Top 10 Reasons to Attend #RestoRetreat2016

 

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10. Limited internet and cell reception (that’s a good thing!)
9. Crisp, cool autumn weather and fall foliage

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8. We heard a rumor that there may or may not be square dancing
7. Politics-free zone
6. Smores
5. Bike ride and beer (yes, seriously)
4. Go hiking with Liz!

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3. Wine tasting for the adults and boat building for the kids
2. A sweet, sweet bonfire
1. What else are you going to do? Netflix? Seriously?!

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Make Memories at #RestoRetreat2016

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It may not feel like it with the weather we are having, but fall is right around the corner which can mean one thing, and one thing only: #RestoRetreat2016

For those not versed in Twitter slang, #RestoRetreat2016 is our annual all-church retreat that is just a few weeks away. This year it’s taking place October 14 – 16 and will be held in picturesque Massanetta Springs near Harrisonburg, VA (about 2.5 hours from church).

Our annual retreat is a wonderful opportunity to unplug from the Beltway as well as relax, hike and enjoy the fall in the Shenandoah Valley. #RestoRetreat2016 is also a chance to spend time in prayer while growing closer to God surrounded in His natural beauty.

Here’s how one happy retreat-goer described his experience attending a Restoration retreat:

“Going to the fall retreat provides a total break from your routine–children have a lot of open space to play, food is cooked, the atmosphere is relaxed. Since you’re not in your regular seat at church, people sitting near you are often new to you (or friends you have not seen recently); some are even from other church services. When you return after the retreat, you have shared memories with those who were with you; it really helps you feel part of the Restoration family.”

Another person indicates:

“We had been around the church for a few years but didn’t really know very many people well. The retreat was the first time I had to really get to know people on a deeper level, and some of those people are our close friends today.”

#RestoRetreat2016 will be fun for the entire family! There will be great teaching, worship and special programs for kids and youth. Reserve your spot online today!

Wardens’ Report: July 2016

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

This month we gathered in the sanctuary and thanked God for the work and ministry of Kat Downs among us.  Kat’s careful attention to detail has served our entire staff and congregation well as she manages our financial and administrative processes and lovingly cares about all that comes with daily use of a beautiful facility like ours.  No two days of her job are alike (or all that predictable) and she manages competing priorities with grace and poise.  We also prayed for the decisions before us asking God to give us clarity and wisdom as we looked to nudge the budget across the finish line and consider many other items on our agenda.

We joyfully received a discernment team report for one of our aspirants exploring a call to the priesthood and were pleased to make a recommendation that he be considered by our Diocese’s Ordination Committee.  We are so thankful for these teams of congregants engaged in the work of discernment for four people at different stages of the ordination process – what an amazing gift of their time and insights that will undoubtedly shape our congregation, the denomination and the Kingdom of God for many years to come!

We also received and approved edits to our Building Use Policy from the Facility Team who now has the benefit of two years of history in our building to suggest practices to ensure the use of our property is furthering our purpose and mission.  And we approved a set of disbursement recommendations totaling about $108k from our Outreach Steering Team (“OST”) which was set up to evaluate grant requests for the 10% of all our offerings which we designate for outreach purposes. We are pleased to have great partners globally and locally who help us live into our strategic plan and engage the poor and the stranger in our midst and beyond.  To learn more, visit the Outreach page, check out the 2016 Outreach guide, or reach out to Liz Gray or our Vestry representative to OST, Dietrich Kuhlmann.

The Finance Team’s Report for June was an encouragement and the situation has largely remained unchanged from the past few months.  Our attendance is essentially flat from last year but our rolling four-quarter average Sunday attendance was up about 5%.  Our YTD general fund offerings were 97% of budget and ten months into the fiscal year, our spending is only slightly above budget at 100.9% of budget.  Thanks be to God, thank you for your generosity and thanks to our diligent staff team that remain good stewards of our resources. 

In terms of our forward looking budget discussions, we completed the hard work begun by the finance team and staff and finalized our FY 2017 budget.  In the coming year, we’re projecting financial growth of about 15%. This year’s spending changes are driven largely by the priorities set forth in our strategic plan with a particular emphasis on our local church planting efforts.  While the Church Planting Steering Team (“CPST”) is still working on the specifics of our strategy, we expect to see concrete steps taken towards a local church plant in the spring of 2017.  Please plan to join us at our next parish meeting on October 9 at 1 PM to hear more about the budget details and plans for the coming year.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers, your words of wisdom and your faithful commitment of time, treasure and talent to our congregation.  Please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together on Quincy Street.

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’.

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Worship is for Lovers: Summer Small Group

Sign up for this small group by emailing David Griffin.

“Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

 (Psalm 1:1-2)

Thousands of years ago, the Psalmist recognized something that our modern era is only slowly learning to appreciate again: ritual. If there’s a word in our Christian vocabulary that’s gotten a bad rap in the last couple centuries, it’s “ritual.” Sometimes you hear it as shorthand for mindless acts of devotion that keep religious people busy, or for something quaint and sentimental, like when secular people put up Christmas trees in December.

Psalm 1 speaks of ritual practice, but it’s hardly mindless or sentimental. Granted, it doesn’t deal with “rituals” like religious festivals or fasting. But notice how the Psalm speaks of routine activities we perform with our bodies: walking, standing, sitting, meditating, and that day and night. That’s because the “law of the Lord” is a four-dimensional thing, something lived in space and time (though also contemplated in the mind). Israel’s book of worship opens with this hymn, suggesting that this is somehow what worship—indeed, life—is all about. We train our affections to delight in the law of the Lord.

I think the book of Psalms begins like this because rituals are routine practices that shape who we are at the most fundamental level of our lives. They give shape to our desires and fashion our loves. They are everywhere, and most of the time we aren’t even aware of it when we perform them. As Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith puts it, we are worshipping animals.

You know who really gets this? Starbucks. When I worked there as a barista, their mission was to become our clientele’s “third place,” after their home and work places. So we hoped to seduce coffee-lovers through what might be called a Starbucks liturgy. A smiling barista would greet you from behind the counter as soon as you enter the door, and (if possible) would welcome you by name. After reading the bulletin (our menu), admiring the icons (our quirky wall-art), and making an offering (at the register), you would partake of the elements in your favorite pew (a plush loveseat) with the rest of the congregants enjoying the aroma of the coffee-scented incense. Ideally for Starbucks, this simple routine would become embedded in your daily rhythm of life.

The Christian Church, of course, has its own liturgy or set of rituals, which are designed to channel our deepest desires to the Triune God, who is love. And this Church exists in a world of competing liturgies, like those of Starbucks (or nation states, neighborhood associations, fraternity and sorority houses, corporate structures, etc.), which are always trying to direct our loves toward other things. In this class I want to examine how Christian practices (ancient, everyday-things-people-got-martyred-for practices that we still do today) play this role of formation in our lives.

In our first four weeks, we’ll study in depth the practices of worship and devotion that the Holy Spirit has used over the centuries to shape the church into the Bride of Christ, who adores (imperfectly, in this life) her all-loving Husband. These include our Sunday liturgy (especially the Eucharist), scripture reading, daily prayer, the creeds, the church year, etc. I am a historian of the Bible and ancient church by training, so my hope is that you’ll gain a fresh appreciation for what we do in the present by digging into the past.

In the last four weeks, we’ll turn our attention to the situation in which we find ourselves in the postmodern world. This part of the class will be much more creative. What forces are at work in our culture, at the level of practice, competing for our loves in our corner of the world in 2013? How can we identify and respond to them in a way that is relevant yet rooted in our historic faith? I’m open to seeing what issues are of interest to the group; potential topics include the arts, internet, and social media, the institutions in which we work, etc.

So please join me Wednesday nights in July and August to study (or, better, pursue) the Christian life as one of worship. It is something we do body and soul, “day and night.” It is a historic pattern of practices, and the goal to “delight in the Lord.” That is: worship is for lovers.

David Griffin

Day/Time: Wednesdays from 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Dates: July 6- August 24

Location: The Fellowship Hall, Restoration Anglican Church

Sign up: Email David Griffin

Wardens’ Report: June 2016

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

The Vestry gathered in the sanctuary on Tuesday evening as Liz led us in prayer.  We gave thanks for Kathy Kenyon and her work as Coordinator of Sacramental Life and all that her role entails — oversight of baptisms, weddings and funerals and the coordination of many volunteers including marriage mentors.  We also prayed for Morgan Reed as he completes his internship with us and moves towards a new phase focused on completing his dissertation while serving other parishes as a Deacon in our diocese. And with heavy hearts, we prayed for world events and the unfolding news of the day’s atrocities in Istanbul.

We began our business meeting by approving a Facility Team recommendation for the repair of floor tiles in the Upper Narthex.  We also received our regular Finance Team update which showed that while monthly attendance was down 3.1% compared to May 2015, general offerings were at 97% of budget.  These current indicators were helpful as we prepared to consider the FY2017 budget.

The bulk of our meeting was in discussion about next year’s budget.  The discussion was led by our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, and our Assistant Treasurers Dietrich Kuhlman and Meredith Lloyd who with the Finance Team spent countless hours compiling data, interviewing staff, making projections, and outlining potential scenarios.

We worked in multiple steps toward completion of the budget: first considering income projections, then reviewing “steady state” expenditures and finally considering how we would lean into the Strategic Plan — particularly the vision to plant local churches.  We look ahead with great anticipation for what the Spirit will do with our collective resources of time, talent, and treasure.

While the bulk of our hard work and discussion on budget issues was completed this week, we will finalize and approve the FY17 budget at our July meeting.  We appreciate your prayers as we work to discern and listen well.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together.

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’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Parking Info for Sunday, June 5

Oh, the irony! Just one week after we encouraged you to use the parking lot at the corner of N. Quincy and 15th St., we’ve learned of an event happening this Sunday, June 5 from 7:00 am to 10:30 am.

The following streets could be blocked off:

  • N. Quincy St. between Washington Blvd. and N. 15th St.
  • N. 15th St. between N. Quincy St. and N. Stafford St.
  • N. Stafford St. between Washington Blvd. and N. 15th St.

We are not altering any of our normal Sunday routines, but you may find you’ll need to be creative about parking and getting to church. We will ask James (our beloved shuttle driver) to pick up people at the corner of N. Quincy and 17th St. before and right after the 9 am service.

To help you see where those streets and spots are located, we’ve created a map.

Last year we made alternative plans but everything was over before the 9 am service. We’re hopeful the same will be true this year! But, if you are a 9 am regular, feel free to try out the 11 am or the 5 pm service instead!

Wardens’ Report: May 2016

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

As is our custom, we started our meeting with prayers at the rail — this month focused on the ministry of Isaiah Brooms, our Director of Youth Ministries. We thanked God for the vision he has for mentoring our youth and helping them understand the relevance of Jesus to their lives today. We prayed for his committed team of volunteers and asked for creativity and energy as they partner to reflect the love of God while building a strong middle and high school community in our midst.

Our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, presented a Finance Team Report that paints a strong picture as we enter the final quarter of our fiscal year. We are essentially on budget with a healthy but prudent cash cushion on hand to weather unexpected changes to the trends. The Finance Team, in partnership with staff, is now deep in the budgeting process with a plan to present a first draft FY2017 budget to the Vestry in our June meeting. We are grateful for the many skilled volunteers in our community who labor behind the scenes and keep us on track financially (and otherwise).

As we’ve written in past reports, much of our strategic focus this year has been on church planting and identifying the next few steps necessary to make meaningful progress towards this aspect of our strategic plan. At our January retreat, we established a Church Plant Steering Team (CPST) and in this month’s meeting, we received an update with recommendations to consider a “Church Plant Residency” program (which, incidentally, was the mechanism at The Falls Church Anglican that resulted in “the Arlington Project” which birthed what we’ve come to love as Restoration Arlington Church!) and a strategy that actively pursues opportunities to partner with other ministries to nurture existing groups in our area into new churches. There is still much to be prayed through and discerned as we prepare to execute our plans, but we are grateful for a wise and prayerful team to advise us.

Please pray for wisdom and clarity and attentiveness to the Holy Spirit’s work among us as we move forward with budgets and plans for the future. And please join us on Tuesday evening, June 7 at the church for our Parish Meeting. We’d love to tell you more about the amazing things God is doing in our community and answer any questions you may have. We need all of you to consider new ways to invest your time, treasure and talents in the work ahead.

In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together on Quincy Street.

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.’

-Hannah Royal and Carolyn Weimer, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: March 2016

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

The Vestry gathered on Tuesday and began our meeting with prayer at the rail. This month we gave thanks for Nathan and his work in shepherding small groups, in organizing the newly formed Church Planting Steering Team (or CPST), and in his preparations to preach on Easter Sunday. We also prayed for Women Unscripted gathered in the fellowship hall, the small groups which are concluding another trimester, and many of the other ministries which are connecting people to God, to others and to the needs of the world.

Our business meeting included consideration of Facility Team requests, a monthly financial update, discussion of increasing our building reserve fund and a look ahead as we work through the budget process for next fiscal year which begins September 1.

Ramsey provided an in-depth Treasurer’s report for the first six months of FY16. Monthly attendance was up nearly 14% over last February, which is an encouraging sign of growth. Similar to last month, giving is at 95% of plan while spending is at 100% of our budget. In conjunction with our tireless staff, the Finance Team is carefully and prayerfully helping to keep us financially on track. In addition, we are considering the feasibility of growing our budget in order to undertake new discipleship, evangelism, and church planting efforts.

We spent a significant amount of time discussing our recent dinner with Bishop John Guernsey. Each year our Vestry has the opportunity to meet with Bishop John and we always walk away humbled and thankful for his leadership and great wisdom. He was able to provide practical and experiential advice about church planting and challenged us to think boldly about how we fund such initiatives. We left more thoughtful and more encouraged in the work God is doing in our midst.

As we anticipate Holy Week together, we invite you to intentionally join others in the events leading up to the incredible celebration of Easter. It is a story not to be missed and we hope you will bring others who have never grasped the amazing news of Christ’s resurrection!

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together.

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’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Cambodia Prayer Night – February 8, 7:30 pm

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Cambodia is a place that Restoration has grown to love over the past several years.  In 2012 we commissioned Jesse and Sarah Blaine to serve in Phnom Penh with World Orphans and since then our relationship with their new community has blossomed.   The Blaines attend Church of Christ our Peace (CCOP) and Restoration has had the privilege of sending several teams to minister through retreats and VBS to both their Khmer- and English-speaking congregations.  We have had the opportunity to meet and engage with many of the Blaines’ friends, as well as pastors serving rural congregations in Cambodia, and expats who are working with NGOs in Phnom Penh.

Jesse was recently ordained to the transitional diaconate, and as he approaches his next ordination to the presbytery, we want to meet regularly to pray for him and his family, for their ministry, and for the many other people we have come to love in Cambodia.

If you love the Blaines, love Cambodia, or just love to pray, please join us on Monday night (February 8) in the fellowship hall from 7:30-8:30.  All are welcome!

Friday at the Fall Retreat

Resto Hike
If you are excited about Fall Retreat 2015, why not consider heading down on Friday?  You can even make a day of it or join in the evening.

If you take the day, you will hike with friends to the beautiful waterfall at White Oak Canyon, taking in the autumnal colors along the way.  Afterwards, folks will have dinner together in Harrisonburg.  Plan to meet at Restoration at 9:30am to convoy out to the mountains.

Can’t make it for the hike?  You can still come Friday night and join for dinner in Harrisonburg.  After, everyone will gather by the fireplace in the main lodge at Massanetta Springs for a time of prayer and quiet time from 8:30-9:30pm.

Does this sound like a great way to kickoff Fall Retreat? If so, be sure to include Friday night when you register for Fall Retreat 2015, and RSVP to Liz (liz@restorationarlington.org) so she can keep you up to speed on hiking and dinner plans.

 

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