The words of our Collect for Advent 1 have been guiding my morning prayers and ringing through my days: “…give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light…” Yes, Lord. May your light break into the dark places of our heart, our households, and this world. Yes. Amen.
One of the many things I love about being the church is walking through seasons of anticipation together. Advent might be the best. Each year we pray and plan opportunities for you to journey with your community in expectation of the One who became the incarnation of the God who loves us. I hope that you will join us and bring a friend.
There is a LOT of information in this message. Feel free to scan down to the headlines. Remember, we have everything on the events page of our website if you need to follow up or send an invitation for someone to join you.
“Unforced Rhythms of Grace” an Advent Retreat on Dec. 4th, from 8:30am-12pm.
This Saturday, you are invited to come away for a half day. Take time to read the Scriptures, to listen to God, to keep company with Jesus and His church. None of us has time to get away. All of us desperately need some quiet space to listen and pray. I know I do. So I’ll be there. Would you consider coming away as well? Or maybe you want to offer this time as a gift to someone in your household? Perhaps you clear the way so that they can slip away for a few hours? Unforced rhythms. Grace.
Glebe Star Tree Gifts: Please bring them in on Dec. 5th or 12th.
Over the last 12 years as a church, we have been afforded a privileged place of trust in the community of Glebe Elementary school. We have had many opportunities to come alongside them as they serve some of the more vulnerable households in our neighborhood. We love this school and the partnership we have with them.
In our upper and lower narthexes, you will see trees with square tags that have a QR code on them. When you scan this code, it will take you to this Sign-Up Genius that has specific gift requests for specific students at Glebe Elementary. Please return gifts to Restoration on Dec. 5th or 12th.
Want to help with the Glebe Star Tree in other ways? We need cookie bakers and elves! Sign up here to jump in.
If you have questions about anything related to the Glebe Star Tree, Louise can help.
RestoWomen Christmas Party: December 7 at 7pm
We will gather at Elizabeth Fitch’s beautiful home, just across the Arlington border in McLean (6139 Franklin Park Rd). We will enjoy food and fellowship with indoor and outdoor fires to gather ‘round.
Please plan to carpool as onsite parking is limited. Meet up at the Starbucks parking lot and ride together or take the little sidewalk together!
Saying thanks to Kathy Kenyon: December 12, after the 11am
Kathy served on Restoration’s staff team for almost 10 years as our business manager, facility manager, project manager for the construction of our current building, marriage mentor coordinator, and coordinator of all things related to our sacramental life. You can see our conversation about her tenure, here.
Kathy officially retired a year ago, but as you may recall, things were pretty shut down and we did not have an opportunity to celebrate her in person. We are going to do it on December 12, after the 11am, with a simple lunch and opportunities to express our gratitude (in person!) for all that Kathy did while on staff. Everyone is welcome to come. Just let us know you are coming.
Christmas Eve: Lessons, Carols, and Eucharist at 3:00, 5:00, and 8:00 on Dec. 24
I am so glad that we can be in our sanctuary for Christmas Eve this year! Here is what we have planned. At all three services, we will tell the story as we read lessons from the Scriptures describing the glory of the promised incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. We will sing our joy with lots of carols. We will see each other bathed in candle light and come to the table for Holy Eucharist. The services will have a lot in common.
They will also be distinct. Here is what you can expect:
At the 3:00pm, Ms. Louise will be our preacher. We invite children of all ages to come dressed as their favorite character from Luke 2:1-20 or Matthew 2:1-12. We love seeing the shepherds, wise men, Mary’s, Joseph’s, stars, cattle, sheep, Herods(!)… As we read the story, we will invite you to stand on your pew when your character shows up. You will help us ‘see’ the story and we will love seeing you! During the ‘candlelight’, we will have glow sticks for children, if that is easier.
At the 5:00pm, David will preach. Over the years, we have found that there are fewer folks who ‘dress in character’ at this service, but you are very welcome to stand on your pew if you have come in costume! The evening sunset is always beautiful as we begin this service.
At the 8:00pm, David will preach. This is normally a smaller crowd with an opportunity for a deeper quiet, which might be nice in that inflection between the ‘preparation of Advent’ and the ‘celebration of Christmas Day’.
They are all wonderful. It’s hard to choose! (That’s why I go to all 3!!)
Shuttle service from our parking lot at 15th and Quincy will be available for all three services.
On Christmas Eve, we always give the entire financial offering away to one of our partners who is doing Kingdom work in our community. This year our offering will go to Restoration Immigration Legal Aid and specifically the work they are doing to serve Afghan refugee families in Northern Virginia who are applying for more permanent status.
December 26: One service at 10am!
The glory and fun don’t stop on Christmas Eve! We’ll be back on Sunday, December 26. This is one of the most laid back and light hearted services of the year. Wear a Christmas sweater (yeah that one)! Wear your pajamas! Wear your slippers! Come be with your Resto family as we sing carols and give thanks that because the Word became flesh, “…from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
This Sunday… Advent 2
As we turn towards our worship this weekend, let me close with the words of the Collect we will pray: “May we embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ.” With joy, I am walking on this journey of Advent alongside you, embracing and ever holding fast.
See you soon,