M25G: Thank you so much
Restoration, you are such a generous church!
You gave an enormous gift to our province. Thank you.
You gave an extravagant gift to the 100 folks, who are doing works for justice and mercy, who gathered for a few days in our facility to get to know one another, to experience good teaching, and to worship our Living God. You made The Matthew 25 Gathering happen and every person I have spoken with has been so positive and so grateful to YOU for what you did. Thank you, Restoration.
On Monday, a top-notch team of movers and packers put everything in the Kids’ Small Group Rooms and fellowship hall into a pod. That team was strong AND really good at playing 3-D tetris.
By Tuesday, our little kitchen was FULL of treats. Thank you for delicious snacks, bountiful fruit, sandwiches, cheese, crackers, and granola bars by the case. The tent out front was such a cool addition. We added 150 square feet of heated space! The musician, Carlos Flores (famous for his RILA gig last fall) set just the right tone as people arrived. I loved seeing all of the red shirts- you were ready to pray, to guide, and to extend hospitality. You. Were. Ready.
Wednesday brought a little weather to keep us on our toes. But we got all of our content pieces in. We took a cold trip to the Lincoln and MLK memorials. We had 15 workshops on really helpful topics like ‘rest and soul care’, ‘peace-making as a discipleship practice’, ‘Fund-Raising’, ‘Elder Care’, ‘Immigration Legal Aid’, ‘Anglican Social Teaching’, ‘Caring fo the Physically Vulnerable’,’Centering Prayer’… (there was even a room dedicated to the caterers so they could prep our delicious dinner.) Many of the workshops were lead by Restoration members. Thank you for sharing your expertise and experience. The M25G participants loved getting to know you.
Wednesday night MANY of you showed up in the midst of awful weather to hear Dr. Vincent Bacote. He did such a good and winsome job. We will get the video of his talk up soon and I hope you can hear him if you were not able to join us in person. The 2 things that most impacted me from his talk were: 1. The difference between making someone feel ‘welcome’ and making someone feel ‘at home.’ 2. The idea of making ‘Kingdom Gestures’ rather than ‘Triumphant Conclusions.’ Dr. Bacote spoke to us, who live in this Metro DC world, following Jesus, and loving our neighbor. Really good stuff. Many thanks to those who came out.
Thursday concluded with Holy Eucharist that was lead by our friend, Rev. Liz Gray, and celebrated by a new friend, Bishop John Mark Zimmerman from the Diocese of the Southwest (he lives in Albuqurque, NM).
Hosting The Matthew 25 Gathering was an ENORMOUS undertaking. Many people worked for several months to be ready. The 2020 Gathering will be hosted somewhere else in our province, but the 2019 Gathering was a great success because of your generous hearts, Restoration. Thank you. It is an honor to be your pastor and a joy to be your friend.
February 23, 2019 @ 7:04 pm
As a participant in the M25 Gathering, I was in awe of the creativity, hard work, and hospitality of Restoration staff and volunteers, so abundantly poured out for the sake of those who minister in the areas of justice and mercy. Fellow participants commented how “gifted” our church is. I don’t disagree, but what impressed me more was how selflessly and sacrificially those gifts were put to use. It was an honor to be at the gathering, and I know those of us present departed having been refreshed and encouraged, as well as challenged. For your faithful and vibrant Christian service, you have my thanks and admiration, Restoration.
March 1, 2019 @ 10:41 am
Susie, this is so encouraging! I appreciate your excellent leadership in so many areas of our church (currently, RILA! and Kids’ Small Groups!). Thank you for your words. I am so glad you were refreshed. I appreciate your partnership in these things.