This is why we LOVE the 5pm at Restoration!

The 5pm service is special for many reasons (there are about 20 of them that I curated from people who attend the 5.  Keep reading…).

We would love for you to try it!  As you know, trying something takes a ‘few tries’.  So if you want to give it a go, would you consider trying it from March 10 until June 9?  That’s all of Lent + Easter to Pentecost.  And that’s a great ‘try’!

We think some of you will try it, love it, and find a meaningful new rhythm to your Sabbath.

Curious?  Here’s a bunch of reasons to tip you over the edge…

It’s come as you are—not only in dress (jeans!) but people come where they are in life—single/married, young/old, children/no children, and everyone fits in.

Everyone is glad to see you!  You are greeted each Sunday like a long-lost friend even if it’s just been a week or two since you last met.

It’s a great way to “end” the weekend and at the same time start the “new” week with a Kingdom mindset.

The 5pm snacks are better!  Not really(!) but we do have snacks- just like the other services. 

It’s not crowded—there is always room for one more person or one more family…even if you are running late.

It’s not “formal”—while we meet at church and do all the worship things, it’s a little more like hanging out with a group of friends to worship together and talk about Jesus and what He’s doing in our lives.

You can be yourself—whether it’s been a tough week (or a good week), whether you feel like laughing (or crying), whether you like to sing loudly and raise your hands in praise (or not), we do it all.

It has a relaxed feel—it’s a low-stress service with rhythms of grace woven into it; it’s more about being present than the program.

It’s more intimate—because it’s a smaller group, you can know and be known by others.

It feels like family—it’s like attending the rehearsal dinner compared to the formal wedding or the Easter Vigil compared to the Sunday Easter services.  It’s more about the people you are with (Jesus and the Resto family) and less about the public-facing ceremony.

Kids’ small groups @ the 5 have their own special flavor, too. The small groups are smaller and the age-range of kids within each small group is wider. It’s a sweet opportunity to have deeper conversations between and among kids and leaders. This dynamic begins to provide our kids with the opportunity to experience mentorship that both looks ahead to those who are older and looks behind to those who are younger, as they see themselves as whole participants in their own spiritual formation and influencers of others’. In other words, we have a blast!

I love that the smaller size of an intimate group allows me to have deeper conversations with one or two people vs. just trying to say a quick surface “hello” to 20 or more people.

As someone who has a tendency to want to rush around from one thing to another, the 5pm is a sweet time of truly slowing down… No rushing to clear out of the Church for the next service, or rushing out of Church to get to a Sunday afternoon activity.

I really do feel like Sunday night is the start of my week. When I attend the 5pm service, I have a smoother transition into my work week and I feel more resilient to the Monday morning anxieties that come with my weekly to-do list, because I have it really fresh in my mind that God has got it all under control.

I have time throughout the afternoon to build up an excited anticipation for what is going to come that evening at Church.

The timing lends well to lingering longer over snacks after service and/or going straight to dinner afterwards with Church friends to continue the conversation about the sermon, prayer, what’s going on in our lives, etc.

If I could paint a picture of the 5pm service, it would be one of Jesus hanging out with his buddies around the supper table, reclined in happy relaxation… Kicking His sandals off, putting His feet up on the table, and motioning with wide open, welcoming arms to gather close… He’s saying, “The invitation is open. Come in and rest. There is always room for you.”

OK, finally. Can I say it?  I’m going to say it.  I like sleeping in!  And I am thankful to God for my “no alarm clock” Sunday mornings. Please don’t judge 🙂

 

-A cheerful invitation to try the 5 from cheerful people who attend the 5!

Wardens’ Report: February 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 February 26th Vestry meeting, we enjoyed dinner together, and we prayed before starting the meeting.  This month Johanna Montague led us through prayer which included a time of intercession and thanksgiving for David Hanke and the Hanke family.  We prayed that David would feel God’s presence as he emerges from working so diligently on the Matthew 25 Gathering that Restoration hosted last week.  We prayed that he, his wife Laurel, and their kids would find rest in God’s comforting hand as they reconnect in the midst of a season of transition.  Finally, we prayed that David would hear God’s voice as he leads Restoration in a process of discerning plans for our church over the next five years. As always, we hope that you will pray with us for all the staff, vestry and God’s work here at Quincy Street.

In our meeting, we approved the Outreach Steering Team’s recommendation to give away our Ash Wednesday and Holy Week offerings to Caminemos Juntos, a ministry cultivating Anglican church-planting throughout the Americas.  We also received another good report from Incarnation, and approved RILA’s board, a step that, in part, was a celebration of a milestone in RILA’s development: it recently received approval to become an “integrated auxiliary,” which will expand its opportunities to receive wide and sustaining support.  We also approved this year’s rosters for our invaluable advisory teams, and we adopted an Emergency Response Plan.

Brad Jones, our Treasurer, walked us through a finance report that showed January giving was again below anticipated levels.  Although giving was generous in December 2018, we have been below anticipated giving levels for all of the months since the fiscal year began in September 2018.  The vestry discussed possible explanations and options looking ahead to the rest of this fiscal year. (Restoration’s fiscal year runs from September to August.)

David led a discussion with vestry about the strategic planning process, and he shared an update from the team that is facilitating the development of Restoration’s next five-year strategic plan.  (Our current strategic plan expires at the end of this year.)  As we pass our tenth anniversary this fall, this is a great moment to reflect and to look ahead as a church.  We are grateful for all God has provided, and we recognize ways the Holy Spirit is already beginning to guide the development of a new strategic plan that will help Restoration be faithful in the next chapter of our lives together.  

We look forward to hearing from you: what is God saying to you about Restoration in 2025?  Come out next Tuesday, March 5 to Pancakes and Parish Meeting, where we will talk about the strategic planning process.  First, we will enjoy fellowship and pancakes starting at 6:00 pm. Then, around 7:00 pm, we will open up our spring Parish Meeting so that we can share more about God’s provision for our church to date and how you can join in that journey.  See you there!

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’

– Chris Belen and Johanna Montague, Wardens

Below is a recording of our March 5, 2019 Parish Meeting.

Play 1. March 5 2019 Parish Meeting

M25G: Thank you so much

M25G Loading the Pod

a great team loading ‘the pod’

Restoration, you are such a generous church!

You gave an enormous gift to our province.  Thank you.

You gave an extravagant gift to the 100 folks, who are doing works for justice and mercy, who gathered for a few days in our facility to get to know one another, to experience good teaching, and to worship our Living God.  You made The Matthew 25 Gathering happen and every person I have spoken with has been so positive and so grateful to YOU for what you did.  Thank you, Restoration.

On Monday, a top-notch team of movers and packers put everything in the Kids’ Small Group Rooms and fellowship hall into a pod.  That team was strong AND really good at playing 3-D tetris.

By Tuesday, our little kitchen was FULL of treats.  Thank you for delicious snacks, bountiful fruit, sandwiches, cheese, crackers, and granola bars by the case.  The tent out front was such a cool addition.  We added 150 square feet of heated space!  The musician, Carlos Flores (famous for his RILA gig last fall) set just the right tone as people arrived.  I loved seeing all of the red shirts-  you were ready to pray, to guide, and to extend hospitality.  You.  Were.  Ready.

Thank you.

Wednesday brought a little weather to keep us on our toes.  But we got all of our content pieces in.  We took a cold trip to the Lincoln and MLK memorials.  We had 15 workshops on really helpful topics like ‘rest and soul care’, ‘peace-making as a discipleship practice’, ‘Fund-Raising’, ‘Elder Care’, ‘Immigration Legal Aid’, ‘Anglican Social Teaching’, ‘Caring fo the Physically Vulnerable’,’Centering Prayer’…  (there was even a room dedicated to the caterers so they could prep our delicious dinner.)  Many of the workshops were lead by Restoration members.  Thank you for sharing your expertise and experience.  The M25G participants loved getting to know you.

Wednesday night MANY of you showed up in the midst of awful weather to hear Dr. Vincent Bacote.  He did such a good and winsome job.  We will get the video of his talk up soon and I hope you can hear him if you were not able to join us in person.  The 2 things that most impacted me from his talk were:  1.  The difference between making someone feel ‘welcome’ and making someone feel ‘at home.’  2.  The idea of making ‘Kingdom Gestures’ rather than ‘Triumphant Conclusions.’  Dr. Bacote spoke to us, who live in this Metro DC world, following Jesus, and loving our neighbor.  Really good stuff.  Many thanks to those who came out.

Thursday concluded with Holy Eucharist that was lead by our friend, Rev. Liz Gray, and celebrated by a new friend, Bishop John Mark Zimmerman from the Diocese of the Southwest (he lives in Albuqurque, NM).

Hosting The Matthew 25 Gathering was an ENORMOUS undertaking.  Many people worked for several months to be ready.  The 2020 Gathering will be hosted somewhere else in our province, but the 2019 Gathering was a great success because of your generous hearts, Restoration.  Thank you.  It is an honor to be your pastor and a joy to be your friend.

-David

Rev. Herb Bailey reading MLK's I have a Dream Speech on the steps of the Lincoln.

Rev. Herb Bailey reading MLK’s I have a Dream Speech on the steps of the Lincoln.

 

Words from God that were received by Pray-ers and recorded on sticky notes for participants.

Words from God that were received by Pray-ers and recorded on sticky notes for participants.

Thank you for The M25G!

Dear Restoration,

Thank you.  Thank you for all you have done to be ready for next week’s Matthew 25 Gathering.

I wanted to send a few notes as we enter the countdown to arrival.

  1. A HUMONGOUS thank you to Kathy Kenyon who has been coordinating all of our ‘on-site logistics’.  Thank you to the registration team, the housing team, the hospitality team, the make-sure-everything-is-in-the-welcome-bags team.  You all have been working for months and I am so very grateful.  I love your ideas and I can’t wait to see them implemented.
  2. Thank you to everyone who signed up to bring food, to give on-site hospitality, and to prayWe have a few slots left in each category if you would like to serve and have not signed up yet.  When I first introduced Restoration to The M25Gathering, I stated that,

    ‘We want to host the Gathering participants well.  We will do that through a smooth registration process, vigilant on-site hospitality, and gracious lodging.

    We are ready to do that because of how generously you have responded.  Thank you.  It really is overwhelming.

  3. If you signed up to be on the On-Site Prayer Team or if you would like to pray for the Gathering before it starts:  There will be a special, required training session this Sunday night, after the 5pm service, from 6:30-7:30 in the sanctuary.  If you are on the Prayer Team, we kindly ask that you prioritize this training and attend.
  4. You are invited to attend the Wednesday Night Plenary Session of the Gathering.  It will start at 7:00pm in the sanctuary.  Dr. Vincent Bacote of Wheaton College will present a lecture entitled, ‘A Courageous Public Witness’.  I can’t wait.  I hope that many of you will come and see a bit of The Gathering.  I think you will love it.  This is the only session that is open to the public.  All of the others require a ticket.
  5. If you have questions about the Gathering, we will be updating this page regularly with logistical information that participants and hosts will need.  So feel free to bookmark and come back to it.  You can also call or text the Restoration Clergy Pastoral Emergency Number (on the back of every worship guide) and get me, David, throughout the Gathering.   I will also respond to my normal phone number and you are welcome to use it.

Thank you friends.  I have so appreciated the opportunity to partner with you on this project.

-David

Rhythms of Spiritual Formation: winter

Winter

Winter

I loved starting our new series last week.  This metaphor of seasons as a means to describe the rhythms of spiritual formation has the potential to be so helpful for us.  I love the conversations in our church when we are vulnerable and trying to describe what God is doing in us.  Using the language of ‘seasons’ both allows us to be more descriptive of what is really going on AND it allows us to focus on the goal of our discipleship which is FRUIT and not mere activity.

For example, if I say ‘I am in summer’, it calls to mind a description of God’s work in my life that is much more textured than just, ‘I am fine.’

And if I remember that the work God wants to do in my life is compared to ‘fruit’, then I can be comfortable with the reality that sometimes there are periods of activity AND inactivity-  that all the seasons are necessary for fruit production.  We can’t have the harvest of fall without the inactivity of winter and the planting of spring.

This sermon series comes from the book, Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan.  He writes about growth in a way that has helped me understand some of our apprehension and aversion towards winter:

We have adopted a view of the spiritual life and church growth that is a variation on free-market capitalism.  In capitalism, the economy, in order to be strong, must constantly grow.  A 3% shrinkage in the GDP for 2 or more quarters is a recession.  A 10% shrinkage is a depression.  Three percent.  Governments fly into panic, banks stock the moat, corporations start to implode.  It’s wolves.  It’s bubonic plague.  It’s the sky falling.

Where else is constant growth an unequivocal sign of health?  In human bodies, it’s a sign of obesity or cancer.  Yet we’ve applied the standard of constant growth to our churches and to our spiritual lives.  We applaud every sign of getting bigger, and fret every sign of getting smaller.

This is bizarre.

p. 221

It is good to pay attention to numbers and size and growth, but the Kingdom of God often gets measured with different criteria.  We can be always healthy and not always growing.  There are seasons of increase and seasons of quiet.  The Kingdom is different. 

Sometimes you are in winter.

And God is there too.

-David

Praying us into 2019

Praying for you

Every year in January, I take a few days away to pray and to listen.  As I left town on Tuesday this week, I told our staff team, “This is probably the single most important thing that I do as the rector of our church.  Thank you for helping me protect this time.”

Thank you for sending in your prayer longings.  I received well over 130 of them!  It was such a privilege to pray for you.  I loved how you answered the questions:  What brings you joy?  What are you seeking?  What makes you afraid?  The gift to me was the opportunity to get a glimpse into your heart, to hear what God is doing, to join you in the things for which you are longing.  I felt like I got to know each of you who shared a little bit more.  Thank you.  I am so grateful to be your pastor.

I made notes on themes and spent time each morning holding the different situations, struggles, and excitement before the Lord.  I listened for His voice.

I hope that Restoration will be a place:

  • that continues to offer the joy of encouraging relationship and deep friendship
  • that provides resources for those who are seeking-  resolution on doubts, more intimacy with Jesus, direction and calling, faithfulness, clarity on job and vocational direction
  • that comes alongside those who are afraid-  of losing family, losing friends, being lonely, feeling like a failure, being discovered as a fraud, of being overwhelmed by anxiety, of chronic and never-ceasing pain

Amen.  Let it be, Lord.  Joy.  Intimacy.  Hope.

Books

I tend to bring about 35 books with me and end up reading 2 or 3.  It’s hard to know what will connect with me while still in Arlington… so I bring everything that might pique my interest.

This time, I re-read Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald.  Gordon first wrote this in the early 1980s.  It is not earth-shattering in its insights, but I appreciate the connections between his life and mine.  It’s like reading my journal but written by someone else.  And at this stage in my life, my family, and our church, I needed to take some time to re-order and reflect and renew for the next season.  God met me in it.

Sermons

During this annual retreat, I ask God for a years worth of sermons.  I read through parts of the Bible.  I look through books.  I pray through your prayer requests.  I listen.  I imagine where we will be at various points during the year.  I wonder with God what would be good for our congregation to work on during those moments.  I make tables and spreadsheets and sit with calendars.

During the season of Epiphany (now until March 3), I am going to offer a series called ‘The Rhythm of Spiritual Formation’.  It was inspired by an excellent book I read last summer called, Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan.  The premise of the book and my sermons is this:  God is always working to form us to look like Jesus, but sometimes the growth and change is not obvious.  We have seasons in our relationship with God just like the world experiences seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall.  Each week the preacher will describe a season and then follow up with activities that are available to us in that season.  8 weeks.  2 weeks on each season.  I am praying that God uses it to give us understanding, patience, diligence, and trust in the process He is working in us.

The Matthew 25 Gathering

This year I had a unique and additional thing on my mind-  the Matthew 25 Gathering that Restoration is hosting in 5 weeks.  I spent an afternoon praying through the minute by minute schedule, praying for speakers, praying for people to register, and giving thanks for the dozens of Restoration volunteers who are making the Gathering happen.  Thank you.  This will be a gift to the wider church and I believe that God has a blessing for us in it as well.  I can’t wait.

Winter

Departure

In a couple hours I will load up my car and drive to the RestoMen’s retreat at Meadowkirk.  I have been alone for several days and I am excited to engage with these guys whom I love and enjoy so much.  I hope to see a lot of you there and the rest of you on Sunday as I introduce us to the winter of our spiritual formation.

Grace and Peace to you, beloved church.

David

Praying for you as 2019 begins

Dear Restoration,

Happy New Year!!

Each year, in January, I take a few days to pray for Restoration and to plan our year of preaching.  I look forward to this time to connect with God about you and what He is doing in our church.  This year it will happen from Jan 8-11.

I would be honored to pray for the needs and concerns that are most pressing to you.   Would you share them with me, here?  Thank you so much.  Your confidentiality is important and I will be the only one who sees these requests.  You have a choice to share them anonymously, but I prefer to pray for you by name.

This is the link where you can share your prayer request.

The form will close on January 8, 2019.  Please take a moment to respond, soon!

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was give you in Christ Jesus…”  1 Corinthians 1:4

See you on Sunday,
-David

DMH Advent 2018

West Asia Reflection #2

Join us on

20 January 2019 at 6:30pm

in the sanctuary for

West Asia Treats and  Team Report

West Asia Team in refugee room

A Reflection from Ryan Bettwy

The dimly lit room, slightly cool and damp from the week’s worth of rain still steadily falling outside, was the most beautiful space I had ever seen in West Asia. To be clear, it was plain: white walls, drawers off their hinges in the corner, a few oddly wrapped stacks of clothes strewn around the room. But even compared to the Hagia Sophia, the skyline of Istanbul, the shoreline of the Lakeside town, or the Lakeside Roman amphitheater, this room has something more beautiful. This is the place where on Sunday nights young school-aged children growing up surrounded by secular and other-minded people learn about Jesus as they read their copies of the Jesus Storybook Bible. One weekday each week, the same little room transforms into a staging area where mothers who are struggling to support their families can get their
families’ basic needs met, including chick peas, milk and occasionally some clothing.

On this afternoon, we took the seven suitcases of clothing filled to the brim with clothing donated to these families and sorted everything from newborn footie pajamas to adolescent boys’ jackets to adult shorts and dresses. We only had two hours to sort diapers, clothes, and socks, so we were pleasantly surprised to have 20 minutes to spare to gather in a circle and pray for this space. We listened as R shared about her experiences with the refugee women, as well as her ability to relate in as simple ways as she could, limited by language and cultural barriers: most days, warm smiles and lifting boxes to support them as they collect their supplies. As we prayed for God to send people who can communicate with these women, and thanked him for raising up people to care for these vulnerable families, I glanced around the room and appreciated once again how God can use the least presuming circumstances to shape and change the course of peoples’ lives.

2018 Christmas Eve Offering

Christmas Eve Offering for Yemen

Every year, on Christmas Eve, Restoration invites those who attend our services to give to an organization (outside of Restoration) that is doing excellent work in a place of great need. 

We recognize 2 things:

  1. Lots of people visit on Christmas Eve and may not be attached to the work and mission of our local church.
  2. Lots of people want to give to something bigger than themselves.

Consequently, our Outreach Steering Team takes time to interview and vet a number of options so that we can all participate in the Christmas Eve offering and give to something that is doing important work.

In 2018, we will give our Christmas Eve offerings to The Ras Morbat Eye Clinic, which is a ministry of Christ Church Aden, an Anglican Church in Yemen.

The Ras Morbat clinic located in Aden Yemen provides eye care and basic health care services to the local people. The clinic is located within the compound of the Anglican Christ Church. The Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf and the Ministry of Health in Aden established a partnership to provide compassion and care for people in need without regard to religious or tribal identities. Over the years the work expanded to include and emphasis on eye care and in 2014 when the Yemeni government opened a small hospital a half a kilometer from Christ Church it was decided that the Ras Morbat Clinic should focus primarily on eye care which is not offered in the local government clinic.

The funds will be used for capital equipment and ongoing operations. The clinic is currently engaged in a project to raise funds to introduce new equipment that will allow our surgeons to offer a broader spectrum of treatment for cataracts and glaucoma. Currently they cannot treat these diseases until they are in rather developed stages and effectively the patients have blindness in one or both eyes. This piece of equipment will make it possible to treat these diseases in much earlier stages of development. This will help people to not experience significant levels of blindness before treatment and will expand the capability to treat cataracts. Treating these ailments in earlier stages will enable the patients to continue employment and support of their family.

Restoration’s relationship and dialog is with Dr Bill Schwarz who is an Archdeacon in the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. Bill maintains the relationship with the Christ Church of Aden and The Ras Morbat clinic.  The church was comprised mostly of expatriates and has seriously declined because foreigners have all had to leave Yemen because of the fighting and the risk of kidnapping and worse.
Bill characterizes the prayer needs as “encourage focus on an end to the fighting and reconstruction of society. Once civil order is restored food and medicine can be distributed and aid agencies can reach the people. We long for the day when we can relocate a clergy couple in Aden and reach out to the people who live there in sacramental ministry.
May the Light of Christ shine in Yemen…  and Arlington…  as we remember Immanuel.  God came among us.
-David

West Asia Reflection #1

Join us on 20 January 2019 at 6:30pm in the sanctuary for the

West Asia Treats and  Team Report

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Ryan and Lorene with our 5(!) huge suitcases of clothing for Syrian refugees

Bread and the Spirit

By, Lorene Eberhardt

When I think about our time in West Asia, two themes keep coming to mind.  The bread is plentiful and abundant throughout the country: a staple of every meal, loaves overflowing in shops littering the streets.  Jesus tells us He is the bread of life, and every time I saw a loaf or slice I found myself praying that the people of this land would come to know the One who can satisfy their hunger.
In the city by the Lake the hunger sits quietly below the surface.  People move around at a relaxed pace, stopping for conversations, sharing bread and olives, practicing their English with the funny Americans.  Occasionally a question or comment reveals the deeper hunger, a tiny wave breaking through the tranquility.
In the Big City, the scene feels more familiar to us from DC; locals and foreign visitors alike move past one another in a rush, never making eye contact, looking either at their phones or at where they’re trying to go, not at who is next to them.  Somehow you can feel the hunger more palpably here; like the seas and straits that surround this city, bigger waves and disturbances crest more frequently.  There are reminders of political upheavals, clashes of secularism and religious fervor, and the daily pressures related to cosmopolitan life.
Our trip was a week of opening our eyes to the work of the Holy Spirit, and stepping into his open invitation to join Him in the work He is already doing. Our team stepped out of vans to pray with fruit sellers, out in faith to buy an axe, into a room where refugee women are welcomed and handed clothing and diapers for their children, and then up in front of other Christians to share our stories of trusting Jesus with our desires.  Conversations that might have felt scary or unfamiliar back at home were somehow made comfortable and tender, through the transformational power of His Spirit.  There were multiple occasions in which I opened my mouth and heard His words on my tongue.
I’m grateful for the eight days of opportunity to see His Spirit work, and filled with hope and anticipation for how He continues to satisfy the deepest hungers both in West Asia and here in my own life.
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