“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!” (Psalm 100:1-2)
As followers of Jesus, we are constantly being invited to sing, to serve, and to be together. Each of us has a relationship with God that is ours and each of us is called to be in relationship with others who are on this journey of faithfulness, discipleship, and transformation. The church is the beautiful institution where we grow personally with God by being with others who are doing the same. With that hope, here are some ways to connect to others at Restoration:
The 14th annual Restoration Fall Retreat will happen October 8-9! We are again returning to Massanetta Springs, just outside of Harrisonburg, VA. Fun activities in a beautiful place with a great speaker and small groups. It’s a wonderful weekend together and we hope that you will join us. Registration will open soon!
New to Restoration? This Sunday, August 14, after both the 9:00 and the 11:00, we will have a brief presentation in fellowship hall called, Welcome to Restoration. The clergy would love to meet you, tell you our story, and answer any questions you have about how to get more connected to our church. Come down right after the service. The snacks will be great!
Parish Meeting on August 21 at 12:45pm, in the sanctuary
When I introduced my candidacy for bishop last month, I invited you to hold August 21 as a follow-up gathering for more information. Specifically, the vestry would like to present three pieces of information to our congregation:
- The process for choosing Restoration’s next rector, should that position need to be filled.
You will find attached to this email the Rector Succession Policy which the vestry created last fall. I invite you to read it ahead of time so that you can bring any questions you have to our parish meeting. The vestry is also crafting a brief Parish Description (I will email it to you by the 21st) which makes explicit the things we value about our church and the kind of rector we would seek to succeed me, should I be elected. Both of these documents will be discussed in detail at the parish meeting. They will be posted on our website after the 21st.
- Platforms for communication during this season of discernment and waiting.
On the front page of our website, we are hosting a box that links to our FAQ about the bishop process. You will find at the top of the page a form for submitting additional questions about the bishop search process. The wardens and I review those questions and we will update our FAQ as needed. At this point, there have been very few questions submitted, so the FAQ is still the original communication that I sent to the congregation. We invite you to submit questions at any time over the next couple of months.
We have also created a way for you to easily contact our wardens who will be your point of contact for questions about the rector search process. Restoration created a new email address called, thewardens@
restorationarlington.org which goes directly to them and is only seen by them. No staff members or clergy have access to it. This email is a place where you can ask the wardens questions or offer comment about the bishop search or a rector search, should that be necessary. The wardens appreciate your feedback and will choose appropriate venues for responding to your inquiries. The wardens are the senior lay leaders of our parish. In 2022 these roles are being filled by Lorene Eberhardt and Adam Guzzo. They communicate with the congregation each month by writing a brief update after our vestry meeting. You can read the latest one, here, and you will find all of them as you scroll through our blog, here.)
- Opportunities for our parish to pray together during this season of waiting. Between August 21 and the week of October 16, each vestry member is taking a turn to host a prayer gathering for our parish. We will have one gathering per week. They will be at different times and locations around our community. At each gathering, there will be an opportunity to ask questions of the vestry member about the bishop process and our parish. Then the majority of the time will be spent praying for each other and Restoration. In addition to our normal Sunday worship and small group commitments, I think these prayer gatherings will be a sweet time of connection for our church. I hope you will try at least one or two! We will have the full schedule at the parish meeting on August 21 and we will post it to our FAQ page as well.
The vestry is working with all diligence to help you stay connected to God and each other as we move through this season: providing the information you need, creating easy to use communication channels for your feedback, and initiating opportunities for congregational prayer. I hope you can join us in person at the parish meeting on the 21st to hear more. The meeting will not be recorded or broadcast. After it is concluded, we will post the documents that we discuss: the Rector Succession Plan, the Parish Description, and the Vestry-led Prayer Meeting Schedule. You will be able to access them, here.
Psalm 100 ends with the reminder that we all need to hold close: “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.”