“Dear brothers and sisters,
we can’t help but thank God for you,
because your faith is flourishing
and your love for one another is growing.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:3)
The ‘we‘ is the apostle Paul and his ministry companions, Silas and Timothy. You can imagine the three of them praying over this young church in Thessalonika and as they pray, saying to God, “It’s amazing what you are doing, in that city, through that group of people… thank you! We can’t help but say thank you!”
I feel that a lot when I pray for you, Restoration. I experience that when our staff team prays for you. We are all aware of the challenges that come with life in a broken world, but over and over, I (+ we) thank God because your faith is flourishing. Your love for one another is growing. Your impact on our neighborhoods and community is expanding.
Last Sunday I told a bunch of stories about YOU and the ‘yeses’ that you say to God. Your faithful yeses are such an encouragement to me and to many. I hope you enjoy this summer as you explore Abraham’s faithfulness in our sermons and as you see your own faithfulness in the choices you are making each day. There are lots of good stories sitting around you in the pews each week. I invite you to regularly ask someone on Sunday, “How have you said yes to God this week?” I bet you’ll hear a great one.
So this is it for a bit.
I am pulling away into my sabbatical again: starting on Saturday, July 1 and returning on September 5th after Labor Day. I am looking forward to being with my family of 6, watching good piano players, and riding my bike. I am grateful for some focused time to finish my first year of course work in the Doctor of Ministry program (and grateful for everyone who provided sermon feedback this spring so that I can write my project!)
You all will be in great hands while I am gone. Our executive director, Kat Downs will be returning from maternity leave in mid-July. There is a great dance card of preachers for the ten Sundays I’m gone. The Summer Small Group kicked off with a fantastic turnout last night. The Summer College Fellowship is at cruising speed and welcoming lots of students who are home on break. The 3rd annual Resto Kickleball Tournament and Picnic is poised to launch on July 23rd. The first RestoWest Sunday Evening Gathering had over 40 people in attendance last Sunday. Our Apex Team that is headed to Nogales, Mexico is in their final week of preparation and we will commission them this weekend…
There are so many summer chances for you to be with Resto people– serving, praying, making friends, studying Scripture, and saying yes to God. Hope you will!
I’ll be back before you even notice I’m gone….
You are in great hands this summer.
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls YOU is faithful.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
See you on Sunday!