“You, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.” – Jude 20-22
I love the fall retreat. Year after year I watch God honor our choices to set aside deliberate time to be with Him and to be with others who want to be with Him. He meets us. He says things to us. He reminds us that we are not alone. He refreshes our calling to follow Jesus in and through everything.
The Fall Retreat happens each year because of generous contributions from so many volunteers: from the snack table to the bonfire to Kids’ Small Groups to Saturday activities to the RestoArts project. Thank you to EVERYONE who served. You gave us such a fun weekend.
This year, our speaker, Ed Ollie, took us to Mark 2 and invited us to bring our friends to Jesus. He described the 4 friends who noticed a paralyzed man. They saw him. They pushed through any obstacle to get him to Jesus- including digging through the guys roof!
On Sunday morning, we all wrote down the name of someone we want to bring to Jesus. We laid them on the Alpha and the Omega. And then, during the Eucharist, we each took a name with the intention of praying for that name at 2:42pm this week. I have really appreciated this assignment. It has drawn me back to prayer each day and I have enjoyed imagining all of you doing the same in that mid-afternoon pause.
Ed asked a number of thoughtful and conversation-producing questions:
- “Do we love our friends enough to bring them to Jesus and not just to ourselves?”
It is a risk to not merely be a nice person who others want to be around, but to be a person who challenges assumptions and invites people to make a change.
- “Is Jesus permeating my thinking about the world or is the world permeating my thinking about Jesus?”
Some of our worry about inviting people to Jesus comes from how deeply we have absorbed the criticisms of Jesus from those around us.
- “Recognizing that most people know what the church is against, what do you want Restoration to be known for?”
It was a question that animated our small group discussions and popped up around tables in the dining room and at the bonfire. It’s a question that can show up in our prayers this month as we listen for what God is doing in our church. It’s a question we want to ask together when we gather on October 29th for our night of corporate prayer, music, and discernment.
The staff costumes for the lip-sync context were over the top this year and Nathan’s guitar solo will be remembered in fall retreat lore. Congrats to the dads and daughters (and John P.) who took home the crown with their fresh rendition of Pink from this year’s Barbie movie.
We all loved the children’s choir on Sunday morning as they asked God to let their hearts be good soil, open to the seed of His word. Amen, Lord. May that be true for all of us and the friends we want to bring to Jesus.
Thank you for the names you have already submitted for this years vestry election. Please remember that nominations close on Sunday. You can use this form to submit a nomination and feel free to nominate yourself. Please note that not everyone who is nominated becomes a nominee. The nominating committee has an initial down-select before anyone is informed on their nomination. All of the information about what vestry members do and what characteristics make a good vestry member can be be found at the link where you submit your nomination(s)!
I am growing in excitement about our evening of corporate discernment at the end of this month. Here is a quick refresher on my invitation to listen, pray, and share. Hope to see many of you on October 29th.
Listening for discernment.
We still have questions about our growth within the constraints of our facility. Should we add a third weekend service- either here or somewhere else? Should we pursue someone else to plant a church out of Restoration? Is there an idea that we haven’t considered yet? We are grateful to God and we want to keep in step with him.
Pray. And listen. And write it down.
Over the next month, during your daily time with the Lord and in your weekly Resto small group, would you take some time to invite the Lord to speak about what He is doing in our church? Would you quietly listen to what He says? Would you please share what you are hearing from Him: pictures, images, Scriptures, words, songs, direction… Would you share those with me?
Pray. And sing. And share. Together.
On Sunday, October 29 at 7pm, we will gather as a church to sing, to pray, and to share. We will offer the things He is revealing to us and ask for clarity, unity and courage. We will express again our willingness to follow Him as He leads our church, for good things grow here. I hope you will come to this special time of prayer and discernment. I am looking forward to it with great anticipation!
Restoration has a new Newsletter! Our Director of Outreach and Associate Rector, Scott Buckhout, will be curating stories and opportunities to serve from our outreach partners. This newsletter will come out each month. I love that so many of you desire practical ways to show the love of Christ to our community. This newsletter is going to give you lots of ideas for how to do that.
Everyone who receives the rector update will get the first edition of the outreach newsletter. You can adjust your subscription preferences for all of our newsletters, here. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you, Scott!
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
We will be back in the book of Romans.
I’ll be taking on the great news of chapter 6.
We will celebrate baptisms.
Apex and Kids’ Small Groups will help our kids connect to God and others.
We will host our monthly ‘Welcome to Restoration’ special snack event after both services for those who are new and visiting.
I can’t wait.
See you on Sunday.