Warden’s Report: January 2020

2020 Vestry

2020 Vestry

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

January 28th marked the first official meeting of our new 2020 vestry. We gathered for dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting. This month David Hanke led us through our prayer time which focused on asking the Holy Spirit to bless our time together and give us wisdom as we start the meeting and a new year. Additionally we prayed for David and for his work as the rector of our church as he preaches, leads, creates, plans, and stewards this body. We prayed for his leadership of our staff, his preaching and teaching, and for his overall care of our  congregation. And we prayed for his family as they love and support each other day to day. We welcome your prayers for all the staff, the Vestry, and God’s work here on Quincy Street.

At our retreat last weekend, we elected officers for 2020.  Our wardens are Johanna Montague and Kevin Marshall; secretary is Mary Breed; Treasurer is Brad Jones.

On Tuesday, we voted to approve changes to the rosters of several of our advisory teams. These teams offer invaluable guidance and advice to the vestry and include: Finance (led by Brad Jones), Outreach (led by Dan Vogel), Facilities (led by Adam Guzzo), and Personnel (led by Lorene Eberhardt). We are grateful for all who serve in this capacity.

Brad Jones, our treasurer, presented an update on end of year giving and the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. We are grateful to report that attendance is trending upward, our giving is on track, and our overall financial health is good. The finance team, under Brad’s leadership, continues to monitor our financial situation and weigh options for our mortgage. Brad will give a report to the congregation on our financial health at the Parish Meeting on February 25th.

The vestry, in accordance with its policies for such matters, considered four bids for and a staff report regarding a contract to improve our website, which was an item in Good Things Grow Here. After a discussion and some clarifications, the vestry unanimously approved proceeding with one of the bids.  We are excited for what God will do with our church in the next five years and the ways an updated website will aid us in that work.

Lastly we spent time discussing how we could best use the 10th Anniversary Gift we collected around our celebration in November. We are grateful for the generous gifts totally approximately $250K that were collected from that weekend. Thank you to all who so generously gave! The 2019 vestry has already put a portion of those gifts to work through a new website (see above) and hiring Scott Buckhout as our Curate. The 2020 vestry will be discussing and praying over the coming months about how best to put the remainder of this gift to good work.

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback.  You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

Johanna Montague and Kevin Marshall, Wardens

2019 Christmas Eve Offering Recipient

Bethany House

Ever since our first Christmas Eve, Restoration has had a tradition of choosing a local organization to be the recipient of our entire Christmas Eve Offering.

We do this for a few reasons:  First, we are grateful for the excellent work that is done by so many in our community and we want to support it whenever we can.  Second, we want to be generous.  Third, we recognize that lots of people visit Restoration on Christmas Eve who want to give a financial gift as a part of their worship but may not be deeply connected to the mission and work that God is doing through our specific church.  So, for these reasons, we decided at the very beginning of our existence:  Christmas Eve is a special service, let’s worship Christ the newborn king with our financial gifts, and let’s give all of those gifts away to an organization in our community that is doing work we admire for the King and His people.

This year we are giving our Christmas Eve offering to Bethany House of Northern Virginia.  

The mission of Bethany House of Northern Virginia is to provide a safe place of healing for women and children who have experienced domestic violence. While providing confidential, secure shelter, counseling, life-skills training, and transition support, we share the knowledge and love of Christ – the only true “safe place” and provider of every need.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and faith in his death and resurrection is the only way to eternal salvation. As revealed by God through His Sacred Word, we believe that every man, woman, and child who enters through our doors is worthy of love, hope, dignity, care, and mercy. We believe all people are precious in the sight of God and that He has a special plan for their lives.

I hope you will join us for our Eucharist Service of Lessons and Carols on December 24 at 3, 5, and 9.  We invite you to join us in giving generously to the work of Bethany House in Northern Virginia as they provide a safe place of healing for women and children who have experienced domestic violence.

-David

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for 10 Good Years

 

What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

Psalm 116

Happy Thanksgiving, Restoration!

I have so enjoyed this week.  In almost every conversation I have had, we have talked about this past weekend and this past month-  the joy of remembering 10 good years and giving thanks to God.  It was glorious.  (I try not to use that word too often, but this is one of those times that it fits:  having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration.)  We admired the power of God to birth and build a church in Arlington.  To Him be the glory in His church and in His world!

The reason I love talking about our celebration is that I hear what stood out to you and I think to myself, ‘Oh yeah! I loved that too.’  So here is a way too short list of some of the things that made me glad.  May they inspire you to say ‘Oh yeah!  Thank you God for that…’

  • I loved that pizza.  I could have literally stood by the table for an hour and tried everything they brought out.  And putting that wood fired oven in our parking lot???  genius.
  • I am still singing that song the choir did on Sunday morning.  (We had a choir!)  ‘Oh Lord we come to say thank you!’
  • Watching people drop their envelopes in the bowl.  Watching the envelopes fall out of the bowl because there were so many.
  • Preaching to Isaiah, Scott, and Ryan at their ordination-  3 men who have grown up with Restoration and embraced the charge to ‘Preach the Word.’  I am devoted to them and devoted to the calling we will share.
  • Watching Steve put the garland of praise on Carolina, Nicole, and Desirée.  Steve’s description of God’s glorious power was beautiful-  he can turn our ashes into garlands of praise.  Let it be, Lord!  Over and over and over, Amen.  Ashes for beauty.  Restoration.
  • I was grateful for the 10 years olds in our church (and Isaiah, Jody, and Louise for pulling it together) who talked on camera about 10 year birthdays.  What a creative idea!  And it provided the perfect amount of levity and mirth in our liturgy.  Thank you!
  • Singing ‘Be Still’  3 times in one Sunday.  Thank you Endel, for bringing this song to our 10 year celebration.  It helped us remember and it put us in the posture we need to wait for the Good Things that will Grow Here, next.
  • Speaking of ‘grow here’, the bulbs!  What a perfect idea from Kathy Kenyon and Laura H.  Thank you to those who stuffed the bags.  Hope you got some.  Hope you plant them.  Hope they prod you to pray for more Good Things when they come up in the spring.
  • Saying thank you to John and Susan Yates on Friday night-  ‘We all come from somewhere.  Restoration is grateful that we came from you and TFCA.’  I loved your standing applause.  I loved watching them receive it.  Similarly, grateful for your kind appreciation of Rev. Sinclair-  I regularly say, Thank you God that they (were the uncle who let us crash on their couch) welcomed us in to worship and then entrusted their legacy of 1815 Quincy to us.
  • Vocational highlight:  I will hold dear the honor of carrying the bowl of envelopes up to the Lord’s Table and saying thank you, God as we sang the doxology.  I hope to carry that memory to the end.
  • I loved having 20 people in the chancel on Friday night-  10 staff and 10 reflectors.  It was such a picture of our team and the way we work together.  We depend on one another.  We serve one another.  We partner together.  I was grateful for the kind words that were said about each of us (Thank you!) and grateful for the beautiful picture that Stephen W. Howard made for each of us.  (Thank you!)  You can see the picture at the welcome desk in our narthex.
  • I teared up when Logan asked on Friday night-  Who has led a Small Group at Restoration?  He progressed from Kids’ to APEX to Adult and in the course of that progression, almost every person in the room stood.  (That’s like 300 people).  That is astounding.  We have so many people who have opened their homes, their lives, and given their time to help others study the Bible and experience community.  Thank you!  You have been a part of the good things that grow here.  You have helped hundreds of people grow closer to Jesus.  Thank you.

There is more.

But I need to go run the Turkey Trot with my family.

Feel free to leave a comment and we can remember your thanksgivings as well!

I love Restoration.  I loved our 10th birthday celebration.  Thank you.

-David

2019 Advent Calendar: Come along as we wait together

advent-candles

We are looking forward to waiting for Christmas and walking towards Jesus during Advent with you.  Here are some ways you can join the Restoration community during this season.  All of these things are ‘friend-friendly’.  Feel free to invite others to come along!

Advent Community Prep 

We would like a half dozen people to help us prepare the sanctuary each Saturday of Advent from 9:00 to Noon (that’s Nov. 30, Dec 7, 14, and 21, plus an opportunity to clean up on Jan. 11!).  This is a great bring-a-friend and parent/child opportunity to make our space beautiful and smelling of pine…  Sign up here!  (pssst-  even if all the slots are taken, you can still come.  It’s that fun.)

The Guide to Prayer:  For the last 2 years, Restoration has created a curated guide to prayer from the lectionary readings and Daily Office that is found in the ACNA Book of Common Prayer.   We love following this together as a church.  Each day you will have something to read from the Bible and prayer requests for things that are happening at Restoration.  We use these guides individually, in small groups, at retreats, in leadership gatherings…  they guide our prayer.

They are refreshed with everything we have developed for Good Things Grow Here and they will be available on the first Sunday of our new liturgical year, Dec. 1, 2019.  Make sure you pick one up!

RestoMen will gather on Dec. 3 at 7:30-  dinner followed by a conversation around this question:  “How do we really connect with God?”  You will get a chance to discuss around tables and listen to the ways men in our congregation have worked this out in their own lives.  Take a break from the bustle, bring a friend, think with others about connecting to God.

Caroling at Sunrise Senior Living – Bring a Santa hat and your vocal chords to belt out some Christmas Carols  on Sunday, Dec 15 right after the 5pm service (about 6:45pm) at Sunrise Senior Living, 2000 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207.  This is your one Restoration chance to sing carols during Advent.  We love doing this each year.  (And bring a friend!)

Glebe Star Tree –  We are grateful for the relationships we are building with Glebe Elementary School.  This year we have an opportunity to serve 65 families by providing gifts for children who are under-resourced. The Glebe Star Trees, with tags indicating the gifts needed, are in both the upper and lower narthex.  Those tags go quickly (you are such a generous church!) so grab one this Sunday!
  • Dec 12  Please return your tagged gift to Restoration by this date.
  • Dec 14  We will partner with Glebe Elementary staff and volunteers to sort the gifts and prepare them for distribution on December 15.  Sign up here to help out on Saturday.  It’s a blast!
  • Sign up here to bake cookies and to help bag them so that they can be given to families on December 15.
Watch the video below to learn a little bit more:

RestoWomen will hold a Christmas Gathering on December 17-   good conversation, good food and stories from some of our work to wait in this season of advent – a spiritual discipline in itself.  Hope you’ll come (and maybe bring a friend!).

Lessons and Carols – Celebrate a Christmas Eve Eucharist with us at 3:00, 5:00 and 9:00.  This year, all 3 services will be the same.  At the 3:00 and 5:00, we will provide a nursery for children under 3 and we invite all of the kids to come dressed as their favorite characters from the nativity story (Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2: 1-12).

With so many people traveling and with such a large number of people visiting for Christmas Eve, we encourage you to be a volunteer for one or more of these services!  It is a huge help if you worship at one service and serve at another!  Thanks for considering it.  Contact Kathy Kenyon to learn how you can be part of the Christmas Eve team.

Sunday, Dec 29 – We will celebrate the Eucharist once at 10:00 am.  Because this falls within the twelve days of Christmas, we invite you to wear your silly Christmas sweater and come ready to sing your final Christmas carols with gusto!

We love this season.  Come along with us as we wait together.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.

Bring your weariness.  Find your hope.  (and bring a friend!)

-David

Warden’s Report: October 2019

2019 Wardens

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, and priorities.

At our October 22nd vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting. This month, Erica Chapman led us through prayer which included praise and intercession for our Rector David Hanke. We thanked God for David and his leadership of our church. We gave thanks for the fall at Restoration (the retreat, Pints and Perspectives, preaching) and prayed over the coming 10th anniversary celebration and unveiling of our strategic plan, Good Things Grow Here. We prayed for David as he leads our staff on a retreat next week and as he helps our newest staff members to transition onto our team. We gave thanks for David’s family and prayed blessing upon them in a busy season. We prayed over David’s office and all the meetings he holds there, that the Holy Spirit would come and make himself known.  As always, please join us in praying over the staff, vestry, and all of God’s work on and through Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we heard our last official update from Incarnation Anglican Church as they elected their first vestry this month.  In November at our annual diocesan synod, there will be a vote to receive Incarnation as a new parish in our diocese.  We trust that process will go smoothly and then in December, Incarnation will officially become a congregation with Rev. Liz Gray instituted as their rector. We are rejoicing with them for a successful first year and praising God for His faithfulness to them as they joined Him in boldly starting and growing this new church. 

David Hanke led us in working to finalize our strategic plan, Good Things Grow Here, and we discussed plans for our 10th anniversary celebration as we both celebrate 10 good years of God’s faithfulness to our church and look to Restoration’s future. We talked specifically about the financial gift of thanksgiving that we are asking our congregation to make during our 10th anniversary celebration. Our goal is to provide an opportunity to worship and give thanks for what God has done in our church while also launching our congregation into the next 5 years. We are excited for how we could use this gift be it on a smaller scale or larger one.

Johanna Montague talked us through the possibility of creating a curacy position during 2020. A curate is a finite position for a recent seminary graduate to join our team for the purpose of being formed as a priest and to serve our congregation. It is a good opportunity for us to help grow new leadership in DOMA, to build our connections with priests in the area, and to allow this individual to assist our staff/pastoral team with caring for our congregation.

Brad Jones, our treasurer, gave a brief update on our finances and we are grateful that we were on target with our budget in September and that our giving has stabilized after being under budget for much of our previous fiscal year. Thank you for giving generously to our church. Brad also led us through a discussion of potential options for handling our mortgage. The vestry will make a decision about our mortgage in the first half of 2020 before our interest rate changes during the summer of 2020. 

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback. You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

 

Thanksgiving for 10 Good Years

2008 kids

Christmas 2008 RestoKids

A Good Gift of Thanksgiving

In light of all that God has done at Restoration, and in anticipation of what he will do, we’re providing an opportunity to make a special gift to Restoration as we celebrate the fact that Good Things Grow Here

Special offerings have always been a tangible part of worship.  They provide an opportunity to rejoice by giving something extra.  This financial gift would be above and beyond what you were planning to give at the end of 2019. 

The vestry has designated this ‘Thanksgiving for 10 Good Years’ gift to go in to our operating fund.  They may use it to fund a curate (i.e. recent seminary graduate) position, to pursue an initiative of our new strategic plan, or to pay down part of our mortgage debt.  We are so grateful for your generosity, so grateful for God’s faithfulness, and so grateful for the chance to give a visible demonstration of our joy and thanksgiving.

You will have 2 options for giving your ‘Thanksgiving for 10 Good Years’ gifts:

  1. We will make special envelopes available on Nov. 17 and at the party on Nov. 22.  On Sunday, Nov. 24 we will turn in those envelopes as part of the offering during our worship services.
  2. If you prefer to give through CCB, we will make a menu item available called, ‘Thanksgiving for 10 Good Years’ available from Nov. 18-24.

Sunday, November 24 at the 9 and 11.  During the response song after the sermon, we will invite everyone who wants to give a gift in ‘Thanksgiving for 10 Good Years’ to come forward and place their envelope on the Lord’s Table.  In your envelope will either be your actual gift or a card that says what you gave electronically through CCB.  Our intention is to provide a chance for you to worship and give thanks for what the Lord has done.  We want to recognize that by doing something we normally don’t do.

Later in the service, we will take up our ‘normal’ offering for that Sunday.  2 Offerings??  Yep.  We never do that.  But, we have deliberately invited you to give a gift that is above and beyond, so our actual giving will be above and beyond as well.

All of it will make sense on Nov. 24, we just want you to be prepared for what’s happening!

We pray that your generous thanksgiving will launch us into the good things that God will grow here.

-David

 

Warden’s Report: September 2019

2019 Wardens

 

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, and priorities.

At our September 24th vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting. This month, Mary Breed led us through prayer which included praise and intercession for Associate Rector Beth Tipps. We thanked God for bringing Beth to our church and for how He has guided her through this year of many firsts.  We prayed that God would continue to watch over her, providing discernment and wisdom, especially as she leads RestoWomen and our outreach ministries. As always, please join us in praying over the staff, vestry, and all of God’s work on and through Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we heard an update from Incarnation Anglican Church, celebrating an amazing year since they launched and a promising look ahead to an exciting autumn.  Check out this post on our blog.  At our meeting, we also voted to continue our support of 2 candidates as they continue their progress toward ordination. 

Brad Jones, our treasurer, led us through an end-of-year financial report that showed our giving was 10% under projections for the year, which was within our estimates over the past several months.  Due to our staff’s careful stewardship in light of our giving shortfall, our actual expenses were also 10% below projections. We are grateful for our finance team, who will continue to closely monitor our situation as we enter the new fiscal year.  And we are grateful for your generous and faithful giving to God’s work through our church. 

Finally, the vestry looked ahead to the plans to celebrate Restoration’s 10th anniversary in November.  We discussed ways to invite the congregation (and our community of friends) to engage and celebrate God’s work in our midst over the past ten years, as well as looking ahead to the next five years and beyond.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback. You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

 

Asking Hard Questions

Screen Shot 2019-09-13 at 9.22.52 AM

Faith:  abandoned or pursued?

At Restoration this fall we are talking about the questions that trip us up as we walk towards Jesus and his church.  We want to deliberately consider the good and challenging questions that ultimately form the basis for this question:

“Does faith in God make sense for thinking people today?”

Every person currently has an operating answer to that question.

For a lot of people, the answer is ‘no.’  The subtext for that no can be things like:  ‘I am doing fine and I never think about God.”  “I can’t imagine wanting to be a part of something that believes this about this.”  “Um, I’ve met Christians and…  no thanks.”  The no can be active opposition or tacit disinterest.

For a lot of people, the answer is ‘yes’.  But every ‘yes’ is on the other side of processing lots of ‘Nos’ and ‘What about this(es)…’

So we are trying to create opportunities for that question, ‘Does faith in God make sense?’ to keep coming to the surface.  We want you to have strong convictions about your answer-  to have thought it out.  To that end, we are asking 5 difficult questions in our fall sermon series.  These are questions that sometimes make us end up saying, ‘I can’t see how faith in God makes sense.  This question is too hard.’   I am making no promises that we will settle these questions for you, but I am promising that Restoration is a place where you can ask them honestly and without varnish.

I invite you to come each Sunday with your head, heart, maybe a journal, and maybe a friend.

I invite you to actively participate in a small group this fall.  Registration is open and you can sign up here.  The people in your small group will listen to the way you are wrestling with this question.  They will laugh and pray with you.  They will join you in your journey as we walk towards Jesus who is walking towards us.

Here are the questions:

September 8:  Can people really change?  You can hear the audio of this sermon, here.

September 15:  Why does the Bible say different things about men and women?  Why does Christianity seem to give women such a bad deal?  Who needs that?

September 22:  Is Christianity irrational?  Is it reasonable to have faith in God?  Isn’t ‘god’ just a lame way to explain away the things we can’t understand?  “I would rather trust science and stuff I can see than a God whom I can’t.”  

September 29:  Is the Bible pro-slavery?  Why has the Bible been used to prop up institutions of evil and to promote division between ethnicities?  

October 6:  Why is Christianity so intolerant?  Aren’t all religions the same?  Why does Christianity think it is uniquely right?  Why is Christianity so judgy of other people’s behavior?  I should be able to do whatever I want as long as I don’t hurt anyone else.  

It will be an interesting few weeks!  I hope you can join us in person on Quincy Street or catch us on the podcast during the week.  Do you have a question that makes you wonder if faith in God makes sense for thinking people today?  I’d love to hear it.  Feel free to comment below.

-David Hanke, Rector

Restoration 2025: Update and Request for Plans!

plow

Restoration,

We have been hard at work gathering input about the things you love about our church and the hopes you have for what our church will become.  Thank you!

This is a (long) update about what we know and what we don’t know in July 2019 about our Restoration 2025 Strategic Plan.

Here is an overview of what you can read below:

  1. It starts with a preamble that isolates some of our ‘unknowns’.  We want to acknowledge that we need to ‘save space’ for the unknown ways that God might surprise us.
  2. It then pivots to what we do ‘know’ because of your excellent feedback given through your survey responses and congregational input sessions.
  3. Then it employees a thought exercise about the answers we would like to get to a hypothetical congregational survey in 2025.  Imagine our joy in getting those responses!
  4. Finally, it asks for your input:  What plans should we put in place now in order to get the ‘2025 survey responses’ that we desire?

We are ready to read and to hear your tactical and specific ideas for plans that we should implement.  As your ideas materialize, we invite you to share them on this form.

We are SO grateful for the way our congregation has engage this process.  Thank you for praying, for responding, for writing, and for peering forward with hope to what God has for Restoration, next!  We can’t wait to see it!

-David

(As a note of clarity, when I use ‘we’, I am referring primarily to the Restoration leadership team of vestry and staff, but ‘we’ also reflects the over 300 survey responses and hundreds of sticky notes from Restoration members.)

Preamble:  Isolating Unknowns

From the vantage point of July 2019, Restoration leaders are trying to see where God is taking Restoration in 2025.  Your feedback through our congregational input sessions, hundreds of sticky notes, and over 300 survey responses has really helped the leadership of Restoration to hear what you like about and what you are longing for in our church.  Thank you.

There are a few things that affect our visibility to 2025.  They are not bad or good.  They just are.  As followers of Jesus, when we encounter stuff that makes it hard to see, we increase our prayer and we cry out for discernment.  And we trust that God will help us.  He will.

Here are the ‘unknown unknowns’ that we are trying to isolate so that we can focus on the tangible plans we want to make. 

  • Unknown #1:  We are a church full of people with ideas and resources.   The creativity and potential within our community is astounding.  We want to pursue and build the ideas we have now, in 2019.  We also recognize that lots of ideas grow here.  So we want to ‘save some space’ for those ideas that might emerge in the next 5 years.  We are not sure what it means to ‘save some space’, yet, but we know it is important.
  • Unknown #2:  We don’t know what new ideas will come through our doors or grow up in our pews.  Most of our church is in a stage of life that fosters change and transition:  Kids are growing from nursery to APEX.  Adults have changing jobs, increasing responsibility, and growing incomes.  Our area has a lot of transience.   Generally we experience a turnover of about 100 people each year.
  • Unknown #3:  Restoration has the potential for a lot (more) staff transition between now and 2025.  Specifically the addition of a new Director of Worship Arts will significantly change our most visible experience:  our Sunday Liturgy.  We must be praying every day for this person and the way music and art will change in our church.  (Remember how much staff change we have already experienced in the last 5 years: 14 people were added to our team and 9 people left our team.  That’s a lot of change for a staff team that has hovered around 8 people for those five years.)
  • Unknown #4:  What is the threat or opportunity that is represented by our mortgage due date (July 2023)?  How do we continue to be a good steward of our building-  managing the capital expense (mortgage), the maintenance expense, and seeking to make it available to everyone that we can?

We are isolating these ‘unknowns’ so that we can focus on the ‘knowns’ for which we are trying to plan.  We invite you to pray about these things.  Perhaps God will grant us more clarity in the months to come. 

What we DO know:

May 2019 Survey

Here is the most salient feedback that we received from our May 2019 Congregational Survey.

[338 total people took the 2019 survey. 

  • 82 out of 338 (24% of respondents) used the link that was sent to our core leadership team (for this document, ‘core leadership team’ refers to the 135 vestry, staff, and small group leaders of Restoration).
  • 82 out of 135 represents 61% of the people on that core leadership team. 
  • 255 out of 338 survey respondents attend Restoration. 
  • 83 respondents no longer attend Restoration.  Those who no longer attend were not given the feedback questions about current Restoration programs.]

The 2019 congregational survey said these things: 

  1. The primary things that people are looking for when they choose a church:  preaching/teaching (98%), music (85%), ability to form friendships (82%), Small Groups (81%) are things that Restoration is doing well.
  2. Restoration does a great job serving kids (92% said that Resto serves this group well) and families (91% said that Resto serves this group well).
  3. Restoration is not great at sharing the Gospel with those outside the church nor teaching people how to share the Gospel.  This is a place where we could improve.
  4. Restoration members are passionate about growth.  They want to grow closer to Jesus and they want to see an increase in the number of people making commitments to follow Jesus because of the efforts of our church. 

 

What if we offered another Restoration Survey in 2025?

The leadership of Restoration is working to articulate 2 goals that came out from our 2019 survey feedback:

  1. We want to use the resources of Restoration to seek after strategic groups of people that are under-served by Christ-filled communities. We want to build/create things together that will compel people who are outside the church to come in to friendship with Jesus and friendship with people at Restoration.
  2. We want people who attend Restoration to grow closer to God by trusting Jesus in everything and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  We think these people will have a compelling story of God’s power to restore broken people by grace which they can share with those in their sphere of influence who are not in a church.

If those goals were accomplished in the next 5 years, how might people respond to a 2025 congregational survey?  Here are some examples:

  1. In response to the question, did you decide to follow Jesus in the last 5 years, we would like over 100 people to say ‘yes’. This would be one of the products of Restoration growing disciples who tell a compelling story about life in God’s Kingdom and seeking groups of people around us with winsome invitations to consider Jesus and gracious acts of service. 
  2. In response to a question about being an active member of a small group, we would like 100% of people to have been in a small group in the previous year (1 out of 3 trimesters). We would like the diversity (kind, length, focus) of small groups to increase.  We believe that small group involvement is still the primary metric for measuring people choosing opportunities to help them grow.
  3. We would like an increased correlation between age (mid 20s to mid 30s) or location (The Orange Line Corridor) and involvement in:  a Restoration service, a Restoration small group, a Restoration mentoring relationship.  We think this group of people is strategic for Restoration because of the people who attend Restoration and the location of our building (very close to Metro).  The service or small group might be something new that we created or it could be a concerted effort to integrate people in that age and location into current services and small groups of diverse demography.
  4. In response to the question, “in the last year, how many times have you served at RILA or one of our local outreach partners?”  We would like an increase in involvement by people who regularly attend Restoration.  We think that our partnership with RILA is critical.  We want to more holistically serve RILA clients.  We want everyone at Restoration to have an opportunity to serve RILA clients.
  5. In response to the question, ‘Do you give a 5-10% portion of your annual income to the work that God is doing through Restoration?’  We would like 100% of people to say ‘yes’.  In response to the question, ‘Has this percentage increased in the last five years?’  We would like 100% of people to say yes.  We think generosity and trusting Jesus with our money is a critical discipleship issue for people in our congregation.
  6. In response to the question, ‘Have you told a friend or neighbor about your relationship with God in the past 6 months?’  We would like 100% of people to say ‘yes’.  As a follow-up, ‘Have you invited that person to follow Jesus?’  We would like 100% of people to say ‘yes’.  Restoration is currently good at engaging the nuance of spirituality in Arlington County.  We need to grow in boldness and willingness to ‘close the deal’ with our friends.

 

Plans that might lead to those survey results

If these potential survey results get us excited, what kinds of things would Restoration need to do to bring them about? 

The leadership of Restoration is very engaged in ‘plan brainstorming’ right now.  If you read these goals and potential survey responses and think of plans that might help us achieve them, we would love to know.  As your ideas materialize, we invite you to share them on this form.     

Here are some notes to help you articulate your ‘plan’ idea:

  1. Please be very specific and tactical in your plan.    
  2. If you can estimate cost in terms of dollars in the budget or hours per week needed from staff/volunteers, that would be helpful. 
  3. If your plan is to hire someone, be as specific as you can about characteristics this person would need to have. 
  4. If your plan is to create a structure or a program, tell us how it will work.  Would we need to eliminate or change a current plan to implement your plan?

To help you think of plans that might lead to those survey results, here are 4 questions to get you started.  We invite you to share them on this form.

How do we maintain/sustain and improve what we do well today.  What would help us decouple the things we do well from the individuals who do them?  

Potential things to focus on include:  Gospel teaching & worship, Small groups, Kids small groups, Global outreach

  1. In five years, what would success look like?  E.g., Restoration has amazing kids small groups, and a strong set of volunteers and clear ‘succession planning’ to backfill key staff.
  2. What are specific ideas or suggestions we should consider to achieve success?  E.g., Have each staff member/volunteer leader build a ‘handbook’ for their core responsibilities (calendar, cheat-sheet of names/numbers, policies/procedures, etc.)

 

How do we grow disciples within our church?  What plans will catalyze people who attend Restoration growing closer to God by trusting Jesus in everything and being filled with the Holy Spirit?

    1. What would success look like?  E.g., Restoration is a church full of first-time visitors and new Christians who came because they were invited.
    2. What specific ideas or suggestions should we consider?
      E.g., community/teaching events (like the technology for families event) every month
      E.g., specific classes or small groups talking about apologetics and/or how to share the gospel

 

How do we serve our local community better?  How do we grow our partnership with RILA?  Are there new local partners whom we should engage?

E.g., Restoration is known in the community for our service to our neighbors, and there are members of our church who got to know us through this service.
E.g., We have increased our support to RILA by doing…

  1. What would success look like?
  2. What specific ideas or suggestions should we consider?

 

How do we use the resources of Restoration to seek after strategic groups of people that are under-served by Christ-filled communities?  Specifically how do we seek and invite young adults and people who live along the Orange Line Corridor?

E.g., Restoration has a vibrant young adult ministry or a Fellows Program or a second van to pick people up at the Metro on Sundays or…

    1. What would success look like?
    2. What specific ideas or suggestions should we consider?

 

As your ideas materialize, we invite you to share them on this form.

We are excited to share a draft of our 2025 Strategic Plan at our Congregational Vision Night on September 10 at 7pm in our sanctuary.  Until then, please pray and share your ideas!

-David

Here is the form for your ideas.

Wardens’ Report: June 2019

2019 Wardens

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

At our June 18th vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together and prayer before starting the meeting. This month, Brad Jones led us through prayer which included a time of intercession and prayer for Isaiah Brooms, our Director of Youth Ministries. We prayed that above all every middle school and high school student who enters Restoration would know how precious they are and how deeply loved they are loved by the amazing God who created them. We prayed over and gave thanks for our youth leaders without whom APEX would not be possible. We gave thanks for how APEX has grown in the last year. We prayed over Isaiah’s final coursework as he finishes seminary and gave thanks for all he has learned during his intensive year of study. We prayed for Isaiah and his family that they would grow together as a family and they would have peace and rest. Additionally, we prayed for those sick in our community, for the hiring of a new Director of Worship Arts, for wisdom in our budgeting process, and for the Strategic Plan (Restoration 2025). As always, we invite you to join us in praying over the staff, vestry and all of God’s work on Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we received an encouraging update from Incarnation Anglican Church and gave thanks for the hard work Incarnation has done to grow into the church that it is. We began thinking and praying about who will represent Restoration as Delegates at the DOMA Synod in November.

David Hanke led us in a discussion of our Strategic Plan (Restoration 2025). We spent some time reviewing the survey results we collected last month (thank you to all who filled out the survey–every comment was noted!) and then pivoted to next steps. We continued a discussion that we began during a vestry brunch with +John Guernsey about what we dream for Restoration in five years (and beyond) and what we believe God is calling our church to do and to be. We are grateful for the work of our Strategic Planning Advisory Team and welcome your prayers as we continue working on this plan.

Brad Jones, our treasurer, led us through a financial report that showed May giving was 24% over projections bringing our current annual offerings received to just 8.75% below projections versus the 12%-below that we’ve been experiencing for several months. We are grateful for this news and the generosity of our congregation–thank you. Brad also presented two options from our finance team for fiscal year 2020 (Restoration’s fiscal year runs September to August). The vestry will vote on the budget at their July meeting. They are currently looking to hold our budget steady (which is essentially the FY18 offerings budget) or make approximately 5% in cuts compared to the FY18 budget.

Johanna Montague, one of our wardens and our liaison with our personnel team, gave a brief update on the hiring process. We are thankful for the hiring of Ryan Goyer as our new Communications Coordinator. Ryan has been in the Restoration office for training and officially joins our team in July. We are in the interview process with several candidates for the Director of Worship Arts position and we ask you to join us in praying that we find the right candidate for this position. Finally, we are delighted to have Scott Buckhout back as our summer intern.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback. You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

 

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