Like many of you, one of my favorite Advent soundtracks is Andrew Peterson’s, Behold the Lamb. I have had it on repeat for the last three weeks. The melodies are gorgeous and the lyrics push my heart to say what I know is true, even as the busyness, todo lists, crises, and unmet expectations clamor around me. One of his most clever lines: ‘It was not a silent night’. Indeed, I am sure it wasn’t. For our Savior came into this world. He had a real body. He lived life in the conditions that we live life. He is the prince of peace but he walked in the chaos of groaning longing that manifests in every corner of the planet. And his birth was a Labor of Love. Enjoy Andrew’s song for the first time or, like me, the 700th…
As you travel, pray, worship, unwrap, eat, laugh, remember, celebrate, and hope, please know that I and the other leaders at Restoration are praying for you- that the Lord will meet you in each gathering and quiet moment, that you will be refreshed, that you will be shielded by His grace and love.
If you are going to be in Arlington over the next two weeks, we hope you can join us on Quincy Street as we seek the Lord together, sing songs of His Incarnation, and renew our trust in His word that brings life. And if you have a friend or neighbor who wants to ‘experience Christmas in a church’, we would love to have them join us. It’s an easy invitation and you will find that they deeply appreciate it, even if they choose not to come. We created this link about Christmas Eve. Looks great on a text message!
Here is my quick run-down on what we offering in the next few weeks. I wanted you to have all of the information you need in one place:
December 24: Christmas Eve services at 3pm, 5pm, and 8pm. Descriptions of each service and YouTube links for the live stream are again, here. Nursery will be available at the 3pm and 5pm. No nursery at the 8pm. We will have shuttles running from our parking lot at Quincy and 15th starting at 2:30pm all the way until 10pm. We encourage you to arrive early for the afternoon services!
Two ways that you can serve on Christmas Eve:
- In the nursery. If you are 18 or older and willing to serve in our nursery at either the 3pm or 5pm, we’d be grateful for your help, especially since our entire nursery team is unavailable on Christmas Eve. Please let Ms. Louise know, here.
- If you are attending the 8pm service and would be open to helping us ‘tidy up’ for about 15 minutes after the service, can you shoot me a quick note? The staff and I would love your assistance as we turn the sanctuary around for worship the next day.
December 25: Christmas Day at 10am. The ultimate ‘come as you are’ service: pajamas and bed head are welcomed. Throw on a baseball hat if you prefer. We will sing carols, tell the story, and gather at the Lord’s table for Eucharist. No nursery and no shuttle. Bundle up for the walk! It will be a chilly morning. We invite you to bring new and gently used coats for the Afghan neighbors we are serving through Lutheran Social Services. There will be a BIG box to collect them in the upper narthex.
Remember, just one service, just once, at 10am.
January 1: Happy New Year! We will gather at 9am and 11am for one more Sunday of singing the songs and telling the story. We will have a nursery but no Kids’ Small Groups. Because there is a road running race in our area on that day, we will not have access to our parking lot and we will not be able to offer a shuttle. So please be aware of our neighbors (in particular, please do not block their driveway) as you park carefully along Quincy street. We invite you to bring new and gently used coats for the Afghan neighbors we are serving through Lutheran Social Services. There will be a BIG box to collect them in the upper narthex.
January 4: This is the deadline to let Beth know that you would like to lead an Adult Small Group in the Winter Trimester. I hope you will!
January 8: 2023 officially starts. 🙂 We will have baptisms at both services. The shuttle will be running from 8:15 until 1pm and we will again have access to the parking lot at Quincy and 15th. Kids’ Small Groups for everyone 5th grade and below start back up. We will have a parish meeting at 12:45pm, after the 11am service to introduce our new vestry members, to chat about The Evening Service (starts Jan 22), to explain my sabbatical in 2023, and to update you on our end of 2022 finances. Apex will close out our day when they gather at 6:30 for worship, small groups and frivolity. This will be the last Sunday for you to bring new and gently used coats for the Afghan neighbors we are serving through Lutheran Social Services. There will be a BIG box to collect them in the upper narthex.
January 10: An Evening on Spiritual Discernment. Have you ever wondered what God is doing in your life? How can you tell if it is His voice leading and not your own? What is God’s will for you? Those are all questions of spiritual discernment. Come to Restoration on Tuesday, Jan 10 from 7:30pm – 9pm for an event with Dr. Steve Macchia, author of The Discerning Life, to discuss discernment and how to notice God in all areas of your life.
It almost seems a little silly to state what is so obvious… it was not a silent night.
For He understands how loud life can feel and He meets us in it.
In all of it.
I am looking forward, with great anticipation, to all of the ways that God will be With Us in the next few weeks. See you very soon.