What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Happy Thanksgiving, Restoration!
I have so enjoyed this week. In almost every conversation I have had, we have talked about this past weekend and this past month- the joy of remembering 10 good years and giving thanks to God. It was glorious. (I try not to use that word too often, but this is one of those times that it fits: having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration.) We admired the power of God to birth and build a church in Arlington. To Him be the glory in His church and in His world!
The reason I love talking about our celebration is that I hear what stood out to you and I think to myself, ‘Oh yeah! I loved that too.’ So here is a way too short list of some of the things that made me glad. May they inspire you to say ‘Oh yeah! Thank you God for that…’
- I loved that pizza. I could have literally stood by the table for an hour and tried everything they brought out. And putting that wood fired oven in our parking lot??? genius.
- I am still singing that song the choir did on Sunday morning. (We had a choir!) ‘Oh Lord we come to say thank you!’
- Watching people drop their envelopes in the bowl. Watching the envelopes fall out of the bowl because there were so many.
- Preaching to Isaiah, Scott, and Ryan at their ordination- 3 men who have grown up with Restoration and embraced the charge to ‘Preach the Word.’ I am devoted to them and devoted to the calling we will share.
- Watching Steve put the garland of praise on Carolina, Nicole, and Desirée. Steve’s description of God’s glorious power was beautiful- he can turn our ashes into garlands of praise. Let it be, Lord! Over and over and over, Amen. Ashes for beauty. Restoration.
- I was grateful for the 10 years olds in our church (and Isaiah, Jody, and Louise for pulling it together) who talked on camera about 10 year birthdays. What a creative idea! And it provided the perfect amount of levity and mirth in our liturgy. Thank you!
- Singing ‘Be Still’ 3 times in one Sunday. Thank you Endel, for bringing this song to our 10 year celebration. It helped us remember and it put us in the posture we need to wait for the Good Things that will Grow Here, next.
- Speaking of ‘grow here’, the bulbs! What a perfect idea from Kathy Kenyon and Laura H. Thank you to those who stuffed the bags. Hope you got some. Hope you plant them. Hope they prod you to pray for more Good Things when they come up in the spring.
- Saying thank you to John and Susan Yates on Friday night- ‘We all come from somewhere. Restoration is grateful that we came from you and TFCA.’ I loved your standing applause. I loved watching them receive it. Similarly, grateful for your kind appreciation of Rev. Sinclair- I regularly say, Thank you God that they (were the uncle who let us crash on their couch) welcomed us in to worship and then entrusted their legacy of 1815 Quincy to us.
- Vocational highlight: I will hold dear the honor of carrying the bowl of envelopes up to the Lord’s Table and saying thank you, God as we sang the doxology. I hope to carry that memory to the end.
- I loved having 20 people in the chancel on Friday night- 10 staff and 10 reflectors. It was such a picture of our team and the way we work together. We depend on one another. We serve one another. We partner together. I was grateful for the kind words that were said about each of us (Thank you!) and grateful for the beautiful picture that Stephen W. Howard made for each of us. (Thank you!) You can see the picture at the welcome desk in our narthex.
- I teared up when Logan asked on Friday night- Who has led a Small Group at Restoration? He progressed from Kids’ to APEX to Adult and in the course of that progression, almost every person in the room stood. (That’s like 300 people). That is astounding. We have so many people who have opened their homes, their lives, and given their time to help others study the Bible and experience community. Thank you! You have been a part of the good things that grow here. You have helped hundreds of people grow closer to Jesus. Thank you.
There is more.
But I need to go run the Turkey Trot with my family.
Feel free to leave a comment and we can remember your thanksgivings as well!
I love Restoration. I loved our 10th birthday celebration. Thank you.