This past Sunday, we had a parish meeting. Many thanks to those who attended! I want to provide a recap for everyone. So please keep reading for a summary of what was said about our forthcoming vestry election, our fiscal year 2023 financial performance, and an opportunity to pray and listen together as we discern our next steps in following Jesus together as a church. I am grateful for the remarkable warmth and competency of our leaders. It is a great joy to lead and serve alongside such wonderful people.
I am looking forward to seeing a lot of you this weekend at the fall retreat. Quick correction to a mistake I made in my letter to you last week: Incarnation Anglican will ALSO be at their fall retreat this weekend! So if you can’t be with us at the retreat and you are looking for an alternative place to worship on Sunday, please choose Christ the King in Alexandria, The Falls Church Anglican on route 50, or a congregation near your home!
Peace to you, David
Our Senior Warden, Dennis Wong, started the meeting by opening nominations for the 2023 Vestry election. Vestry Nominations will be open until Sunday, October 15th. Please 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.
Do you have questions about what a vestry member does? Wondering what characteristics make a good vestry member? Read on and then submit your nomination(s)!
Our vestry, or board of elders, is made up of nine women and men who wisely and prayerfully help lead our church. They shepherd the health of our organization and they partner with our clergy and staff to discern God’s vision for Restoration.
Each member serves as a liaison for a different area of our church life. They also serve as the leaders of Advisory Teams that provide counsel to the vestry about our finances, facility, outreach, race+reconciliation, and personnel. The vestry meets monthly with the rector to pray and lead the church.
Vestry members are elected to staggered three-year terms. Any confirmed member of Restoration is eligible to stand for election to the vestry. Elections are held every year in November.
What makes a good vestry member?
To serve on vestry, an individual should:
- Be a mature Christian committed to the orthodox doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church, not one who has recently come into faith;
- Be temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, gentle, not quarrelsome, and have a good reputation with those outside the Church (see 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1);
- Maintain an active life of prayer and study of Scripture;
- Be known and respected among the Church;
- Have a strong record of serving the Church and cheerfully giving to the
Church of his/her time, talent and treasure;
- Have family relationships that honor God and reflect strong Christian commitment;
- Have enough time to be able to serve effectively as a Vestry member;
- Make a commitment to put Vestry service high on the list of personal priorities.
- Already be confirmed or be open to confirmation when +Chris comes to Restoration in 2024.
What kind of people should be nominated?
- The vestry prays for the church and watches over the spiritual health of the body.
- We like the vestry to demographically represent the breadth of our parish- younger and older, men and women, single and married.
- The vestry also deals with issues of finance, law, and human resources. So people with that vocational background are very helpful.
Please submit your nomination by October 15!
Restoration’s co-treasurers, Meaghan Maguire and Joel Harris presented on four topics:
- Our prior year attendance. (We are busting at the seams on Sundays!)
- Our Fiscal Year 2023 financial performance. (You gave generously to the work God did through our church over the last year!)
- Our Fiscal Year 2024 budget. (We are increasing over what was budgeted in Fy2023, but lining up closely with what actually came in.)
- The vestry adopted a new process for nimbly putting financial overages to work on ‘unfunded projects’ three times a year.
Meaghan and Joel took questions from the audience. We had a great dialogue about the strategic ways that God is using the resources He has entrusted to Restoration’s stewardship.
The final section of the parish meeting focused on three areas that are affecting our church: Rev. Nathan Dickerson’s calling and the wind down of RestoWest, our numerical growth as a church this fall, and the limits of our facility on Quincy Street.
As I have shared before, coming out of the bishop election in the fall of 2022, Nathan and I had talked about his future and how the Lord was leading Him. He is such a gifted pastor. We asked together if God could be leading him to start something new that would fulfill his calling and address our attendance growth and facility limits.
Nathan, the vestry, the staff team, and I all thought we could address the questions about calling, growth, and facility in an elegant solution by having Nathan lead a new campus that would become a new church. Thus, Nathan started a weekly evening service in January 2023 and then he established a leadership team for this new community over the summer. All along he was doing hard, internal work about his own discernment of calling.
As I shared a few weeks ago, Nathan concluded this summer that the Lord was not calling him to be a church planter. He will not be leading the RestoWest project and we are winding down what had been started. However, with joy, I can announce that Nathan will be re-taking-on leadership and pastoral responsibilities at Restoration and serving as an associate rector here for the foreseeable future. Specifically, his job will be to revitalize RestoMen; he will continue to lead our growing ministry for couples who are getting married and building opportunities to enrich couples who have been married for a while; he will serve as our ‘director of engagement’, helping visitors become fully-serving members of our congregation. I am grateful for his partnership in ministry and I am looking forward to the ways God will use him, in our church, in the future.
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!
See you soon!