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.

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  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

Jeremiah: visibly incorporating the repair

a repaired pot

Kintsugi is a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process usually results in something more beautiful than the original.

This fall we will take on the gargantuan task of metabolizing the book of Jeremiah.  It is 52 chapters long and records the prophecies given by God over the reigns of 3 kings:  Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah.  It begins in the latter half of the 7th Century BCE and closes with the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of Judah in 587 BCE.  It is a massive story.

Throughout the book, the prophet Jeremiah weeps.  And this is why I chose it for this fall.  He weeps because of the impossibility of his calling–  to warn people of the certain consequences of their choices.  He weeps because of the hardness of their hearts.  He weeps because of the cruelty and pain that will be inflicted upon his family and friends.  He weeps because God has been dismissed, compartmentalized, ignored, and used.

Jeremiah’s tears offer us a way to engage the broken and busted world that we see all around us.  Tears–  the evidence of grief and lament–  are ‘the different way’ from the labels of ‘judgmental’ and ‘triumphal’ that so often get attached to those who profess to follow Jesus.

Jeremiah bravely looked at everything that was not the way its supposed to be and he mourned.  (For those who mourn will be comforted.)

The book itself is a 52 chapter description of consequence:  This is what will happen because of what you did.  It is sober, honest, and candid.  Jesus talked about the same things, but He would often come at it, ‘slant’.

He used parables.

The meanings of them are no less stark in their messages of separation, of hope, of rejection, and of grace.  But parables, being story and metaphor, can slip behind our defenses and walls of self-righteousness.  So we will look at one of Jesus’ parables from Matthew each week as well.  I am interested in exploring the contrasts between God’s announcements of consequence through Jeremiah and God’s announcements of consequence through Jesus.

On Sunday, we will have a small gift for you.  Amy Rowe, a church planter at Restoration, has created a beautiful book mark with a reading plan to help all of us work our way through Jeremiah this fall.  I hope you will pick one up and use it each day.  I know that God will use our reading of Jeremiah to deepen our relationship with Him…  and each other.

Jeremiah Bookmark

 

…to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it.

The image of a pot shows up over and over in the prophecy of Jeremiah.  When the pot is broken it is a metaphor of what we have done and what has been done to us.  But when it is repaired…  As followers of Jesus, we never need to hide our brokenness.  For it is in the repair, the healing, the visible restoration, that our Rescuer and Deliverer gets the honor and praise He so completely deserves.

May God give us grace to join Jeremiah and Jesus in looking upon what is broken and weeping.  And may God give us grace to rejoice in what has been healed and repaired.  And may God give us grace to wait for it all to be completed.

-David

September 9: Kickball! Softball! Have a ball with Resto!

fireball

Hey Friends,

On September 9, Restoration and friends will take over the softball diamond at Quincy Park.  We will have a blast playing kickball, softball, and then walking over to Rocklands for barbecue.

What time does it start?

  • From 4-5pm, we will use the diamond for kickball.  Adults and kids of all ages are welcome to join in.
  • From 5-6pm, we will use the diamond for softball.  This game will be open to everyone who is in middle school and older.
  • If it rains on September 9:  call the Arlington County Inclement Weather Line (703) 228-4715.  If Arlington County closes the field (the recording will say, ‘diamond fields are closed’) then the event is canceled.

Where is it?  Quincy Park is bordered by N. Quincy St, Washington Boulevard, 10th Street, and N. Nelson St.  The diamond fields are located at the corner of 10th Street and N. Nelson St.  You can park in the library lot, along 10th St, or along Nelson St.

What should I bring?  Anything you might need to play–  glove, bat, fireball, water, sense of humor, knee brace, energy bar, hat, those cool gloves that Harper wears…

Can I just watch?  Of course!  We love fans.  Make signs.  Bring foam fingers.  Wear a morph suit.

Is there anything else to do at Quincy Park?  Yep.  The playground is big and awesome.  And there is a library–  though they frown on balls being thrown indoors.

Here is a map:

Map of Quincy Park

Can I just join you for dinner?  You betcha.  People will start heading to Rocklands around 5 after kickball.  The next crew will show up at 6 and then we will stay till they run out of that delicious corn pudding.

Come for the fun.  Come for chance to nail someone with a kickball.  Come meet new friends.  Come for the barbecue.  Just come on out…

Welcome to fall at Restoration.

-David

Equipo Bolivia Vuelve

IMG_0096 copy

We are home.

Hey Restoration!  Our Bolivia Team arrived home around 9pm on Sunday night.  Thank you for reading our emails and blogs, for praying, and for generously helping with our trip costs.  Some of you came to the Bowlivia Dinner, others of you dropped your kids with us for a Date Night, lots of you gave specific gifts to help with flights, visas, and thousands of Perler Beads (more on that, soon).  Restoration gives so generously of its time, prayers, and money.  I am always grateful and humbled by your participation when the opportunity presents itself.  Thank you.

I get the honor of offering some initial thoughts as we re-enter to North American life and culture.  You will hear from other members of our team over the next couple of weeks.

Resto People are Incredible People.

Our team started meeting as a small group during the spring trimester.  This is the way we have been prepping for mission trips for about 5 years.  It gives us a great opportunity to get to know each other, to pray for each other, and to prepare to serve together.  Over and over, I said thanks to God for the incredible people He put on this team.  We were lead by the dynamic trio of Endel Liias, Kate Liias, and Eva-Elizabeth Chisholm.  They were extraordinary:  calm, attentive to details, and compassionate towards the rest of us.  At least half the team was fluent in Spanish and another 1/4 could function well on their own in Spanish conversation.  That left a few people like me with LOTS of help when we got stuck tripping over our limited vocabulary.  We loved living in a guest house together and doing compline each night.  We worked hard leading a retreat and serving lots of kids.  We laughed, mourned, and were touched by the things God is doing in Bolivia.

We have this thing called RestoGoes (look for the yellow flyer in the narthex).  We try to get teams to our partners in Cambodia (Jan2017), West Asia (Nov2017), and Bolivia (Aug2017) each year.  One of the best parts of RestoGoes are the people who go with you.  The next opportunity is West Asia in November.  Want to join an incredible team?

La Trinidad Anglican Church

Most of us left Dulles at 11:30am on Thur, Aug 3.  We arrived in Cochabamba around 8am on Fri, Aug 4.  It’s a long way.

Our first task was to lead a retreat (Sat-Mon) for La Trinidad Anglican Church.  The format was familiar to us–  it’s just like our Restoration Fall Retreat (10/14-15, registration is open, last year we maxed out, don’t miss it!).

For 4 months, our team had worked on stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus has a meal with a group of people (there are over half a dozen of them).  Our retreat theme was:  En la mesa con Jesus.
Over the course of the weekend, we had six sessions where one team member taught the passage and a second team member gave a testimony for how that story impacted their life.  The combo was so good.  Our team had prepared with excellence.  Many of the team taught and shared in Spanish.  Some of us were translated by other members of the team.

Before we went, we discussed cultural differences we would encounter.  We used the phrase–  it’s not right or wrong, it’s just different.  One of those differences was how we view vulnerability.  Restoration is a church that views vulnerability as a strength.  In our small groups and friendships, we want to be known, to be sincere, to not hide.  Vulnerability as a strength came out in the way our team courageously shared their testimonies and it was very attractive.

La Trinidad in particular and perhaps Bolivian culture in general views vulnerability as a weakness (again, not right or wrong, just different).  During the retreat, the people of La Trinidad greatly appreciated the vulnerability of our team and their appreciation lead to long discussions of how their church might become more transparent with each other–  for the sake of the Gospel and the healing work that Jesus wants to do in us.

Our team was grateful to be able to bring the gift of our stories and grateful to see how the Holy Spirit used them to bless our friends at La Trinidad during the retreat.

I hope you will be quick to sign up for a fall small group where you can be known and build friendships with other folks at Restoration.

Niños Con Valor

From Tuesday to Saturday we volunteered with the organization, Niños Con Valor.  It was a rewarding combination of affection, hard work, crafts, conversation, prayer, and learning.

There was a narrative that became very real to me that week.  We had a presentation on the history of Bolivia that taught us the economic and political fragility of that country (the presentation was entitled, ‘Bolivia Exists!’).  Bolivia is not a powerful economy compared with its neighbors.  In addition,  we were working with children who had been orphaned or abandoned.  Many of them had special needs and almost half had HIV.  These children became so precious to us.  Yet, according to the currency and value assessment of most of the world, they could be dismissed as ‘the least of these.’  The staff and volunteers of NCV are truly standing in the gap for about 40 kids that might not have any other place to turn.  It was our deep, profound privilege to get to serve alongside them and to experience the expansion of our hearts in exuberant affection for these children.

Now…

I loved our time in Bolivia.  I believe we did some good.  I know we built relational partnerships that will continue to strengthen.  As we grow our work with RILA, and dream about a future Spanish service, and partner with our good friends at Casa Chirilagua, and wonder about how God will materialize our hopes for Incarnation Anglican Church in South Arlington, I know that this companionship in Bolivia is a part of our Restoration story.  I love trusting that God is leading us and coordinating us.  It is such an adventure!

Good to be home.  See you on Sunday.

-David

Wardens’ Report: July 2017

2017 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 July Vestry meeting on Tuesday, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer at the rail.  This month Becky Mohr led us through our prayer time which included prayers for Louise Brooks and the amazing gifts she brings to leading Kids’ Small Groups, for Hannah Royal, one of Wardens, who attended her final Vestry meeting, and for the Spirit to be present as we finalize the budget for fiscal year 2018 which will begin on 1 September.  We welcome your prayers as well for the staff, the Vestry and God’s work here at Quincy Street. 

Our June financial report continued to show a solid fiscal position in line with our FY2017 budget.  Our average Sunday attendance for the month was 544, 16% growth over the same time last year.  Our fiscal year-to-date income is at 101% of our FY17 budget.  We remain thankful for God and the congregation’s faithfulness as we continue to grow our ministries at Restoration.

On Tuesday, we voted to approve the Vestry election team for the Vestry election in the fall.  Additionally, the Vestry approved $151,800 of grant allocations to our beloved outreach partners both locally and globally.  Also, after further discussion and prayerful consideration, the Vestry approved the FY2018 budget. And finally, the Vestry reluctantly agreed to accept Hannah Royal’s resignation.  We wish her and the entire Royal family God’s speed as they move to Belgium for a season.   

Consistent with our bylaws we have several advisory teams which assist the vestry in specific efforts.  The Finance Team, Personnel Team, Outreach Steering Team and Facilities Team all have major roles to play in developing the budget each year.  We simply could not get the job done absent the insights and advice these teams provide.  As a Vestry, we are humbled and thankful for the multitude of ways God continues to bless our Congregation.  Both in the people he raises up and the resources He provides. 

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’

– Hannah Royal and Dietrich Kuhlmann, Wardens

Warden’s Report: June 2017

2017 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.

On Tuesday Vestry began the evening by praying for our church and our business meeting.  As we prayed at the rail, we could hear Women Unscripted gathering and worshipping in the fellowship hall below.  It is a delight to be in a community that works, volunteers, and worships together to the glory of God.  We intentionally pray for a different staff person each meeting and this month we took time to give thanks for Kathy Kenyon.  Kathy is Coordinator of Sacramental Life, overseeing our community of volunteers, marriage mentors, and providing coordination for special events like baptisms and weddings.  We remain grateful for the way she uses her gifts to shepherd our marriage mentor ministry, our Sunday liturgical volunteers, and all of the other administrative help she provides behind the scenes.  If you are new to Restoration, we encourage you to think about getting plugged in by volunteering on Sundays!

During our business meeting we approved delegates and alternates to attend the 2017 Diocesan Synod.  We also received updates from the Church Plant Steering Team on the search for a resident and the Personnel Team on the hiring process for the Nursery Coordinator and the Facility Coordinator.   

Our business meeting each June is largely preparation for the final passage of the budget in July.  We began by receiving the May financial report from Treasurer Meredith Lloyd Taylor.  Our average Sunday attendance for the month was 501 (down 4% from last year in the same month), but overall up 6% for the entire year to date.  Our year to date offerings are 103% of budget and our year to date spending is 99% of budget.  These numbers, plus the amount in savings, are all good indicators of positive financial health.

The Finance Team worked countless hours compiling data to present the Vestry with a proposed budget for FY18.  We spent most of our meeting discussing this budget, keeping in mind our strategic plan to plant churches and grow disciples.  Over the next month we will work to finalize this budget, also keeping in mind God’s faithfulness over the years and stepping out in faith where there are unknowns.  We are grateful as we look at the ways that each of you has faithfully given generously to 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 and Hannah Royal, Wardens

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