Resto2025 Congregation Survey

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Restoration 2025

This is our 10th year as a church!  We have a big birthday to celebrate when we get to November.  One of the gifts that our leadership is giving to the church is a strategic plan that will guide us over the next five years.  We are grateful for all of the input our congregation has given so far and we look forward to many more fruitful conversations in the future.

From May 8 until midnight on May 19, we are hosting a survey for you to give your feedback about the things that Restoration is doing well, the ways that you are growing closer to Jesus, and the opportunities that we have to be more effective in the work God has given us to do as a church.  The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and I hope that all of you will choose to do it.  We thank you in advance for the investment of your time.

You can access the survey, here.

We have been working on this plan since September 2018.  Want to read an archive of our progress?  Click here and pray as you go.

Thanks for being a part of the first ten years of Restoration.  We are excited about what’s to come!

-David

Update on the 5pm Service

Winter

Hi Restoration,

We have a special community that gathers at 5pm on Sunday evenings for worship.  We wrote a bunch of reasons for why we love it.  Over the last 6 months, I have been facilitating a conversation with that community about the ways God is using that service and the ways we are experiencing Him in the midst of it.  Those conversations have been so encouraging. 
In light of that encouragement and the dearness of that community to me, it makes me sad to have to tell you that in consultation with our staff team and our vestry, we have concluded that it is necessary for Restoration to not offer a 5pm worship service starting on June 23.

How did we arrive at that conclusion?

  • First, I had already announced on March 31 that we were not going to offer the 5pm during August for the purpose of refreshing our staff and volunteers.
  • The next week, on April 5, Matt Hoppe resigned as Director of Worship Arts and Prayer.  His resignation has created an increased work load for each of our staff.  That increase shows up all week long.  One of the ways to give some of this time back to our staff is to not offer the 5pm during a longer portion of the summer.
  • In addition, Matt’s resignation created a significantly greater burden on our volunteer musicians as they cover 3 services on a Sunday.  One of the ways to reduce that burden is to not offer the 5pm service.
  • In my sermon on the season of winter, I said that one of winter’s activities is pruning.  We prune for the sake of more robust growth in the future.  It is my sincere hope that pruning the offering of a 5pm service will actually bring more robust growth for Restoration in general and for this 5pm service in particular.
  • We chose June 23rd as the first date to not offer a 5pm service because our Kids’ Small Groups conclude on June 16.  Summer programming begins on June 23 and that was a natural point in our life together to cease offering the 5pm.

If you regularly worshiped at the 5pm with us, what are your options for Holy Eucharist Worship?

1.  We would be so delighted for you to join us at the 9 or 11 during the summer.  There will be kids’ small groups for pre-school and younger at both services.  I hope that you will choose to adjust your Sunday rhythm and join us in the morning.
2.  Should you choose to seek out an afternoon Eucharistic service, may I recommend our church plant, Incarnation Anglican Church which meets in South Arlington or our Anglican friends at Church of the Ascension which meets in Annandale at 4pm.  I am happy to get you connected with their pastoral leadership, should you choose that.
It is my current hope and intention that we will again offer a 5pm service at Restoration, starting on September 8, 2019.  However, I have been surprised by several things in the past few months, which is why I say ‘current hope and intention’.  May the Lord make His will and His fruit clear in the months to come.
I am grateful for the work God is doing through our church.  Feel very free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.
And pray for Restoration.
-David

Warden’s Report: April 2019

2019 Wardens

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 April 30th Vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together, and we prayed before starting the meeting.  This month, we read Psalm 145 together, and we prayed for our church. We prayed for the amazing Restoration staff team and we prayed for RILA.  We prayed that God would reveal His vision for our Church as we work on a new strategic plan, for energy and God’s love to be poured out on the staff who are serving our church-family in so many ways new and old, and for wisdom and provision as we seek to hire key roles in a time when our finances are tighter than in the past.  We also gave thanks and praise for RILA’s recent successes, which will bring both security and opportunity for clients and a sense of divine encouragement for the RILA staff and volunteers who serve so many in times of deep practical and spiritual need.  As always, we hope that you will pray with us for all the staff, vestry and God’s work here at Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we discussed the progress of the strategic planning process, as well as exciting ideas for how Restoration will celebrate its tenth anniversary (!) this fall.  If you can’t wait to share an idea, vision, or dream you’ve received for Restoration in 2025, use this email address or this form to submit that important information.  And be watching for other upcoming opportunities to pray and give input about the next chapter in our life together.  

We also received a great update from Incarnation Anglican Church.  Our Vestry serves as Incarnation’s vestry during this interim phase as Incarnation builds its own foundation within our diocese.  This month, we also approved Incarnation’s recommendation for one of their members to proceed toward ordination as a Vocational Deacon.  God is good! And it is so exciting to watch our friends at Incarnation to continue to build community together and share God’s love in South Arlington.  

The Vestry discussed conversations and questions received from the congregation in connection with Matt Hoppe’s resignation earlier this month.  The Vestry discussed ongoing efforts to gather information from and care for people inside and outside our congregation during this time of transition.

This month, the Vestry also received a financial update from Brad Jones, our Treasurer.  March giving was again below anticipated levels. Giving in March was 17% below our budgeted or predicted giving.  This continued a general trend that the Finance Team and the Vestry have been closely monitoring since the beginning of the fiscal year last September.  While Restoration’s expenses also have been running under-budget, the Vestry discussed how this may impact next year’s budget as well as hiring decisions in the coming months.  The Vestry also decided that we will not pursue a capital campaign in 2019, which had been previously considered after suggestions from Vision Night last fall.

David led a discussion about several staffing needs, some of which have gone unfilled for some time.  Our staff work so faithfully to serve our community in ways visible and invisible.  They are constantly taking on more responsibilities and opportunities to serve. We are so grateful for them.  Please pray for them and say “thank you” in whatever way you feel led over the coming weeks. Another way we can care for our staff is by identifying and hiring new colleagues to share the work involved in making Restoration an attractive and powerful place to experience God and a community of believers.  The Vestry discussed some proposals for specific potential job descriptions that would serve Restoration very well in the months and years to come. This was an initial discussion, but stay tuned for possible job postings that could be a perfect fit for you or your friends.

The Vestry also discussed extending the normal summer “time-off” for the 5 p.m. service in order to support our staff by changing their Sunday schedule. This break will begin on Sunday, June 23rd and continue through the end of August. If you have questions about this change in Sunday schedule or are looking for alternative ways to receive Holy Eucharist, please check out this blog post.

As you can see, our meeting included discussion of significant topics, but—through it all—we were reminded by the Psalm we started with.  God is with us, He is steadfast and faithful, and we are excited to see how He leads us forward in accordance with His plan. Want to be a part of what’s next?  Join a small group.  If you’re new-ish, come to the New To Restoration Dinner on May 7.  Give your time, talent, and treasure to what God’s doing.  And, above all, pray for our staff and vestry, and praise God for all He has done and is doing through 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.’  You can also plan ahead to attend our next Parish Meeting on June 2nd.

God’s peace to all of you,

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

 

Warden’s Report: March 2019

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 March 26th vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting. This month, Kevin Marshall led us through prayer which included a time of intercession and prayer for Nathan Dickerson, our associate rector. We prayed over Nathan’s work as he cares for our small group leaders and recruits leaders for the upcoming Spring trimester (which begins the last week of April). We gave thanks for Nathan’s work among the men in our congregation and how he cares for and shepherds them so well. We prayed that Nathan and his family would have a restful time away next month and that God would bless and guide each of them in their daily work and life. Additionally, we prayed over our strategic plan and the work being done to prepare it. We prayed that we would hear God’s voice as he leads Restoration in the process of discerning our next five years. As always, we hope that you will pray with us for all the staff, vestry and God’s work on Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we received an encouraging update on Incarnation and approved a memorandum of understanding with Incarnation providing them with back office support. This a generous and helpful gift we are giving to our friends and we are grateful to be able to help them in this way for six months into the next fiscal year. Additionally, we approved changes to our advisory teams and the hiring of a contractor during an upcoming maternity leave.

Brad Jones, our treasurer, led us through a financial report that showed February giving was again below anticipated levels. The vestry has prepared a letter for members updating them further on our financial situation. You can expect to see if in your mailbox early next week.  If you are not a member of Restoration and would like to see a copy, you can email Kat Downs.

David led a discussion with the vestry about the strategic planning process. We had a chance to hear feedback from the first congregational input session that occurred on March 17th and hear an update from the strategic plan advisory team. (Our current strategic plan ends this year.) As we celebrate ten years as Restoration Anglican Church, this is an appropriate moment to pause and look ahead to 2025. We are grateful for what God has done and anticipate His continued good work in the next five years.

We look forward to hearing from you: what is God saying to you about Restoration 2025? We invite you to join the Strategic Planning Advisory Team this Sunday, March 31st from 1-2pm (immediately after the 11 o’clock service). Food and childcare will be provided. You can also submit your ideas, feedback, questions and things you are hearing in prayer to this email address or using this form. We look forward to hearing from you.

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’

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

Restoration2025: report from congregational input #1

Congregational Input

We hope that you will join us for each congregational input session.  The next one is Sunday, March 31 @1pm.  We will provide food and childcare.  You can also submit ideas, questions, and things you are hearing in prayer to this email address or through this form.

Thanks for reading and praying along with us.  Here is a summary of what we heard on March 17:

Key Highlights

~25 members gathered to pray with us, in thanksgiving for what God has already done in and through Restoration for the past 9+ years, and in anticipation of hearing what He will do for the next 5.
Some things we heard about what we do well (and should probably continue doing!):
  • Kids small groups (Nursery through 5th grade)
  • Adult small groups (the model makes it easy for people to jump in)
  • Use of liturgy, music, and other arts to invite people to connect with God on more than an intellectual level
  • Open communication and sense of welcome from the leaders
There was excitement about possibilities with the following:
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministries (roughly defined as age 14 through 30)
  • Fostering spiritual development and growth of individual members
    • training and equipping folks to ‘invitationally’ talk about their relationship with Jesus.
    • providing resources for life’s hard stuff: parenting, death, transitions, etc.
    • more rigorous, in depth Bible Study / Scripture study
  • Increasing local outreach – thinking about how we integrate into the immediate community
    • using our facility/space creatively
    • more conferences/seminars on topics that concern those in our broader community
    • short term local missions trips
    • caring for the vulnerable
    • connecting w/ young professionals new to the area

There is a chance that this list doesn’t have the idea you want our church to pursue over the next five years!  So make sure that you bring it with you on March 31 @1pm so that we can hear it!

Moving towards Jesus

One of our stations on March 17 was for input about who we want to serve and invite into this story…
Broadly speaking, people fit into the following categories:
  • Jesus Who? — Never met Jesus
  • No Thanks Jesus — Don’t care to meet Jesus because they a) don’t care or b) simply not appealing
  • Yea, I Met Jesus Once — Met Jesus long ago and consider themselves “churched” or too busy
  • Jesus Betrayed Me — He didn’t come through on something they wanted, didn’t protect them from pain
  • What Now Jesus? — Newly met Jesus and looking for a home and a place to fit in and grow
  • Following Jesus — Looking for my calling, to grow deeper, to give with a purpose

Ultimately, our goal is for people to a) meet Jesus, and b) be discipled by Jesus together with others being discipled by Jesus.

We want to develop a plan that engages Restoration’s unique gifts to help people meet Jesus and be discipled by Jesus.  The people we want to befriend, serve, and love are:
  1. Unchurched – and either a) Never been exposed to Jesus, and/or b) Don’t see the point.  Our neighbors.  Our fellow professionals (Gen X, Y, Z) looking for a home and a place to belong.
  2. Under-resourced– our neighbors who are financially poor, undereducated, families in foster care
  3. Unseen-  our elders, our friends who experience depression, anxiety, loneliness

We are seeking God’s leading and His compassion.  We want to run with anticipation and excitement towards the things He is doing and inviting us to join.  Keep praying with us!  Keep listening!

We hope to see you on March 31 at 1pm.

Restoration 2025: Congregational Input #1

Congregational Input

You are invited.

Restoration, I invite you bring the enthusiasm, energy, and ideas you’ve always shared with me to the first congregational input session on March 17th.  We will not have childcare.  But we will have snacks!

There are 2 more congregational input sessions on March 31 @1 (at Restoration with childcare) and April 10 @7:30 (at the Weimer Home).  If you can attend all 3 input sessions, GREAT!  I imagine that they will build on each other and you will enjoy the sense of momentum.  If you can only attend 1 or 2, GREAT!  We want to hear what you have to say and you will have an opportunity at each session.

As things occur to you, this form is a place you can share more ideas, concerns, and things you hear in prayer.

To make the best use of our sessions together, I want to summarize some of the feedback we have already received, share the questions with which our vestry and church leaders are wrestling, and give you an idea of where we would like to focus our time together in the coming weeks.  

What we have heard so far.

On September 6, 2018, we hosted our first vision night (this is the link to the audio summary) with over 100 of you participating.  We had stations setup around the building and welcomed the chance to hear your thoughts about our strengths and weaknesses across a variety of topics including evangelism, discipleship, how to celebrate our 10th anniversary, the church mortgage, church planting, kids and youth, etc..  It was a great session and we received a ton of valuable input.

Out of Vision Night, we prioritized 6 important areas for the vestry and staff to consider for Restoration2025:

  1. Church Planting  We believe there are communities that would benefit from the kind of church that Restoration could plant.  Is this the time to keep pursuing those opportunities?  What is the place?  Who is the person?
  2. Serving and partnering with the Spanish speaking population in Arlington.  We love how God provided an opportunity like RILA-  we identified a need (immigration legal aid) that Restoration people could meet with great effectiveness.  Are there other opportunities to serve and partner with our Spanish speaking neighbors? 
  1. People aged 14-26 who live around us.  We want to build on the vibrant growth in Kids’ Small Groups and APEX.  We want to build up and equip those just starting out in their careers. What programs would disciple them?  What needs can we meet?  How can we offer vibrant community for them as well?  Programmatically, we have seen that a Fellows Program (like TFCA) or a mentorship program (like the CS Lewis Institute) has been effective.  Should Restoration pursue a similar programmatic initiative? 
  1. Disciples are connected, available, moving, healthy, and thankful.  They are living God’s Story and they know their place in it.  How do we help people grow deeper and closer to Jesus?  Our small group system has been very effective for a number of years.  Anything we need to add, edit, or delete in relation to this core structure of Restoration?
  2. We want to be a church where people choose to follow Jesus  where they move from curious to convinced.  We want to invite the tens of thousands of people around us to follow Jesus.  How do we do that more effectively?  What could we create to foster relationships that move people closer to Jesus?
  3. 2025 feels far away and it will be here sooner than we think.  What should we be doing now to be ready for what comes after 2025?  Specifically, our mortgage will be due in 2023.  The vestry has commissioned a capital campaign team.  Should we orient ourselves to be in a place to pay it off by 2023?  What other areas should we be working on now so that we are ready for 2025 and beyond?  A rector succession plan?  A pipeline of young(er) staff who are coming up to fill staff gaps that will emerge in the next 7 years?  

The vestry and staff have been praying about and discussing these questions.

We invite your input on Sunday, March 17.

  1. In our Restoration community, who do we serve well?  Who could we serve better?
  2. What are programs or events that we do really well?
    What are the programmatic gaps that require concentrated effort to develop?
    What are things that we are currently doing that we should consider not doing in the future (for the sake of something else)?
  3. Which communities in and around Arlington do we want to pursue?  (could be categories of geography, ethnicity, vocation, avocation, or other demographic descriptors)
  4. What does growth look like in the next 5 years?  (more attendees, more churches, more sites, more fruit, more disciples, etc)

On Sunday, show up ready to dive right in with ideas and prayers.

Our time will feel tight.  We want to use every moment of our 70 minutes together.  That means you need to arrive ready to listen, pray, and share.  (Little known fact:  the highest number of goals in soccer are scored in the last 2 minutes of each half.  After 45 minutes, the play takes on a sense of urgency and things happen.)  We invite you to come in with a sense of urgency and quickly share what is on your mind.  Don’t take 45 minutes to get warmed up.  We want to hear from every person who has something to say.

And if you can’t come this Sunday, we invite you to provide input on this form. and to join us on March 31 and April 7.

Judas

Judas

About 8 years ago I did a sermon about Judas.  In writing the sermon, my imagination was captured by the story-  why he did it, what motivated him, what was he hoping would happen, how he may have felt after-  I decided to give the sermon as Judas.  It made a deep impact on me.

During Lent 2019, we are lingering in the final 36 hours of Jesus’ life- as told by Luke in chapters 22-23.  This Sunday, we will again consider Judas.  And I will most likely give the sermon as Judas…  again.  

I have enjoyed seeing how the story impacts me-  8 years later.  And this Sunday I will pull in Peter’s betrayal as well.  These guys ‘leave’ Jesus and betray him- one right after the other.  They respond to their betrayal choices very differently.

For me, there is so much in these men that feels familiar and so much that I hope I would do differently if put in the same situation.  And yet…

So again, thank you Jesus for the cross:  for knowing what you knew- about Judas, about Peter, about me- and choosing it anyway.

Amazing Love!  How can it be that Thou,  My God(!)  shouldst die for me?

See ya on Sunday.

-David

This is why we LOVE the 5pm at Restoration!

The 5pm service is special for many reasons (there are about 20 of them that I curated from people who attend the 5.  Keep reading…).

We would love for you to try it!  As you know, trying something takes a ‘few tries’.  So if you want to give it a go, would you consider trying it from March 10 until June 9?  That’s all of Lent + Easter to Pentecost.  And that’s a great ‘try’!

We think some of you will try it, love it, and find a meaningful new rhythm to your Sabbath.

Curious?  Here’s a bunch of reasons to tip you over the edge…

It’s come as you are—not only in dress (jeans!) but people come where they are in life—single/married, young/old, children/no children, and everyone fits in.

Everyone is glad to see you!  You are greeted each Sunday like a long-lost friend even if it’s just been a week or two since you last met.

It’s a great way to “end” the weekend and at the same time start the “new” week with a Kingdom mindset.

The 5pm snacks are better!  Not really(!) but we do have snacks- just like the other services. 

It’s not crowded—there is always room for one more person or one more family…even if you are running late.

It’s not “formal”—while we meet at church and do all the worship things, it’s a little more like hanging out with a group of friends to worship together and talk about Jesus and what He’s doing in our lives.

You can be yourself—whether it’s been a tough week (or a good week), whether you feel like laughing (or crying), whether you like to sing loudly and raise your hands in praise (or not), we do it all.

It has a relaxed feel—it’s a low-stress service with rhythms of grace woven into it; it’s more about being present than the program.

It’s more intimate—because it’s a smaller group, you can know and be known by others.

It feels like family—it’s like attending the rehearsal dinner compared to the formal wedding or the Easter Vigil compared to the Sunday Easter services.  It’s more about the people you are with (Jesus and the Resto family) and less about the public-facing ceremony.

Kids’ small groups @ the 5 have their own special flavor, too. The small groups are smaller and the age-range of kids within each small group is wider. It’s a sweet opportunity to have deeper conversations between and among kids and leaders. This dynamic begins to provide our kids with the opportunity to experience mentorship that both looks ahead to those who are older and looks behind to those who are younger, as they see themselves as whole participants in their own spiritual formation and influencers of others’. In other words, we have a blast!

I love that the smaller size of an intimate group allows me to have deeper conversations with one or two people vs. just trying to say a quick surface “hello” to 20 or more people.

As someone who has a tendency to want to rush around from one thing to another, the 5pm is a sweet time of truly slowing down… No rushing to clear out of the Church for the next service, or rushing out of Church to get to a Sunday afternoon activity.

I really do feel like Sunday night is the start of my week. When I attend the 5pm service, I have a smoother transition into my work week and I feel more resilient to the Monday morning anxieties that come with my weekly to-do list, because I have it really fresh in my mind that God has got it all under control.

I have time throughout the afternoon to build up an excited anticipation for what is going to come that evening at Church.

The timing lends well to lingering longer over snacks after service and/or going straight to dinner afterwards with Church friends to continue the conversation about the sermon, prayer, what’s going on in our lives, etc.

If I could paint a picture of the 5pm service, it would be one of Jesus hanging out with his buddies around the supper table, reclined in happy relaxation… Kicking His sandals off, putting His feet up on the table, and motioning with wide open, welcoming arms to gather close… He’s saying, “The invitation is open. Come in and rest. There is always room for you.”

OK, finally. Can I say it?  I’m going to say it.  I like sleeping in!  And I am thankful to God for my “no alarm clock” Sunday mornings. Please don’t judge 🙂

 

-A cheerful invitation to try the 5 from cheerful people who attend the 5!

Warden’s Report: February 2019

2019 Wardens

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 26th Vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together, and we prayed before starting the meeting.  This month Johanna Montague led us through prayer which included a time of intercession and thanksgiving for David Hanke and the Hanke family.  We prayed that David would feel God’s presence as he emerges from working so diligently on the Matthew 25 Gathering that Restoration hosted last week.  We prayed that he, his wife Laurel, and their kids would find rest in God’s comforting hand as they reconnect in the midst of a season of transition.  Finally, we prayed that David would hear God’s voice as he leads Restoration in a process of discerning plans for our church over the next five years. As always, we hope that you will pray with us for all the staff, vestry and God’s work here at Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we approved the Outreach Steering Team’s recommendation to give away our Ash Wednesday and Holy Week offerings to Caminemos Juntos, a ministry cultivating Anglican church-planting throughout the Americas.  We also received another good report from Incarnation, and approved RILA’s board, a step that, in part, was a celebration of a milestone in RILA’s development: it recently received approval to become an “integrated auxiliary,” which will expand its opportunities to receive wide and sustaining support.  We also approved this year’s rosters for our invaluable advisory teams, and we adopted an Emergency Response Plan.

Brad Jones, our Treasurer, walked us through a finance report that showed January giving was again below anticipated levels.  Although giving was generous in December 2018, we have been below anticipated giving levels for all of the months since the fiscal year began in September 2018.  The vestry discussed possible explanations and options looking ahead to the rest of this fiscal year. (Restoration’s fiscal year runs from September to August.)

David led a discussion with vestry about the strategic planning process, and he shared an update from the team that is facilitating the development of Restoration’s next five-year strategic plan.  (Our current strategic plan expires at the end of this year.)  As we pass our tenth anniversary this fall, this is a great moment to reflect and to look ahead as a church.  We are grateful for all God has provided, and we recognize ways the Holy Spirit is already beginning to guide the development of a new strategic plan that will help Restoration be faithful in the next chapter of our lives together.  

We look forward to hearing from you: what is God saying to you about Restoration in 2025?  Come out next Tuesday, March 5 to Pancakes and Parish Meeting, where we will talk about the strategic planning process.  First, we will enjoy fellowship and pancakes starting at 6:00 pm. Then, around 7:00 pm, we will open up our spring Parish Meeting so that we can share more about God’s provision for our church to date and how you can join in that journey.  See you there!

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’

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

Below is a recording of our March 5, 2019 Parish Meeting.

Play 1. March 5 2019 Parish Meeting

M25G: Thank you so much

M25G Loading the Pod

a great team loading ‘the pod’

Restoration, you are such a generous church!

You gave an enormous gift to our province.  Thank you.

You gave an extravagant gift to the 100 folks, who are doing works for justice and mercy, who gathered for a few days in our facility to get to know one another, to experience good teaching, and to worship our Living God.  You made The Matthew 25 Gathering happen and every person I have spoken with has been so positive and so grateful to YOU for what you did.  Thank you, Restoration.

On Monday, a top-notch team of movers and packers put everything in the Kids’ Small Group Rooms and fellowship hall into a pod.  That team was strong AND really good at playing 3-D tetris.

By Tuesday, our little kitchen was FULL of treats.  Thank you for delicious snacks, bountiful fruit, sandwiches, cheese, crackers, and granola bars by the case.  The tent out front was such a cool addition.  We added 150 square feet of heated space!  The musician, Carlos Flores (famous for his RILA gig last fall) set just the right tone as people arrived.  I loved seeing all of the red shirts-  you were ready to pray, to guide, and to extend hospitality.  You.  Were.  Ready.

Thank you.

Wednesday brought a little weather to keep us on our toes.  But we got all of our content pieces in.  We took a cold trip to the Lincoln and MLK memorials.  We had 15 workshops on really helpful topics like ‘rest and soul care’, ‘peace-making as a discipleship practice’, ‘Fund-Raising’, ‘Elder Care’, ‘Immigration Legal Aid’, ‘Anglican Social Teaching’, ‘Caring fo the Physically Vulnerable’,’Centering Prayer’…  (there was even a room dedicated to the caterers so they could prep our delicious dinner.)  Many of the workshops were lead by Restoration members.  Thank you for sharing your expertise and experience.  The M25G participants loved getting to know you.

Wednesday night MANY of you showed up in the midst of awful weather to hear Dr. Vincent Bacote.  He did such a good and winsome job.  We will get the video of his talk up soon and I hope you can hear him if you were not able to join us in person.  The 2 things that most impacted me from his talk were:  1.  The difference between making someone feel ‘welcome’ and making someone feel ‘at home.’  2.  The idea of making ‘Kingdom Gestures’ rather than ‘Triumphant Conclusions.’  Dr. Bacote spoke to us, who live in this Metro DC world, following Jesus, and loving our neighbor.  Really good stuff.  Many thanks to those who came out.

Thursday concluded with Holy Eucharist that was lead by our friend, Rev. Liz Gray, and celebrated by a new friend, Bishop John Mark Zimmerman from the Diocese of the Southwest (he lives in Albuqurque, NM).

Hosting The Matthew 25 Gathering was an ENORMOUS undertaking.  Many people worked for several months to be ready.  The 2020 Gathering will be hosted somewhere else in our province, but the 2019 Gathering was a great success because of your generous hearts, Restoration.  Thank you.  It is an honor to be your pastor and a joy to be your friend.

-David

Rev. Herb Bailey reading MLK's I have a Dream Speech on the steps of the Lincoln.

Rev. Herb Bailey reading MLK’s I have a Dream Speech on the steps of the Lincoln.

 

Words from God that were received by Pray-ers and recorded on sticky notes for participants.

Words from God that were received by Pray-ers and recorded on sticky notes for participants.

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