RestoMen Gathering – Tuesday PM, Nov. 6

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“The Challenge of Getting Real with Others”

In a recent issue of Christianity Today, author Stephen Mansfield reflects on a difficult season of his life when he found himself in the midst of a painful divorce. What he discovered in the midst of this challenging season of life is that while he had many acquaintances, and a broad social network” he also had very “few, close adult male friends”.

He also noted that as he looked around, he was hardly alone. He says, most other men are in the same boat. They have “no one who knows their secrets, no one they could call in the middle of the night if their family faced a crisis. And no one who would hold them accountable if their life went off the rails.” He concludes, “most men are awash in a sea of casual relationships.”

What Manfield pinpoints in this article is exactly what we want to start to address in our upcoming RestoMen Gathering on Tuesday PM, November 6. We are beginning our series on the challenges that men face today, and this month we are looking at the Challenge of Getting Real with Others.

We will begin @7:30 PM with supper together, followed by a time of discussion & conversation on this topic, and we will end promptly @ 9pm. We would love to see you there.

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

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

Chewbacca

“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!

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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RestoMen – Nov. 1, The Importance of Real Friendships

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In a recent issue of Christianity Today, Wes Hill wrote a provocative article entitled, Why can’t men be friends?  In his article, Hill cites social science research, which shows that as most men grow older, they tend to have fewer and fewer deep male friendships. Even the friendships they do maintain tend to be not as close, or as intimate, as the ones they enjoyed in their earlier years.

He cites a recent conversation with a friend, who told him, “In college, there was a recognized script for finding friends. (But) now that I’m in my thirties, everyone seems to have their friend groups settled, and I don’t know the script anymore.”

Perhaps you know exactly what Hill is talking about, because he seems to be describing your own experience with male friendship. If you are honest with yourself, you recognize that there is often a big gap between your desire to have these types of friendships & your actual experience with friendship.

That’s why we want to host a conversation about “The Importance of Real Friendships” at our next RestoMen meeting on Tuesday, November 1. We invite you to join us that night as we look at what the wisdom of Proverbs has to say about this critically important issue.

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!

Man Up.

Sit back for a special treat from Jed Royal.  He’s one of the key guys who make ManUp happen each month.  Take it away, Jed…

Discussing spiritual gifts always makes me a little uncomfortable.  Whenever the topic comes up, I usually find a way to make a joke (“golf is my spiritual gift”) to move the conversation along to something less unnerving (preferably golf at that point — see how I did that?  Go go gadget awkward conversation avoider).  The problem with talking about spiritual gifts for me is that I still don’t know what my spiritual gift is, and I’ve been at this Christianity thing thirty years.  Seems like I should have that one locked down by now.

David brought up spiritual gifts in his sermon last week, reminding us that the point of a spiritual gift isn’t about the one who possesses the gift, but about the contribution that it brings to the broader body of Christ, all inspired by the work of the Holy Spirit.  Gotcha — makes sense.  This theme runs through the Bible and always points us towards the relationships among God’s people and how we work together to accomplish God’s work (threefold cords; iron sharpens iron; let no man put asunder…).

David’s sermon resonated with my current reading of the book of Judges — a personal refresher course as we’re going through Judges in ManUp this year.  The judges were raised up by God individually for their unique contributions to Israel’s deliverance.  Individual talents in support of God’s work, though in this case not necessarily because of their spiritual talents.  Samson, as you’ll recall, wasn’t exactly the model of purity and devotedness.  But God used him in an unforgettable way.

“Well,” you might say, “there isn’t anything particularly unique or exceptional me.  After all, our church already has strong leadership, and things run smoothly, and people are happy, and there are always snacks between the 9 and 11 services, especially those lemon square things, and Clay is scoring home runs with the youth groupies, and Louise and the Colored-Shirt Squad (CSS) are creating little spiritual Jedi knight kids downstairs on Sundays, and everything seems to go as it is supposed to, because the real people with spiritual gifts or the real people that God has called to do important things are doing it.  I can help, but only in the routine, run-of-the-mill, Eli Manning (vice Peyton Manning) kind of way.  I can do some simple tasks, but it would be kind of crazy to say I have been called to a special purpose.  Plus, we don’t really need deliverers these days in a world knitted together by the fiber optic synapses of the Internet.  If we ever need to be warned about something, it is only a click or two away.  For example, here is a very important warning that hadn’t occurred to me until very recently:”

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You might say these things.  I only venture that guess because I’ve heard myself say these things.

Here’s the response I’m becoming more comfortable with these days — God sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to reside in and among Christians and has been doing so ever since, providing a well spring of God’s own motivation and encouragement to each of us.  We get to tap into constantly.  The Holy Spirit gifts Christians individually, and God expects us to use those gifts to build the body of Christ and to play our part in the creation-fall-redemption-restoration narrative.  Even if you don’t know how to describe your gift (some of the judges weren’t even aware of their own role in God’s plan), the fact is that if you’ve been given the capability to bring vitality to God’s people.  He will use you, and you will be enriched.

To the men especially: let’s be known for our contributions to our church family (see an AMAZING sermon on your church family from Nov 9 here.   No dead beat dads or brothers at Restoration Arlington.  ManUp this year is all about men connecting to God’s plan of deliverance.  You will contribute in powerful and irreplaceable ways as you commit to your family.  Come to ManUp tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov 11 at 7pm, and be inspired about the role you are called to play. 

PS — seriously, taking a selfie is ultra risky.  No more selfies.  #bullshateselfies.

 

And there you have it.  No selfies.  No bull.  See you at ManUp.

-David

 

Men and Women in the Church

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Over the last two weeks, we have worked hard to understand what is universal and what is tied to a particular time and place from 1 Timothy 2: 8-15.  Paul is writing to Timothy about how men and women should interact in the public worship assembly.  Digging in to this passage has afforded us 2 helpful tools for studying the Bible:

  • The Principle of History affirms that God always spoke his word in particular historical and cultural settings:  the Ancient Near East (Egyptian, Hittite, Canaanite culture) is the background for Old Testament revelation, Palestinian Judaism is the background for the Gospels, and the Graeco-Roman world is the background for the rest of the New Testament.  Every word was spoken in a cultural context.  Our task in the 21st century is to ask which things were tied to that particular time and place and which are normative for all times and all places.
  • The Principle of Harmony affirms that when God spoke these words, He did not contradict Himself.   Thus, the conclusions we draw from reading 1 Timothy 2: 8-15 have to ‘harmonize’ withe what God teaches about the interaction between men and women in the rest of the Bible.

The passage is preached in 2 parts.  Part 1 deals primarily with verses 8-10 and Part 2 gets in to the leadership and teaching roles of women that are discussed in verses 11-15.  Feel free to offer comments or critique below!

My Conclusions

In part 2, I attempt to concisely state my position on the leadership of women in the church.  I include it here as a means to understand how I have chosen to lead Restoration.

I believe the Bible teaches that both men and women are given gifts by the Holy Spirit to equip the saints for the work of ministry and to build up the Body of Christ (Acts 2:17, Ephesians 4:13, Romans 12:3-8).  The Bible teaches that the church is the household of God (Ephesians 2:19, 1 Peter 4:17).  God has called men to have caring responsibility (AUTHORITY) for their household  (Ephesians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1).  Christ is the head of the household of God (the church) and He is the model for how men should have caring responsibility for the family household and for the church.

A church with hierarchical authority (that is, one with pastoral offices that submit to each other– such as presbyter to bishop) is best positioned to both have a male head of household AND to create an environment where women can flourish as leaders, teachers, and in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  I believe the Bible teaches that women can be deacons, presbyters/pastors/priests, rectors, and bishops, serving under the authority of a male head of the church.

Restoration facilitates a monthly conversation for men called ManUp and a monthly conversation for women called Women Unscripted.  ManUp meets tonight at 7pm for dinner and then a program start of 7:30 sharp.  Women Unscripted meets next Tuesday (October 21) at 7:30pm.  Both of these conversations are open to anyone.  Bring a friend.  These are issues that affect all of us, that can give us hope, that can stir up pain, that remind us of our need for a Savior who delivers us and offers the possibility of reconciled partnership in the Gospel.

Grateful to be in this with you,

-David

A Great Year for Men at Restoration

2013-2014 marked the first year Restoration hosted a series of events specifically for the men in the congregation. The original stated purpose was to provide a venue where men could hear clear teaching on what it means to be a man in today’s culture and to provide a safe place to find and to develop meaningful and encouraging friendships with other men in the congregation.

To achieve that end, Restoration hosted ManUp, six sessions on the 2nd Tuesday of each month with each session focusing on a different characteristic of what it meant to be a Godly man. Topics included humbleness, courage, selflessness, purity, self-control, and decision-making. Throughout the season, the format adjusted slighted, but at each ManUp four things happened: 1) David Hanke spoke on the topic. 2) 4-5 Restoration men gave 3-5 minute testimonies on how the topic played out in their lives and then answered questions in a panel format. 3) Attendees broke in to smaller groups to discuss the topic. 4) Attendees were encouraged to find another man to MeetUp with to discuss the topic or other life issues before the next ManUp.

Finally, Restoration hosted its annual men’s retreat (ManTreat) at the Fitch’s property in Middleburg, Virginia in mid-May. The retreat lasted 24 hours – noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday – men camped out in tents, sat around a fire, ate steak and played outdoor lawn games. In years past, Restoration men provided testimonies and then broke in to small groups for discussions throughout the retreat. This year, small group time remained, but Restoration invited an outside speaker to ManTreat because a lot of men had already shared testimonies during ManUp.

Over 100 Resto men gave us some feedback on these events and here is a little report on what Resto Men said:

Key Findings:

  • Resto men really like ManUp! They want more of them, not less.
  • Most Resto men didn’t MeetUp after ManUp, but they seem to recognize the importance of mentoring. Need a better way to provide mentoring services.
  • Men generally like the Middleburg camping option, but also wouldn’t mind a completely different set up. A significant minority (24% of respondents) don’t attend the men’s retreat because they don’t like camping. Going to a retreat center was just as popular an option (provided it costs less than $150/person).
  • Attendance was lower at this year’s retreat because of scheduling conflicts.

Content:

  • ManUp delivered on its goal of providing clear teaching on what it means to be a man.
  • Men liked the content at ManUp and ManTreat.
  • Men appreciate content tailored to specifically to them.
  • Men want to know more about the Bible and how it speaks into all areas of their life, relationships, and vocation.
  • Fatherhood, husbandry, vocation/calling, leadership, and budgeting/finance were the specific topics most mentioned for future sessions.
  • Most Restoration men trust David/Restoration to provide the content and/or don’t have an opinion on what the topic/teaching is
What topic seems most critical for our ManUp conversations in the coming year?  
Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

Developing Biblical financial habits

27.7%

28

Integrating Biblical knowledge and practical theology into my day to day life

65.3%

66

Developing a theology of vocation

32.7%

33

Learning to be a Biblical, servant leader in my vocation and in my relationships

42.6%

43

Practical apologetics for sexual ethics (understanding and applying what the Bible says about healthy sexuality)

18.8%

19

Dealing with hard questions and challenges to my faith in God—  integration of science, sexual ethics, reconciling politics and a relationship with Jesus, hell and heaven and what’s next, what about people who have never heard about Jesus, etc.

56.4%

57

Other (please specify)

24

MeetUp and Mentoring:

  • Most men didn’t MeetUp after ManUp.
  • Some men thought the way MeetUps were encouraged (or forced) was awkward and ineffective.
  • Men understand the importance of having a mentor.
Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

I did not have a MeetUp.

59.4%

60

I had at least one MeetUp.

35.6%

36

I did 4 or more MeetUps and got to know 4 or more men at Restoration

5.0%

5

The MeetUp idea was a positive experience.

32.7%

33

The MeetUp idea was a negative experience.

1.0%

1

I had multiple MeetUps with the same guy.  We both got a lot out of it.

4.0%

4

 

In the comments, we learned:

  • Men want ManUp to meet more often.
  • Some men want food and drink at ManUp or want to have an established hang out spot afterwards.
  • Men wanted more small group time and time to interact with others.
  • Sometimes it was hard to hear the panelists.
  • Men thought one or two of the sessions next year could be non-teaching nights – either a service outing or just general hang out time.
  • Some men who were new to Restoration found ManUp difficult or awkward to connect.
  • Ray and Endel are Restoration Superstars!

Selected comments:

“Instead of small groups during ManUp, encourage people to pair up with someone they don’t know to talk through the topic(s). Then encourage people to “meet up” with that person once before the next meeting. Being paired up will provide a comfortable foundation for broaching the subject of meeting up with that person before the next meeting. Additionally, this could enrich the discussion time during ManUp — allowing pairs of people to get vulnerable quickly as opposed to having to get comfortable with a new group of people before opening up.”

 

“I wonder if there could be more intentionality about the “MeetUps” and who gets paired with whom? May be more complicated than is worth it — but I know I did not follow through on scheduling my MeetUp, in part because it felt quite random! (Was grabbed by someone with whom I didn’t share much commonality). Maybe a simple web tool where guys shared a bit about themselves and made themselves available?”

 

“I didn’t care for the way we were encouraged to find a MeetUp partner. Many times I couldn’t remember who had stood up for a particular demographic/career so we could pair up. Maybe this is a just a lack of knowing all the men at restoration.”

 

ManTreat

  • Most men generally like the men’s retreat as it is.
  • Most men couldn’t come because of a scheduling conflict (NOTE: this was the first year the men’s retreat was in May, instead of last weekend of April).
  • Most men thought having an outside speaker for ManTreat was a nice end to the ManUp season.
  • 1/4 of Resto men (who responded to the survey question) don’t like camping.
  • Most men want to spend $100 or less for the men’s retreat.
  • Camping and a retreat center were the two most popular location options for a men’s retreat.

 

 

What was your primary motivation to attend the men’s retreat (May 17-18, 2014)?
Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

I have attended ManTreat before and I love everything about it.

51.9%

14

I wanted to meet more folks at Restoration.

40.7%

11

I have really enjoyed ManUp and this was a chance for more of it.

29.6%

8

I love to camp and this is a great venue.

25.9%

7

Other (please add your own reason)

5

 

If you did not attend ManTreat 2014, could you tell us why not?
Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

I hate camping.  (Please suggest a different venue in the comments)

24.2%

15

I hate retreats.

1.6%

1

I had a scheduling conflict. (Please suggest a preferred time in the comments)

80.6%

50

I don’t know anybody at Restoration.

1.6%

1

It was too expensive.

0.0%

0

I have been to the ManTreat before and I really don’t like it.  

4.8%

3

Other (please specify)

45

 

What would you spend for a men’s retreat with a single night of lodging and 3 meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast)
Answer Options

Response Percent

Response Count

$50 (it’s going to be camping…)

40.8%

40

$100 (might be a retreat center)

41.8%

41

$150 (could be a cheaper hotel)

33.7%

33

$200 (getting nicer…)

19.4%

19

$250 or more…

8.2%

8

 

In the comments, we learned:

  • Most men who don’t like camping explain they would just like to have a bed to sleep in at the end of the night and say weekend sleep is a treasured commodity in NOVA/DC.
  • Men like having (organized) outdoor activities during the retreat and found them lacking this year.
  • Some men would like to rethink the food options and how it’s delivered.
  • Some men missed the hot breakfast.
  • Some men would like some personal retreat time.

 

Comments:

 

I think the advantage of Middleburg is that there are no distractions. Give us some prayer topics and three or four 20- min periods for individual retreat time.

Organized games in the afternoon.

More structured games/activities would be fun.

An organized game/activity such as capture the flag or skeet shooting could be good. I’m an extrovert so I like mingling, but I imagine that would be harder on the introverts

Maybe some kind of team activity. Where we are in are discussion groups but we have to do something together for fun or for competition. Nothing hard or athletic, just to let us interact in a different environment

I liked the hot breakfast that we had in previous years — where did that disappear to?

Maybe try to coordinate the food a little better. I think we could do something a bit more exciting and fun (and possibly even at less cost) if we planned it out. Hot breakfast the next morning?

Do more of a potluck style for dinner for more variety of food. Have small groups meet on both days.

 

Better organization for cooking so meals can flow better/ have a cooked breakfast organize small groups ahead of time to provide diverse perspectives on the topic

foodtruck? skeet and trap shooting.

From David:

Thanks for a great year!  We will be rolling out ManUp and the ManTreat starting in October.  So look for details as we get in to our new building!!

Many thanks to all the men who gave us your feedback and many thanks to Scott Buckhout who pulled together this great report.

-David

Men and Women Formed in the Image of Christ

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What do I celebrate?

It’s a question that has been popping up in my journal for a couple weeks now.  I don’t have a refined answer, yet.  But the question has shaped my conversations with God.  When do I jump up and down with glee?  Why do those things bring me such delight?  What do I ask for in prayer?  What do I spend my ‘free time’ day-dreaming about?  What do my celebrations say about what I value?

Those questions have opened great vistas of opportunity for exploring what makes me tick.

One item that came quickly to mind were our 2 series:  ManUp and God and the ‘descriptor’ woman.  These 2 monthly conversations have been a source of great joy for me.  At ManUp we have had over 15 men share a story about how they are experiencing fruit or failure in areas such as humility, courage, decision-making, and sexuality.  On the other side of the gender fence, woman have heard multiple examples of how God has formed them into faithful followers of Jesus.

These monthly conversations have been life-changing for some people in our congregation.  They have realized they are not alone.  They have met up for coffee and lunch with people who can mentor them and pray for them in life’s myriad situations.  They have heard ideas and truth that give them hope and strategies for the stuff that happens.

When I think about that, I celebrate.  Building communities where life-changing transformation can happen is what makes me tick.  And when it happens…  I jump up and down and get real excited.

Thank you God for ManUp.  Thank you for ‘God and the ____ woman’.

One of the topics that came up at both sexuality conversations was masturbation.  Someone in our church wrote an incredibly helpful piece for those who have questions, who are trying to make sense of what’s ok, and who are trying to get past guilt and shame to freedom and life.  I hope it is a grace to you.

ManUp is Tuesday night at 7:30.  Last one of the year.  Probably the most important topic we’ll discuss–  growing the fruit of self-control.  See ya then.

-David

 

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