The Great Battle

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April 2, 2017 – Nathan Dickerson

Ezekiel 37.1-7 : Psalm 130 : John 11.1-3,17-27

Listen to the songs here.

a prayerful lent — THE 5th WEEK IN LENT

THE 5th WEEK IN LENT

Beginning Sunday, April 2, 2017

PRAY  Almighty God, you are the only one who can set all things right.  Help us to love what you love.  Help us to do all that you tell us to do.  Help us to not be distracted by the things in this world that draw us from you.  Help us to trust you alone.  Amen.

READ  “When I listen to you, God, when I do what you ask me to, I am like a tree planted by a river, a tree full of fruit with leaves that are always green.”2 (Psalm 1)

SING 

1. Yes Lord Yes     

I’ll say, “Yes, Lord, yes”
To Your will and to Your way
I’ll say, “Yes, Lord, yes”
I will trust You and obey

When Your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And  my  answer will be, “Yes, Lord, yes”

DO  On a piece of paper, draw a tree trunk.  Draw leaves and fruit on your tree.  Inside each leaf, doodle or write a request to God.  Inside each fruit, write how God has answered a prayer.

 

1Lloyd-Jones, Sally. The Jesus Storybook Bible. Illus. Jago. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.

2Delval, Marie-Helene. Psalms for Young Children. Illus. Arno. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

Explore God

You are here because you have questions.

Perhaps someone invited you to consider something new.  Perhaps you have wanted to settle what you think and feel about ‘God’.  Perhaps something has happened in your life that surprised you.  Perhaps a situation has emerged for which you aren’t prepared.

All of us have something that keeps us up at night or makes us wonder or makes us scared.

We’re all asking questions.

For 8 weeks, the folks at Restoration are wrestling through some of our biggest questions and we hope that you will join us in the conversation.  We know you have something to offer.  We would like to listen.

We would like to Explore God with you.

The questions

If you show up on a Sunday, one of our pastors will offer a 25 minute reflection on how peoples and cultures have engaged the particular question for that week.  As you listen, you might find that you agree or that what they are saying makes you mad or that you hadn’t considered that idea before.  That’s what humble exploration does.

Here are the questions we will be asking:

  1. Does life have a purpose?  (Easter, April 16)
  2. Is there a God?  (April 23)
  3. Why does God allow pain and suffering?  (April 30)
  4. Is Christianity too narrow?  (May 7)
  5. Is Jesus really God?  (May 14)
  6. Is the Bible reliable?  (May 21)
  7. Can I know God personally?  (May 28)
  8. How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?  (June 4)

Did you miss what we talked about on Sunday?  Do you want to hear it again?  We post the audio of each message about 24 hours after it is given right here.  So feel free to catch up or listen again.  Some of these topics require a longer time to process and digest.

The Conversations

The people around you at Restoration are engaging in the question, too, and would love to hear how you might answer.  If you are interested, they would probably tell you their story too.

During the spring, we have chosen a half dozen public places around the Metro DC area to host a weekly gathering of people who are discussing that week’s question.  It’s a place where you can drop in to hear what others are saying and to offer your own take.  Imagine a comfortable space in a local restaurant or park with food and beverages and intentional opportunities to follow up on the questions we are asking.  We are hoping that the locations and times will fit naturally after work as you head home or in the evening or on a weekend.  Everybody likes a good meal and good conversation. 

The Locations

Sunday (1pm) – Rocklands BBQ, 3471 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA
Contact: Matt Hoppe – matt@restorationarlington.org
Monday  (7:30pm) – Lost Dog Cafe, 2920 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
Contact: Eva-Elizabeth Chisholm – eva.chisholm@gmail.com 
Tuesday (5:30pm) – LePain Quotidien, 800 17th St. NW, Washington D.C.
Contact: Brendan Sorem (703)927-1839

Tuesday (7:30pm) – Los Tios, 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA
Contact: Mike and Jen Dodson – mike.jen.dodson@gmail.com 
Wednesday (7:30pm) – Restoration Anglican Church, 1815 N. Quincy St, Arlington, VA
Contact: Isaiah Brooms – isaiah@restorationarlington.org

Going a bit deeper

As you can see from the video at the top of this page, lots of people are asking these questions.  If you want to do some exploring on your own, we highly recommend this library of readings and videos.  They are short (which is nice) and it is easy to search for a particular topic.  So feel free to poke around as you think about your own convictions and choices.

At Restoration, we are all asking questions.  If you want to ask one of us something in particular, feel free to shoot us a note.

Hope you have a great day and hope we get to meet you this spring as we explore God together.

David Hanke

Sunday Music – April 2, 2017

Procession:
Come Ye Sinners

Opening Set:
Decalogue – guitar and priest
Psalm 130 Lent

Response:
Love is War

Offertory:
Good to Me

Sanctus:
Sanctus – Lent

Eucharist:
This is My Father’s World : Valley Song
Glory

Recession:
Come Ye Sinners (chorus 2x)

Holy Week 2017

43280390_xxlHoly Week is coming soon and we do not want you to miss any of the wonderful things happening at Restoration!  This Lent we’ve been reflecting on how good it is to “give things up” to make room for us to receive all that God would have for us in the Easter celebration, so we would love for you to join us in this integral piece of the story that leads us to the Lord’s table, his death, and his resurrection!

The cross will be veiled, and the colors will change.  The brevity of time elapsing from Palm Sunday to the Great Vigil brings to the fore how quickly one can acclaim Christ as king, and subsequently turn away. St. Paul reminds us that it is his aim to know Christ in the power of His resurrection, but also to share in Christ’s sufferings (Phil 3:10). Holy Week sets the sufferings of Christ before our eyes and calls us not only to reflect, but to examine our lives with questions such as, “Where is my will set over God’s will?” “Where am I tempted to deny Christ in my professional and familial relationships?” or “When does it cost me something to love God each day?”

Come join us during the following times:

Palm Sunday: April 9, begin outside with services at 9am, 11am, and 5pm.  We will begin with waving palm branches, hearing loud horns, and and singing songs of praise; and we will end in silence having heard the story that points us down the road to Jesus’s death.

Midweek Eucharist: April 12, 12:15pm.  This will be our last midweek Eucharist for a time.  Do take a break from work, be refreshed, and return to do the good work that God has called you to do.

Maundy Thursday: April 13, 7:30pm. Experience the beauty of the Last Supper with the washing of feet, the betrayal, and the stripping of the stage in preparation for the death of Christ.  Shuttle service and nursery provided.

Walking the Cross to Restoration: 8:45am on Friday. You can read more on this post.

Stations of the Cross: Friday April 14, 10am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm. Walk through the day of Jesus’s suffering praying through images that force us to examine our own lives in light of his.  Children and the young at heart are encouraged to come at 10am, but are welcome later as well.

Good Friday: April 14, 7:30pm. Mourn with us as we hear some moving stories that will accompany the seven last words of Christ.  Shuttle service and nursery provided.

The Great Vigil: April 15, 8:30pm. This service/celebration/sensory-experience is awesome.  Fire, music, breaking our fasts, Alle****’s…this is the night.  Seriously, come to this.  Shuttle service provided, but no nursery.  If you would like, your help is welcome in the morning from 9 to 12 as we prepare the sanctuary for this glorious night.  In the evening, bring food or a fun beverage to share for the Resurrection Party following the vigil. If you would like to help with set-up or clean-up, please contact Jennifer T. Bring a bell!

Easter Sunday: April 16, we will resume our standard service times at 9am, 11am, and 5pm.  Come and worship, Come and worship, Worship Christ the Risen King!

Incarnation Anglican

unspecifiedAbout 10 days ago we had our first ‘Interested in South Arlington’ evening. It was a lovely time. 35 people came and we talked about South Arlington, Restoration and the strategic plan; the what and why and some of the how of a church plant.  We announced that this new worshipping community is going to be called ‘Incarnation Anglican’.

So let’s start there – why ‘Incarnation’? Well, to be honest, it’s how God finally wooed me to saying ‘yes’ to leading this whole crazy adventure! I was praying one day and he dropped the idea into my brain – and my excitement level rose perceptibly! Why? One of my favorite Bible accounts is Luke 8:43–48 where Jesus heals a hemorrhaging woman with his ’contagious holiness’. She reaches out and touches the hem of his garment and is instantly healed. He then turns around and ensures that her healing is not just physical but social and relational and emotional as well. God in flesh ‘incarnate’ bringing wholeness.

Touching Jesus brings healing. And hope. And fullness. And an encounter with the Holy Spirit. And forgiveness. And life. And as we are called to be the people of God, we are called to be ones who help others to encounter Jesus and his amazing contagious holiness. Jesus touched people who were ‘unclean’ in that culture, and yet they became ‘clean’ rather than him being contaminated. This is our dream – to head into a part of town where people are perhaps not aware that they are looking for Jesus, but are aware of their own brokenness.bus stop

We will go and pray and talk to people at bus stops and in coffee shops. We will look for opportunities to chat and drink tea. We will search out corners of South Arlington where there are people who have struggled with ‘internal bleeding for 12 years’and who know they need answers. We will keep our eyes open for men and women ‘of peace’ (Luke 10.6) who are ready to hear about Jesus. We want to help people see that the incarnate Christ is in their midst and all they need to do is reach out and touch him.

We are glad to be Anglican. There is much to be delighted about: our liturgy brings a sense of history, permanence, and tradition; the delight in beauty brings a sense of the transcendence of God; being Anglican brings a reminder that we are part of an historic, global church, reaching all nations; and so much more…20170222_112820 (1)

Do you live in South Arlington? Or might you move there? Do you have a heart for the nations (108 languages are spoken along Columbia Pike!)?

The Incarnation core team comprises Liz Gray, Morgan Reed and Amy Rowe. If you want to learn more, do reach out to one of us, we’d love to tell you more. After Easter there will be an ‘Interested in Incarnation’ small group – sign up, come and help us pray as we refine our vision and begin to plan our next steps. Come even if you are just curious! We will also be arranging prayer walks, ‘compline in the park’, and other events over the next months… all are invited!

Whether or not you are interested in joining Incarnation, please pray for the team, and for this tiny seedling plant: for ideas, inspiration and most of all for God’s favor (and a place to worship!). Send us an e-mail if you’d like to be kept in the loop.

Rev. Liz Gray, liz@incarnationanglican.org

Rev. Morgan Reed, morgan@incarnationanglican.org

Amy Rowe, amy@incarnationanglican.org

Come to the Cross: An invitation and a story

Written by Steve Brooks

This is a personal invitation for you to come to the cross, both literally and spiritually. On Good Friday at 8:45 a.m. Restoration Anglican Church will do something new – we will have a “Procession of the Cross” from our house to the church. (See details below.) It is a one-mile journey that I have dreamed of for years and everyone is invited to participate.

Here is a little context and history as to what we are doing and why. Over the course of Restoration’s history, I have built five crosses for the church. Three of these crosses are currently used by Restoration full-time, one stands in my backyard (which we use on Good Friday) and the last one was retired a few years ago. I have a passion for making crosses. David and Matt have been very kind to let me apply my passion through cross making for our church.

CrossforGoodFriday

With that said, we need to get the Easter cross to church. And why not do this in a way that bestows the reverence the cross deserves and process with it in remembrance of how Jesus was forced to carry the cross on which he died so that our sins would be forgiven.

The procession will take about 45 minutes, and once we arrive at the church, we will lay the cross down in the sanctuary and everyone will be invited to nail your sins to the cross. There will be paper, pens, hammers and nails provided.

Prior to the service on Friday night the cross will be raised up with all the sins upon it and then at the end of the service the cross is removed in silence. On Saturday night, the cross is set up outside of the church and we remove the sins and burn them in the fire-pit before we enter for the Easter Vigil service. It is amazing.

So please – come to the cross.

I also invite you to come to another cross: the big one at the front of the sanctuary. Most people don’t make it past the communion rail, so please accept this invitation, too. This cross arrived last Easter and was a year behind schedule. When I first started building it for Easter 2015, a worktable collapsed and broke one of my knuckles. It took some time for my hand to heal before I could begin work again. It was a spiritual journey working on this cross, and I am grateful for how God worked through and in me in so many ways: That’s a whole other blog post.

As you come to the cross I invite you to touch it. The vertical section is made from 60-year-old Canadian red pine that came from a house renovation and the cross piece is a red oak beam that supported a tobacco barn in Richmond, Virginia that was built in 1910. Although they are different woods, the “red wood” was chosen specifically to represent the blood of Christ.

On both sides of the vertical section you will see 57 holes that have been filled with oak dowels – these filled holes represent our sins that have been forgiven. On the front of the vertical piece you will see two in-laid oak lines and one open cut that go from the top to the bottom of the cross. The oak in-lay comes from the original wooden cross that now hangs in the rafters at the back of the church. Have you noticed it? The in-lay represents the beauty of our forgiven sins, and the open cut in the middle represents the brokenness of humanity which will last until Christ returns and restores us fully.

The giant crack in the oak cross piece is faced forward for all to see as it represents the humanity of Christ and the brokenness he endured on Good Friday. When I saw it for the first time I knew it had to be the cross piece. Oak is one of the hardest woods and I find it amazing that it cracked as it did, what stress it must have been under. As I shaped this piece of wood I was reminded over and over again that God sent His only Son to live, be broken and die for our forgiveness.

I also invite you to come to another cross, the one that hangs in the rafters at the back of the church. This cross was hung in the sanctuary from 2010-2016 and moved last year. Although you can’t see the details of this cross (but check out the picture), it is a beautiful red oak beam from a Pennsylvania barn that was built in 1830. It is unique in so many ways with a history that is unknown. It hangs in the rafters as a representation that when we leave church every Sunday, we leave with the cross of Christ.

Finally, you are invited to visit the small processional cross that stands in the front right corner of the sanctuary – we used this cross at Restoration’s first service. It became the processional cross to lead the kids to their small groups and is now used at various times throughout the year. The red oak is from Home Depot, not much of a story there. The cross stand is made of leftover brick and Canadian red pine which were used to build our church.

Working with wood is more than a labor of love for me, it is a true blessing, especially in making a cross. While working, I play loud music, talk to God, pray and listen for His response. In these times of quiet I think about who I am, why I am here and I always ask God, “What do You want me to do next?” In these moments of “making,” I think about how God restores us in all things. His restoration goes beyond a few cuts here and there, some sanding, then oil and a final finish. His restoration brings us back to life. I can’t do that with an old barn beam, but He does it with us – it’s His promise.

My last invitation is for you to come to the cross and find Christ in a new way, find His restoration and know that no matter what, He loves you.

If you want to participate in the “Procession of the Cross” – send me an email and I will give you our address. brooks{at}potomacassociates.com.

Written by Steve Brooks

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