Rector’s Update: 15 July 2020

“Give glory to the God of Israel.”  1 Samuel 6:5

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”  Psalm 37:3

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! 
Give thanks to Him; bless His name!”  Psalm 100:4

Dear Restoration,

It grieves me to write and tell you of the death of our dear friend and brother in Christ, Evan Pollack.  Evan died peacefully on Monday, July 13, surrounded by his wife, Cathy, son, Jesse, and daughter, Leah.  Evan had been a faithful part of Restoration since our days ‘in the old building’.  He was baptized at our Easter Vigil.  He was a gifted musician and a gifted teacher.  He helped us “Enter His courts with praise.”  He made us laugh.  I loved praying with him because Evan prayed in unabashed familiarity with His heavenly father.  He showed me what it is like to honestly tell God what I think and to feel safe in the telling.  I will miss him.

I invite your prayers for Evan’s family.  I will lead just the family through a small, graveside service this weekend.  We will not be able to have a public funeral. 

Some of you may want to serve the family by bringing or sending them a meal.  You can do that, here

Some of you may want to give a memorial gift as a way to worship God and to give thanks for Evan’s life.  Cathy has suggested a few recipients for you to consider:

  1. Hungry for Music.  This is a local non-profit that collects and refurbishes used instruments and donates them to beginning musicians in school bands. Over the course of his life, Evan spent several thousands of his own dollars refurbishing drums for area students.
  2. Restoration Anglican Church General Offering Fund.  Restoration had a significant impact on Evan’s life and Evan had a significant impact on Restoration.
  3. Glebe Elementary School PTA where he volunteered and worked teaching music.  You can give a gift in his memory to the PTA through PayPal.

Almighty God, grant us, with all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, the fullness of life in your eternal and everlasting glory.  Amen.

Phase Alpha:  small congregations in our sanctuary
Two weeks ago, our wardens introduced Phase Alpha of our reopening plan for corporate worship.  You can read their letter, here, which references the detailed plan that can be read, here, in its entirety.

We know that all of us are carefully watching what is happening in our community in relation to the coronavirus.  Each of us is making decisions about public gatherings that correspond with our medical and living situations.  I have been grateful for the opportunity to correspond and pray with many of you as you discern what is best for you and for your household.  Because of the diversity of our situations, we are continuing to offer our YouTube Livestream for Sunday worship as the safest and most socially distant way for us to worship together.  We are also beginning to offer some in-person opportunities for those who feel comfortable gathering with others.  Both options are great!

On July 26, we will begin hosting small congregations in our sanctuary.  If you are interested in participating, we ask that you read our reopening plan.  It will answer the majority of your questions.  You can sign up for a spot at one of our five Phase Alpha services, here.  We look forward to seeing those who want to come and we are praying for all of us as we move through this challenging season.

A Zoom Discussion about Racial Injustice in the Church
It started last week!  If you missed it or if you want to review the notes from my lecture, you can find them, here.  We will again start at 7:30 tonight and keep it to a firm hour- so log on a few minutes early to say hi and plan on being finished by 8:30.  This is a three week conversation that will build on prior weeks.   You are welcome to join any or all of them, but the content will be different each time.  You are also welcome to invite a friend.

We break our time into thirds with lecture, moderated breakout discussions, and Q&A for all participants.  Last week we had about 100 people join the conversation.

We are using the book, The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby.  It is organized chronologically.  Tonight we will discuss the post Civil War period to Civil Rights legislation (pages 70-152).  When we have our breakout sessions, I will ask you to consider this question:  “What is troubling to you?”  It is intentionally open-ended.  You could be troubled by the content of the book or the way it is presented.  You could be troubled by something new that you learned.  You could be troubled by the behavior of Christians and the Church during this time period:  “by what we have done and by what we have left undone.”  All of us have opinions about these things and not all of our opinions are the same!!  We want Restoration to be a place where we can talk openly, honestly, and charitably about things that are difficult.   I hope you will join us tonight and share the things that you find troubling.

Here is the link to join the conversation.  We start at 7:30.  I look forward to talking with you!