Tended, Gathered, Carried, Led.

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December 10, 2017 – Amy Rowe

Isaiah 40.1-5,9-11 : Psalm 85.8-13 : Mark 1.18

Listen to the songs here.

Announcing the Vestry Class of 2020!

Dear Restoration,

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

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

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

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

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

The Restoration Vestry will look like this next year:

The Vestry Class of 2018

  • Becky Mohr
  • Meredith Lloyd
  • Dietrich Kuhlmann

The Vestry Class of 2019

  • Leigh McAfee
  • Sean Burke
  • Chris Belen

The Vestry Class of 2020

  • Danny Lee
  • Kevin Marshall
  • Johanna Montague

 

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

Please pray.

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

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

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

-David

Sunday Music – December 10, 2017

The morning will be led by Andrew Intagliata

Playlist:

Songs of Praise:

Trisagion
Wait on the Lord slower (Am)
Come Thou Almighty King with Chorus

Response:

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

Offertory:

10000 Razones

Sanctus:

Sanctus Holy – Wickham

Eucharist:

Deliverer
O Come O Come Emmanuel (Dm)

Procession Out:

The Advent Herald

____________________________________________

The evening will be led by Beth DeRiggi

Playlist:

Songs of Praise:

Trisagion
Come Thou Fount
Esther

Response:

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

Offertory:

Blessed Be Your Name (we will actually play this in G)

Sanctus:

Sanctus Holy – Wickham

Eucharist:

Wait on the Lord slower (Am)
Pour Light Upon Us

Procession Out:

The Advent Herald

Why do we pray scripted prayers?

daily prayer book cover

Last week we handed out a simplified version of our Anglican Book of Common Prayer called Praying through the Year. We’ve loved hearing the ways many of you are integrating this booklet into your daily life. We will have more copies of this resource available on Sunday in the narthex, and we’d love for you to take one home.

But some of you may wonder why we use scripted prayers at all. Why not pray from our thoughts and feelings and impressions? Isn’t scripted prayer needlessly rigid and archaic? Two responses come to mind.

The first response is that both modes of prayer are great and have their place in our lives. In fact, The Book of Common Prayer always leaves space for “free intercessions” in its liturgies, a place for the extemporaneous prayer to which many of us are accustomed. Using scripted prayers doesn’t replace unscripted prayers or all the wonderful, surprising ways the Holy Spirit shows up in them. Instead, it complements them, rooting them in the words of Scripture and of Christians who have prayed before us through the ages.

The second response, though, is a story from my own experience. A little over a decade ago, I nearly abandoned my faith. I was consumed by doubts I couldn’t reconcile; I was tired of Christians whose lives were squeaky clean but who cared little about justice and mercy; and I was crowding God out of my life by pouring myself into a career that tempted me with moral compromises. For over a year, I didn’t read scripture and I didn’t pray. And I didn’t care. I told God that I barely believed this stuff anymore, but that if it was true, he was going to need to convince me himself.

And he did. Late one night, I was anxious and sleepless and found myself really wanting to cry out to God, but I realized that I’d forgotten how. A phrase from the Sunday liturgy popped into my brain: “whose property is always to have mercy” (we now use the words, “who always delights in showing mercy”). That seemed as good a prayer as any, so I simply prayed it, over and over, to God: “Your property is always to have mercy. Your property is always to have mercy.” As I did, I realized that if God’s property is always to have mercy, then he had mercy for me in that moment, and in every faithless, cynical moment that had preceded it.

That sustaining thought carried me through a long night of anxiety to the morning. And it carried me through the next night, and the next. It marked the beginning of my returning to God, re-discovering that ‘the stories are true,’ and re-learning how to pray. It also marked the beginning of my use of The Book of Common Prayer as a regular part of my prayer life.

For someone like me, who easily lives inside my thoughts, the pressure to manufacture extemporaneous prayers can feel like a chore and a performance. And when I’m tired or uninspired or consumed with doubts, it’s barely possible. Instead, I found a liberating self-forgetfulness in The Book of Common Prayer, as I began to lean on the words and faith of the millions of Christians who had gone before me, who had prayed these prayers for centuries to sustain their faith. One of the gifts of being Anglican has been discovering this weird and wonderful fellowship with Christians throughout time and space whose prayers support my own.

These days, I do both: I pray scripted prayers in a more-or-less regular rhythm, and I pray extemporaneous prayers that vary from the transcendent to the absurd (“help me find a parking spot, Jesus!”). I think both kinds of prayer delight God, both draw me into a pattern of daily dependence and closer relationship, and both connect me to a global community of other praying Christians.

This Advent, we’d love for you to join us in adding scripted prayer to your daily rhythms. Pick up Praying Through the Year on Sunday!

Again, we wait…

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December 3, 2017 – David Hanke

Isaiah 64.1-9a : Psalm 80.1-7 : Mark 13.24-37

Listen to the songs here.

Common Prayer…Simplified

advent table

Hey Restos! It’s me again, that woman who can’t seem to make it to church on time and talks an awful lot about toast. I was overwhelmed by the response to my recent blog about running late for church. So many of you reached out and shared stories of how you, like me, are hungry for the feast that God is offering us, but can’t quite figure out how to show up for it. To everyone who kindly commented or emailed me: thanks. I’m so glad we’re in this together.

And one of the ways that we are really, truly, profoundly in this together is through prayer. I love that we are a community that prays, and I know that many of us are constantly longing to grow in our habits of prayer. As Anglicans, we have a rich prayer resource in the Book of Common Prayer, a centuries-old book crammed full of scripture, statements of faith, and prayers. We hold these prayers in “common” with one another at Restoration, and with other Christians all over the world and throughout history. And these prayers are “common” in another sense: with practice, they become commonplace rhythms that shape our everyday lives. But what does that practice look like? How do we engage with our prayer book in a way that is life-giving and doable, when the book itself seems so complicated and intimidating?

Restoration has created two resources to help. The first is a RestoKids Advent daily devotional called Almost…Not Yet…Already…Soon. It’s full of space to doodle, simple explanations of this season of waiting, and peaceful invitations to enjoy God’s presence with us through prayer, scripture, stillness, and creativity. If you live in a house with kids, or if you’d like to approach God in a kid-like way this season, we would love for you to take one home on Sunday.

The second resource is a simplified version of the Book of Common Prayer called Praying through the Year, which takes you through the entire Christian year, beginning in Advent 2017 and ending just before Advent 2018. Each season contains short prayer guides for morning, noon, evening, and compline (bedtime), as well as daily daily prayer book coverreading plans and helpful prayers for a variety of circumstances. It includes explanations of the liturgical seasons and guidance on how to use the prayers. Everything in this book is taken straight from our Anglican Book of Common Prayer, but the confusing elements have been removed and the order has been rearranged to facilitate easy daily use. This book can be used alone or with others, around your breakfast table, at your desk, or on your nightstand — however works best to make these ancient prayer rhythms more “common” in your daily life.

If you have young kids at home, you may want to set aside this longer prayer book during Advent, and use our RestoKids devotional instead (they actually contain a lot of similar language!). Then, as Advent concludes and you find you want to continue the simple daily rhythms, pick up the prayer book again and adjust the daily prayer times in whatever way works best for your family. When my own children were young, we used these same liturgies around our breakfast table. We’d light a candle, get out paper and markers, and I’d read just a few fragments from morning prayer while they colored. Over time, my kids naturally absorbed a lot of scripture and theology (as did I!). But what works in my house might not work in yours, and that’s okay. This Advent, we would love for everyone to engage with these resources and find what works best in their own context, so that we can practice praying in common as a Resto community. We invite you to pick up one or both prayer guides this Sunday!

Sunday Music – December 3, 2017

Playlist:

Prelude:

Dry Bones

Songs of Praise:

The Advent Herald
Fall Afresh

Response:

Love Divine All Loves Excelling

Offertory:

All Who Are Thirsty – All Who Are Thirsty English:Spanish Lyrics

Sanctus:

Sanctus Holy – Wickham

Eucharist:

Come and Move
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus – Come Lord Jesus

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