Rector’s Update: a new clergy development program!
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Psalm 122:1)
Our psalm for today reminds us of the joy we experience when we get to gather with God’s people for worship and fellowship– whether you are meeting up in the park, or joining Miss Louise for Tuesday storytime, or dropping in for a morning of reflection and rest, or watching worship online, or worshiping in-person (with a nursery!) on Quincy Street– we are glad when we get to go to the house of the Lord and be with Restoration.
A few quick reminders:
- This Sunday, the 9 am service is transitioning to look like the 11 am service. Masks are required for everyone who is aged 2 and older and not vaccinated. Seating in the sanctuary is open and not socially distanced. The Eucharist is celebrated inside. We will no longer have outside Eucharist under the tent on Sundays. There is a nursery for kids aged 3 and under at both services. Kids who are pre-k and up will stay with us in the sanctuary for the whole service this summer. We love having them and there is a special bookshelf just for them in the upper narthex. Check it out!
- The shuttle is back! At both services. Please park in the lot at the corner of 15th and Quincy and then enjoy air-conditioned comfort and meet new friends on your way to Restoration.
- Thank you to everyone who has signed up as a Sunday volunteer. We always have space for more. So let us know, if you are interested!
- Pickleball is coming. That is all.
The Restoration Clergy Development Fund
A few weeks ago, at our parish meeting, I shared with you about a group of Restoration people who are working on justice initiatives around race and Restoration. These folks have participated in a variety of Restoration small groups over the last year that have been focused on a Biblical understanding of justice, reconciliation, and ethnic identity. In April, these people were invited to consider being in working groups that are thinking about: our Sunday worship experience, our partnership with local churches that have a different ethnic majority than ours, our local outreach, and our communal growing. I am very grateful to Laurel Taylor and Sara Twaddell for spear-heading these conversations, grateful for the dozens of people who are participating in the working groups, and grateful for the action items that are emerging as we seek to serve our neighbors.
On Tuesday night, our vestry chose to take up two of the action items that have come out of these racial justice working groups:
- The creation of a designated offering fund for clergy development: The Restoration Clergy Development Fund (RCDF). This was passed unanimously by the vestry. Our diocese was very excited to hear that we are making this initiative and they have already given us a $10,000 grant to seed the fund. We are grateful for the vision of our bishop and the Great Commission Committee.
- The vestry also voted unanimously to use proceeds from that fund to create a Restoration Clergy Development Program. This will be a 10-12 month opportunity to learn about strategic, pastoral leadership while receiving practical training and mentorship within an active, missional church setting- Restoration! We intend, hope, and pray to offer this program primarily to women and people of color. Personally, I recognize that these two communities are sharply underrepresented within the Anglican Church in North America and I hope that the Restoration Clergy Development Fund and Program will be a resource that God uses to raise up excellent clergy who are people of color and excellent clergy who are women.
The reason we created the Restoration Clergy Development Fund is to give you the opportunity to give directly to this particular project. I know that many people at Restoration share my desire to see more Anglican clergy who are women or people of color. We wanted to provide a practical step that you can take to express your generosity and your hope to see this training happen. As I preached a couple of weeks ago, I recognize that members of Restoration make an annual financial commitment to the work God is doing through our church. Thank you! The RCDF is a chance to make an additional contribution to this particular area of need and opportunity.
The program will cost about $75,000 annually per participant. We would like to begin this fall. Thus, I am asking those who would like to give to this designated fund to do so by July 31. Our diocese has gotten us started with its $10k contribution and now there is an opportunity for others to share in the gift. The easiest way to make your contribution is through Restoration’s giving portal. Please choose ‘Restoration Clergy Development Fund’ from the drop-down menu. It will only be available as an option for giving until July 31.
Some anticipated questions about the Restoration Clergy Development Fund and Program
- I love hearing about these working groups on race and Restoration. Can I participate? Yes! Send us an email.
- Who can participate in the Clergy Development Program? We are looking primarily for women and people of color who have completed or are close to completing their seminary training. They need to be under the care of an Anglican bishop or in the process of becoming a postulant for Anglican Holy Orders. We are also open to interviewing people who are ‘Anglican-curious’, knowing that the intent of the program is for participants to become Anglican clergy in the ACNA.
- I know someone who might be interested! What should I do? Invite them to look around restorationarlington.org so they get an idea of who we are. Then point them to this link which has a description of the program. Applications should be sent to Kat Downs.
- What is the program length? It is 10-12 months and will run from summer to summer.
- Will it happen every year? We hope so. The program will depend on funding and qualified participants.
- What happens to a participant when they complete the program? It is our prayer-filled hope that participants will launch from Restoration to a full-time clergy position in an Anglican church in the ACNA.
- This sounds a lot like a curacy. It is a lot like a curacy! Restoration just successfully launched two curates into full-time clergy positions in the ACNA. It was a great program for them and for us. We want to do it over and over again!
- Why aren’t you calling it a curacy? We believe that this program is the most effective way to provide an experience at Restoration to the greatest number of new clergy. We want to invest deeply in them for a year and then allow them to leverage their Restoration experience to find the best full-time position they can. The classification of ‘program’ makes it clear that we are inviting them for a season to learn and develop (versus ‘hiring’ them). The whole program is designed to get them ready to launch.
- I have questions about giving to the designated fund. For these, you can reach out to Kat Downs.
I am so excited about this new initiative. I have such deep respect for all of the clergy who have grown up at Restoration and gone on to great things. I am glad that our vestry wants to create a way for new clergy to be regularly learning and growing at our church— for the sake of the church and all that God does to love this world through it.
Some time away…
This will be my last rector’s update for a while. Over the last year, I have saved up quite a bit of ‘paid time off’ and I am going to use it in the month of July to rest, to serve my family, to read ahead for the year to come, and to listen to the Lord for what He is doing in my life. I won’t be far, but I will be away.
Our Executive Director, Kat Downs is available if you have a question or need to get connected to a pastor. She can direct you to the person who can help. I will be back on August 8.
Before I go, I get the privilege of finishing our sermon series on 2 Corinthians this Sunday, June 27. Really looking forward to it. See you then!