Confirmation is Coming

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On Sunday, March 18, Bishop John Guernsey is coming to visit our congregation to confirm people in our congregation. You might be wondering what Confirmation is all about, why it is helpful, and how you might participate in confirmation.

What is Confirmation?

“After making a mature commitment to my baptismal covenant with God, I receive the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 118)

“Confirmation is the rite through which we make a public declaration of our faith in Jesus Christ and are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live out that faith in our lives and in the context of our church community. When the bishop confirms you, he asks you to reaffirm the covenant of your baptism; then he lays hands on you and prays that the Holy Spirit would strengthen, empower, and sustain you. In many ways it’s pretty simple. It’s also very powerful.” Rev. Erin Bair

Why is Confirmation helpful?

“In confirmation, God strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit in me for his daily increase in my Christian life and ministry.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 119)

3 Good Reasons to be Confirmed:

  • To Get Connected. Join the global and historic body of Christ, through the Anglican Communion, and identify with the larger company of saints. The Anglican Communion is a rich, global mosaic, comprised of may tribes, tongues, and nations. It is a church exploding with new life in many areas of the world.
  • To Be Blessed. Receiving the laying on of hands from our Bishop and prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. Since the early church, leaders were commissioned for ministry by the laying on of hands, one generation to the next, all the way down to our Bishop, and then to you.
  • To Confirm your Baptismal Vows. If you were baptized as an infant, this is an opportunity to present yourself publicly as a follower of Christ in the company of his people, or renew your vows (if you were baptized later in life).

How can I be Confirmed?
If you would like to be confirmed, we are hosting a 3 week class (Feb. 25, March 4, & March 11) on Sunday evenings from 5:00-6:30 PM to prepare for the confirmation service on Sunday, March 18. This class is a requirement to be confirmed.

Want to Learn More about Confirmation?
Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic Policy on Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation

 

Christmas Eve is Coming Soon!

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We are so excited about Christmas Eve at Restoration!

(Looking for information about Advent? Read this post.)

Restoration will have 4 services on Christmas Eve (8am, 3pm, 5pm, & 9pm) to celebrate the incarnation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Before I describe what to expect at each service, let me answer the most important logistical question:  

Where should I park?

Restoration uses a parking garage that is located over I-66 at the corner of 15th and Quincy Streets.  You can see a map of it here.   This garage is HUGE!  Feel free to use the entire thing.  You will see signs that say ‘permit only’ but they do not apply on Christmas Eve.

Restoration will hire 2 shuttles to move people from the garage to our building.  If it is a nice evening, feel free to take the 7-minute walk.  Otherwise, we hope that one of the shuttles will be at the lot every five minutes.

We encourage you to arrive early.

4 Services?  Wow!  Tell me about them.  

  • The morning service at 8 am will be a simple service of Morning Prayer that celebrates the 4th Sunday in Advent (No childcare will be provided)
  • The services at 3pm and 5pm will be identical and geared toward the attention span of a child.
  • The 9pm will feel different–  more contemplative, traditional, quiet, and candle-lit.  Generally, the 3 later services (3pm, 5pm, & 9pm) will have the same readings and same progression of carols.

Will there be candles?  Yep.  A bunch of them.   All around.  We will sing Silent Night while holding candles.  The kids will get glow sticks to hold at the 3pm and 5pm.  It will be beautiful!

Will there be childcare?  Yes, at the 3pm and 5pm services there will be fully-staffed nurseries for children who are the age of 2 or younger.  Kids from pre-k on up are welcome to participate in the worship service in the sanctuary.  At the 3pm and 5pm, there will be take-home goodie bags with items to help kids engage in the service.  We are totally fine if kids get a little wiggly, but there is enough singing and candles and pictures and stories that they stay pretty engaged.

What should the kids wear?  At the 3pm and 5pm, kids come dressed as their favorite character from the nativity story.  During the Gospel reading, they will have the opportunity to stand when their character is mentioned.  We always love having ‘a Christmas pageant in the pews’ at this time of year…  We usually have a whole gaggle of shepherds, sheep, stars, angels, wisemen, and beautiful Mary(s).  An old robe does the trick.  We have also had Buzz Lightyear make a cameo in the nativity.

What should the adults wear?  Well if you aren’t going to come as ‘Joseph’, just come as you are.  There will be people in their holiday best, people who love a nice pair of jeans, and everything in between.

Will there be presents?  Of course!  All of the children will receive an ornament in their goodie bag.  The ornament – for their tree at home –  is a sweet reminder that God loves them.

Will there be an opportunity to give?  Yes!  On Christmas Eve, all of our offerings are given to organizations outside of Restoration who are doing good and beautiful work for the sake of the vulnerable and those on the margins.  Our church does not keep anything that is given at these services.  This year, we will give our financial offerings to support the work of La Trinidad Anglican Church in Cochabamba, Bolivia, which is our global outreach partner in Bolivia.

Do you need volunteers?  We sure do.  If you are already a Sunday volunteer log onto MSP and select something.  If you have never volunteered, don’t worry.  It’s easy!  We would love you to help us.  Contact Kathy Kenyon (kathy@restorationarlington.org) and she can get you squared away.

How long will the services last?  The 8 am service will last about 60 minutes. The 3pm and 5pm will be about 75 minutes.  We sing 5 or 6 carols, with parts of the Christmas story read in between, then we close with The Holy Eucharist.  The 9pm will be closer to 90 minutes.

Anything else distinct about the 9pm?  Yes!  We will have incense in the procession and the Eucharist will be sung in a fashion similar to our Easter Vigil service.

Anything else I should know?  We love Christmas and the chance to meet lots of neighbors, family members, and folks who don’t normally come to Restoration.  We offer you a warm welcome this Christmas season and all of the Sundays that follow.  We are grateful to be a part of the Arlington Community, and we pray for it every day.

One service on Sunday, December 31. We will have one service on New Year’s Eve at 10 am.

 

RestoMen – Tuesday, March 14, “Wisdom & Anger”

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Anger, Frustration, Rage – These are some of the most powerful and frightening emotions that we experience as men. Oftentimes, we are not quite sure what to do with these feelings, or how we can grow in self-control in this area of our lives. So, as a result, our anger often has a very unhealthy impact on our souls and it negatively damages our closest relationships.

That’s why we are going to be gathering next Tuesday, March 14 to discuss this vital topic of “Wisdom and Anger”, as we continue our series on what it means to Men of Wisdom.

We will begin at 7pm with a catered, light supper (Bring $5 to help cover the cost). At 7:30 pm we start the program, & we will end promptly @ 9pm. We look forward to seeing you there next Tuesday night!

Nathan

Lent 2017 – The Good of Giving Up

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Welcome to Lent at Restoration. This season of 40 days before Easter is a journey up to Holy Week, when we remember Jesus’ death and we celebrate his resurrection. We take this time before the celebration to come to a deeper understanding of our desperate need for a Savior and of the magnitude of Easter’s Good News.

Lent is a season of sober self-examination, of confession and repentance, of recognizing our dependence on God, and of practicing generosity toward others. We do these things neither to wallow in our miserableness nor to demonstrate our holiness. Instead, we want to give God a little more space in our lives to work in us, to show us that we are both broken and beloved, and to gently shape us to look more like Jesus.

At Restoration, we’re offering a few ways for you to engage in this season:

  • We invite you to consider reading The Good of Giving Up – Discovering the Freedom of Lent by Aaron Damiani, an evangelical case for Lent and a guide to its practice. It will help you to receive the gift of clearing your life to make room for new growth, encouraging you to participate in this rich spiritual journey. During our corporate worship, we will hear brief reflections of peoples’ experiences as they consider and practice the challenges and gifts this Lenten season offers.
  • Our children have a Lenten Devotional Booklet filled with a variety of activities. It is our payer that during this time of remembering, the prayers, the Scripture, the hands-on activities, and the music will help us to know more deeply the Lord’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love” and that knowing his love for us will draw us ever closer to the Father who delights in us and loves it when we call to him.
  • Mid-week Eucharist. Take time in the middle of your week to pause and receive from the Lord by coming to our mid-week Eucharist services, which will be happening on Wednesday’s from12:15 to 1 pm (starting on March 8) at the church.
  • Giving to RILA – Consider going one step farther in your giving this Lent. This year all the offerings from Ash Wednesday and Holy Week will be going to support the work of Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA). We encourage you to give generously to this vital ministry.

Lent is a serious and rigorous season. But it should be a joyful one as well, for we never lose sight of the good news of Easter: death has been defeated, our sins have been forgiven, and we’ve been restored to intimacy with God. Join us as we journey through this season together.

Nathan Dickerson

 

Confirmation – What, Why, How?

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On Sunday, March 26, Bishop John Guernsey is coming to visit our congregation to confirm several people in our congregation. If you are wondering what Confirmation is all about, why it is helpful, and how you might participate – Here is a short introduction to Confirmation:

What is Confirmation?

“After making a mature commitment to my baptismal covenant with God, I receive the laying on of the bishop’s hands with prayer.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 118)

“Confirmation is the rite through which we make a public declaration of our faith in Jesus Christ and are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to live out that faith in our lives and in the context of our church community. When the bishop confirms you, he asks you to reaffirm the covenant of your baptism; then he lays hands on you and prays that the Holy Spirit would strengthen, empower, and sustain you. In many ways it’s pretty simple. It’s also very powerful.” Rev. Erin Bair

Why is Confirmation helpful?
“In confirmation, God strengthens the work of the Holy Spirit in me for his daily increase in my Christian life and ministry.” (ACNA Catechism, Question 119)

3 Good Reasons to be Confirmed:

  • To Get Connected. Join the global and historic body of Christ, through the Anglican Communion, and identify with the larger company of saints. The Anglican Communion is a rich, global mosaic, comprised of may tribes, tongues, and nations. It is a church exploding with new life in many areas of the world.
  • To Be Blessed. Receiving the laying on of hands from our Bishop and prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life. Since the early church, leaders were commissioned for ministry by the laying on of hands, one generation to the next, all the way down to our Bishop, and then to you.
  • To Confirm your Baptismal Vows. If you were baptized as an infant, this is an opportunity to present yourself publicly as a follower of Christ in the company of his people, or renew your vows (if you were baptized later in life).

How can I be Confirmed?

If you would like to be confirmed, we are hosting a 3 week class (March 5, 12, & 19) on Sunday evenings from 5-6:30 PM to prepare for the confirmation service on Sunday, March 26. This class is a requirement to be confirmed.

Want to Learn More about Confirmation?

-Nathan Dickerson

RestoMen – Feb. 7, 2017, “Using Our Speech Wisely”

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“The moment”. We’ve all been there: “the moment” when you regretted the words coming out of your mouth almost exactly as soon as they left your lips. In “the moment,” your palms are sweaty, your mouth is drier than month-old bread, and you wish you could rewind to the moment right BEFORE you said the thing it will now take you months to correct. If we could see his face through the fur, even Chewbacca is blushing at your lack of care with your words.

Come out to RestoMen this Tuesday, February 7th as we continue our series on “Wisdom.” This month’s discussion will help us with “the moment” as we explore the topic of “Wisdom and Our Words: Using Our Speech Wisely.”

Dinner begins at 7 PM (please bring a suggested contribution of $5.00 for dinner); the program begins at 7:30 PM. We will have a speaker, small group discussion, and a panel interview exploring the intricacies of how to speak with wisdom…without becoming a wookie!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Small Group #31 – New Group in MD

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As Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this winter, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Stephanie Hurter, one of the leaders of Small Group #31

Last year this time, a few members in Restoration came together to create RILA, the Restoration Immigration Legal Aid Clinic. This clinic grew from the hearts of many in Restoration who want to see the power of God’s love translated into concrete acts of mercy and grace in the community around us. Prayer and vision lead to change.

God is yet again stirring our hearts to spread His kindness in tangible ways. For the past few years Restoration has been prayerfully considering church planting in the Metro DC area. This year, we are beginning to take more concrete steps towards making this a reality — and we need you!

Join Katie and Darin Hamlin and myself this trimester as we gather each week to pray for God to move and guide in Restoration’s church planting efforts. We know that eight years ago God called a unique group of men, women, and children to form Restoration and we have faith that God may be now calling us to build on this work and form a new church family to minister in a different community. Will you join us?

Yes, we are meeting in Takoma Park, Maryland. SO FAR AWAY?? Actually, not really, but I get why it feels that way. I lived in Northern Virginia for many years and then through a variety of life circumstances and God’s leading, I moved to Montgomery County, Maryland. I remember thinking that Maryland felt so different and so far away. After moving here, I not only realized how close it was to many of my old haunts and friends, but also how much I actually came to care about my neighbors here in Montgomery County (MoCo).

This small group is not about asking folks to church plant in MoCo — we don’t know where God is calling Resto yet. But, it is about asking us to consider taking risks, stretching ourselves beyond the familiar and comfortable and waiting for God to show up. Ask Jason, Natalie or Michelle or anyone on the RILA team and they will tell you RILA didn’t happen easily. It took a lot of commitment, hard work, prayer, and tears, and still does. God’s work is rarely easy. He asks a lot of us, but it is in these moments of faithfulness that God loves to show up in big ways.

By coming to this small group you aren’t committing to join the church plant, just adding your voice to ours asking God to make clear his will and to stir in our hearts the desire to follow that will. What an awesome opportunity to directly influence Restoration’s future!

 We’ll be meeting at the Hamlin’s House in Takoma Park, MD on Friday nights at 7:30 to 9pm. Come a bit early if you want a bite to eat. All are welcome. Come join us!

Interested in joining this group? Sign up here

Small Group #25 – Christian Hope at Life’s End

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As Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this winter, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Mitch Wallin, one of the leaders of Small Group #25

How should Christians approach the end of life? How should we support our friends and family as they face terminal illness? Death is something all of us will face but we rarely discuss it in our daily lives or in the church. Many spend their final days in an intensive care unit often isolated and without a chance to mourn or say goodbye. A bill was recently signed by the mayor in Washington, DC to allow physician assisted suicide as an option for a painless death. How can we die better?

The small group entitled “Christian Hope at Life’s End“ is for both young and older adults who want to honestly examine end of life care and death from the lens of faith and the perspective of a practicing neurologist. We will cover brain death, physician assisted suicide, the Christian death in past centuries and how best to prepare for death ourselves or for a loved one. Readings from “The Art of Dying” (R Moll) and other books and articles will help to frame the discussion and sharing. Please join us on Thursday nights at 7:30 PM!

Interested in joining this group? Sign up here

RestoMen – Dec. 8, Making Wise Decisions

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Should I take this new job? Is this the right relationship for me? Am I on the right career path? Is now the best time to start our family? How do I balance my work with the rest of my responsibilities?

Almost every week, we are confronted with these sorts of important questions, which compel us to make choices that will have a lasting impact on our lives. But our challenge is that it is not always clear which direction we should take, because each of our options is morally acceptable. So, how do we move forward? How do we make wise decisions? How can we be smart about the choices that confront us?

Those are the questions we are going to be addressing at our next RestoMen gathering on Tuesday, December 6 as we look at the topic of “Wisdom and Guidance”. We invite you to join us that night as David speaks to us about these critically important topic, and we hear from a panel of men in our congregation who have also wrestled with these same issues.

We will begin at 7 PM with a light dinner (bring $5 to help cover the cost). Then at 7:30 PM, we will start to discuss these issues together. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Men’s Retreat is Coming Soon!

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Men of Restoration,

It’s time to register for our annual RestoMen Retreat. This is a great opportunity to get away and recharge spiritually as well as connect with lots of other guys in our community.

When is it?  January 13-14, 2017

Where is it?  MeadowKirk Retreat in Middleburg.

Who is Speaking?  I am so excited for us to hear from Tommy Hinson, who is the rector of Church of the Advent in Washington DC. Tommy is going to be speaking to us from the book of Daniel about what it looks like to become men of wisdom.

How do I sign up?  Right here  This link has the 2 different price points, which are based on housing options.

When should I sign up?  How about right now?  The rooms in the Inn will go fast.  There are only 20 of them. Note – The price goes up by $10 on December 1, so save some money.  We only have space for about 96 men and we anticipate that we will sell out.  Get ‘er done now.

Can you give me a few more details on the schedule?  Sure.

Friday

6pm     Optional meet up for dinner in Leesburg, VA

7:30     Leave for MeadowKirk

8:30     Welcome, break into small groups, get to know each other.

9:00     Compline (with short homily)

9:30     Free Time

Saturday

8:00     Breakfast

9:00     Morning Prayer

9:30     Session 1 + small group

11:00   Session 2 + small group

12:30   Lunch

1:30     Free Time and Fun Games

3:30     Session 3 + small group

5:00     Depart for home

5:30     Optional Meet Up for Dinner in Leesburg

We really hope to see you at the RestoMen’s Retreat!

-Nathan

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