“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people…” (Titus 2:11)
This was our assigned reading yesterday in our Daily Prayer Guide. Paul reminds Titus that God always moves first. God always starts with grace. God always opens the door and then invites us to walk through it. And so it is in the work of reconciliation and peacemaking. God has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him and He invites us be intentional in our reconciliation with each other. Grace has appeared.
I want to invite you to consider three opportunities to learn more about reconciliation and peacemaking from our beloved outreach partners at Telos and Arrabon. I am really excited for the conversations and experiences that are being made available to our church this year. I hope you will try at least one, maybe all three, and definitely bring a friend!
1. Race, Reconciliation, and Peacemaking: Friday, April 22 6-9pm
On Friday, April 22, Restoration will host Todd Deatherage (Executive Director of Telos) and David Bailey (Executive Director of Arrabon) for an evening conversation about the ways proximity leads to empathy, which opens the door for reconciliation, peacemaking, and unity. Proximity and empathy are two of the most significant challenges for Restoration as we seek to be a part of the body of Christ in Arlington.
We will start the evening with beer and pizza in our parking lot at 6. Then the program will begin at 7. We will provide childcare for kids 5th grade and below from 7-9pm. Want to invite a friend? Use this link to tell them about it.
Over 100 of you have already signed up! Thanks! That’s exciting. I hope a bunch more of you will join us for this fun and educational evening. We need to know who is coming- especially as we buy food and arrange childcare. Would you please register by April 15? Thank you!
Would you like to serve on the team that is hosting this event? We have lots of opportunities for hospitality and welcome. It would be a great way to get to know other people in our church who are seeking to be faithful in this area. Pick something out from this list and we will give you a shout!
2. A People, a Place, and a Just Society: a Resto Small Group during the Spring Trimester
Our friends at Arrabon have built yet another fantastic small group curriculum to foster conversation and interaction around the topic of reconciliation and racial justice. You can read about this one, here. Restoration members, Christine and Ryan Buckholz, are going to lead this small group over Zoom during our spring trimester, which starts the week of April 24. If you have never tried one of Restoration’s race+reconciliation small groups, this might be a great place for you to start. The small group will be both a helpful follow-up to the April 22 event AND an important preparation for our fall trip! Read on…
3. Telos trip to the American South for Restoration: November 2-9, 2022
Our outreach partner, Telos, has created an immersive educational experience called, an “American Pilgrimage.” It begins on the Louisiana Gulf Coast and then winds through New Orleans, Jackson, Selma, and ends in Montgomery. It is a one week opportunity for our church to excavate the complexity of our American story, so that we might grow in our faithfulness to be a part of the Kingdom work of reconciliation in our own community. You can read a day by day itinerary of the trip, here. I imagine that around 20 people from our congregation will be interested and able to join. If you desire to attend but have hesitations, shoot me an email and let’s see what we can do.
We have created a couple of ways for you to get more information about this opportunity:
– Attend our event on April 22. The leader of the trip is our own Todd Deatherage and he will be speaking that evening.
– Join the spring trimester small group from Arrabon described above. This small group is STRONGLY suggested for any trip attenders- a chance to get some common understanding and vocabulary while also getting to know your trip-mates before you go.
The deadline to indicate interest in the trip is May 2, 2022. You can express interest, here. ‘Expressing interest’ is not a final decision, but you must ‘express interest’ in order to be considered for the trip.
I am grateful for the many people in our congregation who think deeply and pray passionately about reconciliation and peacemaking. May we be ‘a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.’ (Titus 2:14b)
See you on Sunday!