Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. (Psalm 150:1-2)
As we enter the month of May, we have so much to be thankful for and so much to anticipate. I have spent my morning in prayer— thanking God for His character and His provision. I have walked through our building imagining the people and ideas that we shepherd when we gather to worship and learn. I have read through our website and thanked God for our staff, volunteers, and ministries who serve so many people in all the brokenness and hopes of this life. Praise the Lord! Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
While I prayed, the Lord brought to mind eleven(!) things that are happening or about to happen in our church. I invite you to join me in prayer for them or to join me in actually doing them! Be a part of what God is doing through Restoration. Let’s rejoice and let’s pray.
- Living God’s Story: Last night about 40 people gathered in Fellowship Hall for our triannual dinner for folks who are new to Restoration and thinking about membership in our church. It is always such a joy and encouragement to see new (and old!) faces, to hear how people got connected, and to tell the story of God’s faithfulness to Restoration. Praise the Lord!
- Membership Sunday: The next opportunity for people to make commitments of membership and to sign The (used to be big, but we filled it up with years of new members, and the new one is kind of small) Green Book will be on June 11. If you have attended the Living God’s Story dinner in the past and would like to be a member of Restoration, please fill out this form by May 12th and we will be in touch!
- Serve as a volunteer in our Sunday liturgy. We love how many people have started attending Restoration in the last year. It is a joy to ‘praise God in his sanctuary!’ Would you consider serving as a volunteer during our Sunday worship at 9, 11, or 4:30? It’s a great way to meet new people and to help folks worship. Click this link and let us know that you want to volunteer in the ‘Sunday Service’. We have opportunities for ushers, greeters, communion servers, readers, and running the slides. You can tell us specific things you would like to do in the comments.
- Speaking of ‘running the slides’… we use a software platform called ProPresenter to show slides in the sanctuary and to broadcast on YouTube Live. We have a small team of dedicated volunteers who make this happen each week. Praise the Lord! I love the ‘mind meld’ that happens between clergy and ProPresenter operator on a Sunday as we work closely together to get the screen to match what is being said. I am so grateful for these folks. Would you like to be on the team? Shoot me a note. We will have a 30 minute orientation/training on June 4th after the 11am service and teach you everything you need to know!
- Praise God for Russell Vick! Russell has served as our curate in The Restoration Clergy Development Program since September. We are grateful for his leadership of Alpha and the growth he has demonstrated in his calling as a minister of the Gospel. This past Sunday we blessed Russell and commissioned him for the next chapter of his curacy. He will be serving with our good friends at Incarnation Anglican Church in South Arlington. Incarnation is experiencing growth and they have welcomed Russell on to their team. There are so many ways he will be able to serve there. You won’t be seeing him at Restoration for a while, but praise the Lord for this opportunity to serve!
- Right now, Restoration has a team of people in the Holy Land (Israel+Palestine) with The Telos Group. They are seeing the places where Jesus walked and taught. They are meeting with people who live each day in a conflict zone. They are learning about the beatitude, ‘blessed are the peacemakers’. They are about half way through their time. Praise the Lord for all that they are experiencing.
- It’s spring. The flowers are beautiful. The trees have leafed. Weekend sports, activities, weddings, and travel are going full throttle. Praise the Lord for The Evening Service at Restoration which meets every Sunday at 4:30pm. If you have not tried it yet, I invite you to do so. If your weekend schedule has you out of pocket on a Sunday morning, drop in for The Evening Service. This growing community would love to welcome you.
- Come and See on May 7. This is the time of year when we extend invitations to adults to consider serving as a Kids’ Small Group Leader (5th grade and below) or an Apex Leader (6th to 12th grade). The Kids’ Small Group Leader team is led by Louise Brooks. The Apex leaders are led by Lexi McMann and Ryan Goyer. All three of them are hosting a ‘Come and See’ event this Sunday in Fellowship Hall after both the 9am and the 11am service. Would you please drop in? Some of our most vibrant work as a church is happening with our kids. I would love for everyone to ‘Come and See’ what’s happening. It will be an encouragement to you and to them!
- Pentecost RestoArts Project and an opportunity for YOU to participate! This Sunday, May 7, after all 3 services, Crystal Hamling will be on the front terrace, by the snacks, asking you to paint a small piece of wood one solid color. Everyone is encouraged to join in the fun: children, teens, and adults alike! It will take you about 1 minute. The team will take your contribution and put them together into an art piece for Pentecost. Even though the project should be relatively mess-free, we wanted to give you a heads up so that you could wear less-than-your-Sunday-best that day if you’d like. Praise Him for his acts of Power– like Pentecost!!
- On May 20th, we will again have an opportunity to partner with Comunidad to deliver groceries to recently arrived Afghan refugees. You can sign up here in order to serve. This is such a meaningful way to make a tangible offer of kindness and hospitality.
- Then, on May 21, our new bishop, Chris Warner and his wife Catherine will be with us at all three services. We praise God for those who are being confirmed and received into the Anglican Communion. We rejoice in our youth who are making professions of faith in Jesus in front of their community. We are grateful for a wonderful bishop! I hope you will be able to worship with us that weekend and that you can take a moment to say hi to Bishop Chris and Catherine during our snacks on the terrace.
Perhaps you can see why I took the morning to pray? It is humbling to see all that is happening. I am reminded how dependent we are on our Lord.
Thank you God for your power and the ways you are moving in our church.
Praise Him for his surpassing greatness! Amen.
See you on Sunday,