Letter to the Congregation from David (4/3/20)

Friends,

I decided to write you on a beautiful spring day.  Your presence is weighty in my thoughts as I think about you working from home, caring for kids, passing the time, and trusting the Lord.

God sees you.  He cares for you.

This is an update about opportunities to worship and serve as we live life “distanced together”.

Flower Boxes

On Ash Wednesday, our RestoArts team placed 10 long and shallow boxes in the 10 windows of our sanctuary on Quincy Street.  These were filled with dirt and the plan was to plant wheatgrass which would grow during Lent as a preparation for Easter (because Good Things Grow Here).  Sadly, our plans were never ‘planted’.  As we continue our practice of social distance and as our longing to again worship in our beautiful space increases, we have a project for 10 households.  Would you like to adopt one of these window boxes?  We would love for you to plant flowers and nurture them while we are apart from each other.  Then, when we return, would you bring the box, with flowers galore, to adorn our worship space?  Good Things Grow Here.  Contact Kathy if you are interested in adopting one of the 10 boxes.

Serving our Neighbors and Supporting our Community

Restoration is responding in 3 ways to the needs of our neighbors and our community.

  1. We have created a benevolence fund for those who attend Restoration.
  2. We are partnering with other churches in Arlington to provide rent assistance.
  3. We are partnering with the Glebe Elementary School community to provide food support for our neighbors.  As conditions and policies change in relation to the coronavirus, we may need to change how we are providing this food.  Please check this page for updates.

All of this information can be found in one central spot.  Please share this widely with those who in our community who may have needs or those who may want to give.

Additional Opportunities to Serve

As this season of uncertainty continues, there will be more opportunities to serve.  I will make you aware of them with the recognition and caveat that none of us can say yes to everything but some of you might want to respond to some of the things.

Housing for a young man finishing High School

Through a client of RILA, we were recently introduced to a young man who has been homeless since this past Saturday and is in urgent need of a place to live.  Ideally, it would be rent-free, but there are resources to pay his rent (aiming for less than $1000/month) either in your home or in an extended stay situation.

He is a 20-year-old legal US resident who immigrated from Bolivia in 2016 with his mother, who suffers from mental illness and abandoned him in 2018. Since that time he has been living with another couple in Gainesville, VA, but they recently moved and he was forced to leave.  He has been sleeping in his car since last Saturday.  He is a few months from completing his high school diploma and then plans to enlist in the Army.  He speaks English and Spanish, has his own car, doesn’t drink or smoke, until recently was gainfully employed, and is willing to work around the house to earn his rent.  We hope we can find him a place to live for a few months until he finishes his diploma and enlists in the army.  If you would like to host him or have other ideas, please contact Endel.

A used computer tablet for a local first grader

Arlington County provides tablets for public school students starting in 4th grade.  With all students working remotely, it is necessary for a household to have a tablet or computer that a student can use, even those younger than 4th grade.  We have been made aware of a student who needs a tablet to access on-line learning but lives in a household without access.  Do you have an old tablet that could be given to this household for their elementary student?  Please contact David.

Holy Week:  April 5-12

It’s my favorite week of the year and it is just around the corner!  All year long, I look forward to remembering and celebrating the passion, crucifixion, redemption, and resurrection of Jesus with you.  I can’t wait!
Our full Holy Week worship schedule, with log-in credentials and websites, will be here:  restorationarlington.org/remote-worship  Please click here to access each service.  We hope you don’t miss a thing.

For Easter in particular, we have 2 traditions that we will honor this year, even as we worship remotely:

  1. Beautiful Flowers:  We order 100s of gorgeous, live, flower pots which decorate our sanctuary.  After each service, we give them away to those in attendance.  This year, we have again ordered flowers.  However, we will decorate the outside of our building on Quincy Street-  the front terrace, the parking lot, the curving steps.  On Easter afternoon, we invite you to drive by the church and take a few flower pots to plant at home or to share with a neighbor.  They will be out there until they are gone!
  2. Easter Generosity:  We always give our Easter offering to an organization, outside of Restoration, that is doing significant Kingdom work.  This year the vestry has chosen to direct that gift to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund’s Cascading Ministries Initiative.  Because we will not be in church on Easter, the vestry will be exploring the best way to honor that tradition and choice. I’ll update you once we’ve worked that out.

We have been praying Psalm 78 during morning prayer this week.  I close this letter with the Psalm’s hopeful words: “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”  We give thanks to God for His daily guidance, His clear direction, and His loving hand.

In Christ’s love,

-David