Parish Meeting Report

Parish Meeting

On June 2, we had a wonderful parish meeting–  complete with pizza and drinks.  If you were not able to attend, you can view the slide deck here.  (This is a link to CCB, our on-line database.  It requires a username and password.  You will find the deck under files in ‘Entire Church Group’.)

Here are the highlights…

  • We will not have a 5pm worship service from June 28-Sept 6.  This is a chance for us to deliberately insert some margin in to our life together.  It creates space for our staff and our volunteers to slow down for a few weeks.  On Sept 13 we will come roaring back with Kids’ Small Groups and 3 worship services every Sunday.
  • Hannah Royal gave a spotlight report on outreach in the past year that revealed how we strategically gave the 10% of our annual income to our partners and the needs of the world.  The Parish Meeting Slide Deck in CCB has all of the info.
  • David gave some updates on work that is being done by our staff.  We are excited about…
  1. the immigration aid center
  2. the incredible service of our Kids’ Small Group leaders (Regan, Mike, Jen, Scott, Andrea, Christine, Natasha, Leigh, Timon, Becky, Rachel, Patricia, Grace, Nan, Megan, Isaiah, Heather, Patty, Susie, Robert, Carra, Whitney, Phyllis, Oyin, Simon, Jerry, Morgan, Erin, Eric, Sara, Ryan, Nate, Liz, Edna, Stef, and Nathalie)
  3. The incredible success of Women Unscripted.
  4. Our faithful liturgical volunteers and vergers who are present every week.
  5. The beautiful and creative work of RestoArts to help us engage with Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
  • Chris Belen and Christine Jones gave an update on the plans for David’s sabbatical in 2016.
  • We announced the hire of Rev. Nathan Dickerson as our new Associate Rector for Small Groups and Church Planting.
  • Ramsey Wilson provided an update our parish finances.  All the details are in the Parish Meeting Slide Deck.  In addition we made one more clarifying request that all capital campaign contributions be completed by July 31, 2015.
  • Carolyn concluded our evening by reminding us of the good work that has happened in the past year on our strategic plan—  we have grown to 550 people in attendance at our services each week on Quincy Street, Jesse Blaine is now a postulant for ordination and moving forward in his calling to plant a church in Cambodia, and the hire of Nathan Dickerson gives us a critical staff addition who will help us focus on small groups and church planting around Arlington.

Let us rejoice and give thanks.  God has been abundantly generous.  You, His people, have been faithful.

-David

Jealousy is a good thing…

On Sunday, there will be an opportunity for people to make commitments of membership at Restoration.  We are a community that is following Jesus together.  A few times a year, we invite people to join us in this journey–  to make promises to each other.

Restoration members make these commitments:

  1. I am a baptized believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. I will give a proportional portion of my time, talent, and treasure to what God is doing through Restoration.
  3. I will be actively involved in Restoration small groups.

I am regularly asked, ‘what makes you a member?’  Although you have to come to the New to Restoration dinner and although there is paperwork and although you get to sign The Big Green Book…  The thing that makes you a member is your deliberate choice to make commitments to this community.  All the other stuff are indicators of that choice.

So, welcome the folks who will stand and indicate they have made that choice on Sunday.

I got an email this week from someone who really wants to make those commitments, but he has not been baptized yet [We get to do that in January!!]  I think his excitement [and jealousy :)] are a beautiful thing.  He said I could share it here:

Hi ya David!

Jealousy is a good thing.  Not really…but in this case it is!

I’m thinking about those people who can join Restoration this upcoming Sunday.  And I think it’s the good kind of jealousy that I’m feeling – that people can declare that they are joining this fantastic community at the church.

I’ve found that community.  The lights that shine for Christ from those in this community give me the assurance that this church, this community,  is one of the places where God hangs out at!

So yeah…I’m truly happy for those who can sign that  members book.  I just want to shout for joy that God is so great and that Restoration is my home too!  I’m looking forward to that day!

Thanks to you, God and all the entire community for making me “jealous” …in that good way.

Peace!

 

See you on Sunday

-David

 

Come one, come all…

Was Sunday your first visit to Restoration?

Have you been coming for a few months and gotten interested in learning more and getting more involved?

Have you been here for two years but have never been able to make it to one of those “newcomer dinners”?

Have you ever even thought about setting foot in Restoration’s doors?

If your answer to any of these is yes, then please join us this Tuesday, March 1, at 7:30pm for a Newcomer Dinner!  We’ll feed you a hot meal, give you a chance to get to know some other Restoration folks, and talk together about our vision for the church, how you can be a part of it, and what it means to be a member of Restoration.

We’ll be accepting new members on Sunday, March 6. If you’d like to become a member at this time, you must attend the dinner on Tuesday.

If you’re interested in coming, please leave a comment below or contact us here so that we know how much food to have.

Please do come — we’d love to see you there!

Vestry Nominations are Open

At our parish meeting on Tuesday, I announced that nominations for vestry were open until October 17. Men and women who are members of Restoration and confirmed in the Anglican Communion can serve on our vestry.  Nominations should be kept confidential because we will have more nominees than our slate can hold.  The outgoing vestry members and staff will pray, discuss, and publish the official slate on Oct. 31. The vestry election will occur on Nov. 14.  All members of Restoration (attended the membership dinner, made a public commitment of our 3 affirmations, and signed the Big Green Book) can vote in the vestry election.  This year we are electing 3 new vestry members who will replace Elizabeth Boesen, Anne Cregger, and Sarah Blaine.

There are 2 ways you can nominate someone for vestry:

  1. you can send me an email with the name of your nominee
  2. you can fill out a paper form and leave it in the box in the back of the sanctuary on Sunday.

You are welcome to nominate yourself.  Don’t worry if you don’t know whether someone is a member or confirmed.  We’ll do the background checks for you 🙂

Want to become a member of Restoration?

The next new member dinner is October 26, 7:30pm at the church.  You must attend this dinner to become a member.  (free meal–  great deal!!)  We’ll talk about what membership looks like at Restoration and the commitments you are making to each other.  Please RSVP to me if you are planning to attend.

Want some more information about our vestry?

Here are the folks who are currently serving.

Here is some background I wrote last year:

One of the leadership structures for Restoration is an elected team of 9 men and women who serve as elders for our church.  We call them, ‘the vestry’ (ancient Anglican term–  they used to meet in the vestry, the room where they store the vestments–   the fancy clothes for the priest and altar).  The vestry provides spiritual leadership and organizational vision for our.  They pray and listen for the things to which God is calling us and articulate them to our community through annual goals, budget, and team oversight.  Each vestry member serves for 3 years.  The vestry chooses three ‘officers’–  president (me), secretary, and treasurer.  They also appoint wardens who serve a special advisory role to the Rector.

And here is a little something on authority in the Anglican tradition.

there’s something about belonging

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to spend a lot of time just talking with people.  Lots of lunches and coffees getting to know you all and your stories, hearing about the ways God is working in your lives, rooting for you through your struggles and celebrating with you in your victories.  You are some pretty amazing people.

I’m always really encouraged in these conversations when I hear people talk about what being part of Restoration means to them.  Things like:

  • “This is the first church I’ve been to where I don’t feel like they’ll kick me out when they really get to know me.”
  • “I’ve never asked people to pray for me before, but I asked my small group to pray for me and it made a huge difference!”
  • “Serving at Restoration feels like the fast track for challenge and growth.”

I’m not tooting my own horn here — or David’s or the rest of the staff, wonderful as they are.  Because what all of these statements reflect is the power of the Holy Spirit at work through the community of Restoration.  The New Testament makes it pretty clear that God intends for people who follow Jesus to do it in the context of a community of faith — a church.  Church isn’t just a group of friends, or people to sing with on Sunday morning.  It’s (one of) the means God uses to stretch us, grow us, challenge us, comfort us.  It’s part of how he makes us look more like Jesus.

So we offer the opportunity for people to commit to this kind of culture of community by becoming members of Restoration.  Can God work in and through you in this church if you don’t become a member?  Absolutely.  But as with most of our relationships in life, I think you’ll find that the meaning of what you get out of  and put into your relationship with this church will increase as your commitment to it increases. Becoming a member is a way to deepen that commitment.

You can read a lot more about what membership entails in these two blog posts that David wrote last spring.  And we’re having a dinner this coming Tuesday, May 4, for people who are interested in becoming members or would just like to meet people and learn more about who we are as a church.

Would you join us?  We’d love to have you.  Just RSVP in the comments below so we can be sure to order enough food!

Vestry Candidates

One of the leadership structures for Restoration is an elected team of 9 men and women who serve as elders for our church.  We call them, ‘the vestry’ (ancient Anglican term–  they used to meet in the vestry, the room where they store the vestments–   the fancy clothes for the priest and altar).  The vestry provides spiritual leadership and organizational vision for our.  They pray and listen for the things to which God is calling us and articulate them to our community through annual goals, budget, and team oversight.

Each vestry member serves for 3 years.  Since this is our first vestry election, we will be electing all 9 members and they will ‘draw straws’ to determine their term of service (1-3 years).  In the following years, we will rotate 3 people by election.

The vestry chooses three ‘officers’–  president (me), secretary, and treasurer.  They also appoint a senior and junior warden who serve a special advisory role to the Rector.

Restoration has been so well served by our Servant Team over the last year.  These leaders helped us move from a nameless, locationless vision to what we have today.  Some of those folks are standing for vestry election but most will move on to other places of service.  I am so thankful for them.

If you are a member of Restoration, you will be able to vote in the vestry election that will be held from Nov 8-15.  Please look at the attached bio book and pray diligently about how you will vote.  This is such an important ‘next step’ for our community.

If you are not a member yet of Restoration, but desire to make those commitments, you are invited to our membership orientations on Oct 26 or 27.  We’d love to get to know you.

Hang on tight, these are exciting times at Restoration.

Download the Vestry Candidates Bio Book

Parish Meeting Recap (Audio Included)

Friends, On Monday and Tuesday evening this week we had identical parish meetings.  The agenda was 8-fold:

  1. a report on the summer survey
  2. a reminder of our core values
  3. revelation of our new logo and some of the words that are shaping our brand process
  4. a financial report and explanation of our FY2010 budget (Fiscal Year began Sept 1)
  5. Current staff decisions
  6. an explanation of the vestry election process
  7. a reminder of what it means to be a member of Restoration.  Read FAQ here.
  8. an update of what we are doing in local and global outreach. (AFAC opportunities on Oct 4, 25 and Nov 15;  Outreach Prayer Meetings on Oct 20 and Nov 17)

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most edge of your seat thrill ride.  However, there was a genuine sense of thanksgiving for all that God has done in the last year.  Restoration is a church of GREAT people.  I am so thankful for them.

We recorded it for those who could not attend.  Let me know if you have any questions!

To download the mp3 of the meeting, right click (mac users: option click) this link and click “save file as”

Show up hungry…

breadThere will be a catered dinner at our membership class on Tuesday, May 26, at 7pm.  If you attend the other class on Saturday, May 30 at 12:30, there will be a catered lunch.  Both classes are at Restoration.  Your presence is requested at just one of them.  Are you planning to attend?  Let us know!

Belonging to Each Other: part 2

This is the second in a 2 part series on membership.  Part 1 talks about the New Testament arguments for being a church member.  You can read it here. This week:  more specific thoughts about being a member of Restoration.

What does it mean to be a member of Restoration?
When you join Restoration, you are not joining some abstract ‘thing’.  We are joining each other.  We belong to each other.  Members of Restoration choose to live in the milieu created by these core values and to hold these commitments in common.  By choosing to be a member, we choose against isolation and individualism.  We choose to live life together.

Core Values

Being a member means that we embrace the culture of a community and seek to be immersed and transformed by it.  The culture of Restoration is defined by the Gospel:

  • The Gospel Changes Everything
  • The Gospel is Catalyzed by Community
  • The Gospel is Proclaimed by Word and Sacrament
  • The Gospel Calls us to Lives of Coherence

(I preached a 5-sermon series on these called, ‘The Gospel Changes Everything’.  We remembered to record 4 of ’em.)

Common Commitments

Being a member means that we belong to each other by holding certain commitments in common.  As members we commit to these things:

1.    We are baptized believers.

  • We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that our rescue and deliverance from death and sin is found only through the unique, finished work of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • We seek to follow the example of Jesus by living lives of dependence on the Father through the Holy Spirit.
  • We will grow in our relationship with the Lord by disciplines of personal piety.
  • You can read the doctrinal statement for the Anglican Church in North American and for David Hanke, here.

2.    We are intentionally giving our time, talent, and treasure to the building of God’s Kingdom through Restoration.

  • Time: By God’s grace and provision, we commit to worshipping regularly at Restoration.
  • Talent: By God’s grace and provision, we are using our gifts and abilities to serve those in our community (C3 Inreach) and beyond (Outreach Opportunities).
  • Treasure: By God’s grace and provision, between our household and the Lord, we are making annual financial commitments to Restoration.

3.    We are regular participants in Restoration small groups.

Intentional Acts

On May 31, we will invite those who want to become members of Restoration to stand and take an oath of these commitments (‘by God’s grace we will’).  In this oath, we are declaring our desire to belong to each other.  We have a membership book that we will ask you to sign that becomes a permanent record for those who have made these commitments over the years.

Belonging to Each Other: pt.1

On May 31, during the Sunday services, people from Restoration will express their desire to belong to each other by holding common commitments–  we will become members.  This is the first of a 2 part series on what we believe about membership.  The mic goes to the New Testament first.  Some thoughts from Paul and Jesus…

A few arguments from the New Testament for church membership

1.    Members of a Body:

  This is the metaphor the apostle Paul used when he was describing the local church.  (see 1 Corinthians 12).  The illustration of the body implies connection and interdependence.  The body has members (arms, legs, spleen, kidneys) that work together and need each other.  The body is not a pile of independent ‘attachments’.

2.    Shepherd Leaders: 

The Bible calls the leaders of the church to be shepherds.  Shepherds are required to care for a particular flock.  Commitments held in common define who is a member of that community.

a.    Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
b.    1Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

3.    Faithful Members:

  The Bible calls members to an intentional relationship with their leaders. Pastors (Biblical leaders) are obligated to follow the example of Jesus and to lay down their life for those in their charge.  Christians are obligated to commit themselves to a particular church (and a particular group of elder leaders).  This is the community to which they give their time, talent, and treasure for the building of God’s Kingdom.

a.    Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
b.    1Thessalonians 5:12  We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
c.    1Timothy 5:17  Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

4.    Redemptive Discipline:

  Sometimes, the Church is called to discipline its members.  This responsibility and the joy of seeing transformational repentance is given to those who belong to each other as members.

a.    Matthew 18:15  “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as  a Gentile and  a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed  in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask,  it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Conclusions:

1.    Every person who wants to follow Jesus should take a position under the leadership and authority of a particular group of elders.  In our Anglican tradition, this is the Rector (the Senior Priest in charge–  David Hanke) and the Vestry (elected, non-ordained lay people)
2.    We should declare ourselves part of a community who expect to be watched over and cared for by a particular group of elders (the Rector, pastoral leadership, and vestry)
3.    We should find our place in the organic whole as a body part.  You cannot follow Jesus by yourself.  We need to be members of a particular, local body of Christ.

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