We have a special community that gathers at 5pm on Sunday evenings for worship. We wrote a bunch of reasons for why we love it. Over the last 6 months, I have been facilitating a conversation with that community about the ways God is using that service and the ways we are experiencing Him in the midst of it. Those conversations have been so encouraging.
In light of that encouragement and the dearness of that community to me, it makes me sad to have to tell you that in consultation with our staff team and our vestry, we have concluded that it is necessary for Restoration to not offer a 5pm worship service starting on June 23.
How did we arrive at that conclusion?
- First, I had already announced on March 31 that we were not going to offer the 5pm during August for the purpose of refreshing our staff and volunteers.
- The next week, on April 5, Matt Hoppe resigned as Director of Worship Arts and Prayer. His resignation has created an increased work load for each of our staff. That increase shows up all week long. One of the ways to give some of this time back to our staff is to not offer the 5pm during a longer portion of the summer.
- In addition, Matt’s resignation created a significantly greater burden on our volunteer musicians as they cover 3 services on a Sunday. One of the ways to reduce that burden is to not offer the 5pm service.
- In my sermon on the season of winter, I said that one of winter’s activities is pruning. We prune for the sake of more robust growth in the future. It is my sincere hope that pruning the offering of a 5pm service will actually bring more robust growth for Restoration in general and for this 5pm service in particular.
- We chose June 23rd as the first date to not offer a 5pm service because our Kids’ Small Groups conclude on June 16. Summer programming begins on June 23 and that was a natural point in our life together to cease offering the 5pm.
If you regularly worshiped at the 5pm with us, what are your options for Holy Eucharist Worship?
1. We would be so delighted for you to join us at the 9 or 11 during the summer. There will be kids’ small groups for pre-school and younger at both services. I hope that you will choose to adjust your Sunday rhythm and join us in the morning.
2. Should you choose to seek out an afternoon Eucharistic service, may I recommend our church plant, Incarnation Anglican Church which meets in South Arlington or our Anglican friends at Church of the Ascension which meets in Annandale at 4pm. I am happy to get you connected with their pastoral leadership, should you choose that.
It is my current hope and intention that we will again offer a 5pm service at Restoration, starting on September 8, 2019. However, I have been surprised by several things in the past few months, which is why I say ‘current hope and intention’. May the Lord make His will and His fruit clear in the months to come.
I am grateful for the work God is doing through our church. Feel very free to reach out to me with questions or concerns.
And pray for Restoration.