Resto Summer BBQ

Summer is here! And that means it is time for the Restoration Summer BBQ!

Join us at Oak Grove Park* (1606 N Quincy St. – across from where we park on Sundays!) after the 5 pm service on Sunday, July 15!

If you are looking to have maximum fun this summer, this is the BBQ for you. It will have everything: hot dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, lemonade, ice tea, water, music, outdoor games, a playground, fun people like you… I could go on, but let me get to the important details:

Sign up your favorite dessert (if your last name is A-G) or favorite side (if your last name is H-Z)!

We would also love your help with set up, grilling, or clean up! Sign up here!

Everyone is welcome! Bring your friends (and maybe a lawn chair or a blanket)! Can’t wait to see you there!

*If it rains, we’ll meet in Fellowship Hall!

Oak Grove Park

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.


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.


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.

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.

Fall Retreat 2

#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.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend #RestoRetreat2016


Fall Retreat3

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

Fall Retreat1
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!

Fall Retreat2
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.

The cost (and benefit) of discipleship

At Restoration, we have a passion for discipling our kids. And the only way this happens is through an amazing community of adults who devote their time and energy to our kids. Did you know that there are 44 adults at Restoration who’ve made a weekly commitment for 10-months to invest in the lives of our kids? Ten-months of a weekly commitment is a huge cost. But the investment pays great dividends. Take a look:

Spending time with the kids/youth at Restoration is a highlight of my week. It brings me so much joy to laugh with them, have good (and often silly) conversations with them, and to run around and play together. They are just so dear and so fun. Being with them helps me grasp the love and delight that Jesus has for each of His children. I hope that their experience at Restoration helps them understand Jesus’ love for and delight in them as well.

Kat (an APEX leader)


I’ve seen God helping middle schoolers get through the daily challenges that they face at school.

Andrew (an APEX leader)


Working with the middle school girls of Restoration via APEX has been a wonderful and growing experience. I get glimpses into their fears, their hurts, their triumphs and, overall, witness how they infuse their walks with Christ into their life in every-day situations, which is inspiration for my own life. It’s a humble gift and I truly look forward to Sunday evenings each week to hang with my girls.

Ashley (an APEX leader)


As a kids’ small group leader for five years, I’ve grown to appreciate my time with our adorable Restoration kids as just another form of Sunday worship: fellowship (with adults and kids), reading of Scripture and thinking through applications, singing. But as a bonus, we get to laugh out loud and jump around. I appreciate the opportunity on Sunday mornings to interweave service with worship — hmm, worship service??

Susie (a Kids’ Small Group Leader)


When I started volunteering back in our little church on Quincy St. I probably thought I would see God work through me all the time, but he’s actually worked within me much more (which is definitely cooler — way to go God). I didn’t realize I needed to look at the Gospel like a 3- or 4-year-old, but that was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. He has made my heart gentle. I am ALWAYS welcome downstairs. Those kids have shown me what I *should* be like in how I interact with others in the church and how open and teachable my heart should be. There’s never an expectation or judgment; for them, I never feel like I’m putting on a mask to look good on Sunday or I have to say the right thing. Their reaction when they come through that door is: “Awesome. My day just got better simply because you’re here, and now we’re going to have fun and be silly together.” And if all of community was like that, that would be pretty sweet.

Sara (a Kids’ Small Group Leader)


God has shown me through the eyes of these kids that no matter how many times I encounter a story from the Word, it can always be exciting, new, and insightful. For example, did you know that when [kids read the story of the fall they see that when] Eve gave Adam the apple, she put it an inch from his nose? Or that [as a leader helping kids see and touch the story of God parting the Red Sea that] the Red Sea could be made of Russian coins? You could learn all that and more by being a Restoration kids small group leader!

Leigh (a Kids’ Small Group Leader)


When I said yes to leading a Restoration Kids’ Small Group, I expected adventure and a little bit of drama, but never expected the joy and the fun we had this year in the K-1 group. Whether we were burning paper with our sins written on it and turning it into ashes, or building a Jenga-inspired Tower of Babel, the kiddos were always eager to learn more about the characteristics of God. I’m so blessed to be on this adventure as we learn and laugh together!

Phyllis (a Kids’ Small Group Leader)


Would you consider making this kind of investment in discipling our kids? You, too, will see not only how our kids grow, but also experience how God will grow you to be more and more like Jesus.

-Louise and Clay-

Reading about Justice

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As we run, jump, shuffle, walk, tiptoe, hop, skip or leap  into this series on justice we are already starting to encounter some great big ideas; certainly I’ve realized there are quite a few ways I need to face up to my patterns of behavior and some perhaps pretty deeply-held previous convictions. Processing these things in small group is amazing (we had a wonderful discussion last night about Sabbath – I hear others did too), but sometimes it’s simply time to read….

We don’t have a library (yet!) at Restoration – but if you buy any of these why not lend them to others in your small group, order them through your library, read them in your book clubs or give them as birthday presents. Feel free to donate old copies to Restoration if you have them! Perhaps we can start a little lending book area?

So to start with some of the books David has been referencing include:

I haven’t read all of them yet… so I’m looking forward to working through the list.  When you’ve read all of  these – come back to us and we’ll suggest some more 🙂 or perhaps you’ve got suggestions of your own to add to the list? Please add comments below. Happy reading!

~ Liz

Restoration Pig Roast



You are invited to the Inaugural Restoration Pig Roast Potluck. (#restopigroast)

Who: You and ___
When: Saturday, May 2, 2015; come whenever, pig will be ready around 3 p.m.
Where: A beautiful big field near MIddleburg, Va. (approx. 1 hour west of Arlington, directions below)
Cost: $20/adult, $5/child, plus bring a side dish and 2-liter bottle
Why: To celebrate spring. To celebrate Restoration. To celebrate God’s beautiful creation. To enjoy great food. Together.

The cost covers the essentials: pig roasted under the watchful eye of one of D.C.’s best young chefs, plates/cups/cutlery, water, a large event tent, serving tables, portable toilets. We also will provide some grilled chicken, vegetarian options, and rolls to make sandwiches.

You bring the rest: picnic blanket(s) and/or camp chair(s), neighbors / friends, ideas / supplies for fun outdoor activities, a 2-liter bottled beverage (or equivalent) to share, a side dish to feed 10 people based on first letter of last name as follows:

A – F: dessert (looking at Breeds and Donnell)
G – P: salad or veggie
Q – Z: snacks or chef’s choice

The raw beauty of the space means there is no electricity (keep that in mind when preparing your side dish), little or no cell service, and we must carry-in and carry-out (Leave No Trace).

In order to buy the appropriate amount of supplies, we will close registration at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015.

Click here to register. Registration and cash or personal check payment will also be accepted in-person after each of the services on Sunday, April 19th and 26th. You will have the option of making an additional donation to our outreach trips to Cambodia and/or West Virginia at the registration table and event.

Volunteer opportunities abound. Please email Tom Madrecki, John Donnell, and Chris Belen if you are able and interested in helping, or if you have questions.

Directions and camping instructions, if you’d like to stay overnight, can be found on the Restoration website.

Making Space


My gas tank light flashed on.  Ugh, I heaved. What an apropos picture for what I feel like right now.  The morning was still dark and I was driving to meet with three seventh grade girls whom I was supposed to be “mentoring.”  But I felt out of gas. Runnin’ on empty.  Like I had nothing to give.  I should NOT be doing this!  What in the world do I have to offer them?  I feel like I’m barely holding it together and they’re supposed to look up to me? Yikes.  I pulled into the parking lot and saw one of their moms pulling out.  Another whammy to myself: not even on time.  The mini-van slowed and the mom rolled down her window.

“Caitlin, hi! How are you?”

“Uhhh.. great,” I faltered.  This particular mom had actually mentored me for the last several years.  She must be thinking ‘why am I letting my daughter be influenced by this girl?’  “Grace,” I spit out before I would think the better of it. “I’m actually feeling like I don’t have much to give.  Like, I am a mess.  And..” I trailed off.

Grace smiled.  She has one of those reassuring smiles, one that serves as a reminder that everything will be a-okay. “Oh, Caitlin, what a perfect place to be in… for you’re aware that it’s not really about you offering YOUR wisdom or joy, but offering a place for the Lord to work.  You’re making yourself available, and that’s all that’s necessary.”

Ah ha. Right. So I didn’t feel adequate.  Well, that’s not the point.  Or maybe in part, it is exactly the point. HE’S adequate. And He’s in me.  So in I went and we had cinnamon crunch bagels and talked about middle school life.

Later, I walked out with those three darling girls and realized how refreshed I was.  There was a mysterious exchange that had taken place in that last hour.  My weakness, His strength.  My crumbs, His bread of Life.  And honestly it was a gift to be with them and to realize, hey, it is not about me right now.  Self-forgetfulness can be a relief.

I think back to the many women who have been involved in my life over the years.  Each of them lovely, each of them wise.  But what was most impactful to me was their availability, the space they created in their lives to allow me to join.  I remember sometimes jumping in the car and going grocery shopping with one of them.  She invited me to just come alongside her amidst her to-do list.  In my highschool years, I would often meet with a mentor, now a dear, dear friend, at Panera.  We’d order cinnamon crunch bagels.  I know she offered me a lot of wisdom, but what I remember most is just that she was there. She kept showing up every week at Panera.

In the beginning, God created time and space.  And I think He grants us the ability to create specific time and spaces in our own lives.  Creating time and space to walk alongside of other people – whether we are the “mentee” or “mentor” – is an invitation for us to do what Jesus did: invest in relationships… make disciples. He knew we needed one another, knew that we weren’t made to do life on our own.  Our retreat speaker Dale Keuhne’s words come to mind: “human flourishing requires a constellation of relationships.”  Those words have swirled around in my mind for months.  A constellation of relationships… what could that look like for us at Restoration as we consider investing in one another?  Maybe it’s much simpler than we make it out to be.  Maybe it’s about just showing up.

Please join us to discuss the topic of mentoring at the next Women’s Unscripted. This is a chance to hear from different women’s stories, gain practical tools for being and/or finding a mentor, and learn about new avenues to get to know other women at Restoration.  7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 24 (NEXT TUESDAY) in the Fellowship Hall.  Hope to see all Restoration women – and their friends there. All welcome.

~Caitlin Staples for the Women Unscripted Team


Fall Retreat 2014: Register today!

Click here to sign up now for this year’s retreat. We’ll be heading to Massanetta Springs October 18-19, 2014 and would love for you all to join us. The retreat will begin at 9:30 am on Saturday and will end by 12:45 pm on Sunday. Register before September 1 to get the early-bird discount. 

“I accepted Christ when I was a child and have attended church all my life. However, since joining the military over 10 years ago, I have not found a church family to call my own. That changed last October.

My brother, Isaac, and his family attended Restoration, and I would come to service with them on occasion. Everyone was nice, but I was always just a visitor. Then in the summer of 2013, I went through a terrible breakup with my then fiancé. My family helped me through the initial pain, but we all knew that I could not heal on my own, that I needed to belong to something. So, with their advice, I gave Restoration an honest try–for myself.

During my second service, I read the announcement for the 2013 Fall Retreat. It was decently local, it was supposed to be a lot of fun, and my sister-in-law, Julia, wanted to go. But, what I really noticed was the date. October 18-20–my botched wedding date. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. I remember choosing that date because it is my favorite weekend of the year. Looking down at the announcement, I knew that I did not want to be alone or sad on that beautiful weekend. I remember thinking, “What a great way to spend that time. I won’t be in pain, and I won’t be thinking about myself – I’ll be with Christ and His family in the mountains… I have to go.”

The retreat was wonderful. I had never met such nice, Godly people. Julia, my niece Parker, and I shared a room–I was so thankful to have family with me. But, I left the weekend meeting some of my now closest friends. I was able to spend time getting to know them and hear their stories. We went to a pumpkin farm, a lavender farm and a winery. This was not your typical church retreat! But, I needed that. I needed to experience worldly things with Godly people. At the retreat, we sat around a bonfire for hours. I was able to get to know the people I now call friends, and probably unknowingly, they were able to help me understand the changes going on in my life and heal a little more because of it.

I realize that because of that retreat last fall, I am now a part of something. I walk into service and am able to say more than just “hello” to people. I still love that my family attends Restoration, but now I have my own identity there. I have since healed from my breakup, and I now realize that the Lord sent me to the fall retreat on that third Saturday in October in order to begin a different type of new life – one with Him and my new “extended” Restoration family, and it is still my favorite weekend of the year!”

– Lori Simerly


God and the (single) woman

Last Tuesday,  7.30pm 51 women met at LFPC to listen, chat, think and pray around the idea of being a woman of God who may be single; and how we can encourage one another to grow into all that God has for us individually and collectively.IMG_0666 The panel: Leigh McAfee, Barb Hagerty and Connally Gilliam were outstanding – they made us laugh and think as they called us to revel in our womanhood, delight in our maker and allow God to minister to the hurts and longings that we feel. Some of my favorite quotes from the evening include:

  • “It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (quoted by Barb)
  • “I want to live out of wholeness not longing” (Leigh)
  • “But Eros, honoured without reservation and obeyed unconditionally, becomes a demon” CS Lewis, The four loves (quoted by Connally)
  • ‘Fill yourselves with thankfulness” (Barb)
  • “How would I live if I knew for a fact in five years I would/would not be married?” (Barb)
  • “My singleness is only part of my identity” (Leigh)

What was your favorite take-away from the evening?    Do continue the conversation…


1) Last call for the Women’s retreat: sign up closes this Sunday. Connally is our speaker – the book is Philippians and we will be thinking about hope in the chaos of life. It will be fun!

2) March 18, 7.30pm LFPC: ‘God and the (sexual) woman’. Similar format. Send questions in advance to Liz Gray

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