The Fall Retreat was excellent. And Jesus is relaxed.

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I was thinking of so many different words to describe the weekend-  glorious, off the hook, sick, awesome, fun, incredible, amazing.

But excellent works.  The planning team was excellent.  The small group leaders were excellent.  The youth program and the kids’ program:  excellent.

By way of update and reminder, I want to list our quotes from our speaker, Todd Hunter.  If you were there, it will remind you of the excellent things he said.  If you missed, perhaps it will inspire you to ask someone who was there more about it.

Do you think Jesus is smart?

 

Did He say anything that corresponds to the realities of your present, every-day life?

 

God wants to cooperate with your set of desires.  He’s a genius.  He’s stunningly brilliant.  He knows what He is doing.

 

You are what you love (quoting James K. A. Smith).  But you may not love what you think you do.  (which explains why you might do something and then say, ‘I have no idea why I did that…’  Perhaps you don’t love what you think you do.)

 

The Christian story begins with divine intention (not things being broken and busted, not even things being created) and moves to a good and peaceful Telos.

 

Whatever you think salvation is will determine your discipleship.  Do you see the Gospel as more than just a vision for a secure death that is rooted in mere cognition?  Do we have imagination for discipleship, followership, apprenticeship?  Do we believe that Jesus has something to say about our life, now, and not just our death?

 

When Jesus announced the Kingdom, he said…  ‘the reality of the Kingdom is here and it calls for choices.  Repent.  Re-think your life.’

 

Jesus is relaxed.  He has a confident relationship with His Father that funds everything.  He was ok about Judas, about James and John, about Peter, relaxed about the trials with made-up charges.

 

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO CREATE A SELF!!  Think how peace you could be if you didn’t have to manage what others think of you.

 

The church is the instrument and the means of the Kingdom.  The only 2 verbs in the New Testament that are given in reference to the Kingdom are ‘receive’ and ‘enter’.  We are not called to build it or extend it.  We are invited to receive it and to enter it.  Through the church.

You can listen to all of Todd’s talks here.

What a great weekend.  I love the Fall Retreat!

-David

 

Fall Retreat 2018

Twenty years ago this fall, I first learned the value of retreats. There is no place better than a retreat for quickly building strong relationships.

As a first-year student at UVA, I was trying to find connections to Christian community. I went a few times to a fellowship group called FCA.  Everyone was friendly enough, but each week, I would slip out of the large group meeting not knowing many people.

A few weeks into the school year, they started advertising the Fall Retreat. “Come to the retreat! You won’t regret it,” was the refrain from many upperclassmen.

No way, I thought. I barely know anyone. Why would I want to repeat the same uncomfortable experience over an entire weekend? I didn’t sign up.

On the Friday of the retreat weekend, I went out with friends and returned to my dorm room at 2 am to an enthusiastic voicemail from an older FCA student named Brad, who is one of my best friends to this day: “Daniel, you’re coming on this retreat! Tomorrow at 9, a girl named Katye is going to be outside your dorm to pick you up – get yourself up, you’re coming!”

Feeling no choice, I dragged myself out of bed the next morning and hopped a ride with Katye up to Camp Varsity in rural Virginia.

The retreat speaker was a former student named Brian Broadway.  I don’t remember much about what he taught that weekend.  What I do remember is playing hours of ultimate frisbee – getting into a ridiculously fun food fight – playing guitars around campfires – feeling close to God amidst the beauty of nature. Most of all, I remember good conversations with people I found myself really liking – many of whom remain friends to this day.

To my surprise, going on the retreat drew me into FCA. It became a home for the rest of my college experience and was pivotal in fostering my community and spiritual growth at UVA. Looking back, I’m so glad that Brad dragged me up there.

There is no place better than a retreat for quickly building strong relationships.

Fast forward to our first year at Restoration. Campbell and I were just trying to keep our heads above water with a super demanding job and more demanding young kids. Life felt really hard. I knew a few people at Restoration but wasn’t sure if it was worth it to give up a whole weekend for the fall retreat.

As soon as we got up to Massanetta Springs, I was reminded of how much I love retreats. I loved watching our girls dancing to Matt and Clay playing bluegrass music. I was able to take a breath and appreciate God’s goodness amidst the crazy. I struck up conversations with people who have become good friends – conversations that just aren’t possible when you only have a few minutes after church, trying to prevent a little one from running into Quincy Street! That retreat solidified our connection to Restoration.

You may find yourself on the fence about coming on this retreat. Perhaps you’re reticent to spend a whole weekend with people you may not know very well. Or maybe you’re unsure of whether it’s worth it to give up a whole weekend away when life is crazy busy.

I promise not to send someone to pick you up without your consent. But I do feel confident repeating the same truthful refrain that I first heard 20 years ago:

Come to the retreat!!  You won’t regret it.

– Dan Vogel

SIGN UP for the Fall Retreat!

Reflection on Multi-Ethnic Unity

15895181731_27781e34d0_bI woke up at 5am on Nov. 23, 2006 to the sounds of my dad’s footsteps and something being dragged into the kitchen. Rising from my bed, I opened my door, peered out, and saw the small television under his arm. It occurred to me that it was Thanksgiving! This day each year my dad got up early, set up the television in the kitchen and we would watch the parade while cutting apples and walnuts for stuffing, preparing the gravy, and stuffing the turkey in preparation for a family feast. Family would come from all over Sonoma County and Lake County to gorge themselves at 2 o’clock in the afternoon – a strange, yet wonderful tradition. It was the one time during the year in which each disparate part of the family united to share a meal and recount the memories of what had happened over the last year.

The 5am ritual happened one final time for me in 2006 because the next year I would move to Chicago and since then Thanksgiving has looked a little different every year. Ashley and I moved to Arlington in 2012, and having gotten to know a few of our neighbors, we threw our first “friends-giving” in our apartment in South Arlington. The best part of friends-giving was that each person contributed their absolute best recipe: the best pumpkin pie, the best turkey, the best stuffing, the best sweet potato casserole. And as we sat and ate, we shared stories of Thanksgivings from our family traditions growing up. Each local custom had its own beautiful particularities and yet each person’s custom would have felt foreign to recreate in its entirety for this current table (for example, we ate at 4pm rather than my 2pm tradition). This new table had a new family-like quality which provided a new way of relating to one another individually even after these friends would leave our table. The act of taking disparate families, united around food and thankfulness, displays in a small way the conversation which happened last weekend.

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Last weekend, Restoration Anglican Church had its fall retreat at Massanetta Springs, where Joe Ho (National Director for Asian American Ministries for InterVarsity) spoke the Gospel’s message of reconciliation not only between God and humanity but between various groups of humanity. He demonstrated how God had scattered humanity in Genesis 11 because of their collective desire to join for the sake of their own pride-of-name and for their own security. He called us from Ephesians 2 to be reconciled with God and with one another. The implication is that we are good at proclaiming reconciliation with God, but that in many ways, the Church must repent of the ways in which she fails to be reconciled one to another. This weekend was a helpful link in the chain of conversation regarding reconciliation that Restoration has already begun. One of Joe’s major contributions to this ongoing discussion was to raise an important question for us to consider: What does it mean for us to pursue substantive multi-ethnic unity?

On Sunday we celebrated the Eucharist together and one line of the liturgy captivated my heart and imagination. We pray with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven (a vertical relationship), but during the prayer of consecration, the priest prays, “…After he ascended to your right hand in glory, you sent your Holy Spirit, that we might become your holy people.” (a horizontal relationship). This is a reference to Acts 2, where the Holy Spirit being given is presented as an undoing of Babel. This act of giving thanks (which is what the word ‘eucharist’ means) and partaking of the body and blood of Christ is a physical, spiritual, and political act. According to 1 Pet. 2:9 God has constituted a new people, a new priesthood, a new nation (Gk. ethnos, where we get the word “ethnicity”) who belong to God and bring praises to Him who called them from darkness to light.

Questions to consider

Living Diversity: The Arlington Photographic Documentary Projectbook cover & interior

Living Diversity: The Arlington Photographic Documentary Project

People enter the one body of Christ with its one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, and yet their entry does not dissolve their personal distinctiveness. Restoration reflects part of the catholic tradition of the Church (through time and across ethno-linguistic boundaries) in several important ways: we have a liturgy that moves from repentance to praise, we have a Bishop, we are creedal, and we are sacramental. And yet there are many ways in which Restoration has a local culture: type of music, manner of preaching, food, technology, etc.

Joe’s talks bid us to be self-aware of our local custom. As Christians we should always embrace what is catholic (i.e. universal), and yet we should also love what is local (and appreciate it as being local). This is a commitment to prioritizing our new-ethnos as citizens of the kingdom over our ethnoi/nations on earth (however we want to define this). If a parish should take its local customs (which might be good and helpful) and mistakenly believe them to be catholic, the parish runs the risk of colonizing our brothers and sisters in Christ who have other good and helpful local customs. All of us who are in Christ are called to be agents of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:16-21), but maybe we don’t know what this looks like.

Above all, Joe’s talks encouraged me to adopt a posture of  listening with frequent repentance. Substantive multi-ethnic unity can happen only with repentance and the cultivation of self-awareness (which involves a listening posture). Diversity and unity have been a major part of the discussion surrounding Incarnation Anglican Church (the church plant in South Arlington) since the very beginning. Columbia Pike is so diverse that a book exists highlighting its diversity, and therefore we are asking the Holy Spirit what unity will look like in South Arlington. One of the podcasts I have found most helpful has been Truth’s Table (though let me know if you find others as well), which has stretched me in my own thinking and has given some solid, practical ways to build substantive unity–the unity to which I am called each week in the Eucharist.

Time with friends around the friends-giving table gave each person an opportunity to share snippets of his or her local custom, creating a new community around a table built of various different stories. Each contribution was good, helpful and fun! And each person’s contribution added to this new experience of being around the table. Powerful discussion happens when we meet together frequently, eat together, pray together, worship together, and most importantly, listen to one another. The Church, being fed on the body of Christ, participates each week in the very physical, spiritual, and political act where we remind ourselves frequently that we (the Church across time and ethno-linguist boundaries) are one new nation, a royal priesthood, created to praise Him who has called us from darkness to His glorious light.

-Fr. Morgan Reed, Church Planter for Incarnation Anglican Church

Fall Retreat: Line Dancing, Wine Tasting, Lawn Games and More

Spots are filling up fast for this year’s annual fall retreat, but there is still time to make memories with us. Taking place in beautiful Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center in Harrisonburg, VA (about a 2.5 hour ride from the Washington, D.C. area), the retreat is a terrific opportunity to escape the Beltway for a few days to worship, pray and fellowship with our church family.

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Additionally, this year’s featured speaker will be Joe Ho of Focused Ministries who has prepared an important topic for us to discuss and think about titled: “The Problem of Race and The Power of The Cross.” Click here for more details.

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And if that wasn’t enough, the Fall Retreat will also feature a number of fun-filled activities including:

  • Lavender Farm (includes wine tasting)
  • Yoga
  • Farm visit
  • Bonfire
  • Soccer
  • Lawn Games
  • Boat making
  • Fishing
  • RestoArts

And last but not least…. Line Dancing!

What are you waiting for? Sign up now to secure your spot to join in on the fun!

Financial aid to cover a portion of the expenses is available through the registration form. Our kids (nursery – 5thgrade) will be in their kids’ small groups during the adult sessions. APEX (grades 6-12) will also be meeting during the adult sessions.

2017 Fall Retreat Speaker

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Joe Ho, Vice President of Focus Ministries

The Problem of Race and the Power of the Cross

The tragic events that unfolded in Charlottesville over the summer are a vivid reminder that racism and racial tensions are alive and well. Senseless violence and hate is leaving us at a loss desperate for answers. But what are we to do – and what can the Church do during these heart wrenching and incredibly difficult times?

During this year’s annual retreat, we will confront these difficult questions head on thanks to our special guest speaker – Joe Ho, the Vice President of Focused Ministries. Since 1993, Jo has worked at Focused Ministries in a number of capacities taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cultures of all backgrounds.

Having earned an MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary, Joe is well equipped to talk about race, race relations and the redemptive power found on the Cross.

Joe is planning to bring a convicting, heartfelt and inspirational message to our congregation:

There is good news for Christians. God hasn’t left us to figure this out on our own. The Bible does indeed speak to the issues of ethnic differences and conflict. Following the Biblical art of creation, fall redemption and renewal, we will consider the Bible’s Good News about race and ethnicity, in hopes that we as a church can offer this good news to the world.

The time to register for this fall’s retreat is fast approaching, but there is still time to sign up and gather as our church listens to Joe Ho, and his message about race and the power of the Cross.

Sign up here: http://restoration.formstack.com/forms/fall_retreat_2017

Financial aid to cover all or a portion of the expenses is available upon request. Please contact a staff member for further details.

Restoration Fall Retreat: Let’s Make Memories Together

Fall is upon us and that means that the Restoration Anglican Church Fall Retreat is right around the corner. To those who have been there before, here’s your chance to do it all over again. And for those who have never been, here are just a handful of reasons why you should sign up – and make memories with us.

It’s Fun!

Located in picturesque Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center, there is no shortage of games and activities for you and your family. From traditional board games, to outdoor games including – basketball, soccer and football – chances are that any given time there is someone doing something fun at the conference center. Among the highlights include a chance to play soccer with a large group. All ages are welcomed to kick the soccer ball around.

It’s Beautiful!

Comfortably, but conveniently, removed from the hustle and bustle of the Washington, D.C. area, Harrisonburg is beautiful, especially during the fall. The resort provides many inviting trails for one to collect their thoughts and pray without the distractions of city life. The retreat is a great opportunity to enjoy God’s creation.

There’s a Bonfire!

Always a fan favorite, the bonfire is a chance for folks to gather around the fire roasting marsh mellows, singing hymns and enjoying one another’s company. Don’t be surprised if people linger around the fire long after the littlest ones turn in. Camp memories are incomplete without bonfires and at the Resto Fall retreat, we don’t disappoint.

Come For the Fun, Stay for the Guest Speaker

Year in, year out, the staff do a great job recruiting great speakers to join us at our retreat. The theme may differ from year to year, but the message is always convicting and powerful. For this year, our guest speaker is Joe Ho – the National Director of Asian American Ministries at InverVarsity Christian Fellowship. Joe is a gifted speaker who loves the Lord and is traveling from Austin, TX to join us for our church retreat.

What Are You Waiting For? Sign Up Now!

Stay tuned for more posts about the Fall Retreat and encourage others to sign up today.

Note: Our kids (nursery-5th grade) will be in their kids’ small groups during the adult sessions. APEX (grades 6-12) will also be meeting during the adult sessions.

Financial aid to cover all or a portion of the expenses is available upon request. Please contact a staff member for further details.

Last Chance to Register for #RestoRetreat2016!

Where can you find Geocaching, hiking, lawn games and a vineyard all in one place? If you answered the Restoration Retreat, you’d be right!

(09) Fall Leaves

There are only a few spots remaining and the October 2 deadline to sign up is fast approaching. If you act now, you can secure your spot to join in on the fun.

This year’s retreat promises to be the best one yet. We are expecting a large group from church to make their way out to Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center, located near Harrisonburg, VA (around 2.5 hours from Restoration). Among the highlights to look forward to is a chance to try out square dancing! Don’t worry non-dancers: there will be plenty of activities that don’t require dancing available during the weekend as well.

And for families on the fence: nursery and activities for the children are available, including boat making at the creek and soccer at the field.

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#RestoRetreat2016 is a chance to unplug from the stress of the Beltway and join with our church community for fun and fellowship. Folks that have attended before know that this is a unique opportunity to truly get to know other members of our church and connect with one another in new ways.

Consider attending this year’s retreat to join in on a fun-filled and spiritually fulfilling weekend!

P.S. Please do not let the cost of the retreat dissuade you from signing up. Scholarships are available to cover the cost for those seeking financial assistance.

Fall Retreat Weekend Hike #RestoRetreat2016

There are many opportunities for fellowship at the upcoming Fall Retreat. Over the past few years, a small group has taken advantage of enjoying other Resto-folk and God’s beautiful nature by taking Friday (October 14) off from work and hiking in the Shenandoah Valley before the official start of the Fall Retreat on Saturday morning. You can be a part of that adventure as well. We would welcome you and hope you will share your story with us along the way.

In reflecting about last year’s retreat, one hiker said that she loved the Friday hike because it gave her the opportunity to hang out with a few people and really get to know them. Hiking makes for very easy chats with people and created a bonding experience.

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If you are interested in extending the fall retreat, here are the details you need to know:

Where: Emerald Pond/Bird Knob Hike

This hike has two spectacular views and is an “out and back” hike. This hike has one mile of steep hiking at the beginning and then is more easy and flat.

More info here: https://virginiatrailguide.com/2012/07/24/bird-knob/

When: Leave from Arlington around 7:30 am (Carpooling available from the church)

The drive will take about 2 hours. The group will plan to hike about 2 hours, break for lunch for about an hour, and hike back 2 hours.

The full hike is 8 miles in length, with a shorter, 6-mile option. The hikers may elect to stay together or divide into groups to hike different lengths.

Who: This hike is appropriate for any level or age of hiker. However, parents should consider the length of this hike (6 miles with 1 mile of steeper hiking) for children when planning to hike as a family.

And then: Hikers will travel about 45 minutes to Massanetta Springs (retreat center) stopping for dinner and fellowship along the way in Historic Downtown Harrisonburg. Capital Ale House is a recommended dinner spot from last year’s hikers.

Needed supplies: Pack for carrying water (at least 2 liters), lunch, and snacks to share. Hiking shoes are highly recommended as the path is rocky.

Other note: To let us know you are interested, please be sure your fall retreat registration indicates that you are staying at Massanetta on Friday night.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend #RestoRetreat2016

 

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10. Limited internet and cell reception (that’s a good thing!)
9. Crisp, cool autumn weather and fall foliage

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8. We heard a rumor that there may or may not be square dancing
7. Politics-free zone
6. Smores
5. Bike ride and beer (yes, seriously)
4. Go hiking with Liz!

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3. Wine tasting for the adults and boat building for the kids
2. A sweet, sweet bonfire
1. What else are you going to do? Netflix? Seriously?!

Don’t miss it! Sign up today.

Make Memories at #RestoRetreat2016

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It may not feel like it with the weather we are having, but fall is right around the corner which can mean one thing, and one thing only: #RestoRetreat2016

For those not versed in Twitter slang, #RestoRetreat2016 is our annual all-church retreat that is just a few weeks away. This year it’s taking place October 14 – 16 and will be held in picturesque Massanetta Springs near Harrisonburg, VA (about 2.5 hours from church).

Our annual retreat is a wonderful opportunity to unplug from the Beltway as well as relax, hike and enjoy the fall in the Shenandoah Valley. #RestoRetreat2016 is also a chance to spend time in prayer while growing closer to God surrounded in His natural beauty.

Here’s how one happy retreat-goer described his experience attending a Restoration retreat:

“Going to the fall retreat provides a total break from your routine–children have a lot of open space to play, food is cooked, the atmosphere is relaxed. Since you’re not in your regular seat at church, people sitting near you are often new to you (or friends you have not seen recently); some are even from other church services. When you return after the retreat, you have shared memories with those who were with you; it really helps you feel part of the Restoration family.”

Another person indicates:

“We had been around the church for a few years but didn’t really know very many people well. The retreat was the first time I had to really get to know people on a deeper level, and some of those people are our close friends today.”

#RestoRetreat2016 will be fun for the entire family! There will be great teaching, worship and special programs for kids and youth. Reserve your spot online today!

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