Good Friday, 12-3pm: Prayer and Stations of the Cross

Hey Restoration,

It’s traditional to reserve the time between 12pm and 3pm on Good Friday to mark the period that Christ spent on the cross. Along with many other churches, Restoration will be open during that time to allow folks to stop in and spend time in prayer. I’d love for as many of us as can make it to come together to reflect on the meaning of Christ’s death and the depth of his love for us. I’ll be leading us through a brief Stations of the Cross service at the top of each hour (at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm), and there will be paper for writing down our confessions and nailing them to a cross that will be in front of the church. Feel free to just drop in for a few minutes or stay as long as you like.

And if you can’t make it to the church on Friday, let me encourage you to take a moment at some point during that time, wherever you are, and reflect on what Christ experienced out of his love for you.

Have a great Holy Week.

Clay

West Virginia Trip, July 3-7, 2013

Every year for the last four years, Restoration has taken a mission trip to Philippi, West Virginia, and this year we’ll be making the journey again from July 3-7. We’re hoping to pull together a team of 25-40, with a mix of veterans and first timers (I’ll be one of them!), and we’ll be volunteering with the organization Appalachian Community CARE. ACC is a non-profit organization that links teams from around the country with opportunities for home repair and outreach in and around Philippi, a beautiful former mining town.

From the reports that people have brought back in past years, participating in this trip is a truly formative experience. Relationships on the team lay the groundwork for friendships back home. Folks have come away feeling like there was a genuine encounter with the people of Philippi in which God’s love was communicated. New-found skills have been acquired. And most people who go are eager to go back the next year.

As you think through whether or not you’d be interested in going with us, here are a few questions you might ask yourself:

What do we do on a trip like this?
The trip consists of a mix of manual labor to do repairs on local homes, getting to know folks in the community, and thinking and praying through how our experience shapes us. Some moments involve a lot of hard work, while others are restful. But the main ideas are to share Christ’s love with the people there and to have fun in the process.

Am I qualified for this trip?
There are no prerequisite skills needed. The main thing we’re looking for is a willingness to work hard and be team player and to be open to what God will do in and through you. The trip is open to anyone as young as 8 years old, as long as they are accompanied by an adult, and there is a separate application process for unaccompanied middle and high schoolers.

How do I cover the cost of the trip?
RAC members raise the money for the trip through a combination of personal and group fundraising. You’ll get plenty of guidance on both, and from what I’ve heard, the group fundraisers are just as much a part of the adventure as the overall trip!

People from Restoration have been participating in this ministry since before our church came into being, and it’s great to know that serving in this way is part of who we are. I feel privileged to be able to participate, and I hope you’ll join us!

Registration will be open this Sunday, 2/24/13.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Clay
(202) 459-7203
clay@restorationarlington.org

New semester of APEX/Sr. High starting up this Sunday

Hey Restoration,

APEX (our middle school ministry) and our Senior High group are starting a new semester this Sunday, 1/13/13. After a little break over the holidays, we’ll be back in action on Sunday nights, 6:30-8:00pm.

This semester, we’ll start off by going through a series looking at what it means for middle and high schoolers to be part of the Kingdom of God. We’ll look at questions like, what is the Kingdom? How do we live it out? It’s nice to talk about that kind of thing at church, but does it really make any difference when I picture myself on the average day at school? These are exciting questions to ask when you think about the chance you get to be part of what God’s doing in the world. They’re also really hard questions, because they make you wrestle with whether your faith actually makes any difference in “real life.”

Youth group is the best kind of place to work through these questions for three reasons: we have a focus on the Word, so that God can tell us about his Kingdom, and we don’t just make it up as we go along. We have a community so that we can help each other understand these things, both as mentors and other kids your age who understand what you’re going through. And as a group we can get organized and put into practice the stuff we’re talking about, so it’s not just fluff that we hear about at church.

I’m really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and going on this journey with you. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at clay@restorationarlington.org. If I don’t see you at bowling Friday night, I’ll look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Clay

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