar in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies.  He teaches in English and Arabic and has written some of the most helpful stuff available for understanding First Century culture.  His book, Paul through Mediterranean Eyes, has been so helpful to my preparation for this series.  The book is almost 600 pages and heavily focused on Hebrew rhetorical style-  so not light reading.  But as appropriate, I will share helpful sections.

I love the way he describes himself:

Every commentator on the Scriptures writes in a context and out of a series of deep commitments.  I am a confessing Christian with a high reverence for the Bible as the inspired Word of God, which I approach with awe and gratitude.  Many of the ideas in this work come out of the non-Western world and have been presented by me in Arabic and in English to numerous audiences around the globe for more than 40 years…  I am writing for native English speakers, but also looking to the new Global South where the majority of the world’s Christians now live.”

His hermeneutical methodology helps us appreciate the logic and coherence of the book.

The view presented in this study is that 1 Corinthians has a carefully designed inner coherence that exhibits amazing precision in composition and admirable grandeur in overall theological concept…  the outline is as precise as any of Paul’s letters and it falls into 5 carefully constructed essays…

  1. The Cross and Christian Unity 1:5-4:16 (Epiphany)
  2. Men and Women in the Human Family 4:17-7:40 (Lent)
  3. Food offered to Idols (Christian and Pagan) 8:1-11:1  (post-Easter)
  4. Men and Women in Worship 11:2-14:40  (Autumn)
  5. The Resurrection 15  (Autumn)

As you look at those 5 essays, we discover that 3 principle ideas were on Paul’s mind as he wrote the letter:

  1. The Cross and Resurrection [1 and 5]
  2. Men and Women in the human family and in worship [2 and 4]
  3. Christians living among pagans:  to identify or not to identify [3]

It is my hope that this letter will increase our love for Jesus and His Church while also filling us with joy and hope as we live in this age and wait for the age to come.

Looking forward to it,


How Can I Pray for You?

cold winter

Each year, in January, I take a few days to pray for Restoration and to plan our preaching series.  I get out of town where I can be still and quiet and alone.  I look forward to this opportunity to connect with God about you and what He is doing in our church.  It will happen during the week of January 7.

I would be honored to pray for the needs and concerns that are most pressing to you.  Would you be open to sharing them with me?

This is the link where you can share your prayer request.

Your confidentiality is important and I will be the only one who sees these requests.  In addition, you will have a choice to share them anonymously or to indicate your name so that I can pray for you personally.  Totally up to you.  God knows what you need.

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was give you in Christ Jesus…”  1 Corinthians 1:4


Grateful to be one of your pastors,


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.




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.


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