On Sunday, June 3, Incarnation Anglican gathered in the home of Liz and Simon Gray for its first Sunday worship service of evening prayer and eucharist. This service was the start of our ‘soft launch’ — a period of a few months where our launch team will worship weekly and practice the habits of praying, learning, singing, sharing testimonies, and breaking bread that will shape and form us for our public launch on September 9.
Preparing the Grays’ home for worship included doing so many things for the first time: setting up chairs, arranging potluck dishes, making a quick chalkboard sign, passing out liturgies, arranging a cozy kids’ nook, and more. We laughed and prayed and bustled about together in relaxed delight, wondering who would come.
And come they did! At quarter to 5, people began to show up. But no matter where you were on Sunday evening — whether at the Grays’, or at Restoration, or at home or in the park or out grabbing a beer — you were right there with us too.
Because over the past year, you have supported us in a thousand small ways, giving us opportunity to tell our story in blogs and church and parish meetings and interest events. Some of you have given your finances, or your business acumen, or your legal knowledge, or your artistic gifts. Others have dreamed with us, prayed for us, asked us refining questions, made strategic introductions.
On Sunday morning you flocked to the front of Restoration’s sanctuary and prayed over Incarnation’s leadership, sending us out in a manner reminiscent of the book of Acts. You extended your arms and called down God’s blessing and pleaded for the power of his Holy Spirit to fill us. And we received it all through tears, a bittersweet moment of commissioning by a community that has nourished and supported us. (You’ll do the same thing again for our entire launch team on September 2, a week before our public launch.)
On Sunday evening, we carried those prayers with us throughout our first service, which brought its own tears of joy and wonder. 52 people walked through the doors of the Grays’ home to join us in worship — far more than expected — including people from other parts of the world and people we’d never met. Everyone sang their hearts out and received the eucharist with joy amidst kids’ voices and packed rooms. In the faces and voices of those who came, God reminded us that he is capable of doing so much more than we could ask or imagine as we seek to build a diverse worshipping community in South Arlington.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, love, and support. We’re so grateful to be on this journey with you, Restoration! Please contact us, follow us on Facebook, or check out our website if you want to learn more!