Sunday Music – February 21, 2013

Music:

Amazing Grace: 02 Ready to Start

  • Amazing Song
  • Amazing Grace Song

Colossians 1:

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[d] behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Liturgy:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and [the]* dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Our Time at AFAC

As a followup to David’s recent post, “RAC serves AFAC”, I thought I’d just share what hanging out and serving together meant from a communal perspective.

Getting to know other people is just hard. And getting to know people in DC is harder (at least for me).

I read a book recently by Lauren Winner in which she suggests that only when we live normal, everyday life together do we truly know one another. Going to to the grocery together, watching movies together, eating together, serving together…it’s doing those things side by side that seems to engender what’s needed for the more vulnerable conversations.

Yesterday afforded us the opportunity to not only serve, but also just get to know one another. Side by side, we cleaned toilets, removed dead mice from their traps, sorted rotten pears, mopped floors, cleaned cans, and those of us with exceptional hand eye coordination even drove a palette mover thingamajig. But more than that, side by side we built community.

  • I learned that Tom was a commerical realtor, has four kids (2 girls and 2 boys), he has connections to Minnesooohhta (where my wife is from), has six siblings, and is all around one of the kindest people I’ve met.
  • I learned that Jim and Jan like to ski in Montreal and they both know people on the board of my wife’s workplace.
  • I learned that Jeff doesn’t have a car, and usually would rather ride his bike than metro. He is also completely fearless of dead mice.
  • I learned more about Conally, George and Anne living together in close community — and what happens when someone (Anne) brakes someon elses (Conally’s) camera.
  • I (re)learned that Daniel’s family is from China and Michelle’s family is from Korea, and Daniel and I both get really grumpy and ineffective at life when hungry.

Serving is meant to do just that: serve. However, there is a communal aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. Getting to know one another in an intimate way doesn’t just happen over repeated trips to the bar and coffee shop, it also happens when hanging out and serving together side by side. I’m looking forward to more!

– josh chambers

Sermon Series: The Gospel of Luke

Since January 2013, we’ve been walking through Luke’s gospel, learning from Jesus what it means to follow him. In Epiphany, we studied chapters three through five as we considered the job description of a disciple that Jesus gives. During Lent, we looked at the examples of faith and faithfulness found in chapters six through nine. Holy Week saw us immersing ourselves in Luke’s account of the Passion. And since Easter, we’ve been focusing on the middle section of the gospel, chapters 10 through 19, where Jesus “sets his face toward Jerusalem” and shows his disciples the choices, the costs, and the rewards that come with following him. It’s been a rich and varied series, and we’ve been blessed by this opportunity to walk intentionally with Jesus over these months.

Participating in God’s Generosity

A group of us gathered on Wednesday night to talk about what God has to say about immigration.  Unlike the debates we are hearing on TV and the Radio in the build up to the election, this was not a moment to talk about our different political views, but to have a discussion about what unites us by learning about God’s heart for the stranger among us.   And God gives a surprising amount of instruction about this!   

When I think about vulnerable people, those that need to be protected, I think of the poor, the widow and the orphan.   However when God talks about caring for the vulnerable in the Bible, there is a fourth category – the foreigner.  Throughout the Old Testament God reminds the Israelites “do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).  If he mentions it so many times, it makes me think I should be paying a little more attention – is the immigrant more vulnerable than the average citizen?  Do they have the same access to justice, services and wealth?  There must be a reason why God says that he “watches over the alien” (Psalm 146:9), that he needs to be their protector.

Jesus was keenly aware of the needs of the immigrant, having himself lived as a foreigner in Egypt when a child. In Matthew 25 he makes clear that it is those who feed the hungry; clothe the naked and; invite the stranger in, that will inherit the kingdom of God.  But what does all this mean for us today?

It is not easy to respond to the needs of the people around us, not least because these aren’t necessarily people that we see everyday. For many of us these people are not our friends or neighbours.  But as we discussed on Wednesday, perhaps we need to be a little more intentional about reaching out.  This doesn’t have to mean moving into a different neighborhood (although for some people in our congregation that is exactly what they’ve decided to do) but may simply be making the effort with foreigners you do meet, whether in your workplace or in the supermarket.  Research from the Bllly Graham Center has found that less than 1 in ten immigrants will ever be welcomed.into the home of an American, to say nothing of a Christian.  Maybe this is an area where we could start to make a change.

As one of the people at Wednesday’s study so beautifully put it, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to participate in God’s generosity.  In Acts 17 it says, “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” So it may be that God has brought people to live alongside us so they can reach out for Him and find Him. How wonderful if we could set aside our own fears and anxieties to join these people in this most divine journey.

Sarah Beaumont

Time for Fall Retreat!

Registration for Fall Retreat is upon us! We live in one of the busiest cities in the world. Work, activities and traffic all to quickly swallow up our time. This retreat gives us the opportunity to get away from it all and connect with God and with one another. Whether you are new to Restoration, just checking us out, or have been here since the start, Fall Retreat is a great opportunity to be known and to know others. Come join us as we descend upon Massanetta Springs (near Harrisonburg, VA) to hear from our very own David Hanke. Registration begins Sunday, August 5th either online or paper copy. The dates will be October 20-21. It is only one night this year and will begin mid-morning on Saturday and ends after lunch on Sunday.

-Andrew Powars

A Few Quasi-New Songs!

I am excited to bring a few of these songs into the Restoration music rotation.  You may have heard them a couple times at Restoration or many times elsewhere.  I would like to formally introduce you. : )

In the Name of God the Father – You probably have not heard this one anywhere but during Restoration during communion a couple of times.  A really amazing website called cardiphonia.org is a powerful musical resource, and I found this one on there when I was trying to find more Eucharist songs.  This song does a wonderful job of describing the celebration of Christ with us through the Eucharist.

White as Snow – If you were at the nine or eleven o’clock this past week, you heard Danny Murphy lead you in this during the Eucharist set.  You may have also heard it used during the Maundy Thursday service while feet were being washed.  You may have also had the pleasure of hearing Jon Foreman’s (lead singer of Switchfoot) Season EP’s.  (You can check out Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall and buy/download the mp3s here.  “Limbs and Branches” is a compilation – not as good as all four.  The Spirit has used these albums as a powerful part of my personal formation.)  “White as Snow”  is rooted in Psalm 51.  We should all be reminded through a meditative piece like this that “the sacrifices of our God are a broken and a contrite heart.”  I hope that this song can minister to you the way it continues to minister to me.  I just broke down in tears again ten minutes ago as I was listening to it because our God is so gracious.  He knows you so deeply, and he still loves you!

Here is Love – If you were at the five o’clock service you heard Jamie Brown lead this.  It is a powerful hymn about God’s love for you.  Matt Redman has done a version of this which is popular in a number of churches in the area.  I would like you to note the lyric, “Heaven’s peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love.”

I also just retooled the song Majesty.  (Time to go on a little rant here.)  I love hearing people sing, and people stop singing when they cannot reach the notes.  At Majesty’s lowest comfortable range, the congregation has to do a crazy vocal jump from a low Bb to a high D and then linger on that high D.  That is not kind.  We could just not sing it, but it’s too good.  It combines God’s majesty and intimacy too well to toss out of the Restoration canon, so I have done a no-no.  I have tweaked the tune.  The overall thrust of the melody is the same; I have just moved around some 3rds and octaves to avoid pain and crazy jumps.  I would love for you to take a listen so that you can adjust minds to it before Sunday.

So the Scripture verses and music for Sunday are posted at restorationmusic.wordpress.com .  I would love for you to use it!  Meditate on the Scriptures and the songs so that when you join the rest of the choir (the congregation) you can sing well with one voice to the Majestic Lover of this guilty world.

Serving at AFAC

AFAC Farmers’ Market Runs are a great way to serve our community!

 

Sunday, July 1, Restoration volunteers collected $3,680 worth of fresh produce.

 

 

Sunday, July 8, Restoration volunteers collected $3,200 worth of fresh produce.

 

 

Sunday, July 15, Restoration volunteers collected $4,320 worth of fresh produce.

In three weeks of serving, we moved a total of 7,000 pounds of food worth $11,200.

There’s still time to join the fun! Sign up here.

Country roads, take me home…

Earlier this month, I went on my third Restoration trip to Philippi, WV. Each year, it seems, when we cross the line into West Virginia, the John Denver song seems to erupt spontaneously from whoever is in the car. This year, the Brooks family and I belted it out with gusto.

West Virginia may not be home, but the fact that the town of Philippi and the little community of Chestnut Ridge feel so familiar is part of what I love about this trip and why I think it’s so valuable. Jeff and Lisa Sickler, who through the organization Appalachian Community CARE are our hosts on Chestnut Ridge, do a wonderful job of introducing us the the culture of rural West Virginia and emphasizing that building relationships is far and away the most important aspect of our time on the Ridge. They gently remind us that the construction skills we bring are, um, not exactly stellar — but we do bring lives that have been touched by God’s grace and love, and we have the opportunity to share that grace and love with others.

Of course, in the beauty of God’s economy, we ended up receiving as much grace and love as we were able to share. One of our work teams had the privilege of returning to the home of young family they’d worked with last year, seeing the pride they were taking in their modest home and getting to hear about their hopes, their dreams, and their faith. Another team got to visit folks from Ford’s Run Church who are now old friends and to help Jeff and Lisa on their farm. (Ask Lukas Hassell and Eric Wilcox about getting to ride in the bucket of a front-end loader!) The team I was on was blessed to meet a man named PeeWee, to hear about his love for his late wife and how, when he was 56 years old, he met his father for the first time… And all of this while dodging hornets and learning how to install vinyl siding!

The same storm that hit DC on June 29 hit Philippi, too, and we were without power for our last 36 hours there. God provided miraculous protection for our team, most of whom were out on a small gravel road, surrounded by falling trees, when the storm hit. And I was so proud of the way our team adapted to the challenges of life without power while working outside in high summer heat and sleeping in second-story bunkrooms at night. Definitely an example of the power of God’s grace and love — and patience!

God has been so good to Restoration in forging this connection between Arlington and Philippi. I’m grateful that Chestnut Ridge has come to feel a little bit like home. And I’m excited to see the ways that, through old and new relationships with folks there, God will continue to pour out his grace and his love.

– Erin

 

A Great Week

Friends,

It’s been a busy week around here.  On Sunday, we wrapped up almost ten weeks of teaching about King David and the nation of Israel in its prime.  I have really enjoyed looking at this season of David’s life–  watching him get all fired up about an idea, occasionally running ahead of the Lord, quickly responding in repentance when he’s wrong, and all of it with his face towards God.  I have also enjoyed talking with you about our vision for the future and how a new facility might fit serve our needs.  Thanks for all of your feedback and great ideas.

 

Vestry

On Tuesday, the vestry had a special meeting to review our facility project.  We wanted to take stock of all the things we had heard and learned.  We talked about parking, design ideas, being good neighbors, working with the county, cost, and capital campaign.  It was an extremely helpful, global in scope conversation.  At the end, the vestry voted unanimously to keep moving forward.  We are still working on design concepts.  We will have neighborhood meetings soon.  The Capital Campaign is in full ‘preparation’ mode.  We are following the Lord.

 

The White House

Today Erin Bair and I were at the White House Faith-Based Social Innovator Conference.  It was a great afternoon of presentations from people all over the social justice, change the world, and work together space.  I loved the ideas and questions.  Our own, Bethany Hoang gave a presentation on IJM and our own Scott Buckhout made the whole thing go. I love the passion and energy of this town.  I love creative strategies.  I love the ways people are wanting to transform lives and serve the most vulnerable.

 

The Nicene Creed

Tomorrow night begins an awesome adventure.  Our own David Griffin will begin an 8 week course on the Nicene Creed.  It is going to be off the hook.  Just check out this website he did for the class readings…  Check it out!  There is still space.  It will meet at the church.  If you want to go deeper in your understanding and worship, this might be a great place for you to spend a few Thursday nights…

 

Vacation

Finally, my family is headed out for 2 weeks of vacation on Saturday.  We will be ‘way gone’ with no email access.  Please pray for us–  that we would experience refreshment, restoration, fun, laughter.  I will be praying for you.  See you on July 29th.

 

-David

 

Who is hillary@restorationarlington.org??

Hillary Goodall just joined our staff team in June as our new communications coordinator and administrative assistant.  As you have probably heard, our wonderful Becky Keller is leaving for Yale in August.  Hillary has come on board to support our capital campaign, to grow our communication platform, and to assist our team with all of the administrative tasks that come up for a vibrant church like Restoration.

I wanted to give her a chance to introduce herself.  So, here she is…

And here are a few things you should know about her…  Hillary about Hillary:

Hello Restoration!

My name is Hillary Goodall and I am a Nashville, Tennessee native and a Goodall family enthusiast! When I left home to attend Furman University in Greenville, SC my mom’s motto was “just a plane ride away!” So with my family’s support, the decision to move up “north” after college was an easy one. I love how Northern Virginia merges small town life with city living, and I take advantage of every cultural adventure I can. For the past nine months, I have been a Fellow at The Falls Church Anglican where I took seminary classes, worked on the Hill (best office ever), lived with a family from the church, and learned all about living a seamless life of faith. I fell so in love with the area and the people that I decided to stick around.

In college I studied Sociology and Religion with the intention of going into full-time vocational ministry, until I spent a summer working in Nashville doing online communications, sales and marketing. I found that I loved using my administrative skills (aka super “Type A-ness”) and seeing God’s desire for all realms of work to be meaningful. After hearing endless glowing reviews about Restoration and what God is doing, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work here. Currently, I am the staff hub for all things related to the building campaign, and will transition into an Administrative and Communications role in the Fall.

In my free time I love playing golf (anyone know of any less expensive courses around here?), reading (currently: Wendell Berry), being outdoors, eating the entire bread basket at Le Pain Quotidian, and attempting a hobby in photography.

 

Please join me in welcoming Hillary to our team!

-David

 

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