I probably saw a lot of you at the Turkey Trot this morning. What a privilege to be a part of Loving Arlington by sponsoring a race. Way to go church!
Which brings me to the subject of this post: things for which I am thankful. Seems like a no-brainer at the end of November, eh? Be patient with me.
I decided to limit it to things I am thankful for at Restoration SINCE Oct 16 (about a month). Look what can happen in a month at our church:
- We had our first annual fall retreat— over 140 of us took off for Massanetta Springs, the Swisher boys pounded us in corn hole, we laughed at Danny Ray, sang with Alex Mejias, had serendipitous sightings of the bishop, celebrated a gaggle of birthdays, toured a winery, and re-lived our freshman dorm experience. I loved that weekend with all of you and I can’t wait until next year.
- We hosted back to back new member dinners and thought we lost the Vinson dog (VERY thankful that was not true…). 35 adults stood, committed their time, treasure, and talent to what God is doing through our church, and signed the Big Green Book (TM pending). We now have almost 120 adult members with 60 kids along for the ride. What a fantastic community God has called together.
- 5 people were baptized on Nov 1. 3 beautiful little girls, 2 wonderful big people. I love watching us make promises to raise the little ones to a point where they confess they love Jesus. I love watching us celebrate the big people make public their desire for Jesus to be the one who forgives them and leads them.
- We sent out our first team of foreign missionaries. We provided funds, prayer, and partnership back at home for 3 women who taught teachers in SouthEast Asia. I have been inspired by their stories, by their prayer, and by their courage.
- Erin and Louise created a 4 week class to teach kids about the Eucharist. Over 15 3rd-6th graders participated. It was precious to hear them talk about the Gospel and being rescued by their King. And then to see many of them take communion for the first time on 11/22. I love this generation we are called to nurture and develop.
- We created the Outreach Steering Team– a gifted group who is charting the course for how we use our outreach funds to serve the most vulnerable and transform the people in our church. So thankful for their wisdom and attention to detail.
- We nominated a slate of 14 vestry candidates, then elected 9 of them. Our church will be under phenomenal leadership as we transition from our beloved Servant Team to a Vestry. God has provided so many gifted leaders in this first year. I am so grateful.
- We have been laboring in Ephesians 5. I have watched you ask good questions, pray humble prayers, and open your hearts to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Our small group leaders are some of the best I have ever seen and they have shepherded you well through this study in Ephesians.
- We had a small soiree at the Hilton. 🙂
not a bad month!
Through it all, by God’s rich grace, I get to be your pastor and now Rector. I am not sure this first year could have gone better. I love this job. I am so proud of you. I am so excited to see what God does in us and through us in the year to come.
For what are you giving thanks?
Share so that we can rejoice with you!