Good Gifts: Learning to be Available to the Holy Spirit

If you have thirty seconds, please hear that I would love for you to join a small group led by Ramsey Wilson and Matt Hoppe (me) on making yourself available to the Holy Spirit.  We will meet Wednesdays at Matt’s house in Chirilagua, and we will be learning about healing prayer (using John Wimber’s “Power Healing”) as an outward practice of listening to the Holy Spirit and making ourselves available to him.  Click here and select Matt Hoppe’s and Ramsey Wilson’s group. 

If you have more than thirty seconds, here is a little snapshot of my story to help you learn why this is important to me:

good giftI grew up being taught that the gifts of the Spirit stopped with the deaths of the original Apostles.  Over the past twenty years through the work of the Holy Spirit, good friends and mentors, and the influence of Anglicanism, I now believe that the gifts of the Spirit are not only real for today but that they are fundamental to the church’s ministry and life.

In 2010, I approached a man at Restoration named Ramsey because I noticed that he was not only wicked smart, but he had a holy reverence and awe for the mysteries of God.  I wanted to learn how to think and live as someone who did not divorce mystery from intelligence, so I asked if he would mentor me.  We went on a journey together using a Bible study called “Unseen Things.” In a moment of solitude in the basement of the old Restoration building, I was studying about the mind of God, and I got slammed by the Holy Spirit and started speaking in a tongue that I did not understand.

When the episode ended, I felt shaky, relieved, awed, hopeful, and frankly I did not know how to make intellectual heads or tales of what had just happened.  I sheepishly walked upstairs to where David Hanke was working in his office.  I knocked on his door, and I vulnerably told him what had happened.  He let a little bit of quiet pass, as David sometimes does, and smiled as he simply stated, “That was a good gift.”  We nodded at each other and got back to work.  That explanation was enough.

I have needed to struggle through the meaning of that experience and subsequent experiences, and I have been continuing to press forward (in community) in my longing to know God more in all his mysterious good-gift-giving.  I have experienced visions for myself and others, I have been delivered from demonic oppression and helped others toward greater freedom, and I have prayed for myself and other people’s physical and inner healing with end results of greater health.  All of these have been good gifts from God that are made available to us through his Holy Spirit, and I love hearing other people’s stories of God’s good, simple and extravagant work in their lives.  No really.  I love it!  And I love affirming in people that what they experienced was “a good gift.”

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he encourages us to “pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts.” (14.1) I want to run with you and sit still with you and sing songs with you in pursuit of God’s heart, and I want to desire these spiritual gifts with you so that we can know him more and have greater confidence in building up the church and sharing his good gifts with others.

-Matt Hoppe

Introducing Small Group # 12 – Orthodoxy by Chesterton

41KbMGTXJlL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

As our Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this fall, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Elliot and Alexandra Gaiser about the small group they are hosting this fall (Small Group #12)

9 bottles of wine. 9 chapters of Orthodoxy. 9 weeks of new friends. If you live in the district or nearby, if you like or are interested in reading Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton, if a sermon series is too much to commit to, or if you just want to eat someone else’s lemon bars, we have a group for you.

Elliot and Alexandra Gaiser live a few blocks away from the Dupont metro stop and want YOU to come. Each week we’ll discuss a chapter of Orthodoxy, a classic of Christian literature that has reignited the wonder and quirky central ideas of the faith (and is free online!), try a new bottle of wine (or seltzer water, if you prefer), and discuss it with new friends and neighbors. The group will meet Wednesday nights from 7:30-9:00 PM. You don’t want to miss this.

Interested in joining this small group? Here is the link to sign up.

Introduction to the Rooted series of Small Groups

Rooted-and-Renewing-image 

  • What are the core beliefs of our faith? How do they shape the way we view the world?
  • How do we grow as Christians? How can we cultivate a genuine prayer life with God?
  • What comes after we put our trust in Jesus? How does our faith in Christ impact our relationships with others?

These are great questions that you might have asked yourself at some point in life, & we want to help you address them with confidence.

That is why we have created Rooted, which is a three-part series of Small Groups, that is intended to root you more deeply in the beliefs, practices, and implications of the Christian faith.

The content of Rooted is designed around the ancient model of “catechesis” (a Greek word meaning ‘instruction’). For many centuries, Christian pastors & teachers have nurtured their congregations by instructing them about 3 main things: The Apostles Creed, Lord’s Prayer, & the Ten Commandments.

So, over this coming year, we are joining in this same ancient pattern of time-tested instruction in the Christian life:

  • In the Fall, we will explore the Apostles Creed to discern what it teaches us about our core beliefs as Christians.
  • In the Winter, we will look at the Lord’s Prayer to learn how to cultivate a life of prayer.
  • In the Spring, we will examine the Ten Commandments as we discuss how to live out the Great Commandment to love the Lord our God, and our neighbors as ourselves.

Each of these Rooted small groups will last 9 weeks, & involve teaching, discussion, times of prayer, & outside readings.

Our first Rooted small group on the Apostles Creed will launch on Thursday PM, Sept. 20. We would love to have you join us! Here is the link to sign up (Small Group #21)

Interested in joining us? Have questions? Contact Nathan Dickerson at Nathan@restorationarlingon.org

Summer Small Group Thursdays 7:30-9pm at Restoration Starting July 12

Some of us love what we do. Others are deeply dissatisfied. A lot of us get burnt out by our
work, and others find our jobs boring. Some experience both at the same time! And it seems
nearly all of us struggle to figure out how to manage the responsibilities and demands of our
work, our families, and our sanity.

Our assessment of our work performance is often one of the best gauges to assess our
emotions. Our work affects us. It is often our go-to when someone asks us how we are doing.

Friend 1: How are things going?

Friend 2: Good, work is going well. Our firm just brought on a new client. How are things with you?

Friend 1: I’m stressed. Work is insane right now.

You get the idea…

Starting July 8, we’ll begin a summer sermon series on work and why it matters. And though
small groups are taking a break for the summer, we’re offering one special 6-week small group
that will run concurrently with the sermon series.

The group will meet on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9pm at Restoration. Sign up.

We’ll follow the passages used in the prior sermon, and we’ll follow the book “Work Matters” by Tom Nelson. You certainly don’t need to read the book to participate (It’s summer after all!).

So whether you work full-time (as a parent and/or in an office!) or part-time, whether you are
looking for a job, or want to get rid of the one you got, and whether you’re a student, retired,
or something else, I hope you will consider joining us. Our vocations take a variety of forms, and we all have wisdom and experience to share. Plus there’s going to be snacks!

Additionally, if you are new to Restoration or just moved here this summer, please come! Small groups are one of the best ways to get connected here.

Work is hard. But it matters. To God. To us. And to each other.

Join us!

– Scott

Kids’ and APEX Small Group Leader Conversations

Sign up for a conversation below.  You won’t regret it!

Listening

Sainsburys-supermarket-shelves-2014-460

Yesterday, while I was in the grocery store, I was starkly reminded of how hard it can be to listen. I was pushing my daughter around the store, trying to grab everything that was on and was not on my list while also somehow avoiding hitting other shoppers with our mondo car shopping cart. And trying to accomplish all of this in time to get home to unpack everything and then pick up my son from preschool. The store was playing music, people were talking, workers were stocking the shelves, kids were making noises. Then all of the sudden, barely audible because of all the noise, a clerk came over the intercom and asked all the workers and shoppers to observe a moment of silence for September 11. It took me a second to process what the voice was saying and to stop walking down the aisle and turn off my headphones, an additional noise on top of everything else. The store music ceased. Other shoppers that heard the announcement stopped in their tracks.  

The normally bustling grocery store was suddenly quiet, a unique, almost unsettling, scene. For perhaps 30 seconds, everyone participated in the moment of silence. Then the music came back on and everyone started going about their busy business again, with all the noise that went along with it.

Not everyone heard the announcement- perhaps because it was too noisy in the store or they thought it was another “commercial” from the grocery store or they simply didn’t listen/pay attention- and did not stop to observe the silence. Some did stop for the silence when they visually noticed the other shoppers not shopping and became aware of the lack of noise. But others continued to go about their way, unaware of the invitation and opportunity to engage in this solemn moment. In fact, I barely heard the announcement to be silent over the loudspeaker because of all the other noise going on around me and the noise that I myself was creating.

Listening to God can be difficult and requires discernment. We know what types of things to be listening for and the ways that God can speak to us: scripture, times of prayer, community, circumstances, Holy Spirit encounters. But more fundamentally, in order to “hear” or “see” any of these things an intentionality is needed; a posture of listening and watchfulness is assumed. How can we know what we are to do or what God is saying if we have not listened? If we have not taken the time and space to listen? If we have not removed our headphones? If we have not been watchful to the situation around us?

Taking time for silence is an opportunity for us to assume this posture of listening and watchfulness. We can be sure that God is speaking; He is living and active. He has given us His Holy Spirit to direct and comfort us. It is hard to hear, to be watchful, especially in our busy Washington D.C. pace of life. Join us for a time of listening to the Lord during “Be Still and Know,” a contemplative prayer night, on Wednesday, September 13 at 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  Intercessors will be present to pray silently for you as you pray and seek the Lord. Bring your thoughts, bring your questions, bring your expectant heart to hear what the Lord might say to you.

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people;

Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who

calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with

you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever

and ever. Amen.

~Lauren

Interested in learning more about listening to the Holy Spirit and pursuing a posture of listening? Ladies are welcome to join Rebecca Reck and Lauren Lessels’ small group on Fridays at 10 am in the Church for Priscilla Shirer’s “He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear from God” study.

Keeping God before our Eyes

Benedict

Rhythms

We accomplish so many tasks during the day without thinking about them: getting up, brushing our teeth, getting kids ready for school, having seemingly meaningless conversations at work, trying to make it through the day so that we can get home. And then once we get home what should we make for dinner? And once we finally get kids to bed or watch our favorite show we snuggle into our own sheets and maybe for a brief moment this thought pops into our head: “what just happened today?” Our rhythms often betray our own survival mentality which lacks coherence or purpose. It is this question (What just happened?) which reminds us of the importance of taking a spiritual inventory of the moments of our days.

Sunday Sermon

Rev. Liz just preached a sermon today (August 13– see here) as part of the series on the Apostles’ Creed which focused on the phrase “…He will come to judge the living and the dead…” and in her sermon there is a helpful reminder that we need to live our days with the reminder that God is Holy. Yes, God in His mercy has paid for the sins of His people, and yet it is also true that time itself is a stewardship from God to be used to show His glory and love to the world. Each day invites us to turn from our past sins and to see Christ in the people we meet and moments we are given. However, many of us struggle to create healthy rhythms of life which redeem our daily moments and relationships that God puts in our path.

Small Group

In the Fall, there will be a Thursday evening small group for those interested in reexamining how they live the daily rhythms of their lives. It’s like the old hymn says “…take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.” We’ll will look at how this can be done. This small group will be a foundational piece of who we will become as Incarnation Anglican Church (the future Restoration church plant in south Arlington) and as such this small group will be hosted and led in south Arlington so that we discover how we can daily love Jesus more in our work, families, and in our neighborhoods in south Arlington. We would love for you have the opportunity to invest in south Arlington through this small group by signing up here once the registrations open up. Again, we will meet Thursdays from 7:30-9pm. You might be wondering more about what we will study….

Rule of St. Benedict

Unreflective survival is not a new difficulty in the history of God’s Church, so one of the ways that earlier saints have responded to this problem is by creating a rule for communal life. Maybe you are afraid that using the word “rule” sounds legalistic. However, a “rule of life” is not the same thing as setting up a bunch of arbitrary rules to measure someone’s spiritual prowess. A rule of life is a bit more flexible and has a well thought through goal. One such rule of life was created by St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547 CE) and can be read in English translation here. No other prayer rule has had more impact on English spirituality (which includes its influence on the Book of Common Prayer itself). St. Benedict desired that people be daily turned towards repentance and a love of God (even though his audience were monks in a monastery and under an abbot). He writes about roles, relationships, desires, prayer, eating, sleeping, conversation, and other aspects of community life in order to bring them together into a cohesive life of holiness in which someone turns to God in the daily relationships they have and moments they experience. He says in his prologue (v. 44), “…While there is yet time, while we are still in the flesh and are able to fulfill all these things by the light which is given us–we must run and perform now what will profit us for all eternity.” This brings us back to Rev. Liz’s sermon in which we are called to contemplate the ways in which God judges his peoples’ deeds. The rule written by St. Benedict has now been tested and found helpful by the Church for almost 1500 years and I believe it still helps us today to frame the ways in which we keep a healthy fear of God before our eyes daily. We are not cloistered monks living under an abbot, but many of us are neighbors and in small groups together and as such we are called to work together for the same goal.

Want to know more about St. Benedict before you sign up? Here’s a cool video:

 -Authored by Morgan Reed+

Small Group #31 – New Group in MD

countyseal

As Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this winter, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Stephanie Hurter, one of the leaders of Small Group #31

Last year this time, a few members in Restoration came together to create RILA, the Restoration Immigration Legal Aid Clinic. This clinic grew from the hearts of many in Restoration who want to see the power of God’s love translated into concrete acts of mercy and grace in the community around us. Prayer and vision lead to change.

God is yet again stirring our hearts to spread His kindness in tangible ways. For the past few years Restoration has been prayerfully considering church planting in the Metro DC area. This year, we are beginning to take more concrete steps towards making this a reality — and we need you!

Join Katie and Darin Hamlin and myself this trimester as we gather each week to pray for God to move and guide in Restoration’s church planting efforts. We know that eight years ago God called a unique group of men, women, and children to form Restoration and we have faith that God may be now calling us to build on this work and form a new church family to minister in a different community. Will you join us?

Yes, we are meeting in Takoma Park, Maryland. SO FAR AWAY?? Actually, not really, but I get why it feels that way. I lived in Northern Virginia for many years and then through a variety of life circumstances and God’s leading, I moved to Montgomery County, Maryland. I remember thinking that Maryland felt so different and so far away. After moving here, I not only realized how close it was to many of my old haunts and friends, but also how much I actually came to care about my neighbors here in Montgomery County (MoCo).

This small group is not about asking folks to church plant in MoCo — we don’t know where God is calling Resto yet. But, it is about asking us to consider taking risks, stretching ourselves beyond the familiar and comfortable and waiting for God to show up. Ask Jason, Natalie or Michelle or anyone on the RILA team and they will tell you RILA didn’t happen easily. It took a lot of commitment, hard work, prayer, and tears, and still does. God’s work is rarely easy. He asks a lot of us, but it is in these moments of faithfulness that God loves to show up in big ways.

By coming to this small group you aren’t committing to join the church plant, just adding your voice to ours asking God to make clear his will and to stir in our hearts the desire to follow that will. What an awesome opportunity to directly influence Restoration’s future!

 We’ll be meeting at the Hamlin’s House in Takoma Park, MD on Friday nights at 7:30 to 9pm. Come a bit early if you want a bite to eat. All are welcome. Come join us!

Interested in joining this group? Sign up here

Small Group #25 – Christian Hope at Life’s End

41wBPx3sHrL

As Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this winter, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Mitch Wallin, one of the leaders of Small Group #25

How should Christians approach the end of life? How should we support our friends and family as they face terminal illness? Death is something all of us will face but we rarely discuss it in our daily lives or in the church. Many spend their final days in an intensive care unit often isolated and without a chance to mourn or say goodbye. A bill was recently signed by the mayor in Washington, DC to allow physician assisted suicide as an option for a painless death. How can we die better?

The small group entitled “Christian Hope at Life’s End“ is for both young and older adults who want to honestly examine end of life care and death from the lens of faith and the perspective of a practicing neurologist. We will cover brain death, physician assisted suicide, the Christian death in past centuries and how best to prepare for death ourselves or for a loved one. Readings from “The Art of Dying” (R Moll) and other books and articles will help to frame the discussion and sharing. Please join us on Thursday nights at 7:30 PM!

Interested in joining this group? Sign up here

Small Group #7 – Facing Human Trafficking in Our Midst

img_4854

As our Small Groups Sign-Up’s get started this fall, we wanted to tell you about a few of the options. Here are a few words from Andrew & Christine Jones, leaders of Small Group #7

Is this a depressing small group topic or what? Human Trafficking in Our Midst

It is easy to understand that human trafficking happens across the globe.  But it is hard to hear that it also happens across the street.  This fall, our small group will focus on the trafficking that is happening in our area. Using prayer, data, and real people’s stories, we will seek to understand what is really going on and how, as Christians, we feel led to respond. It’s a frightening, deeply disturbing topic, yes, but we’ll unpack it in a safe, relaxed atmosphere.  Maybe even some homemade snacks & wine to take the edge off?

The assumption is that we will learn together so no base knowledge is necessary.  We will meditate on Isaiah 58 and focus on what God wants for this world, knowing that it – and we – are broken until Jesus comes again.

“Is not this the fast that I choose:

    to loose the bonds of wickedness,

    to undo the straps of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

    and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry

    and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover him,

    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,

    and your healing shall spring up speedily;

your righteousness shall go before you;

    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”

-Isaiah 58:6-8

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!  It’s a new venture for us and we’d love to have you along for the ride.  – Christine & Andrew Jones

Interested in joining this group? Sign up here

Page 1 of 712345...Last »
© Copyright Restoration Anglican Church