Perhaps you read Psalm 144 as well this morning:
“Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” (v.15)
God is my steadfast love and fortress. He is my stronghold and my deliverer. He is my shield and the one in whom I take refuge (Psalm 144:2). Before I talk about our hire, I want to acknowledge that our church community here in Northern VA is reeling from the murder of Gret Glyer. For those of you who knew him, loved him and and his family, and encouraged the good work he was doing, I am praying for you this morning. “The Lord is faithful in all His word and kind in all his works.” [Psalm 145:13b] I am so sorry for your loss and I am asking Jesus to comfort you in your grief as you mourn. Please know that Restoration’s clergy and staff are available if you want to talk. Anytime.
We sometimes live in the veil of mourning AND I also get to tell you of God’s faithful provision to our church:
First, Isaac Wardell has accepted an offer to become Restoration’s next Director of Worship Arts!
Isaac has led worship on Sunday mornings for the past 25 years. Most recently he served as the Director of Worship Arts at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville from 2008-2020. He also helped create The Porter’s Gate which organizes ecumenical gatherings of pastors, scholars, and artists on an annual basis. You can hear some of the music that they have written and produced, here. Isaac and his family will arrive in Arlington towards the end of August and he will start leading music for us on Sunday, September 4. I asked Isaac to send a brief note of greeting and here he is:
Greetings Restoration friends, Isaac Wardell here. I had such a great time leading worship and getting to know some of you when I had the chance to visit a few weeks ago. I am so excited to be coming to join the staff at Restoration and my whole family is looking forward to our move to Northern Virginia in August. This week, I am finishing up a graduate program in Belgium where I have been studying liturgical theology for the past two years. My four elementary school children (Vesper 10, Cricket 8, Deacon 7, and Tova 6) are finishing up at their international school; and my wife, Megan is working hard to get our house packed up before our move back to the USA. Pray for smooth transitions for all of us! We are grateful for this opportunity to serve alongside you all, and we’re eager to see what God will do in this community over the coming years! Peace, Isaac
Let’s pray for Isaac, Megan, Vesper, Cricket, Deacon, and Tova. I am so excited to have them join our community and so very grateful to God that He provided a partner like Isaac so quickly. Thank you, Lord!
Second, I want to invite you to join us in person or on YouTube this Sunday as we welcome back Chris Stephens.
You may recall that Chris’ last Sunday was scheduled to be May 29. Because of Covid, Chris was not able to lead music that day and consequently we never got a chance to say thank you and good bye. I am so glad that it worked for Chris to come back one more time so that we can express our appreciation and thank God for his service to our community. We will say good-bye at both the 9 and the 11. Hope you can be with us.
Third, I would like to invite you to attend our Summer Parish Meeting on Sunday, July 17 at 12:45pm.
During this meeting, we will give a report on the Fy23 budget process that our vestry is completing. We will introduce you more fully to Isaac Wardell. We will share with you the candidates for bishop who are being announced by the diocese that day. And we will update you on how the summer is going at Restoration! I hope you can join us!
In our grief and in our joy, ‘My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord…’ [Psalm 145:21] In hope and relief, in sorrow and fear, we keep our face turned towards the one who ‘makes his face to shine upon you.’
May the Lord be gracious to you, lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. [Numbers 6:25-26]