Hosanna

The Passion of Jesus Christ

Hosanna

This is the text of Restoration’s Palm Sunday sermon, preached over Zoom, by The Rev. David Hanke.  Hosanna! means ‘save us!’  When the crowds shout Hosanna!  They are asking to be saved.

[8] Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. [9] And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” [10] And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” (ESV)

Matthew 21:8–10

Intro and Frame

I want us to start with the shout of Hosanna that greeted Jesus as he arrived in Jerusalem.

With great sincerity, the people wanted to be saved.  “Hosanna!  Save us!”

As the crowd lives the week to come, salvation is the topic that most frequently comes up.  Hosanna will be whispered and shouted and acted out. 

Who will save whom?  And what will salvation be?

Hosanna is the fundamental cry of humanity:  We want to be saved.  We want to be released and delivered.  We want to be rescued, set free, and led by someone else.  The cry of our soul has not changed.  But the object of our hosannas is myriad.

Matthew 26:36-27:54

Can I die without dying?

It starts with Jesus, in the garden.  Jesus begins with his own hosanna.  He’d like to save himself.  

After their last supper, Jesus knew the narrative of saving was put irrevocably in motion.  Judas had dipped his bread and slipped out the back.

As He prayed, Jesus was clear-eyed in his vision and He could feel the coming loss and abandonment deep in His gut.  He asks his Father if he can save himself. 

If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.

If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.

If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.  

3 times.  Jesus was in for the project of salvation.  He was open to being the savior.  But He was asking-  is there a way to save without the physical torture and the crushing abandonment?  Can I die without dying?  

The question lingers in the damp air of Gethsemane.  Jesus strains to hear through the silence.  Can the hosanna be for me?  Can I save myself?  Ultimately he was IN and He drained this hosanna cup to the very bottom.

Almost immediately, Judas comes on the scene, intent to save himself from his decision to follow Jesus.  At some point he had said yes to Jesus, just like the other 12.  Now he was trying to say no-  with a kiss and a ‘change fee’ of 30 silver pieces. 

He is able to escape from ‘friend of Jesus’ to ‘betrayer of Jesus’, but he’s never quite able to get away from himself.  His hosanna is to throw the money back and to throw his life down. 

Not much saved.  Much lost.

The disciples try to save themselves. 

Their hosannas start with a drawn sword.  One of them cuts off the ear of Caiaphas’ servant. 

Jesus rebukes that disciple by saying, I don’t need you to save me with your sword.  Put it away.  If I wanted to be saved, I could ask my Father for 12,000 angels and he would send them.  YOU are not going to save ME and definitely not with that.

Their next hosanna occurs as Jesus is led away:  the disciples, the whole team, tries to save themselves by leaving Jesus, by running away. They fled.  (26:56b) 

Peter would give that hosanna words in the courtyard of the high priest.   “I do not know what you mean.  I do not know the man.  I swear-  I do not know the man.” 

Hosanna by dead sprint, by distance and disassociation.

Caiaphas wants to save his campaign.

Frederick Buechner quote.

Caiaphas’ math was unassailable.  Jesus’ math was atrocious.

Caiaphas’ hosanna was to find false witnesses to accuse Jesus.  And eventually one of the accusations sticks:  ‘This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in 3 days.’  (Matthew 26:60)

This was outrageous to Caiaphas-  Have you no answer to make?? 

Jesus remained silent.  The assumptions they had built about him were given oxygen to grow and death was the judgment.  One would die to save many from Rome.  Caiaphas got his hosanna, kind of.

Pilate wants to save himself from his troubled conscience and the tossing and turning dreams of his wife by offering Barabbas, by pleading the innocence of Jesus, and by washing his hands.  Pilate’s hosanna is to offer the crowd a choice.  A choice that seemed so obvious. 

Yet, when he offers the crowd a choice of who to save, they choose Barabbas. 

It utterly confounds him. 

His wife has told him to have nothing to do with this righteous man. He, himself, has found nothing wrong with Jesus. 

Instead of courageously disagreeing, Pilate actually turns to the ‘wisdom’ of the crowd and asks in bewilderment:  “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”   It is the crowd, our voices thrown in for good measure, that decides he should be crucified.  “Let him be crucified!”

Hosanna for Barabbas.

It was this crowd that had started all this… with their tree branches and cloaks.  Those who shout hosanna will treat him with derision.  Hosanna will take the shape of contemptible scorn.

Those who had shouted hosanna will say, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27: 40

And of course he couldn’t.  He wouldn’t.  He didn’t.

The crowds walk by within a few feet of Jesus, deriding him, wagging their heads, words dripping with mockery.  ‘You talked a big game, Jesus.  You were so pompous.  If you could destroy the temple and rebuild it in 3 days, can’t you save yourself?’ 

Come down from the cross.  Can’t you hosanna yourself?

No.  I can’t save myself and save you.  Salvation costs.  This is your hosanna, not mine. 

My blood.  My broken body.  My utterly forsaken soul.  My completely abandoned loneliness. 

This is your hosanna, not mine.

Holy Saturday and the Salvation of Christ

As we walk through this week together, I draw your attention to the space between Jesus’ death on Friday and his resurrection on Sunday.  I draw your attention to anticipate Saturday as the culmination of your hosanna.  On Sunday, we will give an Easter shout: Alleluia!  Christ is risen! 

But Saturday is the day for ‘hosanna’ in all its consummation.

My friend, Travis Pickell (WM alum, Falls Church fellow) published an article in CT this month about Holy Saturday called, ‘Before Christ rose, He was dead’.  It presents this argument that Saturday is our hosanna. Saturday confirms to us that Jesus was really dead and defeating death.

Christ the Victor

Maestà – Passion: Descent To Hell, 1308-1311

by Duccio di Buoninsegna

It is on Saturday that Christ was the Victor 

A 4th century monk, Rufinus of Aquileia wrote,

“It is as if a king were to proceed to a prison, and to go in and open the doors, undo the fetters, break in pieces the chains, the bars, and the bolts, and bring forth and set at liberty the prisoners.” 

In the Maestà altarpiece from the 13th Century, Jesus has broken the bronze doors of Hell, He tramples the devil underfoot.  One bishop has written:  that [Saturday reminds us] ‘Christ descended into hell not as the devil’s victim but as Conqueror.’ 

Hosanna!  Christ the Victor!  Death, Hell, the Devil defeated!

It is on Saturday that Christ was the Sufferer

Gregory of Nazianzus, writing in the 4th century, said, ‘What has not been assumed by Christ has not been healed.’  CS Lewis picked up this idea in the mid-20th century when he wrote, ‘Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.’ 

Jesus must experience everything.  All of our humanity.  Our spiritual healing requires that Christ suffer not just biological death but also the agony of death:   When Jesus cried out, ‘My God My God why have you forsaken me?’ it led him to Saturday: the terrible abyss of feeling forsaken and estranged from God.

Every aspect of being human (including death) has been assumed by Christ. 

Hosanna!  Christ the Sufferer.

It is on Saturday that God was most absent and most present. 

The logical end of all of us this comes out in 2 Corinthians 5:19 which says that “God was in Christ- reconciling the world to himself”.  If indeed God is in Christ, God was in Christ even while Christ lay dead in a tomb. 

Hosanna.  God experienced what it is to be dead. 

Travis writes,

‘This (admittedly inconceivable) thought forces us to think at deeper levels yet, of who God is and how God works…  If God was in Christ in the grave, than death cannot be wholly alien to God, and neither can it be wholly alien to the human condition….  Whatever else ‘he descended to the dead’ means, this phrase proclaims that God’s solidarity with the human condition extends at least 6 feet under the earth.  Even in the grave, Jesus is still Immanuel, God with us.’

If God is present in Jesus’ death THAN God is present even when he seems most absent (dead). 

AND In His absence and death, God is doing his most creative and life-giving work. 

Come down from the cross.  Can’t you save yourself?

No.  I can’t hosanna myself and save you. 

Salvation costs.  My blood.  My broken body.  My utterly forsaken soul.  My completely abandoned loneliness.  My death.  My Saturday.  This is your hosanna, not mine.  Amen.

Good Lord Deliver Us

Good Lord Deliver Us

Friends,

I am reproducing the reflection I shared at the beginning of morning prayer last Sunday, March 29.  Many of you have asked about the prayer of deprecation.  Thank you for your interest!

-David

29 March 2020

Good morning!  This week, a friend sent me a reflection from a university president who, like all of us, in this season of coronavirus, is trying to make sense of what is happening and what God is doing in the midst of it.

Interestingly he began by reflecting on a section of The 1662 Book of Common Prayer’s Great Litany. 

You may recall that in 1665, over a quarter of the population of London had died because of the Great Plague.  And in 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed a third of the city and left over 100,000 people homeless-  in just 5 days.  It was catastrophe upon catastophe.  In the midst of that kind of heartache, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s prayer- the litany- would have been so apropos.   

“From lightning and tempest; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder; and from sudden death…”

Good Lord, deliver us. 

Here is the reflection of Alexander Whitaker, president of King University in Bristol, TN

A deprecation, such as that above, is a prayer to be spared from disaster.  The Latin root means to repel or avoid physical calamity by prayer. We rarely hear the word deprecation in this 16th– and 17th-century sense anymore. 

We rarely pray words like these and if we did, they would probably land far from our most heart-felt concerns… especially before March 2020.

Whitaker goes on to say,

“Many of those things Archbishop Cranmer lists do not particularly frighten us or cause us to seek protection, from God or otherwise—at least not in any regular fashion. Many of the things that once were routine exposures to death, to mortality, are now militated against by experience, by medicine, by technology, or by engineering.

Indeed, the very notion of being “safe” has been so defined downward (at least on many university campuses) it often now for many has little to do with physical safety and preservation, and instead is used to describe protection from unfamiliar ideas, less-than-pleasant words, or trifling inconveniences.  As profoundly silly as that may be, we should probably be thankful that undergraduates have been fretting over pronouns instead of polio.  Such are the blessings of this age that rarely does one have to worry continually about one’s death or that of one’s family and friends. But eventually danger comes to us all, without exception—as does death.

And yet, there is hope.

If one believes in God’s providence there is revealed in these circumstances God’s calling us: to return to him apace, to trust him wholly, and to do his work resolutely.

Our uncertainty draws us to the certainty of our Sovereign and Holy God.

Our fears cause us to seek God’s peace and protection.

Our deep desire that we and others be spared pain rightly prompts our deprecation—one that God desires.

So that is what we gather today to do:  TOGETHER. 

To return to God, to trust Him wholly, and to do the work He has called us to do, resolutely. 

We gather together for the strength of community-  to see faces we love, to see the prayers of others, to know we are not alone. 

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…”  [Philippians 1:2]

Warden’s Report: March 2020

Vestry March 2020

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.

The vestry gathered via Zoom for our March 24th meeting given the importance of social distancing while concerns about COVID-19 remain high. It was a different meeting than our typical routine of gathering for dinner and prayer prior to starting our official business; however, it was good to be “together” even when we are physically apart.

Brad Jones, our treasurer, presented an update on our finances and attendance. We are grateful to report that as of the end February, attendance is trending upward, our giving is on track, and our overall financial health is good. The finance team, under Brad’s leadership, is monitoring our financial situation in light of the changes to our life together on Quincy Street. We expect some downturn in giving as 30-35% of our giving comes through the baskets on Sundays and because of the financial uncertainty of this time. These possibilities are not surprising and they make us particularly grateful for our strong financial standing and the generosity of our members. If you do not already do so, we encourage you to consider giving through CCB. Contact Kat Downs if you have questions about how to do so.

After a discussion about how best to provide care for our members and the community during the COVID-19 outbreak, the vestry decided to create a fund to care for potential financial needs of our congregation caused by COVID-19. Details about this fund will be forthcoming in the next few days. We are also extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Glebe Elementary School in serving our neighbors through food support each week and will continue to do so in the days and weeks to come. If you are interested in assisting in this endeavor, you can find more details about how to serve on our blog.

We discussed what Holy Week will look like this year as we maintain the social distancing recommendations of the CDC. Expect details to be forthcoming. In the meantime, we invite you to join us for Morning and Evening Prayer at 9am and 5pm for the remainder of Lent (and beyond). You can find the Zoom login in here.

We are currently planning to postpone starting Ven Oramos Alabemos, an occasional Spanish-worship opportunity we were hoping to pilot this Spring. We are still planning to add this opportunity in the future, but will wait until we can gather together on Quincy Street.

We closed our meeting with a time of prayer for our church, our community, and our world. Come Lord, Jesus.

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

Food Support for our Neighbors

Thank you for generously serving our neighbors.
We are putting a HOLD on collection/distribution at this time due to the instructions of Arlington County Police. 

*  *  *  *  *

We will update this page regularly with needs and instructions.  Feel free to share it with friends in your community and check back often.

Food collection in narthex

Serving our neighbors

Restoration has an ongoing partnership with one of our local elementary schools, Glebe Elementary.  They have a number of households that are in need of food, and they are not able to get it through their normal channels.  Restoration is providing a place for food collection and distribution while Arlington Public Schools is closed. We are happy to receive food donations from anyone who is willing to give and is in the area, provided they are healthy. 

Collection and distribution will happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Collection [Donation Drop-Offs]: Tue/Thur between 10am and 1pm.

We ask that you try to bring your food ONLY during these hours and leave it by the sign at the parking lot door.  We will have volunteers on-site to take it inside and sort it.

If you cannot come between 10a and 1p, you can leave non-perishable food at other times by our front door, streetside.  Thanks for working within these times as we try to build a rhythm that is sustainable over the coming weeks.

Please do not bring gift cards. Actual food items best serve our neighbors at this time.

Distribution [Neighbor Pick-Up]:  Tue/Thur between 4pm and 7pm

Our neighbors will pick up food on Tue/Thur between 4pm and 7pm.

Serving in person

If you would like to volunteer during our collection or distribution times, you can sign up here.  Thanks for serving, sorting, and caring!

Food Ideas for Donation

Each Tuesday and Thursday, almost everything that was donated gets distributed.  Although it’s tempting to do bulk orders, it is actually more helpful to receive smaller donations by individual family. Consider working one donation a week into your CoronaRhythm.  That regularity would help us stay stocked.  

Here is a general list of items needed, items in bold are our most pressing need. Thank you for your partnership in this!

  • maseca (for making tortillas)
  • eggs
  • milk (we have cold storage)
  • fresh fruit
  • fresh vegetables
  • anything canned
  • cereal
  • oil
  • cheese
  • sugar
  • beans (dried and canned)
  • rice
  • snacks like granola bars, trail mix
  • bread
  • diapers
  • baby formula

sacks

Financial Donations

One of Restoration’s members, Nicole, is coordinating the collection of financial contributions and placing an online order of food each week.  The order will be placed on Friday and delivered the following week.  Please consider contributing before Friday morning.  But donations are welcome at any time.  You can reach Nicole if you have questions, or send contributions to her via PayPal via her email 

Questions?

As we get questions, we will answer them here.

  1. Can I order online and have it delivered?  Yes and no.  Feel free to order food supplies from your favorite online retailer, but please have the food delivered to your home (NOT THE CHURCH).  Then bring the food to the church between 10-1 on Tue/Thur.  (Again, 4-7 on Tue/Thur if you can’t do the earlier slot.)
  2. Do you need grocery store gift cards?  Thank you, but no. The best is for you to provide actual groceries that our neighbors can carry from our parking lot straight to their home.
  3. What do you need most? See the list above. Prayerfully walk through the grocery store and fill your cart. Each day, “enough” has come in, so much so that it’s hard to request a specific item over another. Fishes and loaves. Thanks for your generosity.
  4.  I have a question that is not answered on this page.  Please contact, Beth Tipps, Associate Rector.

Warden’s Report: February 2020

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

The 2020 vestry had its second regular meeting of the year on March 5. We began by gathering for dinner. Johanna Montague then led us in Evening Prayer. During our prayers, we focused on thanking God for Beth Tipps’s gifts to our church in her nearly year and a half with us and on asking Him to continue to guard, guide, and grow her, particularly in her work with Outreach, with RestoWomen, and in spiritual direction. We also, as always, asked that the Holy Spirit fill us with wisdom and unity for the meeting. We welcome your prayers for all the staff, the Vestry, and God’s work here on Quincy Street.

We voted to approve two additional members for the Personnel Team, which advises the Vestry, to replace members who have rolled off at the end of their terms. With these additions, its roster is Lorene Eberhardt (Vestry member and chair), Elizabeth Colosimo, Marlee Kingsley, Santiago Sedaca, and Michael Strickland. We are grateful for their diligent service and assistance.

Brad Jones, our Treasurer, reported that January giving was under budget while February giving was over budget. Overall, half-way through our fiscal year, giving is a tick over budget (by 1%) and expenses are under budget. Thank you to all who give generously; thank you to the staff for good expense management; and thank you to Brad’s Finance Team for its careful oversight. Brad also reported that attendance this year (both in January and February) is running about 3% above the same time last year. We are excited to see steady growth and new members.

We continued to discuss how best to use the remainder of the 10th Anniversary Gift (after having funded Scott Buckhout’s curacy and the redevelopment of our website), informed by new ideas that the staff generated and by our strategic plan. In connection with that, David Hanke reported that our adult confirmation class, led by Nathan Dickerson, Beth Tipps, and Scott Buckhout, is the largest ever, and updated us on the plans for a Spanish-language service on Wednesday nights, led by Beth Tipps and Endel Liias.

David reported on the potential steps he has developed with staff for responding to the novel coronavirus, and we had a discussion. For now, the most noticeable changes will be that communion servers will be washing their hands before communion (you’ll see them sitting on the other side) and that snacks will be individually packaged. Further steps will depend on whether there is an outbreak in our area or on changed guidance from the bishop or local government.

Finally, after David stepped out, the Vestry approved his leave requests for this year and voted to streamline its process for handling future requests.

As always, we welcome your questions and 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’

– Kevin Marshall and Johanna Montague, Wardens

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

 

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